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Eric Belyea

CCBC Graduate, Business Administration and Management, '22

Profile of Eric Belyea

Flexible class schedules and financial aid helped Navy veteran Eric Belyea manage a return to school after a 20-year break, while also managing a full-time job.

Eric Belyea, a Navy veteran who grew up in tiny Bynum, Texas, decided to enroll at CCBC in 2020 based on a recommendation from his wife, a former CCBC student herself.

“My wife felt that as someone who had not attended formal schooling in over 20 years, a smaller school would be the best route for me to begin my pursuit of higher education,” said Belyea. As it turns out, she was right.

“I love the small town atmosphere of CCBC,” he said. “I grew up in a town with a population of 200, and my high school had a graduating class of 23. I have always gravitated towards an environment – the Navy notwithstanding – that feels closer knit, so I don’t feel like such a small fish in a big pond.”

As a veteran, Belyea was eligible to receive military education benefits that covered the costs associated with attending CCBC. This financial help allowed him to enjoy his college experience without worrying about how to pay for it. And, the many learning options offered by CCBC enabled him to work full-time while working on his Business Administration degree.

“Being able to attend courses during the evening, on weekends and online has been instrumental in me being able to attend school while also working full-time, enjoying personal endeavors and fulfilling my obligations as a spouse and ‘dog dad,’” said Belyea. “I would not be able to do so without the flexibility of the courses.”

Belyea feels it is important to get involved in the college community, and he became a member of the Veteran’s Association at CCBC, which enabled him to interact with fellow current and former service members with shared experiences. He also became one of CCBC’s Fresh Faces because he saw it as an opportunity to come out of his shell while helping others.

I wanted to use the platform to reach others like myself, for example, a 40(ish)-year-old retired veteran who works full-time, and show them that this can be done.

Belyea transferred to University of Maryland to earn his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management with a focus on leadership. He also works as a program analyst for a logistics company.

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