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Back to School

Back to School

Old Dec 30th 2009, 10:38 pm
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Default Back to School

After a period of unemployment (I was laid off in August 1 day after my daughter was born, great timing! - lol) I have found a new position and start on the 11th Jan, its not perfect but its a job and I am grateful.

It became more and more apparent during my search that qualifications no matter how irrelevant or how long ago I obtained them are important in the US(I have 20 years experience in my field of work which for some company's account for nothing unless I have a 20 years old irrelevant degree!!).

I am researching the best and most cost efficient way to go from GCSE level education in the UK to a BA in Business or Computer Science. I have been in touch with the usual online uni's and the avg cost is above $30,000. Does anybody know of a cheaper way to obtain the degree and if so where can I go for some advice.

Somebody suggested I do 2 years in a community collage and then the last two in a recognized uni, therefore your degree is issued from the recognized uni, would this work.

Finally being a Perm Resident, where can I get student loans from?

Any help is appreciated
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Old Dec 30th 2009, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post
(1)Somebody suggested I do 2 years in a community collage and then the last two in a recognized uni, therefore your degree is issued from the recognized uni, would this work.

(2) Finally being a Perm Resident, where can I get student loans from?

Any help is appreciated
(1) Definitely.

(2) Apply via FAFSA
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Old Dec 30th 2009, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post

Finally being a Perm Resident, where can I get student loans from?
Any old bank...

As for study, see if the uni will take your years experience to knock out a couple of years, any decent uni should.

They would in the UK and you could probably do a course online from a decent UK uni for much less money. My missus got her masters online from Kings College, only £3K a year v $20K that Northeastern wanted and it's a much better recognised degree in her field of study.
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Old Dec 30th 2009, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post
.

I am researching the best and most cost efficient way to go from GCSE level education in the UK to a BA in Business or Computer Science. I have been in touch with the usual online uni's and the avg cost is above $30,000. Does anybody know of a cheaper way to obtain the degree and if so where can I go for some advice.

Somebody suggested I do 2 years in a community collage and then the last two in a recognized uni, therefore your degree is issued from the recognized uni, would this work.

Finally being a Perm Resident, where can I get student loans from?

Any help is appreciated
$30K per year is about the average cost of attending a four-year school, however as a permanent resident you can qualify for in-state tuition at a public university which drastically reduces the tuition cost. Attending a community college for two-years is great way to get the basic classes completed for a bargain price.

As for loans: 1) Complete an FAFSA 2) Call in at your local bank and inquire. 3) Contact schools and inquire about their own loan, repayment and deferment programs.

NB: $30K for an online school is ridiculous to say the least.
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Old Dec 30th 2009, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Hey there, long time no see!
I was going to tell you to apply for citizenship but I see it hasn't been long enough yet.. you filed I-751 already though, right?
/end mother hen.
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Old Dec 30th 2009, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Hey there, long time no see!
I was going to tell you to apply for citizenship but I see it hasn't been long enough yet.. you filed I-751 already though, right?
/end mother hen.
HAHA, Thanks, yes I have applied for my conditions to be lifted, received my 1 year extension and done my biometrics appt before Christmas. Just waiting for the next step now
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Old Dec 31st 2009, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Back to School

Does your new employer offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit? They may not pay for all of it, but every little bit can help.

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post
HAHA, Thanks, yes I have applied for my conditions to be lifted, received my 1 year extension and done my biometrics appt before Christmas. Just waiting for the next step now
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Old Dec 31st 2009, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

I wish my husband could get his degree for under $30k. He wants to pursue a degree in computer forensics. There are very few who offer the degree online and he'll be pushing $60k + in student loans once he completes it. The uni he applied to did ask to see his resume, I presume to potentially give him credits for his experience, but I don't think he ended up getting any credit. He's been doing a lot of research on online computer degrees in recent months and he couldn't find very many reputable uni's that offered a decent degree (outdated coursework, or courses unrelated to what he wanted to take). I would suggest doing the first 2 years at a local community college, if that is an option for you. Our local CC's don't have any evening courses that my OH could do, so he's been trapped into trying to find a reputable online uni that he can do completely online.

As an LPR you are eligible for Federal Financial Aid. When you select your school of choice, if they are worth their salt, their Fin. Aid dept will have you fill out a FAFSA application. I believe you can get student loans up to ~ $55k for an undergrad degree and quite a bit more than that for a grad level degree. You don't want to approach a private lender for a student loan at all, if you can help it. Oftentimes they will want you to begin repayment immediately, even if you haven't graduated yet, and I don't think the interest rates are as good.
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Old Dec 31st 2009, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

I would definitely go with an approach to applying for student aid and then student loans. The interest rate on a student loan is lower than any other interest rate available on a personal loan.

