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Old 09-06-2017, 08:25 AM
 
3,455 posts, read 2,327,428 times
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I have no intention of taking on student loans, and my post-Master's will pay for itself in less than a year. It's an easy decision for me to make, especially since I will be working full-time for the next 10 years and will continue part-time after that, as long as my health continues. But that's my specific situation, YMMV.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:44 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,554 posts, read 47,349,405 times
Reputation: 13398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
What would scare me as a senior would be (if it applies) the mountains of student loan debt that cannot be discharged with relatively few years to pay them off.

I graduated from East Tennessee State University. It's an entirely normal regional state university. When I started college in 2004, I was "all in" - tuition, book, fees, everything - for just a nose under $5,000. I did not live on campus. I was in the first high school class able to access Tennessee lottery scholarship money. That was essentially a full ride for me - I had merit scholarships that were basically pocket money. Today, it is $10,000 all in. I don't think the lottery scholarship has even had a COLA.

Outside of healthcare, government work (including K-12 and the state university), and a Fortune 500, local employment where a four-year degree is required (or even helpful) is slim pickings. While the school isn't "bad," it's likely about the same as any regional state university in the country, and those closest to job centers are going to be able to put their graduates in a better position to secure gainful employment. Unless someone 55+ was majoring in a healthcare related field, can pay for it without it otherwise seriously impacting their finances, or getting a degree where their employer is (mostly) paying for it, I certainly would not recommend going back to school as a senior. You could easily go into $50,000 worth of debt with an interest rate of 6%+ for no financial gain, depending on degree, current income, and location, with only about ten years to pay it off. Unlike other forms of debt, you cannot flush this through a BK or debt settlement if the sky comes falling in. I would love to go to graduate school and would be the first person in my family to get a graduate education, but I would probably have to take out tens of thousands of dollars in nondischargeable debt to do so. I also don't see it benefiting my career. At this time, further education is a pipe dream for me.

A friend of mine just turned 32 and graduated with her photography degree from Middle TN State back in May. She loves traveling, and has been trying to get on with an airline as a flight attendant. She hasn't been able to do so, and the student loan bills are coming due. Meanwhile, she moved from Murfreesboro back to Kingsport because she couldn't find a job paying well enough in Nashville to keep up with the cost of living, and is now stuck hostessing at a local Red Lobster. When most of her peers are buying homes, getting settled in professional jobs, and moving up, she's basically stuck in a place most 22 year olds wouldn't be, with no obvious way to pay off this debt and a decade less to pay it off than traditional students. It's poor decision making and sad.

Another thing to remember is that nontraditional students may not be eligible for all the financial aid a traditional student could get. I know when I started college, the lottery scholarship was not available to older students. That's an additional $5,000 the older student would have to come up with.
Hyperbole, and a severe lack of facts, that is what this is.

First of all, are you aware that non-traditional students in Tennessee can now get their first two years free? Right now, it is offered at Pellissippi in Knoxville, and a few other schools, but it will be expanded, next year, to all community colleges and four-year schools that offer associates degrees. There are no income limits and it is a last-dollar scholarship.

Further, adults qualify for the Hope Scholarship, plus private scholarships as well.

I have never paid a penny for tuition and I qualify for a lot of scholarships, thanks to my GPA.

Regarding repayment of loans, they will work with you and you can pay a percentage of your income. Some repayment plans can be as low as $5 a month.

I can't imagine a senior, with years of wisdom and experience, being so stupid that they would go into debt with $50,000 in loans.

Holding up a 32-year-old that got a photography degree as a shining example is disingenuous. You and I both know that she shouldn't have done such a thing. If she's in Tennessee, fortunately, unemployment is at an all-time low. My 17-year-old daughter has three jobs. I suggest your friend find a few, too.

If you want to go to graduate school, make sure you are going to major in something that will pay off, but by golly do it, if that's what you want. I'd start working on my dreams if I were you, instead of trying to talk yourself and everyone else out of them. You're young, but old age will hit you before you know it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:29 PM
 
659 posts, read 324,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
That shouldn't be a year-long course. There are a couple of pertinent certifications, but those shouldn't take a year to get.
I attend school at Montgomery College in Maryland. They offer 3 courses at the same time on Saturdays. Its impossible to take more than one at a time. There are 3 required courses and 1 optional course. I am registered for two 8 week 40 hour courses between Aug and Dec; and 2 more between January and May.
The courses are designed at a graduate level, per the Director. The material is such that you really can't rush through it. Lots of ESOL theory and methods. The Director emphasized the Certificate is a credible one and they are a part of the national TESOL organization.

I am not in a rush, because at the same time I am going to take a 2 day training this fall which will enable me to gain volunteer experience hours as as ESOL Class Assistant.

