UCLA Takes Heat for Giving Diddy's Son a Scholarship
Sean "Diddy" Combs and his son Justin (KTLA-TV)
POLL: Diddy's Son Gets Scholarship
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Some are questioning whether the school -- which is part of the cash-strapped University of California system -- should pay for the education of the son of the wealthy rap mogul.
Justin Combs graduated with a 3.75 GPA from Iona Prep in New Rochelle, New York. He chose UCLA over Iowa, Virginia and Illinois.
The university released a statement on Wednesday, explaining that athletic scholarships are not based on finances and do not rely on taxpayers' money.
"Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability -- not their financial need," the statement read.
"Athletic scholarships, such as those awarded to football or basketball players, do not rely on state funds. Instead, these scholarships are entirely funded through UCLA Athletics ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations from supporters.
"Each year, UCLA awards the equivalent of approximately 285 full athletic scholarships to outstanding student-athletes. The scholarships are used by the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to pay students' tuition and fees, as well as room and board. In this respect, UCLA is no different from the overwhelming majority of Division I institutions."
On Wednesday, Justin seemed to respond to the controversy when he tweeted: "Regardless what circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD."
A subsequent tweet added: "Regardless of what you do in life every1 is gonna have their own opinion. Stay focused, keep that tunnel vision & never 4get why u started."
Sean Combs had an estimated net worth of $550 million as of April 2012, according to Forbes.
He gave his son a $360,000 Maybach for his 16th birthday two years ago.
When Justin committed to UCLA in November, his father released a statement saying, "As a parent, today is one of the proudest moments of my life."
The statement continued: "This is everything a father could want for his son, for him to excel at what he loves to do and is truly passionate about. Justin is a shining example of what hard work, determination and a strong mentality can achieve. I am honored to call him my son and am happy that he is fulfilling his dream."