The Best Schools Online Scholarship Winners Fall 2015!

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The staff at congratulates the first three recipients of $1,000 Online College Scholarships: Brittany Fortner, Rachel Irwin, and Jocelynn Pawlak (Fall of 2015). We received more than 100 applications.

Our panel of judges selected Brittany, Rachel, and Jocelynn mainly on their compelling essay on the subject: "How My Online Degree Can Help Me Achieve My Career Goals." The scholarship winners also exceed the scholarship requirement of having a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

We realize online learning students have a need for scholarship money---many of them are working adults seeking to cover their monthly expenses., on a yearly basis, provides $6,000 worth of scholarships ($1,000 per student) to six impressive students enrolled in an online learning degree program.

Winners of $1,000 Online College Scholarships

Brittany FortnerUniversity of the Cumberlands

Brittany is working toward a Bachelor of Human Services.

the-best-schools-online-scholarship-winner-brittany-fosterBrittany's response to winning the scholarship: "I am so grateful to be able to continue my online education thanks to The Best Schools scholarship. I look forward to earning my degree in Human Services and putting it to work in my community."

Why Brittany chose online education:

I currently run an orphanage in Mexico, so there was no way to take traditional college courses.

In order to enter the social work field, an accredited degree is vital. Due to my constant travels, however, traditional college was out of the question for me. Thankfully, access to the internet allows me to complete my coursework wherever I currently am.

My heart's desire is to help children and serve their families, and my years at the orphanage have shown me that I am well-suited to the job. I therefore hope to go into case management and social work when my time in Mexico is complete.

I love to travel and try new things, so I am confident that my degree will lead me to several wonderful opportunities to further my career and put in practice what I learn at college.

Rachel IrwinIndiana University

Rachel is working toward a Master in Special Education.

online scholarship winnerRachel's response to winning the scholarship: “Going back to school has come at a great sacrifice for my family; not only do I have to pay for school, but I have to forgo all my time outside of work to focus on school. I've had to take out loans for my education, and the debt is daunting---especially on a teacher's salary. Getting this scholarship means, that's one less bill I'll have to pay and less debt I'll have weighing me down after I graduate. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!”

Why Rachel chose online education:

My husband (AG1 Jeffrey Irwin) is in the United States Navy and is gone a lot, not to mention we are at the whim on the Navy. We live where they need him. This posed a major challenge: I needed a portable education, one that could travel with me from state to state and one I could take with me if I went home to see my family for long stretches. Also, my children are still young. They are six and five and I don't want to miss these years commuting and sitting class. Online just made sense.

Online education has been the best choice for me. I get to work, spend time with my family and earn my degree, all at the same time. The courses are challenging and I am learning just as much, maybe even more, than I did face-to-face.

I honestly think this is one the best decisions I ever made for myself and my future. I know that I will be a great teacher because of the tools my online education from IU has given me.

I'm from Indiana, so I trusted IU. I know they are top-notch school and they have a much-respected program. All of the topics are up to date, and I have applied a lot of what I have learned in graduate study to the classroom in my field site.

Jocelynn PawlakSUNY Empire State College

Jocelynn is working toward a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning.

jocelynn-online-scholarship-winnerJocelynn's response to winning the scholarship: "I am so honored to have won an Online Learning Scholarship from! I still cannot believe it really happened! I am incredibly grateful to earn my Master's degree online, and am even more grateful that I can apply for financial assistance online to help pay for that degree. Thank you to for helping me achieve my goals of becoming a teacher so I can encourage children to fulfill their dreams as well!"

Why Jocelynn chose online education:

I chose to enroll in an online degree program rather than a traditional degree program because an online degree program provides the convenience and flexibility to complete my courses at my own pace and on my own time. This gives me an opportunity to teach during the day and complete my work at night, all while applying both theoretical and practical knowledge in my classroom and my courses.

My online degree program gives me opportunities to interact with students and teachers around the nation who are educating in diverse environments, in various grades, and in multiple different subject areas.

Ever since I was a young child, I have loved children! I have always wanted to teach them while influencing their lives in a loving and positive way. Because that dream is now becoming a reality, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to complete my Master's degree at the same time as I am teaching! My online degree is going to help me achieve my career goals in a plethora of ways!

My long-term goals include opening a school and home-away-from-home for children from broken homes, including those in orphanages and foster care systems. Though this is an overwhelming goal, it is definitely possible and I will never give up on this dream.