Author Topic: college  (Read 9938 times)

kmoney3240

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
college
« on: October 17, 2015, 04:12:08 PM »
Hello, I am a senior in high school and have read the forum here and there when I have free time. From reading, I know that debt is an emergency and should be repaid as quick as possible. I have some money saved up, and I have my toyota truck paid for. I live in Montana and feel that I should have four wheel drive that will last me a long while. I am currently working 15 hours a week for my job and any other side cash jobs I can get my hands on to. I am a fairly smart kid and am looking ahead to see how I can get college paid for. I know scholarships are hard to get, but will apply for as many as I feel that I am able to get. Any other possible ways to help me pay for college? Tips, tricks, and any other knowledge to get my hands on will be very helpful for me! Thanks

Tom Bri

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
  • Location: Small Town, Flyover Country
  • More just cheap, than Mustachian
Re: college
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 09:22:58 PM »
Hi kmoney. My daughter just started college this fall, and she paid for all but $480 using scholarships and grants. That is starting from $35,000. She spend months and months researching and looking for scholarships, and applied for dozens. She also scheduled visits at the college she wanted to go to, and spoke with the dean of her school and other people there. Since she is pretty smart and very active in school activities, they were trying hard to get her to come.
She also applied for lots of scholarships from local businesses and groups. You should talk with you high school adviser about these, they usually have a good long list. It's a lot of work, writing essays and sending in lots of complicated applications forms, but for her it paid off big.
It helps to be aiming at a field that local businesses want to support. For her it was ag science, as this is a big farming region.

Cwadda

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2180
  • Age: 26
Re: college
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 09:34:24 PM »
Are you enrolled in any college credit classes or AP courses? I would recommend that, and getting 4s and 5s on the exams. This could get you basically a semester or year of school finished before even starting college.

lauren214

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: college
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 10:40:48 PM »
Perhaps you could give some more information about gpa, sat/psat scores etc? I know that when I was looking at colleges (6 years ago), there were a bunch of second/third tier colleges who would give a full academic scholarship, incl room & board, to someone with ivy level creds (4.0+ gpa, 2100+ sat, strong extracurriculars) who would go to their school. Alternatively, there are a number of top tier well endowed colleges who offer full need based scholarships including room and board if the parents made less than a certain amount (maybe $50,000?), and fairly generous partial scholarships up to like 100k parental income. Those two suggestions are really only relevant if you have the stats to get into a crazy competitive college.

kmoney3240

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: college
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 10:10:26 PM »
cwadda- i took 3 ap/college credit classes last year, and i am currently enrolled in 3 this year also. they should transfer to the college that i want to. i did good in the classes and learned a lot. i should be alright in taking the ap/college credits

lauren- i have a cumulative 3.93 or gpa, which is unweighted. i scored a 25 on my act but i am retaking the test because i feel that i was not fully prepared for it. i feel what i have is alright, but it won't stick out on any certain application, unless i get my a.c.t. score up.

The school i plan to attend is roughly 17,500 per year. i believe i have a shot at a 5,000 scholarship that is given by the state, that is given if i reach a certain criteria, but i won't know the details til december. is there anything else that i should be doing? i feel that i should almost stay at home at the community college here and get the generals on that. ideas or thoughts on that?

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
Re: college
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2015, 06:36:47 AM »
The military?  Active, Reserve, and Guard all have education benefits with a 6 year commitment.  There are many, many, many career fields in all branches of the military and only a few of them (outside the army) involve running around deserts shooting people.  It may be worth a few hours of research and a visit or two with your local recruiters.  Dh is a senior NCO and one of the current problems in his unit is lack of fully trained personnel at the lower ranks....they do their 6 and are just about fully trained and then they get out so I know that at least certain career fields (aircraft mechanic) if your qualified you will be assigned your career training of choice.  The route our oldest son took was enlisted in AF Guard for 6 years, got his degree (aviation technology).  Interviewed for over a year with various AF Reserve units until he was selected for a pilot slot then retrained as an officer.  He just finished flight training and is now working for a local Reserve unit (same unit as dh).

spokey doke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 514
  • Escaped from the ivory tower basement
Re: college
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 08:19:08 AM »
I know scholarships are hard to get, but will apply for as many as I feel that I am able to get.

