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626385

How do we working students go about paying for school?

I'm a non-traditional (recent graduate of a 4-year university, going back to school to take my BCP) and see no avenues of financial aid available for fulfilling pre-reqs. Post-bac programs are a dead-end for me and fulfilling the classes at a 4-year university will cost about $15,000 here. Banks aren't lending (especially to students without school certification) and it seems the federal and state governments want nothing to do with us non-trads.

I can't pay $15,000 and I'm not fortunate enough to have rich family...so what do I do?

Am I doomed to community college? :(
 

OBK

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Mar 24, 2009
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get a cosigner on your loan
 

mspeedwagon

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It's with very good reason I work full-time, part-time and take one class in the evening at a time. It takes a lot of dedication, but at least I have no debt and enough saved to pay off my first two years of medical school and put a down payment down on a home.

My advice is to work and take the pre-reqs (Harvard Ext, Berkeley Ext and a lot of other schools have evening programs for people like you). I strongly discourage getting a co-signer (you never know if you will be able to pay it off or not and you are putting the other persons credit at risk) and you are definitely not going to get a loan.


How do we working students go about paying for school?

I'm a non-traditional (recent graduate of a 4-year university, going back to school to take my BCP) and see no avenues of financial aid available for fulfilling pre-reqs. Post-bac programs are a dead-end for me and fulfilling the classes at a 4-year university will cost about $15,000 here. Banks aren't lending (especially to students without school certification) and it seems the federal and state governments want nothing to do with us non-trads.

I can't pay $15,000 and I'm not fortunate enough to have rich family...so what do I do?

Am I doomed to community college? :(
 
Jun 11, 2009
45
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I know three people taking post-bac or undergrad work who decided to go to work for the university they're taking classes from. One dude is an EKG tech/phlebotomist who works for the university hospital. One dude was a landscaper in his prior life who got a gig in the maintenance/landscaping department. The other gal I know doesn't have a "trade" per se, but she works as a part time admin assistant and part time test proctor.

All three of them get to take some classes for free, and some at a steeply discounted rate. None of the jobs pay very well - certainly not as much as they could make working for someone else, but the bennies make up for the lack of salary.

Hey - might not work for you, but it's food for thought.
 
Mar 28, 2010
16
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Oklahoma
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Pre-Medical
I'm 27 and all I do is fill out FAFSA each semester. I get more than enough to live on after the school takes their cut. Sure, I'll be up to my eyeballs in debt when I graduate, but I'm not worried about it; I'll be making a physicians salary and I know how to live frugally.

What's your situation? I don't see how you wouldn't be able to get loans for school unless you had some unique circumstances. As for me, I'm just a regular dude, not a veteran or anything like that and I have no credit history to speak of. I'm married, but that doesn't really help much financially. If I wasn't married, I would just live in the dorms.

Without more details, I can't really see why you absolutely can't get money for school unless you just don't want to take on the debt.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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Some people have mentioned that it's possible to get loans for the post-bac via the FAFSA/Dept. of Ed. I think the Dept. of Ed makes its loans through the school. At my state U, they do not offer financial aid to post-bac non-degree candidates as a matter of policy.

Might this be something that varies by school?
 

mspeedwagon

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Yup, it varies by school. SFSU and the states schools in CA do not give loans to non-degree post-bac students for the most part (you can be a 2nd degree seeking post-bac student and be eligible, at least at SFSU).

Some people have mentioned that it's possible to get loans for the post-bac via the FAFSA/Dept. of Ed. I think the Dept. of Ed makes its loans through the school. At my state U, they do not offer financial aid to post-bac non-degree candidates as a matter of policy.

Might this be something that varies by school?
 

mooshika

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Jan 13, 2010
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As long as you are half time (6 credits or more) you can get federal student loans you don't have to be "enrolled" in a program.
 

da Vincis World

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As long as your other grades are high, go be "doomed" at the community college.

Lot's of folks take prereqs at community colleges. I did and no one ever mentioned it at interviews. Just get A's.
 
6

626385

Some people have mentioned that it's possible to get loans for the post-bac via the FAFSA/Dept. of Ed. I think the Dept. of Ed makes its loans through the school. At my state U, they do not offer financial aid to post-bac non-degree candidates as a matter of policy.

Might this be something that varies by school?
I believe it's a state issue. My three local state universities - UC San Diego, San Diego State, and Cal State San Marcos - do not offer any type of financial aid to post-bac students and will not certify federal loans through FAFSA. Bummer. :(

As long as you are half time (6 credits or more) you can get federal student loans you don't have to be "enrolled" in a program.
Do you have any more information on this? I'll be taking 16-18 units per quarter/semester.

I might have gone a little far with the word "doomed," haha. My undergraduate GPA was 2.93, so I feel it will be important to demonstrate that I can excel at a 4-year university level. If I didn't think it would hurt my application, I would take the pre-reqs at CC in a heartbeat.
 

GatorPhD

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With a 4-yr degree, you are entitled to a one time Federal Stafford Loan for one year to return to UGrad school. I did it when I attended Bryn Mawr's PB program. Submit the FAFSA and fill out the paperwork and you're good to go. Talk to the folks in the financial aid office at your school.
 

SEK1208

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Jan 18, 2009
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Just wondering what constitutes as "high" grades in the sense that going the community college route would not be harmful?
 

mspeedwagon

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Straight As. Unfortunately community colleges are seen to be weak and anything short of straight As puts a damper on your record. Also a 4.0 at a 4 yr is NOT equivalent to a 4.0 an a cc.


Just wondering what constitutes as "high" grades in the sense that going the community college route would not be harmful?
 

NTF

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1)Get a university job w/ tuition benefits.
2)Pay out of pocket
3)Go to CC and pay out of pocket

Whatever you do, DO NOT take out private educational loans unless you plan on having them paid back before you start medical school. (This goes for any unsecured debt before med school.)

I did #1.

Some schools do have Continuing Ed divisions or branch campuses that charge less for classes and sometimes offer intro science courses. Look into those as well.
 

postbacca

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1)Get a university job w/ tuition benefits.
2)Pay out of pocket
3)Go to CC and pay out of pocket

Whatever you do, DO NOT take out private educational loans unless you plan on having them paid back before you start medical school. (This goes for any unsecured debt before med school.)

I did #1.

Some schools do have Continuing Ed divisions or branch campuses that charge less for classes and sometimes offer intro science courses. Look into those as well.
Nontrad summarizes the options perfectly. If you're unable to pay out of pocket for a formal postbac or for your prereqs at a reputable four-year college then those are your options.

Another poster stated that a 4.0 at a four-year is not equivalent to a 4.0 at a CC. I would agree to an extent but also add that if you have a legitimate reason for having to take your prereqs at a CC such as scheduling conflicts or financial constraints then ACING your CC courses shouldn't make you less competitive than an applicant that received straight A's at a four-year and had no other major responsibilities.