When my son was in high school he received a scholarship for two yrs at our community college . We were all witnesses at that time , but we encouraged him to go for the education . He would have to attend night classes two nights during the week that interfered with meetings. So he learned sign language and joined an ASL congregation because their meetings were on non conflicting nights . After two yrs he received an associates degree for Electro -mechanical engineering . He is now 24yrs old and works as a CAD drafter .He likes were he works , but now that he has been inactive for over a yr he is thinking of following his dreams . Which would be returning to school and studying Astronomy and physics . He would like to learn theoritical astronomic physics (I think I have that correct ?) Anyways I am very excited for him . I would love to see one of my children follow their dreams .I have no clue how he will go through financing his education though . We don't have the funds to be of much help . How have some of you done it ? Going back to college . What advice can you give about student loans ? Are certain ones recommended over others ? I would appreciate any good advice I can relay to him .
My son is visiting this weekend and he wants to go back to college
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I have worked during my entire college education so that paid for the bulk of it. Also, he can get federal grants he doesn't have to pay back and many colleges offer grants as well. Has he checked to see if his employer has tuition reimbursement? I work for the county and they contribute $3000 per year. Oh course there are student loans which, to me, are the last resort but they are out there. Tell him to go talk to a Financial Aid counselor at the school of his choice. To apply for loans he needs to go to: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
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How have some of you done it ? Going back to college . What advice can you give about student loans ? Are certain ones recommended over others ? I would appreciate any good advice I can relay to him .
I also took out a Sallie Mae loan....easy to repay too!
Of course he should seek out scholarships too.
Even if he just does a few courses a year while working, it is still worth every hour spent!
And of course congratulations on his following his dreams and re-enrollment!
Thank you for the quick replies .
Contact the financial aid dept at his school of choice. Something can always be worked out. It's well worth it.
I've just gone back and am in my first semseter. I didn't qualify for any grants, but I did qualify for unsubsidized federally guaranteed Stafford loans. In english, that means I have a low interest loan that I don't have to start paying on until I'm done with school. I've elected to pay the interest fees while I'm in school so it doesn't "capitalize" or "hit all at once with accrued interest". I'm working part time and should be able to afford it. Next semester, I'll qualify for in state tuition, so I'll be paying about one third of what I am this semester. I'll also be applying for scholarships as often as possible and trying to talk my HR people in to paying for some of this too.
As others have said, FAFSA is a necessity. It will determine his eligibility for loans, scholarships, grants, etc. For me, 24 was the perfect age to back to school...I was considered an independent adult (i.e., they didn't consider my parents' income for my eligibility) and was given grants that covered my tuition, books, and a little extra. One hint: If he doesn't plan to work as much when he is in school, he might be able to write a letter to his financial aid office telling them the situation and his expected income once he starts school. That is how I became eligible for so much more money in grants and loans.
Also, as others have said, grants/scholarships are obviously the best, then government loans, then government backed loans, and finally private loans (I don't like private loans through independent loan agencies). Good luck to him! Education is worth the cost, time and energy!
The bad news here is that Astronomy is tough to get a real paying gig in. I've seen Physicists do Electronics, Mechanics, Nuclear and they can generally spread theirselves around. But Astronomy is pure tough as hell to find openings in; and its politics in a lot of cases. Teaching and an academic life may be only route.