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  1. #1
    Can't be satisfied. Peter Deadpan's Avatar
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    Default Non-traditional student, bad HS transcripts, no SAT/ACT, some credits with 4.0 GPA

    Plaese halp.

    I want to challenge myself and get a degree. I have narrowed down what I want to go for, but I'm not sure how to actually get there.

    I'm 33 with kids, single, and a job that I can afford to work upper part-time hours and still get by. I'll probably need to enroll in something that is 100% online because of the above restrictions. I was technically a highschool dropout with a GPA that started with a zero followed by a decimal. I'm not exaggerating. I ended up getting my HSED via alternative schooling and graduated 6 months early. I went back to school, just a technical college for generals and only sporadically. I think I have like... maybe 24 credits tops, but my GPA is 4.0. I've been out of school for years.

    I'm pretty fucking capable, and my most significant source of depression is in feeling trapped and like the poster child for wasted potential, and fearing I'll lie on my deathbed regretting my entire life of ordinariness and surrendering to the status quo. Therefore, I really want to get into a top notch University, but obviously financing and actually being accepted are hurdles of monumental proportion. Being a lower-income single mom with a credit score in the excellent range should help with grants and loans, but I also don't wanna be broke for all of eternity and just end up regretting this decision too.

    If there is one thing that overwhelms me, it's getting all my ducks in a row for this type of stuff. There is so much to consider, so many steps, and so much I could overlook or miss.

    1. Do I even have a chance of getting into a high quality University?
    2. Do I need to take the SAT/ACT?
    3. Can I write a cover letter of sorts to explain and sell myself in order to compensate for my shitty HS transcripts? (obstacles, perseverance, ability, drive, etc.)
    4. How do I figure out what school is actually going to cost and budget accordingly? Do I just do a FAFSA and start contacting enrollment departments all willy-nilly?

    This is even worse than doing my taxes.
    '“Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel.
    And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new.

    Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.

    - look it up yourself


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  2. #2
    Liberator Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Deadpan View Post
    Plaese halp.

    I want to challenge myself and get a degree. I have narrowed down what I want to go for, but I'm not sure how to actually get there.

    I'm 33 with kids, single, and a job that I can afford to work upper part-time hours and still get by. I'll probably need to enroll in something that is 100% online because of the above restrictions. I was technically a highschool dropout with a GPA that started with a zero followed by a decimal. I'm not exaggerating. I ended up getting my HSED via alternative schooling and graduated 6 months early. I went back to school, just a technical college for generals and only sporadically. I think I have like... maybe 24 credits tops, but my GPA is 4.0. I've been out of school for years.

    I'm pretty fucking capable, and my most significant source of depression is in feeling trapped and like the poster child for wasted potential, and fearing I'll lie on my deathbed regretting my entire life of ordinariness and surrendering to the status quo. Therefore, I really want to get into a top notch University, but obviously financing and actually being accepted are hurdles of monumental proportion. Being a lower-income single mom with a credit score in the excellent range should help with grants and loans, but I also don't wanna be broke for all of eternity and just end up regretting this decision too.

    If there is one thing that overwhelms me, it's getting all my ducks in a row for this type of stuff. There is so much to consider, so many steps, and so much I could overlook or miss.

    1. Do I even have a chance of getting into a high quality University?
    2. Do I need to take the SAT/ACT?
    3. Can I write a cover letter of sorts to explain and sell myself in order to compensate for my shitty HS transcripts? (obstacles, perseverance, ability, drive, etc.)
    4. How do I figure out what school is actually going to cost and budget accordingly? Do I just do a FAFSA and start contacting enrollment departments all willy-nilly?

    This is even worse than doing my taxes.
    Yes, you have a good chance of getting into a good university. Many appreciate older students who have experienced real life and real responsibility, because they take their education more seriously and are more focused and goal-oriented. In my experience, though, the better universities will expect you to do many/most of your courses in person, so you may need to consider that in your plans. You might be able to take classes in the morning and work in the afternoon, for instance, or concentrate your classes on a couple days. You will almost certainly need to take SAT or ACT, which one depends on the school.

    Before that, though, you should know what you want to do with your university degree. Related to that, what do you want to study? If you have 24 credits and a good GPA from technical college, your high school record shouldn't matter. I suggest you start by narrowing down your university choices by major of study and location. Can you relocate? If so, where? If not, you are limited to universities within commuting distance. Contact not the admissions offices, but the department offices for what you want to study. Explain your situation, be clear on your goal ("earn a BS/BA in subject X so I can go on to do career Y or grad program Z") and ask their advice. Get them to want you as a student, and they will connect you with the right people in admissions, etc. (I actually did this myself at one point in my educational career.)

