Minority scholarships to face legal critique
: "Although the Supreme Court decision last summer focused on admissions, opponents of affirmative action programs have also questioned other methods universities use to recruit minority students, such as scholarships based on race. Some critics suggested they might make such scholarships the focus of their next legal challenge of affirmative action programs.
In March 2003, the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think-tank based in Virginia, sent a letter to U-M raising concerns about a dozen programs and scholarships aimed at minority students.
'We're not trying to end any programs,' said Roger Clegg, the center's general counsel. 'We're not trying to close down the school. We just want the programs to be opened up to all students regardless of race or ethnicity. Just as a matter of policy and fairness, it makes sense. To say that you can add to a university's diversity if and only if you are African-American I think is ridiculous.'
Clegg seemed to back off his challenge of U-M's scholarships in a recent interview, saying he is satisfied that U-M is reviewing its methods.
Thomas Roelofs of Plymouth, who has a daughter attending U-M, recalled going to a Campus Day event for families of admitted students, and listening with incredulity as many parents' questions about scholarships were not answered.
'What's really galling about them is they've always concealed what they do,' Roelofs said. 'If it was up to me, it would be socio-economic and academic (criteria for scholarships). Consider racial diversity, too. It's not a bad thing. But it's not the sacred holy cow they make it out to be.'
U-M administrators said they do not keep track of how many of their scholarships use race as an eligibility criteria, although they "