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Should a Wealthy Student Accept a Full Scholarship?

Money and ethics often go hand in hand, and this weekend Kiplinger featured a reader question involving these two very connected things. It doesn't involve anything scandalous like money laundering or embezzlement, in fact it's about something as innocent as education. She asked if her millionaire cousin's son should accept the full academic scholarship he was offered by their state university.

This question was interesting to me because I'd really never thought about it as an issue — if a student earns a scholarship then why wouldn't he accept it? The response to the question mentions that the family should make a donation as repayment to the school. What's your opinion?


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Captious Captious 8 years
There is no saying what he -should- do. If I was him and my parents were willing to foot the bill for school I would turn it down.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Does the article say that he applied for this scholarship? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just asking. I know at my school, I got a merit scholarship and I didn't have to apply for it. I automatically got it when they went through my application because I had the grades for it.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
Yes. He earned it by way of academics or athletics and he deserves it. It's reverse discrimination to NOT offer him the money when he clearly qualifies for it. And people get pissed when rich kids use their parents money-- this is a kid who has earned something and idk his motivations, but if he is able to put himself through college he should do so, and he is. Sheesh, some people are just never happy... I think he should be applauded instead of being scorned.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
Of course he should accept the scholarship. As others have noted, the student EARNED it and the university will benefit from their acceptance. There's a lot of competition for excellent students these days. I attended a very humble state university for my undergrad and its reputation has only increased since it started aggressively recruiting top high school students who otherwise wouldn't think of enrolling but for the full ride.
codewhiz codewhiz 9 years
I think the state university is offering the scholarship to the kid in order to boost its profile.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
This is a stupid question if you ask me. Why anyone would even ponder this is beyond me.... Of course he should accept it, regardless as to his family's wealth, since he earned it. And its been my experience that wealthier families always give donations to their colleges. What a weird question. :OY:
em113 em113 9 years
and not to bombard this post with comments, but paying for your children's education is hardly "feeding your kids with a silverspoon." Sure, it's a nice thing to do that some parents may choose not to do, but I, and many other people, are not spoiled just because my parents have worked hard and always managed their money well-enough to ensure that I could graduate from college debt-free.
em113 em113 9 years
oops I meant to write wouldn't have taken it.
em113 em113 9 years
I'm torn, but leaning more towards Bella. I know when I applied for school I didn't apply for any scholarships because I knew my parents could pay and I would've felt terrible taking the money that someone else *needed* to go to school. I was still offered money by several schools (none of which I chose to attend) and I would've have taken it. Yes, you could say I earned things because of my grades, but so what, maybe I had more time to study because I wasn't working two jobs in high school! And yes, obviously, if the student's parents aren't helping pay for college it's a different story, but let's face it that's the exception to the rule.
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 9 years
Yes. He should accept without any qualms. Cos scholarships are all about the prestige and not just the money that comes along.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 9 years
he earned it, so he deserves it. HOWEVER, do you think he would have been able to earn it without the expensive private education probably received his entire life, along with positive and successful role models encouraging his hard work? had he grown up going to an urban school lacking in caring educations and an neighborhood without positive mentors, he may have never reached his potential. that's a sad comparison, if you ask me.. not to say that all urban students are set up for failure, just that things are easier when you grow up with wealth.
Meike Meike 9 years
BS. If anyone told me I shouldn't have taken my full academic scholarship because my parents could afford it, then they don't know what it took to earn it. My parents made a life for themselves from small beginnings and earned their way up. They then passed on that same torch of responsibility to me. Not all well-to-do parents spoon feed their kids from birth to college. If he truly earned it, he deserves it and should accept it.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 9 years
IF the student worked for it then why not
miss-ellie miss-ellie 9 years
If he deserves it, then yes he should accept it. Just because his family has money doesn't automatically mean that his parents give him everything. This type of thing irritates me. I do not come from a "millionaire" family by any means, but I was so annoyed in college when I applied for an on-campus job and could not go through the actual application process simply because my father's income was over a certain amount every year. (I guess that means you get everything handed to you then and therefore do not need a job?) However, if this scholarship was given to him because of the status/name of his family, then that's another story.
girlwparasol girlwparasol 9 years
i totally agree with bella. whether he/she earned it or not, if there are other means to pay the bill, why take the help? my high school forced all seniors to fill out scholarship forms, and one girl refused. why? because her parents had already told her they'd handle all her college expenses. the school MADE her return it, and she was offered a few scholarships, all of which she refused, very honorably. it'd be like seeing an oil tycoon eating a soup kitchen, basically. scholarships are there to help students who NEED them, they're not monetary prizes for good grades.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
OK, Bella's going to be the jerk here and say he shouldn't accept the scholarship. His family can pay for the tuition; other students' families cannot. By refusing the scholarship, he allows another student to have more opportunity. Yeah, technically, it's his — but it's more gracious and generous to pay his own way. Colleges do offer financial aid and scholarships, of course, but you can't count on them. I almost didn't get to finish college because the government slashed my Pell Grant. I just think that for wealthy people, it's declassé to accept the kind of help you don't need, especially when it could help someone else who's really struggling to afford his or her education.
brielleblonde brielleblonde 9 years
I think he should take it! He worked hard to earn the scholarship, and just because his parents are millionaires, doesn't mean HE is a millionaire. One side of my grandparents own a bank and are very very wealthy, but they didn't help any of my aunts and uncles out with college or anything! And for people saying there are more deserving students that need that money... colleges, both private and public, give out A LOT of scholarships. The government also gives out a lot of grants as well. Most people I know do fine with the amount they have to pay in tuition. Colleges are very generous when it comes to financial aid to those who need it.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Yes, work hard and reap the benefits. Some people do not but if you are lucky to be the choosen lot then I say go for it.
sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 9 years
If you earn it, then why not. But, I will say it really bothered me when people would brag about cheating the system and use scholarship/financial aid money to see a movie, buy clothes, etc.
millarci millarci 9 years
I was torn on this question as well. BUT I think they should accept it only because they earned it. It's hard to get a scholarship (believe me I know), but you have to be fair.
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
If he earned it then absolutley he deserves it.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
absolutely, full scholarships are earn through extremely hard work (most of the time). Its an aware and they should accept it and brag a little, lol.
thelorax thelorax 9 years
Just because the parents are wealthy does NOT mean the student is wealthy. This infuriated me when I was going through the application process - you are asked about your parents' income, assets, etc. but there is no consideration for students who have to pay their own way, regardless of their parents' economic standing. If you manage to score some scholarships despite the biased system, then kudos to you, you probably deserve them!!!
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
Lets see the student has two choices: he can take the money he didnt earn from his parents. Or he can earn his own way by taking the scholarship he did earn. If the family wants to donate money to a particular cause on campus, or give money to the scholarship fund so more students with academic achievements like their sons can attend college regardless of their wealth, than that would be an honorable choice. But what it comes down to is the student SHOULD choose what he earned, and not just take whats given to him. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
hmm, this is tough. But I think that he should not have placed himself in the competition for the scholarship in the first place. My mom could not afford to pay for me to go to college, if I would have been denied a scholarship b/c some rich kid applied for the same one and got it over me it would not only make me mad, but it goes against the whole principle of the scholarship. The whole idea of a came about when people realized that not only the rich deserve to be educated. A scholarship is for kids who deserve to go to college, who have worked hard in HS and have proven that they will be valuable to the school, BUT do not have the financial means to attend. Obviously this kid has the financial means to attend.
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