Third-generation Sun Devil overcomes financial hurdle
Growing up, Anika Hutchinson always had the dream of attending college, but the financial expense seemed to make it a distant wish.
Upon graduating from high school, Hutchinson enrolled and graduated from cosmetology school to earn a living working as a hairstylist to pay for college on her own. When the time came, she enrolled in Mesa Community College (MCC), taking one class at a time since that was all her budget could accommodate.
“Paying for college was very difficult," Hutchinson says. "I attended community college because the classes were more affordable. I’m really appreciative of grants I received when I transferred to Arizona State University because I wouldn't have been able to finish my degree without them.”
As a third-generation Sun Devil, she says that ASU was the obvious choice for her college education.
“My grandmother received her master's degree from ASU, and my mother received both her bachelor's and master's degrees here,” she says. “My grandfather also worked at ASU as a department dean during the 1970s and 1980s. He was rewarded for his work with African-American students by having a tree commemorated in his honor in the school's arboretum.”
Hutchinson will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the School of Letters and Sciences.
“The general studies program allowed me to take courses in a variety of areas within a structured program to allow me to customize my degree to fit my interests while staying within university guidelines,” Hutchinson says.
She recently was admitted to the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to pursue a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education.
“I want to work with colleges and universities in the area of adult education," she says. "I hope to bring awareness to the fact that many working adults and professionals desire to attend college, but they require more flexibility than the average student.”