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I don't feel fine -- I need some moral advice

  1. Dec 24, 2015 #1
    Hi i am a freshman at physics. I am probably posting this somewhere irrelevant but I need some advice.
    See I am a considerably successful student and I applied for some scholarships. Here in my country education isn't paid for, there are private schools but some public schools are better than most private schools. Anyway I applied for scholarships and I have 4 scholarships. Those people didn't really check other scholarships for some reason I have all of them.
    So I am being paid a lot. I am being paid 4.3k liras a month which is around 1.5-1.6k dollars but here living is extremely cheap compared to USA. I have a free dorm room, my textbooks are free. I was guaranteed to have 2.9k but those extra scholarships was a surprise.
    I am not a spender and also my family sends me money. They are retired but they told me to save my money. Anyway I told my friends about my 4th scholarship which is a large one. 40 people get it and I am accepted. they got really crazy and they are like my best friends. They accused me of being cheap and being greedy but money isn't really one of my interests I only spend money at vacations and stuff. Money is like a tool i might need in the future so I am standing with my parents on this one.
    I really feel bad about getting the last scholarship, my friends drove me mad I can't sleep properly last couple of days? . Should I cancel the last scholarship, or should i keep it or do something else? Any suggestions.
    I am just an 18 year old who wants to do science and hangout with my buddies but now money is involved and my relationships are being destroyed.
    Btw there is a fifth scholarship i am not supposed to get it I just applied because of my parents but now I have a chance of getting it.
    Again I don't think if i should post this here but you guys always seem to help about these things and I just need some help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2015 #2
    If it's all legal, do what you want with the money, do not feel guilty, enjoy yourself, and work hard and get a good education.

    Ignore the jealous SOBs who want to get you down.
  4. Dec 24, 2015 #3
    Do what you want with your extra money, but tbh what you're doing right now is good. Save it for when it's necessary instead of unnecessarily spending it. I don't see how it's greedy to earn money for your merit.
  5. Dec 24, 2015 #4


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    I don't see this as a moral dilemma at all. I take it that you competed for the scholarships, and received them on the basis of your past hard work. There are a lot of people who spend whatever money they have, plus a lot more that they don't have (using credit cards). Being able to go to college without having to amass a large amount of debt is a good thing, despite what some of your "friends" say.
  6. Dec 24, 2015 #5
    i don't really know they wanna buy expensive alcohol luxury clothes and stuff like that. One of my best friends told this to me. "you are a bastard and from now on you are going to pay for everything when we meet." isn't this very disrespectful, he is an amazing guy normally. One friend of mine accused me of being cheap simply because i don't have a beverage with my meals. As you can see i am deeply stressed about this thing.
  7. Dec 24, 2015 #6


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    The only problem you have is that you need new friends. Real friends would be happy to see you succeed.
  8. Dec 24, 2015 #7


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    Actually the only problem that you have is your need to blab about all your scholarships to your friends. Why do you even tell them anything in the first place?

    You are learning, albeit painfully, one of the things that an ADULT has to learn, which is when to be discrete and keep private things private.

