Scholarships

Can you lose your scholarship if you get pregnant?

lose your scholarship if you get pregnant

Scholarships are a valuable resource for students to pursue their education without the burden of financial constraints. They are awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or a combination of both. However, there are certain conditions and requirements that students must meet to maintain their scholarship. One of the most common concerns among students is whether getting pregnant can lead to the loss of their scholarship. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail and provide valuable insights for students who may be facing this situation.

Scholarship if You Get Pregnant

Now, let’s address the main question at hand – can getting pregnant lead to the loss of a scholarship? The answer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on various factors, such as the type of scholarship, the policies of the awarding organization, and the student’s academic performance.

Firstly, it is essential to note that pregnancy is not a disqualifying factor for most scholarships. In fact, many organizations have specific scholarships for pregnant and parenting students. These scholarships aim to support and encourage students to continue their education despite their parental responsibilities.

However, there are some cases where pregnancy can affect a scholarship. Let’s explore them in detail.

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1. Merit-based Scholarships

For merit-based scholarships, academic performance is the primary criterion for selection and renewal. If a student’s grades drop significantly due to pregnancy-related issues, they may lose their scholarship. This is because the organization providing the scholarship may consider the student’s academic performance as a reflection of their commitment and dedication to their studies.

For example, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which awards scholarships to high-achieving students, states that a student’s scholarship may be terminated if they fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress. This includes maintaining a minimum GPA and completing a certain number of credit hours per semester. If a student’s pregnancy affects their academic performance, they may not meet these requirements and risk losing their scholarship.

2. Need-based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. If a student’s pregnancy leads to a change in their financial situation, they may lose their scholarship. This is because the organization providing the scholarship may reassess the student’s financial need and determine that they no longer require the scholarship.

For example, if a student’s pregnancy leads to them dropping out of school or taking a break from their studies, their financial need may decrease. In such cases, the organization providing the scholarship may revoke it or reduce the amount awarded.

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3. Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are awarded to students who excel in sports. These scholarships are highly competitive, and students must maintain their athletic performance to keep them. If a student’s pregnancy affects their ability to participate in sports, they may lose their scholarship.

For example, if a student is unable to compete in sports due to pregnancy-related issues, they may not meet the requirements of their athletic scholarship. This can lead to the loss of their scholarship or a reduction in the amount awarded.

4. Scholarships with Specific Requirements

Some scholarships have specific requirements that students must meet to maintain them. For example, some scholarships may require students to participate in community service or internships. If a student’s pregnancy affects their ability to fulfill these requirements, they may lose their scholarship.

Similarly, some scholarships may have a moral clause that prohibits students from engaging in activities that go against the organization’s values. If a student’s pregnancy is considered a violation of this clause, they may lose their scholarship.

Case Studies

Let’s look at some real-life examples of how pregnancy has affected scholarships for students.

1. Madeline Marx

In 2017, Madeline Marx, a high school student from Ohio, lost her scholarship to the University of Cincinnati after she announced her pregnancy. Marx was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the university for her academic achievements. However, the university revoked her scholarship, stating that she did not meet the requirements of the scholarship, which included maintaining a 3.0 GPA and being enrolled full-time.

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Marx filed a lawsuit against the university, claiming that they discriminated against her based on her pregnancy. The case was settled out of court, and the university agreed to reinstate her scholarship and pay her $40,000 in damages.

2. Breanna Lockwood

Breanna Lockwood, a student at the University of Illinois, lost her athletic scholarship after she announced her pregnancy. Lockwood was a member of the university’s track and field team and had received a full scholarship for her athletic abilities. However, after she became pregnant, she was no longer able to compete in sports and lost her scholarship.

Lockwood filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, stating that the university had discriminated against her based on her pregnancy. The university settled the case and agreed to reinstate her scholarship and pay her $150,000 in damages.

What Can You Do if You Get Pregnant While on a Scholarship?

If you are a student on a scholarship and you become pregnant, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you do not lose your scholarship.

1. Communicate with the Awarding Organization

If you are facing pregnancy-related issues that may affect your scholarship, it is essential to communicate with the organization providing the scholarship. They may have policies in place to support pregnant and parenting students. They may also be able to provide you with resources and support to help you continue your education.

2. Seek Academic Support

If your pregnancy is affecting your academic performance, seek support from your professors and academic advisors. They may be able to provide you with accommodations, such as extensions on assignments or flexible attendance policies, to help you manage your studies while dealing with pregnancy-related issues.

3. Consider Taking a Leave of Absence

If your pregnancy is causing significant disruptions to your studies, you may consider taking a leave of absence. This will allow you to focus on your pregnancy and return to your studies when you are ready. However, it is essential to check with the organization providing your scholarship to understand how a leave of absence may affect it.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, getting pregnant does not automatically lead to the loss of a scholarship. However, it can affect a scholarship in certain cases, such as when it affects a student’s academic performance or financial need. It is essential for students to understand the policies of the organization providing their scholarship and communicate with them if they are facing pregnancy-related issues. With the right support and resources, pregnant and parenting students can continue their education and achieve their academic goals.

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