State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequality

January 1, 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS
v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
vii LIST OF TABLES
ix LIST OF FIGURES
xi FOREWORD
GARY ORFIELD
CHAPTER 1
13 STATE MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS: AN OVERVIEW
DONALD E. HELLER
CHAPTER 2
23 THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: AN ANALYSIS OF ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR MERIT
SCHOLARSHIPS IN MASSACHUSETTS
DONALD E. HELLER
CHAPTER 3
47 WHO ARE THE STUDENTS RECEIVING MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS?
PATRICIA L. FARRELL
CHAPTER 4
77 GEORGIA?S HOPE SCHOLARSHIP AND MINORITY AND LOW-INCOME STUDENTS: PROGRAM
EFFECTS AND PROPOSED REFORMS
CHRISTOPHER CORNWELL & DAVID B. MUSTARD
CHAPTER 5
101 THE NEW MEXICO LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP: DOES IT HELP MINORITY AND LOW-INCOME
STUDENTS?
MELISSA BINDER & PHILIP T. GANDERTON
CHAPTER 6
123 THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL AID GUARANTEES ON ENROLLMENT AND PERSISTENCE:
EVIDENCE FROM RESEARCH ON INDIANA?S TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SCHOLARS AND
WASHINGTON STATE ACHIEVERS PROGRAMS
EDWARD P. ST. JOHN
141 ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In 2002, The Civil Rights Project (CRP) at Harvard University released the report ?Who Should
We Help? The Negative Social Consequences of Merit Scholarships.? This new report, building
on and extending that initial research, could not have been produced without the leadership of
CRP?s Director, Gary Orfield, and the dedicated researchers who contributed its chapters. We
thank the staff at The Civil Rights Project, Jason DeRousie at Penn State, and John T. Yun at the
University of California, Santa Barbara for their assistance in completing this project. In
addition, we gratefully acknowledge Carolyn Peelle who provided editorial review for the report.
Finally, we are indebted to the Nellie Mae Education Foundation for its generous support and
commitment to providing college access to underrepresented and low-income students.
Donald E. Heller
Patricia Marin
Cambridge, MA
October 2004
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vii
LIST OF TABLES
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CHAPTER 1: STATE MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS: AN OVERVIEW
Table 1-1: State Merit Scholarship Programs
Table 1-2: Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program
CHAPTER 2: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: AN ANALYSIS OF ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
FOR MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Table 2-1: Descriptive Statistics for MCAS 2002 10th Grade Cohort
Table 2-2: Percentage of Students Qualifying for Adams Scholarships, by Race, 2002
Table 2-3: Percentage of Students Qualifying for Adams Scholarships, by Socioeconomic
Status, 2002
Table 2-4: Percentage of Students Qualifying for Adams Scholarships, by Educational
Status, 2002
Table 2-5: Average Income and Percentage of Minority Students in Districts and Schools
of Scholarship Qualifiers and Non-Qualifiers, 2002
Table 2-6: Scholarship Qualification Rates by Income Quintile, 2002
Table 2-7: Percentage of Students Qualifying for $2,000 Bonus Awards, by Race, 2002
Table 2-8: Percentage of Students Qualifying for $2,000 Bonus Awards, by
Socioeconomic and Educational Status, 2002
Table 2-9: $2,000 Bonus Qualification Rates by Income Quintile, 2002
Table 2-10: Comparison of Florida, Michigan, and Massachusetts Merit Grant Programs
CHAPTER 3: WHO ARE THE STUDENTS RECEIVING MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS?
