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September 07, 2011 11:00 AM Who’s Getting the College Scholarships?

By Daniel Luzer

Conservatives sometimes complain that white students are left out of American scholarship programs. So many scholarships appear to be only for ethnic minorities. Such critics claim that minority students receive more than their fair share of financial aid.

This has prompted a few organizations to create scholarships specifically for white people.

No, they don’t need them. It turns out minorities receive almost exactly their fair share of financial aid. According to an article by Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed:

A new report challenges the assumptions underlying such developments. The study, by the financial aid analyst Mark Kantrowitz, is plain about its goal: to debunk what the author calls “the race myth, which claims that minority students receive more than their fair share of scholarships.”
Looking at all… forms of financial aid together (excepting only federal tax benefits), Kantrowitz finds that the money flows to students of different races roughly in proportion to their representation in the overall postsecondary population: white students make up roughly three-fifths (61.8 percent) of all students, and they receive about that amount of all total grant funding (59.3 percent). Various minority groups also receive proportions of grant funding that track their representation among all students (Hispanic students make up 14.1 percent of students and receive that proportion of grant aid, etc.). That’s more or less as it should be, Kantrowitz says.

When one looks at merit based aid, however, the picture is a little more complicated. White people make up 61.8 percent of all students, though they receive 75.6 percent of financial aid awards based on academic merit.

Read the full report here.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • Anonymous on December 13, 2012 6:58 AM:

    Financial Aid are not scholarships. Financial Aid is Federally controlled based on financial need, and it is absolutely true that the vast majority of white people are in the same financial situation as minorities. Scholarships are generally privately funded and not referenced in the statistics of the study quoted, and therefore this article is an intentional misdirection.

  • Daniel on December 13, 2012 1:50 PM:

    Well no, federal financial aid is federally controlled based on financial need. The study in question looks at all financial aid, which is simply money provided for students to go to college. Privately funded scholarships are included in the study.