Home E-Learning This Veteran Transitioned from the Marines to the Ivy League with the Assist of an edX Course

This Veteran Transitioned from the Marines to the Ivy League with the Assist of an edX Course

This Veteran Transitioned from the Marines to the Ivy League with the Assist of an edX Course


Every year, roughly 200,000 service members transition from energetic responsibility navy to civilian life. For a lot of veterans, the method could be a difficult expertise—and for these looking for to enroll in school, the enterprise comes with its personal set of hurdles. Sarah Payne is one such veteran who discovered herself needing assist when making the leap from the Marine Corps to an undergraduate profession.

“There’s a lot info and paperwork that will get thrown at you,” Sarah says. “However then the Division of Protection solely requires one week of transition lessons, and so they solely overview training advantages over a few afternoons. It left me feeling unprepared for some fairly crucial subsequent steps.”

Fortuitously, Columbia College’s Attaining Greater Schooling—a web-based course for transitioning veterans supplied on the edX platform—helped Sarah fill in all of the blanks and prime herself for achievement.

“The course supplemented my transition lessons in a really wholesome method, compiling every thing in a single place,” she says. “Right now, there are nearly too many sources for veterans. It’s overwhelming! However Columbia’s course eliminates the muddle and brings collectively simply what you want, which is particularly necessary throughout an already traumatic time of change.”


A Brave Resolution Results in Fortuitous Recommendation

Rising up in rural Missouri because the fourth of six youngsters—and with a father who additionally served within the Marine Corps—Sarah discovered the worth of laborious work early on. Whereas in highschool, she earned good grades, performed sports activities, labored a number of part-time jobs, and even taught herself easy methods to play the flute. 

By the point Sarah graduated highschool, she wasn’t certain what she wished to check. So Sarah joined the Marines as a substitute, similar to her dad. 

“I auditioned for the Marine Corps band and obtained in,” she says (see above photograph). “For the following 4 years, it was very thrilling to be paid to play the flute of their ensemble. However my finish aim was at all times to go to school.”

Whereas stationed at Base Camp Pendleton in California, Sarah was additionally a full-time scholar. As she neared the completion of her bachelor’s diploma, the training middle on base really useful Sarah for the Marine Corps Management Students Program. She was quickly related with Beth Morgan, this system’s former director. Morgan now leads increased training transition and partnerships at Columbia College—and he or she’s additionally one of many consultants behind the event of the Attaining Greater Schooling course.

“Beth urged I take her course to study all my choices for making use of for monetary assist at an Ivy League college—someplace I at all times dreamed of going,” Sarah says. “I knew that beginning my bachelor’s diploma over at a prime college may finally assist me get into the graduate program of my selection. And if I discovered easy methods to get a full undergraduate journey by means of the edX course—which I ultimately did!—then I may save my GI Invoice advantages to pay for my grasp’s and/or regulation college as a substitute.”

Trusted Recommendation, Brighter Prospects

Not solely was the versatile, self-paced nature of Columbia’s on-line course an ideal match for Sarah’s busy schedule, she additionally discovered the fabric to be complete in all of the methods she may fund her future. 

“The expertise was pivotal for me,” she says. “I discovered all of the intricate variations between the advantages of the GI Invoice, FAFSA, disabled veteran choices, and direct monetary assist from every college. There’s so much to study, however the course takes you thru all the professionals and cons of every so you’ll be able to decide which is finest to your scenario—whether or not you’ve got youngsters, low earnings, and so forth. There’s additionally a helpful interactive map that permits you to click on to see how every college operates their monetary assist packages.”

Past monetary recommendation, the course helps navy personnel put their finest foot ahead within the purposes and interviews. Sarah significantly appreciated its steerage on essay writing.

“Service members are inclined to keep away from being emotionally weak in our private statements,” she says. “As an alternative, we use an software’s essay part as a spot to quantify our accomplishments. However the course says that faculties need to see your distinctive persona and actually get to know who you’re in that area. If I had not taken the course, my private assertion would have learn so much like a resume—and that’s positively not what faculties need.”

Taking this lesson and plenty of others to coronary heart, Sarah obtained up the braveness to use to 10 Ivy League faculties in all—and was in the end accepted into eight of them.

“Effectively, okay, I needed to redact the 2 I hadn’t heard from, as a way to settle for the total journey from the college I selected,” she laughs. “So I inform myself they’d’ve accepted me too, however I suppose we’ll by no means know. And that’s nice by me!”


First Cease, Princeton—Subsequent Cease, a Higher World

Flash ahead a yr, and Sarah is now a sophomore at Princeton (see above photograph), ranked primary out of 443 nationwide universities by U.S. Information and World Report for the present tutorial yr. She has begun steering her undergraduate lessons towards Pre-Regulation, intent on utilizing her GI Invoice profit for Yale or Harvard regulation college after she graduates. 

“I’d like to work on jail and training reform as soon as I’m firmly established,” she says. “I used to volunteer at a literacy middle close to Camp Pendleton, instructing principally immigrant adults easy methods to learn in English. In coaching to be a tutor there, I discovered that two-thirds of America’s incarcerated inhabitants is functionally illiterate. The connection between training, poverty, and jail inside that statistic actually disturbs me. That’s one thing I need to use my levels for, to assist society change.”

Due to Columbia’s course, Sarah’s long-term objectives are inside nearer attain than ever earlier than. She continues to reap the short-term advantages, too.

“The course actually emphasizes being organized and pacing your self,” she says. “Making use of to school is a large endeavor, in order that they encourage you to map out your plan and plot all of it on a calendar. I nonetheless use these expertise at Princeton at this time, and I’m certain for years to return. However actually, any veteran goes to be well-educated and ready for faculty with this useful resource. After taking the edX course, no veteran’s wants ought to stay unmet, monetary or in any other case.”




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