Friday, August 04, 2006

Getting A Degree May Become Easier

A federal bill passed in The House of Representatives on March 30, 2006 may make it easier for many to return to school to get their degree. H.R. 609: College Access and Opportunity Act of 2006
deisres to redefine what type of institutions qualify for federal aid. Federal financial aid recipients would include online universities. So far this bill as of
Apr 4, 2006: Received in the Senate. Read twice. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 388.

To keep an eye on what will happen visit

What does this mean for single parents, students in low income housholds and working individuals that don't have the time to commute to college?

The reason why I am excited about this is because online universities would qualify to receive federal aid. When I was working for the boss from hell, several of my coworkers were taking online courses. Obvioulsy, they wanted to work elsewhere. They told me about online universities and their convenience. With a full time job and a family, it is hard to fit a college scehdule into the equation. Having to drive to and from class as well as classroom time equals an exhausting life. I decided to research the schools and found that they were very expensive. The luxury of not having to attend class came with a hefty price tag. The instituitons I queried couldn't accept aid such as Pell Grants. The only route was to take out student loans. Not a big deal you think? Well, here's the problem. A bachelor's degree was not going to bring my income up by much. I was going to create more debt and not really get much of a financial return. How did I know? My best friend moved up here. She had a bachelor's degree in international business and education. She had done her internship in NYC and taken her exams to be certified (teacher). She is also bilingual and had a lot of experience. The most she was able to make was $12.00 an hour! She went back to school to get a master's, become certified to teach ESL and special ed. She is now making over $60,000, but she commutes over two hours a day, roundtrip. There is also that pesky student loan.

With this new development, online universities will be able to accept financial aid and it will become easier for people like me to go back to school. I'm definitely going to look into it. Although, I have replaced my full time income, I am considering taking advantage of this opportunity. The children are getting older and eventually, I may be able to return to the workforce. I do enjoy what I do now, but a degree always opens more doors. Luckily, I may be able to transfer some of the credits from my two years at Baruch. Hey, every little bit helps to get me closer to achieving the goal!

I will definitely be looking into this in depth. Getting a degree may not increase your income by much in some fields, but in other fields it makes a world of a difference. For me, it depends on what I decide to study. I was a business major, but decided it wasn't the right fit. At least, it wasn't at that time. Now? It may come in handy. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, you might want to see what this translates into for your future...

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