Does anybody know why scholarships target Asians?

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Discus: Financial Aid and Scholarships: May 2004 - Archive: Does anybody know why scholarships target Asians?
By Weenie (Weenie) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit

Not to be politically incorect or anything, but why do so many scholarships that target historically struggling minorities (Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics) also target Asians?

I feel that blacks, Hispanics (who are US citizens) and Native Americans, really are owed a helping hand - especially given that so many of them come from badly underfunded and under-performing school systems - but how are Asians different from any other current or past struggling immigrant group? Although my parents got off the boat from Italy and really struggled, I didn't qualify for any particular aid, nor did I expect any.

I'd just like to hear everybody's opinion on that. Thanks!

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 03:53 pm: Edit

My father was a German Jewish immigrant who was also a prisoner of war during WW about a group who needed a helping hand!! If there was finaid available to folks like us, it certainly wasn't common knowledge to me nor did I expect it.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit

While private scholarship can be race specific, most financial aid is need based and race neutral.

Thumper, if finaid was not available to your father, it must have to do with the fact that financial aid is mosty reserved to citizens and permanent residents. International students are still in the same boat today, but I do not think that it is unjust to make the distinction between citizens and international applicants.

As far as the question about Asians, while they are excluded from the URM status, scholarship donors recognize that not all Asians are equal and that some sub-groups (like Vietnames, Cambodians, Laotians, etc) are in dire need of assistance. Numerous scholarships have an element of need base, and try to answer to the pressing needs of the more disadvantaged minorities.

By Delacroix (Delacroix) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit

"Not to be politically incorect or anything, but why do so many scholarships that target historically struggling minorities (Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics) also target Asians?

Well, Asians have also been historically mistreated and put at a disadvantage. Think about Japanese Americans during WWII, and when the Chinese first came here to work in mines in teh West...they had to face hardship and racism. Although right now colleges don't count Asians in affirmative action, like Xiggi pointed out, many groups from Asia are still disadvantaged. I'm Asian, and my parents came here for grad school...they didn't get any aid either...they had to work extremely hard in different jobs just to put themselves through school and get eventually PhDs. Ever since, (I may be wrong, but this may be the general, although stereotypical, Asian mindset) they have stressed education and hard work to get a good education, and perhaps, if possible, merit scholarships. I don't want to presume anything, but perhaps your concept of Asians as not really needing a helping hand is from the stereotype that Asians are all rich, smart, 1600/36/800x3 students, or the fact that Asian enrollment at top schools are quite high compared to other minority groups. Well, like in every racial group, there are probably people at all ends of the spectrum. While some Asians may be rich or not disadvantaged, others may really need financial don't categorize all Asians as "undeserving" of scholarships. This is my 2 cents worth.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Although URMs are specifically blacks, American Indians, and hispanics, in many of the colleges in the US, the student body is uniformly vanilla. My good friend who lives in a city was in shock when she visited some of the large midwestern schools her son was targetting. "I've never seen so many blondes in my life." she said, accustomed to living in an area that has more color of every sort with many internationals to boot. Asians would provide some ethnic diversity to those schools and do enjoy some tip factors in admissions. The reason they do not get any preference in admissions in the more select colleges is that there are so many of them that there is no need to target them. Energies and funds are funneled where the need is to achieve diversity.

There are scholarships and schools where you likely can be targeted if you look. Some of the former women's colleges give leeway and are more generous to males. Engineering schools often have special awards for females. Schools looking for a more national presence will give heavy tip factors for geographics. Some school would like to see more internationals. Whatever the school wants more of is what gets preference in admissions and more scholarships.

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