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Resource ID: #26254
Source:WWL-TV (New Orleans)
Under a 120-year old deal with state lawmakers, Tulane University allows each of the Louisiana's 144 legislators to award one full scholarship to Tulane every year in exchange for tax breaks. Abuses of the program were first exposed 20 years ago by WWL-TV (including that the mayor of New Orleans had given his own son a scholarship), leading to supposed reforms. But in a joint investigation with the New Orleans Advocate, our research revealed scholarships based on insider connections, favoritism and campaign contributions. We found that many scholarships don't go to the most needy or best qualified, but to the children of the powerful and the connected. In six televised reports and seven accompanying front page articles in the New Orleans Advocate, as well as on the web sites of both media outlets, we exposed the new problems which have already led to one state lawmaker calling for more major reforms to the scholarship program.