  9. Dec 24, 2015 #8
    Like some have mentioned, if your friends are anything but happy for you (or outwardly showing anything other than this), then you need new friends. Don't you dare cancel your last scholarship; it sounds like you've worked hard and earned it. Like you, I am also over-scholarshipped, and get several thousand each school year outside of tuition/housing/books. My advice is to use it to pay off any already-existing loans, and beyond that to either wisely invest it or save it.
  10. Dec 25, 2015 #9
    Well I guess you might be right but this thing was quite obvious we have been talking about this for at least half a year. The real shocker for them was me getting the last one I think.
  11. Dec 25, 2015 #10
    If your "friend" is stressing you out over something as trivial as that, you need to get new friends. It sounds like you're in bad company right now.
  12. Dec 25, 2015 #11
    Yeah well. Scholarships are supposed to help the poor. So you taking these scholarships means some other poor guy might not be able to complete his education because of money issues. Sure, go ahead and take the money. Everybody would. But don't try and feel like a "good" person at the same time. Not that it's entirely your fault that those organizations didn't check that you already had several scholarships. But it sure isn't exactly a very moral thing to do.
  13. Dec 25, 2015 #12
    Eating a meal, drinking a coke only offers some tiny calorie intake. The whole point is socializing, if you don't want to socialize with people or the people you are interacting with always show bad attitudes towards you and your works then you can refuse to hang out with them. Your friends sound like shopaholics or types of long-legged big boob women only billionaire men prefer. It is definitely all about one's manners and attitudes to me that I will decide whom I should make friend with! And I really have a heartache feeling sorry a little for you after reading your OP.
  14. Dec 25, 2015 #13
    Yeah, but we only got the perspective of the OP here. I'm not saying he's lying or anything, but perhaps things are much more complicated than we think.
    Assume for example that one of his friends has a lot of money problems, but he's too ashamed to really talk about it. Then suddenly the OP starts bragging that he won 4 scholarships and has a ton of money now. Yeah, if I was his friend, I would probably be pissed off too. That does not excuse them to treat the OP like this obviously, but it does make it understandable. The moral is of course that you should never talk about money issues with other people, definitely not if the issue is that you have too much money.
  15. Dec 25, 2015 #14
    Yes I think one of my friends are having some problems with money but she is the most respectful of four people. This has been long going I am avoiding unnecessary expenses for years. I don't really buy expensive stuff unless I actually want to. I prefer nice little restaurants, I have regular black coffee instead of those filled with sugar and fats. Just because I am waiting for Christmas sale to buy some video games doesn't imply i am cheap does it?
    I think what pissed of those people is me having those scholarships and not spending the money, they would be totally cool if I spent like crazy. Also they are questioning me saving my money. For them money is just something to have fun with, for me it is a tool i might use for a better future. I don't know what should I do with that money right now but there is a huge possibility of me needing it.
    Btw my parents were doctor's so whenever I asked for something I somehow got it unless it is really absurd. I think they didn't really have that kind of chance so I think they just can't understand me
  16. Dec 25, 2015 #15
    So, why are you keeping the scholarship if you do not need it. There is GOOD reason why organizations which grant scholarships do backround checks looking for others you maay have, the funds are limited and the purpose is to help as many people who need it as possible.

    Also you complain your friends didnt have the kind of chance you had of getting everything you wanted, and so they cant understand you. Well, perhaps it is you who didnt ever have to worry about money and dont understand them?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  17. Dec 25, 2015 #16
    Yeah, you were a spoiled child (compared to them), they weren't. You said it yourself that they have struggled with money their entire life. Then you walk in as the child of a doctor and you start bragging about how you played the system and obtained 4 scholarships and maybe even a fifth one. Do you really find it surprising that they don't like this from you?

