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Re-entry Student GraduateWelcome to our online student discussion forums! This is the place to ask a question about returning to college, share information with other returning students, or just join in the discussion!

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#1054 - 09/09/2005 10:25 AM Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
jeannelst Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/07/2005
Loc: Atlanta
I am 37 yrs old, a single mother to a daughter, age 13, living in Atlanta. I have been a secy for over 18 years. I have never been to college. I have always wanted to get a degree in culinary arts. I was just awarded a partial scholarship to attend school in New York. The program would only take 7 months to complete, followed by a 2 month externship that can be done back in Atl. I want to go so badly, but I would have to quit my only source of income, move my daughter to another school, leave my home. My daughter absolutely does not want to go, but she is 13. I am afraid of being without a job, but I don't like what I am doing anymore. I don't want to be doing this in 5-10 yrs. I'm bored.
I don't know if I should go or not. It's only 7 months, that could change my life forever, but it will turn life upside down right now. Is the sacrifice to my daughter and income too great to risk?

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#1055 - 09/19/2005 14:30 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
beasy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/2005
Hello,
Now this is a first! I am from NY who moved to Atlanta, and I desperately want to go back. The problem is, NYC is very expensive. My suggestions to you would be to most likely leave your daughter here in Atlanta and go to this school now. You have paid your dues as a secretary. I know it is honest work, but if your heart is telling you that you need a change, then go for it. I am 30 and have been doing administrative assistant work since high school. Currently I attend school online and want to go to law school after I am done. It may sound crazy, but I am willing to give it a go. Always has been my lifelong dream. Don't give up! Or, what you may have to do is find a room or a studio apartment for rent. The rent may run as low as $750 a month. Let me know what areas you are looking into and I can point you in the best direction. The more money you pay for rent, the better the area. Especially schools. What grade is your daughter in? The schools there have a good curriculum, but the students there can be out of control. NYC is a place where anything goes, and I am pretty much used to it. I left because I wanted a better life but once I left there and have been here in Atlanta for this past year, I realized that NYC wasn't so bad after all. Keep the faith, take out as much tuition as you can, find a decent apartment, and buy plenty of metro cards! :) Pls. keep me posted!

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#1056 - 09/20/2005 05:17 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
Momof 2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/2005
Loc: Wisconsin
Stumbled across this board this morning, Suprised to see others in my situation. I am 37 a single mom of 2 girls. I have been doing licensed home childcare for almost 12 years and am so stressed out. I hate it, I love the kids but I started doing this when mine were little and they are not anymore. Being single I am getting killed by taxes and working my rear off 50+ hours a week and not for much. I cant just quit to go to school because I have to pay the bills afford my house and vehicle and such. Is it too late to start back to school or am I better off just getting any job knowing I can no way live off $10 an hour. Is there anyone out there my age who is "starting over?"......Help!!!!

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#1057 - 09/20/2005 11:41 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
josh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/2005
Loc: New York
Hi,
I work on a national radio show with former Sen. Bill Bradley called "American Voices." We are producing a segment about people going back to school later in life, the problems they face, the dreams they have, etc -- somthing that we hope will help many of our listeners. We're looking for individuals who would be willing to speak with Sen. Bradley about their situation. I've been following this forum and feel there are many things going on in the lives of its posters that would help a wider audience. If you have any interest, or know someone who might, please email me at jward@sirius.com.

Thank you very much, and best of luck,

Josh

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#1058 - 09/20/2005 18:50 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
beasy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/2005
Hi Josh,
I am interested in talking about my own situation. Can you e-mail me at templejk1us@hotmail.com? Thank you.
Jada

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#1059 - 09/20/2005 18:54 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
beasy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/2005
To Momof2,
If I were you, I would probably look into going to school online. I wouldn't stop the daycare business and work a measly job (like me) just to pay the bills. You will be very stressed out and would have to give up your freedom of entrepreneurship. Most brick and mortar schools have online classes and degree programs and may be less expensive. I attend Strayer which although is expensive, it helps me because I don't have a steady baby sitter for my children. Perhaps you can set up your daycare for other mothers who are trying to go back to school and then rotate watching the children with someone else while you go a few hours a week. Just a few thoughts. Good luck.

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#1060 - 09/20/2005 21:25 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
chrisnga Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/2005
Loc: Atlanta
I would be happy to talk to Senator Bradley about my situation.

I moved to the Atlanta area in 1999 after completing a bachelor of science in business admin, information sciences track. Atlanta was fine for about a year but I have decided it is really not where I want to work. I have also decided that the information technology field is not the one for me after having had some very disappointing experiences with the help desk/support side of the business.

I am therefore looking at another undergraduate degree, possibly in biotech or biochem.

The problem is that I have already borrowed 30K for my first undergraduate degree. So, I can only borrow 15K more. I feel 15K is not enough to finish another bachelor's which typically takes 3 to 4 years to complete. If I decide to go out of state, this amount will certainly not be enough. I doubt any credits would transfer since I am interested in studying science and marketing 101 does not exactly replace biochem 101.

Even if I stayed in Georgia, I have found out the hard way that most employers are not student friendly and agreements for schedule considerations are frequently broken.

And while good friends of mine are telling me to stop being fanciful and continue in the line of work that I've been training and doing all these years, I feel divorce, drug abuse, road rage, and other toxic behaviours affecting our society are the result of people being in the wrong professions. I do not want to be like them.