While it is good to be realistic, you might adopt a bit more confident and assertive mindset here.  The example above about the daughter who not only applied for lots of scholarships, but cultivated relationships at her target colleges may be a good model.  In the end, the decisions about scholarships are made by people...

Big questions that remain (other than your basic academic metrics) are what do you want to study, and where do you want to go?  There may be targeted scholarships for certain majors and those can vary across institutions.

If you aren't getting a full ride with room and board, access to inexpensive housing will make a big difference in cost (and the rental scene in Missoula and Bozeman aren't too friendly from what I recall).

Good luck!

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1728
Re: college
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 08:30:03 AM »
Consider investing in a good ACT prep course, but be sure to scope out which ones are good in your area. My daughter went from a 25 to a 29 after a prep course.  It was well worth the cost as she wound up with a full tuition scholarship that she would not have been considered for with a 25 score.

PencilThinStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: college
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2015, 08:40:59 AM »
whoa, whoa, whoa...6 year commitment? No. I don't know where you got that, but it's inaccurate. 4 years should be plenty to get your education benefits.. Sometimes even less. I'll foot stomp that the military can be a great way to pay for college. If you're joining just to get school paid for, though, don't go Marine Corps. It's not worth it. That said, I love the Marine Corps :-)

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12945
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: college
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »
kmoney3240 - one of the most effective ways I know of graduating from your choice of 4-year colleges with minimal expense is to attend a community college for 2 years and than transfer your junior year.  Universities love getting junior transfers that have solid records at community college.  AFter 4 years your diploma will be from the 4-year school and absolutely no one will ever care that you spend the first year at a commuter college.

Depending on your community college options this may or may not be a possibility for you, but I'd certainly look into it. 

junglejim83

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: college
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2015, 09:12:25 AM »
Kmoney,

First off, props to you for thinking about the financial stuff soo soon.  The amount of money I wasted in college and shortly after would make a dramatic difference on where I am at now at 32.

As far as schools go, I think it is really smart to consider state programs.  In general, your effort will make as much, if not more, impact than anything else. If you have aspirations of changing geography at any point, I think kicking butt in class and/or getting yourself some summer internships in places you might want to explore would broaden your opportunities immediately after graduating without having to take on a ton of debt going to an out of state school for different exposure, that otherwise offers a comparable education.

Even if your test scores don't go up as much as you hope, it might be worth looking into what top tier schools that offer need-based grants.  At least a few Ivy League schools will give you the money if the need is there.  Even if you don't think your scores are in that range, these schools REALLY value (and like to show-off) diversity of all sorts in their student population (including geographical diversity). It could be something to think about, if that wasn't on your radar.  Also, check out McGill in Montreal, it is a top University in the world and even out-of-country tuition is cheap compared to US schools (if you are Canadian, it is amazing by US standards), although I don't know what their grant situation is, you can find out with a phone call; oh and the exchange rate is awesome right now.  I mention this b/c my cousin had average grades and scores from a  HS in Southern California but most likely b/c McGill had an interest in geographic diversity he got accepted.

Also, if you get on the horn with admissions people and form a relationship with them, that can open doors in a big way.  Don't be afraid to aim high and be a pain in the ass.  My brother's guidance counselors were steering him towards a local school b/c he would definitely get in but he wanted something different. With some grit and banging on doors he went to Cornell. If you can get into a school like that, without the financial baggage, that could be a great opportunity too.

