Scholarship Conundrum

My son has been applying for various scholarships and has been turned down again and again. Now if he was a student who did not have a stellar GPA, excellent test scores, community service rap sheet and the ability to put down on paper what he going to do with his life and why he has decided to go into the field he has chosen, I could see the reason to not grant a scholarship. I would truly understand, but what I don’t get it how scholarships are being awarded by programs today. A lot of scholarships are looking for academic excellence- check. Test scores- check. Community service- check. College acceptance- check. Financial need- what exactly do they mean as they do not quantify this on their forms?

This is where my problem with scholarship committee and scholarship awarding come into play.

Financial Need

As a previous Admissions and Records director I have seen students receive financial packages and waste their funding on clothes, cars, jewelry, smartphones, and then never go to class wondering why they are receiving F’s at the end of the term and then ask Financial Aid for more funding the next term. Well buddy, you never went to class and you took too many trips up to the ski resorts you aren’t getting the funding anymore. You kind of have to make it to the classroom and turn your work in, make the grade and then you might be able to keep getting funds. I say this because these same students are some of the students who receive these scholarships based on need.

Now I am out of work- unemployed. So for the scholarships that my son has applied, he lists that I am unemployed. However, his father’s job lists us well over the $40,000 threshold to be considered “in need”.  I don’t think it is fair because all scholarship committees do is look at the amount your parents make not the “college/university” tuition rate you will be paying that your real need is based on.

Committee Selection

Priority selection based on involvement in community. Not by the child but the parent. Well, sometimes that can’t happen because it costs $$. My husband can’t attend additional functions on top of his two commitments, one to his job and the other to the military, and being unemployed, we can’t afford for me to pay the fees to join. Oh, and they don’t do waivers. So there is no “selection” for our son for scholarships. Unfair and priority selection for those who can afford it.

I don’t know how others feel about this, but as a parent who keeps seeing their child receive rejection email after rejection email it is unnerving because I know committees aren’t looking at the whole package.

  • Academics
  • Community Service
  • College/University Accepted to
  • Financials Family “Can Contribute”
  • Test Scores
  • Essay/Personal Statement

Maybe if committees revise their scoring they will have a better selection of who they award scholarships too.



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