54-year-old woman turned away from college after learning she never finished high school

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UNION CITY, Okla. - A decades old transcript error is keeping a 54-year-old woman from finally getting a college degree.

After a few weeks of classes at Brown Mackie College, she was devastated to learn she couldn't stay. Technically she isn't a high school graduate.

In 1977, Marsha Roberts walked the stage in a cap and gown and was given a diploma from Union City High School.

She says that's as official as it gets.

"I saw that it was signed by everybody it was supposed to be signed by and I thought okay I did it,” says Roberts. “I just moved out and went to work.”

37 years later the financial opportunities finally came, giving her the chance to go for the nursing degree she’s always wanted.

“It’s not an easy decision at this age,” says Roberts. “I’ve always wanted to get into the field and just never have been able to. It meant a lot. It made me feel good about myself.”

She says her husband carries their family on his shoulders. He works 12 hour days, six days a week.

“He’s 56 years old, he can’t be doing that all his life,” says Roberts. “I feel like I need to be contributing something here and I can't.”

Those plans were derailed when her college was forced to drop her. Despite her diploma and her cap and gown, she technically is not a high school graduate.

“When the high school told me that, I argued with them. I said, ‘Well then why do I have a diploma? Why is it signed by six different people?” says Roberts. “Nothing was said until 37 years later and it’s just frustrating.”

Roberts says she was on her way to the dean's honor roll and her dream. 37 years later she says the last thing she needed was an unexpected road block.

“I want to go to school,” says Roberts. “I want to better my life and I can’t.”

Union City's current superintendent tells us transcripts are federal documents that can't be touched. He can't just overlook the few missing credits until they figure out what went wrong in 1977.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.