The Duct Tape Queen and The Road to College This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I wholeheartedly agree with Linda L.'s comments about the unfair and often ridiculous ways in which some scholarships are awarded. Reading "The Duct Tape Queen Attends Harvard" confirmed just how hard it is to win a scholarship. I am tired of hearing, "There's money out there if you look for it," "You won't win if you don't apply" and "Scholarships will make up for the holes in your financial-aid package." Yes, scholarships will help - if you're the needle in the haystack chosen to win one.

I have applied for nearly 20 scholarships - local, national and from the college I will be attending this fall - and have been awarded zero. I am greeted by at least one letter weekly from such-and-such company informing me that "We cannot award you a scholarship at this time."

Does it matter that my class rank is eighth out of 434 students, that I've taken on the responsibility of many leadership positions, or that I have earned straight A's for most of high school?

Perhaps it's my lack of community service hours. I do projects with National Honor Society, but that doesn't seem to be enough. This makes me agree with Emerald Katz's article "The Road to College" - after doing homework for my AP classes, planning the student council blood drive, and editing the latest issue of the student newspaper, I barely have time to sleep, let alone clean parks or visit hospitals. I am not Wonder Woman!

And so, possibly because of my lack of "forced volunteerism," my otherwise strong application gets thrown into the reject bin. At the same time, I read articles about the girls ranked first and second in their class winning scholarships. I have begun to wonder: What's so great about being eighth in my class, anyway? Where's the reward? If you're not the best of the best, you get nothing.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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