WASHINGTON - A new report by financial aid and college planning author, Mark Kantrowitz, challenges the assumption that college grant money flows disproportionately to members of minority groups.
Kantrowitz, an ABD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, says his paper presents data concerning the distribution of grants and scholarships by race. It debunks the race myth, which claims that minority students receive more than their fair share of scholarships.
The scholarship advantage is also prevalent among colleges and universities that award merit scholarships. White students, according to the study, receive 76% of all merit scholarships from colleges even though they represent 62% of students. Minority students receive 24.4% of scholarships from colleges even though they represent 38% of the student population.
"The reality is that minority students are less likely to win private scholarships or receive merit-based institutional grants than Caucasian students. Among undergraduate students enrolled full-time/full-year in Bachelor’s degree programs at four-year colleges and universities, minority students represent about a third of applicants but slightly more than a quarter of private scholarship recipients, according to Kantrowitz.
Adds Kantrowitz, "Caucasian students receive more than three-quarters (76%) of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent less than two-thirds (62%) of the student population. Caucasian students are 40% more likely to win private scholarships than minority students."
Money flows to students of different races roughly in proportion to their representation in the overall postsecondary population: white students make up roughly three-fifths (61.8 percent) of all students, and they receive about that amount of all total grant funding (59.3 percent). Various minority groups also receive proportions of grant funding that track their representation among all students (Hispanic students make up 14.1 percent of students and receive that proportion of grant aid, etc.). That's more or less as it should be, Kantrowitz says.