ACE/Sophia Learning Student of the Year Award


​​​​​​​​​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, certification, or license through a college or university
  • 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/Sophia Learning Student of the Year Award recipients.

Student veterans are more likely than other learners to pursue post-traditional paths. 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/Sophia Learning Student of the Year Award goes to two learners who embody the best attributes of thousands of adult learners. Each 2022 ACE/Sophia Learning Student of the Year Award winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their education.

Award winners must demonstrate:

  1. Enrollment at an ACE m​ember institution—view the ACE Members and Associates Directory
  2. Application of ACE credit recommendations—please indicate the total number of ACE credits earned, the program(s) utilized to earn this credit, and the institutions at which the credits were accepted
  3. Continued success in academic, professional, personal, and community endeavors
  4. Extraordinary achievement in their community or workplace while successfully balancing the demands of family, career, and education
  5. Inspiration to others in setting high educational goals

Nominations must include both:

  • A 300–500 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

Award recipients should expect to participate in a series of post-award activities such as interviews and press releases.



Nominations are now closed for the ACE/Sophia Learning Student of the Year Award.

​2021 Winners

Giovanna Grantham and Casey Dunn

​Awarded in 2022, ​​Giovanna Grantham, an IT consultant, and Casey Dunn, a U.S. Army staff sergeant and cadet, are the 2021 ACE Student of the Yea​​​r Award winners.​



ACE is grateful to Sophia Learning for its support of this award.