Danny Reagan (BBA ’22) grew up visiting Athens, Georgia. Through football games with family and conferences with student organizations, he fell in love with the campus and knew it was the best place for his future.
“I was able to walk through campus and see other college students just living their daily lives,” Reagan said. “I got the chance to see myself there and think, ‘Maybe one day that will be me.’ And sure enough, I got to graduate from UGA.”
Reagan graduated in December 2022 with a bachelor’s in risk management and insurance and a certificate in entrepreneurship. He started a new job as a risk compliance analyst in early 2023 and looks forward to revisiting UGA as an alumnus.
“For me, coming from a small town, UGA was definitely the best decision that I’ve ever made,” he said. “I had countless great experiences, and I have this great connection to come back to.”
Throughout his three and a half years on campus, Reagan embraced opportunities to get involved.
“I graduated high school with about 82, 84 other students, so when I came to such a large campus, I worked hard to make sure I went to clubs and meetings,” Reagan said. “It’s so important to step out of your comfort zone to maximize your experience.”
Reagan met other students from rural communities through ALL Georgia, an initiative housed in the Division of Academic Enhancement that connects rural students with support on campus. He also attended coffee hours and networked with other students, and he joined clubs he never would have expected, such as the aviation club.
This level of involvement was possible thanks to the Georgia Commitment Scholarship (GCS) Program. This needs-based scholarship is open to first-year students and can be renewed for four years.
The GCS program has created over 680 scholarships, and through the program, donors have provided more than $100 million toward need-based aid.
“This scholarship really eased the financial burden for me, and it enabled me to get out of my comfort zone even more,” Reagan said. “It helped me have probably the best college experience I could have.”
GCS also connects students with on-campus resources that ease the transition to college and build strong foundations for academic success.
“In my freshman year, I really wanted to get ahead of the game, so I got an academic coach for the semester,” Reagan said. “They introduced me to some of the tutors available, so I had that additional support in my accounting class and some of the other hard business classes.”
In addition to on-campus involvement, Reagan started his own graphic design company and created graphics for athletes. His scholarship meant this could remain a fun endeavor, rather than strictly an income opportunity. He then transferred those skills to a job in the Department of Academic Enhancement, where he created social media content.
“I got to really focus on that and grow in that way,” Reagan said. “The scholarship really helped me complete more personal projects and explore my passions without having finances exist as a consistent worry.”