    Don't ever talk about money with other people. And perhaps start thinking about giving back the scholarship money. You're not supposed to have it and you're taking away the opportunity of another student to get an education.
  18. Dec 25, 2015 #17
    Yes you are right about one thing, I can't have these scholarships and be a nice person at the same time but does keeping these scholarships make me a bad person. See money is independence and right now I am not really dependent to anyone so that's a nice thing. Not all of those four people have struggled with money. Two of them are also doctor children, only one of them seems to be in need of money.
    And also these scholarships aren't need based. Three of those are gvt scholarships, I got two of those because of my success at exams. And one is because of studying physics very little people study sciences in here unless they have to (all of those four people are at medschool). One of them is a foundation I am having 'High Achievement Scholarship' that foundation also grants scholarships to people in need.
    Anyway thanks for your comments really. I am still not fine with this thing but the solution is not to talk about money and all that caused this problem. If keeping these aren't-you know-evil I intend to keep the money. Btw retirement salaries of my parents are quite low I am almost making as much as they do.
  19. Dec 25, 2015 #18
    I don't know. On the one hand, you didn't do anything illegal or anything. You applied for the scholarships and won them fairly. It's not your fault that they're giving away money in this system. You are simply using the system in the way it is designed. The question is, is it the right thing to do, to use the system like this? I'd say no and I wouldn't feel good about myself. But somebody else might very well say yes. We would both have good arguments. In the end, you need to be able to live with yourself. That's the important thing.
  20. Dec 25, 2015 #19
    It can be quite hard for one scholarship awarding body to be aware of other scholarships that you may have been awarded - because well, there is no reason why they keep each other updated of their own lists at all. That being said, it might be prudent of you to check the relevant terms and conditions of your scholarships as to whether it is indeed legal to hold several simultaneously. Many scholarship awarding bodies, as I know, usually require that you keep them informed about any other awards/scholarships/etc. that you are holding on to / are awarded.
  21. Dec 25, 2015 #20
    Yes I did check everything and I actually talked to the foundation that granted me, they know that I am getting a big scholarship from the gvt I don't think they care
  22. Dec 25, 2015 #21
    Well, if none of the scholarships are needs-based, then honestly there is no need to be so hard on yourself, because there is no guarantee that they would go to a needy student anyway. As many have pointed out, what is important is that you are able to live with yourself. If you still feel bad, why not consider donating a portion of your stipend to a needy student fund or to charities?
  23. Dec 25, 2015 #22
    Yes I intend to donate some money to syrian refugees. We are full of refugees here. I mean I probably won't pay much but I will help them monthly so that will be a good thing
  24. Dec 25, 2015 #23


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    This seems much, much too harsh to me. As far as I can tell these are merit-based scholarships and very competitive. The fact that he won them probably means that he showed exceptional academic merit. He could choose to give back some of the money, but I don't see that as any kind of a moral imperative.

    There is lots of illogic and inefficiency in the way various societies subsidize education as a public good. The fact that merit-based scholarships may be awarded independently of one another is arguably such an inefficiency, but it isn't a huge one in the big picture, and it's certainly not a moral issue on the individual level. A real example of inefficiency would be the fact that the state of California spends 7 billion dollars per year on its community college system, providing approximately a 75% subsidy, and yet the community college success rate is only about 10% (by various measures such as achieving a stated goal of transferring to a four-year school within 5 years). If there is a moral imperative for the OP to give back his scholarship money, then there is a vastly greater moral imperative for millions of middle-class community college dropouts to give back to the state the money that it wasted trying to educate them.

    Good for you. You seem like a very compassionate and moral person.
  25. Dec 25, 2015 #24
    Wow, someone actually wrote that. I certainly agree.

    The most immoral and wasteful thing I see in public education is lazy students who never really intend to work hard and learn avoiding real life by pretending to seek an education on the taxpayer's dime.

    Of course, the profs and administrators who allow them to are even greater moral failures than the lazy students.
  26. Dec 25, 2015 #25


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    micromass, you have often expressed views of which I agree with, but on this front I would have to respectfully (but strongly) disagree. Contrary to what you have expressed above, the primary purpose of scholarships (unlike bursaries or grants which are provided to students for that very purpose) are not to help the poor, but to reward hard-working and talented students to continue to pursue higher education (some scholarships are tied to studying specific subjects, others are more broad-based). In other words, scholarships are by their very definition merit-based, and it is quite common in Canada and the US to be awarded more than one scholarship.

    So long as the OP was eligible for being awarded that scholarship, then he is fully deserving of that scholarship, and he has absolutely no reason whatsoever in returning it. He earned it "fair and square" and has nothing to be ashamed of (unlike your assertions in this post). I agree with the other posters that his supposed "friends" who expressed anger and jealousy are not really his friends -- a true friend would be happy and supportive of his successes, not resentful. And I am frankly disappointed that you feel otherwise.
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