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Whites-Only Scholarship to be Changed at Columbia

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As the costs for college continue to skyrocket, the task of finding money for higher education is now harder than ever. Though exclusionary scholarships tailored to certain kinds of students are often a way for those with a specific background (such as women who want to study Computer Science) to go to college, one prestigious U.S. university is now seeking to change an 80-year-old scholarship that discriminates based on race.

According to a New York Daily News report, Columbia University is now supporting a change in the Lydia C. Roberts Graduate Fellowship and Lydia C. Roberts Traveling Fellowship. The scholarships are currently available only to students from Iowa who are Caucasian. The university has reportedly filed an affidavit in the Manhattan Supreme Court in favor of modifying the scholarship.

The scholarship was founded in 1920 by Lydia C. Chamberlain, who set out the criteria by which scholarship applicants should be judged. According to the Daily News, organizations such as the NAACP have been calling on Columbia to cut the scholarship for decades. The scholarship hasn’t been awarded since 1997, and at least one former student who received it and spoke with the Daily news claims not to have known that being white was a stipulation of the award.

Whites-Only Scholarship to be Changed at Columbia


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  • Matthew

    I’m probably going to get a lot of crap from this but, I don’t understand why it’s okay for a “African American” only scholarship but if there is something like an “only whites” scholarship everyone loses their minds. I’m a college student and I have seen a lot of scholarships only for blacks or “minorities”. Things will never ever be equal. No matter what people say or think.

    • Joe

      It is a truly an injustice, but unfortunately, very worthy and otherwise very anti-racist white students are, through no fault of their own, paying for the sins of their fellow whites who persist in denying minorities an equal opportunity whether socially, or educationally or professionally. Race-based scholarships are intended to be a remedy to the persistent tendency of minorities being, on average, poorer, attending poorer schools, and historically graduating from college at a much lower percentage than white students.

      • Joey

        Joe, you’re a f’n moron.

    • sensibleblackman

      I see your point. At the same time you have to remember black people make up barely 13% of the american population. I think people have a tough time looking at what happened here. We are a group of people brought to a country as property ran by whites and then made free here. It will take a long time for a population to overcome the sort of mindset that comes with that. Still i see nothing wrong with a white-only scholarship considering the amount of opportunities for black americans who work hard to attend college.

      • Enoughwiththeracecard

        Ugh, this topic boils my blood. The only racism left in this country is against the white man. Please, you were never a slave, your parents were never slaves, and honestly, probably your granparents were never slaves. A black man…yes Black, not “African American” (I’m white and was born in South Africa. I’m African American.)Anyways, a black man is the leader of the free world. I think the majority of people have changed their opinions of the black minoirty.
        Drop the race card.

        • Devon

          um… sir, don’t be so judgmental and assume that the only people that suffered from slavery were the slaves themselves. That’s pretty D.U.M.B. if you ask anyone else with an ability to create a thought process. FYI: If you every have to refer to yourself or your brethren as “the white man”, you’ve already proven to everyone who has just witnessed your post that you are being prejudice and racial. That’s the only thing that you’re accomplished. Otherwise, think before you speak if you don’t want to come off in a particular manner.

          Best Regards,
          Devon

          • Enoughwiththeracecard

            Devon, you refer to yourself as Black- American. Does that make you prejudice and racial? I did not refer to myself as “the white man.”
            To add to my statement below…. Every month I write a $2000 check to my $220,000 student loans. I like to think of myself as a smart individual and have been working as a medical doctor for 5 years post fellowship. No scholarships.

        • Anne

          Bingo…I am so over this–Whites ARE the minority..Did all these millionaire black rappers suffer? How easy do you think it was for Eminem to break into that industry. OH! and how about all the poor suffering black men in the NBA…they were REALLY held down.

