205: That One Time a University Revoked More Than 60 Full Scholarships (And What You Can Do About It)

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This episode is special. Why? It’s part 1 of 3 on a series I’m doing on access and equity. Now, if you’ve followed my work or know me personally you know that access and equity are a HUGE part of why I do what I do. And sometimes I hear folks saying, “I’d like to do more, I’m just not sure where to start.” or “I want to help. But how?” Through this podcast series--and through other webinars as well as a mini-course that I’ll be releasing later this year--my goal is to provide more opportunities and tools for helping people do more good in the world. #let’sgettowork

For part of this series, I interview Joan Liu, a counselor at a high school in Southeast Asia, who has been working on the front lines of access and equity issues during her career. Wait ‘til you hear her story: this past April, the University of Texas at Tyler first accepted more than 60 Nepali students with full scholarships and then--get this--they emailed those students to say that, due to a clerical error, those students would no longer have a full ride at UT Tyler. Like: sorry.

Like many of us in the counseling community, Joan couldn’t believe this when she heard it. She decided to do something about it.

That story--and what happened next--is what we discuss on this podcast. This story was picked up by the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Ed and they are seeking help for these students--we’ll let you know at the end how you can help. Enjoy.


[2:17] Meet Joan Liu
[3:10] What happened: The UT Tyler scholarship debacle with a group of Nepali students
[6:00] How did this happen?
[6:42] How likely is it for international students to get full scholarships to US universities?
[9:18] Who these students are, and how they were impacted
[10:05] How the “Nepal Justice League” formed in response
[16:30] Where things stand now
[19:04] How can folks help?

Go to Everest Ed Fund to donate, offer help, or reach out for more information.

  • Long-term, Joan and her team are raising 250K (covering 4 years) to make sure students can pay fees from year to year; and can graduate from college.

  • Short-term, they need about 7K to get two kids to be able to move into sophomore year.

How else can you help?

  • Donate to Everest Education Fund

  • Sponsor a student (email Joan Liu: joan.liu@uwcsea.edu.sg )

  • Help us amplify this story

    • Do you know someone who is in media; runs a YouTube Channel; runs a podcast; is a documentary filmmaker; is a student filmmaker? Joan wants to talk to them!

  • Make an introduction. Link us to someone you know who might care enough to make a transformational gift.

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Awesome humans mentioned in this episode: