Ahuva (not her real name) is a student at a public college. She paid for her first few semesters of college using money she had saved throughout high school from babysitting jobs and summer jobs. She continues to work now while in college. She has applied, and continues to apply, for merit-based scholarships. But her school and department offer primarily need-based scholarships. And she does not qualify for need-based scholarships or financial aid, since she is a legal dependent on her financially-secure parents - even though she is paying for her own college because her parents don't approve of her choice to attend college or to major in the humanities. She is depending on the kindness of strangers now to supplement her income and to help her get through college without too much stress and debt.
Why Ahuva needs and deserves this:
1) She graduated from a Bais Yaakov, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish all-girls school in which students are actively discouraged from attending college. Throughout high school, she voraciously read on her own to support her passion for learning, and she asked the school administration for enriching classes that they did not provide. She graduated high school with straight A's and received an Advanced Honors Regents diploma.
2) In her first few semesters of college, she attended six classes each semester. In her first semester, she was still attending seminary in the mornings. She received straight A's in her first few semesters of college (in fact, the majority were A+ grades) and maintains a 4.0 GPA.
3) She is part of the Honors Program and is taking rigorous classes despite being ineligible for Honors Program scholarships - just because she likes the rigor! She frequently describes challenging classes as "so much fun!!!" She visits her professors in their office hours frequently and reads books they recommend or lend to her, and then goes to their offices again to discuss her ideas.
4) She holds herself to extremely high standards, and has goals of pursuing a PhD.