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May 28th, 2012
11:57 AM ET

Steve Perry: should scholarships be earned through merit or through heritage?

One recent high-school graduate earned a 3.75 GPA at an elite private school and as a result of his athletic prowess was granted a $54,000 scholarship to UCLA in the fall.

But because that kid is Justin Combs, there has been widespread debate over his accepting of state-funded money. With a net worth of over 500 million dollars, should father and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs even consider accepting state funding for his son's education when the California taxpayers' money could go to someone much more in need?

CNN Education correspondent Steve Perry discusses the issue with the Starting Point panel.

"It's a meritocracy," he says. "No matter who your father is, whether he be rich, poor, or absent... You can, in fact, be successful on your own merit."

And, recounting the amount of physical and academic work that goes into maintaining an award like this, Perry explains, "There's nothing free about a division 1 athletic scholarship."

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