Harvard bound student gives away scholarship

Some of my issue is with how the media is portrayed this.

Some of my issue is that even at Harvard there is a finite amount of money. Even when the endowment is really, really big, it’s still the college’s money.

The person who received the scholarship decided instead of helping the college that gave her aid, decided to give the money away. Yes, she didn’t need it. Harvard probably didn’t need it either.

But the rule is. That when you receive outside scholarships, that goes to the school because the school has already decided how much money you should pay. You don’t get to decide at a needs based school how much money you receive, the college decides how much money they think you need to attend their school.

Harvard financial aid requires outside scholarships to be reported ( Types of Aid | Harvard ), and the student would only benefit from the first $3,500 (the amount of the expected student work contribution) of outside scholarships each year before Harvard need-based grants are reduced.

Don’t worry about this in the least, Harvard is ecstatic to have this sort of publicity, it’s worth much more than $10k/year to them.


But it seems to have been in a matter of 15 minutes or so. She received notice that she had been selected as the high school scholarship winner and then as she was sitting down listening to the speeches in the assembly she decided that she had worked out her finances for Harvard already and other people from her high school needed help more than she did. It’s not like she was taking money away from Harvard. They had already accepted her and she and the school had already worked out the finances. They didn’t know about this scholarship and $10k a year will mean a WHOLE lot more to some other students at school than it would to Harvard.


My MIL got so mad at me when she told me that someone at her church got a full scholarship to Princeton & I told her that there is no such thing. I explained that either the young woman’s family had an income low enough that she got a lot of need based money or they meant that their need was met. She told me that the family is well off, so I didn’t know what I was talking about. I just let it go. No need to try to explain it to someone who already knows the score.


i wonder how the school feels - they chose this person in particular. Hoping they are OK with her not accepting - and really hoping that the school finds worthy people to award it to !

We had a daughter of a physician in our school that went to Princeton. She was an athletic recruit.

I kept telling people, no she did not get a full ride scholarship for her sport (not a revenue sport)

The “scholarship” was that she got into Princeton! And her parents got to pay the full price for that opportunity.

A lot of people argued with me. Her mother of course was in agreement lol!


Yes, apparently everyone got up and cheered. (It’s a low income community, it’ll do a lot of good).

We know the difference between a scholarship and a grant. Most people don’t. She got a full ride financial aid award and she got a full tuition merit award would be a better way to distinguish for people who think everything is “scholarship”.


I would like to think that Harvard was proud of her and pleased she will a part of their community.

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Note that Harvard calls its need-based grants “Harvard scholarship”.

Yes, schools that meet need do award at least some of their aid as scholarships … the funds come from endowed scholarships. So while they are awarded based on need, they are scholarships. Just not “merit” scholarships, although it could certainly be argued that every student accepted to an ivy is deserving of merit.

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