Managing Your Scholarship If You Get a Fail Grade

Last Updated on January 22, 2017

How to Handle a Fail Grade When You're On Scholarship

Many scholarships are merit-based scholarships. This means that they depend on your grades. Thus, you have to be qualified academically to continue receiving the free financial aid. This is a key problem for many students if they happen to run into some tough times in school and the pressures get to them and all of a sudden they get a fail grade. If you caught an F in your next report card, you need to sit down, calm down and take a few deep breaths. It is not the end of the world and it definitely does not mean the end of your scholarship. You just need to be clear headed regarding what that fail means. You just need to focus on what went wrong and how you can fix it. This is what separates students that lose a scholarship because of academic failure and students that continue to receive scholarships and fully graduate with that free financial aid. It is all about damage control.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what went wrong and what you need to change to fix that. Second, you need to notify your financial aid provider and benefactor to fully let them know what caused your grade to drop. The key here is to preempt the damage. If you just let it slide and the organization that is funding your scholarship sees your fail grade, chances are they might just cut you. It is really important that you put yourself together and sit down and write a letter that fully spells out the situation, fully lets them know that you are aware of the situation and most importantly you have put into play certain things that you are going to change. To make this an effective letter, make sure you try to get a letter of recommendation from professors, teaching assistants and other people that have worked with you on a personal basis. What is the point of this letter? This letter of recommendation really is not so much a recommendation, although it reads like it. It is more a letter of reference. It is a letter that speaks to your character, that you are a hard worker, that you are a serious student and that this fail grade is certainly an anomaly. Get character testimonials and also paint a story regarding what happened to the fail grade. If the reporting period for your scholarship is pretty far off, monitor your progress in terms of getting better grades.

If you are getting grades and it looks like that fail is not going to be repeated, make sure you document that. By the time your scholarship assessment comes up, the scholarship granting body would have enough information to determine if the rough patch that you have just been through is a one time thing or is part of a downward pattern. The key is many organizations factor in several personal elements in determining whether they will continue a scholarship or not. If you just let the process run its course and resign yourself to being cut, then you will be cut. There are a lot of things you can do, but the most important is that you will get your act together and make sure that you do not fail a class again.

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