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COVINGTON, Ga. — The words “full tuition to Harvard University” weren’t something Zane Jones imagined reading in an acceptance letter two years ago. In fact, college wasn’t even on her radar.
Today, the Georgia State University Perimeter College graduate can choose to continue her undergraduate education in the Ivy League.
Jones received a $60,000 scholarship to Harvard — one of just 12 transfer students selected nationwide for the full-tuition scholarship — and she recently also learned of her acceptance to Yale.
The news has been exciting — and a little overwhelming for the 20-year-old.
The Conyers resident was homeschooled and really “didn’t think about going to college,” she said, until she took a lecture course her senior year in high school at the Scholars Guild Academy, which is connected to the homeschool community.
She loved the collegiate format and wanted more.
“I didn’t think college was an option for me, so when I finally realized I really wanted to go to college, I applied to Perimeter College,” she said.
That was fall 2020.
At the Newton Campus, she took full course loads, both online and in the classroom, entering college as the entire country was reopening school classrooms shuttered by the pandemic.
“I loved Perimeter. The two most influential classes in my first semester were critical thinking and history with Dr. Joe Bagley,” she said.
She impressed Bagley with her dedication and writing skills, he said.
“Zane is one of the brightest, most dedicated students I have ever taught,” Bagley said.
Jones got involved on the Newton Campus, joining the student government as finance director. She also got involved in the International Model African Union, representing Zimbabwe, where she distinguished herself and was named the Michelle Tooley Outstanding Delegate by her peers.
An accomplished writer as well, she was student editor of Creative License, Perimeter College’s student literary arts magazine.
In fall 2021, the 4.0 Perimeter Honors College scholar started looking into transfer options to continue her college education.
“I saw an announcement that Brown University was expanding its financial aid program, and thought, ‘I can afford that,’” she said.
Jones ended up applying to transfer to 10 colleges and universities, including Brown, Boston University, Williams College, Princeton, Yale and Harvard.
This past fall, she was invited by Newton Campus English Professor Amanda Boone to become a college mentor to Clements Middle School students in Covington, who are working with Perimeter to develop a campaign against opioid abuse. The statewide initiative, called College Adopt-A-School, is funded through a $117,500 grant from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
“Working with the kids has been great,” Jones said. “They are so smart and intelligent. I’m really impressed with them.”
Her parents are also excited about her college news, she said, but nervous. The oldest of three siblings, Jones will be blazing a trail outside of Georgia. While exploring Harvard’s Cambridge campus, she plans to major in history, English or political science.
Classes at Harvard begin in August.
Photo by Bill Roa