Howard will use the opportunity to complete her Bachelor of Science in Accounting debt-free

Patrice L. HowardLenexa, Kan. – Feb. 4, 2015 – Grantham University has announced the annual recipient of its Blacks in Government (BIG) National Scholarship. Selected from hundreds of BIG members nationwide who applied, awardee Patrice L. Howard is able to use the full $38,600 scholarship to earn one of Grantham’s 38 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Widely known for helping military and working adults achieve college education, Grantham’s focus on the financial health of its students is evident. With the majority of its students receiving some sort of financial assistance from Grantham, the University awards millions of dollars in scholarships each year and offers tuition rates lower than 95% of other private/for-profit universities.

“Higher education is such a critical piece of furthering your career and personal goals,” said Cheryl Hayek, Grantham’s chief academic officer. “With government statistics indicating a student loan debt close to the $1 trillion mark, we do everything we can to help make college more affordable for students. Providing opportunities like the BIG Scholarship is one of the ways Grantham is able to help students avoid debt while gaining a solid education.”

Before receiving the scholarship, Howard, an individual taxpayer advisory specialist for the IRS and member of the Lower Manhattan chapter of BIG, had already started taking matters into her own hands to avoid the loan pitfall many college students face. “I took one course a year, and paid for everything out of pocket. While going to school was important, staying out of debt was even more so to me,” she said.

As a four-year veteran of BIG, Howard had previously read about the National Scholarship recipients, but never considered applying until this year.

“A lot of scholarships have such a large pool of applicants that you doubt your ability to stand out from the crowd,” she reflected. “Since this was only open to BIG members I thought my chances of being noticed were greater.”

It was Howard’s essay that earned her the BIG National Scholarship. In her essay, she shared her goal of completing her own education as inspiration to the women at the Center Against Domestic Violence, where she helps prepare them for the GED (or General Education Development) test.

“I always remind the women at CADV that while they might be in terrible situations at the moment, they can overcome them. Pursuing their GED is simply the first step in their new journey. Now that I have the opportunity to complete my college education, I’ll be able to provide an even greater example, not only for them but for younger members of BIG as well,” Howard said.

Howard has wasted no time in starting her coursework. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Accounting through Grantham’s Mark Skousen School of Business. In the future, she hopes to serve as a chapter leader in BIG and be accepted into the Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy Program.

To learn about this and other future scholarship opportunities at Grantham University, visit:

About Grantham University:
Established in 1951, Grantham University specializes in accredited online certificates, and associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Grantham’s programs include: Accounting, Business, Human Resources, Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Engineering Technology, Allied Health, Information Technology, Performance Improvement and Nursing. Grantham University has been accredited since 1961 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Mark Skousen School of Business at Grantham University has been awarded the status of Candidate for Accreditation by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Grantham University has been reviewed and approved as a Registered Educational Provider of the Project Management Institute.