December 6, 2013
A Higher Education: If Given the Chance
Aid for students to pay for a college education should be based solely on merit based scholarships more than need based. Merit-based aid given to students based on scholarships for academic, artistic and athletic scholarships is much more prevalent. Giving more merit based scholarships provides more prospective students an opportunity to attend a college or university of their choice. Being able to afford college could reduce the rate of high school drop outs because the chance to receive a higher education is given. Not only will it give more prospective students an opportunity to attend college, but it will give them great motivation and ambition to succeed in a college or university.
More merit based scholarships provide more opportunities to afford college, which is necessary in this competitive society. Getting into college is an on-going competition. “A growing number of students fight for admission as applicants have doubled since the early 1970’s” (Heckman, Lochner and Todd, 2006; Goldin and Katz, 2008). “From 1992 to 2004, on the other hand, the number of applicants to four-year colleges grew from 1.19 million to 1.71 million students, an increase of 44 percent, as rising application rates and growing cohort size reinforced each other” ( John Bound, Brad Hershbein, and Bridget Terry Long 1). A students high school achievements is a reflection of their academic success. The on-going competition to be accepted into a college or university will never end because of students strive for a higher education. To achieve a higher education is needed to achieve success in the world. A college education gives you better choices of careers, jobs and a higher income for financial stability. Imagine a high school senior by the name of Jermaine who comes from a low-income family, but a talented basketball player. The athletic scholarship is a dream that has been a dream of his since a young boy, to be able to grow up and ball. He wants to attend college and play professional college basketball, but cannot afford to be given the opportunity to attend. Jermaine’s grades are mediocre an A, B C student mostly, but he has extreme talent on the basketball court. “Yes academics are important but most athletic scholarships from the NCAA are given to student- athletes with at least a minimum of 2.0-2.3 GPA” (Toporek). “If a student-athlete meets the current 2.0 GPA requirement but falls short of the 2.3 GPA required for competition, the NCAA approved a proposal that will allow him/her to still remain on his/her athletic scholarship. The NCAA is calling this an "academic redshirt" year” (Toporek).
Being given a merit based scholarship for basketball will give him the chance to go to college and make something of himself for the future. This scenario is most circumstances of high school students who cannot afford to go to college. The rising cost of college appears as an obstacle for many low-income US American families and their children hoping to receive a higher education (Porter). Unfortunately, more financial aid is given to need-based aid than merit-based aid for both public and private colleges and universities. This limits the chance for students like Jermaine to be able to go to college based on statistics. “More desired students based upon income are more likely to receive a larger total aid. Statistics show that 4% undergraduates for public colleges and universities received merit based aid while 22% received need-based aid” (Schapiro & McPherson 39). “15% received merit based aid for private colleges and universities; 52% received need based aid for private colleges” (Schapiro & McPherson 40).
The odds of Jermaine receiving an athletic scholarships is limited. “There are roughly 138,000 athletic scholarships available for Division I and Division II sports” (O’Shaughnessy). “The average athletic scholarship is