There is nothing I'm more passionate about in all the world than science, and nothing I love doing more than telling people about it.

But here's the problem--very deep religious indoctrination convinced my wife and I to get married early, start having kids, screw our education and get ready for the rapture.

So, I'm just 25, but I've got two kids, a crappy job, and a record of flunking out my last year at University.

How in the world can I overcome these obstacles? Everywhere I look online, financial aid seems to be available only for soon-to-graduate High Schoolers, or for students with Batchelor's degrees that now want to go into education. Not to mention the fact that my previous grades would probably destroy any chances of getting aid in the first place.

Is there anything I can do? Any recommendations?

Please help,
Thank you,
John

Views: 15

Replies to This Discussion

As far as grades, you could look into starting part time at a community college and then get a letter of recommendation from a professor there. Just make sure you know what college you want to go to and find out what classes with transfer. Nothing sucks more than paying for classes that won't count towards your degree.

You could also contact the admissions department at the college you'd like to attend and ask about financial aid options. They would be able to give you resources in your area.

Hope this helps, or at least gives you a place to start.
If you fall into the low income bracket you will more than likely qualify for federal grants. Don't assume anything. You might be surprised at how much you qualify for. Since there are four in your family that will also help when they determine your income status. Go talk to someone at a college, and community college wouldn't be a bad place to start. They will help you figure out how to get started. Fill out a finacial aid packet to see what you can qualify for. I went to college later too, with two kids and a husband who was also in college. I graduated at the age of 31 and then it took 2 years to finally land a job because of a hiring freeze about the time I finished getting my degree. I subbed as much as I could while going to school too, to keep my face out there in the system. I learned so much subbing, too! We need you in the system John!!!
Don't just think about fincial aid, but consider student loans as well.Even with the credit market dried up, student loans should still be available. By all means, go talk to an admissions councilor at a college and try and get as much aid as you can, but don't be turned away by the sticker price of an education. Student loans can be paid back over a long time. When you are a teacher you will be making a decent living, definitely much more than at what ever job you have now.
Going back to school with two young children is tough, but my wife and I did it to get our teaching licenses. It took a lot of sacrifices, but now that we are both teachers it was definitely worth it.

Another possibility is to look at some program like Teach for America, though I've read that they are very competitive to get in to.

Another good possibility, and what I did, was to get a job at a college that had free or reduced tuition as a job benefit. Colleges need all sorts of workers, and some of them offer good benefits to their workers. I worked in the kitchen of a college for two and a half years, but got 100% off my tuition and 75% off my wife's. With that and a good helping of student loans we managed.

It is a long and hard road, but compared to 45 years of low paying jobs it is a better alternative.

In the meantime, volunteer at your kids' or a local school to get your foot in the door, get your feet wet, and see whether you really like it. If you don't think you'll love teaching you might want to reconsider. Teaching is too hard of a job to do if you don't love it, at least in my opinion.

Good luck, but make your own by working and studying really hard.
Your passion will take you a long way. I have been a teacher for 13 years. I would say that you just apply for schools and see what happens. Write a great essay about your love for science. Apply for financial aid. Find a program that will allow you to get tentative acceptance (take one or two classes to show you can do it before full acceptance). Explain that your religious upbringing stifled your early educational goals and now you are motivated to learn and teach. Start at a community college or public university where admission may be easier and less expensive. Just remember that teaching is a lot more than being passionate. Teaching is just as much about being organized, caring for children, being willing to stay late and arrive early, and knowing the methods for delivering the information in interesting and effective ways. Don't give up. Contact me on my AN page if you need any help with anything. Good luck.

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