Sunday, August 31, 2014


(Please, I ask for your kind consideration to take this as my own opinion and you are welcome to disagree with me but just keep in mind, that this is my own point of view and I am very passionate about it as it is affecting my family and my friends. Also this is coming from a very frustrated 21 year old girl so please excuse me while I rant)

Now, I try to understand points of view from both parties most of the time so as to not misconstrue a situation. But if there's one topic that gets my blood boiling and need no justifying from any party, it's the issue of scholarships and loans.

During KYUEM, I was a privately funded student. And if you know the college, you know that the place is full with scholars. Deservedly so, they are all a bunch of bright students and even if you scored 10As during SPM, you will find yourself to be completely undermined because the girl sitting behind you in Math just got awarded the second best in SPM.... out of the whole Malaysia. This is a true story for me.

But, according to my understanding (backed by verified definitions above), scholarships and loans are meant to be given out to the smart and the less financially abled students. Not 'OR', but 'AND'.

"A foundation to provide financial assistance to students"
"An amount of money given by an organisation to help pay for the student's education"

There are a lot of rural schools and sekolah berasrama where some, if not most, students come from difficult backgrounds. As they succeed, they are awarded with prestigious scholarships.

Now, these people, I have absolutely no problems with. I'd be happy. I'd be championing their fight to get the scholarship or loan. 

But, me oh my, the people who have more cars than family members, fly across the world annually ("Hmm business class or first class this time?"), designer shoes, fancy dinner parties, houses too big for anyone, I humbly ask


Are you turning poor from buying that new Mercedes that you had to ask for a scholarship. Are you turning poor from all the vacation you've been having across the world that you've just had to apply for financial help.

These days, organisations are so blinded by who your father is or who your family is rather than what YOU're about and who YOU are. Yes, I know that you lot are a bunch of smart people, I won't hold you against that. But there are a lot more smart students who can't afford to pursue their education overseas. They simply don't have the money. 

Most of you lot reading this who might terasa pedas might very well be my closest friends and I try to not say this openly for fear that you might feel ashamed and embarrassed. Like I've said before, this is a sensitive topic and I try to be quite private about where I stand but I really can't hide my anger anymore.

My issue with this goes to both parties - the scholarship bodies and the financially abled students.

Let's first talk about the organisations responsible for giving out the scholarship and loans.

How is it possible for organisations to award scholarships and loans to the people who can very well afford it? This is such a simple and straight forward question yet it is still so pertinent. It's beyond my comprehension, to be honest. Let's be frank here and address the very apparent fact that high positioned members of society have a HUGE say in organisation's decision to grant someone a scholarship. Let's just put it out there.
In layman's terms, "cable". If you know someone, chances are the scholarship is yours. If your father or mother is someone, chances are scholarship is yours. I'm not generalising, of course. I'm just saying these are examples of what "cable" is. It's a matter of who's who. And it shouldn't be. Do a damn background check, for goodness sake.

"Oh what's this? A 5 figure monthly income? OK LET'S MOVE ON"

I know that organisations grant their prestigious scholarships to the intelligent, I won't discard their reputation. But my point is, there are other worthy candidates who are more deserving of your money. Have scholarship bodies forgotten that the main purpose of a scholarship is to provide financial help to students who aren't able to pay for themselves? A scholarship in all its entirety is MONEY. It is not a social status, it is not a trophy, it is not a title. My friend, Timothy, said that "what should be done is to remove this mindset that needing a scholarship to succeed is the only way". No, it isn't. I won't look at a privately funded student any different than a scholar.

Moving on to the students and the parents.

Can I just first clarify that I have massive respect for people who are successful because that climb to the top is no easy feat and I am an admirer of hard work and perseverance. Really. You are an inspiration, dear CEOs/managers/directors/founders/fancy titled sir or madam. One day, I do aspire to be you but for the meantime, my 21 year old self would like to humbly ask why and how and why and why and why.

I'm not a parent yet but I assume that as a parent, shouldn't your children's welfare be your number one priority? Ok, yes, they are.
So as a parent with a major income, shouldn't their education be the first thing you tick off your "To Pay" list? That's number one, right? Their welfare? Their education? Ok, yes. I can see you nodding from here and I can hear your "YES!" from here.

So why aren't you? Why are you letting someone else do it for you?

Look. If you can afford to give your children the luxuries in life (like a fancy vacation and a gorgeous home and a nice car and pocket money enough to get them that Prada shoes and the Dior bag), then can I just please ask why aren't you paying for the one necessity they need for the sake of their own future - their education? Shouldn't the first thing you think about when you are at that stage in life where you are living comfortably be "Ok, education is taken care of, alhamdulillah syukur, and all from my own hard work" and not "Ok, so which car you want?".

