Incoming KSU student wins Declaration Days scholarship

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jun 1, 2020

Jayla Ray
Jayla Ray

Jayla Ray is still a few weeks away from taking her first class, but her experience as a Kennesaw State University student already is off to a great start.

Ray, an incoming freshman from Locust Grove, won a $5,000 scholarship as part of the annual Declaration Days sponsored by collegiate licensing company Top of the World. More than 36,000 students from across the country were entered to win one of three scholarships valued at $5,000, $1,000 and $500 by declaring which school they will attend on and then posting their declaration on social media. The winners were chosen at random, and Ray received the largest scholarship.

“I became ecstatic when I was notified that I was the winner of this scholarship,” said Ray, who plans to major in nursing. “It was unbelievable because I didn’t think I would win. I am so happy and grateful.”

Ray said that she chose to attend Kennesaw State for “many reasons,” and at the top of her list are the Wellstar School of Nursing’s strong reputation and the diversity of the KSU community. She also looks forward to being in the stands at Fifth Third Bank Stadium to cheer on the Owls football team.

Ray’s next step as a Kennesaw State student will be her orientation on July 17, and she truly will feel like an Owl when she moves into on-campus housing at University Village Suites for fall semester. To say that she is looking forward to her first day at KSU would be an understatement.

“Kennesaw State has always been my No. 1 choice,” Ray said. “Words cannot describe how much I am ready to become a college student at KSU. I have already started packing, and I am also meeting other new freshmen via social media.”

Along with Ray receiving the $5,000 scholarship, Kennesaw State took first place out of the more than 130 colleges and universities represented in Declaration Days 2020. More than 3,700 high school seniors declared Kennesaw State as their school of choice, giving KSU the top spot ahead of schools such as Florida State University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma.

– Paul Floeckher

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit