Thoughts, Facts, Discussion on Scholarships and African American Students

NWRiODdjMDkxZiMvVWx3WUttdG9aV0tUMHl3ZnR4T1FuMFExQmlnPS82MHg0OjU3OXgzMzEvODQweDUzMC9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvMGY3YzcwYjg4ZTMxMTA5ZWFlN2E1OGVjZGNmMGViYTVlNDVjMzk3OWRlMzllMzQxM2NmYWRiOWMzMTM4YWNA common sentiment opinion is that due to some misplaced sense of guilt black students are getting scholarships the same way rock stars and basketball players were getting AIDS and other assorted STD’s in the early 80’s and 90’s. A few weeks ago teenager Kwasi Enin caught the nations attention when he became one of a select few high school seniors to be accepted into all 8 ivy league schools. Many people felt that he got accepted into so many school because he is black. In other words Enin couldn’t have gotten into these schools on his own merit.
I would like to challenge that belief with of course facts, statistics and clear cut logical deductions. Before I do that please allow me to dispel a few myths about African Americans and the United States Education System


  • African-American men are grossly over-represented in the penal system; however, there are more African-American males in college than in prison, as of 2011.
  • The high school dropout rate for African-American males has actually hit a historic low. According to a 2013 Education Week study, about 62% of African-Americans completed high school in 2010 (the most recent year for which the necessary data was available), compared to 80% of white students. The increase represents a 30% narrowing of the gap between black and white high school students.
  • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 1976 to 2010, “the percentage of black students [enrolled in college] rose from 9% to 14%. During the same period, the percentage of white students fell from 83% to 61%.”

Some Data

I did some research and found out that less than 5% of all scholarship programs and less than 10% of  the total number of individual scholarships consider the student’s race among their eligibility criteria. Most race-restricted scholarships also include additional criteria based on academic performance, extracurricular activities and community service.

Private Scholarship

scholar 2

Based on data derived by  the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) from the National Center for Education Statistics, indicates that Caucasians are, in fact, quite privileged in obtaining scholarships. While there are very few private scholarships that are explicitly restricted to Caucasian students, Caucasian students receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarship funding. Caucasian students represent 69.3% of private scholarship recipients but only 61.8% of the undergraduate student population. This is in contrast with minority students, who represent 30.5% of scholarship recipients and 38.0% of the undergraduate  student population. Caucasian students are 40% more likely to win private scholarships than minority students.

Distribution of Private Scholarship Funding


Federal Need Based Grants


The Federal Pell Grant is the largest need-based federal grant program. While minority students are more likely to receive such  need-based grants than Caucasian students, the distribution is largely consistent with the prevalence of  minority students in the low-income student population. Minority students receive more need-based grants because minority students are more likely to be low income than Caucasian students. Of students who submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), 83.0% of African-American students, 79.6% of Latino students and 69.5% of Asian students are low-income, compared with only 55.3% of Caucasian students.

Total Merit-Based Grants


My Thoughts

What I think is happening is that times are tough and its more difficult to secure a future. Whenever resources in this case education resources are scarce there will be a lot of competition. What this is, is fighting over crumbs. The general trend show that minorities tend to get more need based government aid because they come from lower income families. However Caucasian get the lion’s share of scholarships. That make sense. That’s just how the system is set up. I ain’t mad at anyone for that. There’s more to be said but that’s another blog post.

6 thoughts on “Thoughts, Facts, Discussion on Scholarships and African American Students

  1. This is a difficult topic for me, as I’m fine with some “minorities” getting Merit + Something Else based scholarships, but I’m not okay with other ones. Let me explain;

    I think that scholarships that are awarded based purely on merit and are “blind” to all other factors are great.

    -Ones that help disabled/handicapped people are good (jobs can still be ableist even when the disabled person in question can do their work well)

    -Ones that help non-Caucasians are good (racist thought still exists and needs to be countered)

    -Ones that help single mothers/fathers are also good (can give a better future to them and their kids).

    However, I’m not sure about ones that are awarded based on sex. I myself declined a $1,000 scholarship because the only reasons I got it were:

    1. I was going for a business degree
    2. I had a 3.9 GPA from my Associates
    3. I am a woman

    If only the last 2 points had been good enough, I’d have snatched up this little bit of financial assistance in a heartbeat. But the fact that it was simply an extension of the feminist chain of thought that says “we need more women in business, even though most aren’t all that interested in it!”…well, it was rather insulting. It didn’t feel like I was being rewarded for my hard work. It felt like I was being bribed paid off for going into an atypical field that *I wanted to pursue anyway*. So I declined it.


  2. I saw this young man interviewed on my local news, and I thought he seemed bright and articulate enough to have pulled off those acceptances on his own merit. Yeah, maybe race threw a couple points his way in however Ivy league schools score applications, but I’m pretty sure he did it through hard work.


      1. Why don’t you! You can’t let that creative writing stay on the Internet. People still love print 😀 I am happy to be back but I wish I was in Europe. I am hoping to be back there this August 😀


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