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Scholarship aims to reward ‘academic averageness’ of college students

For one scholarship, mediocrity is not just accepted, it’s encouraged.
The entertainment and humor website CollegeHumor.com has created a contest to award $5,000 toward the cost of tuition to two college students for simply being average.
The first “Average Student Scholarship Contest” aims to reward students “just for being themselves,” according to the scholarship’s website. Applicants are required to write an essay and submit at least one photo or video that shows why they are considered average.
The number of Ohio State applicants is unknown due to an inability to search applicants by university or college, said Jaime Marsanico, spokeswoman for CollegeHumor Media, in an email.
Applications for the contest will remain open until Feb. 1, according to the website, and any student who is at least 18 years old and is enrolled as a freshman, sophomore or junior at a four-year college or university may enter.
At the end of the application period one female and one male student  will be chosen as winners by the editorial staff of CollegeHumor.com, according to a press release, and will be judged based on academic averageness, humor and originality.
Taylor Lee, a third-year in strategic communication, said she understands the concept behind a scholarship like this and finds it to be a positive change.
“I think it’s good because they’re giving kind of an opportunity to people … who aren’t necessarily the best students,” Lee said.
Lee said she would consider applying for it herself. She said she sees herself as an academically mediocre student but finds other ways to be involved outside of the classroom.
“Grade-wise, I would say I’m pretty average,” Lee said. “It wasn’t always that way. In high school I made better grades, but I don’t feel like high school really prepared me as much for college. I’m also doing internships and stuff now so I would say I’m a pretty proactive student.”
Abbie Vaculik, a first-year in international business administration, said she also considers herself to be an average student and appreciates the idea of a scholarship that recognizes similar individuals.
“I think it’s a really good idea because I know a lot of people from my high school who were really good in school but weren’t as good as all of the honors kids who would always get the scholarships,” Vaculik said.
She said she would recommend the application to her sister and friends.
Others said they wouldn’t want to be recognized for being average.
“I think it’d be cool to win $5,000 but I don’t think I’d want to be called average just because I’m not a superstar.” said second-year in English Shannon Shaver.
However, Vaculik said despite the connotations of being average, extra money can mean a lot to some students.
“I think it’s good help regardless of what the requirements are,” Vaculik said. “It’s always good to have an extra boost in financial aid.”
Christian Smith, a third-year in strategic communication, receives a merit-based scholarship, and said this particular award is still a great opportunity for students who aren’t necessarily noticed in the same ways others have been in the past.
“It’s really good that they’re recognizing people who don’t have to have the best grades or a need for money,” Smith said. “Like (the scholarship) said, you’re sort of the average student who falls in the middle, and a lot of times I feel like those students don’t get enough attention. You either have to be poor or not financially stable or you have to be getting really good grades to be recognized and get money.”

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