David Andrews ‘16 – Following college, graduates find themselves buried in mounds of debt, and depending on their prospective profession, it may take decades for the looming darkness of student loans to vanish.

However, high school seniors have the opportunity to help limit and potentially eliminate student loans and other taxing means of paying for college. Whether it be overall academic success, promising athletic talent, criteria that puts the student at a financial bind, or a well-written essay, students can shed thousands off of their tuition.

While scholarships seem like a utopian resolve to paying for college, the process of awarding scholarships is far from utopian.

As the youngest of three children, there has been plenty of searching for scholarships for all three siblings in my household. My eldest sister graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). At OU she was a member of the Honors College and the Dean’s Circle. In her graduating class, she was the only the student to graduate from the OU’s School of Nursing while also being in the Honors College.

One would think that a student with impeccable success in the collegiate classroom, as well as great success in the high school classroom would have provided her a bank vault full of scholarship money. Today’s collegiate scholarship process twists that thought process. Due to our family’s income, our ethnicity, and no parental divorce; scholarship money was very little.

“It was frustrating that the majority of scholarships asked for your parents’ overall income,” said Abigail Keller ‘16. “Because for some people, like me, are paying for their entire college education by themselves.”

After two older siblings going through the frustrating process of applying for scholarships that will never be won by people of our demographic, I didn’t bother to apply for scholarships. I decided that I’ll have to rely on my family’s money, along with student loans to get me through college; medical school is not cheap but the other choices are borderline nonexistent for the middle-class, Caucasian, non-disabled, non-teenage parent, non-divorced parents demographic.

“I wish there were more monies available for middle income families,” Romeo High School Counselor, Dave Mineau said. “The majority of the money allocated by the government is in loans, I just wish that money could be transferred over to scholarships instead.”
It is unfair for hardworking, educated students to have to turn away from the college of their dreams because scholarships are not often readily available for those who have earned them.

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