Commentary

Miss Digital Congeniality

So I’m in my fifth and FINAL year of college and believe it or not, I actually thought it would be cake. But reality set in when I realized that all of my scholarships were up after 4 years, and the funds that have gotten me this far have been depleted.

Immediately I turned to the web, enrolling in online scholarship databases that set me up way back during my freshman year. All you have to do is complete a lengthy inventory of interest and activities. . . and dodge every other page is because of some offer for a credit card, online university, or army recruitment.

But once you get past all of the informalities, a list of scholarships for which you qualify is like a breath of fresh air. One thing that has changed since a few years ago:the requirement for getting the money.

Many scholarship sites now require you to submit some type of video or picture so they feel more like popularity contests than scholarship applications. Applications are ranked by site visitors and the person who gets the most votes is awarded the scholarship. In other words, the more people you can get to log on and vote for you, the better your chances are of winning. This doesn’t seem right to me because the people can get all of their besties to vote for them will win and a person who may be in real need could miss out.

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Advertising scholarships online, asking applicants to pitch for the money and then having the general population decide is pretty unfair. All they are really doing is a attempting to draw traffic to their site. Someone like me, who is only somewhat internet friendly and whose acquaintances are internet illiterate, gets no REAL shot because hundreds of my friends won’t be logging in to vote for me.

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