Matt, you rock. April 15, 2001 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Matt, you rock. Thanks for everything. I'm sure that someone will be quite happy to receive the scholarship, and furthermore, for their education to be subsidized by Metafilter. What a cool idea.
posted by fooljay to MetaFilter-Related at 10:24 PM (43 comments total)

Glad to hear others like it. The idea popped into my head early today while hiking, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. As soon as I got home, I started coding the entries page and getting all the rules and details right.

I'd love to do this annually.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:54 PM on April 15, 2001

You rock, indeed. What a great way to give back.
posted by pnevares at 11:23 PM on April 15, 2001

Excellent Matt, if only this weren't my last year of undergrad.

Maybe the award should include a MetaFilter t-shirt ... maybe:

"All my books are belong to MetaFilter"

... I already regret writing that one.
posted by fil! at 11:27 PM on April 15, 2001

you know, i was coming here to write precisely those two words, 'you rock', but jay beat me to it. mathowie, you're my hero.
posted by judith at 11:40 PM on April 15, 2001

oh, matt, you kick so much ass! this is such a cool idea, and thanks for putting it together.
posted by sugarfish at 11:50 PM on April 15, 2001

At first I did a double-take when I saw the link on the index page, but I think this is a terrific way to use people's donations and to thank the community in return. Hats off to Matt for the great idea. Starving college students (and former college students) of the world unite. :)
posted by DaShiv at 11:56 PM on April 15, 2001

Wow.. what a terrific idea. I'm pleased as punch to have my meagre donation dollars go towards such an ideal community-building measure. Bravo, Matt!
posted by jess at 12:06 AM on April 16, 2001

this is like the ultimate reversal to ruining your education by spending too much time procrastinating online :)

good work
posted by sawks at 12:31 AM on April 16, 2001

Cool! As someone else mentioned, these are my last few days of being an undergrad and it would have been cool to try and apply for a MeFi scholarship.

Can I just mention that your $500 almost matches the entire $700 I got from my dumbo high school in awards for being the freaking valedictorian? Some athletes got their entire tuition paid for. Grrr... I hold nothing against them, but jeez, can't we even break $1000???

I plan on donating a small amount just because I think this is such a wonderful thing to do.

Can we apply for it when we enter grad school? *g*
posted by stefnet at 12:36 AM on April 16, 2001


Thank you. I, too, am a senior at university, but as returning older student. During both periods of higher education, I've hit those periods between loans and freelance paychecks and the largesse of wealthy (or foolish) friends, those lulls when I could have used even a fiver for bread and bananas or a 20 so I could take a girl out on a Saturday for a couple of pints.

I remember getting the first letter of acceptance in the mail, about 12 years ago from a state school, the only one to which I had applied. It was a thin envelope and it said they wanted me. My father's response, skeptical: "How are you going to pay for that?" Like others have said before me, I cobbled together a patchwork of nickel-and-dime scholarships, the paychecks from 30-hour weeks at a fast-food joint and the bitter-sweet gift of inheritance from my grandmother.

So I guess what I'm saying is, thanks. I dropped out of school the first time due to circumstances beyond my control, a three-year spiral of, well, I still don't know, but it was marked with failure and vague with fear and the only thing that pulled me forward was the small bits of love from friends and unexpected and remarkable kindness from people I barely knew. Years later, I'm in an Ivy League school, pulling hard on my own boostraps and I don't need the scholarship like I did when I was younger. I'm not applying for it. But thanks a lot, Matt. Something good is being done here.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:40 AM on April 16, 2001

I'm going back to college just for this! Er, wait, no.

Matt, this is fantastic. Wonderful idea!
posted by hijinx at 4:17 AM on April 16, 2001

This is an absolutely tremendous idea. The only qualm I have is that here in Europe most Uni degrees are three years long, and the MeFi Schol. rules stipulate a four-year course or more. But don't let that put you off.
posted by ecvgi at 5:24 AM on April 16, 2001

This is too damn cool. I very much like the essay question, not to mention the general idea of getting a scholarship based on how well you hang in the MeFi Virtual Dormitory Hallway.

How's about if we pony up enough coin, you offer a small scholarship to some trade school? You know, I've always had the hankering for seeing the world from the cab of a tractor-trailer rig...
posted by Avogadro at 6:16 AM on April 16, 2001

Outstanding idea. Good luck to all the applicants.
posted by normy at 6:21 AM on April 16, 2001

Matt, that's terrific.

With the exchange rate as it is, that money should be able to subsidize an Australian student for about ten years and still have enough left over for a down payment on a small property!


posted by lagado at 6:25 AM on April 16, 2001

Brilliant idea Matt. Good luck to the eligible.
posted by cCranium at 6:50 AM on April 16, 2001

Thanks for making this a worldwide scholarship. On that note (and you might already have done this, I may have missed that point in my first reading of your eligibility rules) you need to make it really transparent what you intend will happen re. the local monetary exchange rates. I understand that you mean and intend to give $500 US, and that the winner will be receiving the sum total of whatever that sum of money is worth in their own local currency. Still, it's probably something that has to be made really clear.

Uni courses in Australia are generally of a three year duration also (being fairly intensive) At least they were when I was last at Uni.

This is a great idea, a really positive idea, and one that should have a good impact on Mefi as a whole.
posted by lucien at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2001

yes, Matt rocks on.
posted by Sean Meade at 9:10 AM on April 16, 2001

What a wonderful idea.

Good luck to everyone that enters.

Kudos to Matt.
posted by melissa at 10:03 AM on April 16, 2001

matt, if there was any doubt remain as to how humble and thoughtful you are, this puts it to rest. what a great thing this is you're doing. you rock, man.

and lucky me, i'm eligible.
posted by palegirl at 10:04 AM on April 16, 2001

Bravo, Matt. Just bravo.

