Scholarships won't give you money for nothing. Almost all expect good college grades. But some sponsors ask for more, even after you graduate. Find out why it is critical to know exactly what you are signing up for.
Required Job or Career Commitments
Many scholarships require that you work for a number of years in a certain field, such as healthcare or teaching, once you graduate. If you don't provide evidence of such employment, the sponsor will usually recover the scholarship money. Some scholarships require you to work for the sponsor, such as the military, after graduation. If you don't follow through on your agreement, sponsors will recover the money or treat it like a loan and add interest to the amount to be repaid.
Some scholarships aim to be your only source of funds for a particular project or for your participation in a certain major. For instance, if you received a scholarship for an independent study project—and then received another grant or scholarship for the same project—you might be required to return the first scholarship.
When You Must Go Home
You may be required to return to your hometown or state after graduation, no matter what career you pursue. Proof of your residency after graduation may be required.
You may find what looks like the perfect scholarship and then discover "the catch." Before you sign on the dotted line, check the terms of acceptance carefully to see just what you are promising to do—and then decide if you can live with it.