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Financial Aid at Georgia Tech should be primarily need-based, rather than merit-based(Final). Cross44

Earning a college degree has now become one of the basic requirements for acquiring a well-paying job inside of the United States. Over the years the importance of higher education has increased along side the growing reliance on computer and technology. According to the American Funds the mean annual earnings of a high school graduate is a measly $26, 795, compared to $50, 623, the annual salary for a person with a bachelor’s degree from college. Taking into account the additional rises in current cost of living, it is very difficult for non-college graduates to be able to live a comfortable life or raise a family in modern society. Despite that fact, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education states in a poll that only 54% of U.S. citizens agree that a college education is worth the heavy price of admission. To ease the expenses of college, the United States Government provides colleges around the nation a large sum of money for the colleges to distribute as financial aid. There are typically two types of financial aid offered: Merit-based and Need-based. Merit-based aid awards the incoming college students who have maintained good grades and test scores in high school, while Need-based aid awards students from lower income families who have shown the potential to be successful in college. Need-based Aid should take precedent over Merit-based Aid in the Georgia Institute of Technology in order to promote the equality towards all minorities, as well as taking a major step into eliminating the poverty cycle.

At the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology the current annual Need-Based financial aid summed up to be $16,163,206, compared to the current Merit-Based financial aid sum of $18,035,798. A majority of Merit-based financial aid came in the form of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship that covers most of its recipient’s school tuition and living expenses. The academic requirements for Hope are far from vigorous, requiring a basic 3.0 in High School to be eligible for the scholarship. At Chattahoochee High School, a public High school in Georgia, over half the senior class graduated with a GPA of over 3.0. There was no doubt most of these high school students were able to achieve a 3.0 GPA with little or no effort. In fact most honor students were able maintained a steady 4.0 throughout their entire high school career. Thus over half of the 600+ graduating senior class was eligible to enter college in Georgia with almost no financial burden whatsoever. The trend spreads across the rest of Georgia High Schools. In fact the incoming fall class for the Georgia Tech had a mean high school GPA of over 3.7. Thus almost every residential in-state Freshmen of Georgia Tech had their tuition covered by the Hope Scholarship. The astoundingly high rate of recipients for HOPE questions the merit behind merit-based Scholarships. What is the point of a merit-based scholarship if almost everyone can get it?

According to Chronicle of Higher Education 6 out of 10 Hope recipients lose the aid in their first year of college. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that many of the High School courses are simply too easy to excel in. A high school physics class may differ dramatically from a college physics class. Thus there is really no way to judge the “merit” of a person before college. Another problem with Merit-based aid is that despite being a way to help middle-class students lift the heavy financial burden of college tuition, merit-based aid simply deny the opportunity for many lower-income students from ever achieving higher education.

Lower-income families, many of which are minorities inside of the United States, are denied the ability to fund a college education despite their inner potential. According to CNN as of 2003, 46 percent of Caucasians attend college inside of the United States, compared to 40 percent of African-Americans, and only 34 percent of Hispanic Americans. While this disparity has lessened since the early 1980’s, it’s still blatantly exists. Many low-income minority students are either first or second generation immigrants and lack the financial depth of long-term U.S. citizens. Virtanen and Huddy states that, “One factor that emerges consistently from the definitions of symbolic or new racism is the emphasis on whites’ belief that the blacks are unwilling to help themselves” (321). With the current state of financial aid in higher education, it is impossible for many minorities to help themselves. With an established need-based aid in place, many minorities will receive that “help” that will lessen the stigma of African American’s who are unwilling to help themselves, and thus eliminate a key factor for societal racism.

Also as it stands now, Middle and Upper class families have the ability to send their children to public/private well-funded high schools, while many lower-income families because of either location or means, have no way to cultivate their children’s intellectual abilities in the same way. A study conducted at Indiana University showed that many low income students were able to keep up with middle or upper income in terms of college work when given the opportunity (Edward P. St. John 121). Thus many capable low-income students are forced into blue-collar jobs that will never explore their true intellectual abilities. While many below average middle-upper class students are awarded for an education they could have afforded on their own anyways. With more money being shifted from need-based aid, the Georgia institute of technology could lead the way into finally braking the poverty cycle. Capable young students from low-income family may finally get a chance to get that education and make a different living for themselves as well as their future family. As it stands right now, many bright young students are denied that opportunity.

The Status quo should be evident enough of the failures of Merit-based aid taking precedent over financial aid. Minority families still stuffer the social stigma that results from the inability to acquire a recent education. As long as the educational gap remains between the different races, racism will continue to be a plague upon society. Additionally all low-income students are suffering the side-effects of educational public policy inside the United States. The rich continue to get richer by the year, and the poor still remain shackled to poverty. If the Georgia Institute of Technology took the first initiative to shift a large sum of State and Federal Funds from merit-based aid to need-based aid it could effectively minimize these problems that are plaguing society. The university would serve as a beacon of equality and hope for all other universities to mimic.

Virtanen and Huddy. 1998. “Old Fashion Racism and New Forms of Racial Prejudice,” Journal of politics 60: 311-332.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. “Merit-based Financial Aid Is Eroding the Opportunities of College-Bound Blacks.” Summer 2000. pp. 29-30.

“University System of Georgia High School GPA for first-time Freshmen” [web page] 2001; [Accessed 12 April 2005].

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. “The Importance of Higher Education” [web page] 1998; -ability_pa4.shtml. [Accessed 12 April 2005].

American Funds. “How Higher Education can pay off”/ [web page] 2005; [Accessed 12 April 2005]

I had a very hard time with identifying or even giving your paper a chance because it comes off as completely biased. You give absolutly no points to other side, this makes your argument and opinion seem extremely not thought out. The first thing that i would like to say is... why is it not possible for a person to simply just work hard and receive a merit scholarship if it is needed. Are you saying that a person who graduates valedictorian and worked and sacrificed through highschool should not be rewarded with scholarships simply because her parents are middle class? I think you should ponder more on the hope scholarship, bec you are saying that it should be discredited and all that money should be given to students simply based on need. This would make it possible for a person in financial need to slack off through out highschool getting just good enough grades to get accepted and then not have to worry about receiving a scholarship bec all that will matter on their application is their financial bracket.

First you made it sound like there is a direct correlation between race and need. Second, you talk about called the people with strong academic achievement "people who don't deserve the HOPE". What better way to deserve when we are talking about education than grades.

Evaluation of Cross44 by Azigiza

Comments by dcorcoran:

I don’t think you need a hyphen in “through-out,” it’s just throughout (1st paragraph). In your last sentence of the first paragraph, “has” should be “have”, there should probably be a comma after “scholarships” (before which), and “grants” should be singular. The dollar signs in your second paragraph would traditionally go before the numbers. Second paragraph, “The questions remain as if we all earned it, and deserved it” needs to be rephrased. Include a comma after “In conclusion,” and “First of all.”

The data that you have is appropriate, but you still need more support with direct quotes. Also, in my opinion, CNN is not enough for sources. Include journals or at least one other credible secondary source.

The first paragraph is a good setup for your argument, and your paragraphs do seem be cohesively focusing on an identifiable topic sentence. You just need to expand and support your argument.

Evaluation of Cross44 by DEEZ913
Evaluation of Cross44 by SPALDING
-Test scores of low-income families.
-Percent of Georgia students that receive the hope scholarship going into college?

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