When Linh Le, a senior in the accounting accelerated master’s program, first arrived to George Mason University, she realized that even working multiple part-time jobs would still put tuition out of reach. Besides, she also understood that she would need that extra time to focus on her demanding courses. Adding to the hardships that she expected was the unexpected impact of COVID-19. She now finds herself on track for the accelerated program that would have been much harder to fund had she not applied for, and received, the Janis S. Reed Endowed Scholarship.
Janis S. Reed, BS Business Administration ’74, established the scholarship in 2016 to assist undergrads in accounting. “I was the recipient of a scholarship when I attended George Mason for my last year of college, and I feel a need to help others continue their education,” she says. Applicants for the scholarship qualify based on financial need and academic merit.
For Le, the effects of receiving the scholarship have been profound. It reduced the stress and time of working part-time jobs, allowing her to focus on her studies, which have become increasingly rigorous. Furthermore, COVID-19 restrictions led to significant cuts of her hours, making for less money in her pocket. “I cannot ask my family for financial assistance because everyone has also experienced a drastic reduction in income due to COVID-19,” she says. Perhaps most importantly, the scholarship allowed her to pay off the fall tuition and roll into her accelerated master’s program. Without it, she would likely have fallen behind, pushing her dreams further from reach. She recognizes other benefits, from mentoring high schoolers on the opportunities in college, to her network of peers gaining the knowledge of the scholarships available to them, to helping her expand her own professional and academic networks.
As both a first-generation American and first-generation of her family to attend college, Linh Le is relieved to know that support exists for hardworking and high-achieving students like her. “This scholarship is a huge impact and definitely helps me to be one step nearer to my goal,” she says. “It lessens the burden of paying graduate program tuition in the spring.” Her ultimate goal is to perform well in class, while being financially independent without taking out loans. And with the assistance from the Janis S. Reed Endowed Scholarship, she is right back on track.