Finish Line - Students Speak!

See what Finish Line students are saying about their experience with the Finish Line program.


“Every few years I would re-enroll, but adulting and parenting full-time while trying to finish a degree is extremely hard work. Then I was introduced to the Finish Line Program. It was finally the opportunity that I needed. My     counselors worked with me to pick the degree that fit my new career goals. They connected me with resources to cover the costs of my courses so I had very little out-of-pocket cost. On August 5, 2023, I was able to walk across the stage to receive my bachelor's degree after 20 years of off-and-on    college work. And it was all thanks to the Finish Line program!! I was able to meet my goal of completing my  bachelor's degree before my son finished high school. I  couldn't be more proud of myself!" -Damonic D., Summer 2023 graduate


April holds her diploma while smiling in her black graduation gown and cap. UofM logo wall background behind her.

“I completed four years of undergrad right out of high school (2005-2009) in pursuit of a career in ministry, but was unable to finish. My senior year outside of school was very stressful and I did not have the perspective needed to finish strong. After that year, the time and finances weren't there, and I eventually laid down my desire to finish because I believed that milestone was not meant for me.

In 2019, Finish Line contacted me and offered to assist me in completing my degree. I was thrilled to learn a program like this existed, and that the University sought me out. I reached out in the Fall of 2022 when I was inspired to not only finish my undergrad, but to also begin graduate studies. To my surprise, I discovered that if I was willing to change my major (from a double major in Social Work and Spanish to a single major in Professional Studies), I only needed one semester to graduate. This not only better suited my career goals, but [also] accelerated the vision I had to continue my education.

The support I received from the advisors in the program - from the initial recruitment call in 2019 to the string of conversations that began in 2022 - really made it easy to say yes to my next steps. It is apparent that the Finish Line team really cares for the students entrusted to them, and do not shy away from the unique situations and background they represent.

It will hold not only a significant place in my career journey, but in my personal journey. This degree is more than an educational milestone. My final semester, thirteen years later, has shown me that my hard work and my mistakes from those first four years can be redeemed. I can finish what I started, not only as a student, but as a person.” - April G., Spring 2023 graduate



"I was so excited to learn about this program. I maintained two jobs until a few months before graduation. Most of my previous courses were transferable, I earned credit from training at work, tutoring was available, and everything was online and didn’t affect my workday. I graduated from the University of Memphis 2022 and started a new job with better pay due to me having my degree. By earning my degree, it has made me have the confidence and consideration of going back for my master’s degree. I'm happy that my father was able to witness me in person during Covid-19 as a University of Memphis graduate thanks to the Finish Line Program." -Cassandra R., Spring 2022 graduate


"I'm very thankful for the Finish Line program. I was able to return to school and complete my degree in a shorter time since the program removed some of the financial barriers. I wish I had known about it sooner. [Having a bachelor's degree] will allow me to apply for more lucrative opportunities within my current organization and also makes me more marketable for other jobs with other companies. Many jobs now require a bachelor's degree to qualify for consideration. [The Finish Line Scholarship] means I can show my children that no matter what happens or how long it takes, complete your degree. It will open up so many possibilities that you thought were out of reach. Thank you for investing in others so we can be positioned to invest in others." - Krizia S., Spring 2022 graduate   

"I’m 59 years old, started college in 1980 and never finished. Earned hours to be classified as a senior, but never could have or would have finished if it weren’t for U of M Finish Line and the advising I received from Hannah and the team there. I am over the moon happy that U of M has allowed me the opportunity to finally be a college graduate. [Having a bachelor's degree] will give me confidence that I have reached a lifelong personal goal that I actually didn’t think would happen until I reached out to U of M. Everyone was helpful and so encouraging." - Sandra P., Spring 2022 graduate

"For me, this program gave a very busy working adult and mother a more successful path to a degree. I am a police detective for Memphis and work 10 plus hours daily. I still at times struggled, but I have made it though. I also showed my now 11 year old son that giving up is not an option. The timing of things is not always in our hands, but God's, and this program is proof. - Jessica L., Spring 2022 graduate

"I was a Senior in 1999 and got involved in advancing my career and let my education goals lag behind. When my oldest son was getting ready to graduate high school, he challenged me and told me that he would get his degree before me. That was enough said. It has been a long time goal of mine ... something I told my parents I would do when they paid for my first semester in 1982. They have passed but I know they would be proud. Finish Line set an easy path for me to follow in regards to what I needed to do to finish my degree. It also allowed me to use my 30+ years in work experience to be used to support finding my degree program."  - Larry M., Fall 2021 graduate 

"Finish Line got me to a degree! My advisor helped me create a plan that was easy to stick to and made it seem way more doable and less overwhelming. It made me feel like my dreams of graduating were possible."  - Abigail B., Spring 2021 graduate 

"I now have the opportunity to do something with my life and I have been given the opportunity to be a teacher and earn a higher salary. I am so grateful, and this would not be possible without the Finish Line program."  - JaVunya H., Spring 2021 graduate

"The Finish Line program has changed my life forever! I always wanted to be a college graduate and you all made it possible even when I thought I wanted to give up. I am forever grateful." - Natarsha B., Spring 2021 graduate


Lakeshia sits with textbooks in her lap and a cap on for graduation pictures









"Without the help of the Finish Line program, I would not have been able to obtain my degree.  The advisors in the Finish Line program were always prompt with communication and willing to provide helpful resources during my degree completion experience. I appreciate the Finish Line program staff for the encouragement I needed to succeed." - Lakeshia C., Spring 2020 graduate


Tiffany smiles with her cap on at commencement while holding her diploma






"My advice to students incoming and to those beginning again, is to never give up. Keep pushing and trying until you just can’t anymore. When life happens and you have to take a step back, breathe and know that programs like Finish Line will see you to the finish." - Tiffany H., Spring 2019 graduate


"Getting a job interview is much easier now. I hadn't worked in years. I was a stay at home mom for 14.5 years before I enrolled in Finish Line. No one was trying to hire or interview me before I graduated. I'm so excited! Thinking about getting a Master's degree is no longer a thought. I'm about to make it happen. That Doctorate degree isn't too far away either." - Sharon G.


Sarah Bottle smiles with a baseball cap on







"I started at the University of Memphis when I was in the middle of my career as a professional firefighter in Charleston, SC. Several years and one 3 year-old later, when I graduate in May I will have been a professional Fire Captain for four years. I am the only female captain in my department. The U of M has prepared me for success, which will only continue until retirement. Earning my bachelor's degree has further inspired me to move on to graduate school." - Sarah B.


Kimberly smiles with her cap and gown on







"Finish Line provided the flexibility I needed to keep my job while continuing my education. The program has been a true blessing. My journey has been 10 years in the making, striving to find a way to complete my undergraduate degree. I also had an amazing advisor who was with me every step of the way. I can proudly say that I am a college graduate!"Kimberly


John smiles at commencement with his cap on









"I feel grateful to finally have the diploma that I worked so hard to achieve many years ago. It was awesome to see my kids in the crowd at graduation. They now know that it is never too late to achieve your goals. The people at the Finish Line program were instrumental in making my dreams of graduation a reality. They made the whole process very simple and for that I am truly grateful. The program is a wonderful addition to the University of Memphis." John


"The Finish Line program was a lifesaver. Now that I have completed my bachelor's degree, I feel a new confidence." Brian 


"The thought of going back to school while working and raising a family would not have been possible had it not been for the Finish Line program. I have now obtained the college degree that all of my friends and peers have. I succeeded, it just took a little longer!" Stuart


"Finish Line has been a true blessing. The program allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming the first person in my family to complete my bachelor's degree."Kendra