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Scholarships: merit or need - Essay Example

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During the era of 2008, Hamilton College came up with the decision of putting a stop to providing financial aid to students on the basis of merit and they decided to give financial aid to needy students who were coming from low income groups (Hamilton, 2007)…
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Scholarships: merit or need
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Download file to see previous pages During the era of 2008, Hamilton College came up with the decision of putting a stop to providing financial aid to students on the basis of merit and they decided to give financial aid to needy students who were coming from low income groups (Hamilton, 2007). Colleges used to desire to attract students that had amazing talents in the areas of arts, education and sports. Merit based scholarship used to make higher sense because students who used to be selected through merit based are students who have performed and excelled in different educational fields such as sports, arts and education. When such students gain access to top ranked colleges, the society on the whole benefits as these students are able to gain access to a high quality teaching faculty which enables them to learn more about the areas in which they are already performing well. Merit based scholarship has the ability to differentiate and select the best students from the entire student population. This allows students to select and study in the top ranked colleges of their own choice and the decision of whether joining a private or a public college remains in their own hands. These are some of the advantages of merit based scholarship, still colleges such as Hamilton College opt to end or reduce funding for their merit programs. The question is if merit based scholarships have so many an advantage then why there is a need to shift from merit to need based scholarship programs. Body One of the main reasons due to which universities are supporting end of merit based financial aid because they believe that merit based funding for education is aiding those have the ability to pay their tuition. Stephen Rose and Anthony Carnevale in their research figured out that twice the number of white students gained admission in the top ranked universities as compared to the students from the minority groups even though the enrolled white students did not comply with the minimum grade requirement for gaining admission into these universities (Schmidt, 2007). These white students mostly include those who have been admitted on the basis of their athletic ability and are expected to continue performing in a negative way due to their preference to sports over studies. The white students who have been able to attain admission in top ranked universities over minority groups are even children from strong backgrounds and political connections. They have been able to gain admission because the alumni of colleges believe that those who provide funding to the colleges will become unhappy and will stop their donations if these students are not provided admission. The methods adopted by colleges to give admission to students are even flawed. Students are admitted into colleges on the basis of their GPAs, SAT and ACT scores. Those who score high in their pre college period and those who score high in these tests are given higher preference during admission. The point to note is that people who perform well in the pre college period and SAT are those whose families can afford to pay for coaching classes and preparation for admission classes (STAPLES, 2008). Due to this mostly those students are able to secure merit based scholarship and admission in top ranked universities who are already coming from wealthier backgrounds and can already afford to pay for tuition. Another point to be noted is that colleges compete for higher ranking in order to create a favorable image of their institution to gain more students. In this competition, colleges try to secure the best that perform well in sports, arts and education. In pursuit of attracting students with high potential, educational institute offer merit based scholarships to these students. These students then perform well in colleges and this in turn affects the ranking of the college due to which more students opt for these colleges. The points stated above calls for a shift from merit based schol ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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