Scholarship recipient reacts to college scholarship change - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Scholarship recipient reacts to college scholarship change

College Junior William Terrell says his Distinguished African American Scholarship is the main reason he chose the University of Memphis. 

However, he's now worried about those who come after him. 

"I feel like they're gonna be left out in the cold," Terrell said. 

That's because a state court settlement will soon require all public universities open all scholarships to all people.
  
Both parties in the 1968 Rita Sanders Geier v. State of Tennessee case hashed out settlement terms this week. 

University Spokesperson Curt Guenther says one of the new settlement requirements calls for schools in Tennessee to stop basing scholarships on race.  The U of M is 57% white, 35% black, and 8% other. 

"I think this might deter some African Americans from coming," said the scholarship recipient.  "The ones that are declared under-represented will be the ones that these scholarships will be primarily aimed at," explained Guenther.
  
The university is now working to hammer out a definition for exactly who would qualify.  Some students welcome the change. 

"It gives more opportunity for more people to get a higher education.  Professionally and for college," said U of M student Colby King. 

The President of the Black Student Association is hearing another consensus. 

"My hope is that African American students who depended on those scholarships who depended on those funds are still eligible to go to college and they can still find some means to pay for their tuition," the Black Student Association President said.
  
School administrators say they expect the change to have little to no impact on how they award scholarships.
  
The buck stops the next year school when three African American scholarships will be dropped, the Distinguished African American, The African American Scholars and African American Enrichment.  Those 193 students at the U of M who already have scholarships will continue to get funding.

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