Rap star and business entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. So, why was his son given a full athletic scholarship to UCLA? School officials are defending that decision.

The 5'9", 170-lb 18-year-old cornerback graduated from the all-male Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York last week and is set to enroll in UCLA on June 24.

"Athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability, and not on a student's financial need," UCLA said in a statement.

According to the school, its athletic scholarships are entirely funded by athletic department ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contacts and private donations from supporters.

UCLA officials said the university awards about 285 full athletic scholarships every year to outstanding student athletes.

The Combs family has not issued a comment.

Combs, who also served as a backup quarterback, also received offers to play football for other colleges such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tennessee Tech University. He announced in early 2011 that he was committing to the Bruins, adding that he would be closer to his father.

The merit-based full athletic scholarship covers annual tuition and fees, as well as room and board. Its $54,000 sum matches what an out-of-state student residing on campus would pay annually. A California resident living in a dorm at UCLA pays about $31,902 a year.

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