With all that said, a solid, low cost state school is a great option.  Also the community college-transfer option is smart too. Where-ever you go maximize the free money you can find there. Like TomBri and Lakemom's posts speaks to, REALLY REALLY, look for grants/scholarships inside and outside your school.  A lot of times there are government & community organizations, municipalities and groups that offer small and medium sized grants/scholarships that many are unaware of.  That can really add up.  Research and make calls yourself but also before and after acceptance ask the financial aid counselor where ever you want go and they will help (you apply for some scholarships after arrival/commitment).   

Good luck.

lauren214

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: college
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2015, 09:21:10 AM »


The school i plan to attend is roughly 17,500 per year. i believe i have a shot at a 5,000 scholarship that is given by the state, that is given if i reach a certain criteria, but i won't know the details til december. is there anything else that i should be doing? i feel that i should almost stay at home at the community college here and get the generals on that. ideas or thoughts on that?

I think that the community college route is a great choice, but you will need to be very proactive about the transfer, especially ensuring that all of the classes you take will actually transfer.

Also, See if your state has any sort of automatic transfer program (eg in Cali, there's a program where if you go to a cc  and meet all the requirements, you are guaranteed admission to a university of California collage).

I'd also recommend that you look into any classes that your community college offers online - those suckers can be knocked out really, really efficiently, like a couple hours a week for everything including homework and exams (I took two one semester on top of a full load at a very demanding college).


dcozad999

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 699
Re: college
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2015, 12:28:12 PM »
Beyond all of the other good answers here:

Get a part-time job at a local chain restaurant as a server. It's probably the easiest way to make a decent amount of money while in college.

teacherwithamustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: college
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2015, 12:57:33 PM »
I am a college counselor at a high school so I deal with kids like you all of the time...

#1 piece of advice... apply to multiple colleges, get in, and then apply for the scholarships.  Most schools have the application tied into the scholarship applications.  So when you apply you are applying for both.  Most scholarship money out there 75% are tied into specific Universities.  So you have to be a member of that University (incoming freshmen) to be eligible to apply.  Looking at Univ of Montana
http://www.umt.edu/finaid/scholarships/presidential-leadership-scholarships%20.php

Their top scholarship requires a 27 ACT.  So what that tells me is you are close, and you are probably already qualified for their 2nd tier scholarship.

#2 piece of advice... fill out FAFSA as soon as your parents do their taxes.  While the Fed Gov may only give you X amount of money your EFC # is used for a lot of local university financial aid.  When most people say they are own academic scholarship they are usually on financial aid.  If parents are divorced have the least financially viable parent claim you.

#3 piece of advice...  Be a STEM major even if it is just for the first 2 years.  Lots of money for STEM majors.  It is all basics the first 2 years so if you decide to switch to business year 3 you still got some STEM money early.

About the AP comments.... I hate AP.  Here is what happens.  Good HS student gets a 4 on Biology and Chemistry AP test.  So now that 17/18 year olds first time in college they are taking Organic Chemistry and or A&P.  It is not the class that kills them it is the Labs.  College Chem and Bio labs are designed to teach you how XYZ science department wants their lab notes written.  You loose all of that when you test out.  I dont care how great your HS Bio teacher is.  You did not have a college caliber lab experience.
Second situation.  Same kid as above and wants to go to med school.  What med school in their right mind would want a student that has never stepped foot in a college biology lab?  Secondly when applying to med school you have 18 courses that count towards your major, obviously your major GPA is very important for med school.  If you test out of 2 of the 18 med school classes you are in effect doing away with the easiest 11% of the med school pre req classes therefore putting you at a disadvantage.

Where AP is good... If you want to be an Accountant or a Computer programmer then AP out of as many classes as you wish.  If you want to be a Dr AP out of all of the History and Poli Sci courses you can do not AP out of your majors classes.  If you want to be a Lawyer AP out of Bio and not History.

Hope this helps PM me if you have any specific questions.

rebel100

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Location: Central Florida
Re: college
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2015, 02:13:03 PM »
Montana offers a 50% discount for dual enrollment: https://mus.edu/data/briefs/Dual%20Enrollment%20Guidelines%20-%20One%20Pager.pdf  I would look into that.

