Yeager Scholarship recipients reflect on application process, look forward to future
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 23:09
The Yeager Scholarship is considered one of the most prestigious scholarships at Marshall University. Named after Charles Yeager, this scholarship requires an extensive application process that includes multiple essays and interviews.
Each year, six incoming freshmen are chosen to receive the scholarship, but the journey for the Class of 2017 Yeager Scholars is just beginning.
The Yeager Scholarship provides those who were selected with a full ride to Marshall. The scholars also receive a stipend to pay for their books, a new computer and a summer semester at Oxford after the completion of their sophomore year. Following their semester at Oxford the scholarship also pays for another study abroad trip.
It is not every day that one receives such an honor and freshman scholarship recipient, Mary Kate Miller, freshman forensic chemistry and digital forensics major from Richmond, Ky., said she waited anxiously for her letter to arrive.
“I was at school when it finally came in the mail, so I had my dad open it for me,” Miller said. “When he texted me and said ‘We Are Marshall,’ I just started crying, I was so happy.”
Chandler Milam, freshman exercise physiology and history major from Dunbar, W.Va., heard about the scholarship and liked the idea. Since he met the requirements of a 30 ACT score and a 3.5 grade point average, he decided to apply for the scholarship.
“I didn’t think the first part of the application process was difficult,” Milam said. “I was most nervous about the phone interviews.”
Ben Jones, freshman mathematics major from Huntington, thought working up the motivation to begin the application was the most difficult.
“It is hard to imagine being selected and even harder to forego distractions of the present for dreams of the future,” Jones said. “Beforehand, it’s hard to conceptualize the journey from an online application to finalist weekend, the journey from disbelief to reality.”
The experience of starting college with such an important scholarship that requires a difficult course load, including four Yeager seminars to take during the first four semesters of college and a required 3.5 GPA may be overwhelming to some, but Abby Pullen, a freshman classics major from Ashburn, Va., said she believes receiving the scholarship gave her an opportunity many would not have in college.
“The six of us are always together,” Pullen said. “We go to different activities around campus that I wouldn’t normally go to if I didn’t have them. We’re a family and I never have to feel alone.”
The Yeager Scholars also had the opportunity to attend a retreat week in Fayette County, W.Va. from Aug. 19- Aug. 21.
“Retreat Week was so much fun,” Amanda Schwartz, freshman creative writing major from Winfield, W.Va., said. “We were able to bond with the sophomore class of Yeager Scholars and that was a great experience.”
The freshmen class of Yeager Scholars looks forward to what the future holds.
“It’s been a really great experience so far and since I planned to go to Marshall regardless, receiving the scholarship was a bonus,” Sara Brumbaugh, a freshman mathematics major from Huntington, said.
Alyssa Simon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.