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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Should the Whites-Only Scholarship at a Top University Be Changed?

Posted by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM
  • 107 Replies

Should the Whites-Only Scholarship at a Top University Be Changed?

by Lindsay Mannering

columbiaColumbia University is petitioning to change one of their graduate school fellowships that is currently whites-only. The Lydia C. Roberts graduate fellowship stipulates that the recipient must be Caucasian and must be from Iowa. The scholarship was established in 1920, but hasn't been awarded since 1997. The Ivy League school is currently asking the courts to allow a change of the scholarship's whites-only requirement, presumably so they can continue awarding the scholarship, this time with a clear conscience.

There are, however, many exclusionary, race-based, gender-based, religion-based, and hometown-based scholarships out there. Many are intended to focus on and help students who are generally underrepresented in high educational systems, and grant funding and aid to individuals in order to diversify the student body.

In this case, Columbia wants to remove a restriction they think is inappropriate. A quick look at Columbia's extensive lists of fellowships shows that a lot of once discriminative scholarships have been amended to include a broader audience.

For example, the Kaiser Family Foundation was founded to help black, Hispanic, and Native American students develop leadership skills in health policy. However, since its founding, it's been changed to include all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, who are interested in the subject matter.

It's startling to learn that a whites-only scholarship still exists -- it's about time that this Lydia C. Roberts fellowship is changed. High time.

The fellowship hasn't been handed out in 16 years, but hopefully the court will allow the university to make the desired changes, which would presumably inspire them to start distributing it once again.

Wonder if they'll keep the Iowan requirement.

Do you think the scholarship should be changed?

by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on May. 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM
14 moms liked this

Sure, as long as all other race based fellowships and scholarships are changed to include everyone. 

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM
No.
SuperChicken
by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM
10 moms liked this

I say no, for two reasons. 

1.  When people grant money to be used for scholarships, their criteria should be honored even if unpopular.

2.  When people complain on CM that there are no white scholarships I want to be able to point to this one.

Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on May. 20, 2013 at 8:54 AM

No. Absolutely not. No way.

It would set a terrible precedent and I suspect that's the motive here. Allowing the university to change the qualifications for any scholarship is a terrible idea.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM
1 mom liked this

 No.  Why bother with the generosity of setting up a scholarship if the school is going to override your wishes?  

 

Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on May. 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

 Exactly. It would just backfire all around.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 No.  Why bother with the generosity of setting up a scholarship if the school is going to override your wishes?  

 

 

romalove
by Roma on May. 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM
1 mom liked this

Why can't they distribute the scholarship?

It hasn't been given out in 16 years.  Why?

No reason a scholarship can't be for only white Iowans.  

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on May. 20, 2013 at 9:19 AM
3 moms liked this


Can you imagine how much money is sitting in that account now? How many kids could have benefitted from it in the last 16 years? What a shame. 

Quoting romalove:

Why can't they distribute the scholarship?

It hasn't been given out in 16 years.  Why?

No reason a scholarship can't be for only white Iowans.  



ambertreas76
by on May. 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM
2 moms liked this

Sure they could change it.  With changing this scholarship, they should also change all race/ethnicity based scholarships.  

jllcali
by Jane on May. 20, 2013 at 10:17 AM
2 moms liked this
If the scholarship is privately funded, I don't care.
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