US News and World Report ranks New Orleans’s own Tulane University as one of the top 50 universities in America. A Tulane education costs over $40,000 per year, or nearly $200,000 to get a 4-year Tulane degree.
The Louisiana legislature and even the mayor of New Orleans get to doll out a free scholarship to Tulane every year with little to no strings attached. Essentially, 144 legislators and the mayor give away nearly 150 free rides to expensive Tulane. And because it’s Louisiana, many of the scholarships simply go to friends or family members.
About 20 years ago, the then-century old practice was exposed for what it was: a political patronage cow. Legislators were simply giving the scholarships away to family or to folks that would help them politically. Once it was discovered family members were receiving many of the scholarships, a law was passed stopping the practice. So now legislators give the scholarship to their fellow legislator’s kid and vice versa, essentially circumventing the law.
The point is the most deserving and needy do not get the scholarships. That’s a $40,000 a year perk that simply doesn’t need to exist.
Senator Dan Claitor (R, Baton Rouge) wants to eliminate those giveaways. I doubt his legislation will even make it out of committee. The legislature likes having these gifts to give out the way they see fit. To benefit them not the real student who may have earned such a scholarship. It’s clearly wrong and unnecessary.
Let Tulane University give out the scholarships and let them give them out to students actually deserving of the honor not some politician’s kid. A deserving kids future is at stake, not an entitled legislator’s one.