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Funding for a second bachelor's degree?

MiakaaMiakaa Posts: 38Registered User New Member
Hey everyone! I've have been doing tons of research on here and elsewhere about funding for a second bachelor's degree, but have had trouble finding information.

I currently hold a BA in Journalism from a public University. I graduated a year early with honors; but, unfortunately that was at the beginning of the recession. During my senior year of college I worried about finding a job but my adviser and mentors assured me the department would help me out (too bad they didn't come through). I started to lean towards changing majors, but I was already finished with all of my Journalism credits, and decided to take a chance in the real world. Needless to say, things haven't gotten any better since then and I haven't been able to find a job.

I've brainstormed a lot and tried to figure out what to do. Since my Gen. Ed. requirements are still fresh, I won't have to repeat them and can jump straight into whatever major I choose. I tried to figure out what would be easiest, cheapest and would take the shortest amount of time, however, I kept coming back to the same major: Biology.

I've always been interested in science and wanted to do science writing with Journalism degree. However, after many dead ends, I decided it would be best just go back and get my BS in Biology (If I could get a Master's in Biology without a BS, I totally would; but, it's just impossible).

I reapplied to the same University and was accepted immediately. Unfortunately, the options for financial aid are limited. I had a 4 year scholarship for my BA in Journalism. I also did some work study. While it was a blessing then, it really hurt my chances at getting any scholarships now.

(on a side note, I've been forced to live at home as a dependent because of my situation. After filling out my FAFSA, I'm only eligible for student loans).

Are there any other opportunities for second bachelor's funding out there (excluding student loans)?
Post edited by Miakaa on
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Replies to: Funding for a second bachelor's degree?

  • RedrosesRedroses Posts: 3,293- Senior Member
    Unfortunately, probably not.
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Posts: 4,327Registered User Senior Member
    Since FA is limited, the priority is for students to get that first bachelors degree. Even then, of course, as we all know it's out-of-range for many students or comes with heavy indebtedness. It would be hard to justify spreading those funds even thinner to cover students who want a second BA.

    I totally sympathize with you though! It would be great to get some financial aid and be able to go back to college --even years, or many years, after the first time-- to get another degree in something more practical. I know a number of women who've been on the mommy track for many years whose kids are getting older now, and they want to go back to college to study nursing, business, get a teaching credential, but other than loans there's no aid there for that.
  • BedouinBedouin Posts: 423- Member
    The only thing that I can think of is some employer-based education programs. I know that when I was seeking to go to back to school to get a certification in a new computer system we were using, the company covered my tuition and books. See if your current employer has something like that for the field that you are interested in.

    You mentioned you were a journalist. see if your EMployer will be willing to sponsor you if you agreed to a commitment to write their science section for them. If they can at least do matching funds, then your loan burden will be less burdenate.
  • mazewanderermazewanderer Posts: 1,399Registered User Senior Member
    What I learned through a previous posting was that once you have a degree, you are considered independent and ineligible for any of the federal grants. As 'rentof2 says, most schools will not give aid for a second degree. You may need to be creative.
  • mazewanderermazewanderer Posts: 1,399Registered User Senior Member
    Bedouin: OP says he does not have a job hence he does not have an employer.
  • BedouinBedouin Posts: 423- Member
    Sure, right now, but she can always apply for a job outside of the Journalism field. Many people do not get jobs at places in their major, and my advice still applies if she becomes a paralegal or anther field that involves critical reading and writing like Journalism. While I think it shows bad judgment to become a Jouranlism major, there is no reason why she should give up on finding something to tide her over until she is able to save money for her second bachelor's in a real subject like Biology.
  • MiakaaMiakaa Posts: 38Registered User New Member
    Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone!

    I don't have a job right now and have been aggressively searching for 6+ months now. I've extended my search to just about anything (in and out of state). While I've applied for writing jobs, I've also applied for retail, management, admin assistant and food service jobs. Unfortunately the economy is really struggling in this city.

