As my twins head off to college this fall, I found myself inspired to go back to school myself. I sincerely believe that education gives you the keys to the kingdom, and additional education would provide me with opportunities I am otherwise lacking. So, this fall, I'm going back to school with my kids, with a different goal in mind. I want my Master's Degree. However, before I jumped back into the college pond, I needed to do some financial forward thinking.
Step 1: Aid Packages
Since I became a pro at financial aid while sending my twins to different sites for grants and scholarships, I repeated the same process for myself. I found that I wasn't eligible for as much aid as my daughters are (which is okay), but I did find that I was still able to apply for a few local grants and scholarships that would help me pay for my education. I was able to rack up $4,000 in funding per semester, when I start school this fall.
Step 2: Paying for School
Going back to school full time means that I won't be able to work full time. I reviewed my hours, found a few part time gigs that pay me $30 an hour and am saving my money like a fiend to prepare for my $15,000 annual cost of education -- books not included.
Step 3: Writing School Into My Budget
While my savings and aid gives me the benefit of plopping down some cash for school, there are still some costs I have to pay each semester, out of my own pocket. My ultimate goal is to get my Master's without taking out a dime in student loans. So far, I have found that proper planning is paramount, and so far, it looks like I will be able to do it.
Step 4: Moving Forward
Since my financial ducks are in a row, I'm ready to move forward and finalize my enrollment. I have an orientation in July (for which I will pay a $250 fee for, out of pocket), before I can officially enroll for my classes. However, for me, all engines are set to go. I'm ready. And soon, I'll have some additional education under my belt that (hopefully) will put a world of opportunity at my fingertips.
What about you? Are you thinking of going back to school?
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