Beavercreek Group’s Scholarships Help Women Making a Return to School

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The gap between financial help for high school graduates and those pursuing higher education later in life is being closed by a local organization that offers scholarships for female college students.

Almost $104,000 in scholarships have been awarded by the Beavercreek Women’s League since the year 2000, equally distributed between Beavercreek high school graduates and nontraditional students.

Women in Greene County who are 25 years of age or older and have at least some college experience are eligible for the “Women in Transition” scholarship, according to Beavercreek Women’s League Scholarship Committee member Carolyn Tipps. The funds are intended for female students who want to transform their life by returning to school.

“A lot of transitions are, ‘I’ve gotten a divorce, and now I’m going back to school.’ or ‘My job has been cut or reduced,’” Tipps said. “Any a number of things: health reasons a divorce, a move.”

For a long time, the group has offered scholarships to high school graduates, but Tipps said they decided to add the Women in Transition scholarship when they realized that nontraditional students needed it.

Scholarship winners over the past 20 years have hailed from different backgrounds. Many of them are in their 20s or 30s, but there have also been women who are returning to school who are in their 40s and 50s, according to Tipps.

In her final year of nursing school at Wright State University, Marian Frial—a past scholarship winner—is seeking a career in pediatric nursing.

Frial initially intended to go medical school, but she changed her mind because she and her husband Virbon would have had to relocate far away, according to her. Virbon is a student at the Air Force Institute of Technology and is now assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Aside from scholarships granted expressly to military spouses, Frial claimed that in her hunt for scholarships, the majority of other submissions concentrated mostly on recent high school grads.

“For other nontraditional students that are older and aren’t affiliated with the military, there aren’t really many scholarships for those students,” she said.

Transitioning to nursing was “challenging at first,” Frial said.

“It was definitely a big decision, because it’s something that I worked toward for a really long time,” she said. “But overall, I definitely don’t regret my decision and I do think I made the best decision, just because I am enjoying my nursing program, and I’m glad I’m able to be with my husband.”

Many of her classmates who have prior professional backgrounds are often going to school and working at the same time, which can be “very difficult,” Frial said.

“School is a big commitment, and the financial aspect is hard,” she said. “A scholarship would help alleviate some of that and allow them to maybe work less so they can focus more on school.”

The 2023 scholarship winners will be notified April 23.

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