My life will never be the same again. I know I have my degree from Ashford University to thank for that.
“Two words: graduate school!” exclaims Meredith Costa, who recently discovered she was accepted into four different programs, including one at prestigious Ivy league school, Columbia University. “My life will never be the same again,” she says. “I know I have my degree from Ashford University to thank for that.”
Meredith graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ashford in March 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science and a minor in Child Development at the age of 34. The road to her commencement was a long one. “I started my college experience just out of high school,” she explains. “At the time, I was sorely lacking in self-confidence and it showed in my grades. I was on academic probation by the end of my freshman year.”
She gave up on her education soon after, believing herself incapable of academic success. Later on, after enduring – and ultimately overcoming – an abusive relationship, she gained a renewed ambition and decided her purpose in life was to help victims and survivors of similar relationships. She looked into online programs, talked to several representatives from different schools, and decided on Ashford after speaking with an advisor over the phone. “By the end of the conversation I was feeling so motivated, I got back on the website and completed the application right then and there,” she says. “Best decision I ever made.”
Meredith found the online classroom forum instantly comfortable and noticed that once she established a routine, her confidence and work ethic continued to gain momentum. When Ashford implemented a new applied behavioral science degree, she switched over from her planned major of psychology. The new program aligned more specifically with her goal of becoming a social worker.
“Most of the classes were very in-depth,” says Meredith. “They offered ample opportunity to sharpen my research skills and push myself beyond my mental and academic comfort zone. I received the most amazing support and guidance from Ashford’s faculty and staff, including my student advisors. Most of the teachers I worked with were encouraging and prompt in their responses, and two even gave me glowing recommendations for graduate school.”
Although Meredith ultimately decided that attending Columbia was out of her budget, she moved to upstate New York and is in the early stages of working toward a Master’s degree in social work at Syracuse University. Her long term goals include becoming a domestic violence counselor and court advocate, along with the possibility of opening her own therapy office for survivors and their families one day. Meredith encourages potential students to stop thinking about going to college and just go for it. “There’s no risk,” she promises. “Only reward.”