Sacrificing binge-marathons of The O.C. would have been worth the big bucks from potential scholarships.
I almost certainly could have landed more scholarships than I did.
I had a 3.5 GPA in high school, was a section editor of my high school newspaper, wrote for the biggest Las Vegas newspaper, played basketball and ran track. With that on my resume, and my ability to write essays, I most likely could have avoided the amount of debt I stacked, which was close to the average American student loan debt of $29,400 that the class of 2012 accrued, as reported by The Institute for College Access & Success.
Given that, here are 15 reasons why I regret not applying for more scholarships:
1. Because I could’ve bragged to girls about how many scholarships I won, likely landing me many dates since girls dig smart, accomplished guys as clearly demonstrated in a number of totally unscientific studies and anecdotal tales.
2. Because scholarships, if viewed like jobs, could’ve been the highest paying jobs of my life. My jobs in high school paid around minimum wage, but a scholarship’s hourly rate, if you compare how long it took you to apply versus how much you earned, surpasses most 18-year-old’s salaries. Two hours worth of work applying for a $1,000 scholarship would net $500 an hour if the scholarship was won. Not too bad for a teenager.
3. Because I probably qualified for several scholarships. In an article with The Washington Post, Fastweb.com publisher Mark Kantowitz said, “Most high school seniors will match 50 to 100 scholarships.” I probably fell into the category of “most high school seniors.”
4. Because it’s not like I had anything better to do, given that I lived in a city targeted to people over the age of 21 (Las Vegas) and had ample free time.
5. Because writing all those scholarship essays could’ve improved my writing skills, which I certainly could’ve benefited from at the time.
6. Because the nearly $200 a month student loan minimum payment I face now could’ve gone to a good cause, like my bank account or an apartment in New York City where I’d be bound to run into Woody Allen who’d take me under his wing and get me my start in screenwriting.
7. Because some of the scholarships take well below a half hour to fill out, such as the “No essay” scholarship by College Prowler or the U.S. Bank scholarship.
8. Because if I landed enough scholarships, I could’ve been paid to go to school, like my friend Tanner who often used that paycheck on books or on dates with his now-wife.
9. Because I ate really unhealthy food back then, and if I won more scholarships I could have used the extra money to enjoy more wholesome culinary delights.
10. Because now I write about higher education for a living and urge high school students to apply for scholarships, yet didn’t apply for more than a few myself. Which feels kind of hypocritical.
11. Because it would’ve led to me watching less of The O.C. Okay, that’s not true, since I still watch that show sometimes. But I would’ve felt less bad about it, since I was being productive otherwise.
12. Because turning in those applications would have boosted my self-esteem, since I would’ve seen my potential to apply myself, and that boosted self-esteem would have led to asking more girls out which would’ve likely led to me eventually marrying Zooey Deschanel.
13. Because, according to San Jose State University, “Writing an essay about yourself may not be an easy task, but good practice for writing cover letters, resumes and personal statements.” I could’ve used that practice.
14. Because one day I’ll have kids of my own and ask them to apply for scholarships, and they’ll use this article against me, saying, “But you didn’t apply for scholarships and turned out okay.” And I’ll lack a non-hypocritical, solid reply.
15. Because free money is better than any other kind of money.
I can come up with many more reasons why I should’ve applied for more scholarships but the moral of the story would remain the same: Apply for as many scholarships as possible. Because going to college is important, but going for free or cheap is even better.
As you can see from this list, I not only would have been paid to go to school, but I also would currently be married to the cutest girl on the planet if I had applied for more scholarships. Those are scientifically undeniable facts. Avoid these kinds of likely tragedies by browsing scholarships websites such as Scholarships.com and Fastweb.com and get applying immediately, no matter if you’re a high school senior, a current undergraduate college student or a grad student. There are essentially scholarships for everybody.
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