Study: Fewer Black College Students Receive Merit-Based Aid

In contrast, more Black undergrads received grants based on financial need when compared to whites.

During the 2007–08 academic year, undergraduate students received  $62 billion in financial aid through the government, educational institutions and other sources, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education. During that same period, the department found that Black college students were less likely than white students to receive merit-based financial aid, but more likely to receive aid based on financial need.


The report found that during the 2007-2008 academic year, 11. 4 percent of all Black undergraduate students received merit-based scholarships, which are based upon standardized test scores or other indicators of academic achievement, compared to 16.4 percent of all white undergraduates. When it came to grants based on financial need, as determined by the financial background of the student’s grantor, nearly 53 percent of Black college undergrads received need-based grants as opposed to about 30 percent of white students.


When looking only at students who attended four-year colleges and universities on a full-time basis, the report found that 26.9 percent of Black students received merit-based grants when compared to 35.1 percent of white students. Just over 70 percent of Black students received need-based financial aid compared to nearly 40 percent of white students.


President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to help ease the burden of student loans could bring a sigh of relief to millions of Americans mired in debt. Starting in 2014, student loan payments will be reduced to 10 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income, the president announced on Wednesday. Student borrowers also have the option of consolidating their federal student loans at lower interest rates. According to the White House, this plan could help 1.6 million Americans see their payments decrease by hundreds of dollars a month.

(Photo: Commercial Appeal/Landov)

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