By GRAY WHITSETT – OPINIONS SECTION EDITOR
It’s a topic that’s on every parent’s mind–how will I be able to afford college for my child?
“Here at Centre College we’ve taken steps to alleviate some of these concerns,” Dean of Student Life Randy “Savage” Hays.
“Most people know that a strong majority of students are on some type of merit scholarship from the college,” Hays continued, “but more directly, next year we will be launching the Grissom Scholars Program, which specifically targets prospective first-generation college students. By and large, these are men and women who otherwise might not be able to attend college, and if they did, would be subject to significant financial burden.”
Indeed, the Kentucky liberal arts school has been progressive in their aid giving, with over half of Centre applicants receiving some level of merit-based scholarship, in addition to offering a need-based financial aid system.
But now this is all changing, because alongside the Grissom Scholars Program will be another landmark initiative–the Rockefeller Scholars Program, which will offer full tuition, room and board, books and materials, unlimited food money, a $10,000 summer stipend, twelve academic, cultural, and economic advisors, and a Lexus LS for fifth-generation college students.
“We come from a long tradition of upper-class families dominating enrollment,” former John Fitzgerald Kennedy Professor of Suave and History Clarence Wyatt said.
Now President of Monmouth College, President Wyatt shared his knowledge of Centre’s past alumni. “Names like Caldwell, Evans, Rodes, Cheek–you think these were modest, blue collar names? We’re talking the equivalent of the American landed aristocracy, true blue 35-percent-tax-bracket powerhouses whose number of bedrooms was only outclassed by their population of sharecroppers.”
According to their mission statement, the Rockefeller Scholars operate with a “preference toward wealthy, white fifth-generation college-aged men” and is aimed at “revitalizing what college used to be all about–sparing the masses from learning too much.”
“It’s really critical to read the wording of our mission,” Rockefeller spokesperson and closet-racist Henry Boyle said. “We preference these types of people, which means it doesn’t have to fit these criteria. It’s quite possible to have one or two rich women, or a student of color whose family has had a habit of higher learning for over 100 years. It’s not all bad.”
A Centre graduate and member of the Boyle family of Danville, after whom Boyle County is named, Henry insisted that people get the wrong idea about their program.
“In the face of a momentous economic, racial, and gender diversity, we had to do something. How many tank tops, New Balances, and jean shorts are you going to stand roaming the halls of the ‘Harvard of the South’? Where’s the Brooks Brothers, the Versace? We want Gucci, not Nike.”
Boyle then offered the benefits the scholars could bring to campus. As it turns out, there were plenty of silver linings–literally. “When you get ten or twelve highly intelligent people on a campus, it’s going to improve everyone else. It’s what we call trickle-down academics. It just makes sense.”
A provocative stance to be sure, it was important to get the college administration’s side of the conversation.
“As part of the program, each student receives a generous full ride, but that’s not where it stops,” Associate Dean Sarah Scott Hall explained. As Director of Leadership at Centre College, Hall is required to oversee the program while simultaneously organizing the Grissom Scholars. “A full fledged cabinet of advisors is at the beck and call of each Rockefeller Scholar, including a mechanic for the Lexus.”
The automobile component of the scholarship is perhaps the most controversial, but Hall begrudgingly assured us the students could exchange it for an Audi with a written appeal.
“The worst part of all of this is the $10,000 enrichment stipend for every summer of college,” Hall continued, growing visibly distressed. “They have to put together a ten-week vacation proposal for an industrialized nation, during which they cannot participate in any volunteer or non-profit work. They are allowed to have a job, but only part-time, and they can only associate ‘with those foreigners who best reflect the student’s current way of life.’”
Rubbing her brow, Hall reassured that this all was true. “That’s what the contract says. That’s actually what’s written there. You can’t make this stuff up.”
Being as the Grissom and Rockefeller Scholars represent a markedly different mission, we wanted to know how Hall felt about the extra program.
“I want to quit my job.”
Others echoed Hall’s concerns, as the Brown Fellows, John C. Young Scholars, Posse Scholars, and Bonner Scholars and Leaders protested by doubling their GPAs and volunteering twice as much. “We’ll kill these guys with kindness,” Director of Community Service Dr. Matt Klooster “It’s hard being rich and Caucasian these days,” Henry Boyle retorted.
“It’s hard not walking down the street and seeing carbon copies of yourself every Saturday,” Boyle continued. “Just last week I spent an extra fifteen minutes at the grocery store because a cashier couldn’t understand a customer. I don’t know what this lady was speaking, but it wasn’t English. And yesterday, my kid had to miss ballet practice because she had ‘World Religions’ homework, whatever that’s supposed to mean.”
Boyle continued. “Our way of life is under attack, plain and simple, and we’ve got to do something about it. And so we believe, as every good citizen does, that education is the place to start.
“Look, it’s a given that Rockefeller Scholars will come from a high-performing, religiously affiliated, private high school, but there’s no guarantee that that will translate into a deeply economically conservative collegiate choice. Because we don’t want our pampered little blossoms to have anything short of the best, we’re happy know that their silver platter will be painted black and gold.”
Editor’s Note: The previous article is from the CentOnion series, a satirical publication focused on parodying various subjects unique to Centre College’s campus.
As such, all content within this article is purely fictional and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Cento or Centre College.
In addition all quotations used in this article are purely fictional and do not necessarily reflect the views of the individuals quoted.