06/28/10 — Warning sign? Numbers from scholarships are a little unsettling

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Warning sign? Numbers from scholarships are a little unsettling

No one is due a college scholarship. That should be said from the start. And if there is no money, then there should not be money to offer. That is the reality.

But some of the numbers released this week from Wayne County's high schools suggest that perhaps there are fewer and fewer students who are getting the help they need to go to school -- and that should scare anyone with a child who might be college age.

In the past, scholarships and grants have leaned heavily toward need -- and, let's face it, athletic ability. It was not easy to get help going to school if you were from a middle class family, even if you were able to secure the grades and the leadership credits necessary to attract the interest of a name school.

And, sad to say, some of the students who did receive the aid ended up not being able to cut the academic mustard and were not able to take advantage of their scholarships. They would have been much better off at another school or at a junior college.

In this time of economic uncertainty, and with more and more people facing unemployment and lower salaries, perhaps it is time to consider more carefully where we put our education funding and changing our scholarship models as competition for funding grows and the pool of money shrinks.

Perhaps it is time to use more of that federal and state funding to make more aid available to the best and the brightest, the children who have worked hard to earn their honors in school and who have contributed to their communities at the same time.

We could even tie that aid to giving back -- asking those who will get the best opportunities to volunteer their time to help others. Most students in this category would be happy to do just that -- and probably are already doing so anyway.

Achievement should be recognized at every level -- and we should reward those who have worked the hardest and given the most -- no matter what their income and circumstance.

Published in Editorials on June 28, 2010 10:38 AM