UC Blue Ash College

Come Back Bearcat Success Stories

A Degree May Be Your Path to a More Rewarding Career

Earning a college degree is key to increasing employment opportunities and earnings, as well as achieving personal fulfillment.

Finish what you started by completing your degree through the Come Back Bearcat program at UC Blue Ash – and you will be eligible for a scholarship or debt assistance of up to $500 per semester!

Evan Waller

Evan Waller in cap and gown at commencement

Evan Waller always knew he wanted to earn his college degree; he just had a hard time determining which career path he wanted to pursue. After changing majors and then stopping out of college, he found a career in banking and finance and realized that completing his degree would be critical to helping him increase his opportunities to advance.

The Come Back Bearcat program gave Evan an easy and affordable way to get back on course and finish his degree. He actually graduated with his associate degree in Business Management Technology this summer.

My advice to people that may have stopped out of college and are thinking about returning is to make sure you have a plan. Make sure the time is right for you and make a goal to complete your degree to acheive what you are aspiring for in the future.

Evan Waller

What was your motivation for returning to college?

My motivation was to finish my degree. My college career path hasn’t been easy. I began my college journey in 2012 and, not knowing what career I wanted pursue, changed my major a few times. Being unsatisfied with my major choice and unclear what career path I wanted to take, I decided to step away in 2016 to discover what I enjoyed doing. During this time away I began working at Fifth Third Bank. While there I learned so much about career opportunities available to me and finally knew what I wanted to do. The next hurdle I had to overcome was cost.

What was the key factor in deciding to take that step and return to college?

A big motivation is the scholarship the program that contributes to paying for your tuition. Thanks to the help of my amazing advisor Andi Davis she helped me make this a possibility to graduate this summer!

What's next?

After graduation I am hoping to further advance my career at Fifth Third Bank.


Annette Ballinger

Annette Ballinger posing by bearcat statue

Annette Ballinger had been away from college for eight years, and worried that a return to the classroom would be too challenging to manage. 

But she was motivated to find a path to a more fulfilling career, and craved a sense of accomplishment that would come with completing her degree. 

The Come Back Bearcat program gave her an easy and affordable way to get back in the classroom, finish her degree, and advance her career prospects.

I would encourage others to follow their dreams and goals because it is truly never too late to be your best self and live your best life.

Annette Ballinger

What has the transition been like as you returned?

There have been a lot of changes since I was last in school, especially with the pandemic, but with all the resources now available, the transition has been seamless. More online and hybrid class offerings makes it easy for classes to work with my schedule.

What aspects of the Come Back Bearcat program have been most helpful to you?

The sense of inclusion and understanding that the Come Back Bearcat program provides has been a necessity for me. The program shows that the University of Cincinnati values all students and truly wants them to succeed. 

What are you studying, and what are your future goals?

I am studying Psychology and will be transitioning to UC's Uptown campus to complete my bachelor's degree. I then plan to continue to graduate school focusing on Psychiatry.

Annette for completed her associate degree in Psychology at UC Blue Ash this spring. She is now continuing her education on UC's Uptown campus in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a focus on Developmental Science.


Seth Harrison

seth harrison headshot

When Seth Harrison left college four years ago to join the workforce, he didn’t know how close he was to earning a degree. It turns out, he was just two classes short of earning his associate degree in Liberal Arts.

The Come Back Bearcat program has given him an easy and affordable way to get back in the classroom, finish his degree, and advance his career prospects. 

“I have an established career in sales, so the degree will help boost my resume and my confidence in the future business world.”

After hearing about the Come Back Bearcat program, I found out I only needed two classes to finish my associate degree in Liberal Arts. Now I'm back on track to graduate - and I even got a scholarship to do it!

Seth Harrison

What has the transition been like as you returned?

The transition returning to school has been smooth. My advisor, Andi Davis, has been working closely with me and has walked me though all the steps. 

What aspects of the Come Back Bearcat program have been most helpful to you?

The hands on help from my advisor and the extra attention she has given have been invaluable. She alerted me to a scholarship from the State of Ohio for returning students and helped guide me through the process for receiving it.

What would you tell others who may have stopped out of college and are thinking about going back?

I would tell them to contact UC Blue Ash and see what financial opportunities are available. I was intrigued by the Come Back Bearcat program when I first heard about it, and the scholarship money from the state sealed the deal!

Resources

Contact Information

Andi Davis, Sr. Academic Advisor

Email: andrea.davis@uc.edu