1. k.little90
    Offline

    k.little90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Smalltown, USA

    College... Troubling Situation

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by k.little90, Mar 21, 2011.

    I need some advice! I would appreciate any and all that anyone is willing to give to me :) Complicated and messy.... here we go...

    I'm currently employeed by the University that I attend school at. One of the benifits of my position is that I get half off tuition. Because of this, I've been able to pay off my tuition upfront at the beginning of each semester rather than taking any loans out (tuition for each semester totals about $3000, and that's not including books.) I'm proud to say that I'm debt free!

    The downside to my job is that I work nights. It was ok to begin with, but now that I've done it for over a year I can tell that it is really taking a toll on my body. And my grades. I'm in danger of failing two of my four courses this semester, not because I don't study, but because I'm too gosh darn TIRED to attend class. I get off of work at 0700 in the morning and have to battle with myself to stay awake long enough to attend my classes. My classes don't get over until 2:00 in the afternoon, so by the time I drive home and crawl into bed, I've been up for over 24 hours straight.

    I've decided that I can no longer work nights, which means I have to quit my job because my boss is unwilling to oblige me by switching me to days.

    My options are life-altering, to say the least, and I'm torn as to what to do. I can....

    1.) Save up as much as I can inbetween semesters and take out loans to make up for the rest.

    2.) Transfer to a community college so I can afford to pay everything up front.

    3.) Be a professional student and live off of loans. Basically, not have a day job.

    What option do you think I should go with? Does anyone have any other ideas?

    I'm so lost :(
     
  2. Arathald
    Offline

    Arathald Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Seattle
    What time do you generally go into work? If you're getting off at 7am, and attend classes until 2pm, it seems like there should be time to sleep in between without having to be up for 24 hours?

    I would say neither 1 nor 3 is a bad option, but you lose out on the great savings.

    What do you do for the school?

    Is there another related job or department you could get into without dealing with your current boss?

    Is your boss aware that you're likely to quit is you don't get your schedule changed?

    Also, have you talked to your professors to see if there's any way they can help you out (some professors are okay with students missing class, especially for a good reason, and will make sure you know what you missed and when you *do* have to come in for quizzes and tests)?

    Let's start with those questions for now and see where we get.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    I haven't fully investigated this option yet, but I've heard that some universities will let you do a payment plan throughout the year to pay off your tuition. That way, you could find another job, one that didn't take such a toll on your body (working nights sucks, dude. I feel you.), and pay off the full tuition amount across the year, rather than taking out loans. Maybe that's an option at the school you go to?
     
  4. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    I worked during my third to fifth years of university (I never remember the difference between college and university). However, I just Worked for four hours and left six for studying (with a bit more for "lab work").

    Things I learned from that experience:
    - My average went from 9/10 in the first two years to about 5.5/10. However, nobody ever cared about that.
    - I finished in the expected 5 years. However, nobody ever cared about that.
    - I ate crappy machine sandwiches for three years, destroying my metabolism, and it took me years to recover it. However, nobody ever cared about that.

    - Having three more years of experience than my classmates was the one and only parameter that got me better jobs.

    So, if your work is adding you experience in your field of study, I'd suggest setting it as priority and trying to reduce your time at the university to be able to continue doing both. Talk to your teachers, explain your situation and ask if it'd be possible to do only half a year per year, or some similar deal.

    Once you've finished studying, the time it took will be forgotten and the only important parameter will be your experience.

    Mentioning you were capable of working while studying will also put you over all who just studied.
     
  5. The Degenerate
    Offline

    The Degenerate Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    New Jersey
    You work for the University, yet they aren't flexible enough with your scheduling for classes? That's absurd to me, especially employing you until 7:00 in the AM.
     
  6. PurpleCandle
    Offline

    PurpleCandle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    NC
    I know this is hard situation, I have had to do something similar. Although I am still in much debt!

    By the end of my BA, I could not function!

    But, I am glad to say I made it through, thanks mostly to Monster Energy Drinks and 5 hour energy shots.

    A part of me wants to advise you to stick with it. Which is probably bad advice for your sanity....but, once it is over, IT IS OVER!!!!

    Think of the positives, debt free with an education from a university rather than a community college.

    A few years of hell is probably worth it in the end!

    However, I really recommend that you take it easy on yourself. Find an activity once a week where someone has to wait on you..Go to a salon, get a message.

    Have a hobby besides sleeping :). I always tried to have some sort of passion that gave me Me Time. Heck, I even colored an entire kids fairy coloring book over the course of a month. It was the only thing I had time for, but each page gave me 15 minutes of silence in my head!

