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Duke ends full-ride scholarship program only open to ‘African’ students

45-year-old program paid full tuition, room and board

Duke University will no longer exclude white, Hispanic, Asian, and Latino students from a special scholarship that pays for tuition and room and board.

The Reginaldo Howard scholarship will be converted into a leadership initiative and be open to all students. Previously, only students of “African descent” were allowed to apply for the scholarship.

“These selected candidates are considered to be among the top applicants of African descent to Duke University,” an archive of the website states. “Over the course of several weeks, Advisory Council members and current scholars evaluate the dossiers of these candidates in hopes of generating a group of fifteen to twenty students for final consideration for the award.”

It appears related to the Supreme Court’s decision last summer to ban affirmative action in higher education.

Howard was the North Carolina university’s first black student government president and died in a car accident in 1976, The Chronicle reported.

“The Reginaldo Howard Leadership Program will honor Reggie Howard’s legacy by supporting Black academic excellence, intellectual community and leadership on campus through an intentionally designed series of engagement opportunities,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Candis Smith stated in an email, according to the student newspaper.

An email message said the decision was made “in light of changes to the legal landscape related to race-based considerations in higher education.”

It is not the only exclusionary program at Duke.

The “Alice M. Baldwin Scholars women’s leadership program” is currently facing a federal investigation. Civil rights activist Mark Perry filed a Title IX sex discrimination complaint last year.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation soon after that, Perry previously told The Fix.

“As a Scholar, you’ll network with distinguished faculty, connect with other female-identified students, intern in the field of your choice, and study in intimate seminars,” the program promises. “This rigorous, four-year program will sharpen your thinking, raise your self-awareness and empower you to influence Duke’s culture.”

Editor’s note: Mark Perry is a paid consultant to The College Fix on an unrelated project.

MORE: Quinnipiac Law scholarship excludes heterosexual males

IMAGE: Duke University

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.