Seniors go above, beyond to secure full ride scholarships

By MaggieMorris

Senior year is typically the year when many people start their college search process. Touring campuses, talking with academic counselors and writing essays are sometimes daunting tasks that consume the minds of many twelfth grade students. For senior Regina Anyaegbunam, these tasks began much earlier. 

During her junior year, Anyaegbunam applied and took part in the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program because she knew they had a lot of college partners and she was curious about her options. This program helped her understand her possibilities for college matches and provided her with resources to aid her in her search and application process. 

Regina Anyaegbunam ’23 writes an essay in the Haddix Academic Center. Anyaegbunam was a frequent visitor of the Haddix and Student Services during her application process. Photo by MaggieMorris.

Then, as a senior, Anyaegbunam was able to apply for the QuestBridge National Match Program. Through this program, she ranked her top college choices and filled out all of their individual applications, along with QuestBridge’s separate application. This process was extremely challenging and time consuming because of all of the essays, financial information and other supplementals that were required in such a short period of time. Anyaegbunam would soon learn that all that hard work did not go to waste. 

On Dec. 1 during her Block H class, she received an email from QuestBridge. She was too nervous to open it by herself, so she “went to the Haddix after school to find someone to open it with,” and when she clicked on the message, confetti popped up on her screen. Anyaegbunam had been matched and earned a full-ride scholarship to her third choice on her rankings, Rice University in Houston, TX. She was thrilled about this opportunity, especially considering it was one of her top schools and she could have matched with one of her lower options instead. Anyaegbunam chose Rice as one of her top choices because there are “good medical and professional resources near the school” since she is hoping to major in either health sciences, pre-med or mathematics. 

Anyaegbunam is not the only Marian student who has received this honor. Aby Acevedo, who graduated in 2021, is currently on the pre-med track at the University of Notre Dame thanks to her QuestBridge scholarship. 

She went through a similar process in applying for QuestBridge’s match program and remembers how much time and work she put into her applications. She says that while nearly 12,000 students are selected for the match program, only around 1,000 are actually matched to schools. Acevedo ranked Notre Dame high on her list because of the good pre-med reviews she had heard from students, the campus itself and her appreciation for the “values of Catholic institutions.” 

During her time at Marian, Acevedo took part in campus ministry, recruitment and the summer service trip to the Dominican Republic. She feels that Marian helped prepare her for college in many little ways, like the work load, availability of counselors and having “such a close community that you can know everyone.” Thinking about the stress and worry that comes with college, Acevedo urges high schoolers to not compare themselves to others and to remember that “everyone might seem like they have it all figured out” even though they likely do not. Most importantly, she wants to stress that “where you go to school does not determine your success.” 

Like Acevedo in 2021, Anyaegbunam is eagerly looking forward to starting her college adventures at Rice in the fall. She is “really excited to get out into the community” and “meet new people with similar intentions of going into the medical field.” 

She is currently a member of the Diversity Board, as well as a senior class officer. Some advice she would give to younger students who are starting to think about college is to always look for opportunities available at the schools they are looking at. She strongly recommends talking to counselors here at Marian because “they can only help you if you tell them” what you need. Anyaegbunam stresses the importance of having confidence in yourself and to “not be afraid to hear criticism,” but also “not feeling obligated to accept it.” 

Most importantly, she encourages people to make the decisions that are best for themselves rather than falling under the pressure of those around them. Always remember that it is your life and “if you don’t feel it in your heart, don’t do it.” 

2 thoughts on “Seniors go above, beyond to secure full ride scholarships

  1. This is a great, informative, inspiring story that I enjoyed reading, but I can’t get past the title saying “above, beyond” instead of “above and beyond.”


    1. Thanks for your feedback, E.B. We try to follow AP style guidelines in the writing of our headlines. In this style (Associate Press style used by professional journalists around the globe), headlines avoid articles (a, an, the) and replace the word “and” with a comma. It is a pretty standard thing to do. We are sorry that it frustrated you. But, we’ve had lots of feedback on this headline, so maybe it is time to reconsider our policy.


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