Black People : Minority Education Aid Made Available To Whites

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Mad Skillz, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Mad Skillz

    Mad Skillz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    March 14, 2006, 12:34AM
    Minority education aid made available to whites
    Universities fear Supreme Court ruling's effects


    By JONATHAN D. GLATER
    New York Times

    WASHINGTON - Facing threats of litigation and pressure from Washington, colleges and universities nationwide are opening to white students hundreds of thousands of dollars in fellowships, scholarships and other programs previously aimed at minorities.

    Southern Illinois University reached a consent decree last month with the Justice Department to allow nonminority students and men access to graduate fellowships originally created for women and minorities.

    In January, the State University of New York made white students eligible for $6.8 million of aid in two scholarship programs also previously available only to minorities. Pepperdine University is negotiating with the Education Department over its use of race as a criterion in its programs.

    "They're all trying to minimize their legal exposure," Susan Sturm, a law professor at Columbia University, said about colleges and universities. "The question is how are they doing that, and are they doing that in a way that's going to shut down any effort or any successful effort to diversify the student body?"

    The institutions are reacting to two 2003 Supreme Court cases on using race in admissions at the University of Michigan. Although the cases did not ban using race in admissions to higher education, they did leave the state of the law unclear. With the changing composition of the court, university officials fear legal challenges.

    The affected areas include programs for high schools and graduate fellowships.

    It is far too early to determine the effects of the changes on the presence of minorities in higher education and how far the pool of money for scholarships and similar programs will stretch.


    Facts are elusive

    Firm data on how many institutions have modified their policies is elusive because colleges and institutions are not eager to trumpet the changes. At least a handful are seeking to put more money into the programs as they expand the possible pool of applicants.

    Some white students are qualifying for the aid. Last year, in response to a legal threat from the Education Department, Washington University in St. Louis modified the standards for an undergraduate scholarship that had been open just to minorities and was named for the first black dean at the university. This year, 12 of the 42 first-year recipients are white.

    Officials at conservative groups that are pushing for the changes see the shift as a sign of success in eliminating race as a factor in decision making in higher education.

    "Our concern is that the law be followed and that nobody be denied participation in a program on account of skin color or what country their ancestors came from," said Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

    "We're not looking at achieving a particular racial outcome," Clegg said. "And it's unfortunate that some organizations seem to view the success or failure of the program based simply on what percentage of students of this color or that color can participate."

    Advocates of focused scholarship programs like Theodore Shaw, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., challenge the notion that programs for minority students hurt whites.

    www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3721364.html
     
  2. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think this is a good thing. The more overtly we are shut-out from mainstream opportunities the more seriously we will evaluate options to handle funding and education for ourselves. The supreme court battle has already been lost, so tactics used in the 60's will not work today.

    If Katrina didn't wake us up completely, the coming series of rollbacks may be the catalyst that forces us to work together.
     
  3. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    Good point.
     
  4. Mad Skillz

    Mad Skillz Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I do believe this may get more Black students to attend HBCU's which I've always been an advocate for. However I see conflict for some. For those individuals who claim they aren't Black or "African" but choose to receive educational aid, grants and scholarships through "African" American entitlement - it will now become next to impossible for them, their children, niece and nephew etc., to obtain minority aid and attend mainstream colleges since most minority aid programs are under "African" American which will soon be obsolete. So this presents two choices: Try and get educational aid through Mr. Charlie or attend an Historically Black College University.
     
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