Tales of the non-traditional
Adult Students Overcome Hardships to Become College Graduates
It is not uncommon for college students to share classes with older adults who, regardless of age, are determined to earn their bachelor’s degree. In many cases, these nontraditional students have overcome major hurdles just to say they are the proud recipients of a college degree.
Older adults overcome hurdles to finish college. the case of 60-year-old Linda Felkel, a brain condition was standing between her and her goal of completing college, WIS reports. For the first 34 years of her life, Felkel suffered from seizures that prevented her from enrolling in college. After many years spent working as a full-time employee, Felkel decided to undergo brain surgery to correct the problem that stood in the way of her dreams.
"I started a new life after my surgery and when I did I said I was going to make something out of myself," Felkel told WIS.
The hard work that this mother and grandmother began at the age of 57 has finally paid off, as she recently graduated from South Carolina’s Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Felkel is far from done with her studies, as she will now start working toward her second academic goal – earning a master’s degree.
For recent college graduate Charlie Ball, the road to earning his Bachelor of Professional Studies in public relations from Arkansas Tech University took even longer. In fact, 71 years passed between when the 89-year-old first began college and finally graduated this month, according to KATV/CNN.
Although Ball entered college in 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor quickly shifted his, and the nation’s, priorities. Before long, Ball was receiving pilot’s training in Texas. While he attempted to resume his studies by taking a few classes after the war, life eventually got in the way. However, to set an example for his grandchildren, Ball set out to complete his bachelor’s degree. Today, Ball has the privilege of being Arkansas Tech’s oldest graduate, and proves that age is indeed just a number.