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Michelle Bauer

BS Accounting, Class of 2017

"They're challenging in just the right way!"

My first college experience was not a great one. Not only did I perform poorly, but also because of financial stresses, I worked more than 40 hours per week while attending full-time. My grades suffered, my interest waned, and after finding a professional job that paid reasonably well, I gave up on the goal of obtaining a degree. For years, I've done well in my career — much greater than I had expected without a degree, and started to wonder, "What if I DID have a degree? What if I finally got to go back and redeem myself?"

The opportunity came years later, when meeting my husband and marrying him afforded me the opportunity to cut back on work, and use his GI Bill for part of my tuition payments. It was a tremendous gift: the opportunity to succeed where before I had failed. It is a challenge to balance life, work, and school, but it's one that's well worth the fight.

And, after a few terms with SNHU, I feel proud of my accomplishments. I was initially nervous about online education, since I had friends who attended for-profit schools that seemed to value tuition payments over real, hard work. At SNHU, I found that wasn't the case. These classes are hard! They're challenging in just the right way and make me feel as if the education I'm receiving is not only valuable, but is of the same quality and caliber as an in-person classroom. I hope that I can keep up this effort and achieve my degree on time. That moment would be the epitome of success.