Scholarship Spotlight

The G.I. Bill Means Business for a Marine (Success Stories Series)

(Reprinted from Wilson Community College, “Alumni Story,” retrieved 5.23.11)

Ricky Wilson

I joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school in 2000. I have been stationed in South Carolina, California, Arizona, North Carolina, and Iraq. In late July of 2005, I transitioned out of the military with plans on pursuing a college degree. In my military career I had some great experiences, plus it has helped me pay for most of my schooling with the GI Bill. As stated by Ned Dolan in one of my favorite quotes, “Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share”

Being from Savannah, Georgia, I was far away from family and friends. I moved to Wilson from my last duty station at Cherry Point, North Carolina to be with my fiancée in 2005.  I wanted to go to college and my fiancée along with many of my military friends helped encourage me to do so. I chose Wilson Community College [Wilson, NC] because it was close to where I lived, worked, and it offered the program I was interested in. I started at Wilson Community College in the fall of 2005 taking a full-time load and working full-time. I got married in July of 2006, and my wife helped support me all of the way through the military and college.

In November of 2007, I was informed there was a job opening at the College in the purchasing department by a few classmates that said the job description sounded like a perfect fit for me. I applied, received an interview, and started my new job full-time at Wilson Community College as Purchasing Specialist in January of 2008. I graduated from Wilson Community College in May of 2008 with an Associates Degree in Business Administration.  The guidance and direction that I received from all of the instructors is well appreciated and I thank them for that.

Currently, I am taking college transfer courses to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. The degree that I earned from the college has definitely made an impact in my life. It has given me a job that I love, a better work schedule, more money, plus my job now applies to my degree and challenges me everyday. Thanks to Wilson Community College I have a degree that has made me a more knowledgeable and marketable person in society.

Scholarship Spotlight

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF)

This foundation, created in 2000 by the philanthropist Jack Kent Cooke awards money to “promising students.”  Among the many classifications of students who receive an award are Non-Traditional Students (NTS).  While many of the blogs at “You Can Do College” have focused on persons considering beginning college, the JKCF encourages students with 2-year degrees to return to college for their 4-year degree.  Some of the awards for NTS have been as high as $30,000!

From the site,, here is an excerpt:

“The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by Jack Kent Cooke to help exceptionally promising students reach their full potential through education. Launched in 2000, the Foundation focuses in particular on students with financial need. The Foundation’s scholarship and direct service programs support the education of approximately 650 remarkable students each year, while our grantmaking allows thousands more to engage in challenging educational experiences.”

If money is what stands between you and your returning to school, there are a lot of scholarships out there for the NTS.  It will be well worth your time to browse the Internet in search of these awards.  Just enter the search terms “Non-Traditional Student” and “scholarship” and you will be amazed at the opportunities that await you!  Good luck!

Scholarship Spotlight

Written June 21st, 2010
Categories: Scholarship Spotlight
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Some hints to help you narrow your search …

Christina Couch, a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and higher education, has written a helpful guide entitled “6 Ways to Save on Continuing Education.” This article targets the Non-Traditional Student and links you to information to help focus your search. Among the ideas to fund your return to school are scholarships and work-related tuition refund programs.

There are a lot of advertisements on this site, but it is well worth reading the content of the article. Click here to link to the page.

Scholarship Spotlight

Written April 19th, 2010
Categories: Scholarship Spotlight
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Your local Community College

Sometimes the money needed to take the leap to return to school is right in front of you. While there are many national scholarships (see “Scholarship Spotlight” archives for this blog), many Community Colleges also offer financial assistance for the Non-Traditional Student (NTS).

For instance, Northern Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) has an “NIACC Extreme Makeover College Edition.” Here, NTS vie for an opportunity to receive scholarships for an academic year. The college’s website showcases the stories of the finalists. Even if you do not live in Iowa, you will probably be able to identify with the scholarship candidates’ individual stories about financial obstacles and family/work obligations.

So check out the scholarships locally. Also, sometimes the regional Rotary Club and other community-centered organizations provide funds for the NTS. If you cannot find anything specific on-line for your region, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call your Community College for information!

Linda Lael Miller Scholarship

Written March 1st, 2010
Categories: Scholarship Spotlight
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The Linda Lael Miller Scholarship is geared toward women over 25, and may be of great assistance to Non-Traditional Students who have young children. See scholarship overview below:

“Linda’s scholarships are awarded annually to women who are 25 years or older, non-traditional students who have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify. As in previous years, the scholarship funds may be used not only for tuition and books, but also for childcare, transportation and other expenses not covered by traditional scholarships.”

For more information, click here .

Book: 501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College: Going Back to School Without Going Broke by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe

Scholarship Spotlight

Written January 4th, 2010
Categories: Scholarship Spotlight
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The Osher Foundation is a scholarship fund set up to assist “reentry students,” or non-traditional students. See scholarship overview below:

“The Foundation defines reentry students as individuals who have experienced an interruption in their education of five or more years and who now want to resume their undergraduate university studies to complete their degree. This scholarship is intended to benefit students who have considerable years of employability ahead of them—ideally aged 25 to 50.

Qualified students may include part- and full-time students, with a strong preference given to newly matriculating students at the institution receiving Osher Reentry Scholarship grant funds. Students must demonstrate financial need, academic promise and a commitment to completing their degree. The Foundation requests that scholarship awards be applied directly to student tuition fees exclusively.”

For more information click here