Woman reveals her top school reached out to her after she missed out on $104,000 scholarship
A woman went viral after she discovered an unopened scholarship letter from one of her top colleges, prompting the school to reach out to her.
Last month, Madi, who goes by the username @luvlyymadiii, shared a clip on TikTok of her video diary for 29 April. As she sat on the floor, she proceeded to go through her mail, before finding an unopened letter from Maryville College, which is based in Tennessee.
“Going through my unopened college acceptance letters from October after cleaning out [the] closet,” she wrote in the text over the clip.
In the footage, Madi proceeded to look at the letter and opened her mouth in shock. She described the offer that she received from the university, writing: “Finds out I had a $104,000 scholarship from one of my top three colleges.”
Madi then looked at the camera, before pointing out her feelings of “shock and anger”. She continued to film herself reading the letter, as she explained why she didn’t initially plan on going to this school.
“Already decided to go to a community college because I thought university would be too much debt. Disappointed I never opened this letter & college decision day is literally Monday,” she wrote, referring to 1 May, which is the date that many high school seniors decide which college they want to attend in the fall.
The 18-second video ended with Madi holding up the letter, as she turned her head to the side and continued to look disappointed. The sound of the footage also included a snippet of the Taylor Swift song “High Infidelity,” from her album Midnights. Madi made a reference to one of the lyrics in the caption, writing: “Do you really want to know where I was April 29th?”
As of 17 May, Madi’s video has more than 2.8m views, with TikTok users in the comments encouraging her to still go to Maryville College.
“Change your decision, it will be worth it!!” one wrote, while another added: “GO. enrollment deposits are NOT binding. Go!!!”
A third agreed: “You opened it a day before decision [day] for a reason. Go and get that uni education w/ the scholarship!! It’ll be worth it!.”
In a follow-up video, Madi revealed that the admissions office at Maryville College had called her, after seeing her viral video. She explained that the university was still offering her the scholarship and wanted her to attend the school.
“Basically, they said that they were going to make my dreams come true,” she said. “They’re going to send me like an official award offer letter to my Gmail. I don’t know how they found me but they did. So, now I’m going to college, and I’m just so excited!”
Speaking to The Independent, Madi revealed that she’d be getting the same scholarship from Maryville as indicated in her letter. She also explained that it was much easier than expected for her to switch to the school, after initially choosing a community college.
“This was a mature decision I had to make regarding my future finances & my plan for my career, so I must admit I was scared to make a decision & mess the entire trajectory of my life up!” she said. “Making such a decision is a lot of pressure for 18 year olds. I am very aware that I am still young so I didn’t want to act on such a decision immaturely.”
Speaking to The Independent, Dr Alayne Bowman, Vice President for admissions and financial aid at Maryville, recalled how she found Madi through Instagram, after the TikTok video went viral. From there, she discovered Madi’s full name in the college’s information system and contacted her.
“It was exciting to make that call because as a college, we knew it wasn’t too late for her to enroll,” Bowman said. “Maryville College is intentional about making college affordable, and we knew we could make this dream of hers come true. She was so sweet and excited when we spoke, and our entire office was thrilled that we were able to reach her and hopefully make Maryville College her home for the next four years.”
In her second TikTok video, Madi explained why she didn’t open her initial letter in the first place, noting that she had “over 300 letters come in” at the time and it was “impossible” for her to open each one. She also pointed out how she had a busy schedule.
“I was still doing a ton of school work, and I had a job,” she said. “So, I just figured I was going to keep all of those letters for my children so that whenever they were in high school, I’d be like: ‘Your mom was a genius, and you should be working like a genius.’”
She concluded the video by expressing how excited she is to be going to Maryville College.
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first student who has gone viral on TikTok, when sharing some of their experiences. Last month, one university student sparked a debate about expectations in school when she tearfully revealed that her professor gave her a zero on her six-page philosophy essay.
“And so I wrote this entire paper, and all I needed on it was a 17 or 18 per cent to pass the course. The professor gave me a zero,” the college student, Erika Schafrick, explained in her viral clip. “And I’m literally sitting here thinking it was a mistake so I sent him my submission receipt and he was like: ‘No, it’s not a mistake, here’s your feedback.’”
According to Schafrick, her professor claimed in the feedback that what she’d written “misrepresented” the text the class had been assigned. However, she alleged that the work could be “interpreted in so many different ways”.