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UMGC Alumni AssociationScholarship Spotlight: Alumna Shares Life-changing Impact

For Courtney Thomas ‘22, a scholarship was a gift that helped her prepare for the future of her dreams.

Thomas has served in the United States Navy for four years and is a Second-Class Logistics Specialist. In her work, she helps manage all kinds of parts, from screws to million-dollar aircraft material. Her supply team oversees making sure that customers on board a vessel have what they need. If not, they find a way to get the missing materials.

Previously, she has held a number of other roles in the U.S Navy, including Assistant Leading Petty Officer, Work Center Maintenance Supervisor, Depot Level Repairables Manager and Pack up Manager for embarked squadron HSM-79 “The Griffiths.” Here, she shares the impact her scholarship has had on her education—and her life.

What scholarship did you receive for your studies at UMGC?
I received the Joe Arden Overseas Maryland Association Scholarship.

What impact has this made on your ability to earn your degree?
The scholarship definitely made tuition more affordable, and it allowed me to lower the cost of my student loan repayments. I am grateful that I was selected to receive assistance while attending UMGC. It allowed me to maintain my GI Bill.

I really want to have a child one day, so this scholarship has also allowed me to keep [the money I have saved] intact and untouched.

If you hadn’t received this scholarship, what would you have done?
This scholarship helped me save money for the future. As a single Navy Sailor without kids, I would like to be able to pass on my college benefits to my dependent someday.

By receiving this scholarship, I did not have to use federal loans for assistance, which would have created more college debt. I really did not want to take out another federal loan, and receiving the scholarship prevented that.

How has your scholarship impacted your life?
[My scholarship award] was the best thing to happen to me while attending UMGC—besides graduating.

Learn more about scholarships at UMGC
UMGC offers a wide range of scholarships for students based on both merit and need. These include UMGC institutional scholarships and grants, donor-funded scholarships, and military and veteran scholarships. These programs would not be made possible without donor support. To learn more about how you can make an impact benefiting UMGC students, click here.

Read more alumni news.