Diddy’s Son Draws Criticism Over Scholarship to UCLA

Justin Combs comes under scrutiny as critics believe he shouldn't get a free ride through college.

Posted: 05/31/2012 12:53 PM EDT

Justin worked hard throughout high school and graduated with a 3.75 GPA while excelling as a defensive back on his football team. For his efforts, he was awarded a full scholarship last fall to attend UCLA this year. There was only one problem, however, according to certain residents of cash-strapped California — Justin's last name is Combs.

Because the standout student athlete is the son of Sean “Diddy” Combs, the ritzy hip hop mogul worth an estimated $550 million, some Californians are arguing that Justin doesn't need the scholarship, which is worth $54,000 in the first year, CNN reports. These residents say Justin should return the money and let his shot-caller father pick up the bill.

Representatives for the Combs family have yet to respond to the controversy, but UCLA put out a statement defending its decision to award the scholarship.

"Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability, and not on a student's financial need," UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said.

Vazquez said that Justin's scholarship is being paid for entirely by Bruins ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and private donations and does not draw from state funds or the university's endowment.

When he announced his decision to attend UCLA last November, Justin said going to the school was a dream come true.

“Playing Division I football was a lifelong dream of mine, and through hard work I was able to achieve it,” he said.

So does he deserve to go to school for free? What do you think?

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