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01 October 2012


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I think I'd dispute whether this:

Few people "earn" scholarships. "Win" is a better word; but "earn" is reserved for things you have a right to, like your wages.

Is actually any different from most other forms of employment of monetary exchange. After all, your employer doesn't have to pay you either, it's called not hiring you or laying you off. The college doesn't get to assume the benefit of winning the student (either lifting average test scores or having a strong sports team) unless the student accepts the offered money. If the student accepts the money, the college gets the benefit.

In this sense, the exchange is like most other economic transactions. Money changes hands and both parties get something that they want.


Your employer has to pay you after you have already worked for him. He owes you the wages that you have earned.

That is what is ordinarily meant by "earning."

No one has to hire you in the future. He would not be your "employer" if he had not hired you yet, of course.

He also does not have to continue to employ you in the future and can lay you off (unless your job is protected somehow).

The difference here is that colleges offer scholarships because they hope to get something out of you in the future, not because you have already provided that something to them.


Well, yeah, but you don't realize the earnings unless you actually go there. It's kind of like an offer letter. Come take this job and we'll pay you X. Or an offer to buy a product, "I'll buy six truckloads of your widget if you'll provide them for Y."

I only bring it up because it strikes me that it kind of strengthens your point: Colleges don't "give" you money because you've worked hard. You possess something they desire (an SAT score, a sports ability) and they offer to provide you with something that you may value (effectively, a discount on their stated tuition) if you provide them with what they value (your presence at the college according to their terms).


Yes. I think we are saying the same thing now :)

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