And me nine years too late.
posted by Skot at 10:11 AM on April 16, 2001

Hey, Matt, great idea. Ever considered endowing a fellowship for fieldwork in Melanesia? (It sounds like Metafilter...)

I am currently enrolled at University of California, San Diego, in anthropology. My research includes etnography of Melanesia, with an emphasis on mortuary ritual, exchange and kinship symbolism among Austronesian speaking peoples of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. In the coming year, I will complete a study of the work of John Layard, based on archival records of his fieldwork in Vanuatu....
posted by rschram at 10:15 AM on April 16, 2001

This is extremely cool. I hate to be a party pooper, but I think it might be a good idea, Matt, if you set up separate donation funds for the scholarship and for MetaFilter upgrades, especially with people like Kottke calling for people to come over here and donate with the intention of increasing the scholarship amount.
posted by kindall at 11:15 AM on April 16, 2001

As usual, Matt's way ahead of me.
posted by kindall at 11:23 AM on April 16, 2001

posted by Hackworth at 11:57 AM on April 16, 2001

Just to add to that thought: look at the scholarship donations go! Even though I'm a "too poor to donate but not needy enough to apply for the scholarship" college student myself, it really brightens my day to speculate that maybe the scholarship will be able to pay for itself out of its own fund. Whaddaya know, people willingly paying out of their own pockets to help subsidize a stranger's higher education costs. Sweet.

Ack, too much optimistic musing. Time to go back to lurking through general MeFi snarkiness again. Now where's the latest Bush-bashing thread...
posted by DaShiv at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2001

I took out the "four year program" stuff because I'm an ugly american and didn't know university is three years everywhere else. So now anyone here still in an undergraduate program next year is eligible.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:03 PM on April 16, 2001

We've got four years over here as well, although next semester will be the start of my, um, seventh year in university, and hopefully the last semester I ever spend as an undergraduate (thank goodness my heavily state-subsidized tuition only comes around to $200 a year). If Amazon would only take my credit card, I'd add to the fund. Bravo, Matt.
posted by lia at 12:22 PM on April 16, 2001

This is a wonderful initiative, and I just had to add a few of my own props to the pile.

My only worry is a small one; will a member who just joined us today recieve the same consideration as one who's been around for a year or more?

At any rate, I'm proud to be a part of a community that would support such a grand idea. I suppose I'd best head over to Amazon and pony up my share, I've been putting it off for far too long.
posted by aladfar at 1:20 PM on April 16, 2001

My only worry is a small one; will a member who just joined us today recieve the same consideration as one who's been around for a year or more?

It's in the rules, and the answer is no. They're actually not even eligible. You have to already been a member and posted here. Nothing that happens from yesterday onward is up for consideration.

I did this so it wouldn't harm the site, it just rewards past posts that weren't motivated by anything except contributing to the conversation.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:52 PM on April 16, 2001

yay matt :)

for some lucky person, this is even cooler than a pony.
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:06 PM on April 16, 2001

I'd be eligible for this since I'll be a Freshman at Grand Valley in the fall, and it's a great idea but I never really influence any discussions which is too bad. Hah, my essay wouldn't be that good then.

I always get the feeling that I'm not quite knowledgeable to really get into a lot of discussions, and just have my one little post and go on my way. Of course this will change in time. :]
posted by Mark at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2001

Matt, you kick ass.

We love you, man. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 7:36 PM on April 16, 2001

Me and my petty complaints: the sidebar makes mention of "college-age" MeFi members. Can't people of any age be working towards their undergradute degree? How about "college-going" or something similar?
posted by gluechunk at 8:11 PM on April 16, 2001

sorry gluechunk, you're right, I just axed it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:19 PM on April 16, 2001

Matt, another good idea.

I'd love to do this annually.

The United MeFi College Fund? Sounds good. But do established scholarships need to be formalized somehow through non-profit status, incorporation, or such?

...although next semester will be the start of my, um, seventh year in university...

Congratulations! Anyone on the seven-year plan automatically wins the consolation prize. Sorry I couldn't help myself.
posted by redleaf at 8:42 PM on April 16, 2001

Not being eligible, I didn't read the rules as carefully as I should have. Thanks for the clarification. Mathowie, you are truly both a gentleman and a scholar.
posted by aladfar at 9:00 PM on April 16, 2001

Nitland: Hmmm, wish I could pay with Paypal. Amazon already has enough of my cash and I have this nifty little Paypal account waiting for some lucky recipient to send money to...
posted by fooljay at 9:07 PM on April 16, 2001

Awesome. I'm a Junior in HS right now, and I hope this is around next year so I can apply for it then (assuming I get into college . In any case, winning this scholarship would probably feel like a greater honor than a lot of the blah ones out there...
posted by swank6 at 9:31 PM on April 16, 2001

Well, folks, barely 2 days past the scholarship's announcement, and the amount's already been doubled. Amazing.

posted by anildash at 12:37 PM on April 17, 2001

Wow. I just noticed that image is animated. I didn't notice it before because it took me awhile to scroll down the page and by then it had done its 3 dances. But now I reloaded down here to see if there really weren't any new comments or I just was reading my cache.

Thanks for saving the moment though. It's Kodak ©.
posted by redleaf at 11:07 PM on April 17, 2001

Y'know, I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but the $1125 has made amazon a tidy $168 for their trouble.(15%) I know that PayPal only takes 4%, and there are systems that could be easily built that would take much less. Do we really want to make metafilter into a moneymaker for

posted by bug at 5:10 PM on April 19, 2001

Do we really want to make metafilter into a moneymaker for

Dunno. Do you think people would have donated as much if it wasn't as easy as makes it?
posted by kindall at 11:52 AM on April 21, 2001

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