ACE Student of the Year Award


​​​The Student of the Year Award is presented annually by the American Council on Education (ACE) to two adult learners who have benefited from the use of ACE credit recommendations to earn a college degree or advance a career.

In addition to the application of ACE credit recommendations for military or corporate training to a postsecondary degree program, award winners must demonstrate:

  • Continued success in academic, professional, personal, and community endeavors
  • Extraordinary achievement in his or her community or workplace while successfully balancing the demands of family, career, and education
  • Inspiration to others in setting high educational goals

ACE awards $1,000 to each Student of the Year at the ACE Annual Meeting in March.

Now Accepting Nominations

Nominations for the 2019 award are now open. Students may nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else.

For a nominee to be considered, ACE must receive a Student of the Year nomination form, a 300-word essay (nominee’s statement) written by the nominee, and a statement of support from a faculty member, academic advisor, or employer. A panel of judges selects the award winners after reviewing nominee profiles and supporting documentation.

The completed nomination form and supporting documents must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, November 22, 2019.

For more information about the award or the nomination process, please email

About the Program

The Student of the Year program (formerly the ACE Adult Learner of the Year program) was initiated in 1999 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) and to begin a national award that would embody the best attributes of CREDIT’s hundreds of thousands of adult learners.

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

  • Begin coursework at a college or university
  • Complete an academic degree
  • Advance in a career
  • Transition into a new career

In 2013, ACE expanded the award to include the academic and professional accomplishments of military service members and veterans.

2018 Students of the Year

Sophia Norcott, a communications major and media manager from Vancouver, Washington, and Brendyn Melugin, an Army veteran and psychology student from Cincinnati, Ohio, are ACE's 2018 Students of the Year. Both were presented with the honor at the closing plenary on March 12 at ACE2019, ACE’s 101st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Both recipients received a $1,000 scholarship to help continue their education.



​Now Accepting Nominations

The completed nomination form and supporting documents must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on November 22, 2019.