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University Scholarships Suck

Although I'm no longer a student, I still like to check my university's website every now and then to see what's going on in that small little community that once seemed so terribly important to me.  I read something hilarious there the other day.  Turns out one of my former classmates won a scholarship from some biotechnology institute because he had the highest GPA among all students in his program.

My first thought was, "Hey, I know that guy," followed by a bit of jealousy (I want to win a bio-thingy scholarship, too!)  Then I remembered that I'm not in school anymore, and even when I was, I had nothing to do with the biotech program, so the shit doesn't matter.  My second thought was, "Well, good for him."  But the killer punchline of the news story came with the very last sentence.  "The Biotechnology Awards, valued at $200 each..."

I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt for 10 minutes.

No offence to the student in question, but $200 is a paltry turd offering.  Hey, thanks for the scholarship!  Now I can buy some groceries, or maybe a textbook.&nbnbsp; But it sure as hell won't put a dent in my tuition bill...

Remember when scholarships were big and important?  If someone told you they won a scholarship, it usually meant they were on Easy-Street for at least a year, and maybe longer if they could keep their grades up.  You had good reason to be jealous.  Well, no longer.  Student populations are swelling, and scholarships are shrinking.

These days, universities are slick.  They hand out fat "entrance scholarships" to high-schoolers who only have so-so averages, and fool them into thinking that they'll be showered with money for the next four years.  You know what "entrance scholarship" means?  It means "NOT ANOTHER DIME FROM US AFTER THIS, BITCH".  I'm serious.  You can have a solid 4.0 average, and they'll throw you a measly gift certificate or something retarded like that as if to say, thanks for busting your ass...donuts and coffee are on us

If there's any optimists out there thinking, "it's the thought that counts," or, "the recognition is more important than the money," well...optimists can also be morons.  These rinky-dink awards remind me of Halloween.  You know, the time of year when candy companies have the audacity to call a one-inch chocolate bar, "FUN SIZE".  Sorry, but an Oh Henry! containing one peanut isn't any fun.  Likewise, we need to stop labeling $200 tokens as "scholarships".  And we certainly shouldn't be giving these little things so much pomp and ceremony, taking pictures of the winners and writing news articles and such.

Don't get me wrong.  Scholarships paid for a large portion of my education, too.  But it's just terrible to see students with stellar grades receiving such piss-poor encouragement.  Free money is great.  But I wouldn't exactly be hitting the books any harder knowing that my efforts can get me a fun-size scholarship.


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