View Full Version : Looking at going back to school
February 14th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Greetings one and all!
I am a 41 yr old analytical chemist, who has dabbled in art most of my life, and attempted to seriously attack it the last 6 or 7 yrs. Art is where my passion lies, but between work and family, time spent is extremely limited. I have been to a few workshops and some open studio classes at the local community college, but long to have more focused instruction.
The work on this board has really increased my desire to persue not only an art education, but an art career. While there are no real atelier options available nearby, there is a small state university that has traditional art school program. But I need to work out some fiscal details. As the primary wage earner (sad as that sounds) I still need to consider how silly little things like utilities, mortgage, insurance, etc will get paid, if I drop off the workforce and go back to school.
Any input, suggestions , or advice would be graciously appreciated. At the moment I am cruising through the morass of financial aid, scholarship options to see what I can find.
Please feel free to throw your $0.02 in. Any assistance thinking outside the box is welcome.
February 14th, 2007, 04:19 PM
I went back to school when I was 26, and had a 5 year old step-son, and a 1 year old daughter when I started. Well, actually my daughter was born during my second year of school. I can tell you it was tough, but my wife and I found a way to do it.
I basically found a job where I could earn good money in a short amount of time, so I started selling drugs...haha just kidding. I worked as a valet, and after a year I got into the good clubs/restaurants and was making $400 to $500 a week in cash. I worked nights on only 3 days a week.
I also applied for every bit of financial aid I could. Being a student, and having a reduced income and a family also let us apply for welfare. Yes welfare. It was a big dent in my pride, but it was worth it. That also let my wife finish school too, and now both of us are doing very well.
You'll probably have to sacrifice a lot to be able to do it, but for me it was worth it.
February 14th, 2007, 06:44 PM
I don’t have any real pez pellets of advice, but I wanted to let you know that the adult students who were enrolled in my bachelor’s program were hands-down more dedicated, and got more out of their education than any of us straight-from-highschool brats. You’ll make it happen, and you’ll make a fabulous experience of it. Good luck.
February 14th, 2007, 11:59 PM
Jf, great story man. It really tells me about what kind of person you are. I respect your decisions a lot. I feel the same way that nothing should stand in front of you and your dreams. Live to have no regrets. I farted around in various colleges until dropping out all together. Soon after a light bulb went off and went back to school. I enrolled at a local state college which was afar cry from RISD but the experience made me realize what i wanted. I took out many a student loan and went back to RISD. I never have grown so much in such a short time ever and I have never looked back once.
Apply for financial aid ASAP! The window opens January 1st. Get that app in and when you get your income tx info go back into it and finish it up.
February 15th, 2007, 01:14 AM
hey Andrew.. if this is really your passion, then you shouldn't let anything stand in your way. as the guys above have stated, it requires a lot of sacrifice but it can be done.. if you have the guns to stick with it. it's never too late to go back.. but it is a lot of hard work and ups and downs. if it's really what you want.. why wouldn't you go for it? best of luck man, keep us posted - JAG
February 15th, 2007, 08:46 AM
It is not so much letting things get in my way. It is more of a logistical issue. I need to look at what my expenses are, and the minimum of income required to keep my family from living in a cardboard refridgerator box.
Financial aid at least at the start, can only my minorly supplemental. At my current income, I won't qualify for much (having a daughter in college, I already am painfully aware of this fact). Traditional financial aid does not take expenses into account. But there are several scholarships, grants, etc., that are aimed more towards the non-traditional student. At the moment, I have only looked at art and art related funding. I haven't extended my search yet.
On the upside. Already having a BS. and a few transferable art credits, means that I am only looking at 3 or 4 semesters. We survived longer that that on a minimal income before. The first hurdle will be seeing if I get accepted into the program. Then to see if I can fund it and make commute work. The to see if I can eke out the income to keep my family clothed, feed, warm, and sheltered. One step at a time.
February 15th, 2007, 10:43 AM
It's tough but it can work. Aim for student loans, granted you'll have to repay them but if your not in school for too long than hopefully you won't rack up too much. Any kind of work you can do on the side will be beneficial. I worked as a technician in a theater which provided some decent money.
Fill out a FAFSA online and see what happens. The more people in your household in school offers a chance for more money.