The Privilege Grant has been created exclusively for white males to support their post- secondary education.
Conservative personality and Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos announced The Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant for tuition assistance in a news release on Jan. 28.
Funded by Yiannopoulos and other private donors, the grant will award caucasian male college students with $2,500 each. The grant is currently in a pilot phase with the first application period set to conclude on Feb. 14.
The grant’s first ten recipients will be announced next month.
Yiannopoulos discussed the grant at California Polytechnic State University on the day of it’s launch.
“It started as a joke, but if you’re a woman, if you’re black, if you’re disabled, if you’re muslim, if you’re a refugee, you can get free money. But the facts say that it is young white boys who are educationally underprivileged,” said Yiannopoulos.
A report from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service of the United Kingdom as well as a 2012 study by Stephanie Ewert from The Journal of Higher Education, indicate poor white males are in the greatest need of tuition assistance.
In a statement on the UCAS website, chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said, “Girls are doing better throughout primary, secondary and higher education than boys; poor white boys are the most disadvantaged group in entry to higher education and the gap is getting bigger.”
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to give college students money, but you know it can have it’s pros and cons just like everything else,” said construction technology major Michael Schatzel.
Despite these arguments, many are infuriated by the Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant and its application requirements.
Some are calling the grant “racist” and “sexist”, arguing that affirmative action grants seek to help historically disadvantaged groups.
Others are skeptical of this notion and point to Yiannopoulos’s record of troublemaking in explanation of this recent controversy.
“Even though it is technically a legit grant, it seems like he’s making more of a statement,” said computer information systems major James Bohrer.
“I think it’s more of a social commentary on some of the grants that are oriented towards more race specific groups, which in a way could also be seen as racist because they’re targeting very specific racial groups,” said Bohrer.
“I don’t necessarily think that it’s racist, but I do think that it’s wrong and I definitely think it is politically motivated,” said psychology major Vincent Castaldo. Castaldo feels the grant is acting as a parody of how people of African-American descent will sometimes receive grants based on their socioeconomic backgrounds.
“White males are among the most privileged ethnic groups out there and they really don’t need $2,500 to help go to college,” said Castaldo.
“I mean, I’m sure there are people out there who definitely need help who fit that demographic, but I don’t think they’re in the most need of help,” said Castaldo.
Despite accusations of racism and misogyny, Yiannopoulos intends to go forward with his plan to help college students with his Privilege Grant.