Alum’s Gift to Cover In-State Tuition Costs for Four UMD Students Per Year
Akash Magoon (B.S. '18, computer science) recently made a $180,000 donation to establish undergraduate student scholarships for four students per year at the University of Maryland.
The need-based scholarships will be awarded to two College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) students and two computer science majors, with a focus on those who grew up and reside in Baltimore at the time of enrollment. The scholarships will cover each recipient’s tuition costs for one year, with the possibility of being renewed, starting in fall 2024.
Magoon, a member of the BSOS Board of Visitors, is co-founder and CEO of Adonis, a revenue intelligence and automation platform built to help healthcare providers automate their revenue cycle and payment workflows. He decided to create the Magoon Family Current-Use Scholarship in Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Magoon Family Current-Use Scholarship in Computer Science to help Terps from his Baltimore City birthplace think outside of the box about their career goals.
“My goal with the scholarship is to help give students the ability to free their mind of the financial burden that comes with paying for college so that they can spend time focusing on finding their true passion,” Magoon said. “I find that when people are going through college, they are always opting for the safest path, whether it's joining a big four consultancy, or one of the big tech companies or an accounting firm. When students are in debt or need to make a name for themselves, they tend to take the tried-and-true route, but I believe our top minds should become entrepreneurs and innovators."
Magoon was born in Baltimore City to parents who emigrated from India to the United States in the 1980s. He lived there until he was around 8 years old, when his family moved to the suburb Fallston, Md.
That’s when Magoon’s appreciation for Baltimore deepened.
“Despite really enjoying my upbringing in Harford County, I always felt more at home in Baltimore,” he said. “My classroom was much more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse in Baltimore, which made me feel more welcomed and accepted.”
Baltimore’s diversity also opened Magoon’s eyes to how hard some people have to work to advance their careers.
“Witnessing the experience of peers from varying backgrounds during my formative years allowed me to gain an appreciation for how hard it can be to break out of systemic confines that make forward progress challenging,” Magoon explained. “The financial requirements for students needing loans inherently makes higher education inaccessible for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. There's a part of me that has always wanted to find a way to support those with a spark to achieve their full potential.”
This $180,000 gift is the 27-year-old CEO’s first to the University of Maryland. He hopes that by giving, he will support and inspire current students and inspire other young alums to give at any level.
“I think a lot of folks that go on to do great things post-college forget about the things that made them what they are. My hope is that by telling my story, people will realize that the reason they're out there leading a fintech company, or moving up the ladder at Google, or making a name for themselves at a law firm, much of that has to do with where they came from and where they started,” Magoon said. “And frankly, if you went to a state school like the University of Maryland, there was a lot of public money that was spent on you and your campus as well, so this is your opportunity to give back to the community that shaped who you are as a person.”
To make a donation to the Magoon Family Current-Use Scholarship in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, visit go.umd.edu/magoonBSOSfund. To make a donation to the Magoon Family Current-Use Scholarship in Computer Science, visit go.umd.edu/magoonCSfund.
Written by Rachael Grahame