Qualifying for a scholarship may seem like a pipe dream for many deserving students, but with literally millions of them available worth over $14 billion in tuition fees according to Unigo’s scholarship directory, the odds also aren’t nearly as bad as one might imagine.
Dr. Jan McBarron, who recently launched part two of a scholarship program for aspiring medical students, says that scholarships are a small but important way we can strive towards an ideal society which rewards merit above birth and wealth.
Those latter two factors otherwise play prominent roles in who can attend the most prestigious schools, as evidenced by the large-scale college admissions scandal which involved famed institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and Yale. From there, graduates then move on to the more glorious careers.
For twenty years, Jan McBarron, who co-hosts the medical advice radio show Duke and the Doctor with her husband Duke Liberatore, says that not only are scholarships an integral part of ensuring that the brightest students are admitted to some of the best colleges, but also that they’ll be capable of performing to their utmost ability while being a student.
Without the stress of money worries and the time commitment of having to work an extra job like Jan McBarron did while getting her own medical degree, students can devote all their energy to learning their craft and preparing for their career.
Scholarships can also provide students with additional resources, including training programs, internship or volunteer opportunities, and help with future job placements.
Scholarships Are About More Than Just Grades
While a merit-based society is certainly ideal, merit also needs to be judged beyond mere grades, which can be heavily skewed by a student’s quality of education, upbringing, access to resources, and other factors. Thankfully, many scholarships do just that.
Firstly, there are athletic scholarships. While jocks getting a free ride through college may not seem like the epitome of meritocracy, that view is narrow according to Jan McBarron, who takes great pride in her own physical fitness and enjoys playing sports like tennis.
After all, recruiting excellent student athletes to improve their teams help post-secondary institutions bring in revenues, which in turn funds scholarships and school programs for everyone. It should also be noted that there are very few athletic scholarships available, far less than merit-based or other scholarships.
They are also dwarfed by the number of minority scholarships available, which help propel students from disadvantaged backgrounds or traditionally underrepresented elements of society into colleges. These can include students with a certain ethnicity, gender (traditionally for women, although men are vastly outnumbered by women in colleges now), sexual orientation (LGBTQ+), or other characteristics.
Jan McBarron cost of Duke and The Doctor radio notes that a limited number of scholarships are doled out in the form of completely random sweepstakes drawings or through other methods, giving every student that applies an equal chance of winning, regardless of external factors.
Jan McBarron’s Final Thoughts
$14 billion in available scholarships is no small sum of money. However, with student debt now totaling over $1.5 trillion, it’s nevertheless a relatively small drop in the bucket in terms of the overall amount of money being spent on higher education. Additional scholarships are being added to the scholarship pool, and students should capitalize on the opportunities they can benefit most from. Take your future into your own hands and apply for a fitting scholarship today.