Everything About Stacking Scholarships

Stacking ScholarshipsMany students are at a loss of how to handle the hefty costs of attending college. Four year public universities cost on average $21,370. While the costs can go up to $48,510 for private colleges.

Most students aren’t able to pay these costs on their own and look for financial aid. One solution is to take out loans, but this is only a temporary solution. Loans add up very fast. A great deal of students find themselves graduating in thousands of dollars in debt.

A better solution for paying for college is to win scholarships. Scholarships give students the money they need without the worry of paying it back later on.

But most scholarships don’t cover the full cost of college. Even full-tuition scholarships often leave students with bills to pay in the end.

Because of this, students try to win and combine several scholarships, or stack them. This allows them to increase their financial aid and make college more affordable.

Why Stack Scholarships?

Stacking ScholarshipsIf a student wins a scholarship for $3,000 but their tuition is $22,000, they still have to cover $19,000 (86%) of the tuition. By stacking different sources of financial aid, students lower the amount that they need to pay. 

Financial aid can come from a variety of sources. There are scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities, and state and federal aid.

Why Are Colleges Against Stacking Scholarships?

Many universities set strict policies against the stacking of their own scholarships. This is done to prevent from pocketing leftover money from financial aid. 

Universities set their own policies about stacking scholarships. They may prohibit stacking academic and leadership scholarships. In this case, they would allow the student to use the higher of the two. However universities may allow students to stack endowed and outside scholarships.

Types of ScholarshipsMost likely, your university will state its guidelines. If it’s unclear, reach out to them and ask.

Generally with outside scholarships, students can stack as many as they win. There isn’t a limit. But, limitations do tend to be set on the amount of scholarships a student can receive from the university.

Should You Stack Scholarships?

Winning several sources of financial aid is a great solution to affording college. You should definitely try to win as many scholarships as possible.

What’s important is that you pay attention to the scholarship’s guidelines. To avoid losing your scholarship money, be sure to check your scholarship’s policies about stacking.

Also, remember to read the scholarship’s rules on how to use the scholarship money. If you don’t follow the scholarship rules you might lose the money.


The information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is intended to provide opinions and educational information. It is not intended as individual advice and should not be taken as substitute for professional advice. We assume no responsibility for errors or mistakes. In no event is ScholarshipOwl or the individual authors liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages, arising out of or in connection with the use the Service or information provided. We reserve the right to make deletions, additions, or modifications to the content at any given time without prior notice. We may link to third party websites. In some cases we may be compensated on an affiliate basis when users take certain actions. In order to comply with FTC guidelines we want to be transparent that ScholarshipOwl may get compensated by companies and/or partners based on an affiliate or advertiser partnership. We might get compensated for example for mentioning partners, by you, the user, making a clicking, purchasing, or signing up for a product or service through a tracking link. In no way are we responsible for the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information on these external websites.