I'm also taking online instructor led 8 week TESOL courses through Ed2Go.com. They have a different perspective; and supplement what I am learning at College. Check Ed2Go out. Its set up so your certificate comes from your local college. There are courses on a variety of interesting subjects . They are about $120 each.

I figured it can't hurt to have as much education and volunteer hours under my belt so I can build my resume, make some contacts, and start my new career next year.

Studying give me something to do during the day. I plan to take as many courses as interest me. Waiting to take a calligraphy course after these are done. Glad I live somewhere where courses are available, convenient, and reduced for seniors (next year for me).
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:44 PM
 
659 posts, read 324,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suziq38 View Post
I am an ESL teacher for adults. I have taught adults English and Citizenship Preparation for the last 11 years. It helps that I speak a fair amount of Spanish.
I discovered this job when I was 50 as a substitute teacher. I am now 61. The ESL director and school principal encouraged me to enroll in school (local university) and get an Adult teaching Credential, specializing in ESL, full-time.

It cost me about $3K to take all of the classes, but I can teach this subject at any public adult school. I work anywhere from 18-25 hours a week, and have all weekends, nights, and vacations off (without pay). The pay is fairly good and I will get a small retirement. I also have the opportunity to tutor students (private instruction) when I have the extra time. I am paid by a public school system.

The students are great and I love working here. This job is excellent for those who are semi-retired.
The only downside is that there is rarely full-time work, and your vacations are not paid.
I am so happy I found this type of work right before I retire.

There is another teacher who is 80 and still teaching two ESL classes.
He is my hero. If he can still teach, I hope that I can for at least the next 5 or 6 years part time.
Another downside are the vacations. You basically have 4 weeks in June, a week in November, two weeks in December, and a week in April for Spring vacation. Other than that, no other time. They count on you to be there and teach the days school is in session.
Good Luck!
Thanks Suziq38. Your words encouraged me. I don't want full time work. I would like to make some money to help out with a few bills. I want flexibility so that I can travel internationally, at least once a year. I will not be able to teach K-12 with a Certificate; only adults. My four courses are $395 each. I am hoping to teach adults who need English for a Health care career, as I have that background. According to my College, this specialty is in demand. I was warned there is a lack of full time work. I still wonder why, is it because a lot of ESOL providers depend on volunteers?
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:17 PM
 
394 posts, read 156,937 times
Reputation: 1103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
Thanks Suziq38. Your words encouraged me. I don't want full time work. I would like to make some money to help out with a few bills. I want flexibility so that I can travel internationally, at least once a year. I will not be able to teach K-12 with a Certificate; only adults. My four courses are $395 each. I am hoping to teach adults who need English for a Health care career, as I have that background. According to my College, this specialty is in demand. I was warned there is a lack of full time work. I still wonder why, is it because a lot of ESOL providers depend on volunteers?
There is a lack of full time work because teaching adults is not necessary. The children's education comes first. ESL is not a mandatory educational right like a GED (general education degree) for high school. There are jobs that require the GED, but it is rare that one requires that their employees take ESL classes. Historically, these ESL classes were taught by local volunteers. They were not paid, and wanted to help others. Eventually, school districts found funding for these classes and were able to pay teachers an hourly wage. I have friends and family volunteer to assist me in my two classes.

I am glad that you are encouraged to give this job a try. Not all of us want full time work, and don't mind the vacations without pay. I save most of my pay, as I am fairly frugal.
Good luck to you, and I hope you find a job.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Texas
74 posts, read 39,119 times
Reputation: 127
Default Florida has many Lifelong Learning centers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah5555 View Post
That's my biggest worry and why I am NOT moving to Florida. Can you share where you landed?
In my case I am considering moving to Central/SW Florida in large part because of the abundance of Lifelong Learning opportunities. Attendance for me will be because I enjoy learning in a classroom environment and will need productive ways to spend my days.

I did a quick web search and found opportunities in the following locations:

Tampa (South Florida)
Jupiter (Florida Atlantic)
St. Petersburg (Eckerd)
Fort Myers (Florida Gulf Coast)
Sarasota (Ringling)
Jacksonville (North Florida)
Tallahassee (Florida State)
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,661,739 times
Reputation: 35449
I went back in my mid fifties to get a paralegal degree in order to get a job. So it was out of necessity but I very much enjoyed the experience.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:22 PM
 
659 posts, read 324,970 times
Reputation: 1974
OP Update.
I just received my Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate. The courses were interesting and the assignments were challenging. Just what I needed. I am now an English Tutor and an English Conversation Class Facilitator. I also did two semesters as a Teacher's Assistant in an Adult Classroom. I love it all. Preparing Lessons gives me something interesting to do when I am not teaching. Not looking for paid employment yet; maybe in 2019.
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