A college degree was not really in Victoria Brinson's life plan, and earning an online Bachelors in English was the last thing this church volunteer saw herself doing.
“I expected to be a full-time mom for years and years, but we just weren’t able to have children,” says Victoria, who is now 38. In the meantime, she was finding a deep sense of satisfaction volunteering at her church’s homeschool program, working with kids of different ages, and teaching the basics of reading.
Victoria always loved learning, and had been a high achiever in grade school. Now, while her life is quite different from what she had once imagined, she’s getting an online BA in English, and things are looking up.
“Even though I’m sad that I’m not a mom, I’m also happy because I get to pursue my education, which I hadn’t expected,” she says.
Get Educated is helping her out in her academic journey, with a $1,000 scholarship to apply towards her online education.
The decision to pursue an English degree came after the church homeschool volunteer found herself teaching English to as many as 40 grade-school children.
She found she was not only good at it, but really enjoyed working with words.
At the same time, her husband had developed a mysterious back problem that prevented him from working his normal job as an electrician. He started requiring around-the-clock assistance, too.
“We were really living off of his savings, and I just thought ‘Well, I need to get an education, so I can support us if I need to.’”
“I had been cleaning some houses and started looking at my life, and I didn’t want to be 50 and cleaning peoples’ houses,” she says.
Instead she enrolled in an online Associate of Arts in English at Carl Albert State College, a community college that wasn’t too far from her Oklahoma residence.
The program, which costs only $83 per semester credit, allowed her to complete two years of her undergraduate studies at a fraction of the expense of a high-reputation university.
Last fall, she transferred to the University of Illinois, where she aims to graduate with an online bachelors in the next two years. Attending school full-time has allowed her to plan on graduating within a traditional four-year time frame. She plans to finish by December 2013.
The awards can be used for any level of academic study, including bachelors or masters degree programs, or undergraduate or graduate certificates.
Victoria didn’t see herself doing fully online courses, but it turns out, an online BA in English fits her lifestyle perfectly.
“I love it,” she says. “Being an adult and having obligations in my life already, basically with my husband needing help at home, and my obligations at my school where I volunteer, I don’t know that I would’ve gone into a college and would’ve ever done that,” she says.
Though she mainly picked English to help her work as a church homeschool volunteer, she now wants to work as an online editor or writer, when college is done, and keep some of the current personal flexibility she has with her classes.
In the meantime, Victoria’s husband is getting better, too.
His back problem turned out to be a degenerative condition, and surgery has helped control the pain and restore mobility.
“I’m very thankful for online schooling,” says Victoria.
“You need to be determined, you need to be self-motivated, and it’s a little bit frustrating, but you need to get through that.”
Get Educated offers $1,000 undergraduate and graduate scholarships for distance learning assistance in the spring and fall.
The deadlines for these ongoing scholarship awards are March 15 and October 15. All those interested should apply for a Get Educated online college scholarship before the deadline.
Online College Scholarship Resources