Southern Illinois U. faces questions after giving $80,000 scholarship to president Glenn Poshard's granddaughter
June 26, 2011
Maddie Poshard is a stellar student, with excellent grades, a top ACT score, and a history of exemplary leadership at her Springfield area high school.
She is just the kind of student Southern Illinois University wants for its Presidential/Chancellor Scholarships, a taxpayer-funded free ride for four years worth about $80,000.
So why would anyone raise questions about her getting the scholarship?
Because she's the granddaughter of the university's president, Glenn Poshard.
People involved in college admissions say family connections are often delicate issues, and in this case everyone says the rules were followed. But some wonder whether the university's president would have been wiser to have asked his granddaughter not to apply, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
"That's a tough question. It's a tricky one. It's a hard call," said Dan Mann, director of student financial aid at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "I would think (Poshard) would say, 'This isn't appropriate for you to get the scholarship and you shouldn't be considered.'"
"At the same time, they try desperately to get good kids to come to Southern," Mann continued. "It's a no-win situation for them."