“When I received an email telling me I qualified for the Hope Scholarship, I thought, ‘This is crazy. Is this real?’”
RIC Senior, Olivia Lancellotta, Reflects on How the Hope Scholarship Has Impacted Her:
Olivia Lancellotta is double majoring in musical theater and communication and minoring in dance. The workload for anyone in the musical theater program is intense. Between classes, rehearsals and shows, students practically live in the department.
“By spring semester of my sophomore year, I was in a really tough situation,” she says. “I was in all the shows, which I’m super grateful for, but I wasn’t able to work as many hours because of it. I ended up getting a job in a coffee shop where I’d go in at 6 a.m. before classes started, then go to classes at 10 a.m. and remain on campus until 10 at night for rehearsals or shows.
“In my junior year I couldn’t commute anymore because being in shows made it hard to drive home late at night, so I decided to live on campus. That was a huge financial decision. Last year I had to take out a $20,000 loan.
“When I received an email telling me I qualified for the Hope Scholarship, I thought, ‘This is crazy. Is this real?’ I was super excited.
“Being a double major, I’ve gone over the standard number of credit hours each year, which means my tuition is higher each year. In order to graduate in four years with two majors and a minor, I had to massively exceed the normal credit load. This semester I’m taking 27 credits, which means my tuition is also higher. It’s incredible that the Hope Scholarship will pay for even those extra credit hours.
“I’m extremely grateful I ended up at Rhode Island College, because I can’t imagine a better place for me. The faculty and staff are absolutely incredible and super supportive, and my education has been extremely immersive. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in every performance. In most musical theatre programs, you’re not in every show. But here they make sure everyone has an opportunity. That’s important to me and my peers, and I’m super grateful.”
Learn more on the Hope Scholarship website.