Recently, I read a news story about a woman who posted on social media about potentially missing out on a substantial scholarship offer from Maryville College in Tennessee.
If you have yet to read the story, the basics are that student was going to need significant financial assistance to go the traditional 4-year college route. After applying to a significant number of schools over the course of her junior and senior years in high school and not receiving the amount of scholarship assistance she would need, she actually stopped opening some of the responses from her applications.
Turns out, the response from Maryville College included a scholarship offer that would pay for a substantial portion of her 4-year education. She realized this just one day before the stated deadline to respond and she had already committed herself to attend a local community college. She felt like it just wouldn’t be in the cards for her to attend Maryville College.
However, Dr. Alayne Bowman, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Maryville, saw the social media video and worked with the admissions team to track down the student and reached out to her personally. “When we say at Maryville, ‘every student matters,’ we truly mean, ‘every student matters,'” Dr. Bowman told me. “I wanted her to know that she had a place at MC, if she wanted to attend. I wanted her to know that we wanted her.”
The young woman is now planning to attend Maryville College in the fall.
Bravo to Dr. Bowman and the team at Maryville for their determination and grit, for their second effort recruiting, and for full embracing the spirit of their “every student matters,” ethos. And all best wishes to Madi in the coming years.
We often say in advancement that “every gift matters.” Or, “every donor matters.”
A question we should regularly ask ourselves, “what evidence from our behavior or our activities would prove that we really mean it?”
A P.S. to this story:
While Dr. Bowman’s engagement and follow-through with this student is impressive, I admit to having a considerable familial bias. Congratulations, sis, on all the good work you are doing!