What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

 What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?


What does a college degree mean to you and your family? Is it uncharted territory in your family? An opportunity for a better future? A lifelong achievement? An example for your children?


For me and my husband, it was all of the above.


My husband was the first male to graduate from college in his family and eventually the first in his family to receive his Master’s degree. He paid his way through both his undergraduate and graduate degrees by working full time as a student and never once took out a student loan.


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Our Family at my husband’s MBA graduation in 2010


I was the first female in my family to graduate with both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. My mom never finished her degree–once she and my dad got married, she worked so that he could go to graduate school and eventually to medical school. After my older brothers were born, she stayed home and they lived on about $400-$500 a month until he was in residency. Five kids and 37 years later, my mom says she always wished she would have finished her degree (I keep telling her it isn’t too late). :) Thankfully, my parents made my undergraduate degree a priority and paid my way for me. My husband and I paid for both of our Master’s degrees while working full time.


 What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

My Mom and me after my college graduation in 2005


Our degrees also meant that we were well-equipped for our dream jobs. From the time that I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a teacher. The idea of not finishing my degree never really crossed my mind because I knew that I had to have it to teach. I graduated with my Master’s degree 3 months after my first child was born and, ironically, the same month that I resigned from my position as a first grade teacher to be a stay at home mom. I have yet to officially use my Master’s degree, although I feel like I reap the benefits daily from the knowledge that I received. And one day, I will use it in the classroom setting again!


We are proud of the example that we have set for our children. My husband, especially, has demonstrated that it is possible to work your way through school with absolutely no debt. He is one of the hardest workers I know and I am so thankful for his example. Although we are already saving to make it a little easier on all three of our children, they will also have to make some sacrifices to make their college degrees possible.

I love the emotion portrayed in this video and I especially love the final woman portrayed as I missed my Master’s degree graduation since it was shortly after my son was born.  :)


With an online degree program, it is now easier and more affordable than ever to achieve your goal. Western Governors University is waiving your application fee using the code “TEACH”.

As a nonprofit and accredited university, WGU is reinventing higher education.  Western Governors University was founded by the governors of 19 states who came together to create a institution for higher learning that would be able to meet the needs of individuals–addressing the issues of budgets and time-constraints.  By implementing a competency-based model, WGU students utilize their precious time towards actual learning not just seat time while still receiving a diploma from an institution with the same accreditation as state universities and private colleges.


Jenae Crowley What Does a Degree Mean to You and Your Family?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Western Governors University. The opinions and text are all mine.

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