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Can I claim a scholarship if I don't meet the requirements?

QUESTION: I received a scholarship at the state university for receiving one of the top scores in an accounting competition. But to use the scholarship, I still have to meet its requirements. Is there any way that I can still get the scholarship if I don't meet them? Signed, Almost There

Dear Almost There: First, congratulations on your high score in the accounting competition. We admire any student who can master the intricacies of assets and liabilities. That's great that you have won a scholarship, but as you have found even after winning an award there is still work to be done.

The short answer to your question is that in almost all cases you can't receive a scholarship without meeting its requirements. However, we don't know where you fall short. If you are lacking in a key area such as a GPA that is too low, it is unlikely that the college will bend the rules. On the other hand, if you are very close to meeting the requirements, it will be worth your time to meet with the scholarship administrator. Be prepared to explain how you will meet the requirements in the future. If you have a strong enough case, you may still get to keep the award.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.