Adult wanting to go back to school

WeedGrowerJuly 22, 2002

I am 32 years old and am unhappy with the career path that I have chosen (sales), and I would like to go back to college and finish my degree (I want to be a teacher).

Here's the rub, I am the bread winner in my household (actually just my wife and I) and I don't think that I would be able to qualify for any finincial aid.

Has anybody else done the same kind of thing? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Student Loans.......:) That's what I do!! I have NEVER qualified for aid of ANY sort, and we (my husband and I) are working class living paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet!! I started school again three years ago, and I too am going for education, elementary education. I think that a community college is where you should begin, especially since you have been out of school for so long. If you are starting FRESH toward a new degree, then in the long run a community college saves you a TON of money and your credits will transfer.
I'm 32 years old, and going back to college has been the BEST decision I have made personally. School has given me confidence and pride, and because I am able to appreciate it now I don't take anything for granted. The experiences I have had have enriched my life and I have found direction and guidence toward academic and career goals as well.
I'm sorry to ramble on!!:) I think that you should definitly see the financial aid office at your communtiy college to fill out loan papers and start working toward your goal of teaching! GREAT LUCK, please let us know what you decided!! You can e-mail me as well if you would like!!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2002 at 11:22PM
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Weedgrower, does your employer offer any type of education assistance?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2002 at 8:38PM
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Unfortunally, my company dosen't pay for education, except for the technical training that we do here. If I take training her, I would have to contract for 2 more years. Don't think that I can last that much longer in this environment.

Also, I should have stated that my former student loans are in default at the moment, so I wouldn't be able to get anymore financial aid.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2002 at 3:13PM
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How many more credits do you need before your degree is finished (you are talking about a four-year degree, correct)? Will you then have to attend a two-year masters program or does your state have some kind of alternate certification program?

You should be able to work full-time and go to school in the evening, and if you can't get any kind of financial aid that is probably your only option. If you can get your current loans out of defult (probably a good idea no matter what, huh?), you can apply for financial aid and then apply for a financial aid revision due to a change in income. Financial aid offices don't always publicize the fact that you can get revisions, but you can.

Need-based gift aid is not usually available for graduate school so if you will need to attend grad school you should really get your loans out of default.

Look into any scholarships that you can find, you can search online, on your school's website, and at the financial aid office at your school.

Look into any teacher training programs, especially if you live in or can move to an area with a serious teacher shortage (SF bay area comes to mind but no one can afford to move there and teach). Consider the type of teaching you want to do - ESL, special ed, and math & science are in demand, whereas with something like HS history or english, it will be harder to find a position or scholarships.

Look into the Teach For America program for an idea of one good way to get into teaching when you finish you bachelor's.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2002 at 4:32PM
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I'd make an appointment & go talk the financial aid people at the college you would be attending. They often have information about funding not available to the general public.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2002 at 4:02PM
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I suppose loans wouldn't work in your case, but I bet that by speaking to someone in the Financial Aid office you could find some answers. Can you have deferred payments? At the community college I attend, we can put 1/3 of tuition down at time of registering, then set up a payment plan. That might help you get back into school by just taking one class at first. Check all of your options...there's GOT to be a way!!:)
Anita is right about scholarships...I've tried for quite a few, and have been granted only one, but it all helps!! Best of luck!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2002 at 1:05AM
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Try going at night at the community college. They are the best bargain around. Then transfer to the university where you will get your degree. In our state, it is possible to "intern" for credit for the last (5th) year for your student teaching and education courses. So you have the bachelor's, get a teaching job that is for a district that does the interning with a local university, and you are paid a first year's salary while you teach your own class all year, attend school one night a week, and go to some classes for a few weeks in the summer. And then you have your certification and are on the 2nd year of the salary schedule.

Also, it is possible to get an emergency teaching credential as you finish up your last few courses in some districts.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2002 at 8:04PM
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You can also go to college online using the computer for distance learning. Some state universities have such programs, and private institutions do too such as the Univeristy of Phoenix. So you can keep your job and go to school online till graduation.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2002 at 1:07AM
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you might also want to check out what is called a "career loan" offered from Key Bank or the CitiAssist loan from Citibank...

I will be student teaching in January and will lose almost 4 months of pay due to an unpaid leave of absence from my full time I did research and found this option...

The career loan is a loan that you can take on top of education expenses, which covers personal expenses, like rent, car payments etc. The only catch is that there is a limit you can take per year, but if your wife is working and you want to quit your full time position, having the extra funds might get you by...

good luck!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 2:44PM
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So Weedgrower, any steps that have moved you toward your education? Keep us updated!:)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2002 at 12:21AM
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Well, just a follow up on what's going on.
I have decided to wait until my DW finishes with her degree. She has about 2 1/2 more years to go.
I have a good paying job for now, so there is no insentive, besides my hating sales, to quit and start on finishing my degree.
Eventually I'll go back and finish the semester and a half that I have to go (full time semesters). And then I'll go into teaching.
Also, I did get into a program to consolidate all of my outstanding student loans. My new loan payment is about $50 per month on about $12,000.00 worth of debt. The old payment was well over $300.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 2:13PM
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What is so bad about sales? I love it. I know it is not for everyone just as teaching is not for everyone. Teaching may be the thing you really would enjoy.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 8:55PM
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I'm so glad that you have a plan for now! That was a great move to consolidate the past loans, I hope that you keep looking forward to going back to school and learning all of the wonderfully frustrating things about our country's educational system!!:) Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 12:04AM
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There is nothing really horrible about sales, I just don't like having my income tied to my activity. Deep down, I'm kind of a lazy bast**d. Plain and simple. I get tired of listening to customers whine about what they want, and I've been doing sales for over 14 years..
Now, I don't want to open up a big ole' can of worms here. I do what I have to do to get my DW through school, so she can get a good paying job, then I can take some me time.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 8:42AM
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