There are a few Community Colleges out there that appear to offer lower tuition than you might find in Montana.  New Mexico Junior College offers this with an array of distance courses that can easily add up to an AA or AS degree: http://www.nmjc.edu/tuitionandfees/  Notice on that page how they have a "maximum cost for 12 plus credits"?  That means they only charge a small fee for courses beyond 12 credits.  This sounds crazy, but I know folks who took advantage of this and packed 24 credits into a semester for a total cost of around $1200 (and if you had a Pell grant that would mean money in your pocket).  Basically they took 12 credits in the first half term then 12 more the following half term  for a total of 24 credits in a single calendar semester....http://www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning/coursescourseschedules/courseschedule.aspx....that's essentially a year of college for $1200.  They also accept discounted CLEP courses

CLEP are brought to you by the same folks that run the SAT, the College Board.  College Board offers exams at around $100 each that are worth 3 or more credits each.  They are generally in general education subjects that high school has probably done a good job prepping you for here is the NMJC list http://www.nmjc.edu/studentservices/counseling/howtochallengeaclass/clep.aspx  some 2500 colleges offer credit for these and at an average cost of less than $33/credit they are a game changer even if you only take a few, compare the cost of a $100/3 credit CLEP to $450+/3 credits at a Montana school....big savings to be had here! this is a good and free site to help explain it better http://www.free-clep-prep.com/

The above assumes the moustachian student will start at a CC where the first two years are cheaper, but some ideas like CLEP can apply to 4 year institutions.  My daughter used CLEP with Dual enrollment to earn her AA at 17 (roughly half CLEP, half enrolled credit).  She worked hard and joined the national junior honor society: Phi Thetta Kappa or PTK https://www.ptk.org/Default.aspx?TabID=2578  PTK opened the door to a couple of full ride opportunities and several discounted options for her to finish her bachelors. 

She opted to take the three free intro courses to the Harvard Extension School that PTK afforded her Josh Kaufman talks about HES here http://joshkaufman.net/hacking-higher-education-harvard/ after her first three courses (and the associated 12 free credits from Harvard), she was admitted as a degree seeking student and offered substantial merit based aid.  She should walk with a cost free bachelors degree from Harvard Extension next May.

I can expand upon all of this, shoot me a PM if you're interested.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8268
  • Age: 63
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: college
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2015, 02:29:08 PM »
East coast schools seeking geographic diversity might be very interested in a Montana student.

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: college
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2015, 03:06:09 PM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4522
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: college
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2015, 03:44:40 PM »
I'll put in a plug for the service academies. Just keep in mind that the education they offer costs time, instead of money. Four years in college, then 5 years active, and 2 reserve. They all have the option to drop after 2 years, without any service obligation or repayment requirements. You just take your transcripts and leave.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12945
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: college
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2015, 04:13:46 PM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.
would I be too much of a killjoy to add "responsibly"? After all, isn't that how we got here?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 06:31:31 AM by nereo »

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2964
Re: college
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2015, 04:18:38 PM »
I'll put in a plug for the service academies. Just keep in mind that the education they offer costs time, instead of money.

They also are not "college" in terms of the experience of the students there.  There are positives (direct applications of what you learn, a network of people in your chosen career, lots of advice on how to succeed in that career) and negatives (much less exposure to other career paths, less interaction with people outside your career path, less learning for learning's sake) to this approach, and it's good for some but not for others.

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: college
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2015, 08:47:57 PM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.
would I be too much of a killjoy to add "responsibly"? After all, isn't that how we got [urlhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/08/07/how-the-college-debt-is-crippling-students-parents-and-the-economy/]here[/url]?

Heh...  Definitely be responsible. But seriously enjoy the 4 years.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3056
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: college
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2015, 07:13:59 AM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.

Gotta disagree. I wish I had treated college as a job instead of tried to enjoy it to the max. Sophomore year of college was the worst time of my life.

