Scholarship Hunting

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Two months from today, my precious only child graduates from high school. He’s already been accepted to the school he’d hoped for, and we’re in the process of applying for every scholarship we can lay our hands on, because wow, college isn’t cheap. As we wander through scholarship sites and newsletters and financial aid possibilities, I notice that there are an awful lot of very specific scholarships. Things like “Women planning to major in abnormal child psychology at an Arizona university” and “Men of Maori background who plan to pursue a career in railroad engineering”. There are scholarships for people who can display paranormal ability, people who knit and can discuss the wonders of wool and even scholarships for left-handed people.

My husband and I have, for years, thought it would be glorious fun, if we ever won the Powerball, to set up a scholarship for students who play RPGs (role playing games, like D&D) We met playing at college, after all, and it would certainly be a better use of the money than buying fourteen cars. (Because, really, how many cars can I drive at once?) Something like “The Todd and Misty Massey AD&D Scholarship. Qualified applicants will be able to play any character with a minumum of preparation. Students should have a reasonably above-average GPA (who has time to study when there’s a game to play?) and should be able to show that they have played a character to at least 10th level.” I know, it’s silly, but it reflects what makes me happy. So while I’ve been helping my son search for scholarships that he qualifies for, we’ve been playing at making up our own. For example…

“The Solomon Fausto Honorary Scholarship. This $1287 scholarship is awarded to students majoring in galvanism and itinerant alchemy. Successful candidates are those students exhibiting leadership, character, and extracurricular involvement in experiments in imbuing life into inanimate corpses. Classes in chemistry and biology will give the application added weight. Please include a clear, color photo of your secret underground laboratory. Arrests for graverobbing will not be held against the candidate, although the committee will give preference to students who manage to avoid the long arm of the law.”

Or maybe…

“The Yom’Yagroth Academic Grant. This grant of $666 is awarded to a student who has been accepted to Miskatonic University and has mastered the art of descending the Seven Hundred Steps of Deeper Slumber and emerging safely in the Enchanted Wood of the Dreamlands. The student must display scholarship, courage and at least a reasonable level of remaining sanity. In addition, the student will be judged on his or her mindless flute playing, the winner being determined by how many Mi-Go are attracted. In the event of the winner being eaten by the Mi-Go or losing his grip on reality utterly, the grant will be awarded to the first runner up.”

Or what about…

“The Future Rider Skippers Scholarship. This scholarship awards 44 million planetary credits (or $73 in today’s currency) to the student who plans to pursue a career in time banditry. He should have at least a 3.294 GPA (unless he manages to hack into the school’s account and change his grades. in which case the committee will applaud the added effort) and must write an essay on the topic How To Have Your Cake Before You Make It. EDIT: Unfortunately, the Future Rider Skippers Organization was robbed by the scholarship winner. Please feel free to apply in a prior year.”

And of course, everyone hopes to win…

“The Duke Nukem Foundation Award. Being the embodiment of all that is manly, Duke Nukem set up this $2000 award for a qualifying student who displays skill at true buttkicking and simultaneous gum-chewing. Gum will be provided if the student does not have his own. Scholarship is not a primary concern, but the successful applicant must be able to fire an Enforcer Gun, crack wise and keep his bookbag on his shoulder. An essay, on the topic of Why Death Before Disco, will be required.”

So here’s your writing prompt for today. Choose a fictional world – well known or obscure, it doesn’t matter.  But with that world in mind, create a scholarship opportunity for hopeful students.  Serious, silly, a little of both – it’s all good.  Have a little fun!

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15 comments to Scholarship Hunting

  • I love this idea! Thank you :) (My only child won’t be going to college until next year, but I feel your pain.) And congratulations on his acceptance at his college of choice!

  • Misty> Congrats to your son on his acceptance to his college of choice! May funding fall in abundance from the skies!!

    My Scholarship> The “just because I like you” scholarship for graduate students of Medieval English. Award amount will vary, but it will be at least one month of a TA salary. It can be used for anything, but should probably be used to buy at least one nice dinner. With drinks. Qualifications: Send me an essay telling me why I would like you as a person (but NOT as a SO). Why’d I’d have been friends with you in grad school. Special points if you haven’t received awards or grants in the past. Sense of humor a must.

