Rhodes Scholar Accused of Lying to Lose Scholarship

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KTVI) – An Ivy League alumnus who won one of the world’s most highly regarded scholarships allegedly strained the truth in her application.

The problem is that the sad story Mackenzie Fierceton tells colleges and committees doesn’t match the year she spent in foster care.

Fierceton named a 2021 Penn Rhodes Scholar. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn and is working on a master’s degree in social work. The 23-year-old plans to use the scholarship to go to Oxford to pursue a Ph. in social policy.

Fierceton beat more than 2,300 applicants from around the country to win the prestigious award, which allows recipients to study for free at Oxford University in the UK.

She won the scholarship, in part because of her story. Fierceton says she grew up in the foster care system, going from house to house and staying on friends’ couches because some of the living conditions were so dire.

Tell the Philadelphia Inquirer that “School was always an outlet because I never felt like I had any control over my family life or any other part of my life,” she said.

“As a low-income first-generation student and foster youth former, Mackenzie is passionate about advocating for young people in those communities through academic, professional, and personal endeavors, devote himself to a life of public service” University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann wrote during the award announcement.

An investigation into her past by Chronicles of Higher Education revealed that her story does not match reality. They say a tipper contacted the Rhodes and Penn committee, calling Fierceton’s story dishonest. She actually grew up with her mother in a house on a tree-lined street in an upper-class neighborhood. Her mother had a very good job at a St. Louis, and Fierceton had hobbies like horseback riding.

Fierceton also changed his last name when he was in college.

There are several other red flags. A 2020 profile in St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows that She graduated in 2016 from the Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, a suburb of St. Louis. Tuition for that institution was about $30,000 a year before financial aid was available. She told the newspaper her foster homes are in Manchester, Clayton and Creve Coeur.

Fierceton spent a year in foster care. It was after an incident with her mother. But those investigating the case say her childhood was not as harsh as she claims.

The Rhodes Committee recommended that Fierceton’s scholarship be revoked. In response, she withdrew herself from her honor. Penn is also withholding Fierceton’s master’s degree because of their concerns about the truth. Fierceton says the administrators were involved in a conspiracy against her.

https://www.westernslopenow.com/news/rhodes-scholar-accused-of-lying-on-applications-loses-scholarship/ Rhodes Scholar Accused of Lying to Lose Scholarship

Charles Jones

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