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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

Dole scholars gravitate to K-State

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I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for numbers. Although I always struggled in math during my schooling days, statistics are always good for boiling down complex issues into (somewhat) easy to digest chunks.So, when I received an e-mail from Kansas University's news department the other day giving a list of its most recent [Sen. Robert J. Dole Public Service Scholars][1], I began to wonder how many decided to attend KU. Then my [online editor][2] shot me an e-mail asking the same thing.First a little background, the Sen. Robert J. Dole Public Service Scholarship is given to graduating Kansas seniors who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and were actively involved in volunteer work during their high school years. The recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship, which can be renewed up to three times - four years total - provided they complete 100 hours of public service each year.The scholarship is unique in that those who receive it can attend any university under the Kansas Board of Regents.So where do most of these young scholars go? Kansas State University.The breakdown, by my count, of the 2008 scholars:K-State: 71 KU: 38 Washburn: 6 Wichita State: 5 Fort Hays State: 4 Pittsburg State: 3 Emporia: 1 Total: 128As you can see, the majority of the scholars are attending K-State. Looking at past years shows similar results. In 2007 over 50 of the 128 Dole Scholars attended K-State, with KU coming in second. Go farther back, same thing. Although the number of scholars dropped from 128 to 40 in 2006, 16 scholars went to K-State as opposed to nine dedicated to KU.Barbara Ballard, associate director for outreach for the [Dole Institute of Politics][3], said it was most likely a matter of averages. Close to double the number of students who apply for the scholarship come from western Kansas, traditionally [K-State territory][4].Ballard said she had a theory about why so many applications came from western Kansas. Because classes tended to be smaller, the schools can pay greater attention to scholarship offers that come their way, she said.She said she felt that smaller towns also allowed students to be more personally involved in their community as opposed to students who live in larger cities. [1]: http://www.news.ku.edu/2008/july/14/dolescholars.shtml [2]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/jonathan_kealing/ [3]: http://www.doleinstitute.org/index.shtml [4]: http://www.k-state.edu/pa/statinfo/factbook/student/ugdemo.pdf

Comments

JayCat_67 6 years, 5 months ago

Um... there are scholarships out there for minorities and lower income students. This happens to reward kids who care enough about their communities to get involved while still keeping their grades respectable. The work that they do could very well have a positive impact on those less fortunate. Plus, there's nothing that says a minority or someone from a low income background can't earn this scholarship for themselves... if they know that it's available.

KU_cynic 6 years, 5 months ago

128 seemingly desirable potential students from Kansas, and KU nets only 30% of them.The unasked question is clearly: "Does KU take any purposeful steps to recruit these students?" I'm betting the answer is, "No."Don't these kids buy into the hype that says they should graduate (in 2012) from the college that won the Orange Bowl and the NCAA basketball championship in 2008? Must be something wrong with them. Mixed up priorities, perhaps.

LiberalDude 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Barbara Ballard. Also I think the Dole Scholarship committee should make more of an effort to include low-income students and minorities. From what I have seen the scholarship winners tend to be middle-upper class white kids.

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