Table 3-1: Eligible and Enrolled Alaska Scholar Recipients, 1999-2002
Table 3-2: Florida Public High School Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients, 1997-2002
Table 3-3: Public High School Graduates and Eligible Public High School Scholarship
Recipients for Selected School Districts, 1997-2002
Table 3-4: Earned Senior Year KEES Awards for Total, White, and Black Scholarship
Recipients, 2000-2002
Table 3-5: Average KEES Bonus Award Amount by Total, White, and Black Scholarship
Recipients, 2000-2002
Table 3-6: Michigan Public High School Graduates and Merit Award Recipients from
Large School Districts or School Districts Located in Selected Metropolitan
Areas
Table 3A-1: State Scholarship Data Obtained
CHAPTER 4: GEORGIA?S HOPE SCHOLARSHIP AND MINORITY AND LOW-INCOME
STUDENTS: PROGRAM EFFECTS AND PROPOSED REFORMS
Table 4-1: Numbers of HOPE Awards & Dollars of Aid, by Institution Type, 1993-2002
Table 4-2: Financial Aid for First-Time Freshmen, Fall 2001
Table 4-3: Contrasting the Old and New HOPE GPA Eligibility Rules
Table 4-4: High-School Class of 2000 Students Whose GPA Would Not Meet the New
Criterion, by Class of Institution
Table 4-5: High-School Class of 2000 Students Whose GPA Would Not Meet the New
Criterion, by Race
State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequality
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Table 4-6: High-School Class of 2000 Students Whose SAT Scores Would Not Meet the
Proposed Criterion, by Class of Institution
Table 4-7: High-School Class of 2000 Students Whose SAT Scores Would Not Meet the
Proposed Criterion, by Race
Table 4-A1: High School Characteristics and HOPE Receipt
Table 4-A2: The Effect of HOPE on Academic Choices at the University of Georgia
CHAPTER 5: THE NEW MEXICO LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP: DOES IT HELP MINORITY
AND LOW-INCOME STUDENTS?
Table 5-1: College Enrollment Rates for Recent New Mexico High School Graduates,
1992-2002
Table 5-2: Institutional Distribution of In-State Freshman, 1996 and 2002
Table 5-3: Percent Receiving Merit Scholarship, 1998-2003
Table 5-4: All Students and Scholarship Recipients Entering UNM Between 1998 and
2003
Table 5-5: Enrollments and Composition in Pre-Program and Program Periods
Table 5-6: Attendance and Accumulated Hours by Semester Since Entry for Eligible
Minority and Low-Income Students in Pre-Program and Program Years
Table 5-7: Program and Pre-Program Differences in Academic Preparation
CHAPTER 6: THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL AID GUARANTEES ON ENROLLMENT AND
PERSISTENCE: EVIDENCE FROM RESEARCH ON INDIANA?S TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
SCHOLARS AND WASHINGTON STATE ACHIEVERS PROGRAMS
Table 6-1: Access Indicators for the State of Indiana: Percentages of Cohorts Graduating
From High Schools and of Graduates Enrolling in College, Compared to U.S.
Averages, 1992-2000
Table 6-2: Educational Revenue per FTE in Indiana Public Colleges, Compared to the
U.S. Average, 1992-2000 (Constant 2000 $)
Table 6-3: Tuition Charges and State Grants per FTE in Indiana, Compared to the U.S.,
1992-2000 (Constant 2000 $)
Table 6-4: Access Indicators for Washington: Percentages of Cohorts Graduating From
High Schools and of Graduates Enrolling in College, Compared to U.S.
Averages, 1992-2000
Table 6-5: Educational Revenue per FTE for Washington Public Colleges, Compared to
the U.S. Average, 1992-2000 (constant 2000 $)
Table 6-6: Tuition Charges and State Grants per FTE in Washington, Compared to the
U.S., 1992-2000 (constant 2000 $)
Table 6-7: Descriptive Statistics for Selected Background Variables for Students in WSA
High Schools and Comparison Schools, 2002 Cohort
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LIST OF FIGURES
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89
CHAPTER 2: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: AN ANALYSIS OF ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
FOR MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Figure 2-1: Proportion of Total Students in Each Category, by Race, 2002
CHAPTER 3: WHO ARE THE STUDENTS RECEIVING MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS?
Figure 3-1: Comparison between the Percentages of Alaska Public High School
Graduates and Enrolled Alaska Scholar Recipients by Race, 1999-2002
Figure 3-2: Comparison between the Percentages of Florida Public High School
Graduates and Eligible Scholarship Recipients by Race, 1999-2002
Figure 3-3: Comparison between the Percentages of Public High School Graduates and
Eligible Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients by Selected Florida School
Districts, 1997-2002
Figure 3-4: Comparison between the Percentages of Black Public High School Graduates
and Black Eligible Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients by Selected Florida
School Districts, 1999-2002
Figure 3-5: Comparison between the Percentages of Hispanic Public High School
Graduates and Hispanic Eligible Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients by
Selected Florida School District, 1999-2002
Figure 3-6: Comparison between the Percentages of White Public High School Graduates
and White Eligible Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients by Selected Florida
School District, 1999-2002
Figure 3-7: Comparison between the Percentages of Kentucky High School Graduates
and Kentucky KEES Scholarship Recipients by Race, 2000-2002
Figure 3-8: Comparison between the Percentages of Michigan Public High School
Graduates and Michigan Merit Award Recipients by Race, 2000-2002
Figure 3-9: Comparison between Michigan Public High School Graduates and Michigan
Merit Award Recipients by the Percentage of Students in Poverty by School
District, 2000-2002
Figure 3-10: Comparison of New Mexico High School Graduates and Lottery Success
Scholarship by Race, 1998-2001
Figure 3-11: Comparison between the Percentages of New Mexico Public High School
Graduates and Lottery Scholarship Recipients in Poverty by County, 1998-
2001
Figure 3-12: Comparison Between the Percentages of New Mexico Public High School
Graduates and Lottery Success Scholarship Recipients by Selected Counties,
1998-2001
CHAPTER 4: GEORGIA?S HOPE SCHOLARSHIP AND MINORITY AND LOW-INCOME
STUDENTS: PROGRAM EFFECTS AND PROPOSED REFORMS
Figure 4-1: Lottery Allocations to Education vs. Educational Expenditures, FY 1994-
2009
State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequality
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CHAPTER 5: THE NEW MEXICO LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP: DOES IT HELP MINORITY
AND LOW-INCOME STUDENTS?
