Justin Combs earns a merit scholarship to UCLA, as well as criticism for accepting it

May 30, 2012

Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl

Justin Combs #5 of the East Team stand on the field for introductions to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl against the West Team at Chase Field on January 3, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Justin Combs is a lucky man – he’s graduating high school with a 3.75 GPC and a full ride to UCLA (worth $54,000) for his skills as a defensive cornerback. He’s also the son of multimillionaire recording artist and rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, which has a lot of people grumbling that he doesn’t deserve the scholarship, despite the fact that it’s merit-based, not need-based. UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez went on record with LA Weekly about the school’s offer, emphasizing that the funding does not come from taxpayers, but from private donations. Vazquez also stressed that over 42% percent of UCLA students have their full tuition covered through need-based funding; only 285 merit-based sports scholarships exist.


Why do you think there’s been such an outcry over a merit-based scholarship? Should students whose parents make over a certain income be out of the running for all higher education scholarships? Should they refuse to accept them? And, if you’re a Bruins fan, have you seen junior Diddy play and does he live up to his promise?


Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of and; he’s a member of the board of directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association

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