          • Devon

            Whites are NOT the minority… You still make up the largest single ethnicity in this country. Did all of these rappers suffer??? That’s your argument? Wow, no they didn’t suffer. Big whoop, some of us actually made it out of poverty. Still, the majority of us suffer and are still discriminated against. It’s sooo hard to see things from the other side, until you’ve actually had the chance to wear these shoes. You will never be able to understand how it feels to be followed around, harassed, called the “N-word” behind your back, etc, just because of the color of your skin. (FYI: dont you dare think of saying the ole “yall say it all the time, why can’t we” BS… because I and MANY that I know DONT say it) Just your excuse to stay in your little world and point fingers. You only choose to look at it this way because you have no desire to step out, realize that this world is screwed up, and make a difference for those that are different than you… I’ve gotten over the slavery thing, but guess what, my parents went through the Civil Rights Movement where they and people like them had to suffer from your parents. So don’t give me that crap, because I dont buy it.

      • Craig

        Racism is racism, it can’t be ok for one group and not for another.

    • Devon

      Ok, I’ll bite. The thing is that the majority of scholarships are actually received by white students. They are much larger scholarships and usually university supported. Granted, they’re also awarded primarily based on such demos as (class rank, GPA, ACT/SAT, etc.), but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re heavily received by whites. On the other hand, minorities that do receive scholarships are getting the ones that are usually lower and typically able to cover books, computer, etc… There’s a humongous difference in receiving a full scholarship to college when your parents “usually” (but not always so don’t bite at me too much) can afford to help pay your way through college, unless you’re going to a top private institution vs. you receiving a one-time few thousand $$$ scholarship and your parents (usually single parent in minority homes) only make enough money to “make ends meet”.

      So, I easily see a major need for scholarships for minorities. They should be higher in the amount awarded…

      FYI: My stats… Received a $500 (thats 500 bucks) scholarship for college. $132,428 current indebtedness, with a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. And if it were not for God’s Grace of getting me into medical school, I’d be extremely worried about my financial future. Either way, I’ve calculated it up and by the time I’m done I’ll clear just under $300K.

      And Yes, I’m a Black-American.

      • Enoughwiththeracecard

        Devon, Congrats on your success.
        I understand your point, but I still see no reason for taking away a “white only” scholarship. If white students are mostly being awarded the full rides based on class rank, GPA, ACT/SAT, then I think the problem here is not with what color you are.

        • Stormy

          Where do you people live?? I live in CA. My daughter, who is a freshman in college, graduated with a 4.2 and got 1950 on her SAT’s, was heavily involved in community service, ASB ( student council ) and got $1,250 in local scholarships. My husband has been unemployed 3 of the last 5 years. She got a free lunch her junior year. We didn’t file bankruptcy but have blown through any savings we might have had. If you file bankruptcy, buy new things to make your credit card bills higher each month, you get more consideration than people living a responsible lifestyle with no credit card debt, but also a very old car and very old furniture.
          USC offered her $10K where tuition/room board etc is $65K a year, 4 weeks after college had started. She is going to what she feels is a second rate school because it is all we could afford.
          Meanwhile, at least 2 students she graduated with who are illegals got full rides based on their ethnicity. I am NOT RACIST. I am caucasian and married to a chinese immigrant, who came here legally. So the fact that Colorado recently passed legislation to lower tuition for illegal immigrants, makes me mad. My daughter stayed up late, sacrificed social outings to get the grades to go to a great school. Instead she is going to a regional college and is very disappointed.
          I know life isn’t fair, but the lesson my daughter has learned is that hard work doesn’t not necessarily pay off.

          • Marcus George

            I’m sorry stormy but your daughter had a raw deal. Affirmative action in college has been extremely hard on Asians because, it seems, many of them are brilliant and schools value diversity more than having the absolute best. Thomas Espenshade (princeton sociology prof) said in his book that if all other factors are weighed equal then asian Americans would have to score 140 points higher than whites, 270 points higher than Latinos, and 450 points higher than blacks on the math and reading sat (1600 total) to have the same chance at admission at a private school, better yet getting scholarships for them. The fact that USC wanted to pay for some speaks volumes for your daughter.

