I read where a college student was ranting because he lost a $2,600 scholarship at a public university. He said he ‘earned’ his scholarship by getting good grades. He went on to claim that he might not be able to finish his senior year without the scholarship. In the end, he blamed the state senate and a certain political party for not funding his university with enough funds to continue his scholarship assistance. He called this ‘defunding public education.’
Although I empathize with any student having to take out loans to get through college, for the sake of that student and anyone else who does not understand, I submit the following:
- A scholorship = a grant = a handout. It is awarded (not earned) based upon meeting certain criteria. For it to be earned it would have to be compensation for labor or services rendered to another person or entity. Studying hard to get good grades to be accepted into an institution of higher learning is not for anyone’s benefit but the student and therefore does not meet the definition of ‘earned’.
- This student was complaining about losing a $2,600 scholarship. If you are going to a college or university, in your junior year, and $2,600 is the difference between you graduating into a career field that averages $60,000 per year starting pay, an intelligent student would find a way to get those funds to invest in their future instead of expecting tax payers to continually support him/her.
- Cutting back on spending is not ‘defunding’. Defunding is to prevent from continuing to receive funds. In this case public education is not being defunded from the state, certain scholarships are being defunded by the university.
- The University of Iowa has 92% of the top 400 paid state employees In Iowa. On average, these top paid educators received over $400,000 per year each. The top paid full time professors at the University of Iowa average $420,500 per year, the top paid assistants average $415,000 per year, and the top paid associates average $398,000 per year. Overall, full time University of Iowa professors average $166,300 per academic year, associates average $110,900, and assistants average $93,900. Compare that to a full time professor at Harvard University averages $198,400 per year with associate professors averaging $120,900 and assistant professors earning $109,800. If you take the cost of living into effect, a full time University of Iowa professors income is really worth $184,200 per year while a Harvard professors income is worth $184,900. So if a student wants to complain about not getting enough financial aid, this might be an area to focus their wrath on instead of blaming politicians.
- If you want to make up the $4.4M shortage for those extra scholarships, discontinue employee travel expense accounts and you removed $2.4 million of that shortage. Freeze incomes (removing merit and cost of living increases) for all university faculty and the rest is easily made up instead of blaming the state politicians for being fiscally responsible.