    I know it was a mistake to major in Journalism and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone now. However, my school really sold me on the program with the promise of job counceling (I guess I'm a sucker). Both of my parents are well established in their Science careers and if anything, I could get a job through one of them (guess this is one of those times I should have listened to them!).

    Anyway, I can't go back and change things now. Since I used to work for the school paper, I know many people in many departments, including Biology. I'm hoping since I'm an older student, I can do some work for some professors (at the very least gain some experience). Do any of you have experience/opinions on undergrad work for professors?
  • BedouinBedouin Posts: 423- Member
    Someone else will have experience with doing undergrad work for professors, but I was wondering if your parents could help you get an entry-level job at the place where they work. Even if it's only an internship, it can help you build experience / get a foothold in the field that can help you until you get your degree. It is often much harder to get a job once you have some kind of job experience at all; it's still tough with job experience, but it can b eimpossible or discouraging trying to get a job -- any kind of job -- withour experience doing an economic recession.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    What is your actual career plan? A BS in Bio is not usually a terminal degree, unless you're planning to teach at the high school level. There is some federal aid for second bachelor's for those going into teaching.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 34,994Registered User Senior Member
    It is often much harder to get a job once you have some kind of job experience at all; it's still tough with job experience, but it can b eimpossible or discouraging trying to get a job -- any kind of job -- withour experience doing an economic recession.

    What does this mean? At the beginning you state "it is often much harder to get a job once you have some kind of job experience"....I hope this is a typo...it's harder to get a job if you have NO job experience. Once you get that first job and work there...you have something ON your resume.

    Please explain.
  • MiakaaMiakaa Posts: 38Registered User New Member
    @ sk8rmom My career plan is to get my BS in Biology and then head to grad school. While my school focuses on general Biology, you can concentrate on ecology, microbiology, zoology, botany. I haven't decided which to concentrate in, but I'm leaning towards ecology. Ideally I would like to go to grad school (I'm very interested in Microbial Ecology) and get a government job (doing research) or with a university.

    My parents work in the medical field. While that's not ideally what I want, if all else fails I could do something that (with my BS as a base).

    @ thumper1 and @ Bedouin
    I have newspaper experience and ad design experience on my resume. I also worked in retail and in food service while I was in college. I have something on my resume, just no one is hiring.
  • BedouinBedouin Posts: 423- Member
    I understand your frustration. As I said before (and I know you realize this) it can be tough without any major experience (not just part time food jobs, but career experience) because of the glut of unemployed middle-aged professionals competing fiercely for the kind of jobs that used to go to new graduates.

    Is it possible for you to seek a job outside your home city? Often the most competitive applicants are those willing to relocate, especially to newer companies or to areas where the industry is booming more than in your hometown.
  • MiakaaMiakaa Posts: 38Registered User New Member
    I've looked and applied for writing jobs outside of this city but the pay isn't enough to live on. I haven't heard any feedback from the companies I applied to. I guess my experience isn't enough?

    In all honesty though, the cost of living is so cheap here, that I wouldn't be able to realistically move anywhere else right now (unless I lived with a relative or something). Journalism pays so little, unless you're well established, that I don't even know if it would be worth pursing a job in it anyway.
  • susgeeksusgeek Posts: 1,603Registered User Senior Member
    Your situation is very similar to my older D. She graduated from Colgate in 2008 with an English degree. Thankfully she was given generous grant money by Colgate, and the only debt she had was Federal Direct Loans ~$17 grand.

    She worked for 6 months then was laid off. You are right - it is extremely difficult for a new grad to find work now.

    She decided that she wanted to study environmental science. So, like you, she is pursuing a second BS in environmental science to prepare her for grad school. She is at a SUNY school and is funding it with federal loans (above what she took for her first bachelor's). She is married now and is financially independent.

    She is pursuing grad programs that are funded so she won't be looking at further debt down the road.

    Good luck to you!
  • BedouinBedouin Posts: 423- Member
    sORRY, I didn't mean just journalism. There are other fields that involve the skillset from this field.
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