Also you should look into grants from your state. As for credit for years worked or even life experience, many colleges offer this. When I returned to school after nearly 20 years I was able to have some of my life experience applied towards academic credits. Not a lot -- 6 credits -- but that equals two classes or 1/2 a semester.

Be aware though that some grants require that you attend school full time. Look into accelerated programs. I know we have two colleges in my area that offer this. You can earn your BA in 2 years instead of the usual 4 years.
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 5:24 am
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Default Re: Back to School

I am at college at the moment and did my gen ed requirements at a community college, and transferred the credits obtained into a 4 year college. This is a much cheaper option. I was also able to have 2 classes waived and 12 credits granted for life experience. Whilst I had to write papers that pertained to the classes I was being granted credit for, it's a small effort and well worth it.

I am studying on an F1 Visa and was granted some nice scholarships based on my academic performance at the 2 year college. Diversity scholarships, (being British) and being a non traditional student enabled me to get a couple of smaller scholarships too. Just make sure that any college you attend is accredited, particularly any online ones, and you should be OK.
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post
Somebody suggested I do 2 years in a community collage and then the last two in a recognized uni, therefore your degree is issued from the recognized uni, would this work.
This is the route I am taking. In fact it's becoming so common (perhaps due to the current economic climate) that the majority of students that I attend classes with are also doing the same thing. Many of them are putting themselves through college (working and going to school) because their parents just can't help with tuition, and this is the most cost effective way of doing it.
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

I agree that for "in person" education (as opposed to online or distance ed), completing 2 years at community college is a good idea (primarily cheaper, and often more local/closer). Similar "non-traditional" avenues are growing in the UK (entry to Year 1 or 2 of a uni degree from an FE college), and I can see the economic climate (as Sue referred to) influencing higher education in this way and others (fast-track degrees, more vocational degrees, etc.).

Just a couple of caveats:

Find out what will transfer, and "how" it will transfer to a 4-year university. It's no good taking Introduction to Biology at Okefenokee Parochial College if this will not transfer into the University of Florida as the required Gen Ed biology class. Also, if you have an idea of what degree you want to pursue (and especially what university you want to attend), get online and find out what the course requirements are - again, so you can target classes at CC that will contribute to your chosen major at the 4-year university. You don't want to take 120 semester hours at CC only to find that 40 of them are of no use when transferring.

It's my perception that some CC's are a bit like high school (this is from talking with friends who teach/have taught at CC), so classroom disruption, student attitude, etc., may not be as good as you'd find if you attend a 4-year university. However, places vary so much that this is only a generalization. Plus, I'm presuming most BE members who are going "back to school" (as per thread title) are, ahem, "mature" students - so have the life experience and attitude to get past the potential immature behaviour of their fellow students in class and focus on studying and passing exams assignments.
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
.....
Find out what will transfer, and "how" it will transfer to a 4-year university. It's no good taking Introduction to Biology at Okefenokee Parochial College if this will not transfer into the University of Florida as the required Gen Ed biology class. Also, if you have an idea of what degree you want to pursue (and especially what university you want to attend), get online and find out what the course requirements are - again, so you can target classes at CC that will contribute to your chosen major at the 4-year university. You don't want to take 120 semester hours at CC only to find that 40 of them are of no use when transferring.

It's my perception that some CC's are a bit like high school (this is from talking with friends who teach/have taught at CC), so classroom disruption, student attitude, etc., may not be as good as you'd find if you attend a 4-year university. ....
Great advice. I was looking at potentially transferring to three 4 year colleges. There were classes that wouldn't transfer in for each of them. The college that was my first choice and the college I ultimately chose, didn't accept lots of classes from both the community college I attended and other 4 year colleges, because the classes didn't meet their academic standards. Also, I was only able to transfer in 68 credits so didn't bother to take more than that. Core classes, in my experience, taken at a CC will be more enjoyable than if taken at a 4 year college. They are not always necessarily easier, but it's a more relaxed environment and that makes a huge difference! I preferred the CC, as there were more non traditional students. Student attitude however, is comparable either way; sleeping, texting, talking, drama and general disinterest seem to be the norm at both CC and the 4 year college.
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Thanks for all the great advice, something I picked up from another thread is that I could do an MBA with a UK Uni and use my previous management experience to satisfy the entrance criteria. From the digging I have done this also appears to be the most cost effective option.

Does anybody see any downside from a US employer perspective in following this route?
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Old Jan 1st 2010, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Back to School

Originally Posted by Jmaster911 View Post

Does anybody see any downside from a US employer perspective in following this route?
nope, not really....just don't expect any kudos from a good UK uni to impress over here unless it's OxBridge.
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