          • Nina

            It is illegal to offer illegals in-state tuition without offering to all citizens of the entire US. So apply to a Colorado school and demand in-state tuition based on the Federal Law. If they refuse, you have cause to sue!

        • Devon

          Not once did I say that it should be taken away, so I have no idea where you got that. Thank you for the congrats, but I have gone through the prejudice systems of the south when it comes to getting a scholarship. The facts are this, I wasn’t awarded a full scholarship or partial and had the GPA, ACT, and class rank. I even came from a school system that made it much more challenging. I, and my 3 siblings, were also raised by my mother after our father was killed in a car accident when I was 7 years old on Sept. 26, 1993. My interviews went great! So there wasn’t any reason as to why I shouldn’t receive a scholarship. However, I found out that many white students that I entered college with did receive a scholarship, many with a full scholarship had almost a full point less GPA and most with less ACT scores. So no one can tell me that the challenges that minorities who are willing to pursue higher education and careers don’t actually exist or are fabricated…

    • Amber

      Are you an idiot? Don’t you realize that education among black and white students don’t even compare? Many African American students come from lower economic backgrounds and those that do go to college are usually the first generation in their family to do so. Scholarships for “minority” students are an incentive to allow more minority students the opportunity to attend college that they otherwise would not have had. Most colleges in America are majority white! It makes no sense for schools to offer “white only scholarships” unless the school is majority black and the school wants to increase white enrollment. I go to a small private college in Illinois and my school offers a minority scholarship and all the minority person has to do is maintain a 2.0gpa. Sounds good right?! Well unfortunately I can count on one hand the amount of African Americans that attend my school, so it makes sense for them to offer this to attract more minorities.

      • Stormy

        So even though my daughter worked extremely hard and is white, she didn’t get to go to a top tier school. Is that fair??

        • Marcus George

          I’m sorry Stormy but your daughter had a raw deal. Affirmative action has been extreme tough on Asian americans in college simply because too many of them are too smart. Colleges value diversity over getting the best of the best. Thomas Espenshade (princeton professor) published in his book that if all other factors were equal Asians would have to score 140 points higher than whites, 270 points higher than Latinos and 450 points higher than blacks on the reading and math parts of the sat (1600 total points) to have an equal chance of admission at a price school like USC. Even tougher for a scholarship. The fact that she was admitted speaks volumes of your daughters intellect. Just thought you would find this fun fact interesting.

      • Marcus George

        Im sorry stormy but affirmative action has made it extremely tough on Asian americans in college simply because too many of them are too smart. Colleges value diversity over getting the best of the best. Thomas Espenshade (princeton professor) published in his book that if all other factors were equal Asians would have to score 140 points higher than whites, 270 points higher than Latinos and 450 points higher than blacks on the reading and math parts of the sat (1600 total points) to have an equal chance of admission at a price school like USC. Even tougher for a scholarship. The fact that she was admitted speaks volumes of your daughters intellect. Just thought you would find this fun fact interesting

      • Nina

        We are not talking about what “makes sense”, we are talking about what is legal. Whites happen to be 78% of the population so, of course, there will be more of them. But to give out scholarships based on COLOR, is illegal. It is time for Affirmative Action to come to an end. It was supposed to be temporary. It has been 40 years for god’s sake. Lowering standards just to get a “diversity” of people at a university is just as stupid as lowering the standards to be a firefighter or doctor due to color. Either you make it on your own, or you fail. To coddle people and not require them to meet the same standards as everyone else is not only NOT fair, but racism in and of itself. Just because you come from a “low economic” standard should not justify you for preferential treatment. My father didn’t have money to pay for college for the 9 of us kids. We all found our own way to work our way through college. I worked full-time and went to night school. I never expected nor whined about the fact we didn’t have money. It is what it is. Just because you are Black, does not entitle you to special privileges any more than being white gave me special privileges. It took me 13 years to get my degree!

