Does it violate Title IX to exclude men as a class from scholarships?
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is considering the question, opening an investigation into six women-only scholarships offered by the private Tulane University.
In an Aug. 20 letter that PJ Media obtained but did not make public, OCR announced it was looking at scholarships – including the Landor Lewis and Shirley Gauff Awards, the Grace Hopper Celebration Award and the $2,000 Summer Internship Funding Grant – as possible examples of “financial discrimination” against male students.
The office is also reviewing female-only mentoring and internship programs. None of the programs under review has a “parallel” for men, but because of a backlog of Title IX investigations, “it could take years for the OCR to reach a verdict,” according to PJ Media.
Male students are only 42 percent of Tulane enrollment and they are less likely to graduate, making the boost for women more suspect.
Title IX attorney Margaret Valois helped file the complaint because the scholarships are unfair to men, she told PJ Media:
When opportunities and benefits are offered to one group because of their sex… it is patently unfair and clearly also a violation of the very spirit of Title IX and other civil rights laws. …
Efforts to right the wrongs of sex discrimination in education have exacerbated the problem, resulting in discrimination against men. The more attention that is brought to these issues, the more likely the pendulum is to swing back towards fairness, where everyone is treated equally.
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