Forever Orange program gives students chance to recapture lost years
Forever Orange offers second shot for college
Students in college only have a finite amount of time at a university. Within the four years they spend at Syracuse University, there is so much they might wish to accomplish. For juniors and seniors of the class of 2021, it became a year of lost experiences. However, because of grad school, some of these students have had the ability to reclaim the time that they lost.
Courtney Ter, a New Media and Management major, was a junior when she went into virtual learning for her classes. Despite the worsening news at the time, Ter and her classmates believed that after an extended spring break in 2020 things would return to normal. This did not happen, Ter was forced to be at home away from her friends. She had also turned 21 as the world shut down and she thought about all the activities she missed out on.
Something that has enabled her and others to return to school is the Forever Orange Scholarship. The scholarship provides half of the tuition for students who enroll full-time in a qualifying graduate degree or certificate program at SU.
Ter says that the scholarship was a great opportunity for her as it allowed her to get a do-over on her junior and senior years.
“Recapturing senior year was a selling point,” Ter said. “So that was kind of like the thing that finally made my decision between just simply going out into the workforce after my undergraduate degree versus staying for an extra year. I haven’t really thought about not being prepared enough for the real world.”
Zach Carr was a law student who also did theater as a hobby during his time at SU. He and his castmates had been preparing to put on a show in the spring but Covid put a stop to it.
“I always had so much trouble understanding this professor I just couldn’t hear what he was saying. And everyone else could and I just felt myself just kind of slipping behind. And I actually ended up having to withdraw from the class after some big deadline because I wasn’t going to pass it just because I couldn’t. I felt like I couldn’t hear anything and everyone else could,” said Carr.
Initially, Carr had planned to attend law school right after he graduated but fear of a second outbreak stopped him.
“ I kind of delayed doing that. I didn’t go right to law school after college. Because again, you know, I felt like there was just a really high chance that something would go south, and campus would be closed. And so I took a year off so that I could start law school later,” said Carr.
One of the aspects of grad school that Carr said was most appealing to him was being able to be in person with other students and not Zoom having to worry about a bad connection or not being heard in the class.
Devin Miller is a law student who graduated in 2018. He decided to come back a few years later to do law school but by that time, Covid had hit his first year of law school. For the first year of his graduate experience, his classes were virtual, something he says affected the dynamic between his classmates.
“We didn’t get that immediate honeymoon period of going into a new school. We kind of didn’t have to get together and get to know each other. We had to kind of do that on the fly,” said Miller.
Despite his initial rough time with grad school, he doesn’t feel any bitterness as he was at least able to experience everyone during his time in undergrad years.
For these students grad school has been a chance to not just further their education but also to get back the time that they lost.