Fulfilling Her Dream: African-American Student Earns 14 Scholarships

Aubrey Perry has had dreams of attending Michigan State University for quite some time now, but her educational aspirations were at risk after the economy took a major toll on her family’s finances.

Both of Perry’s parents are self-employed, so the rough economy had a particularly troubling impact on their financial well-being. They were forced to file for bankruptcy and had to deliver some troubling news to their daughter.

According to the New Pittsburgh Courier, Perry’s parents explained that they didn’t have the money to send her to college.

She received that news at the end of her junior year in high school, and since then she became determined to do something about it.

Perry was already a member of the National Honor Society, a member of her school’s Link Crew and an active cheerleader.

While that is an impressive enough resume for most high school students, Perry wanted more.

She started to become even more active at her school and participated in the types of activities that she knew scholarship selection committees looked for in potential candidates.

“The summer between my junior and senior year, I really got serious,” she told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “Though I was in the National Honor Society and the Link Crew, I knew that if I wanted to go to a major university like Michigan State, I’d have to start participating in the type of activities that matter to admissions directors – and especially scholarship selection committees.”

The busy summer paid off to the tune of about $17,000.

She explained that she applied for every scholarship she qualified for. By the time she completed all the applications, she had applied to more than 100 scholarships and won 14 of them.

“My first scholarship I won was $75 and the largest scholarship I won was $5,000,” she said.

While the amounts didn’t always seem like much, they added up in the end.

As for larger prize scholarships, the competition was obviously much steeper and attracted a lot more applicants than ones that offered smaller winnings.

While the $17,000 will not cover her full cost of tuition, it definitely puts a major dent in Perry’s first-year financial obligations.

She took out student loans to make up the difference and plans to start all over again for next year.

“Next year, I plan to get a good summer internship and apply again for more scholarships,” the Michigan State University freshman said. “I have faith that it’ll all work out.”