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Can’t Win Them All…

Posted on June 21st, 2007 by Matt Brattin

Well, I never lost hope, and while I still cannot say it is “official,” it is pretty darn close. I haven’t received a letter from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation yet, but I’ve been pathologically checking their site to see if by chance they would update the list of scholarship winners…and it looks like they did tonight. I didn’t make the cut. I don’t know how many applicants there were overall, but 34 have been granted this prestigious scholarship and I wish them all the best.

From what I can gather, I faced some very stiff competition with applicants that, quite frankly, seemed to have profiles very different from that of my own. I knew this going in, but still wanted to give it a shot. Most of the winners come from lower income homes and have devoted a great deal of their lives to community service, all while gaining stellar academic records and often working for the less fortunate. I, on the other hand, seem to earn a decent wage for my age, did community service during college, but not to the degree many of these people have and do, and I work in corporate America. While I may have a pretty decent academic profile, this clearly wasn’t going to save me from (*edit* site originally said 17 years old…) 20 year olds with 4.0s going for their Masters

I won’t lie, I am a little down after discovering the news, but I am not bitter. I am certain those who will be awarded these scholarships truly deserve them and, as my wife said, my pursuit of an MBA was never contingent on getting this scholarship. I’m still heading to ESADE, Jack Kent Cooke scholarship or not…and really folks, at least I was nominated by my alumni university – that was cool for me at least! Plus, let’s not forget my 20% ESADE scholarship. So you see, in the end I think this result has helped me see how much I have to be proud of, and come August 12th I’m still flying to Barcelona to pursue my MBA!

Thank you to everyone who has offered encouragement thus far…I promise there’s lot’s more excitement to come!

*Update* Got my letter informing me that I was not chosen to receive a scholarship.  Just for the end record, there were 977 applicants and 34 individuals (or 3.5%) were chosen…stiff competition indeed!

“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” – Anonymous

4 Responses to “Can’t Win Them All…”

  1. formybeautiful Says:

    Hi!!! I really need to talk to someone who is as knowledgable as you!!!! I have just been accepted to college in Ireland, which is great! However, I am having trouble with a student loan. I graduation in 06′ so I’ve had no guidance counsolour to help me or anything. I applied to the school directly and went to Ireland for the interview. I got my acceptance letter today but for the past few weeks I have been trying to get a loan. What kind of loan can I get? I’ve tried looking up international student loan websites on the net but none of them have this school on ‘the list’ so they say they can’t help me. I don’t know where to go. What did you, what was your situation? Do you have any ideas/advice for me? I was also very interested in the student visa, I better get ready for that one too. Any information you can give to me would be great, I’m desperate for help! Thanks very much..

  2. Matt Brattin Says:

    Hello formybeautiful and congrats on getting accepted to a school in Ireland! That’s great!
    Ok, a few questions came to mind while reading your comment:
    Are you American?
    Are you pursuing a Bachelors or Masters and in what?
    What is the name of the Irish school you got into and is it accredited by the US?
    What international student loan websites were you looking at?
    I’m assuming you’re an American, but the other questions I’m not sure about and my response really hinges on that information, but I’ll try. This “list” potential lenders are giving you is likely a list of international schools with an American accreditation. If the school you’re considering attending is not accredited, you’re not going to be eligible for federal (stafford) loans. What this means is you’ll likely need to pursue a bank like Citi (not sure if they also require accredited institutions) or a private party lender.
    If you haven’t already, I would check out http://www.salliemae.com/international/us_students/ and read up about the funding options discussed there (this is where I got all my loans).
    Lastly, I would definitely get in touch with the Irish school’s financial aid department and see if they can tell you what American students have done in the past.
    I hope this is helpful and at least gives you an idea of where to get your search rolling. Good luck, and please post again if you get any new information or have new questions.

    *edit* Found this article timely. May want to read that as well.

  3. formybeautiful Says:

    thanks a million! Yes, I am American. I am persuing a bach. degree in Design : visual communications at Athlone Institute of Technology. I have checked loads of sites that have Ireland on the lists but not that particular school; so I’m assuming it is not accredited by a school in America. Some of those sites were http://www.internationalstudentloan.comhttp://www.iefc.com – I have just attempted the Salliemae website and I cannot find the school there either. The international officer at the school is away on holidays during the worst possible time. How long will this process take? How long is it approx. for a student visa?

  4. Keith Clausen Says:

    Tough luck Matt, sounds like you were up against very stiff and deserving competition. Your posts have been very helpful to anyone considering applying for a Jack Kent Cooke or other full, prestigious scholarship, like a Fulbright.

    But you’re still going, you’ve got the 20% ESADE scholarship — and don’t forget the $2,000 InternationalStudent.com Travel Contest prize!

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