Starting over at 25....(going to College in 2 years)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    Okay I'm try to keep it short.

    Right now I'm going on some years being in the military and I'm finally at a point where I can achieve my goal to dedicated myself to take classes to join the officer corp of US Air Force. The only issue with that is I would have to leave Active Duty in 2 years or 1 and 1/2 and complete the rest of my classes and ROTC in order to earn my commission.

    Leaving active duty to become a student is one big stipulation =NO JOB!!! But I would be taking a step to further my accelerate my goals in months instead of years. I don't know what I'm going to do for cash. As it stands now I'm paying off consumer credit card debt and a auto loan if I'll be done in two years.

    What are my options for having something to live off of as a student. Mind you I won't be a 18something or 20 year old who has his families full support. And also I wont' be attending school a full 4 years just 2 or 2 and 1/2 due to classes i'm already taking now.

    Advice PLS!!! Thank you
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    Apr 27, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
    It depends on the college, but a lot of colleges have a work-study program. Each program is unique to the institution, though, so it's hardly an across-the-board solution. And I don't know if you'll have issues paying for the actual schooling, but scholarships are a huge help in paying your way through college.

    I don't know how much this will help, but you might try checking out the student resources center at the school you're attending? icon_smile.gif
  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Apr 27, 2010 12:48 AM GMT
    Work study is a good option-- if you have a particular specialty you can tutor, which will often turn you a little more per hour than other student jobs. Think too about what you want your resume to look like when you graduate-- you have a job in mind, so what skills do you want that will best suit what you want to do with the Air Force? If you can get a job that's part of your education, your time will be better spent.

    On the other hand, you make a lot more money bartending or something like that . . . all depends on how much you need to live on.
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    Apr 27, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    Doing it part-time is not an option? I've really no idea, the Australian Defence Force pays for all training and study. But can they not work something out for you for the mere fact you will be continuing your career with them?

    Hope you do alright though, I don't envy you! I'm doing a Masters part-time, but I am lucky to have a very supportive and flexible employer.
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    Apr 27, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    where I went to undergrad, several students were in ROTC (scholarships for students of all ages). In addition, there were scholarships for good grade. Third, there were positions on campus called Resident Advisors, or, RAs.
    These RAs got free room and board and were, essentially floor supervisors.
    As a military person, you could sleep through these requirements, as you've lived them. I think that's a great way to help pay for school.

    Good luck! Work-study, there are other positions on campus that can help. Talk it over with your school's admissions officer and/or financial aid officer and/or the ROTC program.

    WIsh the best for ya.

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 27, 2010 1:05 AM GMT
    It's going to vary a tremendous amount from school to school. Some general guidelines:

    File your FAFSA. Go to the official site and file it as early as you can. It's free, so all it will cost you is some time, and many universities will not even consider you for financial aid if you haven't filed one.

    Talk with the Financial Aid office at your specific school. The fact that you are 25 and self supporting should get you a fairly generous aid package, given that your parents' income shouldn't count in the calculations. Oddly enough, that might actually make it less expensive for you in particular to go to a big name private school -- with their endowments, they often offer tremendous financial aid packages to students with low family income, and on your own you should certainly qualify.

    If you need a loan, student loans typically have significantly better interest rates than other types of loans. They are also essentially impossible to get rid of other than by paying them back (ie bankruptcy doesn't typically erase student loans like it does car loans or the like), but I'm assuming you're planning on paying it back, not defaulting. Look for one with a fixed interest rate and which doesn't accumulate interest while you're still enrolled full time.

    Since you are already looking at being a student for 2 or 2.5 years instead of 4, keep in mind that you will not be having the stereotypical college experience. As such, give serious consideration to trying to complete your general education requirements and intro level classes at a legitimate community college, and transfer to a 4-year college/university for the end of your BA or BS. It may save you a tremendous amount of money, and many colleges and universities have formal agreements with a number of local community colleges about transferring credit and course sequences.

    A large number of student jobs are based on work study. Not all are, however. If you're a good student, you can try for a job tutoring in the athletic department, which at many schools is not part of work study -- it's also a more interesting job and better for your resume/CV than swiping ID cards at the gym or bussing trays at the cafeteria. Another possibility is to look into getting a job with student disability services; I had a good friend who got a job reading textbooks aloud into a audio recorder for blind students.

    If you're good at standardized tests and have access to reliable transportation, teaching test prep at one of the big names like Kaplan can earn you far more per hour than a typical student job. Beyond jobs on your campus, retail and food service nearby will be used to dealing with student schedules and part time availability. Having a military background should make you relatively attractive to such employers, as it makes it much more likely that you'll show up on time, follow orders, and the like. Use that to your advantage.

    Look at your budget, and figure out what's actually an essential, and what's a luxury. Living with roommates if you're not already will almost certainly cut your housing expenses. It's thoroughly possible for a single person in the US to live on $25 a week for food if you budget and plan things out -- and eat a lot of staples like eggs, milk, beans, oatmeal, etc. High speed internet is great, but if you need to trim the budget you can rely on connections at the library. Cable's entertaining, but not truly necessary. Campus gyms are often crowded and don't have as convenient of hours as commercial gyms, but are also far cheaper. Etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2010 1:29 AM GMT
    Like he said
  • totorosc

    Posts: 55

    Apr 27, 2010 1:41 AM GMT
    Figure out how much debt you have right now. If you have credit cards, work on paying them off at a faster rate. If you have an car note, pay it off or hell sell your car for a cheaper and more reliable car.

    Look for scholarships for military personal. I'm sure that they exist and there's probably a lot of money to be given to you in addition to your GI Bill.

    Fill out a FAFSA to get some aid. Pick a good college that has good instructional aid centers, like minority tutoring centers to help you get a 3.5+ in those math, science, and engineering classes.
  • MilitaryWolf

    Posts: 43

    Apr 27, 2010 1:54 AM GMT
    Have you looked into the AECP, ASCP, or SOAR programs the Air Force offers? They'll discharge you early and send you directly into commission letting you finish your education and come back as an officer. They even pay full tuition and give you E-5 pay while you're doing it.

    I'm in the same boat as you but I'm too lazy to go through the application process of those special programs so I'm just separating and going to ROTC during college. I still have about three years left of school though so I've got a lot of time.

    Also if you haven't signed up for the Post 9/11 GI bill it could help out too since you'll get full tuition pay plus Staff Sergeant w/ dependent BAH.

    Just a few things to throw out there. If you want to know any in depth details feel free to message me. I've studied this topic extensively since I'm doing the same thing. I've pretty much got all the angles covered.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 27, 2010 1:59 AM GMT
    Thanks guys, your awesome!
    @gumbosolo- I'm planning on returning to Law Enforcement or at least Air Force Office of Special Investigations. I loved being a Military Police while I was overseas. I just didn't like grunt work when they change the jobs over to cilvans.

    @AussieBody-There is a program available however, it's for special technical degrees and Foreign languages. That program you stay active duty and get all the pay and benefits as you would if you were in your enlistment. It's a highly competitive program but just takes work, however, needless to say it's well worth it.

    @MSUBioNerd-Thanks for all the valuable input. I have an appt with the base edu advisor tomorrow and were going to talk about some options for me and what classes I need to be on a fast track for a Bachelors.

    @LGWC & @TOTORSC- FASA I remember this from my Sr years in high school. I will definitely apply once I'm at the point I have to leave the military.

    @MilitaryWolf-Thanks man, I would just wait to Seperate also but I've just finished 1 whole enlistment on my second one so I need to get down to business. I will be in touch though!!

    Thanks again guys. I'll post again if I'm in a bind.