(Obviously I have had a privileged life.)

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12945
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: college
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2015, 07:22:12 AM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.

Gotta disagree. I wish I had treated college as a job instead of tried to enjoy it to the max. Sophomore year of college was the worst time of my life.

(Obviously I have had a privileged life.)

OH hell - somebody's got to post it:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/09/29/if-youre-not-getting-rich-in-your-20s-youre-doing-it-wrong/

College is a unique time where you can either sling-shot ahead of 90% of your peers and start driving down the path to 'FI-before-35,' OR - you can wrack up a ton of debt, graduate with a major with crappy job prospects, create unsustainable & unhealthy habits and virtually guarantee you will be a wage-slave until your body gives out decades later.

To be sure, have fun.  But bust your ass, flex your frugality and earn your freedom.

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: college
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2015, 08:08:48 AM »
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.

Gotta disagree. I wish I had treated college as a job instead of tried to enjoy it to the max. Sophomore year of college was the worst time of my life.

(Obviously I have had a privileged life.)

OH hell - somebody's got to post it:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/09/29/if-youre-not-getting-rich-in-your-20s-youre-doing-it-wrong/

College is a unique time where you can either sling-shot ahead of 90% of your peers and start driving down the path to 'FI-before-35,' OR - you can wrack up a ton of debt, graduate with a major with crappy job prospects, create unsustainable & unhealthy habits and virtually guarantee you will be a wage-slave until your body gives out decades later.

To be sure, have fun.  But bust your ass, flex your frugality and earn your freedom.
I see people are all forgetting the real #1 piece of advice....

#1  piece of advice  Enjoy the hell out of the next 4 years of your life.

Gotta disagree. I wish I had treated college as a job instead of tried to enjoy it to the max. Sophomore year of college was the worst time of my life.

(Obviously I have had a privileged life.)

Guys, the point is to enjoy your time.  This doesn't need to involve spending thousands of dollars.  Absolutely focus hard on your studies, but enjoy potentially the last worry-less time of your life and your youth. 

Trudie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1776
Re: college
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2015, 08:26:40 AM »


The school i plan to attend is roughly 17,500 per year. i believe i have a shot at a 5,000 scholarship that is given by the state, that is given if i reach a certain criteria, but i won't know the details til december. is there anything else that i should be doing? i feel that i should almost stay at home at the community college here and get the generals on that. ideas or thoughts on that?

I think that the community college route is a great choice, but you will need to be very proactive about the transfer, especially ensuring that all of the classes you take will actually transfer.

Also, See if your state has any sort of automatic transfer program (eg in Cali, there's a program where if you go to a cc  and meet all the requirements, you are guaranteed admission to a university of California collage).

I'd also recommend that you look into any classes that your community college offers online - those suckers can be knocked out really, really efficiently, like a couple hours a week for everything including homework and exams (I took two one semester on top of a full load at a very demanding college).

My husband works as a college registrar, so I know a little bit about transfer programs and how they work.  The community college can be a good route to go to get some prereqs out of the way.  When you talk to the CC, what you want to specifically ask about are "articulation agreements" with four year schools.  These are agreements that two year and four year schools (typically state universities and community colleges, but not always) have worked out in advance to determine what credits will transfer.  This leaves some of the guess work out of it for students.

Some high schools offer courses for community college credit, which can then be transferred in later.  Also, you may want to explore community college courses (even online) in the summers if you will be living at home and can swing it with your job.

I would heed the advice of high school counselors (below) about the drawbacks of AP courses.  Also, the best value in community college coursework is in areas in which you're already strong and may not be continuing study.  For instance, if you want to go into science, use the CC for your history and english core courses, for instance, but try to take the more demanding lab courses at the college from which you'll graduate.  Also, if you are already a decent writer, taking a composition course at a CC is good.  But, if you need to do some work to write and research at the college level, taking those courses from the college from which you'll graduate (and using their writing lab and library assistants) might be the best option for you.

