17 Incredibly Inspiring Quotes from AfterCollege Scholarship Winners

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AfterCollege has rewarded more than one hundred college students academic scholarships ranging from $500-$2,500 over the past three years alone. The average student loan debt peaked at $30,000 in 2014. Every penny counts.

About 70 percent of graduates give up a huge portion of their monthly income to student loans, so it can be hard to afford the cost of living. Knocking five hundred dollars or more off your loan payments one month can mean five hundred dollars in a savings account, toward medical bills, or child care.

Interested in applying for one of our scholarships? Check out AfterCollege’s scholarships page. Our current National Security Agency Mathematics and Computer Science Student and AfterCollege STEM Inclusion scholarships. We constantly update our scholarships page, so check back for compatible award opportunities.

Here are seventeen inspiring stories from AfterCollege scholarship recipients:

1. Andrew O.
Aerospace Corporation Science & Engineering Student Scholarship, BA in Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University

“I sincerely appreciate the support of those who value higher education and want me to continue in my studies.  Pursuing a degree in a competitive field like engineering is challenging and it’s encouraging to know that people are willing to support me!  This may sound tacky, but when I’m up late struggling with homework, it’s a huge comfort to know that there are people who believe in me and my abilities. It keeps me going when times get hard.

This scholarship gives me the opportunity to take part in professional organizations that compliment my education.  I don’t have to spend as much time earning money for school; and instead spend my time doing things such as conducting research and building airplanes, both things I hope to do in a professional career someday.  I’m involved on some cool projects involving innovative aerospace technology, and this scholarship will allow me to focus more time and effort on helping those projects progress.  Again, thanks for supporting me as a future engineer!”

2. Nathan H.
AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship, Business Management at Liberty University

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“By awarding me the AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship, I am able to concentrate on what is important to me: education. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal and has inspired me to help others by giving back to the community. I hope one day I will be able pay this forward by helping other students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.”

3. Maryam J.
AfterCollege Mutual Of Omaha Finance Student Scholarship, Finance at George Mason

“…I will prove to you that I am a deserving recipient by giving it my best in my studies. I feel this scholarship will help me work harder towards my studies and boost my motivation 200 percent.”

4. Elizabeth G. 
Mutual of Omaha Sales & Marketing Careers Student Scholarship, University of Michigan, Dual Major BA in Psychology & BA in Communication Studies

“I’m so excited and grateful to be an AfterCollege award recipient! I hope to pursue a marketing career in New York City after my graduation, and this award will be incredibly beneficial in helping me move forward with my career aspirations.”

5. Dwyane G.
AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for being selected as the recipient of the AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship. This scholarship will directly contribute to continuing my college studies in computer science. Your assistance enables me to connect with many brilliant scholars, learn from outstanding professors, and above all, pursue my academic ambitions. Your contribution goes far beyond just subsidizing the cost of an education; your support is the quintessence of affirming my dream.”

6. Shantonio B.
AfterCollege Engineering Student Scholarship Recipient, Georgia Institute of Technology

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“I am very happy to be the recipient of the AfterCollege Engineering Scholarship. As a first generation college student, I have been challenged in every way to exceed the undergraduate experience. While this has brought me many opportunities to present at national research conferences and to study abroad, it has also brought me some doubts and at the end of the day financial hardships. You see, when your parents need financial support more than you do, even when you have nothing, you will have to fend for yourself. Therefore, when I started college in 2010, I was faced with three possible choices pertaining to my collegiate pursuits: put my parents under more financial burden, navigate the waters by myself, or tap out. Now, I’ve never been the person for tapping out so the choice is rather clear, I decided to shoulder my own responsibilities. With that said, I will be forever grateful for the financial support and kind words that the AfterCollege Program has extended to me. Thank you for believing in my vision, because this will be the foundation on which I will build the next generation of power electronics, i.e. Flexible, Organic Electronics.”

7. Ana A.
Business Student Scholarship, Valencia College

“I am beyond grateful to AfterCollege for the Business Student Scholarship award. Looking at its previous scholarship recipients, I thought that l have a very small chance of winning, but I took the chance anyway. This award will not only help me financially, but will also serve as a motivation in doing more for my education.

To After College, thank you so much for noticing my hard work and recognizing my achievements. To all students, do not be proud of your school. Instead, make your school proud!”

