NPR: M.B.A. student benefits from Warrior Way Back program
One of Ashley Ramirez's biggest goals in 2016 was to finish her college degree. She'd started college at Wayne State University a decade prior, but had gotten overwhelmed. Not only was she taking classes there, but she was also in barber school and working at the same time. Ramirez ended up on academic probation, and owed the university money. She wasn't sure if she'd ever become eligible to reenroll. Through the Warrior Way Back program, which forgives up to $1,500 in unpaid direct-to-school debt, Ramirez was able to reenroll in classes, and access resources like academic advising and counseling. Ramirez finished her bachelor's degree in May, and is now enrolled in the MBA program. "I would've eventually decided to go back. But would I have been able to go back? I don't know," she said. "What I do know is that the Warrior Way Back program opened up access. And when I say access, I mean the ability to be able to have a dialogue to figure out where I am and what I can do to actually finish this goal." Since launching in 2018, Warrior Way Back has enrolled over 260 students, and inspired similar programs at other schools. The average age of students participating is 39, although students as old as 63 and as young as 23 have participated; 75% have been Black, and over 50% have been identified as high-need.