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Scholarship Error Raises Questions

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RIVERSIDE, California (CNN) — If a person wins a scholarship intended for someone of a different race, should he or she give it back?

When Jeffrey Warren, a senior at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California, was looking for financial help to pay for college, he applied for several scholarships. When he applied for one of those scholarships, he had no idea it was intended for an African-American student. He says the application only said that African-Americans were encouraged to apply.

“In a situation like this the information where the scholarship designated for an African-American student, that information was not online for him to see so he wasn’t even aware of it until the night he won the award,” said Darel Hansen, principal at King High School.

The scholarship awarding committee didn’t know that he was white — until he got up to receive the award.

“It was kind of funny at first, everyone was laughing. They announced it for an African-American, they saw me walk up,” Warren said.

Warren decided to return the scholarship. He says he could have really used the money but decided it was best to return it.

“I know that they were trying to a good deed for the African-American community, and I saw that too so I had no trouble giving it back to them at all,” Warren told KABC-TV.

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