May 28th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Should P. Diddy's son return $54,000 college scholarship?

Justin Combs worked hard in high school to improve his football game and earn a 3.75 GPA . He recently received a $54,000 merit-based scholarship to UCLA, where he'll play football.

In April, Forbes named Justin Combs' dad,  Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, the wealthiest artist in hip-hop. Some say the family should return Justin's scholarship, arguing that Combs should pay for his son's education and taxpayer money should go to students with greater financial need. Other say Justin Combs earned the scholarship through his grades and athletic ability, and deserves to keep it.

What do you think? Should the Combs family keep, return or donate the money? Should students with wealthy parents have access to merit-based scholarships and financial aid?

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Filed under: College • Economy • Financial aid • Issues • Perry's Principles • Sports
soundoff (635 Responses)
  1. Phillygrrl

    His father could decline the money award. I went to GWU (which if you don't already know, is one of the most expensive schools in the US) with a guy who received a full academic scholarship, merit-based – and his father had him decline the award because he knew he could afford to pay full tuition and felt he was teaching his son by having him turn down the award so that someone who needed the money could attend. That lesson in selflessness was as important a as the one teaching him to work hard in order to receive the award in the first place.

    Oh, and before the snarky comments abound: I attended said school on an academic scholarship.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • LizardLance

      Turning down the scholarship was dumb.

      May 30, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  2. Anita

    The kid earned it. He gets to use it. His wealthy father can donate his own money to the school or whichever charity of his choice.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  3. Mike

    Give the scholarship to someone who needs the money. Let Combs pay for college like every other rich daddy. And I am not rich bashing. But if you can pay, pay.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  4. Tracey

    I say way to go kid!!! Nice to see a kid earn his way and not ride Daddys coat tails. P Diddy N his sons Mother done good!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  5. Melalisa

    This is NOT a race thing.... I don't understand why people are making this into one. If Donald Trumps kid got a scholarship, people would be asking the SAME thing.

    If he worked hard to earn this scholarship, it shouldn't be taken away. I do feel for the student who didn't get the scholarship, who really needed it and cannot attend the school without it.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Mike

      I agree, he worked for his scholarship and deserves the right to have it. That being said, nothing wrong if Senior Combs wanted to make a significant donation to the schools academic scholarship fund. That seems like it would give everyone a win-win situation.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Mike

      Exactly. I don't begrudge him earning the scholarship, but his p-daddy should have enough decency to donate $54,000 to another student who otherwise would not be able to attend.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  6. Lorna Hanson Forbes

    UCLA's office of admission and financial aid is a mess. Recently they sent acceptance letters to denied students and now someone was asleep at the switchboard and awarded the wrong funds to the son of a mulyi millionaire.

    I am the dean of admission at a university nearby, if I did this my head would be on the chopping block.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Nikki

      What do you mean awarded the wrong funds? He EARNED a scholarship, not an approval for student loans. By the way, if you're working for a college you should know how to proofread.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Eugene McCarthy

      Well looks like the "Dean at a nearby school" didn't receive a degree in English. Your head should be on the "chopping block for not being able to properly communicate on a simple message board.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  7. JonesKim

    The young man earned the scholorship. He should be allowed to keep it. Like one person posted, it will show him what hard work will give you. I'm personally proud of the young man. His parents did a wonderful job...

    May 29, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  8. Natch

    How about Justin Coombs keeps his scholarship......and daddy donate at least an equal amount, so an equally deserving student, who wasn't given a scholarship, can benefit from it? No reason to take it away from the kid, if he earned it. But dad should be willing to part with a small portion of his fortune to help out others.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  9. Neil

    This is not a needs based scholarship. He went to school earned good grades and played football. His abilities or actions have nothing to do with his dad.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  10. Hiruu

    Changes are...Puff is going to donate alot of money to this school over the years, especially if his son does well in the program...so this athletic scholarship that the kid has earned will probably earn the school FAR more money.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Hiruu

      *Chances

      May 29, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • aishach

      I agree. Plus, children should learn to work hard for themselves and their future, not that mommy and daddy and society will bail him out just because he doesn't feel like putting the effort. What he ends up doing is a different story and completely his perogative, but I am very happy to see him work hard and not just try to live off of his father's name! good going!

