• Scholarship Smarts
  • Read the Fine Print

Scholarships with Strings Attached

Scholarships won't give you money for nothing. Some even set down requirements you must meet after you graduate.

You may find what looks like the perfect scholarship and then discover "the catch." Find out why it is critical to know exactly what you are signing up for.

Scholarships That Require 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—with interest.

Scholarships That Require Specific Studies or College Location

Some scholarships aim to increase participation in a certain major or attendance at a school in a certain state. If you change your mind about your studies or college, you may have to return the money.

Scholarships That Require You to 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.

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.

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.

What's Next?

Search for scholarships by your career, academic, or college location preferences.

See Scholarship Application Tips for ways to to create winning applications.