Figure 5-1: Minority and Non-Minority Enrollments at UNM, 1991-2003
Figure 5-2: UNM Enrollments by Family Income, 1991-2003
Figure 5-3A: Attendance for Minority Students, 1991-2003
Figure 5-3B: Attendance for Low-Income Students, 1991-2003
Figure 5-4A: Academic Preparation of Minority Students, 1991-2003
Figure 5-4B: Academic Preparation of Low-Income Students, 1991-2003
Foreword
xi
FOREWORD BY GARY ORFIELD
A central dream of American parents is sending their kids to college. What used to be unusual
has now become a necessity if young people are to have a secure life in the middle class in a
post-industrial economy. As such, one basic goal of higher education policy should be to make
certain that this opportunity is not foreclosed by a family?s income or wealth. In a society where
40 percent of students are non-White, it is more important than ever to be sure that minority
students can go to college. In a society that does not believe in welfare or social supports, and
where fairness rests on supposedly equal access to the education needed for economic success,
these should be basic principles. In a society where the cost of college is soaring, affordability is
a basic dimension of fairness. Unfortunately, it is being lost in too many state policy changes.
Many of our states have been cutting the share of state income going to college education and
allocating a larger share of it to relatively new but very rapidly growing programs of ?merit? aid.
At the same time there has been a huge expansion of federal aid to middle class families and
students, mostly in the form of loan subsidies and tax subsidies, which are now far larger than
federal aid provided to poor students. In contrast to the period of the l970s, when public fouryear
college tuitions were low and aid for poor students to go to college was rapidly rising, we
have seen a quarter century of tuitions rising much faster than family incomes, family incomes
becoming more unequal, huge disparities of wealth and savings by class and race, and a dramatic
shrinkage in the proportion of college costs funded by need-based student aid.
In this situation it is surprising that states with relatively weak and unusually expensive public
higher education, with severe problems of access for minority students (who are driving the
nation?s population growth), would choose not to fund access but to provide aid to students
extremely likely to go to college without aid?students who have little or no financial need?
while not covering access for low income students. Rapidly accumulating research on merit aid
programs shows that this is what is happening in most state ?merit aid? policies. Since this policy
began with the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, there has been a lot of experience and a growing
body of analysis. The authors in this report are at the forefront of that work, accounting for a
great deal of the serious research showing the racial and ethnic consequences of these policies.
This research, as well as the projected impact of the Massachusetts policies (as shown in Chapter
2), suggests that funding the Adams scholarships in Massachusetts would be a decision to
disproportionately aid affluent White students, with little scholarship money available for the
state?s African American and Latino young people or for students living in poverty. In a state
that is resegregating in highly unequal schools, has clear discrimination in its housing markets,
has been raising barriers of tests for high school exit and college entry, loses a large share of its
minority students before high school graduation, and refuses to adequately fund voluntary
transfer policies for students wanting access to suburban schools with good college prep
curricula, this use of college subsidies adds to existing racial inequality.
As a teacher of very high achieving students, I would certainly be in favor of giving high
achieving students grants if the other, more basic, requirement of assuring that the state?s public
higher education not be reserved for families with money had been met first. It has not. In these
State Merit Scholarship Programs and Racial Inequality
xii
circumstances I believe that the leaders of higher education should strongly object to a policy
that uses public funds in a way that intensifies already serious inequality.
Gary Orfield
Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Director, The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University


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