Government financial aid based on merit turns education from a right available to all students into a privilege primarily for the wealthy.

"[T
]
Accept space
]
he increased
use
of
merit
aid
is associated with a decrease in
enrollment
of low-income and minority students."
This
quote from a study done by Amanda L. Griffith, a professor of economics at Wake Forest University, was cited in a statement calling for an end to
merit
-based financial
aid
which was issued by a group of private
college
presidents (Gardner). Making financial
aid
entirely dependent upon “
merit
” makes
college
education even more class and race entitled (and biased) than it is already. As Catherine Rampell wrote, “
Merit
metrics like SAT scores tend to closely correlate with family income; about 1 in 5 students from households with income over $250,000 receives
merit
aid
from his or her school. For families making less than $30,000, it’s 1 in 10” (Rampell).
Consequently
, basing financial
aid
for students on
merit
serves to lock low-income people into poverty;
additionally
, regardless of whether it is intended or not,
merit
-based financing
also
has racial and gender bias.
Also
, the very term
merit
-based is misleading. As Chelsea Jones put it, “There is a
misnomer
Suggestion
Misnomer
in a term commonly used in higher education:
merit
aid
. The
use
of '
merit
’ implies
excellence
Suggestion
Excellence
or worthy of praise, but unfortunately, in
this
context,
merit
is often synonymous with privilege.” The fact of the matter is, low-income students who cannot obtain
merit
-based scholarships are just as smart as their higher-income counterparts who can get the
merit
-based financial
aid
but they happen to be unable to take part in the various extracurricular activities that play a big role in determining whether they are a star candidate for a
merit
-based scholarship or not. A low-income
student
not only might not have the ability to attend extracurricular activities depending on where her or his school is located, and they might
also
have to work part-time just to make ends meet even if their school had those opportunities (Jones).
Also
, are students with disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to participate in extracurricular activities, going to be less able to secure
merit
-based financial
aid
?
Lastly
, single mothers who have one child or more to take care of,
in addition
to going class and possibly working on top of that, would be unfairly impacted by a decision to make government financial
aid
for
student
's
merit
-based.
This
would, and already does, make it gender-biased. That, in combination with the fact that women who are equally qualified still tend to get paid less than men for the same jobs, makes
this
sexist. While the amount of money
that is
dedicated to
merit
-based financial
aid
increases, the amount of money available for
need-based
financial
aid
proportionately decreases.
Likewise
, while the amount of
merit
-based financial
aid
increases,
conversely
, the number of students who receive
need-based
aid
- IE Pell Grant- decreases. The result is fewer black students on the campus: Griffith, an assistant professor of economics at Wake Forest University, found that “the
use
of
merit
aid
is associated with changes in the socioeconomic and racial composition of the
study
Suggestion
student
body.” According to the report, within three to five years of introducing a
merit
aid
program, the two top tiers of private colleges saw their share of Pell Grant recipients fall by 6 percentage points. At bottom-tier schools, the proportion of Pell Grant recipients
initially
rose but
Accept comma addition
rose, but
ultimately dropped by 2 percentage points within 10 years of the creation of
such
a program. The study
also
found that the introduction of a
merit
aid
program led to a reduction in the representation of black students at top-tier schools (
qtd
.
in
Suggestion
In
Burd 5). Another problem with
merit
-based financial
aid
is that colleges and universities are dedicating a lot of resources to attracting “desirable” students who are high scoring and have high achievements.
This
is all to enhance the university’s prestige. But what of everyone else? What of those who have disabilities or those who must help take care of siblings or other relatives with disabilities?
Likewise
, what of the students who have to work part-time or even full time to get by and are not able to spend as much time on their classwork as they would like, or as their classwork really requires, having lower grades
as a result
?
Similarly
, what of the LGBTQ students, particularly LGBTQ students of
color
a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
colour
? David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, (a civil rights organization focused on the empowerment of LGBTQ people) and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, summarized it by saying: The ability for postsecondary institutions to provide credentials, certificates and degrees that are required for certain types of jobs are
further
stratified or
further
marginalizing individuals who are from communities that are most under supported or least likely to have access to the high-quality schools…without
need-based
financial
aid
(qtd.
in
Suggestion
In
Elfman). Making
student
aid
Accept comma addition
aid, merit
merit
-based only for them effectively shuts them out. Statistically speaking, there is plenty of evidence showing that white students are
much
Suggestion
many
more
Suggestion
More
likely to receive
merit
-based financial
aid
than students of
color
a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
colour
(Racial Breakdown of Financial
Aid
). At the same time, black and Chicana people earn less than white people do (Kochhar and Cilluffo). Taken together, making financial
aid
Accept comma addition
aid, merit
merit
-based only serves to
further
entrap people of
color
a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
colour
in a vicious cycle of poverty and inequality. It is white supremacist regardless of whether
that is
the intent of those who try to implement it. In a country that disproportionately incarcerates people of
color
a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
colour
, people who get out of prison and want to try to restart their lives by getting a
college
degree will find it much more difficult to do so in Georgia which has absolutely no
need-based
financial
aid
. All financial
aid there
Accept comma addition
aid, there
is
merit
-based (Total Grant
Aid
Awarded). In conclusion, making government financial
aid
for students based solely on
merit
has already been shown to be an unmitigated disaster for the low-income, disabled, working mothers and people of
color
a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
colour
. It amounts to educational apartheid and as already stated, it means that government
student
aid
pretty much becomes available only to those who least need it. To paraphrase Catherine Rampell, who is, in turn quoting, Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher at Edvisors.
com
Suggestion
Come
Com
, for low-income students, the six-year graduation rate is 45 percent when grants cover one-quarter of the
college
costs, but it goes up to 68 percent when grants cover three-fourths of the
college
cost; looking at the statistics for high-income students though, the graduation rates are about 78 percent either way.
Likewise
,
merit
-based financing has
also
been shown to cause lower
college
attendance for non-white students. Education needs to be viewed as an irrevocable right and not a privilege,
therefore not
Accept comma addition
therefore, not
only must we no longer consider
merit
-based
student
financial
aid
programs. We must go beyond that and enact federal laws that prohibit states from using
merit
-based financial
student
aid
programs and force the states which are currently using
merit
-based financial
aid
to immediately discontinue that practice and return to the
use
of
need-based
financial
aid
.

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    • Sentence 1 - Topic sentence
    • Sentence 2 - Example
    • Sentence 3 - Discussion
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    • Sentence 1 - Topic sentence
    • Sentence 2 - Example
    • Sentence 3 - Discussion
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