BEAVERCREEK — A local organization providing scholarships for female college students is bridging the gap between financial aid for high school graduates and those pursuing higher education later in life.
The Beavercreek Women’s League has given over $104,000 in scholarships since the year 2000, evenly split between Beavercreek high school graduates, and nontraditional students.
The scholarship, called “Women in Transition,” is open to women 25 years old and older who are Greene County residents and have had at least some college experience, said Beavercreek Women’s League Scholarship Committee member Carolyn Tipps. The money is meant for female students who are going back to school to create change in their lives.
“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.”
The organization has been providing scholarships for high school graduates for a long time, but added the Women in Transition scholarship when they saw a need from nontraditional students, Tipps said.
Over the past 20 years, scholarship recipients have come from all walks of life. Many are in their 20s or 30s, but others have been women in their 40s and 50s who are going back to school, Tipps said.
Marian Frial, a previous year scholarship recipient, is in her last year of nursing school at Wright State University, and is pursuing a career in pediatric nursing.
Originally on track to go to medical school, Frial decided against a career as a doctor because she and her husband Virbon would have had to go long-distance, she said. Virbon is currently stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, studying at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
In her scholarship search, Frial said, most other applications focused largely on new high school graduates, aside from those offered specifically to military spouses.
“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.