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let's have a calm, rational discussion about scholarships for minorities

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I have a friend who I've known for years, since my days in college republicans a number of years back. She's pretty active with political stuff on Facebook, but she posts cohesive thoughts, and doesn't fit the mold of the ignoramuses that post some of the stuff I copy onto here. I disagree with a lot of her opionions, but for the most part they are well formulated.

Then yesterday she posted this triumphant status about how she'd just won a several-years-running civil rights dispute with the university over a scholarship. evidently she challenged a minority scholarship program that admitted only minority students, saying it was racist because she's white and met the requirements, but was excluded. After three years of fighting, the university caved and ended the scholarship.

The post exploded with diatribes from either side of the debate, including Mike Adams (who took the opportunity to insult my intellect rather than addressing the arguments I made in the discussion.) And it appears to me the question we can pull from this is as follows: race-based scholarships are, by definition, exclusive and decisions made based on the color of a person's skin. Does this mean there are times when it's ok to give awards and admit applicants for something based solely on skin color? Or are scholarships for minorities inherently flawed - fundamentally racist - because they exclude non-minorities?

I'm going to assume this will quickly devolve into a yelling match (as it tended to on the OP) but I'm interested in hearing either side of the question.

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i think like any program that is created to open doors and make the playing field as equal as possible, there will be times it has to be tweaked and adapted.

they key is equal access. the outcomes may not be equal, but is the door as open to a minority as it is to someone else? that is really what it boils down to.

can it get political and lose it's original spirit and devolve into something else? sure.

it's tricky. i think for colleges, you may have a better method of control to always ensure the pool of applicants is robust for the goal of equal access.

where i see things fall down is upper mgt at big banks who have their year end bonuses directly tied to "diversity". no one can ever define when or where a place is diverse. what is the # and %? nobdoy knows.

but that is the other side of the equation.

i say don't totally get rid of minority scholarships, but it can't hurt to step back and look at how it can be tweaked. inwardly, some may think well it's poetic justice for previous generations. again, they won't admit that publicly.

but if you are working to create equal access then its time to really hold to that. maybe some schools get X amount of dollars for certain % of students. i don't know.

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This is going to be so interesting in California.

By the end of 2013 Mexicans will be the majority in California due to the birth rates of Latinos and illegal immigration.

Whites, and blacks will be the minorities.

Look at the stats in California year 2010.

50.5% of babies born were Hispanic compared to 28.6% White.


Obviously schools in Cali are currently flooded with Mexican kids at a similar ratio.

So what's the right thing to do?

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I think it could be considered a form of institutionalized racism. Against minorities. By elevating minorities you are unintentionally keeping them down.

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even in the presence of minority scholarships, white people receive a disproportionately high number of scholarships:


The issue here isn’t racial discrimination, it’s a symptom of the fact that the incentive structure of American higher education is totally screwy. Schools want to produce two things. One is rich alumni who give them money, and the other is high ratings from US News and World Report. Both goals can be pursued either by investing resources in recruiting better inputs or else by investing resources in doing a better job of teaching. It turns out to be more cost-effective to invest in recruiting better inputs. And since high school seniors from high socioeconomic status families tend to already be better-prepared for college than kids from low-socioeconomic status families, that means that financial aid resources naturally flow to the high-socioeconomic status students.

It’s not just race and it’s not just scholarships. Across the board, the way higher education works in America is to deliver the most resources to the people who need the least help.



First, it is simply false that scholarships for people of color crowd out monies for white students. According to a national study by the General Accounting Office, less than four percent of scholarship money in the U.S. is represented by awards that consider race as a factor at all, while only 0.25 percent (one quarter of one percent) of all undergrad scholarship dollars come from awards that are restricted to persons of color alone (1). In other words, whites are fully capable of competing for and receiving any of the other monies — roughly 99.75 percent of all scholarship funds out there for college. Although this GAO study was conducted in the mid-’90s, there is little reason to expect that the numbers have changed since then. If anything, increasing backlash to affirmative action and fear of lawsuits brought by conservatives against such efforts would likely have further limited such awards as a percentage of national scholarships.

