Facing a deadline to keep her job and maxed out on student loans, Alisha Sabin wasn’t sure she’d ever finish what she started.
As a vice president at a credit union, Alisha had been given a timeline to earn her degree in order to keep her position. Although she had six months left to meet that deadline, she approached her CEO with concerns about meeting that goal after the university she was attending notified her that she needed to complete additional courses beyond what she had originally been told would be required. In addition, she faced the rising costs and the burden of financing her schooling on her own, as her student loan options had been exhausted.
As she left her boss’s office feeling frustrated and hopeless, she was thrown a lifeline when he said, “Last night, I saw a commercial for an innovative university—WGU. You might want to look into what they offer.”
Alisha did just that, and thanks to her hard work and determination—and WGU’s competency-based model—she finally earned her bachelor’s degree, very near her deadline of six months and one week! (This pleased her boss.)
Being a lifeline for students whose current school isn’t giving them what they need is one of the ways WGU helps to improve access to high-quality higher education in the state. It’s why we’ve created the new WGU Lifesaver Transfer Scholarship for new students whose school is closing, who have been pushed to their financial limits, or who are in other dire circumstances and need a flexible, affordable option to “rescue” them.
When Alisha transferred to WGU, she was able to work with a counselor who helped her with the online university’s generous transfer policy. In addition to having her previous coursework honored, Alisha was able to apply her knowledge and years of experience in the business world to move more quickly through courses where she already knew the material well. Cruising through those courses saved her both time and money, which helped meet her deadline without taking on new debt. This also allowed her to spend more time mastering subjects she was not as familiar with.
Alisha is like many Americans today, balancing work and family responsibilities while trying to get through school. The flexibility and competency-based model helped this wife and mother of three—including twins—as she would study after her kids were in bed and on weekends, even spending vacation time to plow through her studies.
Now that she’s completed her degree, Alisha says her education matches her experience. “I feel more confident in all that I do. It was also important for me to finish my degree to set an example for my kids that education is important and worthwhile.”
Her advice to those considering a degree from WGU? “If you need something that is flexible and works around your schedule, go for it! WGU is the place for that. Everyone at WGU was so helpful in helping me get my degree. Finally having my degree feels so good. I firmly believe that if you put your mind to anything, you really can overcome any obstacle! I did it!”
So what’s next for Alisha now that’s she’s finished her degree? More school, of course. She recently enrolled in WGU’s MBA program. “I know that in my line of work if I want to grow and move up, I’ve got to have an MBA.”
Finding and transferring to WGU was one of the best decisions Alisha says she made, which helped her keep her position and has paved the way for more opportunities and a bright future ahead.