Scholarship Money

Lately I’ve been busy putting together a scholarship application.  It’s a local scholarship which allows me to submit the application in person to the committee members.  I believe this gives me an edge over many nameless national scholarships.  I don’t qualify for many scholarships anymore as I have a previous degree and now make a decent full-time income.  However, I do qualify for this loan payment program.

A few things I like about scholarships:

-Someone is willing to help support the exorbitant costs of education in this country

-I trade some hours of my free time for money

-I’m a person who doesn’t mind paperwork and always tries to follow deadlines

Things that bug me about scholarships:

-Many aren’t available to students who have completed a degree

-Many more aren’t available to anyone who makes a decent liveable wage

-The paperwork can be really time consuming and is unfair particularly to students who haven’t had much training, don’t have an adult to guide them through the process, or are prone to missing the details and “forgetting something” or procrastinating and missing a deadline accidentally because pieces can sometimes take more than 10 minutes to acquire

For example, today I applied for a $2000 scholarship to pay back student loans for those working in my field.  It required:

-a current student loan statement from my lender (no problem, I get that monthly so I saved one in the mail at the end of last month)

-a typed personal statement (this took less than an hour to draft, proofread, and print)

-a typed statement from my employer (this took nearly a week because of course I needed it over labor day when nobody was in the office so I had to wait 4 days just to see my boss and then another 2 for her to return the written form and statement to me)

-loan origination information (this took close to 30 minutes to get all of the information about how much the loan was originally plus all of the supporting documentation to show what I’d already paid off)

-a 5 page form with basic questions about me, my loans, my employment etc (another 15-30 minutes of handwritten work- should have been typed over 30 minutes if I really wanted to impress but I didn’t have time to try to find a typewriter or line it up)

All in all, several hours of work, not including 30 minutes to deliver it to their office and 15 minutes waiting for them to open the door this morning and 15 minutes to meet with the committee member who checked the application with my to ensure it was complete as well as to allow me time to remind her that I’d gotten the scholarship previously, that I was currently continuing my education, and that I was appreciative for the scholarship I’d received and my continued eligibility.

It’s worth $2000 to me but I feel sorry for people like DH who don’t know where to begin looking for scholarships and would struggle to put a complete application together by a deadline.

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