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When you think of attending college or university, the ever-present worry of how to fund it may come to mind. For many, scholarships are the answer. And the reality? You don’t have to limit yourself to just one. Applying for many scholarships can be your ticket to minimize student loans and make the most of available financial aid.

Below, we’ll cover a few major points that many students and parents encounter when applying for scholarships. In particular we’ll answer:

  • How many scholarships can a student win?
  • Should you apply for multiple scholarships?

How Many Scholarships Can You Get?

College and university scholarships are a numbers game. The more you apply for, the more chances you have to win. However, if you’re successful at winning money, can you hold many scholarships at once?

The answer is both yes and no.

Scholarship directory to help students win money for college and university

Winning Scholarships: Check Terms and the Fine Print

Terms and conditions of various prizes differ. For reasons we’ll cover below, some scholarship opportunities stipulate that you can’t hold simultaneous awards. However, other scholarship providers have no such terms attached to their prize. In these cases, you can collect as many scholarships as possible. 

The Amount of Scholarship Money May Tell You Something

On average, awards that range from $500 to $10,000 allow you to hold multiple scholarships. This is a general observation so, as noted above, double-check terms and conditions of any scholarship you apply for. 

When You CAN’T Hold Multiple Scholarships

On certain occasions, scholarship awards may stipulate that you can only hold one prize. These scholarships tend to have large sums of money attached to them ($10,000 and up/annually), which makes them attractive options.

When terms dictate that you can’t hold another major prize, it’s usually for one of two reasons.

The first is equity. There are many undergraduate and graduate students out there, and having only a few students win multiple prizes seems to counter the spirit of scholarships.

The second reason is branding. When scholarship providers reward a student with a large monetary sum, it may come with an expectation to appear on a website or promotional materials. In this way, the student is like an ambassador of the scholarship provider’s brand, which an organization may not want to share. These options tend to be very competitive, so your chances of getting this kind of prize is quite small. 

Remember to Check Your Financial Aid Details

The other important thing to consider if you win multiple scholarships is your status for financial aid packages. Sometimes, scholarship wins will change your stated income and may influence any student loans/financial aid you receive. 

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Why Every Student Should Apply for Many Scholarships

Scholarships not only help reduce the weight of student loans but also enhance a student’s profile for future endeavors. The money is important, but the prestige of winning is another big benefit. 

Just think about what it would mean on future applications if you could say that you’re one of the small number of college or university students who won multiple scholarships. That’s a powerful statement about you and your abilities. 

Boosting Your Chances: Apply, Apply, Apply!

Scholarships: it’s a numbers game. The more applications you send, the higher the likelihood of securing that coveted scholarship award. By applying for many, you not only increase your chances of getting scholarship money but also gain invaluable experience.

Dive into the Search to Find as Many Scholarships as Possible

Whether you’re in high school, college, or university, a comprehensive scholarship search is vital. Don’t settle after finding one or two; instead, seek out as many as you fit the criteria for. Without question, your research skills can be a game changer. 

If you’re able to find unique scholarships without a ton of competition, you’ve already put yourself in a good position. 

The Many Flavors of Scholarships Available to Students

Different types of scholarships exist—and some of them might be better suited to your profile than others.

Here’s an overview of the types of scholarships available:

Remember, each type of scholarship serves a unique purpose and can supplement your educational journey in different ways.

College and University scholarships for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students.

Scholarships and Grants – Know the Difference and Reap the Benefits

While scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria, grants are typically need-based.

Similar to scholarships, the amount of grants that a student can hold is determined by individual terms and conditions. 

In Conclusion: Find Scholarships and Lighten Your Financial Burden

Every scholarship, big or small, pushes you a step closer to your dream of affordable higher education. For those keen to minimize debts and pay for higher education without breaking the bank, remember: find scholarships, apply, and repeat. The world of scholarships is vast, and with a diligent approach, it’s a game many can win. Yes, you can hold multiple scholarships at once. Just be sure to do your own research. 

Christopher Grafos, Ph.D., is the founder and chief scholarship mentor at BridgesEDU Scholarships.

He’s a first-generation university graduate whose life was transformed by education and winning scholarships. 

Scholarships help students financially, but they also help advance a student’s career. It’s his life’s work to champion this message and share the secrets to finding and winning scholarships. 

Read more about Christopher’s journey here