Ignorance is Bliss? (Scholarship Research)

The Following is an Excerpt from: Confessions of a College Recruiter

(This will be an eBook available for download soon)


Confessions Chapter 3

Ignorance is Bliss…

Often times, I am actually surprised by the amount of knowledge potential college students lack. I don’t mean things like they don’t understand what angular momentum is or can’t name five digits past the decimal of pi. Heck, I’ll even forgive them for not being able to name who wrote The Great Gatsby, but I mean basic practical knowledge that you would take for granted them knowing is just not there. I’ll provide a few examples of this.

Not long ago, I was assisting some students with finding scholarships on one of the many free search engines on the internet. One particular student with blonde hair and blue eyes (trust me, this info makes the story so much better) asks me why she’s not able to register for one of the scholarships. I look at the requirements and tell her politely that it’s because the scholarship is for Native Americans only. She then proceeds to tell me that she doesn’t understand…she’s been here in America her whole life – born and bred! (True story believe it or not)I explained to her that she would need a CDIB, or tribal number, to apply for it. So, she then responds by asking me if her daddy can purchase one of those from the school!

Another example – one of my fellow recruiters was at a college fair where parents and their high school children can walk around to the various college tables together and discuss specifics to see which college/university would be best suited for their needs. One student and her mom walk up to my fellow recruiter and ask if she offers radiology at her school. The recruiter begins telling them about the requirements for medical school and then the process of residency for radiology, unless they mean radiologic tech. The student interrupts her to explain that she means radiology as in being a disc jockey on the radio! (Again, this is a totally true story, believe it or not)

Am I making fun of these situations? No, because I would rather them ask than not ask and just go through life ignorant. Of course, the stories are consequently funny, but I am not making fun of the individuals. You see, there is a difference between one being ignorant, which is definitively to simply not know something, and one choosing to stay in the dark. If you want to know something – just ask! It can’t be much worse than the above examples. Want to know something surprising? The blonde student is about to be a nurse. She graduates this year, has a 3.7 GPA, and actually did receive a pretty good scholarship (although not a Native American one).

This just goes to show, you can never count somebody out based upon a seemingly ignorant question. She asked because she was seeking something, and when she ran into a roadblock, she continued looking until she found a path suitable for her – and it paid off monetarily! In both scenarios above, I can see how the terms “Native American” and “radiology” could possibly be misleading if someone had never been exposed to them…the scary part is considering that they had gone through high school without ever having been exposed to them! Or, if they were, then they didn’t pay attention.


Confessions Tip #3: Here are some of my favorite scholarship search engines that are free for all of my scholarship junkies out there:

(Remember to get these and many more, plus insider tips from me and other colleges in my forthcoming book “Confessions of a Scholarship Junkie” coming out soon!)

GACollege411.org (For GA residents)

www.fastweb.com  (Great all-around scholarship search engine)

http://www.finaid.org/scholarships  (Great info about scholarship searches)

financial aid full-tuition scholarships (Some full-tuition scholarships available)

Hispanic and Latino Scholarships (Info on Hispanic and Latino Scholarships)

United Negro College Fund (Scholarships for African-American HBCU students)

Hispanic Scholarship Fund (Scholarships for Hispanic college students)

Confessions Chapter Lesson #3:

Yes, ignorance is bliss. But, unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps!), bliss is not a prerequisite for college success. So, search for answers to what you don’t know, and ask questions regardless of how dumb they may sound to you anyone else. After all, when you’ve graduated and are successful in life, how dumb you feel asking a question right now will be irrelevant. But, the answer you may never get because you were too afraid to ask could make all the difference in the world!

In other words, I must confess that some questions do sound pretty dumb. However, I would much rather you ask me and get a clear understanding of what you need rather than you not ask and make a bad decision about your future!

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