Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense? Your Name University Schools Number and Name of Course (e.g., July 24, 2012) Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense? Merit based scholarships are scholarships awarded to meritorious students without financial considerations…
This essay discusses why merit-based scholarships do not actually make sense and why they are unfavorable and unfair for financially needy students. Because of their vested interests, university and college managements seek to attract meritorious students through merit-based scholarships to enhance the public image and fame of their institutions. Merit-based scholarships are provided irrespective of the beneficiary’s financial status, often resulting in the provision of scholarships to those who can already afford their education, and may also result in the disproportionate distribution of financial aid at the expense of need-based scholarships. These scholarships are usually based on admission tests that are not designed for this purpose, and therefore, they are unfair and damage the educational system. In fact, it appears that merit-based scholarships are designed to satiate the interests of college managements and often violate the rights of those actually in need of financial aid. These scholarships do not really make sense because financial assistance is provided to the student irrespective of whether he/she needs it or not. As will be discussed further on, merit-based scholarships do more harm than good to the education system. ...
A look at Lewis & Clark College scholarships shows that meritorious students in fields such as music and forensics, and those with leadership qualities and other such traits are more favored. Peter Schmidt (2007), in his article, “At the elite colleges - dim white kids”, argues that the admission policies of most colleges are not usually fair and that more preference is often given to whites from affluent families or those with connections. According to him, students with “connections” or are from wealthy families obtain entry into colleges and universities selectively through recommendations from wealthy alumni and donors who grant endowments to those educational institutions. Schmidt further argues that the endowments received by educational institutions are also disproportionately distributed. According to him, only 40% of the money from financial aid is being distributed to students having financial need. The remaining is being used for merit-based scholarships to “potential recruits who can enhance a college's reputation, or appear likely to cover the rest of their tuition tab and to donate down the road”. As Grossman puts it, “colleges are like any business for whom “quality” customers enhance the reputation of the product and attract other customers” (1995). Educational institutions must move on from being mere “businesses” with vested interests to being cradles of quality education with equal educational opportunities for all. It is seen that merit based scholarships are provided irrespective of the beneficiary’s financial status. Even if a student is wealthy enough to afford his fee, he avails merit-based scholarships based on his exceptional achievements. Other needy students who cannot afford their education ...
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