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More on the KU scholarship offered to Topeka high school blogger


Yesterday's post about Leobardo Espinoza Jr., the Topeka high school senior blogging about his college choice for the New York Times who's reportedly been offered a full-ride scholarship to KU, prompted a good deal of discussion.

That's understandable, as I think it's an interesting story. (A note: Do, of course, feel free to form and post your own opinion about the story, but I would urge you to read Espinoza's full blog post first for some perspective.)

One commenter asked a good question: What exactly is the David M. Wall Scholarship, which Espinoza wrote that he was offered? It is not part of KU's regular slate of renewable scholarship offerings for incoming students.

I checked in about that with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and I think the answer gives us a bit more understanding about the story.

Kristi Henderson, communications director for the college, filled me in: The David M. Wall Scholarship, established in October 2008, goes only to graduates of Topeka High School who plan to seek a degree in liberal arts and sciences. The recipients are chosen based on achievement and need. All that is according to the wishes of the donor who created the scholarship.

(The recipients are picked by a committee appointed by the dean of liberal arts and sciences, KU spokesman Jack Martin added in a comment on yesterday's post.)

The four-year renewable scholarship always covers tuition, fees and books, and it's awarded as often as the balance of the fund allows. That's typically every two years or so, Henderson said — two students have received it so far, starting in 2009-10.

So, now you know a bit more of the story. Please, discuss.

And please, send your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.


fiddleback 5 years, 2 months ago

Okay, so do students from Topeka High have to apply for this scholarship separately from their main application to KU? It doesn't sound as though Leo was familiar with, let alone hoped for, this award. Even if the scholarship is relatively new, you would hope that it is publicized at the high school and that there is a separate application process. Indeed, that would lead to more of the best students from Topeka High applying to KU. And the ultimate question about fairness would seem to depend upon whether KU offers the pretense of an open and objective competition. If the committee just plucks a surprise winner from the Topeka High applicants to KU, then they could be more easily accused of favoritism towards this very high-profile student.

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