And as a second time learner, I feel somewhat lost as to how to proceed. I would be willing to barter with the government. I am willing to tutor economically disadvantaged children in low performing schools in order to get their reading and math scores up. Or I could tutor adults with computer and/or reading handicaps. I would do this in exchange for some of the old debt being chipped away or for a considerable tuition reduction for future studies.

I know am being fanciful in thinking such a program exists but being fanciful is what made this country great. Fancy ideas in engineering, science, and even law got us to the moon and back and have helped make this country great and what it is today.

Any advice given by the Senator would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,

-Chris C.
other90@aol.com

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#1061 - 10/03/2005 17:03 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
stsnelson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/03/2005
Loc: Bronx, NY
jeannelst,

If that is your dream then figure out a way to make it happen. As stated previously, the ideal situation would be to leave your daughter with a relative while you come to NYC.

However, there is the issue of money! How will you support yourself while in NYC? Where would you live? What will be your schedule be at school? I live in NYC and I can tell you it is very expensive!

You need a plan before you can jump ship and run up to NYC! One more thing, do you really want a Culinary Arts degree? If so, what do you plan to do with it? Be absolutely sure this is want you want before you begin to make the sacrifices.

Shawn
_________________________
"Invest In Yourself For It's The Only Thing You Can Control!"

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#1062 - 10/19/2005 17:47 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
tt82 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/2005
Below is a link that will give you options on the repayment of student loans. They have teaching programs that can erase your debt.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/teachercancel.jsp?tab=repaying

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#1063 - 10/22/2005 07:27 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
Victoria Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/2005
I can't believe I've stumbled upon this message board today. I am over 50 and will just complete my degree this coming June in Chemistry/Materials Science from UCLA. How can you say you are too old? You are NEVER too old!! Please, please, if you feel you are bored with your present job and want a change, go for it!

As for the money, when I finish I will be about $30,000 in debt -- so what! I will have a new life doing what I want to do. Already I am working in a lab instead of working as a secretary/technical editor which was behind a desk and very boring. I find myself singing on the job. I go home with my legs and feet aching from standing all day but I am happy with the work. Until I actually complete my degree I am making much less money than I was making when I worked my previous job, but I am happy with the work! And guess what - I am thinking of getting my Masters. Am I crazy or what! :-)

So do not let age or money stop you. Life is too short to not follow your dreams.

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#1064 - 10/22/2005 18:48 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
chrisnga Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/2005
Loc: Atlanta
Thank you for your reply. If I was middle class or middle aged, could mortage a house or something, had stocks or bonds, I could do it.
I don't think it is feasible right now unless I want to accrue some massive debt and get further behind in life.

I think I'll stay in this career, there may be another part of it, a different career track withing the overall branch of computers that I might be good at and actually enjoy. Maybe I have not explored everything, I'll see.

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#1065 - 10/24/2005 06:49 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
tt82 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/2005
Does your employer offer tuition assistance or a 401k plan??? If you are in Georgia you are eligible for the HOPE scholarship. Check it out,
www.gsfc.org/hope/dsp_apphope.cfm
Don't get discouraged, at least take ONE class

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#1066 - 10/24/2005 06:54 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
tt82 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/2005
You can go to the Cordon Bleu in Atlanta and they accept financial aid.

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#1067 - 11/21/2005 11:10 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
saljade Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/2005
I am all for education. The first step is to decide how bad you want it; make sure you will work hard; make your daughter will be ok. I'm a 35 year old single mother finishing up my 3rd year of law school. Broke - Oh Yea. But it can be done. Plan ahead and you may take loans (may be a private lender). If you can defer your acceptance and not loose your scholarship, you can cut your budget and save for 1 year. I saved up A LOT before I started law school and for 1.5 year, i was able to survive without working. It can be done with proper planning.

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#1068 - 01/20/2006 05:54 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
helena Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/2006
Loc: los angeles
Ms. Victoria at UCLA~ thank you soooo very much for your encouragement! I'm going back full-time this semester instead of working 40 hours a week and taking one or two classes at most a semester...I am going to work on campus just 20 hours a week, have student loans, and a little bit saved up. My family and friends support what I'm doing...Just scared but, I'm glad I'm not alone in the road to a Bachelor's degree!

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#1069 - 07/19/2007 05:18 AM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
atlsweet38 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/29/2006
Loc: atlanta
There was a reason I stumbled on this forum this morning. I'm 39 years old, living in Atl. I'm borrrrrrreeeeeeddddd to death at my job. I've been an executive assistant now for about 10 years and I get paid well, but I don't have a my degree and I feel so empty not having it. I want to go back to school, but I have a full-time job.. two kids ages 6 and 4. Who are currently taking piano, tennis and swimming lessons. There is no support coming from their father. So, I'm so scared. I want to just leap out there, because I do want to start my own business. Making a better life for me and my kids is something that has to happen!!! But, I don't know where to start. My family doesn't live here in atlanta. Someone, please help. Where do I begin? Or Should I just focus on my kids, making sure they grow up successful?

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#1070 - 07/19/2007 13:34 PM Re: Too Old/Too poor to go back to school or not?
Admin Offline

Member

Registered: 12/10/2008
Loc: California
If you want to go back to school, see "Getting Started", "Financial Aid", and other information available on this Website. Also, talk to the financial aid office at your college about your situation. Sometimes when a student is no longer working they increase your aid because they wouldn't be basing it on your prior year's income. You might want to talk to a college counselor to explore your options to help you reach a decision regarding your goals.
_________________________
Back to College
http://www.back2college.com

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