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80-year-old earns degree decades after putting education on hold for family

Ruth White earned her degree in psychology from Clayton State, 31 years after she returned to school.
Ruth White earned her degree in psychology from Clayton State, 31 years after she returned to school.

Credit: Clayton University

Credit: Clayton University

An 80-year-old woman who put her education on hold for her family is now a college graduate.

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Ruth White walked across the stage at Clayton State University on Saturday, earning her degree in psychology.

"I took one class per semester and took summers off and raised a family of seven children. And here I am today finished with a degree," White told WSB-TV.

White originally went to school in California for two years before she and her husband moved to Atlanta. In 1988, White enrolled at Clayton State.

"I just had a feeling I needed to get a education," White said.

White said her children were amused at first, but they saw how seriously she took her coursework.

"Today, of course, they are all grown up and they are overwhelmed with pride," she said.

White said there were challenges juggling her classes and raising her family, but she credits Clayton State for the help the school gave her.

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White offered this piece of advice for others: Set a goal and keep working at it.

"If you have your goals, work at it. If you fall back and stumble, that's OK. Just keep at it and keep on learning," she said.