In truth, only 3.5 percent of college students of color receive any scholarship even partly based on race, suggesting that such programs remain a pathetically small piece of the financial aid picture (2). So when Mr. Bohannon walks around campus and sees students of color, he may believe them all to be wards of some race-based preference scheme; yet the evidence suggests that at least 96.5 percent of them received no race-based scholarship at all.

There is an incredibly diverse array of scholarships available for all kinds of things, that have nothing to do with academic merit alone, but are tied to various aspects of a student’s identity: scholarships for people who are left-handed, or kids whose parents sell Tupperware, or the children of horse-breeders, or descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, among many thousands of such awards (3).

To begin, the claim that whites are being disadvantaged by minority scholarships, even in theory, ignores the many ways in which the nation’s educational system provides unfair advantages to whites from beginning to end. It ignores the fact that the average white student in the U.S. attends school with half as many poor kids as the average black or Latino student, which in turn has a direct effect on performance, since attending a low-poverty school generally means having more resources available for direct instruction (4). Indeed, schools with high concentrations of students of color are 11-15 times more likely than mostly white schools to have high concentrations of student poverty (5). To point to minority scholarships as a source of unfairness that somehow tilts the opportunity structure too far in favor of non-white folks, is to ignore that white students are twice as likely as their African American or Latino counterparts to be taught by the most highly qualified teachers (in terms of prior preparation and specific subject certification), and half as likely to have the least qualified instructors in class (6). This too directly benefits whites, as research suggests being taught by highly qualified teachers is one of the most important factors in school achievement (7). To scream about the unfairness of minority scholarships is to ignore that long before the point of college admissions, whites are twice as likely to be placed in honors or advanced placement classes, relative to black students, and that even when academic performance would justify lower placement for whites and higher placement for blacks, it is the African American students who are disproportionately tracked low, and whites who are tracked higher (8). Indeed, schools serving mostly white students have three times as many honors or AP classes offered, per capita, as those serving mostly students of color (9).

^i went to bold the important parts of this specific quotation but ended up with a solid black paragraph so just read it all

So although it is true that whites are excluded from 0.25 percent of the scholarship monies available for college, this cannot rationally be considered a disadvantaging factor in our lives, given the larger, ingrained and systematic advantages from which we benefit, and from which most people of color are excluded. The 0.25 percent of scholarships for students of color is literally a drop in the bucket compared to the latter.

Despite the claim that race-based scholarships for people of color amount to a double-standard (since scholarships for folks of color are considered legitimate, but white scholarships aren’t), in truth, the standard is simple, straightforward and singular: persons belonging to groups that have been systematically marginalized should have opportunities targeted to them so as to allow for the development of their full potential, which otherwise might be restricted.

In effect, these are not scholarships based on race, but rather, scholarships based on a recognition of racism and how racism has shaped the opportunity structure in the U.S.

^this part is very important too. the only thing worse than doing something to specifically help marginalized minorities in america is to admit that racism is actually a real thing

there's more here: http://www.timwise.org/2011/03/a-bad-year-for-white-whine-college-scholarships-and-the-cult-of-caucasian-victimhood/

it's a great article on the topic

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i mean opposing scholarships that consider race might not specifically make a person a racist, but i'm going to have to hear a really interesting justification for it to think otherwise (suggesting that it's basically oppression of white people isn't going to cut it fyi as that's thoroughly debunked in the above article)

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and this is one of the main reasons i coach/mentor/tutor kids. roll up your sleeves and dig in. actually go to somebody's house and hear, see what they need.

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Anyone have a link to stats on the numbers of applicants for schoalrships, the acceptance rate for those applicants and broken down by ethnicity would be even better.

Be interesting to see the total number of White, Hispanic, Oriental or what have you and their success rate.

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Let's have a calm, rational discussion about scholarships for minorities

In this forum? Good luck with that :lol:

Lemme ask ya a quick question. If I were to ask you to choose between two goals...

1) a system in whose fairness you have confidence, though it's method and administration may not suit all sides meaning it's likely to be challenged in court at some point

2) a system in which you see flaws, but set up in a way that pleases all parties, lessening the likelihood it will be challenged by one side or another

Which of those outcomes would you prefer?

Which of the two seems like a more realistic goal?

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