      May 29, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  11. max3333444555

    he earned it and he should keep it. this was merit based not need based and i hope he tells all of you whiners to kiss his posterior.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  12. Mike

    Once again, enjoy the meeting of the minds... scroll down.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  13. Andrea

    Why should he give it back. He earned it.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  14. Rich

    To put it technically there were X scholarships available, now there are X-1 available. Someone who applied won't be getting a scholarship that is needed. Be interesting if he realizes this and returns it.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  15. herpaderp

    Looks like CNN is working hard to perpetuate the 'black man won't support his son' stereotype. Stay classy.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • fekt

      Or this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with wealth and class. Nice try bub next time you try some spin why don't you sit on it as well. He earned it, good for him that is nice. He deserves it if so. However it would be magnanimous on his part to return it to aid another student in more need than himself. Not saying he has to but it would be a nice gesture as it's not even going to cover the cost of his auto insurance.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  16. Drotts3

    While this is great that he earn good grades SO HE COUILD PLAY FOOTBALL! His FATHER SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF WHY IS HE NOT PAYING FOR HIS SON'S EDUCATION? There are plenty of deserving kids that would like to go to school but can't – his father is wealthy – he should be paying for the ENTIRE COST OF COLLEGE!!@!!!!!! How sad!

    May 29, 2012 at 6:40 am |
  17. ML1234

    what if he makes the nfl someday? should he have to return his salary since his dad is rich and he "doesn't need the money"?? absolutely not.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Norma Rossley

      No, he should not return it. He earned it.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Will Smith

      It depends on whether his Tax Payers Money or not. If I were P.Diddy, I would contribute a 100 K to the Athletic Dept to show my happiness that my Son made the Scholarship.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Paul232`

      So the NFL is a nonprofit org. like UCLA with a mission to educate both affluent and underpriviledged kids? Great comparison.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  18. bucksnort

    Let scholar Combs award the scholarship in his name to a deserving student (chosen by UCLA). From then on, if Mr. Combs continues to earn the scholarship, he can keep it or continue to award it. Good job, Mr. Combs, for earning the scholarship in the first placel.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  19. Wurdz

    Earning the respect of peers is most important and that is what needs to be appreciated. Having mommy and daddy foot the bill is nice, but earning it on your own is what earns you greater respect.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:49 am |
  20. geriatric

    He is a 5'9, 175 pound CB, WR, ranked 133 in the prep. Um...you gave him $54k for what exactly? It wasn't football.

    http://www.maxpreps.com/athletes/QsfVrgS9b0ua9K43rWTEKA/football-fall-11/stats-justin-combs.htm#defensive

    May 29, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • Hiruu

      I think it would be because of that exact ranking...

      May 29, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  21. blckpipple

    black people sure know how to work the system...

    May 29, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • Bobsuruncle

      How did this racist comment make it past the moderator. Moderator? Wake up? This comment is really uncalled for.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:27 am |
  22. Christy

    He earned it, let him keep it. He will be playing football for his university and in many cases, the players' grades suffer. That is cost in itself.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  23. Keene Allen

    Papa may have, but God bless the child who's got his own. The young man is an individual and perhaps he wants to make it on his own merit.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  24. t3chn0ph0b3

    Keep what you earn. It's a good lesson for a kid.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  25. Lisa

    Justin, congrats on working hard and EARNING YOUR SCHOLARSHIP....too bad it's being wasted on UCLA....see if they will let you transfer it to Univ. of Michigan.....GO BLUE! The article said that the scholarship was given based on his hard work, merit - therefore like it or not he should keep it. At the same time there are less fortunate kids out there so Justin should use some of his trust fund to put a well deserving less fortunate kid thru college. It's a win-win for all.

    May 29, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Thomas

      Think blue is dodgers' new slogan, and UCLA's colors are blue.... DA. Forget Michigan, PAC 12 west coast baby

      May 29, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  26. The Left Wing

    3.75 seems kind of low for a full ride scholarship. I guess UCLA is not doesn't live up to its reputation.

    May 29, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Trainspotter

      I agree. In the end merit is not based on need, but I guess it really depends on the type of person you are and your character. My daughter got a 4 year scholarship at our state university based on merit that covered tuition only. When it came time, she refused to submit her name for any of the many other scholarships that are annually distributed to the senior class in our regional school district even though she was in the top 5% of her class and the additional money could have covered her other expenses. She wanted those that needed it more to have it. Without the free ride she would not have been able to attend college at all since I am a widow with limited resources. 4 years later she just graduated and will enter a Doctorate program in August. Who knows what a student given an otherwise unobtainable opportunity will make of it?

      May 29, 2012 at 4:03 am |
  27. CrimsonDuece

    First – He apparently earned some type of scholarship package, so it is his decision to accept the scholarship or not. Second – All most all schools provide merit aid to students who earn it via GPA and a combination of ACT or SAT scores. Third – The NCAA does not provide scholarships for athletes, the schools provide them. Fourth – Football is an Full Scholarship sport. If the school awards you a scholarship it has to be a "full scholarship". However, this would be athletic aid, not merit aid. There is a huge difference because one (merit) is generally available to all students and the other (athletic) is only available at the discretion of the coach and ALL athletic aid is good for one school year only. It is renewed each year at the coaches discretion.

    It would be a nice gesture for his dad to pickup the tab and allow another athlete to gain from his release of the funds, but it's not our call it's his. Maybe this is an issue that should be addressed in a larger context, not just because his father is a wealthy celebrity.

    May 29, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  28. Golden Girl

    Athletic scholarships have always been and SHOULD be based on athletic ability. It would be ridiculous to say only those with financial need could apply. What about athletes with parents who make enough so they aren't allowed to apply – then the cost of tuition would be a factor in deciding what school an athlete could attend and play for.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  29. juliatheplay

    The kid earned the scholarship. Period. I'm sure it will pay off for UCLA at least ten fold in the coming years.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Paul232`

      "Period."? Are you 10 years old? Do you think that ends the discussion? lol

      May 29, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  30. Colin

    1. He should keep the scholarship, he earned it and it wasn't just handed to him. Good for him.

    2. Recognizing their financial position, the Diddy family (sounds funny) could offer their own kind of scholarship/financial reward to someone in Justin's class or someone else in his high school. They could even make it a recurring thing year after year to give a deserving athlete a scholarship to attend a college they have been accepted to.

    3. Overall I think this would be a win-win-win situation and could really put all of this in an extremely positive light.

    -C

    May 29, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • do the right thing

      Why do we tend o tell other what to do with there money. Have you done what you are asking P. Diddy to do?

      May 29, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  31. ST3

    He earned it...and it is his choice and his choice alone whether or not to use it or return it.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:48 am |
  32. LGG

    The scholarship should go to someone who NEEDS it. Most top level schools these days WILL NOT award a scholarship to ANY student unless they meet all the qualifications AND have the financial need. My nephew is tops in his class in a top rated private school. His ACT and SAT scores were perfect. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, all the Ivy league schools, Duke, USC, Notre Dame, UPenn, you name the school, they all contacted my nephew; they all wanted him. They ALL also told him that as much as they wanted him to attend their schools, he would not be offered a scholarship, despite his top grades, because his father makes too much money. My brother-in-law earns very good money but he's not anywhere near what Diddy, or Gates, or even a top CEO would make. He wouldn't even be considered part of the 1%! Still, each and every school told him – they are no longer giving out merit scholarships to any student whose parents can afford to pay. Diddy can CERTAINLY afford to pay. Jason can still play football for UCLA and UCLA would have an extra scholarship available to someone who needs it.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • do the right thing

      Your nephew, if he is as good as you say he is, should go to FAMU.... they will give him a scholarship.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:11 am |
  33. jdoe

    No he shouldn't return the scholarship he earned. He may choose to, but that's his choice.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  34. ShaftRet

    The comments that he should return the scholarship are a joke! I wonder how many athletes who parents are wealthy return their scholoarships? I wonder how many students have used their parents influence to get into colleges such as UCLA, USC, Standford, or Berkley? Let's be real people. The boy is blessed and he should walk in it!!!!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  35. dopeman

    if they keep the scholarship they should pay for some other students college tuition who cannot afford it on their own.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • do the right thing

      why?

      May 29, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  36. Liquidcobra

    How pathetic can you people be? This child EARNED this scholarship. The NCAA does NOT give out scholarships for free no matter who their parents are. What kind of parent would say "Give up what you worked hard and earned because I'm a rich."? Leave the child alone.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  37. lgwelsh1

    Was does this have to do with his father? ZERO! The kid earned a scholarship on his own merits.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • ohmygod50

      Ummmmmmm...........the finances of the parents are always considered........

      May 29, 2012 at 2:21 am |
      • John

        Not true, I know lots of kids who got full academic or scholastic scholarships and their parents are high income. If you make 30+ on the ACT most schools will give you a scholarship, regardless of income. The parents income factors in when you are applying for certain Federal financial aid. I know, I am going through this right now. I bet 'Diddy' pays out a lot more than $50K in salaries to his employees he has created jobs for.

        May 29, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  38. Michael

    I'm wondering if every hard-working high school football player with a 3.75 gpa gets a $75,000 scholarship??! Or perhaps could it be that his father's name opened doors for him. Comon, do you REALLY think this was merit based? The scholarship board didn't consider his father in this, and the huge endowments he could give the school? Reality check.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  39. cindy H

    He should not have applied for the scholarship. His dad can pay for it 100 times over. Thats not right taking it from someone who could not afford to go, escpecially since tuition has jumped 40% in the last 3 years. You don't get a scholarship unless you apply for it.

    Classless to do that.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • College mom

      Ummmm.. not true. At my all of the schools my daughter applied to, applying to the school is also applying for most scholarships. You receive your scholarship award with your admission. I would guess athletics is the same. In addition, there were a few scholarships that you could also apply for.

      Leave the child alone. He earned it. If his family chooses to make a donation to a scholarship fund, I'm sure they know how to do it.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  40. 7

    He may have worked and earned the scholarship, but in all morality he should have turned it down. His dad is beyond loaded and the scholarships should have been issued to people who are financially not able to pay for college. But we live in world where the stars and their kids get anything they want, and that includes scholarships that aren't needed, while the poor and middle class struggle to financially and have to take out insane loans to pay for school. Sure he may have "earned" the scholarship but he should have had the common decency to say someone else needs this money more than me.
    The interesting thing is if Bill Gates child was granted that scholarship everyone would be complaining about it even if the child earned the scholarship. If we live in a society where the rich should get richer then hey the kid should keep the scholarship forget about morals and the fact that someone else could use the money who actually has never stepped foot in to a mansion, sports car, box seats or front row seats a concert before.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:54 am |
  41. WPalmer

    So what if he earned it. He has the money to pay for his education so he should. End of story.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  42. katie

    Is Diddy paying for any part of Justin's college education? Because if the kid is paying for the school himself than he should definetly keep the money. It could be that Justin wants to pay for the school himself to show he can be independent. However, if Diddy would pay for the school, regaurdless, then he should give the money to some other kid who may need it.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • ohmygod50

      Ha ha ha Pay for something himself???????? Seriously?????????? Are you awake????????

      May 29, 2012 at 2:19 am |
      • John

        ohmygod50, I bet you are on food stamps and drive a new car....

        May 29, 2012 at 7:03 am |
  43. David

    What kind of stupid question is this? His dad should have nothing to do with this. He earned a scholarship.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Michael

      @David: Sure, his last name had NOTHING to do with this.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • ohmygod50

      Ha ha ha

      He is still in his father's care.......duh........there are kids who leave home at 16, and their parents are still held responsible.......honor the young man's achievements, for the record.......but really, is there a debate about returning the money??? How pathetic. If the scholarship is not returned, he should be denied next year, based on the fact that his father is a loser.................

      May 29, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  44. The truth

    if he was atheist this wouldn't have happened

    May 29, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  45. Fight On! Mtfers!!

    I am more upset that he went to FUCLA instead of the almighty USC!

    With all that to the side, P Diddy will donate some cash to this school within the next 4 years. Believe me, those people know how to work the parents and just have to bring him on tours around the kids working on NASA projects, etc...

    May 29, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  46. Lisa

    Interesting question. It's kind of hard to make a case for begrudging the boy a merit based scholarship when he worked hard and earned it. It doesn't seem right to punish children or discourage them from personal success simply because their parents are wealthy. He well may have learned the very work ethic that led to his achievement from his father who is in his own right a self made man. If you know anything about Diddy you know that he grew up in the public housing projects of New York, that his father was a drug dealer who was murdered and that he himself dropped out of college. He is a success story despite the odds. While the kid's father could definitely pay for his son's education, he clearly has taught him important lessons about being a responsible, ambitious, productive individual. That's better than raising a spoiled, ungrateful, self righteous, lazy person! On the other hand, it is possible and likely that his father's money helped afford him the best education, the best tutors, etc. Still, that's not a crime. It does seem that some "pay it forward" type of gesture could go a long way in assuaging peoples' uneasiness at the situation. Set up a scholarship fund for less fortunate kids or buy a hospital wing for sick children, something (or many)!

    May 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  47. Mycenia

    Why on earth should he give it back? It isn't some kind of government aid, he earned it. Whatever they want to do with it is up to them. Period.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Shane

      Actually, it is kind of government aid. WE, and by "we" I mean me, pay for this stuff. I go to UCLA. I didn't have the opportunity of a scholarship, but had I been wealthy and received this scholarship, I would most certainly turn around and give it to someone less fortunate. I never like Combs. He's all show-no substance. MY opinion.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  48. CaDude

    Give it back. How many commenting here are from Ca? We pay taxes for the UCs, yet they are taking in a fixed percentage of foreign students over in state kids with better grades. Why? To get more money. Now they take that and our taxes to give to a rich kid with a famous dad? Rip offf of the tax payer for publicity sake.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  49. cyrus

    He should return the scholarship money. He can then use his Diddys money to go to USC. He will get a private school education and play on a football team that will actually win a game. UCLA can give his scholarship to a poor student that needs it more.

    This way everyone wins. Err.. Well.. maybe not the UCLA football team. They will continue to lose.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  50. applecrisp

    If he's playing, he'll definitely earn it.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  51. LizardLance

    If we quit electing the likes of Ryan, Cantor, Boehner, and McConnell then maybe we'll see more money spread around so that more of us can afford to send our kids to college, or afford to send ourselves to college, for that matter. As long as we keep republicans in office we'll continue to see fewer and fewer of us benefitting from their policies. Republicans care more about their donors and themselves than they do our country.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  52. fl

    people, give the kid a break.I am sure Diddy has done a lot for people. we should encourage kids of the rich who are hardworking to earn a reward. I am sure diddy will do more for the school in the future.Nobody Knows diddy's mind .

    May 29, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  53. mike

    It's real simple. He earned it so he should keep it.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  54. bsbccommservice

    I think it's ridiculous to take the scholarship away from somebody who earned it. The scholarship isn't based on need, but rather a person's achievements. If UCLA thinks that he merited the scholarship, it shouldn't matter who his daddy his, because his daddy didn't earn the scholarship. I'm glad to see a young man earn something like this for working hard. He should be rewarded for it with the chance to excel in the next level of academia and athletics.

    Haters are always going to hate.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Shane

      This would be a great learning opportunity for both father and son. Combs should tell his son he's proud of his achievements, but there are less fortunate kids out there and we're going to donate the scholarship to one of them. This takes nothing away from the son's achievements-he will still be able attend UCLA and he will still be have his achievements, but in the process he will also learn how about charity. It's a win-win. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only thinking in narrow terms.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • Ernest Todd

        Shane – The voice of reason. I absolutely agree with you.

        May 29, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  55. Mike H.

    If an individual earns a scholarship - particularly one based on academic achievement - then the economic condition of his/her parents merits no consideration. Justin Combs is his own person and he should be rewarded for his own achievements.

    Those who bemoan the fact that Sean Combs is worth hundreds of millions may have a gripe if this scholarship were going to Sean. But, it's not. It's going to Justin. Some of these whines and moans suggesting that Justin not accept the scholarship are based chiefly on emotional pity-parties. Pathetic.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  56. Mark Lewis

    This is not surprising. Many people who can easily afford to pay for college look for ways to shelter money because, in this country, we have this notion that college should be free despite income.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • DP

      In most countries in the world College IS free for the residents of the country. Education is the cornerstone of a great society.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  57. inewt

    He earned it, he should get to keep it. But his dad ought to endow a scholarship program much bigger, but then he should have already done that anyway

    May 29, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  58. FlaClif

    WHAT? A California school wasted money? I'm sooo shocked.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  59. Jwhut

    How about P. Diddy starts a scholarship program. It's a shame that a student who really needs the financial assistance may not be able to attend UCLA because a scholarship went to someone who could go regardless of the financial award! Diddy's son will go whether he got the scholarship or not...others will not have that luxury but do deserve the right to an education as well!

    May 29, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  60. Adam Hirsh

    He should return it. That would be like Bill Gate's kids getting a scholarship payed for by the tax payers to attend college. Good job for Justin Combs. But, im sorry. I am rooting for all the other people who's parent's cant afford to send them to a private school, hire private tutor's for them, and give them an edge. It is no wonder his son was able to uphold a high GPA or do well in football. His father probably hire's personal trainers for him. These scholarships are ment to allow children of need the opportunity to get a higher education, and frankly, most people of extream wealth probably wouldnt even accept the scholarship because it is highly frowned uppon by upper society.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Margeaux

      Well put. Old money wouldn't accept that. He may have earned it, as people say, but really, it was never a level playing field.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  61. Joe

    Athletic scholarships are earned more on the playing field than in the classroom. He earned it, else his dad would probably send him to Harvard.

    When I was in high school working part time at Harris Teeter they had a scholarship for employees that worked there in high school to go earn some money towards college. The President of the companies daughter won the scholarship .... Now that was most definitely questionable and I don't even know if she worked for one of the stores...

    May 29, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  62. Catie

    He earned it, he gets to keep it and good for him! It doesn't matter who your parents are or how much money they have. All that matter is that YOU do your best. This young man seems to have done quite well for himself and deserve this MERIT scholarship. I don't think anyone would argue if his dad put some money into another scholarship program though 🙂

    May 29, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  63. ArtInChicago

    Success of the parent is different from success of the child. If it is a merit scholarship, he earned it. No different than any other merit scholarships given to kids whose parents could afford the tuition of their respective schools. WTG...doing it on your own.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  64. ernie

    He may have deserved it, but he shouldn't have put himself up for a scholarship...
    since he already seems to have accepted it, P.Diddy should donate a huge amount of his huge fortune
    to animal rights groups, and animal shelters.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Rodger

      I am not saying he should not donate to an animal shelter (not some crazy animal rights group), but if he wanted to do something while letting his son keep his earned scholarship, he should give additional scholarships himself to another deserving student, either at the same school or another. Personally, the son earned it so ther is no need for anything to be done. it would be different if the school gave it in order to draw celib kids to their school.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:34 am |
      • smevans

        I totally agree...His son earned it, let him keep it...Sean can help someone else less fortunate...There are a lot of people out there that need help...

