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Overcoming the high cost of tuition

Kerri Clark at work in the PICU.

Kerri Clark at work in the PICU.

College tuition in Ohio costs more than $10,000 on average.

For years, Akron Children’s Hospital has helped employees overcome this financial hurdle through its educational assistance program. For instance, full-time and part-time employees are eligible for up to $5,250 in educational assistance benefits each year.

“Children’s has long recognized that professional development and participation in formal education programs are critically important to the professional growth of our staff,” said Richard Biering, Akron Children’s director of Training and Development.

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But after educational assistance caps out − and you want to continue your education − how do you get help paying for this?

As Kerri Clark, a pediatric intensive care unit nurse and full-time student, recently discovered, there are other ways to get help paying for school.

“The tuition assistance everyone gets caps out eventually,” said Clark, who is studying for her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Akron. “That tuition cap runs out fairly quickly in grad school.”

The mother of two recently learned of a scholarship available to PICU nurses.

“The PICU nurses kind of knew about the availability of the scholarship before it happened,” she said. “The scholarship came from a family who spent time in the PICU. The family told us they wanted to do something to help the nurses go back to school.”

After writing an essay, applying and interviewing for the position, Clark was awarded the McKenzie Rose Garretson Scholarship.

“The scholarship made it virtually impossible not to apply for it because it covers everything, including some things the tuition assistance doesn’t cover like parking fees and background checks,” said Clark. “The thing that really appealed to me was the work reduction that the scholarship offers. With a husband who is also going to medical school, and two small children, it was great that I could work only one day a week.”

For information about career opportunities at Akron Children’s Hospital, check out our current job postings.

  • Debbie Baumberger

    I am so proud of you for the person you have become, K-K, not to mention all you have accomplished. I am so happy you have a job you love and are able to share your love and Mothering with so many children. You make me so grateful that you are my daughter and I love you with all my heart. Hats off to you for a job well done. Love You, Mom