  • Congrats to all three of you, Misty. And best of luck on the funding.

    “The annual Mayor Richard Wilkins III Memorial Scholarship Essay Competition, sponsored by the Sunnydale Chamber of Commerce. Applicants will write an essay of no more than 10,000 words on ‘The Hellhole and Me: What Demons Have Added to My Life.’ Successful essays will tie the students’ own life experiences to Sunnydale’s colorful history, while also showing proper appreciation for Sunnydale’s larger place in Demon lore. The student writing the winning essay will receive $10,000.00 for four years to attend UC Sunnydale. In the event of cataclysm leading to the death of the student, the annihilation of the University, or both, all funds not yet disbursed will be forfeit.”

  • OMGosh, I *must* remember to finish my tea before reading MW. This is hysterical! Okay. I can do this.

    “The Jane Yellowrock Sharpshooting and Knife-Throwing Scholorship Competition, for $10,000, to cover costs for one year as an unpaid intern in a large security firm of entrant’s choice. Applicants will send in a human-shaped target, the result of one session in a shooting range or one session of knife throwing. Each center-mass killshot will be graded with a point system for excellence. Each wayward spot on the target must be circled (ink is perfered, but crayon is acceptable. Vamp blood dipped with a quill will result in extra points) with appropriate explanations of why the round or blade did not penetrate center-mass. Points will be granted for creativity. Spelling will not be counted against applicant.”

  • I feel your pain: My eldest is in the same boat. :) Let’s see, scholarship. . .

    The Dr. Who Scholarship: A full ride to the college of your choice, payable in relevant time-indexed currency. Applicant must be flexible in terms of time period as the TARDIS cannot guarantee transportation to a given university in a given year. In addition, scholarship winner must study contextual history and theoretical physics especially as it pertains to time. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to run and to tolerate non-linearity and fairly frequent mortal peril.

  • Dr. August Fitzwilliam Locke Memorial Retroactive Scholar-Ship Scholarship, for men and women of vast intelligence, who unintentionally pursue piracy. All applicants must have had some experience buckling, swashing, and translating Herodotus. Scholarship covers all unpaid education requirements prior to abduction/abscondment.

  • I won a $2,000 scholarship for “Students of Scandinavian Heritage” at USC. I may have been the only one that applied, not because there weren’t other students with Scandinavian heritage, but because it covered less than 10% of one year’s tuition and was basically unknown. Not looking forward to 18+ years from now when I have to find funding for my as yet unborn child.

    However, if I could create a scholarship, it would be the following:

    “The Post-Apocalyptic Survivalist Scholarship” for students well-versed in zombie decapitation, scavenging, and emergency first aid. All candidates must demonstrate the ability to effectively wield a chainsaw, shotgun, and machete or other long-bladed weapon. Candidates demonstrating effective use of a baseball bat will be awarded extra points, and any candidate able to decapitate a moderately rotted zombie with a baseball bat in a single swing will automatically receive the award. In addition, an essay providing detailed comparison of appropriate survival tactics in an urban versus rural area, is required. Winning candidates will receive a year’s supply of MREs and access to the colony bunker, assuming they are not infected prior to arrival.

  • PS USC – University of Southern California, not South Carolina… :-p

  • Procrastinators Anonymous will award a half scholarship, representing effort invested, to the institution of the prospective student’s choice. Interested candidates must demonstrate a proficiency at slacking off while maintaining a B+ average or greater. Demonstrated time wastage is a must. Please include a detailed note handwritten on a piece of scrap paper, napkin, or back of a receipt listing the many ways you mess around when you “should” be studying, as extra points will be rewarded for new and unique tips examples. Entries received more than twenty-four hours before the scholarship deadline will not be considered. Keeners will be disqualified. Late entries will be considered if submission incudes a thorough set of attached excuses. Winners will be contacted … uh, when we get to it.

  • Oops. *smacks self* Bad html, Laura, bad!

