Maryville, Tenn., Mother Receives Full-Tuition Scholarship to Ashford University

Payne Chosen from More Than 53,000 Project Working Mom Applicants from Across the Country

Tricia Payne, a mother of two and a full-time nursing assistant, has been awarded an Ashford University full-tuition scholarship as a part of Project Working Mom

To earn the scholarship, Payne submitted an essay about her higher education aspirations. Her entry was selected out of more than 12,000 Ashford University applicants to the Project Working Mom scholarship program, developed by, a Web resource of EducationDynamics. Ashford University awarded 10 full-tuition scholarships. 

Payne, who grew up in a poor family with an alcoholic father, has a passion for volunteering and helping others. "Helping people is what I do," Payne said. 

Her goal is to earn a degree in human services so she can be a role model for little girls who may be in the same situation she was 20 years ago.

In her essay, Payne, 26, wrote about admiring her mother's hard work and determination which often included working 80 hour work weeks. "She did what she could, but her income barely put food on the table. It wasn't unusual for us to have crackers and ketchup for dinner. What we lacked in material possessions, she made up for with kindness and

love. She was the rock of our family. I was, and continue to be, so proud of her." She added, "Sometimes I ask her if she is disappointed in me. She always says no, but I know she can't be proud. I want her to brag about me. I want her to smile from ear to ear when she tells someone about what I have done with my life. I want her to lie down at night and know that we are okay." 

Payne is attending Ashford University to obtain a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. "I love the fact that I can fit online classes into my schedule. The price of childcare is so expensive that without online degree programs, college would not be an option for me," she concluded. 

Ashford University is one of eight accredited online institutions donating more than 280 full-tuition scholarships worth nearly $5 million to the Project Working Mom campaign in 2010.

Applications are now being accepted for the final round of Project Working Mom 2010; the deadline is Sept. 15. Applicants must complete a short application at and write an essay describing how they will benefit from a college education. Winning applicants will be notified in October.  

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.