Well, this is something that we don’t see everyday.

Jeffrey Warren, a 17-year-old, white high school student, returned a scholarship awarded to him by the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club because it was intended for black students. According to the Huffington Post, the crowd laughed when he walked across the stage to accept the award.

Allegedly, the language in the application “encouraged” black students to apply, but it did not state specifically that only black students “need only” apply for the $1,000 scholarship.

“I knew they were trying to do a good deed for the African-American community,” Warren told KABC-TV. “I had no trouble giving it back to them at all.”

Warren who holds a 4.25 GPA, was awarded three other scholarships and plans to attend San Diego State University, reports CBS Local.

The two African American students who were eventually awarded the scholarship will be attending Cornell University an Xavier University. And though the MLK Senior Citizens Club are proud of that fact, there was some debate over whether or not the group should accept the return of the funds, said chairperson Etta Brown.

“They were kind of surprised,” said Warren. “They announced it was for an African American.”

There has been much debate over the necessity of “race-based” scholarships. The Former Majority Association for Equality spread the myth that white males received less scholarship funds, a fact that was quickly debunked. That still did not stop them from trying to level the playing field, according to FMAE president Colby Bahannan.

“It just so happens that those few people out there who have money laying around, they are truly the minority,” he told CNN. “The majority is that people can’t really afford college. People are working 40 hours a week, 50 hours a week, going to school full time and still having to borrow money.”

Weigh in Clutchettes: Do you think there is still a need for “race-based” scholarships, or is it all about economic class status?

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  • How about the African American scholarships that you can only get if your parent has an African American bloodline? lmfao. Get rid of that crap!

    My family is Jamaican. But I’ve always checked the Black/African American box. I’ve stopped doing that. If anything I will either say Black or refuse to disclose. I couldn’t even apply for the scholarship because they told me that I’m not of African American lineage. Ridiculous! And guess what? No one else at my high school in 2005 applied for that scholarship either.

    How come my comment isn’t posting? This is the 3rd time that I’ve tried to comment.

    • Libby

      What’s wrong with that? African American is actually a REAL ethnic group. If a scholarship was for Jamaican students I would not apply for it.

    • Erika

      @ Libby
      If my parents are Jamaican, however I am born in America what does that make me?

      There is no box to tick that says : Black but not of African American descent.

    • Toni

      why should you be eligible for an African American funded scholarship?

      You are probably one of those west indians with the superior attitude to Black Americans, yet you want to benefit from their civil rights and privileges and have an attitude while doing it.

      And I say that as a half west indian.

    • Libby

      @ Erika You are Jamaican American. Your household was culturally Jamaican, right? Your parents are from Jamaica, right? African American is a distinct cultural ethnic group with its own cultural norms, history, cuisine and idioms different from white Americans and black immigrants groups. Yes we are ALL black, but we ALL are not African American. So feel free to check black, however if a scholarship is designated for African Americans, that would NOT be you. I am not sure why that is confusing.

  • Lindiwe

    Im actually crying, how dare they make him give it back, its was there mistake his only 17 how cruel can you be they have quietly let him have it

    • Melancholy Soul

      [They] didn’t make him give it back, he chose to do so.

  • It would be more in line with MLK’s philosophy if they let him keep it.

    • Libby

      Not really MLK fought for the elimination of segregation in public facilities, public schools, housing, and public accommodations. MLK received an UNCF scholarship so he had no problem with race based scholarships. This is a whole different issue and doesn’t have anything to do with the over used quote “not to judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

  • I have no problem with raced based scholarships… to be honest I haven’t even but much thought into it… perhaps thats why. I understand and appreciate them though! At the same time, other than academic excellence, I believe they should also be disbursed on financial need. EVERYone deserves to go to college and not having the funds should no longer be the barrier.


    The Girl STILL paying off her student loans… years LATER!