    Procrastinators Anonymous will award a half scholarship, representing effort invested, to the institution of the prospective student’s choice. Interested candidates must demonstrate a proficiency at slacking off while maintaining a B+ average or greater. Demonstrated time wastage is a must. Please include a detailed note handwritten on a piece of scrap paper, napkin, or back of a receipt listing the many ways you mess around when you “should” be studying, as extra points will be rewarded for new and unique tips examples. Entries received more than twenty-four hours before the scholarship deadline will not be considered. Keeners will be disqualified. Late entries will be considered if submission incudes a thorough set of attached excuses. Winners will be contacted … uh, when we get to it.

  • mudepoz

    I started school with a scholarship in mining engineering. Only because they needed a minority and I won. Although the first woman to graduate in mining there was in the 1800’s, it wasn’t real popular in the early ’80’s.

    I would love to start a do it yourself alchemical scholarship. I will donate all the lead necessary to transmute into enough gold to get through as many years of college as needed. Off to vote…

  • The Magical Words Scholarship: The successful applicant must have a desire to learn more about the art and business of writing, and a desire to become a published author. Applicant must have an affinity for Big Cats, Pirates, Thieves, Zombies, Telepathic Eggplants, Authors, Agents, Editors and other assorted mystical creatures. Applicant must have a sense of humor. This scholarship will pay full tuition (not to exceed $0.00) for unlimited attendance.

  • Wow, lucky me. In Australia the government footed most of my university bill, I came out with about $10,000 CPI indexed debt not to be repaid until I started earning more than $37,000/year.

    Still a cool scholarship:
    Tattooed women’s scholarship. You will pay me $10,000 per year of attendance at university from the money you appropriated from corrupt industry leaders during your investigations into their dealings. :)

  • Ah, what the heck.

    “The Shadowslayer Scholarship Fund will annually award 100 golden griffins to one would-be assassin to cover the cost of training and equipment, specifically leather leggings and jacket, bandoleer, four throwing knives, and long flowing robe. The applicant must meet be local resident of Lower Therran. If written proof is unavailable then three people with all their teeth and no criminal record must vouch for the applicant. Those to be considered should excel in skulking, house-breaking, and slitting throats. (Actually, we can teach the last part.) Preference will be given to half-breeds with daemek heritage who can see in the dark. Must have no affiliations with existing thieves guilds, the Griffin’s Guard, and certainly not the Talons.

    Applicants should leave a message the barkeep at the Sunken Duck and then wait in the dark alley behind in the inn.”

  • Sarah

    ooh, what fun.

    First, the Edward D’eath Memorial Fellowship for Extra-Ordinary Merit in the Practical Employment of Banned or Theoretical Weapons. Award is one year full tuition and AM$500 research stipend. Applicant must have completed first round of courses in the Ankh-Morpork Assassins Guild School with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have demonstrated extraordinary initiative in developing or researching theoretical weapons. Student must have inhumed no fewer than 2 subjects with said weapons and be able to provide documented proof of both technique and effectiveness. Submit documentation in triplicate to committee along with a detailed outline for future research. Use of said weapons on the applications committee are grounds for disqualification and possible inhumation of applicant.

    Second, the Hervor Angantyrsdottir / Valkyrie Fund Combined Scholarship. Scholarship will be awarded to a young woman who demonstrates high levels of skill in at least four of the following areas: grave plundering, quaffing, coastline ravaging (English or French coasts preferred), composing heroic verse, riddling with the Aesir, composing satiric verse, war band leadership, horse back riding, sword wielding, killing a man for looking at you funny. Applicants who can demonstrate a verifiable full on berserker rage will be given preference. Ability to read and write not a factor. Applicants should compose a skaldic poem of no less than 30 lines detailing their accomplishments and qualifications, and be prepared to recite it at the next Allthing. In the event of a tie applicants may be required to perform a flyting or duel to the death. Alternately they will be given a heroic quest to the underworld. Successful applicants will be given one dwarven made sword, a long boat and their own starter war band. Applicants must not be under an edict of outlawry at the time of application.