        • http://webPronews felecia lynn

          first, affirmative action is remedy for past injustices principally for redress to americans of african descent for slavery and all it’s incurrent ills/evils. the system which ended approx.150 years ago has left a residual that hasn’t eroded with constitutional amendment,laws,by-laws,etc. these have only been man-made bandages and frequent, disingenous attempts administered by a failing, corrupt government’s system to “control” blood letting emitting a placebo- like effect which “cures” the condition existent in man since time immemorial that is the sin of hatred of our fellow man and inhumane treatment of one another. we haven’t arrived there yet; unfortunately, judging from this article and it’s online forum. hopefully, man-made laws akin to our president’s signing of the re-authorization of violence against women’s act last mos. and the present administration’s pledge on increased focus on human trafficking aka. “modern-day” slavery may like affirmative action and like laws, at least call attention to a condition that’s only permanent and real cure is a changed heart of flesh rather than stone. and that my friend nina come from God alone. have a blessed day in Jesus’ name

        • http://webPronews felecia lynn

          my previous comment was deleted and i’m seriously thinking on checking with my provider or this web site and others about my comment in this forum not being followed thru on. my comment was not a duplicate for as i went to post, that weird ‘duplicate comment’ pop-up reared it’s ugly head. does any one else go thru this? please comment and write in to web site because that doesn’t make sense. affirmative action is redress and recovery for past wrongs, injustices. that was it’s initial design/purpose to both enfranchise and reparate the descendents of african slaves who’ve suffered just as their ancestors whose forced servitude produced this country’s massive wealth yet went unrewarded to them. this left residual inequities in opportunities and privileges, socially as well as economically, that affirmative action is alleged to correct. judging by this article and it’s subject matter along with the incurrent on-line forum we haven’t arrived yet. these laws and others haven’t been the panacea hoped for by frequently well intentioned folks of all pursuasions: but, they’ve called attention to the ongoing problem of man’s oppression of his fellow man and it’s resultant consequences that aren’t won overnight. real answer in short: God changing man’s heart from one of stone to flesh. have a blessed day, everyone in Jesus’ name

    • LJ

      contrary to what many think the United Negro College Fund will award a scholarship to anyone regardless of sex, race color or sexual orientation. Get your facts straight before you spout off about something you know nothing about.

      • Joey

        No they won’t. That’s why the name of the scholarship was changed to the African American College Fund. They were sued by a WHITE actual South African girl because she was denied it based on race. Proof you need to get your facts straight you f’n idiot.

    • amp

      i feel in my heart of hearts that you made a very true statement! it is never going to be fair as long as the same majority controls everything and has a strong hold of influence over everything.

    • Louise

      Why not just give out scholarships based on merit? Oh my goodness, imagine that.

  • Phil

    I don’t see a problem with a white only scholarship. I’m not quite sure why the NAACP does either. Maybe they should end the black only scholarships available too. Racism goes both ways…Yes I JUST said it!

  • Maleny

    I am Mexican. I was offered a lot of scholarships based on my race. I think that there is nothing wrong with a “white-only” scholarship. There are scholarships for only Africans, Mexicans, Japanese…etc. I think that getting upset and trying to change it, is an over-reaction.

  • jon

    It figures. As we all know only whites are racist.

  • jerry

    Reverse discrimionation at it’s best.

  • pablo escobar

    im paying out of pocket because my daughter is NOT a minority … i see alot of my friends kids going to school free because of their ethnicity and because the parents arent married(a fiscal decision),to which they qualify for more… why not white-only scholarships … shouldve started 4 years ago

  • Alesha

    I am a black person and I don’t see anything wrong with this scholarship. They have scholarships that are just for black students, Asian students, Latino students, and so on and so forth. So what is the big deal really there isn’t one and I feel its just people being stupid really. If this scholarship is being change than maybe all race based scholarships be changed. I know I am going to get a lot of S**t for this.

  • James Weber

    Abolish the United Negro College Fund at the same time otherwise it is racist to abolish Whites only but not blacks only

    • Paula

      African Americans are NOT the only recipients of the United Negro College Fund.

