By Melissa Rollins, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyra March said that she always dreamed of attending Spellman College. Even her wardrobe featured several items with the college name and logo. One phone call changed the course of her college career.
“Ever since the eighth grade, I wanted to go to a college in Atlanta, Georgia called Spellman College,” March said. “It is an all-women’s college and a Historically Black College, as well. I would go visit. I had two long-sleeve shirts and two hats, lanyards; I really thought I was going there.”
She found out in December that her dream school had accepted her; she also found out that she would have to pay for almost all of her tuition, room and board.
“I was looking at the financial aid and they didn’t give me anything other than $5,000 in grants; their tuition is like $52,000,” March said. “I didn’t meet their scholarship requirements because you had to have a 30 on your ACT and a 1330 on your SAT; I had a 28 and a 1300. I asked if I could get another financial aid packet if I retook the test and the lady said that even if you meet the score requirement you aren’t guaranteed a scholarship. That’s when I decided to really look at my other options.”
One of those other options was Harvard University, a private Ivy League university in Massachusetts.
“My mom was happy with me going wherever I want; she didn’t push my in any specific direction,” March said. “I visited six schools and my mom went to every one with me, except one.”
Though she applied at Harvard, March said she was still surprised when she got the news she was accepted.
“When I found out about being accepted to Harvard I didn’t even know what to do,” March said. “I was in Chemistry class when a Cambridge number was calling me. I thought I should probably answer it so I stepped out. The guy on the phone was asking about prom and if I got my dress yet, how was I doing. Then he said that the committee had reviewed my application and they thought I’d be a good fit for Harvard. I was in shock. I had to go pick my mom up and I told her about it and she was screaming. I learned about getting a full-ride a couple of months later. I didn’t even know what to do.”
Though a full-ride scholarship might be a determining factor for some, March said that she wanted to be absolutely certain she was happy with the school she chose.
“At that point, I was choosing between UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard,” March said. “I told my mom I wanted to love Harvard, like the feel of it when I visited; I didn’t just want to make the decision and not know how I felt about it.
But I loved it. I met so many different people and it was just great.”
She plans to double major in African-American Studies and Women’s Studies with a minor in Political Science.
“A few years ago I went to the museum for civil rights in Atlanta with my church during the summer,” March said. “It really surprised me because there were so many things I didn’t know about African-American history, like the accomplishments of women, because we’re not really taught that in depth in school. We learn about the Civil Rights Movement but we don’t really learn about anything else. I really found out a lot of different things about people of color and their different accomplishments and even about equal rights for different types of people like Native Americans. That really sparked my passion for history and African-American history and women’s history. I decided to double-major and have a minor because there are a lot of things that I’m interested in, in the liberal arts field.”
She plans to be become a college professor.
“I was going to focus on African-American studies but some professors dabble in a few different types of course; I’d like to do that,” March said.
Her high school activities included National Honor Society, Beta Club, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Living Out Loud Youth Ministry. The total amount of scholarship money offered to March from all the universities and colleges she was accepted to was $1,187,512.