ACE Student of the Year Award


Nominations from those who know of the accomplishments of a deserving student are due by January 15, 2021.

Through this award, ACE recognizes adult learners who have benefited from the use of ACE's military or workforce credit recommendations to earn a college degree or advance a career.

Each year, ACE has solicited nominations of adult learners who have used ACE's college credit recommendations for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To begin coursework at a college or university
  • To complete an academic degree
  • To advance in a career
  • To transition into a new career

As part of a national strategy embedded in our strategic commitments, ACE is helping post-traditional learners achieve success by expanding flexible completion pathways through innovative learning. Nowhere is the impact of that work more evident than through the achievements of the annual ACE Student of the Year award recipients.

Student veterans are more likely to pursue a post-traditional path than other learners. On average, student veterans delay entering college by five years after graduating from high school; when they do enroll, 61 percent of student veterans take classes online, at night, or on weekends. Fifty-four percent are enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs, and 44 percent are enrolled in bachelor's degree programs.  

The ACE Student of the Year award goes to two learners who embody the best attributes of thousands of adult learners. Each ACE Student of the Year for 2020 will receive a $1000 scholarship to continue his or her education and will be recognized during ACE Awards Week. In addition to the application of ACE credit recommendations for military or workforce training to a postsecondary degree program, award winners must demonstrate:

  1. Application of their ACE credit recommendations
  2. Continued success in academic, professional, personal, and community endeavors
  3. Extraordinary achievement in their community or workplace while successfully balancing the demands of family, career, and education
  4. Inspiration to others in setting high educational goals

Nominations must include both:

  • A 300-word individual nominee statement written by the applicant, explaining why they should be recognized as an exemplary adult learner and providing clear evidence to their application of ACE credit recommendations; educational goals; and continued success, achievement, and inspiration
  • A statement in support of the nomination from an individual other than the nominee


2019 Winners: Amanda Webb and Matthew Morin

​Awarded in 2020, ​​​​​Amanda Webb, a nurse from Indianapolis, and Matthew Morin, a student at Central Michigan University (CMU), are ACE's 2019 Students of the Yea​​​r.​

Learn more about their accomplishments

​2018 Winners: Sophia Norcott and Brendyn Melugin

​Awarded in 2019, Sophia Norcott, a communications major and media manager from Vancouver, Washington, and Brendyn Melugin, an Army veteran and psychology student from Cincinnati, Ohio, were ACE's 2018 Students of the Yea​​​r.​


​F​ind More on ACE Engage

Explore related resources on ACE Engage®​, ​​ACE’s peer-to-peer learning platform. ACE Engage includes access to a curated content library, microcourses, exclusive events, and more.

How Human Connections Drive College Success

Innovations in Student Success

Resources: Institutional Value of Military Students

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Nominations for this award are now closed.


ACE is grateful to for its support of the 2019 award.


The American Council on Education and are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipient of the ACE/ Student of the Year Award is selected solely by ACE. employees are not involved in any way in determining, selecting, or approving the recipient of any award.