Apple Valley, Minn. – December 1, 2014 – Associated Bank recently awarded Ashley Forman, a student at Winona State University, with a $2,500 “Good Fit” scholarship for writing about what a good fit meant for her when choosing her college. Forman is from Apple Valley, Minnesota.

The scholarship money will be paid directly to her university for the 2014-2015 school year to help with tuition, fees, books and supplies expenses.

This scholarship was awarded to only eight students out of nearly 800 entries throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Recipients were chosen based on their ability to creatively express why their university is a good fit.

“The ability to provide these students with scholarships is something that Associated takes pride in,” said Anna Dosen, market executive, Associated Bank. “It not only reinforces our local involvement and dedication to the Apple Valley community, but it also helps us to assist our customers with the high cost of education, making it more affordable for them to secure their good fit.”

The scholarship application process provided students the opportunity to not only describe why they have found a good fit at their university, but also to reward them for their abilities to tell their story on the journey to finding their good fit. Associated believes that finding this fit is imperative to the students’ success because it will also help lead them to the path of their perfect career.

At Associated, a good fit is giving customers all the advice and financial services they need, in one place. For Forman, it is a combination of the many aspects of life that come together to make a happy and fulfilled individual. “A good fit is a unique perspective that will be different for everyone depending on what his or her individual needs may be,” said Forman. “To me it means having personal relationships with others that make you happy and bring out the best in you, having a place to go to that you can consider home, and having a career that fits your interests and is rewarding beyond a paycheck.”

When looking for colleges four years ago, Forman’s number one requirement was accessibility. “When I was eight years old I was in a serious car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down,” said Forman. “Going off to college meant that I was going to have to live on my own independently for the very first time. The only way that was going to actually work was if the campus was wheelchair friendly.”

A campus needed to provide more than elevators, ramps and buttons to open the door to fulfill her college experience. “After touring numerous campuses, I realized that the school that would be a perfect fit for me would need to be a small campus where everything would be relatively close together,” said Forman.

“While my decision to choose a smaller campus was based on what would be the easiest for me to get around, I have realized that there are a lot of advantages beyond accessibility that make this a good fit for me,” said Forman. Every single one of her professors knows who she is, making it a lot easier for her to approach them for help. She has also been given so many opportunities at Winona helping with faculty research projects, poster presentations and internships that she believes she would never have had the opportunity to participate in at a larger school.

Forman is currently pursuing a degree in psychology and focusing her attention to classes on a clinical track to help prepare her for the graduate program. After completion of the graduate program, she hopes to counsel individuals who have suffered from traumatic injuries. “I may have been dealt a bad hand, but I want to use my experiences to help individuals suffering with difficult situations cope and work through their hurdles effectively so that they may also be able to perceive aspects of their lives as a good fit,” said Forman.

“It was my honor to award this scholarship to Ashley for her dedication to finding her perfect fit,” said Dosen. “We know what good fit means to us, and it’s great that she was able to find that in her university. Congratulations Ashley!”