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#665 - 06/16/2005 16:17 PM 28 year old son looking to go to college
Mom of College Wannabe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/2005
Loc: Oakland, CA
My son, 28 years old and currently in the armed forces, has expressed great interest when he gets out (Sept 2006) in going to school fulltime to obtain a degree in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering. I'm helping him to get info as he's based overseas and has little access to the internet.

The background is that my son has a high school diploma (earned at night school 2 years after he dropped out), but as a teenager was a very poor student, so his grade point average at that time was dismal. He did not attend college, nor take the SATs. 11 years later he now, of course, has grown up and matured, has been near the top of his class in every technical/mechanical class he's taken since (2 years at a Technical School towards an A&P license (FAA approved license to work on airplane engines), 5 years in the Navy in their various schools for servicing and maintaining fighter jets) and now has tremendous motivation and discipline. He's also done outstanding on all of his military evaluations, and is currently in a position of management. So, in other words, he can prove that he's changed his life and attitude around in the last 11 years. Incidentally, he'll have the GI bill when he gets out, but it's only $36,000 spread over 3 years. How can you go to college on that?

So the question is, based on his dismal high school career, lack of college credits and SAT scores, would you advise, what's the best course of action?

Should he start out by completing core classes at a community college and then transfer for Junior and Senior Year to a college or university engineering program?

Would it be fruitless for him to try to apply to an engineering program as a freshman, or would work experience/status as a Vet/good SAT scores if he can get them (or any combination) help to level the inadequate high school years?

Thanks for any advice you can provide. I surfed for 7 hours today and finally found a site that's actually helpful and encouraging!

#666 - 06/18/2005 07:42 AM Re: 28 year old son looking to go to college


Thank you for your son's service. There are educational advisors for servicemen and your son should seek his representative. Your son should get a transcript of his ACE credits - many of the courses he has taken in the Navy may have college credit as well.

So, he should be starting college with some credit already - you get 4.0 credits for Boot Camp and others. You do not need an entrance exam, (SAT, ACT) to attend community college, so he could start there and get an advisor to move his transfer credit to a selected four year school. However, as an adult student he may not need an entrance exam to start directly with a
four year college/university - every school's policies are different. He would most likely start as a general student until he is accepted to his major in aeronautics engineering.

Remember, that his technical training is not the same as engineering. He may want to consider a technical management degree or an EET degree. There are many schools which are "friendly" to military students. These schools belong to Service Member Opportunity Colleges or SOC-ED. He may want to consider these schools for best military credit transfer. Again, his military education advisor can help him select his school(s) in his local area or use distance learning. He should also research using national testing programs for college credit such as CLEP and DANTES exams. His GI Bill money should be enough (if used wisely) to fund his entire Bachelor degree. He may want to work part-time or full-time as he earns his degree and could seek employers who offer tuition Assistance to supplement his GI Bill money. Much success to him.

Additional resources:

E. Faith Ivery, Ed.D.
Educational Advisory Services, Inc.


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