A 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%.”
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.
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
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.