Shaynah J.

$1,000 History Scholarship Award Winner

"Shay, Columbus ain’t do anything; all he did was kill Indians and spread syphilis!" My grandmother shouted as the ABC news anchorman spoke about the upcoming Columbus Day parade. I was listening; like a dried up sponge wallowing in the heat, I embraced her words as if they were the water I needed to regain my softness. Her tirade is the very foundation and evolution of my intellectual interest in history. My grandmother made this assertion when I was six years old and I was so proud of my newly acquired knowledge that I carried it to school with me the following Monday, which turned out to be Columbus Day. My first grade teacher, Miss Kahn, gathered my classmates and me in a circle and posed a question that she would soon regret she had asked: "Does anyone know who Christopher Columbus is?" Of course, I raised my hand up high and waved it around to get my teacher’s attention. When she pointed to me, I stood up and proudly proclaimed that, "Columbus killed Indians and spread sissyphus." Although my pronunciation was off, Miss Kahn’s dropped mouth and bewildered look told me that she understood what I said.

When I walked into my house that afternoon, looking for my grandmother so I could tell her the great news, I encountered my mother. She looked down at me over her folded arms and sarcastically asked, “So how was school today?” After taking a step away from my mother told her what grandma had told me and how I explained to Miss Kahn what Christopher Columbus had done. Letting her face rest, she began to laugh and tell me that my grandmother was bitter and that I needed to find things out for myself. So from that point on, I began to explore come to my own conclusions. Looking back on that hilarious (and somewhat embarrassing) moment, I now believe that my grandmother’s bitter and rebellious remarks sparked my interest and love for history.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

$43M in Loans Forgiven for Students of Closed Colleges

September 6, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The federal government discharged more than $43 million in student loan debt for former students of recently closed for-profit colleges. Students who attended programs operated by Education Corporation of America, Dream Center Education Holdings, Vatterott College and Charlotte School of Law will be able to qualify for a full discharge of their federal loans if they were enrolled when their college closed or withdrew within 120 days of the official closure date and didn’t transfer to another institution, according to Inside Higher Education. [...]

College Board Backpedals - No Adversity Score to be Added

August 30, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

College Board is ditching its previous plan to capture socioeconomic information from students with a single score - also known as an "adversity score" - when scoring their SAT college admissions test. The score would have taken into account a student's socioeconomic background and the neighborhood in which they grew up. [...]

Female-Only Scholarships Under Fire In Higher Ed

August 20, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Female-only college and university STEM programs are coming under fire for male discrimination as they attempt to "redress gender imbalance" in fields such as computer science and engineering. The U.S. Department of Education launched more than two dozen investigations into higher education institutions nationwide - including UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC as well as Yale, Princeton and Rice - which offer female-only scholarships, awards and professional development workshops. [...]