Priorities, sirs and madams, priorities.

"Help" and "Assistance" indicate that the student isn't able to support himself/herself and therefore needs some form of external financial aid to allow him/her to continue in his/her studies. "Help" and "Assistance" don't apply to the people who already have the means to support themselves. If you can, then why aren't you? Catch my drift?

And kids, I know you might tell me "Yes, but as their child, I want to do everything in my power to help lessen their burden" and I think that's incredibly noble of you to do. Yes, as daughters and sons, we want to try and do all that we can to help our parents financially.

But my dear friends, did you really need that new car? Did you really need to fly business class? Did you really need to be draped in designer wear ? If you hadn't bought that car or that flight ticket or that designer handbag, you'd be able to pay for tuition fees. The difference between you and I, my friend, is I don't have my own car to sell off in the first place and I don't get to travel as often as you and even if I did, I'm all the way back in economy and no, I don't have the fortune to be wearing designer because really, for anyone ever, a ridiculous amount of money spent on anything can only be justified if it was something like a first class education (or anything of the kind... y'know something that can be seen as a form of investment).

Don't get me wrong, guys, I'm not disregarding the fact that you are intelligent and well-rounded and you worked hard to get those As and you worked hard to ace that interview and you worked hard to prove why you're a scholar. I know. You are. I can shout it from the rooftops over how smart you lot are. I'm not saying that you don't deserve the scholarship based on your academics. I'm just saying, from a financial perspective (which is what a scholarship is essentially about), that money can be used to fund someone else's education.

So there. Take this post with a pinch of salt. This is my take on a topic I think some people are too afraid to talk about because it is such a touchy subject because personally we do know these people and we don't want to be in anyone's bad books. Believe me, neither do I but I feel like it should be said and it should be acknowledged because it just comes down to it being unfair to the students who are affected by this.

If you agree with me then great, it's good to know that I'm not alone in this. But if you don't agree, then I'd really really love to hear your point of view because even if things get heated, it is always nice to have a healthy debate and hopefully come to some form of understanding from both ends.

Cheers x

(also, for any grammar mistakes or typos, please forgive me for this was edited and posted at 5 am on a Saturday night)


  1. Well said Nadia, I couldn't agree with you more

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  3. I agree with you wholeheartedly! I have no respect for those scholars "stealing" from the less able, lagi lagi when they brag "Oh i'm this scholar, that scholar" -.-'

    Also another point to point out is that organisations that give out these scholarships sometimes prefer to pick students yang able because they "can carry themselves better/communicate in English better" -.- (this is what one of the scholar told me about why she was picked even though her family can afford to pay her tuition fees).

  4. Hi Sya!

    Yes, that's my point. Some of these students look at scholarships like they're trophies. They're not. In all its essence, a scholarship is nothing more than someone funding for your studies. HELPING you study. They can go on and on saying it's all about job security and this and that but let's face it; if you are as smart as you say you are then getting a job shouldn't be difficult.
    It's not fair to the people who aren't able to sponsor themselves. That's it, really. It's just not fair.

    Thanks for commenting, though! xxxxx Hope you're well!

  5. Hi! I totally get what you mean. Almost half of my pre-university programme intake is funded by either a well-known company or the state government itself. If we take into account only their result, no doubt, most of them deserves it. Tapi in terms of family background and the luxurious life that they are living, it is so against the idea of 'scholarship'. Thing about those who are capable of funding their own kids' education is, it's not like they are poorly educated. I bet they can understand the logic behind it. Tapi mungkin they take pride of their children's achievement kot? To prove to society that even with such wealth, they are not spoilt and they can get excellent results too. To sum it all, I am certainly on your side. Bcs I'm going through the same thing.

    (Well I know this is weird as we don't know each other but just so I don't look like some creepy lady, I came across this blog post of yours when I was googling about scholarships haha)

  6. Hi, Hayatie!

    Yeah, I think some parents do take pride in their children having a scholarship but again, a scholarship shouldn't dictate how good a student is. I know a lot of privately funded students who are just as brilliant in their studies as the scholars.
    Thanks for commenting, though! x

  7. Hey Nadia ! I came across your blog as I googled about scholarship. I couldn't agree with you more because I too am a private funded student. Its just soo not fair because like what you've said, cant hold back the anger anymore. Haha.

    Is it okay for you if I share this post on my fb ? (seeking your permission first. Hehe)