Student Support

‘A Weight Lifted’

Now in medical school, Jamison Kline remains grateful for the scholarship that helped him graduate from Carolina with minimal debt

UNC student Jamison Kline wearing a graduation shawl.

Now in medical school, Jamison Kline remains grateful for the scholarship that helped him graduate from Carolina with minimal debt

For a kid from rural Indiana, in an area dominated by Hoosier and Boilermaker fans, Jamison Kline ’20 had an unusual college aspiration: He wanted to go to Carolina.

Like many other future Tar Heels, Kline fell in love with Carolina because of basketball. Kline’s father was from the same hometown as former Tar Heel guard David Colescott ’80, and he became a committed Carolina fan when Colescott came to Chapel Hill. In fact, the name “Jamison” was inspired by Tar Heel great Antawn Jamison ’99.

A top student in high school, Kline was accepted to Carolina. He knew Carolina had a strong biology program and opportunities that would help him reach his goal to attend medical school. As far as covering tuition, he figured he would work as much as possible while in school and was willing to take on debt to make his dream to attend UNC come true.

Kline worked hard in the classroom his first year, earning A’s despite taking tough biology and chemistry courses as he fulfilled pre-med requirements. He returned home to Indiana and was working for his father’s flooring business. During a lunch break, the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid emailed with some news that changed his trajectory: He had been awarded the Margerison Distinguished Scholarship.

“There was a huge weight lifted,” Kline said. “I could focus on my studies and not worry about money. It’s hard to describe how helpful it was to have that pressure removed.”

The scholarship not only relieved pressure, it helped open new opportunities for Kline. With less focus on maximizing a paycheck while in school, he was able to work in the lab of Kevin Slep, associate professor of biology, where he contributed to research into protein function.

“Jamison is a good example of the type of student who we need at UNC,” Slep said. “He’s always performed at an exceptional level. I know Jamison was grateful for his scholarship, and so am I because it helped him work with me. The more investment we have in our undergraduates, the more potential there is for them to succeed and pay back North Carolina in the long term.”

Now in his second year of medical school at Indiana University and mindful that he carries minimal undergraduate debt thanks to the Margerison Distinguished Scholarship, paying things back, or perhaps forward, is indeed on Kline’s mind.

“In the future, if I am blessed financially, I hope I can do for a student what the Margerison family did for me,” Kline said. “I’d love to make a similar impact for someone.”

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