8. Adriana S.
AfterCollege Analytics Student Scholarship, North Carolina A&T State University,  BS in Computer Science & Engineering

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“If only I could’ve recorded my initial reaction. This award will be a great stress relief for me. I can now focus more on my career dreams and goals. It’s such a beautiful thing to have support behind me as I put myself out there into the world.”

9. Anne X.
Succurro Student Scholarship, N/A Graphic Design/Multimedia Maryland Institute College of Art

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“…I accept this scholarship with extreme honor. My goal as Graphic Designer is to create change and awareness to social and environmental issues in our society through my artwork. I hope to combine my love of visual communication with humanitarian efforts in the community. I am thrilled you have chosen to be a part of my academic growth and success. It is people like you who make it possible for students to pursue their dreams. Thank you for believing in my future!”

10. Jamenequa B.
Accounting & Finance Student Scholarship, MA in Accounting Alabama State University

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“I am truly thankful to have been selected as a recipient for this award. This contribution will help me significantly in my quest to complete my degree (tuition, fees, books, room & board, etc). In a society where it is easy to lose sight of education as a blessing and a gift, I would like you to know that I am grateful for every course and opportunity to grow, not only as a college student, but as an individual. Thank you for investing in my future and for noticing the potential in me to do great things. Without your generosity, the access to such an amazing education would not be possible. Thank you so much once again.”

11. Alaina S. 
Succurro Student Scholarship, Sierra College

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“I feel so astoundingly blessed to be awarded the AfterCollege Succurro Student Scholarship! Receiving this scholarship means that I will not have to worry about paying for school, but can instead focus more on my studies. It gives me the hope that I will be able to transfer to the university of my dreams after I complete my time at the community college I am currently attending. There truly are not enough words to express how grateful I am to receive this honor and I plan to use it to learn how to make a positive difference in our world.”

12. Emily S.
AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship Recipient, Manchester Community College

“I am thrilled to be the recipient of the AfterCollege Succurro Student Scholarship. I’m a mother of two and have gone back to school for Occupational Therapy in order to make a difference in people’s lives. This scholarship will help offset the tuition for my program. I am honored to receive this award and am grateful to AfterCollege for their generosity!”

13. Ellen V.
AfterCollege Diversity & Inclusion Student Scholarship Recipient, Columbia University

“That is fantastic news. Thank you so much. It is tremendously encouraging to be awarded this scholarship based on my dedication to increasing women’s involvement in the two fields I love: math and computer science. I believe that first and foremost, I have my math teacher mom to thank for my successes so far. If I can serve as a role model for young women considering math as a career, just as she did for me, I will be satisfied. I will use the money to help fund my studies at the Budapest Math Semesters program this spring. Thank you again!”

14. Maureen C.
2013 AfterCollege Succurro Scholarship Recipient

“I would like to say that I will use this scholarship to help fund my books and other expenses next semester, and I am so thankful for after-college’s opportunities to earn different scholarships. It was a very simple application process and it is a website that all students should know about.”

15. Sarah C.
2013 AfterCollege Physical Therapy Student Scholarship Recipient

“Receiving the AfterCollege Physical Therapy Student Scholarship is such a gift! I feel so grateful to have been chosen out of all of the applicants. The scholarship will help me to pay for my Doctorate of Physical Therapy education and all of the expenses that come up along the way. My dream of becoming a geriatric physical therapist is one step closer thanks to AfterCollege!”

16. Brian S.
2013 AfterCollege Pharmacy Student Scholarship Recipient

“I simply feel blessed to have the love and support of my family and friends. This money is going straight toward my tuition since I attend a private university. My parents have sacrificed a lot to get me here with as little debt as possible, but I’ve still had to take out student loans. I hope to enter a residency program after graduation which doesn’t pay as well, so this will truly help me reach that goal.”

17. Donald T. 
Winter 2012 AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship Recipient

“I am extremely grateful, humbled and honored to receive this year’s AfterCollege Business Scholarship. I appreciate your confidence in me and willingness to contribute to my future educational goals.  Since the original announcement, I have also had the privilege to learn more about AfterCollege, its services and its success stories.  I look forward to a long-term relationship and will avidly continue to promote AfterCollege within my networks of friends, colleagues, and mentors.”

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