Scholarships should be given to those in need

Hannah Shoffitt, News Editor

For those with socioeconomic setbacks, scholarships are essential to make college an option. These students need financial aid more than those with just strictly academic or athletic achievements.
Attending college is widely regarded as a smart investment in the future of young people, allowing them to gain specialized knowledge and a better income. Many barriers exist that dissuade many from attending, the most prominent being financial concerns. These stressors can be eliminated (or somewhat alleviated) by gaining scholarships.
There are many scholarships, provided both locally and through universities, that recognize those with outstanding academic achievements or incredible athletic feats. Should they be as common as they are? Should other factors be taken into account before awarding monetary aid?
Though there are many impressive seniors, they don’t all deserve scholarships. Athletics and academics should go into consideration when scholarships are doled out, but they shouldn’t take priority. Financial aid officers should always look at the economic need and parental income when deciding the amount. For example, the star quarterback doubling as a valedictorian with filthy rich parents shouldn’t get scholarships simply for their prowess. It’s guaranteed they’ve received plenty of recognition (and they’ve most likely been accepted to a university anyway.) According to a study conducted by The Education Trust, almost half of children born into poverty will remain in poverty as adults. While that’s a staggering statistic, a college degree reduces those chances to one in six. With the extreme effect on posterity, attaining a college degree is more important than ever.
Also, the need for scholarships is crucial to counteract soaring tuition costs. Educationdata.org estimates the average four-year college tuition in the U.S. is $35,331. For someone who is economically challenged (and for the majority of the middle class), this is an insane amount of money to pay out-of-pocket. The price has continued to climb as students face inflation and an increased cost of living.
Due to these circumstances, scholarships are necessary for those who want to attend college but don’t have the means to do so. A lot of students who face financial struggles also have additional obstacles due to their social standing, housing situation or parents’ education levels. This isn’t true in every scenario, but many other students have a sound support system and a solid safety net.
Most (not all) gifted students’ lives have these advantages over most (not all) financially challenged kids. These circumstances show that impoverished students should be a top priority when scholarships are awarded.