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Chasing College Scholarships

Updated on November 18, 2017
Michael Ttappous profile image

Michael has been an online freelancer and writer for many years and loves discovering and sharing about new experiences and opportunities.

The New Definition of Scholarship

Today’s world of education and scholarship is becoming increasingly detached from the world that our parents once knew. Private educational institutions have reshaped the system and have remodelled the way tuition is presented to young students from all across the world. Where people would happily attend public universities and pay only a few thousand dollars per year in the past, there is now an overriding push to send high school graduates to the best, and most expensive, private universities.

Is cost a deciding factor for attending college for you?

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Meeting You Half Way

The problem with this new model, naturally, is that it is a more expensive one to follow. It is becoming less and less common for families, especially ones with multiple children, to have saved up enough money to pay for their kids’ college tuitions. And this is particularly difficult when kids have to move out of state or even to another country where room and board fees are dramatic. It is no surprise then that student loans are growing ever higher and becoming harder and harder to pay off as time goes by.

The biggest problem with this new system is that these fancy degrees are becoming more and more necessary as educational opportunities become more widespread and more and more people get similar degrees. It is even coming to a stage where you have to study more than an undergraduate degree in order to stay competitive. And this brings us to the problem: What happens to the kids who can’t afford to get these increasingly essential degrees and who refuse to, or can’t, take out enormous student loans? This is where some very special universities try to meet you half way, and sometimes even all the way.

Is the Glass Half Full?

The upside to all of this doom and gloom, in the end, seems to be the few institutions that really try to reduce the financial burden of tertiary education. As an international student, I can wholeheartedly say that there are very few places around the world that make it easy to further your education without consuming a large proportion of your family’s savings or taking on debt. Indeed, it is the hope of being able to attain a significant scholarship or financial aid offer that keeps the ambitions of financially-stricken students alive.

Without thinking that it’s a possibility, there would be no drive to do their best towards the end of high school and to do as many valuable activities that they can. The hope that you can earn a scholarship is what drives high school students to test their limits and to surprise themselves. So, really, although the glass is getting harder and harder to carry, it is still half full.

Scholarships are not only a great target to set, they tick so many boxes simultaneously that it is almost a win-win situation. The activities that you have to be part of in order to apply for one increase your experiences; the challenges of trying and pushing in the face of failure make you stronger as a person; and the successful attainment of a scholarship helps you fulfil your university goals and demonstrates strong commitment to your future employers.

Against the Odds

My own story of chasing scholarship is what convinces me that it is the right thing to do. All can be lost, but as long as you have that vision in front of you and you have the dedication to chase it, you can surprise yourself by how much you are willing to sacrifice to make it a reality. I took my story of high school confusion and graduation limbo and turned it into a memoir of my personal journey through all sorts of challenges and setbacks. Although my adventure began in a tiny, divided country, it is one that I know resonates across the world and that every troubled student will be able to identify with.

There’s only so much detail one can get across in one article, so if you have children in high school, children who are facing some tough financial/life choices, or if you’re a student yourself facing some difficult pathways, please have a look at my book. You can read its full description and have an extensive look inside on Kobo Books and you can visit its official Facebook page. Deferred: My Extraordinary Journey to New York University Abu Dhabi is available on iTunes, Amazon, and in other digital formats.


Deferred is a book that outlines the individual journey that students are likely to go through when chasing scholarship, and it builds step-by-step from the last few years of high school to the moment when the goal is reached. Rather than being a book that gives out tips on how to succeed with essays and applications, it is a story of how and why essays and applications were even made in the first place, and why they were so essential in the world of tertiary education that exists today. There is nothing quite like the journey to university and scholarship.

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