The debate over America’s love-hate relationship with higher education has increased a notch with news that an expensive full-ride scholarship to UCLA has been awarded to a teenager who hardly needs the cash: Justin Combs, Calvin Wolf for Yahoo! News reports. Combs is the son of hip-hop mogul Sean Combs (Diddy, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, etc.), and received a $54,000 per annum football scholarship, reported the day after his high school graduation on May 24 by Britain’s Daily Mail. The editorial staff of The Week are all over the debate, with proponents and critics of wealthy kids receiving merit scholarships arguing over various issues, including whether or not the funds come from taxpayer sources or private donors. While Justin Combs certainly put in lots of hard work to land his scholarship and may well be deserving of it, his lack of financial need does highlight an important issue that has been gnawing at the financial efficiency of higher education: Should rich kids get scholarships at all and instead follow the mantra success is its own reward? Basically, is it right to reward poor, working-class and lower-middle-class teens for their efforts while expecting their wealthier peers to labor simply on the merits?
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