The impact of court and legislative decisions on policies and practices regarding race-targeted financial aid at selected public universities in Virginia
Krawtz, Deborah Harris
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There have been numerous legal challenges to affirmative action programs in education. Two legal decisions that have directly affected race-targeted financial aid programs in Virginia schools are the court ruling in Podberesky v. Kirwan, (1994) and the Virginia statute: Participation in or Eligibility for Certain State-Supported Financial Aid Programs (VA Code Ann. s. 23.7.1:02, 1993). In this study the impact of the court ruling and state statute was examined at three public institutions in Virginia to determine (a) how knowledgeable the participants from each institution were about the court and legislative decisions, and (b) how the participants from each institution were applying the state law and ruling to their scholarship, grant and fellowship programs. In-depth information was gathered through interviews with administrators and faculty from each institution. One interview instrument was developed and tested in a pilot study. Construct validity of data was reasonably ensured by tape-recording interviews and allowing each respondent to review their interview transcript for accuracy. Single-case and stacked matrices were used to organize and analyze data within and between institutions. The degree of knowledge about the court and legislative decisions varied within and across institutions. Overall, respondents in all three schools were more familiar with the court ruling than the statute. The main effects of the court ruling and state statute were: (a) a decrease in the number or race-based awards, (b) the exclusion of race-specific language in donor scholarship and fellowship agreements, and (c) an increased awareness about issues surrounding race-targeted financial aid awards. Both race-targeted and single-race awards, funded by private and public dollars, were still being distributed at all three institutions. Most respondents felt that neither the statute or court ruling would affect future recruiting efforts of minority students. All three institutions were still very committed to increasing diversity on campus.
- Doctoral Dissertations