Top vaccination prizes go to adult students

TRAVERSE CITY — Two frontline adult learners got another boost toward their college goals last week — a semester’s worth of tuition in NMC’s Big Win giveaway.

NMC offered $30,000 in tuition, housing and bookstore gift certificates as an incentive to students to get vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 900 students entered. Throughout the pandemic, NMC has prioritized student and employee safety while minimizing the disruption to learning.

The winners of the top two prizes, tuition and fees for the spring 2022 semester up to $10,000 in value, are both adult students: Sarah Sergent, 37, of Traverse City, a first-year student in NMC’s Marine Technology bachelor’s degree program, and Kelley Nelson, 38, of Bellaire, a Computer Information Technology student.

“This has been such a relief. I cried when I first found out,” said Sergent. She currently receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship, which covers in-district tuition toward an associate degree. Since Marine Technology is a bachelor’s degree, however, some of the classes she’ll take next year won’t qualify under Frontliners.

With a particularly heavy load of 19 credits next semester Sergent’s also excited that the vaccination prize will allow her to reduce her work hours as a recovery coach at the Traverse Health Clinic and focus on school and maintaining her 4.0 GPA.

“It’s been a lot trying to juggle all this,” she said, adding that she was very nervous about returning to school as an adult, but NMC’s success coaching helped her tremendously.

“When I enrolled I was so scared,” she said. “It changed to, ‘I can do this.’”

Nelson also receives the Futures for Frontliners scholarship. She is taking livestream online classes due to her full-time job in the IT department at Boyne Highlands Resort. That option is the only way she could pursue a degree, and she’s grateful NMC offers it.

“I’m just slowly chugging along,” she said. “I love it. The teachers are great, everyone’s super helpful.”

In addition to the two tuition winners, prizes for vaccination included free housing for the spring semester (two students, up to a $3,200 value each), $500 gift certificates to the NMC bookstore (five students), and $100 Amazon gift cards (10 students.)

NMC is currently awarding the Michigan Reconnect scholarship, which provides in-district tuition to students over age 25 without a college degree.


Release date: October 13, 2021

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.