It’s Never Too Late to Graduate

Crankstart Scholarships are designed for nontraditional students

Not all students take a direct path from college initiation to graduation. Sometimes circumstances intercede that require degree-seekers to take a break, but that does not mean they do not have a viable path to graduation.

Vickie Goods is currently pursuing a liberal arts degree and is planning on graduating in May. It wasn’t long ago that she did not think a college degree was within her grasp.

“I’d gone to college in Louisiana briefly and when I moved to Kansas City, I wanted to finish my degree.”

Vickie Goods

Goods was recently divorced and a single mother. She attended a private university and exhausted her Pell Grants, but despite her efforts wasn’t able to finish.

“Nothing seemed to be working out, but I was determined,” Goods says. “I was working with a woman at the Full Employment Council, and I broke down. I just felt I couldn’t get over this hump in my life, and that I really wanted to finish college.”

The woman helping her told her she had options.

“She said, ‘I know someone who can help.’”

Goods contacted KC Degrees and received information about KC Scholars and the Crankstart Foundation Reentry Scholarships at UMKC. She was able to enroll and is planning on graduating in May 2021.

“I’m so excited. Everything has been so up and down, and so many people are struggling. I’m so grateful.”

Goods is not alone in her struggle or her relief. Jessica Mason, B.A. philosophy ’20, graduated in December. Like Goods, Mason had gaps in her academic career because of economic issues and family obligations.

“Katie Anton told me about the Crankstart Scholarships.”

Anton is director of scholarships for the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences.

Jessica Mason

“We see so many students who have worked extremely hard and feel as if graduation is out of reach because of the expense,” Anton says. “We want people to know that there are resources designed specifically for returning students. There’s always a path to graduation.”

With Anton’s advice, Mason made the decision to finish her degree.

“The scholarship helped tremendously, especially in these times,” Mason says. “It allowed me to help pay for daycare for my youngest as well as provide little amenities that I had not foreseen such as parking passes and other fees that I encountered.”

Mason has encouraged several people who were considering returning to school that they should.

“The advice I give is that you should keep an open mind, and do not be intimidated by having classmates younger than you,” Mason says. “Also, try and involve yourself in groups, lectures and the experience as whole because it goes very fast.”

For more information on the Crankstart Scholarships and other paths to graduation, please contact UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships.