We break down common misconceptions about scholarships and financial aid.

Applying to college can feel complicated and overwhelming. Here at Red Kite, our goal is to simplify the process and streamline your access to financial aid.

Both students and parents alike have many understandable questions and concerns about scholarships. Here are just a few examples of widespread financial aid myths, and why your chances at college are much higher than you may realize.

Myth #1: You can’t afford college.

Many students don’t even apply to the university of their dreams because they know they won’t be able to afford the tuition. Additional fees also add up: living in the dorms, textbooks, meal plans… The average cost of college has more than doubled in the 21st century, with in-state tuition averaging at $9,678; out-of-state tuition averages $27,091.

Scholarships and financial aid help to alleviate this financial burden in a variety of ways. By offsetting college expenses, resources like Red Kite help students graduate with less or no debt. High levels of student loan debt can have long-term financial consequences, but small loans combined with scholarships mitigate these risks and help students start their post-graduation lives on stronger financial footing. Over 83% of full-time, first-time undergraduate students receive at least some form of financial aid to help make college more affordable.

Our Red Kite Search Engine provides instant access to the Red Kite Database, which complies over $25 billion in financial aid. These include no-essay scholarships, fun scholarships (like the Taylor Swift Fan Scholarship), and much more. Through financial aid, any college becomes more affordable, even if you don’t have the best GPA.

Myth #2: Scholarships are only for straight-A students.

While academic achievement can certainly help with your chances of receiving scholarships, many programs consider various factors beyond your grades. Extracurricular activities, community service, leadership roles, and unique talents or skills are all excellent advantages.

Scholarships are also intended to diversify the educational sphere and grant access to marginalized groups. There are plenty of targeted scholarships for underprivileged individuals, such as the Single Parent Household Scholarship, which targets exceptional students raised in a single-parent household, or students who are single parents themselves and pursuing a degree in education.

Kite Writer Jane Cooper had a 2.7 GPA at the beginning of her junior year of high school. By the end of her senior year, she had been offered a cumulative $406,000 in scholarships. A high GPA is far from the only route to scholarships and financial aid.

Myth #3: Scholarships are only for incoming freshmen.

While there are indeed many scholarships aimed at incoming freshmen, there are also scholarships available for current college students, graduate students, and even adult learners returning to school. It’s never too late to search for and apply to scholarships.

Myth #4: You have to be a U.S. citizen to receive financial aid.

While some federal financial aid programs require U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status, many scholarships and state-funded financial aid programs are available to eligible noncitizen students, including DACA recipients and certain categories of undocumented immigrants. Additionally, some colleges offer institutional aid to international students.

Myth #5: Once you get a scholarship, you’re set for all four years of college.

Many scholarships are renewable, meaning you can receive them for multiple years, but they often come with conditions – such as maintaining a certain GPA or participating in specific activities. Additionally, some scholarships are one-time awards, so it’s essential to plan for funding for all four years of college.

Now that you have a more clear understanding of the financial aid process, be sure to check out myredkite.com to continue your college pursuit. We are here to help – and to debunk!

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