Read the Wall Street Journal article entitled Shift to Merit Scholarships Stirs Debate, conduct additional research on the topic by examining relevant articles, websites, and other sources, and compose a letter to Dr. James L. Applegate, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, making your recommendation on whether Illinois should adopt a merit-based approach for awarding college scholarships. expected to be three to five pages in length, double-spaced.
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April 8, 2018
Managerial Communication Students
From: Jie Wang
Case Analysis: Merit- vs. Need-Based Scholarships
Read the Wall Street Journal article entitled Shift to Merit Scholarships Stirs Debate, conduct
additional research on the topic by examining relevant articles, websites, and other sources, and
compose a letter to Dr. James L. Applegate, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher
Education, making your recommendation on whether Illinois should adopt a merit-based
approach for awarding college scholarships.
This individual assignment, due on the last day of class (please submit a hard copy and e-mail
the file to me at email@example.com), is expected to be three to five pages in length, double-spaced.
The following structure is recommended:
A brief opening paragraph introducing the topic, letting the reader know that you
have conducted extensive research on the subject and that this report will focus on an
analysis of the issue from different perspectives and a recommendation for Illinois
ISSUE (Level 1 heading). In this section, summarize Georgias merit-based
scholarship program introduced in 1993, the influence it has had on other states in
terms of adoption or policy changes, and the controversy it generated.
ANALYSIS (Level 1 heading). This section should contain a number of subheadings
and occupy the majority of the space of your report. You should look at the issue of
offering merit-based scholarships from a wide range of perspectives, including but
not limited to those of the Georgia legislature, the universities, the students parents,
and certainly the students.
a. Georgia Legislatures Perspective (Level 2 heading). In this subsection, analyze
the intent of the state legislature in creating the HOPE (Helping Outstanding
Pupils Educationally) scholarship program. What was the primary method of
scholarship distribution prior to HOPEs enactment in 1993? Why did Georgia
change its scholarship program so drastically? What was the state legislatures
intent in charting a new course? Who was Georgias governor at the time and
what was the governors background? (Refer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
article posted on Blackboard.)
Managerial Communication Students
April 8, 2018
b. Parents Perspectives (Level 2 heading). How did the students parents react to
the change? Certainly parents reactions would differ based on their families
financial circumstances and their childrens academic standing. Is it reasonable to
expect parents to ask the question, Whats in it for me? What do you think of
the idea of an income cap (i.e., if a familys annual income exceeds a certain level,
then the student will lose eligibility for aid)?
c. Universities Perspectives (Level 2 heading). A universitys response to the
change would likely depend on how its main clientele would be affected by the
new program. What kind of universities would likely support the change (or
conversely, oppose it)? Did the Zell Miller Scholarships lead to better learning
outcomes or higher graduation rates at Georgias public universities? In a related
case in New Jersey (see the Chronicle of Higher Education article on Blackboard),
Seton Hall University in 2011 instituted a merit-based tuition cut for highachieving students, who would be eligible to pay essentially the same rate
(~$10,000/year, compared to Seton Halls full annual tuition rate of $31,400) as
those attending the states largest public universityRutgers. Analyze the
rationale behind Seton Halls move.
d. Students Perspectives (Level 2 heading). The WSJ article cited two specific cases,
Amy Thornburg and Sarah Nesbit, who represent the opposite ends of the
spectrum. Do you find Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedders
argument Our society is built on meritocracy. What is true in real life in the job
market should be true in education convincing? What about Duke University
economics professor Charles Clotfelters contention that the HOPE scholarship
program is a stunning example of redistribution? (Recall the charge of wealth
redistribution during President Obamas elections.)
RECOMMENDATION (Level 1 heading). State your recommended course of
action on offering merit scholarships as well as the main points supporting your
CONCLUSION (Level 1 heading). In this section, state your conclusion clearly and
concisely and include implications that your recommended course of action is
expected to have on the future of college scholarship distribution.
WORKS CITED (Level 1 heading). Please put the list of references using the APA
documentation format on a separate sheet after the letter.
As you work on your case report, keep in mind your primary focus is not recounting the various
events but rather analyzing what led to the drastic change in scholarship distribution policy, its
implications for all parties involved, and your conclusion on what the right course of action
should be for Illinois.
Good luck on the project! Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any
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