Lalita Brown: One Student’s Journey to Online EducationHave you considered going back to school, but haven’t taken the next step because of fear — fear of failing, of balancing your obligations, of affording higher education? Grantham University student Lalita Brown proves you can be a successful adult learner, without sacrificing your other responsibilities.

Lalita started at Grantham in 2014, with no transfer credits, a full-time job and a teenage daughter to take care of by herself. Because of her unwavering determination, Lalita finished her associate degree, and her bachelor’s degree in business management, in just four years.

She is now on the path to earn a master’s degree at Grantham, while she continues to work for the City of Kansas City, Mo., as a transportation supervisor. Lalita has benefitted from the university’s civil service education agreement with the city. The partnership provides reduced tuition, a textbook and software grant and 90-day tuition deferral — making an already affordable education even less of a financial burden.

We met with Lalita to discuss her experience at Grantham and the challenges she has faced as an adult learner, busy professional and single mom. “I’m really excited,” Lalita said. “I can’t believe I did it. I just want to tell my story, because you have so many people who think, ‘I can’t do it. I work full time.’ But you really can do it.”

Grantham University: What made you want to pursue your education?

Lalita Brown: I started thinking about furthering my education, because I was on a great path to having a career with the city, being in management now. A lot of the positions I was looking at showed me that not only was my experience relevant, but [so was] my education.

I got serious about it in August 2014, and I enrolled at Grantham. I started to pursue an associate degree in business management. I stayed with Grantham, and I worked at least 40 hours per week. I had one child at home.

Once my associate degree was confirmed in April [2016], I jumped right back in. By the time we got to the Commencement Ceremony in August, I had already been in school for a couple of months. I was already pursuing my bachelor’s degree, because I felt like if I would have stopped, I would have procrastinated. I was telling myself, “You can do it!”

 GU: Tell us about attending Grantham while balancing your other responsibilities. What challenges did you face?

LB: There were things that I kind of stumbled on, like college algebra. The other challenge was finding the time. As you go on through your other courses, the lessons get a little more difficult. Some lessons were two or three pages, so I just had to find that balance and the time to fit it in. But I think it was really worth it.

 GU: How did Grantham help you overcome those challenges?

LB: If you can’t understand something in your assignment, the teachers are right there to answer your questions. You don’t feel like you’re just a student there. You feel like Grantham really does care about you. Your instructors will check up on you, [as will] your student advisors. That open communication is what you need, and once you see how dedicated the staff is, you want to be a part of that. When you find a school that’s willing to work with you, answer your questions and at the same time give you great feedback, I think you stick with it.

 GU: How has your Grantham education changed your life or benefitted you and your family so far?

LB: I feel so good about myself. I’m in a position where I can help my daughter now, because I’ve learned so much over the last four years. It’s just been a really great opportunity for me to get that knowledge from Grantham. I say to myself now once I sign up and I dedicate myself to something, I’m going to finish. No more giving up. No more quitting.

 GU: What is your ultimate goal?

LB: My ultimate goal is to be in the director setting. I just want to keep advancing. I don’t want to stay stagnant in my career. I can’t retire [in my current role], and the more you learn, the more beneficial you are to yourself and others. I just want to go as far as I can go.

 GU: What advice would you give to other adults considering an education online at Grantham?

LB: After being a student at Grantham for over four years, I believe anybody can do it. It just takes the will and dedication. As an adult, I would tell them if you can enroll and you have the time – and you will become dedicated over time – give it a shot. I once was there, doubting myself. I didn’t think I was smart enough to attend college. But when I went to college, I just started seeing myself evolve. I kept learning, and things kept getting easier for me. So, don’t be discouraged about not being in school for the last 15 or 20 years. If you give it a try, you will be successful with the help of Grantham’s faculty and staff.

Start Your Journey to Online Education
As we’ve learned from Lalita Brown’s story, it’s never too late to pursue a college degree and the life you want. Whether you’re a working professional, single parent or both, you can be a successful student at Grantham University. Our 100 percent online programs are designed to fit your schedule, so you can balance all of life’s responsibilities.

Plus, Grantham’s tuition rate is lower than 95 percent of other private/for-profit institutions1, and our student support services are unmatched. Reach out to our admissions team today to discover how we can help you create the future you want!

Sources
1https://collegecost.ed.gov/catc/

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