Receiving scholarships because of ethnicity is not new, but receiving scholarships for being Caucasian is.
The Former Majority Association for Equality (FMAFE) organization is offering one of the first ethnically focused scholarships for underprivileged Caucasian males.
“When you Google ‘Caucasian male scholarships,’ the results that come back are a joke,” said Colby Bohannan, mass communication junior and president of FMAFE. “Several of the links are to pages making light of the fact that there are zero scholarships for Caucasian males.”
Bohannan said the scholarship is not limited to Texas State students, and is geared towards individuals who have found the scholarship process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or ethnic groups.
“I believe in equality for everyone, as well as being a strong believer that everyone should have an opportunity to attend college no matter who they are or where they come from,” said Calysta Spence, FMAFE fundraising coordinator.
The organization focuses on students dedicated to their own education, helping others and finding a successful career.
According to FMAFE’s organizational website, they will award five candidates a $500 scholarship. Applicants should be at least 25 percent Caucasian, male, maintain a GPA exceeding 3.0, demonstrate a commitment to education and substantiate financial need to be eligible for these awards.
Calculating what constitutes 25 percent Caucasian decent has been a top priority of discussion but has not yet been established.
“We want to take time and consideration in making sure that our applicants are treated fairly and meet the criteria to receive the scholarship,” said Michael Ford, FMAFE’s senior adviser.
Bohannan said the organization has not yet started accepting applications for the fall 2011 semester, and FMAFE is not affiliated with any student or campus organizations.
“The toughest obstacles to getting this organization off the ground seem to be not appearing racially motivated, and getting taken seriously,” Bohannan said. “The board members of FMAFE are not trying to put anyone down or make any race or cultures seem inferior.”
Bohannan said FMAFE does not accept donations from any individual or group of people that are associated with racially bigotry.
The organization is based in San Marcos, and the staff is made up exclusively of volunteers. FMAFE’s board of directors currently consists of seven individuals. Ford said a diverse group of board members is key to achieving an unbiased selection of scholarship winners, and serve a strong foundation to building a reputable organization.
The board members are both gender and racially diverse and are dedicated to helping young Americans, according to Bohannan.
Upcoming activities for the organization include a fundraiser May 21 at Cedar Bend Event near Bastrop, according to Spence. Once volunteers, donors and fundraising turnout are evaluated, Bohannan said FMAFE plans on making a list of finalists from potential applicants. They will then finalize the process with a selection of the candidates, and July 4 will award scholarships.