Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Freebies for the Riches

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/magazine/freebies-for-the-rich.html?src=recg 

2. Category of Issue- Merit Scholarships to the Wealthy

3. Level - National

4. This article concerns families and individuals who earn a low-income earning scholarships for college as well as the states who are supporting these public colleges

5. How does this affect individuals/families?
- This issue is a huge topic that affects individuals and families who are experiencing difficult times. It reflects directly their future at having a proper education and not allowing them to have a fair chance at earning the same scholarship that strong merit scholars earn. It potentially keeps the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

6. My Views?
-  This article caught my eye because this is something we have discussed in class. We keep hearing that the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. In this article this seems to be very true. Years ago public schools, and the states they were in cared about having a diverse and unique body of students who represented all families. Students throughout high school could apply for scholarships and they were divided out no matter of background of merit standing. These days, colleges have gone away from worrying about there unique body of students and particularly take those who are merit students and come from a wealthier background. A huge statistic that stood out to me in this article was students who take the SAT's from a family making a household income of $250,000 or more were 1 in 5 received merit aid. Those who came from a family making less than 30,000 was only 1 in 10. Why does it seem that this is taking a toll for the worse? Colleges and Universities need to take this into consideration and focus back on the broad range of students. Public colleges seem to look away from those who actually need it and focus on whose resume is going to make them look better. I have many friends who are working their way through college right now with help from financial aid. Some of them do come from pretty wealthy families but others do not. If they were rejected the rights to receive these merit aids who knows where they would be know and what they would be doing. On the flip side to this, I also know a couple people who come from very wealthy backgrounds, however their families do not help them with college funds at all. This is where the line gets tricky. Should they be denied scholarship rights just because they come from a wealthy family? This question needs to be circulated along with giving freebies to the riches. If someone deserves a scholarship, no matter their background they should have the right to earn that.


  1. I liked the article you chose, it really needs to be brought up to colleges and to universities attention that many students that are applying for scholarships are coming from wealthy families that are able to afford tuition for their kids as opposed to those students who come from families that can barely afford tuition. Colleges need to have a diverse background of students instead of just accepting merit students that come from wealthy backgrounds. Many families heavily rely on receiving financial aid from the government to send their kids off to college. It is very stressful and overwhelming applying for college and calculating college expenses. Many students work very hard while in high school to mold themselves to receive good grades and do well on their SAT’s. Just like the article states; “Over the years, many state-university systems — and even states themselves — have shifted more of their financial aid away from students who need it toward those whose resumes merit it.” Merit metrics like SAT scores tend to closely correlate with family income; about 1 in 5 students from households with income over $250,000 receives merit aid from his or her school. For families making less than $30,000, it’s 1 in 10. It is unfortunate to see this happening, because education should be provided to all individuals not basing it on their wealthy background.
    There have been state funding cuts and many people know that wealthy students can bring in a lot more money even after they receive a discount. In the past few years tuition has increased making it difficult for low income families to pay for tuition. Also the article state that it is “obviously troubling for the students who need help, but it is also bad for the state economies that public colleges are supported by and are supposed to help advance. While merit aid sounds like an effective way to combat brain drain, there is no conclusive evidence that it works.” Going to college is a stressful and strenuous job in itself, students are then resorted to work odd jobs to pay for tuition and other expenses making it difficult to do well in school and having a good GPA, that financial aid is going towards merit scholarships instead of basing it on actual need that many individuals and families need!
    In conclusion, I personally feel that it is mainly coming down to the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Colleges need to focus on creating a diverse student background that apply and get accepted. They also need to focus on the fact of those students who really need financial assistance rather than what will look good on their resume!

  2. This article is very interesting especially because it is something we have been discussing in class lately. There does seem to be a very thin line that we have to be careful not to cross when it comes to finances and education. I do believe schools and universities in particular have become so worried about what they look like on paper and the funding they receive instead of focusing on what they were originally made to do and that is further education. It used to be that any student no matter their background could apply for scholarships and they were distributed equally among students that could use them to help diversify schools. According to this article, students who tend to come from a wealthier background are given more merit aid because they look good on paper rather than the students who actually need the aid. I think this is where the cycle continues to not be broken of the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Kids cannot help the families they were born into and it isn’t fair that just because a student has to also contribute financially to a household and spend less time devoted to school that they should not be given the same opportunity that a wealthy child has who spends all their time devoted to their school because they don’t need to contribute money to help their family. This goes to prove exactly what the article stated about how the share of Americans that graduate from college has risen significantly in the last several decades and the majority of that growth has been from children born into wealthier families. Students should work hard across the board to get into college and I’m not saying that they don’t work hard I just think that their shouldn’t be a line that seperates who receives aid based on their families income level it should be based on their drive to succeed and excel.