When most people think of scholarships, the first thing that comes to mind is money. While the primary benefit of any scholarship is financial relief for college expenses, scholarships provide other non-financial benefits.

If you’re planning on attending college or currently pursuing higher education, Dennis Bonnen believes applying for scholarships is one of the most vital steps you can take. Here are five non-financial benefits scholarships provide students:

1. Learn New Skills

One of the great benefits of scholarships is that they can help students learn new skills. When students are awarded scholarships, they often need to meet specific requirements, such as maintaining a certain grade point average or completing a certain number of community service hours. These requirements can help students learn new skills and grow as individuals.

For example, a student awarded a scholarship to study abroad may learn a new language. In contrast, a student who receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious university may learn how to compete academically at the highest level. The first student will focus on a new skill set, while the second will focus on refining an existing skill set.

In both cases, though, scholarships provide an opportunity for students to learn and grow in ways they might not have otherwise been able to. Either way, scholarships push young adults outside their comfort levels and force them to explore new possibilities.

2. Develop a Strong Work Ethic

In addition to helping students learn new skills, scholarships can also help students develop a strong work ethic. When students are awarded scholarships, there are usually strings attached. For instance, a student awarded a  merit-based scholarship may be required to maintain a certain grade point average. A student granted a need-based scholarship may be required to complete several community service hours. 

The same is true for a student who is attending college on an athletic scholarship. This student will need to train hard and maintain a high fitness level to compete at the collegiate level. They also have to maintain their grades to keep their scholarship. As a result, they will need to develop a strong work ethic to succeed academically and athletically.

In all three cases, scholarships incentivize students to work hard and develop a strong work ethic. These students know that if they don’t meet their scholarship requirements, they could lose it. As a result, they are motivated to do whatever it takes to succeed.

3. Enhance Your Career Prospects

In addition to helping you learn new skills and develop a strong work ethic, scholarships can also enhance your career prospects. Between keeping high GPAs and completing community service hours, scholarships can help students pad their resumes. And when it comes time to enter the workforce, these students will have an advantage over their peers who did not receive scholarships. 

Take, for example, a student who is awarded a scholarship to study abroad in  China. Not only will these students learn a new language, but Dennis Bonnen says they will also have international experience to put on their resumes. When they enter the workforce, they will be more attractive to employers who do business with  China because they are already familiar with the language and culture. 

The same is true for a student who attends a prestigious university on a  scholarship. This student will have the opportunity to network with some of the most influential people in their field. As a result, they will be more likely to get their foot in the door when they enter the workforce.

4. Meet New People

In addition to the educational and professional benefits that scholarships provide, scholarships also allow students to meet new people. Maybe your scholarship requires you to tutor younger students, or perhaps it requires you to volunteer in your community. Either way, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

And, who knows, maybe you will even meet someone who will change your life. For example, you might meet a mentor who can help you navigate college or a future employer impressed by your work ethic. This is a valuable benefit that should not be overlooked.

5. Learn About Yourself

Finally, scholarships allow students to learn about themselves. You will learn a lot about yourself when you are pushed outside of your comfort zone and forced to try new things. Maybe you will discover that you are more capable than you thought, or perhaps you will discover a new passion. Either way, scholarships provide an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

Truly knowing yourself is a valuable life skill. It can help you make better decisions about your future, both academically and professionally. This insight is just one more reason why scholarships are so beneficial for students.

Final Thoughts

Scholarships provide several benefits for students, both financial and non-financial. These benefits can help students succeed in school, careers, and personal lives. To get the full benefits of college, take advantage of all the scholarships available and the opportunities they provide.