The largest public university in the state of Iowa offers a scholarship that appears to categorically exclude white applicants.
Iowa State University is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the 2nd largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. Iowa State is classified as a Research University with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Iowa State is also a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of 62 leading research universities in North America.”Member Institutions and Years of Admission test”.
The university is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities, an organization composed of the most highly ranked public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada. Classified as one of Carnegie’s “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity,” Iowa State receives nearly $300 million in research grants each year.
Through its Multicultural Vision Program, Iowa State University awards full tuition to 100 incoming multicultural students each year. But according to the scholarship’s published informational material, white students are not permitted to receive it. To apply for Multicultural Vision Program students must identify as: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latinx, or Multiracial on the application for undergraduate admission.” Applicants must also be “U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, and residents of the state of Iowa, who demonstrate academic potential in ways that go beyond class ranking or test scores.”
When asked if being white disqualifies applicants from the scholarship, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Multicultural Student Affairs Kenyatta Shamburger told The College Fix via email:
“There are student recipients who identify as white. If applicants do not meet the established criterion, as is the case with most scholarship awards, the application would not be approved.”
When asked for clarification, Shamburger told The Fix that being white does not disqualify applicants from the “established criterion.”
This seems to contradict the program’s stipulation that students “must” identify with a non-white ethnicity in order to be eligible for the scholarship. While the scholarship is ostensibly unavailable for white people, it may permit part-Caucasian biracial individuals to apply under a “multiracial” identity.
“We have students who identify white as a part of their identity who have the scholarship,” Shamburger told The Fix.
Is Iowa State University Violating The 1964 Civil Rights Act? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.