Improve scholarships

Nadia Karim Reporter

As a senior experiencing first hand how scholarships are rewarded and lost by students, I believe there needs to be a change. The scholarship system isnt beneficial for all students in need and I believe that this is because it relies too much on GPA and an ACT score instead of whether or not the student has enough money to get through college without a financial barrier. 

I understand why scholarships are rewarded based on GPA, it makes sense. If a student who has all A’s came against a student with all C’s, the obvious choice would be to pick the student with better grades because they are more likely to perform better in college, but what about the students who struggle with money and convinced themselves that they could not get to college regardless of grades because the scholarship system favors people with a traumatic story.

I have seen this first hand with a few students who are struggling day to day with money, but their parents make enough a year to pay bills and buy groceries, then when it comes to college, money becomes a hard topic to even think about. Just because someone has enough money to provide for their child’s food, doesn’t mean they have enough for  tuition, books, housing and everything else that makes college so expensive. 

An article written by Ginie Servant-Miklos about students in Zimbabwe states that students who live in poor housing and can’t afford books are struggling to meet grade requirements for scholarships. With appropriate money, these students would flourish but they aren’t given the opportunity to because the scholarship system looks past the causes of poor grades and instead uses it as an excuse to give the money to someone more deserving. 

This isn’t  just happening in Nebraska, it happens all over the world. I believe that instead of using grades as a main factor of rewarding scholarships, we should look deeper into why the student isn’t reaching grace requirements. For example, a student is given 2 hours of homework every night, but when that student gets home, their parents are at work doing the best they can, picking up extra shifts, etc. The student is then expected to take care of their siblings and then somehow squeeze in time to care for themselves. On top of all of that, They have homework to accomplish so they try and stay up to finish it leaving them with hardly any sleep and then they repeat it all the next day.

I’m aware it’s a hard world we live in, but most people aren’t receiving financial aid when they are the most deserving of it. Consequences of this may lead to a struggle for money for the rest of their lives because they weren’t offered help when they were most deserving of it because they had an all C’s report card. 

I am quite aware that there are scholarships that focus mainly on situations such as these, helping students with poor grades, but there’s not enough and we need more. If this were the case, numerous students would have lives changed for the better, but instead they are left to fend for themselves. It’s easy to hand out scholarships to people with good grades because they’ve proven they can handle high school, so why can’t they handle college?

Living by this rule of giving to the people who can perform well in college is messed up and stereotypical and something needs to change. Instead of giving scholarships to someone with all A’s and B’s, look closer into the person with C’s and D’s. They might be going through a rough patch and only caring about grades causes them to lose an opportunity that not only would help them, but would help their family.

People often say there’s no excuse for not trying, but what if someone else’s trying looks different than other students. To stereotype someone based of GPA and grades is a system that must change and it doesn’t have to be a big jump right away. Start small and look closer at the students with a lower GPA than their peers and read deeper into their story. Many students aren’t given equal opportunities at home and they shouldn’t have to worry about that at school. Be the bigger person and stand up for what’s right.