Bureaucracy stifles student opportunity


Kylie Heitman | @kylieanne_13, Staff Columnist

Here at The University of Alabama, there are a wealth of scholarships that one can apply for and receive based on grade point average, extracurriculars, ACT and SAT scores and other essential factors. Many students may not know about the rules surrounding scholarships, or that our very own administration does not allow scholarship applications to be turned in after March 1 for current students continuing on into the upcoming year. This due date restricts the amount of time to complete the application efficiently and thoroughly enough to actually receive a scholarship.

The University of Alabama prides itself with the amount of scholarships it gives away each year. However, the March 1 due date isn’t reasonable, especially for students who want to receive a major-specific scholarship or are trying to get their grade point average up and their lives in order before they have to turn in this “make it or break it” application. There are so many other due dates that students have to worry about, such as summer and fall class registration, plus other scholarship and internship applications.

The due date is exactly the same for transfer students, which is absolutely ridiculous. Some transfer students don’t even commit to coming here until summer, and by then, it would be too late for any scholarships. Transfer students also have to transfer from their college with a 3.5 GPA and 45 credits. On top of all of that, they have to worry about this upcoming application as well.

I know the scholarship applications open in July, which makes it seem like there’s plenty of time for students to complete the application. In reality, it’s not. Students have so much going on in their lives and so much to think about already, and making this due date so early puts immense pressure on the student body. There are other pressing matters for most students here, including succeeding in classes, thinking about future career choices, internships, jobs and maintaining a social life. For most, this deadline is most likely pushed to the bottom on that to-do list with a thousand other things preceding it.

That being said, the University should rethink deadlines and think more about the future students of this university. If everyone is constantly running around worrying about these deadlines, it’s hard to focus on the more important things in college. 

Many opportunities are available in college, but with this time constraint, it’s hard to make the most of them. Students come here from all around the world to get an education and experience everything this university has to offer. If The University of Alabama could restructure these policies and deadlines, there would be so much more to gain from coming here. Receiving the best education possible is the goal for most college students, and if the scholarship application was open year-round, it would give everyone a much more equal opportunity to make the best of their college journey. My hope is that in the future, more colleges can think of the student’s best interest and stray away from unreasonable deadlines that disturb the peace of our massive student body.