    If cost is an issue, consider doing the first year or two at community college if there is a decent one in your area. They are much cheaper, and often more accommodating to older or non-traditional students. You are more likely to find online classes there to satisfy basic requirements. Some have agreements with universities so classes will transfer, or students will be accepted if they do well at the CC.

    Application deadlines are coming up for fall semester in many places, so you should start looking soon. Feel free to PM or chat if you have more specific questions. I have helped several folks navigate university in RL and am happy to share what I know.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #3
    ƃuıǝǝs | seeing Snow as White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Deadpan View Post
    Plaese halp.

    I want to challenge myself and get a degree. I have narrowed down what I want to go for, but I'm not sure how to actually get there.

    I'm 33 with kids, single, and a job that I can afford to work upper part-time hours and still get by. I'll probably need to enroll in something that is 100% online because of the above restrictions. I was technically a highschool dropout with a GPA that started with a zero followed by a decimal. I'm not exaggerating. I ended up getting my HSED via alternative schooling and graduated 6 months early. I went back to school, just a technical college for generals and only sporadically. I think I have like... maybe 24 credits tops, but my GPA is 4.0. I've been out of school for years.

    I'm pretty fucking capable, and my most significant source of depression is in feeling trapped and like the poster child for wasted potential, and fearing I'll lie on my deathbed regretting my entire life of ordinariness and surrendering to the status quo. Therefore, I really want to get into a top notch University, but obviously financing and actually being accepted are hurdles of monumental proportion. Being a lower-income single mom with a credit score in the excellent range should help with grants and loans, but I also don't wanna be broke for all of eternity and just end up regretting this decision too.

    If there is one thing that overwhelms me, it's getting all my ducks in a row for this type of stuff. There is so much to consider, so many steps, and so much I could overlook or miss.

    1. Do I even have a chance of getting into a high quality University?
    2. Do I need to take the SAT/ACT?
    3. Can I write a cover letter of sorts to explain and sell myself in order to compensate for my shitty HS transcripts? (obstacles, perseverance, ability, drive, etc.)
    4. How do I figure out what school is actually going to cost and budget accordingly? Do I just do a FAFSA and start contacting enrollment departments all willy-nilly?

    This is even worse than doing my taxes.
    I am going back to school in my 30s to find my new path in life. ^TM

    I have gone through a lot of the fears (been rejected for the nursing program I want) and just am continuing to plow through because I have let myself dissolve into a puddle of wasted potential and opportunity too many times already in my life.

    I have found that the schools and professors really do appreciate having an older student coming back to school. I've been shocked at the amount of kindness and help I have received (and sort of loathing it at the same time because why not make it all terrible mentally? ).

    How I went about this was researching which fields showed job growth potential for the next ten years. Then researching each option with a realistic "would i want to do this? can i do this?" approach. I settled down at 2 concepts: therapist or nurse. realized the type of psychology i would prefer going into would require me to take on 75-100k+ in debt while making a fraction of that each year. discarded this idea. looked into nursing. realized i can get it done with a reasonable amount of debt at about 25-30k when the jobs make much more than that. realized it has a myriad of potential end points that all looked interesting down the road and that i can avoid burn out and boredom by creating my own path.

    so that's why i am doing this. maybe that can help you find your way of doing things.

    but i do know that it really fucking sucks being stuck in a depression rut knowing you are better than where you have gotten yourself and yet feeling stuck in this sticky amber tar trap with no way out.
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  4. #4
    King Ping Mayflower's Avatar
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    Hello! Let me start with your questions at the bottom...

    1. Do I even have a chance of getting into a high quality University?
    -It depends on what you mean by "high quality". If you mean name brand like Harvard or Princeton, you may encounter trouble. In my experience, most colleges are similar in the actual taught quality, but school prestige gives some degrees more weight than others. Since you're looking to go the online route, you may have an easier time finding one, though online courses cost more.

    2. Do I need to take the SAT/ACT?
    -Since the ACT/SAT is becoming the entrance norm, there's a good chance that it is mandatory. If not, you may have to take something else to prove comprehension.

