We recently learned another celebrity’s child was offered a football scholarship to UCLA (Cordell Broadus, Snoop Dogg’s Son, Awarded UCLA Football Scholarship As High School Sophomore) and I continue to wonder what message this sends. I generally agree with the idea of merit based scholarships; it’s true people should be rewarded for their hard work, but when it comes to college, the idea of merit scholarships is a little more confusing.
I know very little about sports, so perhaps I’m not the best person to critique UCLA’s decision, but I suspect in sports, like other extra curricular activities and academic enrichment, it takes money to reach one’s full potential. By money, I mean enrolling in special camps, classes, workshops etc and while there are scholarships to access these opportunities, let’s be real, those are hard to come by.
So, back to people getting athletic scholarships who can clearly afford to pay for college. I can’t say I agree with UCLA. I’m not saying these talented student athletes shouldn’t gain admission. They should. They should also have a spot on the athletic team. But, I’m not sure they should be awarded a scholarship, a form of financial aid. In an era where highly capable students cannot fulfill their college dreams because of money, in my mind, it sends exactly the wrong message that UCLA is choosing to give money to children of millionaires (and then make sure the whole world knows they did). I understand the money comes from a separate pool of money than the regular financial aid pool, but a scholarship is scholarship and I can’t imagine there isn’t another equally talented athlete who needs the money to attend UCLA.
I think if UCLA was a leader in awarding comprehensive financial aid packages, I might have a different opinion, but the UC isn’t affordable for many students. In fact, for some, attending a private institution is more affordable because of financial aid packages.