Secretly Saving

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 418
Re: college
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2015, 09:58:25 AM »
KMoney,
One other thing you might want to look into are micro-scholarships that can add up.  The following site has been on the news recently:

https://www.raise.me/

Chranstronaut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 713
Re: college
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2015, 10:13:58 AM »
About the AP comments.... I hate AP.  Here is what happens.  Good HS student gets a 4 on Biology and Chemistry AP test.  So now that 17/18 year olds first time in college they are taking Organic Chemistry and or A&P.  It is not the class that kills them it is the Labs.  College Chem and Bio labs are designed to teach you how XYZ science department wants their lab notes written.  You loose all of that when you test out.  I dont care how great your HS Bio teacher is.  You did not have a college caliber lab experience.
Second situation.  Same kid as above and wants to go to med school.  What med school in their right mind would want a student that has never stepped foot in a college biology lab?  Secondly when applying to med school you have 18 courses that count towards your major, obviously your major GPA is very important for med school.  If you test out of 2 of the 18 med school classes you are in effect doing away with the easiest 11% of the med school pre req classes therefore putting you at a disadvantage.

Where AP is good... If you want to be an Accountant or a Computer programmer then AP out of as many classes as you wish.  If you want to be a Dr AP out of all of the History and Poli Sci courses you can do not AP out of your majors classes.  If you want to be a Lawyer AP out of Bio and not History.

Hope this helps PM me if you have any specific questions.

One important disagreement: take the AP classes you want in HS, no matter what they are.  You DO NOT have to accept the AP credit in college.  You can re-take any class you got AP credit for if you decide you want/need to do that.  However, passing many AP classes will give you freedom to avoid classes you don't want to take, make you look better on your college applications, and some colleges will accept AP credit as a general elective credit, which can speed up completion of some degrees.

One logistical issue of coming into a university with many credits: you will be classified as a Sophomore standing before you complete your first year of classes.  This might box you out of registering for "freshman only" courses while still in your first year at school.  At my university, this made it really hard to get into the basic writing classes and fun electives like art because they were held for freshman only during most or all of the registration period.  A good adviser might be able to get you around this, but you will have to ask ahead of time.

Source: my college experience and was an outreach coordinator as an upper classman within my dept.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12945
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: college
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2015, 11:15:20 AM »

One logistical issue of coming into a university with many credits: you will be classified as a Sophomore standing before you complete your first year of classes.  This might box you out of registering for "freshman only" courses while still in your first year at school.  At my university, this made it really hard to get into the basic writing classes and fun electives like art because they were held for freshman only during most or all of the registration period.  A good adviser might be able to get you around this, but you will have to ask ahead of time.

I had blocked/forgotten this, but I got completely screwed at my university for a similar reason.  I had of AP courses and basically couldn't enroll in many required courses because I had sophomore standing.  This was particualrly difficult for me because I was trying to get a double-major in photography and science.  Each semester I was blocked from taking photography classes because I had insufficient studio hours for the number of total credits I had.  I would appeal to the department, wait several weeks for it to change and then ultimately be allowed to register.  By that time most of the good courses and sections were filled.  This happened to me something like 6 consecutive times.   I had to contact all the professors beforehand and explain the situation: some were willing to work with me, others told me they couldn't hold a spot open. 
It was a classic example of the law of unintended consequences.  I had too many credits to take the courses I needed in order to continue without being put on academic probation for not having taken enough courses.  wtf?

kmoney3240

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: college
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2015, 09:05:13 PM »
thank you for all the advice. I have seen a lot about doing the community college, and its a great possibility. My parents and I have talked about this, and they said they would cover a certain amount, interest free, but would have me pay it back which is what my sister is doing. My older sister is currently attending the college I am planning on going to, and my parents would invest if i went there, in a property that would be convenient for us college kids. I am a very hard working kid that I currently have a job at an architect and engineering firm. Its nothing fancy, printing, scanning, and whatever they need me for is what i do. i would plan to be an engineer of some sort, so thats part of the reason why i got this job. On the scholarship note, i started my first application this last week, which is partly due to me not responding. I will definitely have to look into the A.P. route to see if i would be considered a sophomore in college, even though i would be a freshman.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6686
  • Location: BC
Re: college
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2015, 09:36:48 PM »
My best advice, as you already seem to be pulled together is to remember:

At least half of university students switch their major after 1 to 4 years.

