The Importance Of Distributing Desert Based Aid At A Small Liberal Arts School

1441 WordsMar 17, 20176 Pages
Question Three: In arguing in favor of the importance of distributing desert (merit) based financial aid at a small liberal arts school such as Green Mountain College, several arguments present themselves: one, desert based aid insures that incoming students meet a standard that facilitates strong academics, which in turn improves the school 's reputation and contributes to its long term viability; two, it incentivises students to work hard academically, benefiting fellow students and faculty who appreciate active classroom involvement and discussion; and three, students with good grades have likely worked hard for them and deserve just compensation for their work. Rawls would argue in favor of awarding merit scholarships on the grounds…show more content…
My own children are being raised by parents with both more money and more education. Yet I do not see my children as having significantly better opportunities than I had at their age” (9). Therefore, although unequal opportunity prevents low income segments of the population from having a fair chance at receiving merit based aid, the same argument, according to Mankiw, doesn’t apply to the one percent in relation to the middle class who all have fairly equal opportunity. The case against awarding merit based financial aid rests heavily on the argument posited by McIntosh in her paper on white and male privilege. McIntosh asserts that we can only begin to grasp the full extent of the role privilege plays in society today. She states, “Obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy” (123). Because privilege is so ingrained in the workings of society, and because the effects of privilege are greater and more complex than any metric used to determine merit based aid can account for, merit based aid should be abandoned. Unfortunately, the two alternative principles of justice, the principle of equal distribution and the principle of distribution according to need, also present shortcomings. Under the principle of equal distribution, all students would be awarded

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