        May 29, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  65. GrandNousofLife

    The thing is students have the option to check off a box so that they may be considered for merit and/or income based scholarships when applying for financial aid. The scholarship, even though it's called merit, is not handed out automatically to students. Diddy's son should not have said that he wanted to be considered for such scholarships regardless of whether he qualified for it. It's a matter of principle. Checking this box knowing that others are in need and you have an endless supply of funds is proof that this is all about the Combs' ego. It would be like a billionaire ordering a 7 course meal and walking away after one bite while a dying hungry homeless person watched through a window.

    Donald Trump's children were outstanding scholars from top of the line NYC private schools and they did not receive any merit scholarships. Neither did numerous other famous individuals and their offspring. Ask why that is. What Diddy and his offspring lack besides character is a sense of humbleness. Everything with them is for show and bragging rights. I am glad he is going to attend college but hopefully while there he will have the opportunity to study a much needed page in humbleness from other celebrity influences around him.

    When I graduated from high school as an advanced placement student with a 3.8 gpa and an equally high SAT score earned while working 2 jobs, there where no offers of $54k for my education. I received one $500 book scholarship which I was beyond happy to receive and I continued to work my way through college with my two jobs. By no means am I jealous, I just want to point out that I am sure there are equally deserving high achieving students who will not be afforded such scholarships. Luckily, I had the drive to continue with my education and did not drop out to become a burden in the system like so many others who started college with me. Some how the system is not setup right and such injustices occur.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Good Point

      You asked a great question. If P.Diddy's son had the option to opt out of applying for the scholarship, why did he do it? The only person to answer that question is either P.Diddy himself or his son. Fascinating.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • oscarthehumble

      Very well put sir.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  66. cherry

    He should keep the scholarship he earned it~Congratulations to Justin and his proud father should match the amount of the scholarship and donate it to a child less fortunate and equally talented in Justin's name!

    May 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  67. Matt

    He should keep it. Maybe the kid wants to go to college on his own, not on his father's dime. What's wrong with that? Self-made people should be applauded.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  68. She She

    This young man earned it on his own given his athletic ability and academics skills. His ability to balance these two very challenging abilities and be successful at both should be celebrated. His parents were wise enough to give their son the love and support he needed to encourage his endeavors.. His parents socio economic status should not be an issue. What his parents decide to do with regard to donations is none of anyone's business. That's rivate matter.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  69. JCygan

    He earned it, it is not his fault his father has this wealth. We often criticize the wealthy that they hand everything to their kids. So now we want to take back something he earned. As he has success as a man after college and if he has been raised correctly, I am sure he can find a way to give back to the less fortunate.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  70. carla

    I agree with some of the comments regarding paying it forward. The boy should be allowed to keep his scholarship (he worked hard for it), but Mr. P. Diddy should donate (if he hasn't already) a scholarship or two to underprivledged kids. Diddy's son is not in financial need for the scholarship and something should be done to tip the scales back in the right direction.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  71. Nuclear Sunshine

    Great! With Daddy's money for tutors and help in education, I can see how this boy would be the top of all athletes in California with a rock’n 3.75 GPA… I mean who else could beat that working with a modest family income and good talent?!! Seriously, if Diddy’s boy is the best and all the effort was his, he should keep it. It’s like not recognizing the top 1% or something otherwise…

    May 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  72. Joel P

    The young man earned it, but it would be a nice gesture if the family said, "We have more than we need, let some other student have this chance."

    May 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  73. DebMarie

    The young made worked hard to earn his 3.75 GPA and should get the recognition for his hard work regardless of his financial situation. Yes, he should accept the scholarship. But, maybe he will pay it forward. It would be nice if Diddy gave a $54,000 scholarship to a high school student who wishes to attend UCLA.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  74. msejb

    Who is to say that Diddy hasn't already given more than 54k in scholarships and donations to underprivileged schools? To win a sports or academic scholarship is more of an award and acknowledgement that that individual is so supreme at what he or she does, that the school is willing to pay the student to play for them. It is also a contractual agreement that if the student shares his talent at their school, they will pay his/her tuition. UCLA can't say, "Please play for us, but we can't give you any money because your "Diddy's Rich and your Ma is good looking".

