Opinion

Bright Futures needs a makeover

A new obstacle has arisen for many of Florida’s current and future scholarship recipients. New complaints have come up over the $164 million Bright Futures Scholarship available to students in order to help with the partial or full cost of college.

Of course there are requirements, “rigid minimum SAT and ACT scores” and high grade point averages, which a coalition of civil rights organizations and education advocates who filed the complaint claims violate federal law.

The argument is centered on minority students who, while having high GPAs, cannot meet the minimum standardized test scores necessary to obtain the scholarship.

The reason actually merits some attention. As most already know Miami-Dade’s school system is still reeling from an enormous $43 million budget cut instituted by Governor Bush last year.

Due to an already tight budget the school system is not able to provide adequate study help for the SAT or ACT. College Prep classes offered by outside agencies range from $700 and up.

How can students, mostly Hispanic and black, living in sub par and impoverished neighborhoods keep up with families who can afford to get their kids tutoring, study books and one-on-one attention?

How do local companies such as Kaplan and Toby Rose’s College Prep justify charging such enormous sums of money for a set of classes lasting two months or less?

I would love to say that everyone has the same opportunities to learn and achieve academic success. But as a former student of Miami Palmetto Senior High and an education minor, I know what opportunities such as an SAT class can do for your SAT score. I also know that high grade point averages are not always a clear indicator of a student’s intelligence or ability.

The state does not need to modify SAT requirements; they need to overhaul the scholarship program. Scholarships should never be awarded based on GPA’s and SAT scores alone. Neither are accurate indicators of scholarship worthiness. Activities ranging from sports to student government make a well-rounded student, not the numbers that are negotiable.

Although I have not taken an SAT since the fall of 1998, I remember what it was like: impossible questions, unreadable (and boring) passages and math problems that I still would not be able to solve.

How can we expect students to know and perform well on the SAT when most of the vocabulary, subject matter and math equations are never brought into the classroom? Worst of all is the idea that these scores are used in admissions to schools and determination of financial help through scholarships.

How can you compare scores when one student can afford the private classes and the other cannot?

Why can’t the Florida see and acknowledge the difference between a $12,000-per-year private school student and a student who attends a failing school and works full-time to help pay the bills?

September 6, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.