Music Education student Nicole Whitman knew exactly what she was looking for in a university during her college search. “I wanted empathy,” she says. “I wanted someone to know and care about my feelings as a student. I didn’t want to be another number. I like that close connection with professors.”

That desire for empathy and connection was what initially interested her and ultimately brought her to Butler. That, and her high school choir director encouraged her to apply, thinking it would also be a great fit.

After visiting campus and taking a lesson with Jordan College of the Arts faculty member Dr. Gail Lewis, Whitman made the connections she desired, and knew that Butler was the place for her. But, as a first-generation college student and 21st Century Scholar, she knew that it would be financially difficult to make attending Butler a reality.  

Enter Butler Blue Scholars’ Day and the Butler Tuition Guarantee. Each year, the University invites hundreds of prospective, admitted students to interview for a variety of scholarships during a one-day event known as Blue Scholars’ Day.

Whitman was one of those invited to interview for one of the 10 available Butler Tuition Guarantee scholarships, which provides a student full tuition each academic year when combined with all federal, state, and University scholarships and grants. To be eligible, students must attend a Marion County high school, have a solid academic record, participate in extracurricular activities and community service projects, and have a great financial need.

Happily, Whitman received the award and could make her dream of attending Butler a reality.

Whitman’s days now involve classes in Music Education, playing the mellophone, practicing for basketball band, and living in Residential College. She’s excited to eventually complete her student teaching, and thinks she may add a Spanish minor sometime in the future. When asked what she thinks she wants to do once she graduates, though, there’s no hesitation.

“I want to be a high school band director for a huge marching band. I want to have a successful program that builds up the kids as both musicians and as people. And I know, without a doubt, Butler will get me there,” she says. “I will be a force.”