    May 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  75. Proudamerican

    @wojciechM, sounds to me like you are a sore loser!

    May 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  76. Jeff G.

    Every parent would be proud of a child who works hard and achieves this, and I am sure his family appreciates the effort and hard work that it took to reach this goal. As spoiled as regular kids act these days, its very cool that someone with a privileged background did not just sit around waiting for life to be handed to him.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  77. vulpecula

    It's a merit scholorship and he earned it. And anyone concerned about tax payers, Let me remind you Piddy is a taxpayer too, so how would you justify his son being disqualified? Plenty of children get merit scholarships from wealthy families too. Get over it.
    Everyone should be glad that the rich guys kid didn't turn out as bad as some did. Paris Hilton, the Kardashians.

    Congratulations, Mr. Justin Combs. Your off to a great start to becoming a self made man. Keep it up.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  78. Tika

    If he earned it then yes he should get the scholarship. Good on him.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Jason

      Definitely keep it! However it'd be nice to see Sean put 54k toward another scholorship... Just cuz he can.

      May 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  79. Brit

    Just to be clear, it's not a private scholarship or private money in any way. This is a scholarship from the University of California System which comes from the state of California which in turn is funded by the taxpayers of the State of California. Don't try to fool yourself into thinking this is private money. This is public money being paid for by working people out of their paychecks. Should he accept it? Yes. Should he turn right around and donate it to someone who needs it? YES.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • myprogressaslifechanges

      He earned it and should not have to return it or give it away. We teach kids to work hard and then you want to take something back because his family is wealthy? Leave the kid alone.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  80. Kate

    This young man worked hard and deserves to keep his scholarship. Time for his Dad to sponsor a dozen or so academic achievers who can't afford UCLA.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  81. Charity

    Obviously his incentive was to do well and "earn" something. For that he deserves a big congratulations from all of us. Given his promising character I feel certain that he will be charitable. Let's give him a chance to be the fine young man he appears to be.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  82. Ken Powers

    Merit based. He earned he gets it. If he wants to be a good guy and return it good for him, but why would anyone complain whatever his decision does? There is money out there for people who EARNED it. I think this kid deserves to be commended for not resting on daddies coat tails. Good for him

    May 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • G

      because rich people dont need any help paying for things

      May 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Jeanine

      He probably earned it by having personal trainers, private coaches, and a lot of other privileges that other kids couldn't afford. Let him play but give back the money. That's the honorable thing to do.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • myprogressaslifechanges

        It is MERIT based. He should not have to return it. We teach kids to work hard to get what they want and he did just that. Stop trying to rob him of something he earned!

        May 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
      • myprogressaslifechanges

        It is merit based. He should not have to return it. We teach kids to work hard to get what they want and he did just that. Stop trying to rob him of something he earned!

        May 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  83. Freddie Nerk

    The kid earned it and should keep it. BUT his Dad could dontae a similar amount to a scholarship fund at UCLA.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  84. Texan

    "Should students with wealthy parents have access to merit-based scholarships and financial aid?"

    I don't know, ask every student attending Harvard. That's how their entire financial aid system operates. The author is clearly baiting the comments section for either race-based or wealth-based conflict dialogue. Must be a Democratic strategist.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  85. ken

    obviously he is not going to return it. he had to intentionally apply for the scholarship right?

    May 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  86. Thief

    Absurd!! Another 1%er sucking more from the system.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • We the People

      Agreed! This kid should have accepted that Daddy was rich and just mooched off of him! Who does he think he is working hard, earning a 3.75 GPA and being athletic when he could have been lazy. Absolutely absurd. Why is he even going to college when he could just leech money off of his parents?

      The nerve of this kid. Trying to work hard and make something of himself.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • myprogressaslifechanges

      It is MERIT based. Maybe you do not understand what that means. Maybe if you EARNED good grades in school you would be doing better financially and would not be so bitter. I am so sick of hearing people complain about other people being wealthy. We all have the ability to work hard and be wealthy so stop knocking those who have money. I hope one day to be one of those wealthy people and I will have EARNED it and deserve it. Suck it up, work hard and spend less!

