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Frequently Asked Questions

 Receiving Outside Scholarships

Why isn't my scholarship listed with my other financial aid?

You will need to complete the Outside Scholarship Notification Form (Form 103) in order for your scholarship to be added to your financial aid package. Please see our outside scholarship notification page for more information.

Do I have to report receiving a scholarship to anyone?

Yes! If you do not report your scholarships to the Financial Aid Office, you may have to repay federal and/or state aid. To report an outside scholarship, please submit the Outside Scholarship Reporting Form (Form 103).

Where should the private donor of my scholarship send the award check?

Please see our donor information page for specifics related to sending scholarship checks.

My scholarship donor needs verification that I am enrolled before they will send the check. What do I do?

You may print your verification of enrollment from your myWCU account to submit to your donor.

My scholarship donor needs a copy of my grades before they will send my check for next semester. How do I get that?

Depending on the requirements of your donor, you may print an unofficial transcript from your myWCU account.  If your donor requires an official transcript, you may request one at One Stop.


Please forward the check to our office. If the check is made out to you or is made out to you and WCU, you will need to sign the back of the check in order for us to apply it as a payment towards your bill.


That's OK! As long as we have received a copy of your scholarship award letter, we will post the expected scholarship on your account as a payment towards your bill. This expected payment will only stay on your account for a short time after classes begin so it is your responsibility to be sure your scholarship provider has all of the necessary information to mail a check to us.


Things to Know about Outside Scholarships

What types of scholarships are there?

There are many different types of scholarships.  Some scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, and others are based on financial need.  Please see the other sections of our website for more specific information regarding scholarship opportunities available from WCU and beyond.

Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships?

Prime months for scholarship deadlines are January through April for awards beginning the following fall term, but there are also many scholarships that have deadlines in the fall.  Many scholarships are only awarded once a year, so it’s important to begin your search early and keep a calendar of upcoming deadlines.

Is it possible to receive financial aid and scholarships?

Yes! Many students who receive scholarships also receive other types of financial assistance.

Does receiving a scholarship affect other financial aid?

It can. Total financial assistance received through scholarships, grants, work-study and loans may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Receiving a scholarship may necessitate a reduction in other financial aid.  When possible, loans will be reduced first. However, it is sometimes necessary to reduce work-study, grants, and/or university scholarships. This is in accordance with federal regulations.  Anytime your financial aid award is adjusted, you will receive an updated award email from the Financial Aid Office.

Do I have to apply for need-based financial aid to receive a merit scholarship?

No, financial need is not a factor when considering students for merit-based scholarships.  However, we do encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

How do I qualify for merit-based scholarships?

Merit scholarships are based on academic performance.  At WCU, we will evaluate your high school credentials and standardized test scores in order to determine whether or not you are eligible.  Merit scholarships for transfer students are based on the cumulative college grade point average.  There is no separate application required to be considered for merit-based scholarships.

How do I qualify for need-based scholarships?

In order to be considered for need-based scholarships, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 1 priority filing deadline.

What are some good tips in seeking scholarships through my community?

Outside scholarships are available from many different sources including churches, high schools, and private organizations. Check with your guidance counselor to see if there is a list of scholarships from your local area.  Another excellent resource for scholarships is your local community foundation. You can find the foundation that serves your area by doing an Internet search.

Where do I start?

Start in the places that are closest to you.  Does your place of employment offer scholarships?  What about your parents’ places of employment?  What about organizations or other places in which you or your parents are involved?  Our website will provide you with some additional links to help with your scholarship search.  There are many scholarships out there, but you’re going to have to spend time looking for them.

I received a letter from a company guaranteeing they will find scholarships for me, but I have to pay them for the search. Should I do this?

No. There are many scholarship search resources available to you at no cost. We do not recommend paying a fee for this type of service.  Also, be aware of scholarship scams.  You should never provide your bank account information or credit card number as part of a scholarship application or search.

Tips on Finding Scholarships

Use the resources provided on our website.

As we receive information about scholarship opportunities, we will make that information available to you on our website.  Check back often for updates.

Talk with your guidance counselor about scholarships from your high school and from organizations in your community.

Many local organizations provide scholarships for students that can be used at the student’s school of choice.  Be sure to ask early because some of these will have application deadlines during the fall.

Have your parents ask about scholarship opportunities at their workplace.

Many corporations across the U.S. give money to charitable organizations and to schools or individuals in the form of scholarships.  Parents of college-bound students should contact their human resources office to find out information about scholarships and awards.

If you are a student and have a part-time job at a grocery store, fast-food restaurant, or retail outlet, you may be eligible for an employee scholarship given by your employer.

Examples include, but are not limited to:  Wal-Mart, Ingles, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell.

Many corporate banking institutions have a variety of scholarships available to students.

Be sure to inquire about scholarships through the foundations at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank (Citigroup), and SunTrust Bank.

Check with your community foundation.

Many communities have foundations that have established scholarships for residents.  For this type of search, enter the name of your county or hometown and add “community foundation” or “foundation” to narrow your results.

Do a general Internet search.

Select a keyword or phrase like “cancer,” “creative writing,” or “community service” and add the word “scholarships” to search for sites related to your interests.  You also can use this technique to search for scholarships from your hometown or county.

Do not limit yourself to one scholarship search engine.

If you are serious about finding scholarship money for college, don’t limit yourself to one scholarship search engine.  Fill out information on multiple scholarship sites and pursue all scholarships for which you meet the criteria.  Some scholarship foundations don’t receive many applicants and therefore award money to all who have applied.


The more scholarships you apply for, the more money you could be awarded!  We encourage you to pursue departmental, community, corporate, and other national scholarships to help pay for college.  There is money out there, but you are going to have to search for it.

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