Brandon Kennedy Millard
I want to first and foremost sincerely thank you for awarding me this scholarship. As an incoming dental student last year, I had an idea in the back of my head about the financial situation that I was about to enter into. I was aware that any professional school, dental school included, is an investment in your future, and that investment does not come cheap. I think the severity of this investment surprised me as I began to understand more and more of the finances as I went through my first year here at the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry (UFCD). One factor that greatly impacts my situation is that I am an unsubsidized student here at UFCD. This means that the state of Florida does not subsidize my tuition at all, and I am therefore paying just as much, if not more, than my out of state peers, even though I have been a Florida resident my entire life. Being an unsubsidized student has, thankfully, forced me to become fully aware of the impact of the amount of money that I am borrowing for tuition, other school expenses, food, rent and even things such as gas money. I believe it also makes me appreciate this opportunity of winning this scholarship that much more. As I mentioned above, professional school is an investment, and winning this scholarship makes me believe that the 3to1 foundation believes in this investment in my future just as much as I do. This backing is something that I am very grateful for and only drives me to work harder.
I was fortunate enough to also be awarded this scholarship last year and can remember just how useful the money was in buying so many essential things for my first year, like the scrubs that I wear every day to school, the computer that I use every day to take notes on, and part of it even went to my instrument fees for that semester. Having to be completely reliant on the loans I receive means that I have to remember that every dollar that I spend now, is a dollar (plus interest) that I have to pay back in the future, so every penny counts. At the end of each semester I am able to give back the money that I do not use so that I am not charged interest on it and the money from this scholarship allows me to return even more money at the end of the semester than I am used to and cuts into the amount that I will owe back in the future. Being chosen for this scholarship relieves some of the financial burden that I now find myself worrying about almost every day and allows me to focus on my studies in the classroom and my skills in lab, on my path to becoming the best Dentist I can be for my future patients, and that is something that I don’t think that I could ever thank the board of Directors enough for. Thank you again for believing in my future, I promise you won’t regret it.Back to Scholarship Recipients
Winning this scholarship is something that I am extremely excited about, and I only hope that this letter displays how grateful I am.
With classes starting in late August, I am a very proud member of the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry’s Class of 2022 (UFCD). UFCD has 93 spots available and 10 of those are unsubsidized student positions. Being an unsubsidized student, such as myself, means that although I am a Florida resident, I will be paying a little bit more than out of state tuition all four years, with no possibility of re-classifying to be in-state. This is because when UFCD wanted to increase its class size from 83 to 93. The state of Florida did not provide funding for those extra 10 spots, leaving the students to carry the extra financial load. This means that I am paying more than most other students at UFCD.
This extra cost is a good part of why I am so thankful to be receiving this scholarship. The money from this scholarship will go towards eating away at the costs of tuition, books, uniforms, etc. and thereby decreasing the amount of loans I am needing to take, which decreases the amount of money that I will owe in loans in the future. This money is a blessing and is going to come into great use as I begin this next journey at UFCD.
While I am very excited about the monetary part of this scholarship, I am also grateful of the meaning that it carries. Winning this scholarship means that the Board believes in my ability to achieve my goals and one day become the best Dental Professional that I can be. I applied to dental school for the second time this year after not being accepted to a single one of the schools that I applied to last year.
After not receiving an offer from a single school, it felt like no one, but myself, truly believed in my ability. I decided to make every effort that I could to upgrade my application before I applied again. I greatly improved my test scores, slightly increased my GPA, and increased my hours of both shadowing and work experience exponentially in the 8-10 months between application periods. This round of applications was much more favorable, getting into two of my top schools and ultimately choosing my alma mater to continue my professional education.
Knowing that the Board believes in my abilities, potential, and future is something that uplifts me, and something that I will carry with me throughout my professional career. So, once again, thank you. Thank you for your part in helping me to lift the weight of student loans, thank you for your part in making my dreams come true, but most importantly, thank you for believing in me. I can promise you that this scholarship will be put to good use, and I will never let you down.