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Last update: June 1, 2024

5 minutes read

Scholarship Application Limits

Explore the facts about U.S. scholarships! Learn how many students win them, the impact of your grades, and strategies to boost your chances.

By Brian Flaherty, B.A. Economics

Edited by Rachel Lauren, B.A. in Business and Political Economy

By Brian Flaherty, B.A. Economics

Edited by Rachel Lauren, B.A. in Business and Political Economy

How many scholarships can you win? As it turns out, there's no limit on the number of scholarships you can get. In this post, you're going to learn the inner workings of scholarship applications, the types of scholarships, where to find them, and how they can potentially affect your college finances.

Key takeaways

  • There’s no limit to the number of scholarships you can win
  • There are many types of scholarships, including merit-based, full tuition, prestigious awards, sweepstakes, and local scholarships
  • Winning too many scholarships can affect your financial aid package, but mostly in a positive way, reducing your dependency on loans

    Is there a limit to how many scholarships you can get?

    No, there’s no limit to how many scholarships you can get. The world of scholarships is wide open, encouraging you to apply and win as much money as you can to reduce your financial burden.

    For most students, athletic scholarships are unlikely. Besides, those aren’t exactly the type of scholarships you can just submit an application for. For that reason, this article will focus on the types of scholarships open to most students - and you may just be surprised at how many of those there are.

    What types of scholarships can you get?

    Understanding scholarships is your first step to maximizing the amount of money you can get for college. Let's take a quick look at the different types of scholarships:

    • Merit scholarships: These are often awarded on the basis of academic or extracurricular performance. These are generally given along with a college’s admission decision.
    • Full tuition scholarships: These are rare scholarships that cover the entire cost of your college education. In some cases, it might even cover the cost of room and board.
    • Prestigious awards: Recognized nationally or globally, these scholarships are often awarded depending on academic achievement, financial need, or philanthropic efforts.
    • Sweepstakes: Just fill out a quick registration, making it easy to apply and win. The amount may vary widely, between a small amount and a full ride.
    • Local scholarships: They’re offered by organizations that want to give financial aid to students in their community attending college.

    Where can you apply and find scholarships?

    You can use platforms like TuitionHero that give you a list of scholarships that match your profile based on your location, GPA, test scores, and so on. Talking to financial aid administrators at your prospective schools, as well as your high school guidance counselor, can help you find college or local scholarships that might be overlooked.

    TuitionHero Tip

    Always keep an eye out for opportunities; scholarship offers can come from the most unexpected places.

    Is there any risk in winning too many scholarships?

    Technically, yes. In rare cases, winning too many scholarships can reduce your financial need to the point that you no longer qualify for need-based financial aid or subsidized loans. Ironically, this can actually make college less affordable.

    That’s an unusual scenario, but it is a possibility, so make sure you understand how accepting scholarships will affect your financial aid package. For the most part, winning scholarships reduces your dependency on loans, saving you money over the long run.

    If you're fortunate enough to have more scholarship funds than needed for your college costs, there are rare cases where your scholarship earnings might exceed your expenses, leaving you with extra funds when you graduate.

    However, this rarely happens - keep in mind that this situation is subject to rules and regulations set by the scholarship provider. In some cases, you may be required to pay certain funds back due to what’s known as “Overpayment.”

    Can winning scholarships affect your college expenses?

    When your scholarship fund grows enough to cover a big part of your college expenses, your payment sources change significantly. For example, let's say your annual tuition is $50,000, and you receive a merit scholarship from the institution worth $20,000.

    Now, if you win an outside scholarship of $15,000, the school will use this money to replace the student loans in your financial aid package, saving you from future repayment burdens.

    In essence, hitting the scholarship jackpot not only makes your time in college easier but also shapes the repayment schedule of your loans down the road. That's why we at TuitionHero constantly emphasize the importance of actively seeking and applying for relevant scholarships.

    Do’s and don'ts of applying for scholarships

    Starting a scholarship hunt? It's smart to have a strategy. From understanding eligibility to preparing application requirements, here's a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts to increase your chances in the scholarship game.


    • Understand the scholarship's purpose and eligibility criteria

    • Tailor your application to each scholarship

    • Make sure you meet the deadlines

    • Write compelling essays and maintain a polished virtual presence

    • Thank the donors/sponsors after receiving the scholarship


    • Don’t apply for scholarships you aren’t eligible for

    • Don’t send the same application to all scholarships

    • Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your applications

    • Don’t overlook the importance of proofreading and online reputation

    • Don’t fail to report the scholarship to your chosen school

    Advantages and disadvantages of applying to scholarships

    As we learn more about scholarships, let's consider the advantages and potential drawbacks of the scholarship-hunting game.

    • They reduce your financial burden significantly. The more scholarships you win, the less you have to borrow for your education.
    • They reinforce your resume by showcasing your skills, talents, and dedication to your chosen field.
    • In cases of surplus, scholarships can allow you to graduate with extra funds as long as there are no restrictions from the scholarship provider.
    • The application process can take up a lot of time and energy.
    • Scams aren’t uncommon in the scholarship world, so it’s crucial to make sure the scholarship is from a legitimate source.
    • In rare cases, winning too many scholarships can make you ineligible for certain need-based financial aid or loan programs.

    Why trust TuitionHero

    At TuitionHero, we simplify college finance, from FAFSA help to student loan refinancing. Our scholarship program offers numerous options to fund your education and guides you through the application process. The more scholarships you receive, the less you need to rely on loans. Our goal is to make paying for college easy.

    Final thoughts

    Scholarships are always changing, and there's no limit to how many you can get. To succeed, stay informed, work hard, and be proactive in finding scholarships. TuitionHero can help you simplify your scholarship search and discover many opportunities to pay for your college education. So, approach this confidently and discover a variety of scholarships ready for you, just a click away.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    The necessary information generally includes documentation of your academic achievements, letters of recommendation, a well-written essay, and specific information related to the particular scholarship.

    Check if the scholarship comes from a reputable organization. Verify contact information on their official website. Be careful of scholarships that demand fees or too much personal information. And don’t forget, TuitionHero can help you filter out legitimate scholarships.

    Yes, many scholarships are open to high school students. Early applications also increase your chances of winning. Check out our scholarship catalog on TuitionHero to find scholarships you can apply for at an early stage.

    Your chances of winning a scholarship can increase significantly just by applying to more scholarships. Tailoring your application, meeting deadlines, and proofreading your submissions can also increase your likelihood of winning. Check out our tips on TuitionHero for a more detailed guide.



    Brian Flaherty avatar

    Brian is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a B.A. in Economics. After graduation, Brian spent four years working working at a wealth management firm advising high-net-worth investors and institutions. During his time there, he passed the rigorous Series 65 exam and rose to a high-level strategy position.


    Rachel Lauren avatar

    Rachel Lauren is the co-founder and COO of Debbie, a tech startup that offers an app to help people pay off their credit card debt for good through rewards and behavioral psychology. She was previously a venture capital investor at BDMI, as well as an equity research analyst at Credit Suisse.

    At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work - we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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