Find your motivation in these inspiring graduate school success stories

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Inspirational stories in graduate school

With the start of the fall semester, many graduate students may be working to psych themselves up for success.

At times, the demanding schedule and mental stress of graduate school may seem almost overwhelming. It’s at these moments when an inspirational anecdote can offer the boost needed to overcome any mental and emotional hurdles and keep moving forward.

Here are a few graduates whose stories that may help motivate you to succeed.

Better Late than Never

Nola Ochs is far from the typical Fort Hays State University student. This Kansas scholar took the slow-and- steady approach to graduating.

Beginning her undergraduate career in 1930, she finally moved her tassel in 2007, at age 95, Reader’s Digest reported. While a 77-year undergraduate study period may be daunting to the average student, Ms. Ochs loved academia. In 2010, Nola completed the studies required – including composing a 50-page research paper – to qualify for a master’s degree in history, after having lived through nearly a century of learning.

If at first you don’t succeed

Applying for graduate school can be a harrowing process, and success isn’t guaranteed for even highly qualified applicants. Just ask Allison Lyle.

This medical student graduated from the University of Louisville in 2011. She was finally able to earn her graduate degree in bioethics and medical humanities after unsuccessfully applying to medical schools three times.

As Ms. Lyle told the Association of American Medical Colleges, she struggled constantly with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy due to her previous failed attempts at getting into medical school. But the stalwart learner kept at it, and was granted admission on her fourth application. Not only did she attend graduate school, she excelled – her tenure saw her sit on a number of bioethics panels at hospitals, and she found her niche in pediatric bioethics. As Ms. Lyle told the source, she views the time she took between graduating college and attending graduate school as a necessary step in her professional development.

  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access

Overcoming the Odds

Those who aren’t perfect students may feel like graduate school is an unattainable goal. Fortunately for them, Shaun Sanders has proven that assumption false.

Shaun’s early educational years were challenging, and he struggled through remedial reading courses throughout his elementary years, he told the University of Michigan’s Dyslexia Help department. Shaun struggled with dyslexia, and in his high school years the academic pressure was so bad he turned to home-schooling.

Despite his learning disability, Mr. Sanders was able not only to graduate high school, but also complete university. He has since been accepted to the Chapman University School of Law, where he continues to challenge himself every day.

About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.

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