Megan Devlin '14

Status: Current Student, Class of 2014

Major: Communication Management and Design

Hometown: Old Lyme, Connecticut

Works: 7 Hours/Week as a Research Assistant

Tuition Assistance: Park Scholarship (which covers full tuition, room, and board, books, and supplies)

Student Debt: $0

When Megan Devlin was 10, her parents separated. Her father struggled to find a full-time job during the recession, so she started babysitting before she was legally old enough to work.

When she turned 16, she started busing tables at a restaurant. She bought her first car, so she could pick up her siblings and drive to work.

“I had more disposable income than my parents,” she said. “I’d buy groceries and gas for my family. I felt obligated to financially support them.”

Devlin is now on a full ride at Ithaca College as a Park scholar.

“I worked my butt off in high school because I knew I would have to fund college on my own,” she says. “I was bawling my eyes out when I got the call about the scholarship. I had an amazing college counselor who encouraged me to apply for it. I couldn’t attend IC without it.”

Today, Devlin helps pay her brother’s tuition bills at another college because he didn’t take advantage of the same scholarship opportunities, and her parents can’t afford to make payments right now. She works up to 20 hours a week during the summers on top of unpaid internships. She’s received a living stipend the past two summers to help with rent in the cities where she interned, and she worked to pay for groceries and commuting.

Devlin knows that not everyone is as fortunate as she is. She helped organize an event called “Occupy the Mic” to help students talk about their student loan debt.

Still, she says, “You can’t put a price tag on the mentorship, the connections, the support of the professors. A degree doesn’t automatically entitle you to anything. It’s the additional experiences that are worth the cost of education.”

Read more about the value of an IC education here.