Rewarding Special Talents Essay, Research Paper
Rewarding Special Talents
For many years now, advocates for giving out scholarships based only on financial need have been pushing to remove special abilities from the criteria to award the money. This proposed system is already in use in the form of financial aid. Scholarships were created to reward individuals who exhibited talent that would benefit the college. Therefore, the basis for giving scholarships should consist equally of scholastic achievement, athletic ability, and need. Scholarships are in place to reward special talents. They should remain separate from financial aid where the only determining factor is need.
The issue of scholarship selection criteria is mainly one of morality. It is not fair for students to be judged only the number of dollars in their pockets when applying for scholarships. Students who obtain scholarships receive them because they are special in some way. Special students should be rewarded in the form of a scholarship. Should talents be taken out of the equation, the students may not try as hard to excel at their talents. There is less motivation for students to achieve because they learn that hard work is not rewarded with scholarships. This is a horrible lesson to teach the students of this country. It is immoral and unfair.
Scholastic achievement and learning are the main purposes for colleges and universities. Accordingly, students should be rewarded for their superior academic achievement. Take for example two students of the same economic standing. Tim is a straight A student while Josh commonly receives C’s and D’s. If both students were to be admitted into the same college and apply for a scholarship, they would be treated equally under the system in which scholarships are given out on the basis of financial need alone. This is not fair to the student who studied day and night. Tim has proven that he is capable of superior scholastic achievement and learning, which are the main purposes of colleges and universities. Josh has not shown this, but under the proposed system, he may be awarded a scholarship instead of Tim.
The reasons for including athletic ability in scholarship criteria do not relate directly to scholastic achievement and learning, however, they are just as important because of the benefits that good athletic programs bring. Athletic programs generate millions of dollars in revenue for many schools based on how good they are. This money is used to fund many of the less lucrative (but necessary) programs that the school endorses. The quality of athletic programs is directly related to the talent of its athletes. Therefore, athletic ability should remain a major factor in scholarship awards.
Opponents to including athletic ability in scholarship selection criteria may be right when they say that sports do not directly relate to learning institutions, but economic standing does not either. The amount of money in a student’s pocket has nothing to do with how well that individual can benefit the university. Talented athletes, however, generate money and positive exposure for the school. The poor student does neither. The special students should be rewarded for the benefits they bring to the school. The same example of Tim and Josh can be used again in this case. This time, Tim is an all-state running back while Josh has no extracurricular activities and both have the same economic standing. It would not be fair to judge these two individuals in the same way.
One student has proven that he can contribute to the athletic program which, in turn, benefits the school while the other has not.
Scholarships were created to reward individuals who exhibited talent that would benefit the college. If they were to be awarded on a financial basis only, it would hurt the reputation of the school due to less qualified students and hindered athletic programs. In addition, the proposed system would set a bad example for students because it will not reward those hard earned accomplishments. The only reasonable solution is to include athletic ability and scholastic achievement along with financial need to determine scholarship awards.