Pro Tips for Parents: How to Evaluate Scholarships

thunder and gcu students holding a lopes up

As the senior year of high school approaches, parents and students will begin taking a closer look at college and university options. You will weigh your financial resources and work to select a college that sets your student up for the brightest possible future. One important rule should guide you through this complex decision-making process:

Scholarships should be the first option for funding your student’s education.

Loans should be secondary. Unlike scholarships, loans must be paid back with interest or fees that can increase over time. Scholarships come at no cost and are a great way to ensure future financial security.

Many colleges offer institutional scholarships, merit-based awards that are provided by the university to offset the cost of tuition, room and board, books or general educational expenses. However, not all institutional scholarships are created equal. Carefully consider each institution’s scholarship offerings as you work on selecting a destination.

Consider the following important criteria as you review and compare scholarships:

  • Duration – How many semesters does the scholarship cover? Is it renewable?
  • Minimum requirements – Does the scholarship consider weighted or unweighted GPA? What are the minimum test score requirements? Are GPA and test scores considered equally?
  • Rules and conditions – Does the scholarship require students to maintain a minimum GPA or enrollment in a certain program? Do the conditions change over time?

Grand Canyon University strives to make private Christian education affordable and accessible to all. That means evening and online programs, supportive faculty and staff, and a robust institutional scholarship program that rewards student achievement. GCU scholarships include these and many others:

  • Direct Start Scholarships
  • Indirect Start Scholarships
  • Priority Registration Grant
  • Computer Science/Information Technology/Engineering Program (CSTEP) Grant
  • Phi Theta Kappa Grant
  • Grand Canyon State University Grant
  • Canyon Christian Schools Consortium (CCSC) Scholarship

Grand Canyon University offers scholarships that take weighted GPA into consideration and are renewable up to eight semesters. In some cases, students may increase their award amount by achieving a higher GPA. Our goal in all programs is to promote continued achievement and a culture of excellence, from the very first day on our beautiful Phoenix campus.

Together with your student, review the scholarships and grants offered by every college on your list. It’s possible to get a great sense of each school’s culture and mission from the way their scholarship programs are administered.

Want to learn more? Visit our website or contact us using the green Request More Information button at the top of the page to learn about the many academic and financial options available to incoming traditional, online and transfer students.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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