Gambling for a Scholarship: Railroad Passengers Association Offers $10K in Tuition

by Lisa Avila


Whether or not you’ve found yourself applying for scholarships in the past, it’s a guarantee that someone else has. Whether the scholarship is essay based or there are minimum requirements to apply for it—students tend to go ahead and apply for a handful of different ones, in hopes of making a dent in their tuition.

Most of the time scholarships require something specific. Usually they require either an essay, for the applicant to be of a certain race or ethnicity, or for the applicant to be a student of a certain major.

The Railroad Passengers Association, the nation’s oldest and largest rail-advocacy group that has been working since 1967 to expand the quality of passenger rails in the United States, launched a scholarship that offers students the chance to enter in a sweepstake for the chance to win $10,000 for their tuition expenses for the 2018-2019 school year. For every $20 donation, participants gain one entry into the scholarship sweepstakes. For those who enter, they will be automatically given a one-year membership to the RPA, which grants access to discounts for brands such as Amtrak, Avis car rental, and TravelPro luggage, which is great for students who travel frequently.

“We have been pushing this sweepstakes out to a number of schools and students,”said Paige Zupan, a representative for the RPA. “We currently do not have a massive applicant pool and therefore any students who enter currently have a pretty decent chance at winning.” – Paige Zupan, representative for the RPA

This is the very first time that the RPA has offered a scholarship to students.

“We have been pushing this sweepstakes out to a number of schools and students,”said Paige Zupan, a representative for the RPA. “We currently do not have a massive applicant pool and therefore any students who enter currently have a pretty decent chance at winning.”

WCC students, however are divided over whether or not paying to have the chance to win a scholarship is worth it.

“I’m not really sure if I’d pay for a scholarship,” said Ireland Cabrera, a WCC student. “It’d depend on how many people are applying for it. If there isn’t a lot of people applying for it then I’d pay to enter. If there are a lot of people though, what’s the point if the odds are against me?”

WCC student Shevaun Mosely said paying for it could be worth it.

“I think that it seems way more likely that you’d get a chance to win this scholarship since the selection is random, as opposed to a scholarship that requires you to write an essay and a winner is hand-picked,” said Mosely.

For the winner, if they don’t use all of their scholarship money between the school year of 2018-2019, then they cannot pocket anything that is left over.

“If the winner does not use all of the $10,000 for the 2019-2019 school year, they will not be able to pocket any remainder of the money, as this money is solely for tuition expenses.”

“If such were the case that money was leftover, I would have to loop back in with my team to see if the money can be carried back and used for the 2019-2020 school year,” said Zupan.

If you have some money to spare, $20 is a great price to pay for the chance to win $10,000 for your tuition. Visit the Rail Passengers Association website for entry details.

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