Lifetime Student.. Or Why I Kinda Want Another Degree.

Hello hello!

Today, of all days, I started to really miss school. Ya see, I graduated in May with my Masters in Business (MBA) and was convinced that I never wanted to return to school. My MBA saw me through 5 years, living in 3 cities, 2 states, countless relationships, 1 fiance, tons of stress, several long nights typing frantically away, new friends, an $85,000 bill*, and a huge sense of accomplishment. Oh yeah, it was 100% online and I never set foot on the campus of East Carolina or even visited Greenville, NC.

Today, I started looking up online degree programs for major Florida universities (hello in-state tuition!) and trying to find something of interest. Ideally I would love to do Human Resources or something technology related. During my last semester at ECU, I discovered an entire degree in Networking and Web Design. Holy hell. Had I known it existed back in 2005, I would have that instead of an MBA. But no, I have my MBA… oh yeah and a concentration in Management Information Systems.

When I first was interested in doing a concentration, there were very few that were taught completely online. MIS was one of them. Human Resources was not. Duh, I obviously picked the one that wouldn’t require a 2+ hour commute to Greenville for classes. No, wait, I was still living in Gainesville, FL at the time, so make that about 9 hours for the commute.

What does this mean? It means that I am seriously contemplating returning to school for a year or 2 (program depending) providing that I can find a Florida school with a degree of interest. And that offers financial aid. No sense in going back to school if it won’t halt my student loan payments, right?

Yes, I do believe that I am certifiable in wanting to do this again. The last 5 years was a very long and very frustrating time in my life. They were also extremely rewarding. Can the good outweigh the hair pulling? Time will tell…

* It looks far worse written as $85,000 than it does as $85K. This includes 3 years of out-of-state and 2 years of in-state tuition, plus extra cash to pay off bills and credit cards which, in turn, bumped up my credit score.

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4 comments on “Lifetime Student.. Or Why I Kinda Want Another Degree.

  1. Chanele

    You don’t have to be receiving Fin Aid to halt your payments. As long as you are enrolled for a certain amount of time (varying by degree), you will go into in-school deferment. Never the less, think hard about it because unless you get a scholarship or are planning to pay out of pocket, you are going to accrue more debt. Is there a higher probability that you are going to get a job that will make it easier to pay off $100K in debt with this degree or might you just be raising already unmanageable student loan payments each month? It is most definitely a gamble, and I have been through this all myself, so I understand the worries.

    Also, you may want to look into some public interest programs that if you work in certain fields, you can qualify for reduced monthly payments and loans written off at the end of 10 years. You would need to speak with a financial aid counselor about this.

  2. Kelly

    I totally agree with Chanele. If it will make sense long term (ie will net you a job where you can afford to pay off that student loan debt) then I would be okay with it. I would just hate for you to rack up so much more SL debt and then be sunk when it comes time to pay them. Remember all the interest that will accrue on 85k even for just a year or 2. Right now Michael’s loan from the first year of grad school at KU has accrued $500 in interest, and that is just on $21k worth of debt. We are planning on payments of around $400 when he is done per month, and you will have triple the amount of SL debt that we do if you go that route. But Chanele is right, you don’t HAVE to take out financial aid to get your loans deferred…just being in school is good enough. We don’t need to take out any loans this year so his accrued loans are in deferment, and we’re making payments as we are able to try to keep the interest down.

    In short (haha, now that I’ve written a novel), just have a good long think about it…if it’s something you’re passionate about, go for it, but look at the bigger picture to see if it’s really going to be worth it, or if this is something you’re doing just because you haven’t found that dream job yet.

  3. msrib

    I used a loan calculator that a friend linked me to earlier and nearly had a heart attack when I saw my monthly payments. Over $1000/month for 10 years and almost $600/month for 25 years. About a week or so ago I got a letter in the mail saying since I owed XX amount and began the loan after 1998, I could stretch it over 25 years. Um, yes please, even though I can’t afford $600 any more than $1000.

    And yes, I have no clue what I want to do other than be a mommy and open a yarn store. Erm, yeah, never going to happen with those loan payments. Gah!

    You’re both right (as is everyone else) about not making a silly decision. Shouldn’t I have been this confused when I was in my early 20s and not my mid-30s?

    Ahh well. Thanks for the input. 🙂

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