Colleen has seen how financial aid can impact a student’s career from both sides. As a financial aid administrator for more than 20 years, Colleen’s work helped many students, but she also knows first-hand how challenging navigating the world of higher education can be.
Colleen held a full-time job while pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University, and received an adult learner scholarship while in her program.
She now works as assistant manager for the Penn State World Campus financial aid office.
“She has dedicated her professional life to financial aid administration,” says Sarah Zipf, associate director of compliance and financial aid at the university, who submitted Colleen’s story. “She brings a great deal of knowledge and caring to our profession, all of which was built upon her experience of being an adult learner.”
Colleen’s story was submitted by Sarah Zipf, associate director of compliance and financial aid at Penn State University.
Born in Colombia, South America, Elaine and her family immigrated to Garfield, NJ, when she was nine years old. As a first-generation college student, the Pell Grant, grant funding through the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund, and student loans she received were instrumental in helping Elaine fund her dream of becoming a doctor.
After graduating from Seton Hall University with a major in biology, Elaine enrolled in Rowan University’s school of osteopathic medicine in August 2012. While attending school, Elaine is also achieving her dream of helping the underserved community of Camden County, NJ, by volunteering at a local migrant farm worker clinic and the Camden Clinic. The clinics provide acute health care services to the underserved, uninsured, and individuals and families without access to primary care physicians. Following their recent merger, Elaine now serves as the director of both clinics.
Elaine is currently pursuing a career as a pediatric physician and plans to continue practicing medicine in underserved communities. She is married to a resident in Emergency Medicine.
Elaine’s story was submitted by Christine L. Willse, associate director of financial aid at Rowan University’s school of osteopathic medicine in Glassboro, NJ.
As a single mother of two, and a nontraditional student, Rosemary did not have an easy path to a degree.
Rosemary attended Delaware Technical Community College as a part-time student working toward a degree in diagnostic medical sonography. With the help of federal student aid – including a work-study job, as well as the federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Pell Grant – Rosemary earned her associate's degree after four years of study.
After earning her degree, Rosemary was able to find a job as a diagnostic medical sonographer – a job that allowed her to save enough to purchase her own home in 2011.
“Rosemary is a Delaware Technical Community College success story, as well as a financial aid success story,” says Debra Troxler, director of financial aid at the college, who submitted her story. “She and so many other students are the reason why I have been working as a financial aid administrator for [more than 20] years. Financial aid is paramount to student success!”
Rosemary’s story was submitted by Debra Troxler, director of financial aid at Delaware Technical Community College.