Kayla Henderson is a 17-year-old senior at Shawnee Mission Northwest, knee-deep in college applications. One university out of the six she has applied to, though, comes with extra consideration - the University of Missouri.
"I applied to Mizzou before the whole incident happened, and when I found out about the incident, I was kind of bittersweet about should I go here or no," Henderson said.
She's not alone. Earlier this month, MU reported a five percent decrease in applications for the fall semester due in part to the protests over racial inequality on campus. Henderson's mom, Frances Spearman, said, "It's a catch 22 because it's my child, you know. You don't want her to face those things because you're not there to be there with her."
In an email sent privately by former Mizzou President Tim Wolfe, he wrote that the protests led by Concerned Student 1950 led to $25 million in lost tuition and fees. He goes on to say up to $500 million could be lost in state funding as well.
Click here to read Wolfe’s letter. Personal information from those in the letter has been redacted.
When it comes to her decision, Henderson is not focusing on the controversy.
"It really doesn't matter because I'm just trying to go there for my education," she said.
Spearman said the decision is solely Henderson's, no matter what she chooses. "If she went there, fine. I would of course keep praying, but if not, I'm OK with that as well."
Dia Wall can be reached at email@example.com.