The kid gets an invite to be a wizard, but the scholarship falls through. Sudden devaluation in the market for cursed silver that tastes of ocean salt.
The kid gets an invite to be a wizard but on the way is waylaid, stuffed into a box, replaced by a lookalike: A knowledge-seeking golem seeking its creator.
The kid gets an invite but it’s a magic invite, unstable, and it explodes. His blackened wall shadow can still attend, the wall wheeled from class to class.