Religion Disqualifies Scholarship

The same Christian beliefs that disqualify football coaches can also make students ineligible for scholarships. Michael Nash, a junior at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, received a Kentucky Educational Excellence scholarship based on academic achievement and college board scores. That is, he thought he received one until the school notified him otherwise in October 2002, having discovered that he would be majoring in philosophy and religion. Regulations prevented the state from making scholarship grants to theology, divinity, or religious students. But the argument that such scholarships would violate the Establishment Clause is suspect for two reasons. The student, not the school, has complete control over the decision as to what major he will pursue. Veterans, moreover, are not precluded from using their GI funds for religious studies. When the American Center for Law and justice filed suit, Cumberland College changed its position and reinstated Nash's eligibility for the funds.

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