Ranked on Best College’s list of universities with the best financial aid, Weber State University offers over $90 million in scholarships and financial aid. Still, some students fail to take advantage of these
opportunities.

Applying for scholarships can be a daunting task. Time, insecurity and lack of awareness prevent students from applying.

According to USA Today College, incoming high school students feel that a perfect GPA and shiny resume are required to earn any sort of scholarship. And when considering the time it takes to fill out a form or write a short essay, students with pressing responsibilities struggle to justify the time it takes to apply.

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Graphic by Maddy VanOrman and Storyblocks.com

However, as pointed out by USA Today College, some scholarships are need-based and some are talent-, location- and even luck-based. Not every scholarship requires a 4.0 or a position as team captain.

The Washington Post noted most high school seniors will match 50–100 scholarships and are eligible for more with further research.

While students can be intimidated by applying for scholarships and financial aid, students who do apply see benefits almost immediately.

WSU junior Kyle Wyatt said he did not receive any type of government or school-funded help for his first few semesters.

“I didn’t know any scholarships were even available to me, but after about a year or so, I needed to lower my tuition costs, and I found a whole bunch of different scholarships that, when added together, make up about half of my tuition,” Wyatt said.

WSU student Emma Sims recently received a Pell Grant through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. She expressed her dependence on this Pell Grant for her personal education since her finances are stretched thin by living costs and necessary personal expenses.

Sims only applied for the grant because a close friend recommended it to her right after she got married last year. She was quite surprised to learn a short time later that her application was accepted, and she was one of the recipients of the Pell Grant.

Qualification for government grants can depend on multiple factors such as financial situation, marital status and whether applicants are part time or full time, etc.

WSU graduate Tyler Smith recommended that students apply for financial aid because “there’s no harm in applying. The worst thing that will happen is that you just won’t get the money.”

Smith said when he was a student, he applied for “any and all” financial aid he possibly could, even if he was unsure he would earn the scholarship.

“I didn’t receive all of the ones I applied for, obviously, but I did receive enough that made paying for school a breeze,” Smith said. “I learned it’s always good to at least just put your name in. Sometimes you might just be the only one who’s applying.”

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