Do I Deserve this Scholarship?

One-thousand dollars towards a college education.

One prize;

Thousands of applicants.

What makes me stand out among the rest?

Not much, really

That is, not a quality that most would consider a “stand-out quality”

I am a white American

Who has grown up in suburban America.

I come from a middle-class family

That makes enough money to send its two children to private school.

 

Naturally, I don’t need the money;

We should be able to afford college.

 

Many white, suburban, middle-class Americans have been told this same statement:

“Naturally, you don’t need the money;

You should be able to afford college.”

Yet, as it turns out,

Many white, suburban, middle-class Americans can’t afford college

Otherwise they wouldn’t be falling into debt

Years and years and years,

families and individuals struggle to pay off their debts.

For many years, whatever profit they make-

if profits are made-

goes to paying off a never-ending debt.

 

Why do they fall into debt if they can supposedly afford college?

Because college is way too expensive.

The price had quadrupled from simpler times

Surpassing inflation and the middle-class’ net income.

The middle-class can no longer afford college.

 

All fields can be perfected at less expensive colleges

But certain fields need to be perfected at more expensive colleges

to gain credibility.

Such fields include business, law, and medical.

Future doctors and lawyers saddle themselves with tens of thousands-

Hundreds of thousands-

of dollars in debt

in the name of credibility.

Sometimes the credibility of a college fails to pay off;

The name of a college goes as far as its graduates find jobs,

Which isn’t very far.

Many people are left jobless

Or with a low-paying job

That will never help them fully pay off

Their debt.

 

Remember the time when going to college without any debt was normal?

Being able to pay for college

And getting a degree worth employment took no time?

I can’t.

I’ve only heard of those days.

 

My parents constantly fret over college tuition.

You’d figure they’d be ok

Since both of their children go to private school

Here’s the thing:

I currently cost $9,000 or so

My sister currently costs $4,000 or so

Next year, if I do not receive any scholarships,

I’ll cost anywhere from $25,000 to $55,000

My sister may cost anywhere between $9,000 and $13,000

Those new prices stay for four years,

Until my sister goes to college

And ends up costing $25,000 to $55,000.

 

I need scholarships.

My family needs scholarships.

Every little we can get helps.

 

I want to pursue a career in film or art.

I’ve found some schools close-by that specialize-

Don’t mock me!

Yes, I do have enough smarts to pursue a math or science field

But you would be surprised how much of an influence artists have,

Scientists control people’s tools and knowledge;

Artists control people’s minds and souls-

Anyway, I have compiled a list of schools

That specialize in art, film, or both.

I have a vague idea of life after college,

And that includes city life.

To build credibility for a job in the city,

One must build a reputation in the city.

City schools are no cheap affair

But I can do so if I get enough scholarships.

 

This would be so much easier if I wasn’t a white, suburban, middle-class American.

If I were a black, suburban, middle-class American,

for example,

I could apply for twice as many scholarships.

If I were a black, urban, lower-class American,

I could apply for twice as many scholarships

And I could get more money from the FAFSA.

I also wouldn’t have to try as hard, to be honest;

My 3.9 GPA could as well be a 2.9

And I would get the same amount of money.

I worked very hard on that 3.9

More than my other classmates who have 3.4s or 2.9s

More than minorities who have 3.4s or 2.9s

And yet they will always get more money than me

 

A black, urban, lower-class American

Who works hard on his or her grades

Deserves a little extra help,

For he or she is a model student caught in a predicament he or she can’t control.

A white, urban, lower-class American

Who works hard on his or her grades

Deserves a little extra help,

For he or she is a model student caught in a predicament he or she can’t control.

Yet the black, urban, lower-class American

Will always get more help

 

Why is this so?

Many find that minorities face adversity

And deserve an award for keeping their heads up high

But with minorities out-populating the white majority,

It becomes less special to be a minority

And calls into question double-standards.

I don’t see people as black people and white people;

I just see everyone as people.

I would treat a black person the same way I would treat a white person:

With respect.

I don’t do it because some outer force gave me a moral code;

I do it because my inner moral code tells me it’s the right thing to do.

I am inadvertently eliminating adversity

By treating everyone with respect.

 

I am not trying to offend anyone through my views.

I just find it a little ridiculous that

Because someone’s skin is darker than

the accepted norm of skin tones,

he or she deserves thousands of dollars.

That’s like giving me money because I was adopted.

Yes, I was adopted-

I’m from Perm, Russia

And I was 6 months old when I came to America-

But I’ve tried to look up a scholarship on that

And I’ve found nothing.

 

Merit scholarships are great.

Need-based scholarships are good.

Scholarships that depend on the being of a human being are ridiculous.

 

No one really deserves this scholarship.

And that’s why it is my favorite so far.

Because the winner is the one who comes up with the best poem.

I bet there will be at least ten poems that blow mine out of the water.

But I have stuck to the prompt

And that’s all that matters in this competition.

No ethnicity, no previous background,

Just good art.

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