Show Me The Money

Scholarships are a much-needed resource for students who desire higher education but are short on funds.  Many organizations, both profit and non-profit seek to have their names and brands attached to this good deed.  Most scholarships come with qualifications such as minimum GPA and residency requirements.  Now a Texas State student, Colby Bohannan, has founded a scholarship fund of his own at fmafe.org.  What makes his foundation’s scholarship stand out?  The scholarship is restricted to white males only.  Bohannan says: “”I felt excluded, If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?[…]There’s a scholarship out there for just about any demographic, except this one”

Of course race is always a touchy subject.  Given America’s past history of public unashamed racial bias it is understandable why FMAFE might elicit a raised eyebrow or two.  FMAFE is a private foundation whose  “nine-member volunteer board includes three women, one Hispanic and one African-American.”  Is their stance discrimination, or focused assistance?

I would agree that this kind of restriction would be inappropriate coming from a public entity, such as a state university or government grant.  No distinction should be made when the government is involved.  However, this is a private foundation.  I do not believe private entities should be under the same standard when it comes to dispersing scholarship funds.  Why not?  Simple, it’s their money.  It is not any of my business, or yours for that matter, to dictate to a private foundation who they can give money to, or from whom they can with-hold it.  Whether they decide to give it to only white men, black women, or anything in between.  What FMAFE is not obligated to give at all, they are not obligated to give to all.

 

Comments

  1. Kelsey Barringham says:

    I do agree with you that it’s their money, so they have the right to do what ever they like with it. But their “organization” seems a little misinformed to me. There are plenty of scholarships nation wide that go to white males each year. I also enjoyed their goal “To financially assist young Americans seeking higher education who lack opportunities in similar organizations that are based upon race or gender.” so they do this by forming another scholarship based upon race AND gender, interesting approach. But what really gets me is what FMAE stands for: Former Majority Association for Equality because it automatically assumes just because White, Males are no longer the majority within the general population of that one county they are automatically at a disadvantage, which their is no evidence of historically, politically, or sociologically apart from this small group noticing their seems to be a lack of specifically white, male scholarships and that this lack, or the fact that there are other scholarships in existence catering specifically to others based on gender or race means their is a definitive inequality towards white, males established with lack of proof. So I am happy with them doing whatever they like with their money, it’s more the idea they are trying to promote that I have issue with. Also, how exactly do you define white? I heard a person is only required to be one fourth white, but even with that is there a list of certain nations that you must have been descended? What if one fourth whiteness comes from multiple sides? How does one prove their whiteness? It just seems a little messy to me.

    • I don’t even think their motive should be scrutinized. By his experience, he had trouble getting scholarships. He concluded that by seeing scholarships he applied for going to students outside his two main demographics, and thought it was a problem. Affirmitive action is no longer needed, but still over utilized in the private scholarship/grant arena to give the appearence of racial non-discrimination.

  2. rautakyy says:

    Perhaps the main issue behind the problem is not to whom a scolarship is granted, but more about why it is needed. Here in Finland and other Nordic countries the universities are free of charge. The former socialist governments have decided, that not only the rich kids and the exeptionally talented poor youth with scolarship may enter higher education, but all talented and none who arent. The government basicly pays the costs of all the universities and professional education. The governments also pay allowance to all students, so their living costs are mostly covered. The government allowance is small and most students coming from poor families will work along their studies, but basicly everyone with enough talent and will to pass through university or other education can accomplish this. It is a mighty asset to small countries to harness the brainpower of all talented people, not just those who are rich enough to pay for higher education, like in most of the world. Our system is not only profitable for the nations, it is also fair. I could never have afforded to enter university, in a country where my poor parents would have had to pay for it. Though I am a white male.

    • Well, scholarships are needed because college costs are out of control due to student loans being so easy to get. Because students do not have to pay out of pocket up front, the costs are artificially inflated. College tuition has grown so far out of proportion with inflation it’s mind numbing. So of course what is not covered by loans must be made up with grants and scholarships if the student cannot afford the balance.

      But scholarships and grants given out by private organizations, are looking to help a segment of the population they think needs it. The NAACP for example, or United Negro College Fund exist in order to help black students who want to go to college, but who do not have the money. Those two also help non-black applicants, not in the same proportion as they do black applicants, but they shouldn’t have to. If they exist to help blacks, then who are we to tell them they shouldn’t exclude. If I’m remembering correctly they both only offer scholarship money to non-blacks because of pressure, and that’s wrong.

      Private foundations and companies, like private individuals should be able give, or not give as they please with their money.

      • rautakyy says:

        Yes, I agree that the private doners of scholarship have the right to give their money to whom ever they want. My point is that nobody should have to depend their education on scholarships. Otherwise it will be those who have money who will determine who gets to have an education and what kind of education is supported, not the talents of the students.

        Free educational system is a good investment of the taxpayers money. That way companies can be sured of talented and widely educated working force. Common people can expect best possible education to their offspring wether they can afford it themselves or not. It also effects the salary expectations of workers with family, since they do not have to worry about earning enough to put their children through school. It has its downsides too, like the fact that if you are not educated, it is easily seen as your own fault, or as a result of being downright stoopid. While there are, of course, other reasons wich effect how a person manages at school than just talents and intelligence.

        We also have a student lone system in Finland, but this is only in addition to the government allowance. Because of the disasterous state of the world wide free market economy, people are less and less inclined to take loans. We have private scholarship doners too. These small donations come as extra income to the students and sometimes may help them to graduate faster, but I expect much of that money is also spent on travelling around the globe. They may be given to people with certain ethnic backround, like the swedish speaking finns, who as an ethnic group hold much property within the nation, but are not all rich.

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