I am a junior in undergrad and 38 y/o. I had a very, very bad year last year due to things out of my control. I want to know how does everyone do it? Full time job, part time job, full time family. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
HI there. People usually say that non-trads get a little bit of a break on their UG grades because they are usually talking about grades that are ten years old. We then can reason that we have grown up and those grades are not reflective of who we are right now. BUT, if you are taking your undergrad classes now, I would say the grades are just as important as the 20 year old's grades that is sitting next to you in class.
Also, a lot of us have worked while taking classes and balanced a family too. i cannot really offer any advice save for the old "must have balance". If it is your dream, you can make it work.
Unfortunately, undergrad grades are just as important for the non-trad as they are to the younger applicant. And if those grades are recent and you're an "older" non-trad, they can be crucial. Also unfortunately depending on where you apply, even 20 year old grades can haunt you right out of the running, even if you've got 3 years of 3.8-4.0 grades with a huge courseload.
so what can you do. Take a lighter load. Get a tutor. and appreciate your family for their sacrifice too.
Good luck, BTW. I went back to school at 35yo with a toddler and an elementary school child at home and a husband who worked odd rotating shifts and was subject (sometimes fairly often) to being paged into work. I'm now an MSII. It can be done.