Can I go back to school?

<p>Long story, but I'll try to make it succinct.</p>

<p>I graduated from High School in 2004 and went to Tulane (New Orleans), where I messed up big time (0.0 GPA). I returned home and got a full time job and started attending Community College (also full time) at night. I graduated two years later with a 3.9 GPA. Having found a niche career position for someone with my skills, I opted to not return to college in pursuit of a four year degree at the time. For the past three and a half years, I have been working at the executive level for an international manufacturing firm. While I do enjoy what I do and would surely miss the perks, bonuses, and international travel, I can't help but feel like I missed out on the whole college experience. I have recently been thinking about going back to school and am not really sure where to begin. Would a college worth my time and money consider overlooking my checkered past? Where to I begin?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance for your help.</p>

<p>Sure you can go back, and your past really isn't that "checkered". OK, you were not ready for college when you were fresh out of high school. That was ages ago. Since then you have A) gone to community college and been successful; and B) entered the work force and been successful. Everything before that will be pretty much ignored, I feel sure. I have to admit though, a 0.0 is quite an achievement! LOL. Ya gotta laugh about it, like I said ancient history.</p>

<p>However, having said that, two thoughts come to mind. 1) I wonder if you will really get the "whole college experience". You only have a couple of years left, maybe 3 depending on credits and what major you would pick. Also you are older and more experienced that the vast majority of your classmates would be. You may be surprised at how difficult it could be to relate; and 2) are you sure you want to give up what sounds like a good job? Who knows what the economy will be like when you out.</p>

<p>But, assuming you still want to move forward with this, what can you afford? You won't be eligible for merit scholarships. But otherwise, pretty much any school that you are qualified for academically could be on your list, assuming they take transfers. Most do. So besides money, the usual questions are:</p>

<p>1) Size of school
2) Location (urban, suburban, rural)
3) Weather preference (warm, medium, love snow)
4) Are sports important. either as a spectator or a participant?
5) Are Fraternities/Soroities in your future?
6) Anything else that is of particular importance to you personally?</p>

<p>Once these answers are known, it is easier to narrow down the possibilities.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for your prompt and detailed reply.</p>

<p>Yes, I do laugh about my previous GPA.</p>

<p>I have thought a lot about the difficulties in relating to an 18 year old and that is in fact one of my biggest fears. Even in Community College I felt like "the other teacher in the room" and I have amassed three years of worldly knowledge since then.</p>

<p>While I do have a "good job," an impending change in ownership will severely limit my growth potential. This is a major reason for my decision. While I have many opportunities in my industry due to my networking, I feel as though I would be limited outside my industry due to my lack of formal education and do not want to be "stuck."</p>

<p>I have set aside about $50,000 for education, and am not interested in accumulating debt. I reside in New York and would be willing to attend a public school if it is advantageous.</p>

<p>To answer your major inquiries:</p>

<p>1) I would like at least 10,000 students, but I would probably socialize better with Graduate students, so a decent Grad program would be nice.</p>

<p>2) I would prefer a suburban or rural setting.</p>

<p>3) Weather is not a terribly big deal, but I am an avid recreational fisherman (tuna, marlin, etc.) and would not mind being near a major port.</p>

<p>4) I do not enjoy conventional sports, as a spectator or participant.</p>

<p>5) Fraternities? Seriously?</p>

<p>Thanks again.</p>

<p>LOL, I thought about getting rid of that one, because I just copied and pasted from another posting I had. But you said you wanted the authentic college experience...</p>

<p>OK, you will qualify for financial aid based on your own numbers; your parents won't get involved in the process at your age I don't believe. Still, are they willing to help out at all? In any case, I am guessing that any financial aid package will involve some debt if you go OOS, maybe even in state. In state it shouldn't be too much at all though. Don't be afraid of small amounts of debt, maybe up to $10K. Even some OOS might not require more than that. But I think the privates might not be on the table due to expense. I know you might only have 2 years, but it might take 2.5-3 years so you have to be prepared for that.</p>

<p>An excellent choice might be SUNY Stony Brook. It looks like it is right about 10,000 undergrads, you are right on the water, and it is about $18,000 a year total COA right now, instate. So your $50K should be enough. And it has a great reputation.</p>

<p>You could look at University of Maryland Baltimore County. A little pricier, but probably doable. Suburban Baltimore, and therefore not far from the ocean. Also about 10,000 undergrads, and has grad students. This school is probably more commuter, but that's only a guess on my part.</p>

<p>University of North Carolina Wilmington would be a great choice, but you would have to see what it takes to establish residency first. It is a tremendous bargain for in state, but absurd for OOS.</p>

<p>Of course there is Rutgers, at $21,600 for OOS tuition, plus another $10K for room/board, then the other costs. About half that tuition for in state. Might be worth looking into residency there if that interested you.</p>

<p>Hope that helps get you started.</p>

<p>Thank you again for another most informative post.</p>

<p>I am willing to devote another three years to my education, should the need arise; however, I would much rather graduate in two if possible. How do four year colleges recognize an Associates Degree? Would I begin with the same number of credits that I graduated from Community College with? Will I need to retake certain courses?</p>

<p>Financially speaking, I am on my own. I have not asked my parents for a dime since leaving High School and I will keep it that way. I would be willing to take on a small amount of debt (<$10,000) if I could deem it worthwhile.</p>

<p>I have not looked into Stony Brook, but will consider it. What other SUNY schools should I consider? I was accepted to Albany and Buffalo out of High School, but was applying to the Engineering School at the time and would be interested in Business now. Could I be penalized for not accepting admissions previously?</p>

<p>I appreciate your recommendations of schools near the water, but in hindsight would rather not limit my search geographically on account of my extracurricular activities. If I am devoting a large sum of money and a great deal of time to my education, I would prefer to make the absolute most of it. I can always find time to fish.</p>

<p>As it appears, I seem to be limited to public schools due to my meager funds. What state has the best public schools for business (that would accept me)? I am not against moving (North America or Europe only though) and have a strong social network (personal and business) that will comfort me anywhere I go.</p>

<p>I will look into the residency requirements for the schools which you have already recommended.</p>

<p>Are there any other resources for transfer students that I am missing? In all my research, this is the only website that seems to have any measurable amount of information for transfer students. I'd gladly invest in a book or subscription to an appropriate service.</p>


I was just trying to keep you near the ocean. There are lots of considerations for picking the right school, but having the right fit when it comes to supporting your non-academic activities should not be underestimated. But my all means find schools similar to these in other locations. I guess the bottom line is, though, that up to a point schools can be fairly similar in many regards, and so using these other factors is a good way to focus your search. Honestly, there are literally hundreds of schools that could fit you otherwise. No, you will not be penalized for turning them down even if it was last year, much less 6-7 years ago.</p>

<p>Actually if you could be sure you would finish in 2 years your funds are not that meager, but certainly some of these publics give you more margin for "error", so to speak. I wouldn't worry about what publics have the best schools for business. Since you already have a great track record in the workplace, you can get your degree at any good school (and the ones mentioned are good) and have a leg up in the job hunt afterwards. But you might want to look into SUNY Purchase (Pepsi headquartered there I think). I haven't looked at it much, but I seem to remember it was reasonably well connected to the business world. I could be confusing it with another though.</p>

<p>I know the resources for transfer students are far more maeger than for entering freshmen or for grad school. The forgotten middle, I guess. But I think once you start the process and talk to 4-6 schools, you will get the idea pretty quickly.</p>