    Take vitamins and eat as good as you can to give you some extra energy (believe me it helps!)

    You can make it through this!!!!!
     
  7. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    I fear loans, so personally I'd avoid it like the plague, especially if you still have graduate school or something beyond that in your plans, or if you're getting a degree in something that won't easily translate to job opportunities afterwards. So I'd maybe go with the community college option. Ugh, it's so hard to know what to do especially if you really don't know what will happen once you have that degree. My sympathies with everything you've gone through with work & school.
     
  8. LordKyleOfEarth
    Offline

    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX. USA
    Medical research studies over the summer (you can make ~$2,000 in one month of weekend-only studies), loans to cover the semester, a part-time easy job concurrent with classes, and frugal living. You'll be fine.

    A professor once gave me this sage wisdom:
    "If you need to take loans, take them. The difference in pay, over the course of your life, will eclipse the loans. And education builds more than job skills; It build character. How can you deny bettering yourself for fear of a monthly payment? Take the loans Kyle, and finish what you started"

    Also using community college is totally fine. I did several years of CC before I transfered. The quality of education is pretty much the same.
     
  9. Porcupine
    Offline

    Porcupine Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I think you should just look at the hard facts here. Is your course of study going to take you somewhere that will earn you money? Then take out the loans and study hard. If not, explore the other options.
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i can only recommend option #2... you shouldn't go into debt, for any reason... that way lies only disaster... or at least serious complications for you, down the road...
     
  11. SonnehLee
    Offline

    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    6,112
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Far away from home
    Ok, have you looked to see what grants you qualify for and stuff?

    I would also suggest talking to your school counselor about your situation, see if she has any good suggestions for your predicament. She/he would be in a much better position to tell you what other options you have at this point. Maybe there is a different work-study option you qualify for that we couldn't possibly know about.
     
  12. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Not in a position to advise you on the best approach but would like to say I think you're on solid ground thinking something needs to change: few things more disruptive of health and well-being than buggered-up sleeping patterns.
    Good luck.
     
  13. Baywriter
    Offline

    Baywriter Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    814
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Toronto
    There are TONS of scholarships and free money that you can apply for, so you don't necessarily have to take out loans to pay for school. Either way, you should focus on school. If your job is unrelated to your field of study and isn't going to help you in the long run (and you don't need to sustain yourself), then I would just focus on school. However, if your semesters are only $3,000 (and I say "only" because my semesters are $20,000 each), then you wouldn't be taking out that much in loans anyway, depending on how long you plan on staying in school. You pay them back over 10 years. Not telling you to do that because you definitely should avoid loans if you can, but if it's your only option, you don't want to deny yourself a good education because of it.

    However, there ARE payment plan options for almost every university I've ever heard of, so I'd be meeting with financial aid if I were you. Best of luck! Let us know how it turns out!
     
  14. Thanshin
    Offline

    Thanshin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spain
    For $20k I'd expect direct knowledge transfer à la Matrix.

    "I know Kung-Fu!"
    "That'll be $20k"
    "But I didn't ask Kung-Fu! I asked Principles of distributed automata!"
     
  15. tiggertaebo
    Offline

    tiggertaebo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    I'm not sure how relevant my experiences are since I went to university in the UK and the way our student "loans" work is that you only pay them back while you are earning over a certain amount (and the payments vary in accordance to your earnings) so borrowing the money is virtually risk free. In my case if I hadn't had the loans then I wouldn't have been able to afford to go simple as that, even then I needed to work during the breaks between terms in order to make ends meet. I could have worked during term time to supplement my income but I didn't see the sense in compromising my studies.

    It sounds to me like the work is definately adversely affecting your ability to study at the moment so I would suggest you need to make a change, your half price tutition doesn't seem like good value if you are only getting 40% of the education because you can't stay awake in the lectures you are in. Personally I would be asking your employer that if you can't move to days can you work less hours overall and if you get nowhere there I'd looking for other part time work more compatible with your class schedule.
     
  16. Azhigher
    Offline

    Azhigher Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, if the total tuition for the semester is 3k and working at the college gets you half off, thats only $1500. Is that more or less than the toll the job is taking on your body?

    Depending on how many more semesters of school you have to go through I'd say if working at the job is going to negatively affect your grades in a real way, you owe it to yourself to quit and focus on school. Losing out on ~$1500 every six months seems like a small price to pay to be able to actually get through school. Besides, if you get out of school with less than 10k in debt I'd say you're pretty darn well off.
     

Share This Page