Common Scholarship Application Myths Debunked

Category: Foundation

Mary Kate Smith

As Theta Foundation’s programs manager and a former chapter advisor, I’ve heard my fair share of myths surrounding Theta Foundation’s scholarship program. No one should be discouraged from applying because of something they heard that isn’t actually true, so I’m here to give you the inside scoop and dispel some of the most common myths you may have heard about our scholarship program.

Myth 1: You have to have a 4.0 GPA to get a scholarship.

You do not need a 4.0 GPA (or equivalent) to qualify for or to be awarded a Theta Foundation scholarship. In fact, many of our previous scholarship recipients do not have perfect grades. There is no minimum GPA requirement to apply, but we do require that all applicants report their GPA. While we evaluate the strength of each applicant’s GPA, we look at many other qualifications as well, and we encourage applicants to take care to clearly articulate their strengths and accomplishments in their applications.  

Myth 2: Freshmen applicants never receive scholarships.  

False! In the past five years alone, more than 100 freshman applicants have received scholarship funding! Although younger applicants tend to have less experience to report, they are often still strong candidates. Many of our scholarships also have specific eligibility criteria, which narrows the eligible applicant pool for each award. You can review the A-Z Scholarship Listing on Theta’s website for a list of our scholarships and their criteria. There are even a couple of awards designated specifically for first-year members of certain chapters!

I think it’s also important to mention that all Theta members are eligible for Theta Foundation scholarships, including fifth-year seniors and alumnae returning to school.  

Myth 3: You have to be a chapter officer (or have been a chapter officer) to get a scholarship.

You do not need to have held an officer position to qualify for or to be awarded a Theta Foundation scholarship. We have a few awards designated for certain officer positions, but there are many more that are open to members who haven’t held an office. There are plenty of opportunities to earn points other than the Theta-related sections of the application. Applicants are also asked to report their non-Theta- or Panhellenic-related activities, such as their work experience, co-/extracurricular activities, and volunteer activities.

Myth 4: Canadian students don’t receive scholarships.

In fact, over the past five years, 23 applicants from Canadian chapters were awarded scholarship funding. Our Canadian members are considered for all scholarship awards for which they are eligible, and there are even a few awards with criteria specific to members of Canadian chapters!    

Bottom line, no matter your background, as long as you will pursue a degree-granting program during the 2019-20 academic year and expect to have at least $1,000 in eligible academic expenses, you are eligible to apply for and receive a Theta Foundation scholarship! In 2018, we awarded $757,620 in scholarship funding to 352 college and alumnae members. This year, you could be one of them! The first step to qualifying is to submit a complete application prior to the deadline. Good luck!

If you have questions about Theta Foundation’s scholarship program or the application, please use the Contact Us form! Select “Foundation” and “Scholarships & Grants” from the drop-down options to ensure your message is directed appropriately.