Busting scholarship myths: Experts point to ways students can earn extra money for college

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Students may think it’s a tall task to earn a college scholarship, so they won’t bother to apply for one.

But experts say the opposite is true.

At Viterbo University in La Crosse, students need to apply for admission first in order to be eligible for scholarships.

But no matter your background, all it takes to earn a scholarship is to apply.

Students walking the grounds on Viterbo’s campus are there for a reason — to take that next big step.

“College is one of the best investments a student can make,”said Brian Weber, Viterbo’s assistant vice president of enrollment management. “But it can be a steep one.”

Something that can flatten the cost? Scholarships.

“Looking for scholarships can be a big help,” Weber said.

The university offers scholarships based on academic success and student interests, he said.

“Just for being admitted into the institution, a student might see anywhere from $10,000 to $16,000 per year in scholarship money,” Weber said.

It’s been proved at Viterbo that students can get scholarships simply by enrolling in their majors.

David Tabachnikov, chief executive officer for ScholarshipOwl, says one of the most common scholarship myths is that students need a high GPA to earn one.

“There are many scholarships available for all kinds of things,” Tabachnikov said.

Another common misconception is that scholarships require a lot of different essays.

Increasing numbers of scholarships are being awarded for making posts on social media, Tabachnikov said.

Students can even earn scholarship money by making dancing videos on TikTok, he said.

“Scholarship providers hate reading essays almost as much as students hate writing them,” Tabachnikov said. “But watching 1,000 30-second videos on the same subject? It’s actually very fun, creative and engaging.”

Scholarships likely won’t cover the cost of college tuition, but they can make a difference.

“A thousand dollars in scholarships is a lot more than a thousand dollars in student loans,” Tabachnikov said.

A money-saver for students investing time into their future goals.

Another common myth about scholarships is that they are available only to high school seniors. Actually, students can apply for scholarships as juniors while in high school, Tabachnikov said.

ScholarshipOwl is just one resource where you can search for scholarships. All students start with a seven-day free trial.