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When high school senior Shanya Robinson-Owens applied for college, she received a scholarship offer from Temple University. Then another from La Salle University. Then another from Lincoln University. All in all, Ms. Robinson-Owens has applied to at least 25 schools — and she has been offered over $1 million in scholarships

The high school senior, 17, has not yet decided which university she will enter in the fall, but her college admissions experience has been unlike any other. Her family tracked Ms. Robinson-Owens’ progress over social media, using the hashtag #keepingupwithNya to keep followers up to date with Shanya’s historic achievements. 

In fact, Ms. Robinson-Owens has already received offers of $1,074,260 in scholarships from 18 schools, with more offers coming in daily. The Robinson-Owens family is overjoyed, according Christine Owens, Shanya’s aunt. “I knew she wouldn’t have a problem getting into colleges, but we didn’t know they would award her this much money in scholarship funds.”

Hard work and a commitment to addressing social injustices

Ms. Robinson-Owens is a student at George Washington Carver high school of Engineering and Science. She plans to study psychology in college, although chemistry also interests her. Embodying black excellence At her high school, she is on the yearbook committee, and is learning Chinese as part of an internship program. 

Mr. Ted Domers, principal of George Washington Carver High school of Engineering and Science reflected on Ms. Robinson-Owens’ educational trajectory, stating, “It is a privilege for us to count Shanya as one of our own and we are excited to see her create opportunities for her future.” Mr. Domers also mentioned Ms. Robinson-Owens’ commitment to addressing social injustices, as well as her hard work and extracurricular activities. 

Ms. Robinson-Owen credits a willingness to be patient for her success, noting that she hopes other students will take their time with school, and communicate openly with teachers during the Covid19 pandemic. Ms. Robinson-Owen said in a statement, “You really have to be patient. Stay focused. If you need to have some time away, it’s OK. You can tell your teachers that because they know you’re stressed.”

Ms. Robinson-Owens plans to follow her own advice as she makes her final decision about where she will attend college in the fall. She is considering not only how much scholarship money she is offered, but also how she will fit into campus culture and academic life. 


Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...