THE federal Department of Education will begin prohibiting colleges and universities that receive federal funds from offering what it calls ``race exclusive'' scholarships, according to a newspaper report Wednesday. Scholarships designated for minority students are discriminatory and therefore illegal, said Michael Williams, the Education Department's assistant secretary for civil rights.
Mr. Williams stressed that his decision should not be seen as an attempt to limit minority scholarships or an attack on the number of blacks and Hispanics who might be able to attend institutions of higher learning, the New York Times reported.
It was not clear whether the initiative has the approval of President Bush, the Times said.
Williams said ``race exclusive'' scholarships might be allowed in some cases in schools in which past ethnic or racial discrimination had been established.
Scholarships based strictly on financial need, which often benefit minority students, would not be affected, the Times said. Nor would scholarships awarded to individual students by private foundations and groups like the United Negro College Fund, which raises money for black colleges, but does not stipulate that the revenue be used for minority students, the paper said.