      May 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Nola Sunshine

      Kuddos to this young man for all of his hard work. He could have had no goals and his father would have taken care of him, yet he chose to make a way for himself. This is America! It's good to know that hard work still pays off. Good luck to him. To those who think that he doesn't deserve it because of his father, I ask this: would you give your pay check to the mental and physical healthy teenager sitting on a street corner begging for money? Of course not ... but wait ... your wife works and you make enough money. You don't really need it. That kid needs it! Put your money where your mouth is .... why should his hard work be worth any less than yours.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  87. SAMANTHA

    What this young man has accomplished was done seperately from his father's accomplishments. He earned his merit scholarship. Also, for this young man to follow his own path with football and school, it is maybe easier not using his dad's money for the basics. There will always be someone who misses out on a merit scholarship or a certain job because someon else received it and this young man should not be punished because of who his father is

    May 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Brit

      Nobody's punishing anybody. The question is whether someone should take something they don't need when others are in fact in dire need of it. It's not a punishment at all and your suggestion that it is shows you don't clearly understand the issue. I think the commenter who said that the child should accept the scholarship and then his father should donate an equal amount to another student in need has the best solution.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  88. Kevin

    It must feel wonderful for this young man of priveledge to achieve this on his own merit. How can anyone deny this moment to him? I know he doesn't need it, but he earned it.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  89. Wilmer King

    Yes, you earned it, but he is wealthy. Another person can be usefull in this crazy world.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  90. Jimh77

    Fact: Justin busted his butt to get that score
    Fact: Justin was awarded a scholarship to UCLA to play ball
    Fact: P Diddy is very rich

    Morals: In this case, I believe if the money is from a private source, Justin keeps it
    If money if from taxpayers in any way, Justin should return it. It would be the right thing to do

    May 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • moose

      Why return it just because it comes from taxpayers? I bet P. Diddy pays more than that in taxes to California every month.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  91. fourth81

    He earned it. Some of you are misunderstanding what it means to earn something and not have your parents pay for things, regardless if they can afford it or not.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Grant

      You really can't win with people in this situation. Either they are going to complain that his dad is rich and he shouldn't be getting help, or they are going to complain because his dad is rich and is paying for school for him so he gets an unfair advantage.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • oscarthehumble

      he never should applied for such a scholarship in the first place with his fathers economic status.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  92. Jackie

    If her earned it, he should keep it! I am certain that if all goes well, Diddy will return the gift (and more) in various forms of support for the university. Back off.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  93. Opus

    I fully agree with nfr21's post. A merit scholarship is exactly that -a merit scholarship. The standards for the recipient are based on achievement. Without arguing what favorable opportunities a child with financial means has available, he deserves what he has earned.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  94. michael

    Dumbest blog article I have ever seen on CNN

    May 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  95. Megan

    I'm sure his father and mother will donate to the school. He obviously earned this scholarship and deserves it even if he could afford to have it paid for by his father.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  96. E

    He hearned it. It'sascholarship not financial aid.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • E

      *it's a scholarship, not financial aid.*

      May 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  97. Jim L

    He earned it on his own. It's his to keep and good for him. This is not his father's scholarship. As far as tax dollars being spent are concerned? This could be a privately financed scholarship where tax dollars are not involved.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  98. Chrissy

    So here is my question: Define Merit Based Sholarship? Is it only for males/minorities/football players or open fairly to everyone? I applaud this student for being the excellent student athlete that he is, but I'm sure the next person (regarless of whom it is) with a 3.7x GPA who wants to play Any Sport at UCLA, who is in financial need should then get this sholarship opportunity!

    May 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  99. nfr21

    Really? Is this really worth discussing at all? Why is there not an article like this for all the kids of the top 1%, or even top 25%, who get scholarships? Because a lot of them come from smart parents, in supportive homes, and unsurprisingly do well in school.

    Don't even get me started on publishing an 18 year olds GPA and the amount of money that he got in scholarship. No matter who is father is he is still a kid. At 18 I would have been horrified if my high school transcript was public fodder.

    And before anyone starts – I graduated 3rd in my high school class, went to a top college, then medical school and now I am a medical school professor. My transcript was good, but I stil would have not wanted it public. Nor would I have wanted people discussing if my 10k a year merit scholarship should be given to me because my parents make x amount of money a year.

    It was a merit scholarship, he worked hard in school and on the field to meet the requirements. End of story.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  100. WojciechM

    I would just feel terrible for whoever was next in line for this scholarship and didn't receive it. I know the sting of being the next one in line for scholarships, assistantships and simply getting into graduate programs, and it hurts enough when you don't get it period. If I found out I missed out on a scholarship because P. Diddy's son got, I'd lose it...especially because I know a lot of deserving students who could use that kind of scholarship money and miss out by one or two places...

    May 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Nola Sunshine

      Why? It's not about financial need, it's about performance. Period. There will always be a second place.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:00 am |
      • da_roue

        He could keep but, pay it forward donate the cash to someone else that is less fortunate than he.

        May 29, 2012 at 8:21 am |
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