What Do Scholarships Mean to You?

From time immemorial, scholarships have served a very significant role in assisting the less privileged pursue their education like everyone else. Indeed, the world is made of many accomplished people, both in the business, political and religious realms who owe their various achievements to scholarship programs. Long gone are the days when the mere fact of financial inadequacy would spell doom for a student’s academic career. The advancements made by scholarship programs to the career world are indeed not something to be scoffed at which is why some have gone to try to get weird scholarships or at least “weird” in the terms of what the norm is.

The advancements made by scholarship programs to the career world are indeed not something to be scoffed at.

Be that as it may, many have been asking questions lately regarding the justice and fairness of this great concept. Suspicion has been building especially with regards to the parameters used to define what a needy case is. Critics analyze that the parameters needs adjusted and certain factors that were previously ignored be put into play to ensure total fairness of the process. Now, since everyone has their own definition of what is fair, let us try to examine a case that may serve as a model in defining the parameters of awarding scholarships. Let us discuss two hypothetically needy students here and see how the concept of awarding scholarships can be elusive at times. Tom represents the first case of a needy student and Joe represents the second case.
Both these students post pretty good grades, though Tom has a slight edge over Joe. When it comes to athletic abilities, Joe has more skills than Tom. Well, here is our dilemma – Tom is keen to pursue a career in the sporting world despite the fact that he does better in the classroom. This is another reason why the weirdness of scholarships is also sought out by people who truly like to have scholarship money coming in from different sources.

When it comes to athletic abilities, Joe has more skills than Tom. Well, here is our dilemma – Tom is keen to pursue a career in the sporting world despite the fact that he does better in the classroom. Joe on the other hand is keen to pursue a career in Medicine which as we all know requires a lot of study. The scholarship opportunity can only be granted to either of them, and already there are two schools of thought regarding who between the boys is more qualified. If, for some reasons Tom wins the scholarship, it means he will have to enroll in a sports college of some sort to pursue his athletic dreams. On the other hand, if the scholarship goes to Joe, he will gladly enroll for his preferred course in Medicine. Either way, either of the boys wins and the other one is unfortunately locked out.

This hypothesis exposes two major flaws. The first is that either candidate will win a scholarship not based on his abilities but passion. This will happen because of the popular notion that if someone excels in one area, they can easily fit in a different area if given the chance. Whether this works for everyone is an open guess. The other flaw exposed here is with regards to the time the candidates will take to complete their various courses, given the fact they taste new waters. This is especially a concern due to the fact that one of the major aims of scholarships is to have students complete their studies and have an opportunity at employment where they can give back to the society.

As it were, different parameters may have been applied in awarding the scholarship, but what is clear is that the end result never appears to be favoring everyone, which goes against the real spirit of scholarships. This calls for wisdom and a careful interrogation of the very factors that have always been considered when awarding scholarships.

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