Jackie Richards ’20 (Martel)

Earth Science and Visual & Dramatic Arts

In late September 2018, the university announced The Rice Investment, a new financial aid initiative that will greatly expand support for low- and middle-income families and ensure that the most deserving students have the opportunity to realize their full potential. We asked scholarship recipient Jackie Richards ’20 (Martel), a lover of geochemistry and photography, about her perspective on The Rice Investment and how undergraduate scholarships have had an impact on her future.

What does your scholarship mean to you?

It’s made it possible for me to even attend Rice, and I am grateful to not have that extra financial burden. My scholarship is a big part of why I can enjoy my time on campus. If I had not received any aid, then I would either have to quit all of my extracurricular activities and work full-time or go to school somewhere else.

What was your reaction to The Rice Investment when you heard the announcement?

It felt like the entire student body let out a sigh of relief. I was really excited, and at first I maybe was a little bit skeptical, too. But, reading more about The Rice Investment reassured me that this new policy will make real change. It clearly defines who will be eligible for this kind of aid, and I think it’s going to open doors for future students like me. It is going to help a lot of people, and that’s what is important to me.  

How do you think The Rice Investment will impact the student body?

I think The Rice Investment will allow more students to participate in the Rice experience. Everyone knows how much of a financial burden college is, and this expansion of financial aid is music to students’ ears. I hope that it means more first-generation college students will have the opportunity to make Rice their home. I think it will also make it easier for students, including myself, to pursue leadership positions on campus, study abroad or do unpaid research and internships. Rice will become an overall even happier campus in the years to come.

What have been the highlights of your time at Rice so far?

Everything! From the thought-provoking conversations I have with my peers to the iced “nutty bees” with almond milk I buy at Coffeehouse, everything at Rice has been an absolute dream. The people are by far what makes this university like no other: from the H&D workers who swipe my ID for meals, to the professors who share immense knowledge in the classroom, to the friends who are down to go to House of Pies with me at 3 a.m.

I have countless memories that I will never forget. Some have made me feel so much joy I couldn’t contain it, like being an O-Week advisor or working at two of Rice’s student-run businesses. There’s not a single moment at Rice that I would trade for the world.

What would you say to potential donors or supporters of The Rice Investment?

Thank you for even considering to support The Rice Investment — we need you. You could change the lives of our wonderfully gifted student body. You have the power to help lessen the financial burdens of the college experience. If there’s one thing that I know about Rice students, it’s that they don’t disappoint — they are brilliant, able and unconventional. Together, we will change the world. My life has been changed for the better by someone who donated to Rice, and I implore you to also help create that change for future Owls.


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