Financial Aid at Georgia Tech should be primarily merit-based, rather than need-based.
Georgia Institute of Technology has been offering a great amount of financial aid to new students and current students as a top public college in the nation. According to Institutional Research & Planning of Georgia Institute of Technology, it awarded over 34 million dollars during the term 2003-2004. Need-based and merit-base scholarships distributed almost the same amount although merit-base is 2 million dollars more than the other. The question is which need-base or non-need-base should be offered in Georgia Institute of Technology. Although the answer is truly controversial, it is need-base.
First of all, because Georgia Institute of Technology is a public school which is one of governmental public goods, it should give equal opportunities to college degree seekers to go to Georgia Tech. Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the top colleges in the nation, of course, so students should have a good standing on their performance. This is a basic assumption on scholarships at not only Georgia Tech but other colleges. Then, if there are two students who has good performance as well as the other, which gives equity that scholarships to a really needed students or scholarships to a non-needed student? To the needed student is fair in a sense of governmental public goods. In fact, the minorities, for example, blacks on the average earn “about one tenth of the salary of whites,” according to ”The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education” by Grossman. Besides, 31 percent of the undergraduate enrollment at Georgia Tech in fall, 2004 is minorities according to Georgia Tech Website. In short, Georgia Tech may have a lot of students who need financial aid.
There are a lot of good standing high school graduates who cannot afford tuition at Georgia Tech even though Georgia Tech offers reasonable tuition compared to other top public schools. The tuition for first year residents at University of Michigan is $8,201 per year, on the other hand, one at Georgia Tech is $4,483 according to Admission Office of both Schools. Nevertheless, need-base financial aid will attract to such unaffordable, but good standing students. Also, it will help Georgia Tech to achieve higher quality. Try to enter Georgia Tech with non-need financial aid, high school students study harder and become more intelligent. They come to Georgia Tech and they distribute in many way. For example, atmosphere in classes will be more sophisticated, and the researches they are involved will make great progress.
In addition to the quality of enrolling or applying students, and Georgia Institute of Technology, the number of applicants will shift to larger if Georgia Tech offers more need-based financial aid because high school students pays attention to it according to Gregory in his “Financial Aid and Enrollment.” Even though the college has enough students to just operate the school in the matter of budget earned from their tuition, in fact, it is not enough because tuition at Georgia Tech becomes more and more expensive. Of course, the act of budget cut of government to education was obviously the trigger. Tuition for resident Undergraduates in the term of 2004-2005 is $3,368 and one in the term of 2005-2006 is $4,483 according to the Admission Office of Georgia Tech. If the tuition goes up at same rate of these terms, it would be $15,633 ten years later. If it happens, it would be more difficult for students who need financial aid to enter Georgia Tech. To resolve this tendency, Georgia Tech should have more students to get more budget.
In conclusion, need-based financial aid is more efficient to students who cannot afford tuition than merit-based one. In general, Minorities who are one-third of Georgia Tech students receives benefit of need-based one. It will help more Georgia Tech to maintain or even make the quality of students better than the other. Moreover, gaining more students, it will resolve the budget problem on Georgia Tech. Financial aid is to exist for both students and Georgia Tech itself.