Average students seeking grants for education should be self-reliant

March 12, 2013

An individual currently in the process of applying for a scholarship for college may enter the classroom at a time when the brightest students have begun to help their less gifted peers, but for those who are already experiencing college scholarship opportunities, it may be important to work independently through whatever obstacles they face.

Study clubs attract top students only
Socio-economic inequality forms a great divide in today's college ecosystem, according to Manuel Cebrian, a researcher working for the University of California San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Cebrian discovered that the school has many study clubs that are exclusive to students who do not learn as easily as others. Those who are left out often have educational histories synonymous with basic public schooling verses private enrollment or additional costly opportunities many people of affluence have access to during their teenage years.

"In my opinion, universities should make an effort to mix things up. Students are at a university to learn, not compete," Cebrian told the Union-Tribune. "We already have programs like affirmative action ... if we can break up rich clubs, that is the next level of equality."

Cebrian argued that if working to help peers learn better - rather than getting the best grade possible individually - was encouraged by higher education institutions, schools would simply mirror the priorities of successful businesses and produce better future employees and entrepreneurs.

Underserved students can make college work
Diverse Magazine highlighted a study suggesting that the most successful black men at colleges with a majority population of white students were those who had the highest levels of emotional perseverance rather than academic capacity. Terrell Strayhorn, claimed in the study that hard work and the ability to push through challenges in every aspect of life is a trait that can be learned. It is not a characteristic that people have to be naturally born with.

"You can teach people how to be gritty," Strayhorn told the news source. "These are not fixed traits in individuals. You can nurture someone's perseverance, giving way for workshops and programs … teaching students to hang in there, even when they face setbacks and failures."

Strayhorn's hypothesis suggests that prospective students who consider themselves a minority - based on race, religion, socio-economic status and a range of other facets - do better, not through support of programs like enforced study club member guidelines, but by working around a lack of resources they may find after receiving graduate school scholarships or financial aid for college in an undergraduate program.

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