Impacting Current and Future Educators with Education Scholarships

educator speaking

Every year, the College of Education at Ashford University awards two scholarships in support of their partnership with the No Excuses University (NEU) network of schools. NEU is a network of over 250 K-12 schools across the nation founded on the belief that every student deserves an opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college. Two full-tuition scholarships are awarded each year, a graduate degree scholarship for a teacher from an NEU school and an undergraduate degree scholarship for the parent of a child attending an NEU school. Potential recipients submit an application that includes an essay speaking to the impact the scholarship will have on their lives.

Meet the 2017 No Excuses University Scholarship Recipients


The 2017 Teacher Scholarship recipient was Cara Nickels, a Kindergarten teacher.  Cara’s clear commitment to her students, to furthering her education, and to the NEU mission set her apart. Cara is pursuing a master’s degree in special education to add to her teaching skillset.


“I am so tremendously grateful. The scholarship has been a huge blessing for me. I've always been a lifelong learner, however, going back to grad school was not necessarily a realistic option on a teacher's salary …  I'm so thankful to have been given this opportunity. Going back to school has challenged me, motivated me, and inspired me. This master's degree will provide me with the skills and strategies for me to excel at my dream job!”


Cheli Vasquez, mother of several children who attend an NEU school, was the 2017 Parent Scholarship recipient. Cheli works as teacher’s assistant in her children’s NEU school and is seeking a BA degree in education studies in order to become a classroom teacher. Since being awarded the scholarship, several members of Cheli’s family have joined her by enrolling at Ashford. It’s a family affair!


“I decided to enroll in college about a year ago, and I was really excited once I decided to go ahead and make that step. But one thing that I was really not too crazy about was having any debt from student loans once I graduated college. So being the recipient of this scholarship really takes the worry away from having any debt or figuring out how I'm going to pay for anything that I need for my school. So now I'm really able to just focus on my coursework and getting everything done that I need to do without that worry … It's a great opportunity. So thanks to the NEU Network and Ashford University, I am on my way to completing my degree!”

What inspiring stories! Ashford University’s College of Education is proud to have awarded these full-tuition scholarships to Cara and Cheli. The scholarships are awarded each year to teachers and parents in the NEU network. The 2018 winners will be announced in late May.



Written by Dr. Jennifer Vogel, former faculty, College of Education at Ashford University

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