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Age 75 Grandmother of 17 Refused to Give Up on Dream: Graduated With 4th College Degree

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When I was younger, the people around me viewed a college degree as something more than merely a step up the socio-economic ladder. It was a sign of prestige, a way to set yourself apart from others, an almost moral accomplishment. Today, though, higher education has lost some of its sheen.

Big-name companies such as tech giant IBM, management consulting firm EY, and publisher Penguin Random House U.S. have begun loosening their bachelor’s degree requirements.

Harvard Business School professor Joseph B. Fuller has noticed it, telling Fast Company that “I think there are a couple of motivations to relax [higher-education requirements].”

One of these motivations has to be the prohibitive cost to potential workers. Ellen Ruppel Shell of The New York Times has noticed that many families go into debt to gain the economic advantages of going to college, but “the tiny minority of students who attend elite colleges do far better on average than those who attend nonselective ones.”

Still, it’s impressive when someone earns a degree not once, but multiple times — particularly when the person is older. Just consider San Antonio, Texas, resident Margie Peed.

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Peed’s dedication to her education began much later in her life. In fact, the 75-year-old great-grandmother only got her GED diploma 22 years prior.

After that, though, she decided higher education was for her, even though she was entering into a time of life where most would consider retirement. She wasn’t looking to earn a little more money in her twilight years, either.

A longtime volunteer with Mission 911, the Women’s Shelter, and Goodwill, Peed thought a degree would help her help others. And she didn’t stop at one degree.

The 75-year-old graduate received her second master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in social work this month. That brings her total number of higher education degrees to a jaw-dropping four.

“I went to college because I wanted to go to work helping people,” Peed explained to KRIS. “There were a lot of times I thought I couldn’t do it anymore.

“I wanted to quit. But then I thought, ‘I have gone too far. I can’t quit right now.’”

“I sacrificed a lot of my time with my grandkids, because I either had my homework, then I had to do my intern, and then it was work. I mean I struggled.”

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Sure, college may not always make sense for everyone. But Peed thinks it has done nothing but enrich her life, and thanks her family, God, and her health for her success.

“It was a good feeling,” she said. “It was worth it. It was worth it.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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