Scholarships may deter SC students from tough classes

The Associated PressFebruary 12, 2014 

Educators worry that lottery-backed scholarships tied to grades are deterring South Carolina’s top students from taking advanced courses in their senior year of high school.

Melanie Barton, director of the Education Oversight Committee, said students are telling guidance counselors they don’t want to jeopardize their chance of getting a scholarship by taking a tough course that could bring a low grade. It appears to particularly be a concern for students expecting to receive Palmetto Fellow scholarships, awarded to classes’ top graduates.

The system actually may deter high-performing students from challenging themselves academically, instead of encouraging students to take Advanced Placement or dual-enrollment classes that allow high school students to earn college credit, Barton said.

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