Do minority students get more than a fair share of college scholarships? That myth reared its head earlier this year after a Texas nonprofit, the Former Majority Association for Equality announced plans to give scholarships only to white males. The group claimed that white males are disadvantaged because they don’t “fit into certain categories or ethnic groups.” So Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com and FinAid.com, put that idea to the test, and found that white students actually “receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarships and merit-based grants.”
Kantrowitz crunched data (PDF) from both the 2003-04 and 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which showed that white students are 40 percent more likely to win private scholarships than non-white students. And Kantrowitz finds several college-specific scholarships only for white students, like UCLA’s 66-year-old Werner Scott Scholarship, worth $4,000, which is “restricted to Caucasian students from Hawaii who are not of Polynesian blood.”
Even when a scholarship doesn’t explicitly note a racial preference, white students are still at an advantage since scholarship sponsors “select for characteristics, activities and talents of interest to them.” Black students, for example, are much less likely to participate in equestrian, water, and winter sports than their white peers, which makes them ineligible for scholarships related to those areas.
White students, even those who “have no demonstrated financial need,” are also at an advantage when it comes to receiving funding directly from universities. Kantrowitz found that they get more than 76 percent “of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent” less than 62 percent of the student population.
That last bit in bold, wow.
Where’s your fucking bake sale now?
Between this and the post yesterday about 15% of white students didnt meet the minimum requirements to get into the university they attend, but instead used contacts and connections, I just cant stop side eyeing universities.
“The trouble with diversity … is not just that it won’t solve the problem of economic inequality. It’s that it makes it hard for us to even see the problem.”
I no sooner published my rant on the inequality’s of the educational system, when a friend sent me this article on GOOD magazine: “Ivy League Fooled: How America’s Top Colleges Avoid Real Diversity.”
My point in my article, “Harvard, Learn to Share” is that the way our current educational system stands, it is blatantly unfair:
It is unfair by race. It is unfair by socioeconomic class. It is unfair by gender. It is unfair by the amount of innate intelligence a child is born with. The current educational system unfairly dictates how much you will earn the rest of your life, whether you’ve got a shot at getting out of poverty, or whether you’re going to continue being rich. It starts at a the base level, at a small school sprouting up from the ground in Alabama to a 6th grade science lab in Harlem with no lab equipment. It starts with the way some school systems get money, and some don’t. Some kids get to go to private schools who openly flaunt the number of graduates that get into the Ivy’s. I don’t need a degree from your university to understand that, in this country, it is the luck of the draw that allows a child to go to attend a good school system or not. And try as I might to see how this is “justice for all,” I simply cannot see it as anything but unfair.
And – guess what. As this article says explains – even while schools like Harvard are touting their diversity – they are neglecting an important fact. That they are taking those who are wealthy and diverse, not those who have gotten an unfair “luck of the draw” at all:
“Harvard’s newest batch of accepted students included record numbers of blacks and Latinos. Brown said its admitted class was “the most racially … diverse“ in the school’s centuries-long history. Dartmouth shared actual percentages, declaring that a full 44 percent of its newest class was composed of students of color. Coincidentally, that was the same percentage of minorities in Penn’s freshman class.”
“Call it the Ivy League’s dirty little secret: While America’s most elite colleges do in fact make it a point to promote ethnic diversity on their campuses, a lot of them do so by admitting hugely disproportionate numbers of wealthy immigrants and their children rather than black students with deep roots—and troubled histories—in the United States…Data shows that African immigrants, Nigerians in particular, are far wealthier and more highly educated than many Americans of any race.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, “Emails and phone calls to Brown, Yale, and Princeton requesting interviews about their admissions processes went unanswered.”
Because, apparently, there are quite a few people who “don’t want to talk about race”, nor about socioeconomic disparity when it comes to educational opportunities.