Sunday, July 8, 2012

I am a Flipping Philanthropist

I don't know about you, but when I was in school, I was cheap. My freshman year I spent less than a thousand dollars on laundry, shopping, going out to eat, personal hygiene items, hobbies, sports equipment, and school supplies. Even with that level of frugality I came out of college with $45,318.17 in student loans from my bachelor's and master's degrees combined.

I was lucky to have a good scholarship and parents that helped significantly (a lot significantly, like I will pay for them to live for the next eighty years and they will move in with me and I will never even come close to paying them back). Even that was not enough though. My grandfather stepped up though and each year I got a check for $1,000 to pay for books. That money gave me the freedom to get all the books that courses required without worrying about needing an older edition  with different homework questions or borrowing it from friends. Dudes, that is important in college.
Getting through on my family's money.
Everyone knows that books for college are a rip off. A HUGE RIPOFF. I still cringe thinking about having to write $600 or $700 dollar checks to the bookstore each semester and getting a measly $200 or $300 back. To make it worse, my college job was a "student fundraiser" aka telemarketer. I called up alumni and suckered them in to giving money for some elusive "scholarship."  The money really went in to a general fund that theoretically could be used for scholarships, but usually wasn't.

My freshman year coolness is nearly indescribable.
In my junior year I made the realization that I would never give money to that fund. I would rather just help out people like me. Yeah, I had the ability to fund my education with loans and that is better than nothing, but  debt is a drag. AND SO

Sophia Presents: The Book Scholarship For Case Western Reserve Students in Their First or Second Year 

(see update below for important info for upperclassmen)


Yes, children, that is right. I am offering to buy YOU one course textbook valued at $150 or less (when I am a more successful this may change, but give me a break I am still 24 years old). "How will I capitalize on this generous offer?" you may be wondering. I will tell you. First you will write me a one to two page story about yourself that will make me laugh. Did you do something silly as a child? One time you ran a car in a wall? Life is pretty boring but you drew me pictures and wrote of something pathetic you did? All of these and more will work. Just be yourself (your funny self).Then you will provide the following information:

  • Name:
  • Major:
  • Extracurricular activities:
  • Your GPA from last semester:
  • Update: Can you also give me your year? I missed that one earlier.

Finally, if you are chosen, you will figure out what book you need. You will go to the bookstore, find it on the shelves, take a picture and write down the ISBN number. I will order it online. If it is less than $150 new, you get a new book, if it costs more than $150, I will buy you a used one online. I am not an idiot, no one is getting cash. Do you have two books that add up to $150? We can do that too! If you hold up your end, that book will be in your hot little hands within the first week of school.


  1. You have to be a freshman or sophomore to enter. I think these years are the worst because you aren't sure whats up and therefore it is harder to work and go to class. 
  2. You give me the rights to whatever story you provide. I will not ever post or give out any information, but might put better entries up here. 
  3. You will not sue me. 
  4. You will not be angry if I don't choose you, my judging is totally subjective and its the internet, so yeah. 
  5. If you don't give me any option for buying you a book under $150 when you win, no one gets a prize and that sucks for the world dude. I will knit you a hat though if you honestly can't find any way to make $150 dollars go towards book costs.
  6. You will submit your entry by AUGUST 10th! Your entry MUST BE SENT FROM YOUR CASE EMAIL. Send entries to  FortunatelyUnfortunateSophia at gmail dot com.
  7. Only one entry per person. If there are less than 10 entries, contest is off.

So good luck everyone. I look forward to hearing from you

P.S. If you can commit to walking to Little Italy and taking a picture in Presti's with your book, you get bonus points.
Mmm, sweet sweet macaroons and maple cinnamon rolls.


After having this posted less than 24 hours, I was contacted by another alumni who wants to match this offer,  FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS! Now you can get in on all this free book goodness and two students will have that much less to pay in student loans. Same rules and entry process as above apply to you. I am so excited!

Do/did we not go to the best school ever?!?! 
Also, which logo is the official one this year? I think I was the only year to have the "fat man with a surfboard" logo. Everyone else should be thankful that you didn't.


  1. Why only first and second years. Upperclassmen get no love. =/

    1. Are you an upperclassmen? We have gotten entries from Freshmen and Sophomores, but no upperclassmen. Thanks to another Alumni's support we are now accepting entries from all undergraduates. Apply!

  2. But it's great what you're doing. :)

  3. This is awesome!

  4. Are international masters students eligible for this? I could definitely use this money to buy books. if yes then please reply to

    Dipanjan Sen
    MEM Candidate 2013
    Case Western Reserve