It is so much cheaper to acknowledge what you don't like after one year than after 4.  Once you get to university, study hard, but don't be too hard on yourself, be open to new ideas, including changing your major, if needed.

kmoney3240

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: college
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2017, 11:25:37 PM »
Man, the last year and a half, almost two years have flown by. It has been crazy. I finished up high and started college (state university, with most money received). My parents thankfully covered the first year along with a few thousand I received in scholarships.

I ended up working road construction in between my senior year and the start of my freshman year. Which saving up for college and the road construction job has helped me pay up for my summer classes that I am currently enrolled in and should help for a good chunk of my sophomore year.

 I did take as many ap and dual credit classes, and a few covered the core requirements but the majority of them are just electives that count towards the total amount of required (wasn't quite considered a sophomore entering college).

As for those who are curious I already switched majors to financial engineering, as I started out in civil engineering, and may switch to economics or finance. There was a lot of overlap of core classes so I was only behind in economic classes (which I am enrolled in right now). I currently have 3.75 cumulative gpa which I hope to maintain.

From the outlook of future costs and what my parents will help me, I will end up around $10,000 in debt, which I plan on attacking as soon as I graduate!! 

Smokystache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: college
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2017, 03:32:15 AM »
Thanks for the update - it's always interesting to hear how things are going.

One thing I'll caution you about (full disclosure, I'm a college professor), is given your situation (getting costs down and having a good GPA, etc.) is that it is often more worthwhile to look for summer/part-time jobs that will help advance your career and/or give you a taste of future careers regardless of how much they pay. In other words, if you find a low-paying job part-time or summer job that would allow you to see what financial engineers do - then I'd take that job over going back and working on the road crew - even if the latter job paid 4x more. College is a time when you can work part-time jobs to watch the full-time people and see if you'd like to do that work. It is more expensive (in terms of money and time) to do this after you've graduated.

While you shouldn't rack up crazy debt (and you aren't), I would much rather you have a little college debt but have a very clear career/educational path before you with lots of knowledge and a resume that is relevant. It is worth much, much more than graduating debt free or with $10k less in loans. Good luck with everything. Sounds like you're doing great!!

fluffmuffin

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 263
  • Location: VA
Re: college
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2017, 07:29:34 AM »
I'm an advisor at a university and cosign Smokystache's advice 100%. Yes, definitely work over the summer and during the school year, but make sure that those jobs and internships are giving you resume lines that demonstrate that you're prepared to work in your chosen field. The last thing you want is to graduate with a great GPA in engineering, econ, or finance--but nothing on your resume to prove that you already know how to succeed in a white-collar office environment. It's also invaluable to know whether or not you're actually going to like the work in the industries you're considering, before you invest thousands of dollars and years of your life chasing the degree for a job that's going to make you miserable. My two most helpful internships in college were actually the ones that I hated, because I learned that two fields I'd been considering were never going to make me happy; on the other hand, an unpaid volunteer position at my college ended up being my entry point into the field I work in now.

My answer might be different if you needed to work in order to support your basic needs, but it sounds like you have enough family support that you don't need to worry about a roof over your head. That's a blessing and a privilege, and you need to maximize your outputs from the time, space, and mental energy that those privileges have given you. It will pay dividends when you're applying to jobs your senior year. I'm not saying go burn through money you don't have, or take out mega-loans to do some crazy unpaid internship in Silicon Valley--just think through the long-term ROI on your labor while you're still in school. It sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders, and there's so much you can do with the next three years to set yourself up for long-term success. Good luck!