Financial News

What Happened To The Student Who Turned Down Harvard To Attend HBCUS?

What Happened To The Student Who Turned Down Harvard To Attend HBCUS?

By April Taylor

Ralph Jones Jr. has made a string of decisions that he has received both support and criticism for.  The Root reports that after being ready to enter college at the age of 16, he faced divided feedback after choosing to attend Florida A&M over Harvard.  Many could not understand why such a talented student would not choose to attend an Ivy League school, but others support his decision to attend a Historically Black University.  Part of the reason Jones made the decision is that he received a full scholarship to Florida A&M while only receiving a partial scholarship to Harvard, and one of his goals was to not incur any debt during the pursuit of his education.

Another decision that Jones has been both criticized and supported for is his decision to drop out of Florida A&M after his sophomore year.  After working at Lockheed his freshman year and then interning with Apple and building his resume in ways that students at other universities were not able to, he decided to pursue a more spiritual path in his education.  Though Jones told the Root that he did not regret his decision to attend Florida A&M, he decided to forfeit the remainder of his scholarship and pursue a degree at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.

It was during his time at Bethel that he began working for Apple’s iOS division where a team leader made Jones aware of the fact that he could earn twice as much as he was earning at the time if he went back and finished his engineering degree, and this motivated Jones to seek out a way to work on the two degree concurrently.  Although there is currently a roadblock with obtaining his transcripts from Florida A&M, Jones continues to press forward in pursuit of his goals.  He is currently teaching iOS software design at his former high school and plans on returning to work for Apple in the future.

Jones is at peace with the decisions he has made in his life and believes that his time at Florida A&M and Bethel have taught him that it is a persons character that bears more weight than lists of accomplishments.  In responding to what people think of decisions, he quoted the founder of the Bethel ministry school that he will graduate from in 2015 by stating, “If you don’t live by the applause of man, you won’t die by their criticism.”

Financial News

Lawrence Watkins is the founder of Great Black Speakers, FlexPads, and co-founder of Watkins Media Group. He writes because he feels like it makes him a more productive entrepreneur and hopes that others can learn from his journey. Lawrence has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville and an MBA from Cornell University. He is also a member of Management Leadership for Tomorrow and The Young Entrepreneur Council.

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