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Old 06-03-2013, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,122 posts, read 3,490,389 times
Reputation: 2200

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I started working towards a BSW a few years ago at my local community college. All was going well when my husband was laid off and we had to move mid-semester. After that I had to go back to work and haven't been able to go back since for a number of reasons. Now I'm finally able to go back and finish it. I have a few more credits I have to finish at the CC and then next fall I plan to start UofI in Chicago.
The problem is, as for most, money. I could take out a loan to go to UofI of course but the calculated monthly payment would be very high on a social worker's salary. I would of course love to try to get a scholarship if at all possible at my age (34) with my history. My educational history is less than stellar. The last grade I finished in school was 9th (I moved too much to keep up with school) and I didn't go back to school until I was in my late 20's. My GPA is currently 3.8 and I should be able to keep it at about that range (probably a bit less since I expect to do very poorly in math). I don't have a list of accomplishments in other areas though and like most adults I'm not involved in any extracurricular activities.
Would it be at all possible for me to qualify for some kind of scholarship and if so, how? I have no clue how these things work.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,570 posts, read 7,708,964 times
Reputation: 4059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I started working towards a BSW a few years ago at my local community college. All was going well when my husband was laid off and we had to move mid-semester. After that I had to go back to work and haven't been able to go back since for a number of reasons. Now I'm finally able to go back and finish it. I have a few more credits I have to finish at the CC and then next fall I plan to start UofI in Chicago.
The problem is, as for most, money. I could take out a loan to go to UofI of course but the calculated monthly payment would be very high on a social worker's salary. I would of course love to try to get a scholarship if at all possible at my age (34) with my history. My educational history is less than stellar. The last grade I finished in school was 9th (I moved too much to keep up with school) and I didn't go back to school until I was in my late 20's. My GPA is currently 3.8 and I should be able to keep it at about that range (probably a bit less since I expect to do very poorly in math). I don't have a list of accomplishments in other areas though and like most adults I'm not involved in any extracurricular activities.
Would it be at all possible for me to qualify for some kind of scholarship and if so, how? I have no clue how these things work.
I have had trouble finding much out there in the way of scholarships specifically for non-traditional students. However, that doesn't mean that they don't exist. In fact, I just got an email from my school's scholarship department saying I am eligible for a scholarship for people who have had a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years:

The Bernard Osher Foundation | Osher Reentry Scholarship Program

I didn't even know my school offered this, even though I've looked at all their scholarship options before, so I am definitely going to apply.

There are also scholarships out there geared towards women over a certain age or people of either gender over a certain age. I use the various scholarship websites to look for this stuff. So far, nothing yet, but I have not aggressively pursued this like I should have.

Your best bet is to start with the school. They most likely have a list of scholarships on their main website somewhere and if it is anything like my school, the deadline to apply for them is REALLY early so pay attention to that.

A 3.8 is good, good for you! I had a 3.8 for a long time but no more, these days I'm happy to keep it above 3.0.

Anyway, the point is, you have to search and search and take the time to apply. Usually scholarship applications through the school are easier; some of these that I've found that are offered apart from the school are really intense with regard to what kind of info they want which is why I haven't ever applied for those but someone less lazy than me could probably do well.
Also, check with your intended department for scholarships related to your major. For example, I changed my major to English and brought my GPA up this semester, and I now qualify for my school's English honor society which gives me access to scholarships I wouldn't be able to apply for otherwise. Once I come up with the $75 yearly dues anyway.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:22 PM
 
389 posts, read 911,422 times
Reputation: 494
Have you ever considered earning your degree with a majority of your credits earned from "testing out" of classes? There is quite a following of adult learners who have either already done this or are in the process of doing it. The CLEP and DSST programs are just 2 of the "credit by examination" programs out there. These programs were initially designed as a way for adult learners to earn credit for their life experiences as many did not earn a college degree but had been in the workplace. Many of the tests will earn you 3 credits, some will earn more. Both programs charge the same amount per test ($80), and then there would be a smaller fee to pay to the test center to deliver/proctor the test. If you would like more details (websites, colleges, etc.), feel free to private message me.
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