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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Help, Please!

I've recently decided to go back to college. Strangely enough, I intend to get a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Business Management. After contacting the Herzing College (chosen for their on-line classes) and starting the admissions process I was very encouraged and excited. My Admissions Advisor even went so far as to say that I had scored the highest on a certain admissions test of all the future students with which he's worked. That was a definite boost to my lackluster self-esteem. After all, that's not bad for someone who's (primarily) been a stay-at-home for the last eight years and often has to seek intellectual discourse through blogging.

On Herzing's website, and in their literature, they made it sound so easy. With the exception of some rather minor bits of paperwork, they were going to do all the leg-work for getting the funding necessary for this to happen. Basically, financial aid was my biggest concern, and they told me not to worry about it.

Well, now I'm worried about it. I got the financial aid package they were offering me yesterday (the paperwork, not the money) and found that there would be approximately $1,000 left over after tuition per semester. This for someone who's EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is nil, zip, zero. That's, as they wrote it, 0000. I was told (not by Herzing) that my financial aid package there would be included costs related to living expenses. I was told this by several people. I was able to confirm it on the government's site.

What is a cost of attendance?
If you're attending at least half time, your cost of attendance is the sum of
- your actual tuition and fees (or the school's average tuition and fees)
- the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board)
- the cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer)
- an allowance for dependent care
- costs related to a disability
- reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs.
Costs unrelated to the completion of a student's course of study are not included in calculating that student's cost of attendance.
--emphasis added

Those in bold are all the expenses that the $1,000 per semester is supposed to cover. I'm sorry, but that's simply not going to work. I'm not going to go into all the details, but I can't work and go to college. Nor is my husband currently able to work right now (it's a matter of ability NOT willingness, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter, so don't ask). So, if I'm going back to college they're going to have to do better than this.

And, this is where the plea for help comes in. I have not yet been able to speak to my Financial Advisor from Herzing College, which is the only advice I've gotten so far. And, frankly, I want something a little more encouraging than that. So if any of y'all know something that can help me solve this little dilemma, I'd very much appreciate it.


At 4/02/2006 1:20 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I don't know if Hillsdale would have the classes your looking for or not. You might want to check it out, http://www.hillsdale.edu/.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 4/02/2006 3:56 PM, Blogger historymike said...

I'm pretty sure that you can also take unsecured student loans over and above these, Stephanie. This entails adding more debt, but you are looking at the future rewards in terms of higher earning potential.

If the package that Herzing offers is not enough, shop around. The University of Toledo is the top distance learning school in my state.

Ask Herzing if you would qualify for unsecured loans. These proved very helpful to me early on when I was making the jump into full-time status after a looooong layoff from college.

At 4/02/2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I hadn't actually considered the fact that a different school might be able to offer me better financing. My mind has gotten kind of stuck on Herzing, because they've "solved" the problems that prevented my husband from graduating college. They have a very clear idea of what course-work is necessary to graduate. In fact, I've gotten my entire four-year schedule already. That kind of organization is appealing to me.

I do hope to be able to secure more loans. I've been told that it shouldn't be too difficult, especially since our credit rating is fairly good. Not great, but we're constantly getting more offers for credit. I've also found some nice sites that help you find grants and scholarships that you may qualify for, of course those are awarded, so I might not be chosen. They also won't be available in time for me to start up in May.

Thank you very much for your imput. I'll definitely have to take a look at other colleges if Herzing doesn't offer a satisfactory solution.

(Whew! Don't have to give up yet...)

At 4/04/2006 3:09 PM, Blogger Lisa Renee said...

I'd recommend the unsecured loans too, that's what Emily has done to cover expenses that weren't covered thru FAFSA. They don't have to start being paid back until after graduation and the interest rate is pretty low.

At 6/30/2006 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to be aware that the gov't is the department issuing the financial aid, NOT the college. NO matter what college you go to the financial aid is going to cover the same amount = tuition and added expenses if you qualify.

You need to think about the quality of your education. Not the price, you are not buying a car here. If you care at all about your education you will go to Herzing or any other school that you deem as good. Why waste ANY money on a poor education. AND remember, the quality of your education depends on how much effort you will put forth as a student

At 8/08/2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous self esteem said...

Thanks. For some great self help aids go to www.innertalk.com


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