I went to my law school a couple weeks ago to beg for money. Tuition was going to cost me around $40,000 a year, and my school hadn’t given me any scholarships, so I figured I’d saunter in and try to convince them to give me some. My argument was that a) I was poor and needy and b) I’d gotten merit scholarships from two other schools, both of which were higher-ranked than my school.
My first appointment was with a financial aid administrator who told me within 30 seconds that all the merit scholarship money had been given out. So that was that.
The following week, I met with the director of financial aid, who told me basically the same thing. He also explained that even if scholarships became available before school started, I would not be considered for them because my undergraduate GPA sucked. So I went home, took $20,000 a year in loans, and waited for my dad to pay the other $20,000.
That was about two weeks ago. This morning, I received an email from the financial aid office informing me that I was the recipient of a $15,000 merit scholarship (albeit non-renewable) this year. I called the director of financial aid to ask how this came about, and he simply said, “Well, a scholarship opened up, and I remembered that you came in a while ago, so I figured I’d give it to you.”
This experience has taught me horrible things. It has taught me that if I barge into someone’s office and semi-persistently ask for handouts, money in large quantities will be given. It has taught me that I can repeat my panhandling act next year and expect a similar result regardless of academic performance. My law school’s financial aid office has created a monster.