What You Can Use Scholarship Money For

By Danielle Wirsansky on April 10, 2018

College can be hard to afford, so when you win a scholarship it is a very big deal. No matter how big or small the amount of money the scholarship affords you, it still should be recognized as a major achievement. A person or organization saw enough worth in you that they wanted to help you get the college education you want or need. And no matter how big or small the amount of money a scholarship affords you, it can still help to make or break your college experience.

So now you have done all the heavy lifting an hard work. You have made it into college, and not only that, won yourself some kind of scholarship. Congratulations! However, you need to check what you can use your scholarship money for.

Sometimes an organization just awards you the money freely, for you to use at your discretion. The money is meant to make your life easier and can be spent on anything that you want to spend it on. But other times, your scholarship money can only be used for certain things that are written in the fine print of your scholarship. To use that money for things outside the scope of the award may lead to the revocation of your scholarship money, which is definitely not something that you want to happen.

Each scholarship has its own set of rules and regulations, so you should be sure to get a clear understanding of what your particular scholarship can be spent on. However, most scholarships have the same set of uses that the money can be set aside for. Read on to learn about what you can often use your scholarship money for!



The first thing that your scholarship money can almost definitely be spent on is your tuition! Tuition is often the most expensive aspect of college.

According to Statista, the Statistics Portal, the average cost of tuition and fees at universities in the U.S. in the 2013-2014 school year was more than $12,000. This seems low in comparison to the annual cost of $46,950 that it takes to attend a private, no-profit for year university in the U.S. in the 2017-2018 school year. Tuition is expensive. Many can forget just how expensive tuition can truly be. Especially if you are going to a college that is out of state or to a private college, tuition prices are going to be astronomical. Your tuition is an important part of your college experience—in fact, it is what facilitates your college experience at all. If you do not pay your tuition, you cannot attend college, point blank. It is what needs to be paid most importantly. Do not forget about tuition any anything that you owe towards it should be paid by any scholarships you have received, upfront.



Say you have your tuition covered, and you do not need to spend your scholarship money on that, or that you do apply your scholarship and still have money left over after paying for your tuition—the next thing that you should apply your scholarship funding towards is rent. Whether you plan to live in a dorm or live off campus, the scholarship should be able to cover the cost of rent. Rent can also be expensive—whether you live on or off campus.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that room and board, now averages about $9,804 an academic year. “For students at public two-year colleges, room and board costs on average account for more than two-thirds of the cost. Housing expenses are a major part of students’ living costs, and they have steadily increased during the past 25 years.”

To afford housing that is safe, healthy, close enough to campus…? This kind of housing can be hard to find, especially on a college student’s budget. So if you have scholarship money that can be used towards rent, you should just to make sure that the place you are staying is a reasonable space for you!


Another thing that you can spend your scholarship money on is textbooks! Many new college students can desperately underestimate the cost of textbooks. Many public schools in the U.S. offer textbooks to students for free, but this is not the case in college.

In 2014, The College Board estimated that the average student in this country spent around $1,200 a year on books and supplies. A single book could cost as much as $200. By now, these numbers have only increased.

Textbooks can be a major financial drain for college students who do not have much money to begin with. If you have scholarship money left over, it can almost always be spent on textbooks and it can make your life much easier and less stressful.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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