Category Archives: Education

Financing and Education

educationI took my first Math 142 (College Mathematics) test tonight and I have to say I think I did pretty good. I did ALL (6 sections) of my homework for the class plus the practice test, so I was extremely prepared. He told us in advance that the test would look very similiar to the practice test. in actuality, it was a little different but pretty easy nonetheless since I was prepared.

A little background; when I decided to finish my college education to transform my life from poverty, I knew I had a long road to go. I knew that because of my extreme math & science deficiencies, it would take me double the time of the average high school graduate to complete this degree. I didn’t graduate high school and the only time I went to school on a regular basis was 7th – 8th grade. Prior to 7th grade I did not attend school and after 8th grade my life was EXTREMELY chaotic to put it mildly. A brief summary; my father died, i ran away from my grandparents and lived with my drug dealing aunt, then lived with a friend of hers, then stayed at a runaway shlter, then a psychiatric facility, then a group home. At 17 years old I recieved my G.E.D.

I’ve attended a University before, for 3 years, taking english, sociology, psych, paralegal..etc, classes that I found pretty easy. I tried to take Math and dropped out atleast 3-5 times over the years feeling it was too difficult. I wasted about $40,000 in student loans doing that. I thought of student loans like I did credit. Free money, from the government, doesnt really mean much, more where that came from, I don’t have to worry about paying it back and can get as much of it as I need. Boy was I wrong. I had no clue! No clue about finances in general in anyway , shape or form.

Now I am 34 years old, feeling old, with not much to show on paper for it. Experience is great, but it’s not the kind of experience you can put in the asset column on a financial portfolio. At 32 I decided that by the time I am 40 I want to have a minimum of a Masters degree, make $80,000 a year, own my own condo and look and feel amazing about my self and the career I am in. I want a career that will keep me healthy and happy and looking 25 when I am 75.

So currently I am taking my basic classes that I need to take to transfer into ASU and the past year I have focused hard on finally passing developmental and remedial Math/Algebra classes which I succeeded in completing this past December. Now I am finally past the remedial level and in a actual College Level Math class. The last math class I have to take in my college career. I am very excited.

Just on chance this past December I applied to Arizona State University to see what I needed left to take as far as classes in order to get accepted in. Turns out they accepted me immediately, and I could actually transfer there as soon as this Fall 2015.

BUT

I don’t think I can afford it.

I guess I wasn’t expected that dream to come true so fast, I was expecting to have about a year to go before I was accepted and I planned to figure out something in that time. But now that it’s in front of me on my plate, I am not sure what to do.

I came up with a Plan B in case I can’t afford to go to ASU this Fall or next Spring. I have been stressing and feeling depressed and anxious about what to do for a few weeks.

I’ve decided that if I can’t afford it, then instead of going deeper into debt, stressing, with mounting education bills at a university I cant afford and worrying about being kicked out for not paying tuition, I will attend my current community college for 2 more years to get a Associate in Applied Science: Strength Nutrition and Personal Training – http://www.gccaz.edu/academics/departments/fitness-wellness?id=11655.

After recieving the degree, I’ll stop going to school for a year and work a 2nd job in the evenings/weekends as a personal trainer. I’ll put all the income from the second job towards my student loans. I should be able to add another $1000 a month to my income from that. After paying about $12000 on my loans, they should be down enough that I can recieve enough financial aid to go to ASU for 2 years.

See once I am in graduate school, I qualify for other loans, it’s the funding of my undergraduate degree that is the problem.

What I didnt realize is that once you are no longer qualified to recieve student loans you cant recieve a pell grant. So if I cap out the $5’000 in loans I have left available for my undergraduate degree, which I would in ONE semester at ASU, then I can’t even get a pell grant to supplement my tuition. I’d have to find scholarships or pay it all on my own. That’s my understanding of it anyway. I’ve had ZERO luck with scholarships and I’ve applied to over a dozen in the past year, so I cant depend on that AND because my credit is so derogatory, I can’t even get a $10 loan, let alone a $12,000 loan I need to finish school?

so we’ll see, I am about to apply for financial aid, and I am putting ASU on the application, ASU will then tell me how much they expect me to pay out of pocket per semester and how much pell grant/loans I could get per semester. If my portion is less than $1000 I can do it, if it’s more than $1000 I am going for Plan B.