I was announced as a recipient of a scholarship from an organization outside of the university, and the organization doesn't seem to be honoring the scholarship.

The announcement was made months ago (October, when the scholarship was supposed to be awarded for the fall semester in the first place), and the recipients have still not been issued checks or university account credits.

Without being thankless, what are a recipients options in this situation? I am not sure if there is an implied legal contract by award of scholarship funds or not, but given that it is coming time to pay tuition for the Spring semester and that the scholarship is significant in relation to tuition charges, what are a student's options?

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    Are they refusing or are they just slow in getting you the check? Who have you talked to at the university and what did they say? – Austin Henley Jan 10 '17 at 17:29
  • Nobody at the university can get a straight answer out of them as to where in the process they are. (Checks en route, checks written, etc). I've spoken to the professor who made the connection with the external organization and the bursars office. – Golightly Jan 11 '17 at 0:14
  • So you yourself have not yet spoken directly to anyone at the organization? I think it is time to do that. – Nate Eldredge Jan 11 '17 at 23:30

Since this is an organization outside of your university, maybe talk to the organization first and find out what's what?

You should have been given some sort of contact when they first awarded you the scholarship, so I would go back to that person via email (to give them a chance to respond) or phone them directly if the timing is more urgent.

If you know any of the other recipients, I would recommend combining your efforts together or seeing if they've already taken some steps to find out what's going on.


You can speak with a lawyer since this organization could be falling into the area of "false advertising". I assume you have a paper trail of your interactions with this organization, as well as how/why you qualify for this particular scholarship. Documentation could help you if you decide to sue this organization.

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    Maybe this is an option at some point, but I think legal action sounds very premature at this point. Anyway, one likely reason for the organization to delay payment is that it's facing financial troubles and doesn't actually have the money, in which case suing them would be useless. – Nate Eldredge Jan 11 '17 at 22:59
  • @NateEldredge I completely agree that taking legal action is premature. But OP asked about options and that was the only I can think of. – Michael Jan 11 '17 at 23:10

I would speak directly to the organization. Since this is outside of your university, it is unlikely anyone at your university can be of any help. Be sure to be polite and not sound accusatory.

Do you know the organization has given a scholarship in the past?

Something similar happened to me a few years ago. I won a very large scholarship in May and was expecting the payout to hit by fall semester, but I didn't hear back from them.

I sent them a polite email and they responded saying that it was the first time they had run a scholarship contest and were having trouble organizing the payment to my 529 account. It took a few weeks (and it was past fall), but they did pay out. The following year I won the scholarship again and they paid out just before fall semester, so it did seem they had hiccups the first time 'round.

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