• Fri, Jun 1 2012

Diddy’s Son Proves That Celebrity Kids Shouldn’t Be Eligible For College Scholarships

Diddy Justin Combs UCLA $54,000 football scholarshipCelebrity kids—they’re just like us! Except not at all. Whereas you might meet a seasoned actor who turns out to be a totally normal guy, or see a child star grow up into an eloquent twentysomething you’d encounter in a college class, celebrity offspring lead the kind of privileged existence that we could never dream of. Which is why I don’t think that Diddy‘s son Justin Combs should have been granted a $54,000 scholarship to UCLA.

Let me make it clear: I fully believe that Justin earned the honor. After all, it was a merit scholarship based on his football career and with the expectation, of a typical athletic scholarship, that he will train 40 hours a week to play for UCLA. Furthermore, he maintained a 3.75 GPA in high school while playing football. There’s no denying that his dedication and talent shouldn’t be recognized. I just don’t think the money should be part of the package.

In April, Forbes declared Diddy the wealthiest hip-hop mogul, with a reported net worth of $550 million. Paying for his son’s college tuition is easy for him, unlike most families who have to scrimp and sacrifice to cover the astronomical fees to get their kids an education. Shouldn’t that money go to someone who actually has financial need?

Since CNN first reported this story, there’s been plenty of backlash from fellow and former Bruins; and UCLA has come forward with a statement clarifying that this is a merit-based award, not a scholarship based on financial need. Furthermore, the athletic scholarships are compiled from private funds, not irate taxpayers’ money. Plus, they give out about 285 a year, so ostensibly most of the recipients are “normal” folks. OK, but why not bend the rules a little bit? Again, Justin should receive every honor that he’s worked for; but if he doesn’t need the money, then why not give the funds that have already been raised to someone who might not be able to enroll at UCLA without help? Otherwise, it might be utterly redundant to throw a year’s income (more than I make!) at a kid whose parents were planning to pay for it anyway.

The CNN commentator pointed out that Diddy is a self-made millionaire and might require Justin to pay his own way through college. Yes, there are a lot of variables, but this is something that FAFSA and UCLA should be figuring out.

Photo: Elite Daily

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  • Aileen

    I totally agree with you on this one. Other commenters on different websites have brought up Denzel Washington’s son, who also was awarded an athletic scholarship, but in an uber-classy and Denzel move, he said that he was fortunate enough to be able to pay for his son’s education and would rather the money go to a less fortunate and deserving student. Same thing that could be done here…or if he does decide to take it because he did, after all, earn it, Diddy could pony up and give a large donation as a sort of pay it forward

  • Nicole

    The author of this article ignores the fact that no student athletes awarded athletic scholarships have their parent’s income taken into consideration. True, some non-scholarship student athletes rely on financial aid, but that is a separate matter. While colleges certainly need to do a better job of offering need based aid, saying that someone should be denied merit-based aid, something the school chooses to do independent of need based financial aid, because of their parent’s income is discrimination.