  • Fred

    Hello dumb arses… Look at the fricken date it was founded, 1920!!! Women BARELY had rights, and minorities had zero! This crap was specifically meant to disenfranchise! Think about it, why would there need to be these so-called “Black only” scholarships or learning institutions if life in the good ol US of A was fair? STFU, AND PICK UP A BOOK!

  • Jim Jones

    So what???

  • Paul

    I’m asian so I don’t really have a horse in this other than having what is fair. My daughter’s graduating class just received their scholarships in a ceremony here in round rock, tx. A whole bunch of scholarships are available only to latino kids and they were awarded as such. So that’s ok because they’re latino but this isn’t because its given to whites? WTF?

  • leee

    Honestly, there are alot of other gender, race, culture based scholar ships adn as a non-white person, i think it is acceptabl to have a whites only scholarship here and there.

  • Joey

    Why is it ok for African American only fund, and other minority only fund, but not white only fund?

  • amp

    when you stop people from learning or getting the same education as someone else how the hell is that fair. so you saying that if you graduate from an ivy school that you dont have an upper hand for a job against someone that is from a non ivy league school???? Answer me this…. why did slave owners all over not just the south stop their slaves from learning?

  • bob

    there shouldn’t be any *one race* scholarships, i mean shouldn’t the person of any color that puts in the work required get the scholarship…..that seems fair to me.

  • Completely circumstantial

    I think scholarships need to be completely circumstantial and need-based without regard to race at all. I’m a white, middle-class high school junior who lives in a “privileged suburb”. My parents’ income is well over the average for Americans yet we have absolutely no money – we struggle just to pay the food bills and at the end of the month we have no money left. At my school if you aren’t black or Hispanic and don’t have a 3.8 GPA with 2300+ SAT scores you can’t get into any good schools. I will have to get student loans because my parents spend all of our money caring for my special needs brother – but there’s no place to write that on a financial aid application. They will see our income and where I come from and immediately deny me aid. I just think things need to be on a case by case basis with more room for explanations. I’m not saying take the scholarships away from minorities- I’m just saying that it needs to be done by person and not by race. That way an African-American really does need it they would get it. But I would also have a chance.

    • DDR

      Maybe your mortgage is to high, your cars to expensive, to much credit cards, etc. try being half Spanish and half Caucasian. Go back to school after dropping out of high school because you had to support your family. Then take out a ton of student loans drive one junk car support two kids and still can’t find a job that will cover student loan debt with child care cost. There is very little for white people like me. There was a black guy who signed up at h Sam time as me and he had a full ride. He to was a GED holder. Oh well God has my back.

  • Callie

    They need to make a scholarship for female asexuals that are majoring in mathematics. I’d apply for that! lol

  • sarah ellis

    About time the issue is addressed it is not racist for african americans to have a all black t.v. network, dating site, and scholarships. If I am asked what race am I I would reply white or caucasion, that doesnt make me racist!They are simply trying to label a white scholarship like they label latino and black scholarships. For some reason anything labeled white is considered racist when that is not what is going on. It is a race like everyother race. How is it agianst the constitution if we are all “equal” if we are all truley equal then why cant white people have a scholarship too? So it is not considered racist when the latino race of people have one but when a caucasion race wants one they are racist? Sounds like racism is coming from the other side now, it may have been diferent two hundred years ago but look who are not treated equally now. This is bogus and there should be no restrictions for any race, breed, color whatever, I dont care if your purple have a purple people scholarship. This is America we are equal and can do what you want to do.

  • Robert Le H.

    I personally don’t see what the big deal is! I can bet that there is Black Only Scholarships out there also, So what is the big deal? They want equal opportunity which is good but they also want scholarships just for NON White, why do they not see that as a problem? What’s good for the gander should be good for the goose!

  • Dave

    This is AMERICA!!..There are Months dedicated to certain races, there is also scholarships for minorities.. When did we become so PC? We are too afraid to speak our minds or accept what others choose. Who freakin cares. Let this lady do what she wants with her money..Not ALL white people have money geesh!..

  • Old Mn

    African-American must realize, the pendulum swings both ways.

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