    3. Can I write a cover letter of sorts to explain and sell myself in order to compensate for my shitty HS transcripts? (obstacles, perseverance, ability, drive, etc.)
    -I am uncertain of how much weight that will carry but you can. It depends on where you plan to enroll at. I didn't write anything when I applied and got accepted by a pretty decent institution (my HS GPA around 2.6, my ACT was 15, too low; average is 20. Took it again, 19. Scored poor in the reading section so I had to pay to take an aptitude test for it there. Aced it. Note that I was already accepted before I did this.) I believe they'll work with you since you actually got drive.

    4. How do I figure out what school is actually going to cost and budget accordingly? Do I just do a FAFSA and start contacting enrollment departments all willy-nilly?
    -Most universities have their admission costs posted on their site (plus additional fees, maintenance, sports, etc). Make sure you're accepted before you file a fafsa (that's the real fun). The Pell Grant covers a bit above $2700 a semester/5,500 year (if you qualify for that much).

    P.S. Don't quote me!! I'm a Fk up
    Time You Enjoy Wasting is Not Wasted Time - Marthe Troly-Curtin,
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  5. #5

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    Even though I'm pro-education, there's a glut of degrees out there, regardless of the ranking of the colleges. This translates to the under-employment of millennials where their degrees don't often provide sufficient return for their investment. Relative to your situation, in order to take care of a family, work part time and go to school full-time, you'll have to peel back your sleep to around four to five hours since the better the college, the greater the competition and work load.

    MIT costs around $70K+/annum. Ivy league around $50K+. It's possible to get a full ride scholarship but a 4.0 GPA usually won't cut it, whether for admission or full ride. As a way to gauge your current abilities, take the SAT or ACT.

    Frankly, if I were in your situation, I'd shoot for a trade like electrician since they can't be replaced by AI. The BLS is predicting a job growth rate of 9%.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member mgbradsh's Avatar
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    I worked with this guy, he was new to the trade. I was hoping he would be successful given the right support and guidance. I got him a bunch of tools and a pouch so he'd be able to hit the ground running.

    He did not. He didn't last a month. It taught me some of that knowledge and experience (even what tools to get) has to be learned. There is value in that. You have to learn to take those steps.

    I would say in this case, university is daunting. It doesn't get less daunting once you're in there. It can be a damn maze, which courses you have to take, when you have to take them, charting a path to a degree, it's hard. And once you figure it out it changes.

    My advice: call the school. Call a few if you aren't sure. They'll be able to guide you through the entry requirements and answer your questions. If you're serious about being there it's a step you're going to have to take at some point anyways.

    I think you know all that though.
    ”Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."
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  7. #7
    Can't be satisfied. Peter Deadpan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bechimo View Post
    Even though I'm pro-education, there's a glut of degrees out there, regardless of the ranking of the colleges. This translates to the under-employment of millennials where their degrees don't often provide sufficient return for their investment. Relative to your situation, in order to take care of a family, work part time and go to school full-time, you'll have to peel back your sleep to around four to five hours since the better the college, the greater the competition and work load.

    MIT costs around $70K+/annum. Ivy league around $50K+. It's possible to get a full ride scholarship but a 4.0 GPA usually won't cut it, whether for admission or full ride. As a way to gauge your current abilities, take the SAT or ACT.

    Frankly, if I were in your situation, I'd shoot for a trade like electrician since they can't be replaced by AI. The BLS is predicting a job growth rate of 9%.

    Access Denied
    I'd legitimately rather kill myself, and I do not care how irrational that sounds. But thank you anyway.
    '“Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel.
    And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new.

    Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.

    - look it up yourself


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  8. #8
    Can't be satisfied. Peter Deadpan's Avatar
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    I'll be back to respond to the rest of you. Thanks for the support and input.
    '“Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel.
    And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new.

    Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.

    - look it up yourself



  9. #9
    The Bat Man highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Deadpan View Post
    1. Do I even have a chance of getting into a high quality University? 2. Do I need to take the SAT/ACT? 3. Can I write a cover letter of sorts to explain and sell myself in order to compensate for my shitty HS transcripts? (obstacles, perseverance, ability, drive, etc.) 4. How do I figure out what school is actually going to cost and budget accordingly? Do I just do a FAFSA and start contacting enrollment departments all willy-nilly? This is even worse than doing my taxes.
    You should definitely do this . You should take the ACT if you are going to a Midwest school . State schools are the best value for the money in my opinion - like UW Madison is a great school . I think you can just look up the school you are interested in and there should be information on what it costs. I think you can just contact admissions and get info on how to apply .
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  10. #10
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    I'm confident you can do it.
    A path is made by walking on it.

    -Zhuangzi




    "And I tried to harmonize with songs," the lonesome sparrow sings.
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