Race-based scholarships create teachers’ dilemma

Race-based scholarships have created a dilemma for Greg at Rhymes With Right. Students are told that the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members is offering a scholarship to all African American seniors who have a 3.0 average or above. He wonders:

As a teacher, is it ethical for me to provide a recommendation for scholarships that exclude students from consideration based upon race?

No school would promote a scholarship exclusively for white students, he writes. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to make it harder for students to pay for college by boycotting race-based scholarships.

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  1. L. C. Burgundy says:

    Just do what one of my teachers did and nominate a student without regard to race and dare the granting organization to rescind the scholarship because they’re the wrong color.

    • As long as the kid and the kid’s parents understand that they’re probably letting themselves in for a bunch of abuse as the race-hustlers try to shore up their eroding issue, yeah that might be a worthwhile step towards canceling the race card.

  2. Your duty is to the student. So, discuss it with them and write the letter. There are all types of weird scholarships out there. Left-handedness, Norweigan descent, familial scholarships, etc.

    So this is really not a big issue.

  3. “No school would promote a scholarship exclusively for white students, he writes.”

    I guess there scholarships for Italian-American, Irish-American, or Polish American students don’t exist. Hm, I wonder where my classmates and I got those scholarships from. Weird.

  4. And then there’s the LaVerne Noyes scholarships, which pay full tuition at a number of universities, but you must be a direct descendent of a WWI soldier. So limited to white people whose grandparents were here by 1914.

    • Actually, there were Black veterans of WW I. Two regiments of Black American soldiers engaged in combat during WW I.

    • Also, there are children of more than just one race. Grandpa could have been a WWI vet, but mom could be non-white.

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    EB. I got one of those. The soldier had to have been wounded, afaik. My great-uncle was gassed and had a partial disability payment which, so the story goes, enabled him to remain gassed the rest of his life. I think the scholarship was $300, which was about a semester’s board and room.
    There were a number of black soldiers in WW I.

    • Different scholarship; for LaVerne Noyes you did not have to be wounded, but you did have to serve on the European Front, as my grandfather did. Mine was worth full tuition for one entire year at the University of Chicago. Black soldiers in WWI were rare.

  6. Settng asidde the ethical dilemma, the practical consequences may be smaller than one would expect. The race-restricted scholarships, or others limited in some different way that des not implicate constitutional issues, go to the best-qualified students in the eligible group. When it comes to handing out other financial aid, they no longer need it (see Gates scholarships) and the remaining members of the specified group are less competitive for non-restricted aid. Pretty much the same students end up with the same amount of aid, except that the best students from the “favored” group are stigmatized.
    (I’m not making this up; I once happened to chair a committee charged with awarding some small private scholarships, one of which was funded by a bequest with racial restrictions.)

  7. Crimson Wife says:

    If it’s privately funded, I have no problems with scholarships that are restricted to members of a certain group. Taxpayer money, no way. Private individuals? No problem.

    • Agreed, but what are the chances that a white-only (no restrictions on country of origin, veteran, residence etc) would be tolerated?

      • Mark Roulo says:

        If you dress it up appropriately, I bet it would fly. People of European ancestry would be the toughest (but probably still do-able), but people of Northern European ancestry would probably attract little attention.