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Old 11-15-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
ladylacaze Female
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humm Mom in College Financial Aid Advice Plse

I am finally ready to go back to college and finish my degree. I know it will be hard as a single mom, but my mother moved near us and will help with the kids so I can use the money I was paying for daycare to help me pay for school. I am looking at starting with online classes to get some of my general-education credits and then I plan on transferring to a 4-year school. I just read another post from a single mom who was wondering "How did you do it?" and there were some great answers/advice for her!
Here is my question: I have been out of the school loop for a few years now, and I am not sure where to begin looking for financial aid or grants (you don't have to pay those back, right?). Any advice about where to look for help paying for school would be really helpful! Or your experiences with juggling school & kids, which I think I am ready to do but also am a little nervous... I appreciate your time - Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mom in College Financial Aid Advice

Look up FAFSA online and fill it out...then any financial aid and grants you qualify for will automatically be credited to you. These things do not have to be paid back. Only student loans have to be paid back.
You may qualify for full aid...if so, you won't have to contribute any additional money. Also, if you do qualify for full aid...they automatically pay your tuition, fees and books...and any money left over is yours to use as you wish. Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mom in College Financial Aid Advice

Ok, I am trying to light a fire under my own **** to get back into school, too! I keep coming up with the usual obstacles - kids, work, blah... But I did some online research and found a pretty good website that actually, instead of trying to sell me something, had some good information about the FAFSA, how to fill it out and what you need to get going (tax returns and a whole list). Anyhow, I will have to apply for financial aid also. I have NO advice about how to juggle school & work & kids, I will have to get back to you on that if my fire ever gets lit HA HA!
anyhow, here is the site:

What is an Articulation Agreement?

  • Articulation Agreements are your road map for transferring from a 2-year program to a 4-year program
So you’re planning to get your bachelor’s degree. But (and there’s always a “but”)…
… the money’s not available right now, OR
… your high school record was less than stellar, OR
… maybe you’re just not in a position to tackle the full-on university experience.
This probably means a two-year school like a community college will be your first choice. A two-year school can act as a bridge between where you are right now and the four-year degree you’d like to achieve. However (and there’s always a “however”), not every community college course you take may transfer its credit to a given university.
  • Articulation Agreements outline what credits transfer from yout 2-year school to your 4-year degree
Whether a class transfers or not is governed by what is known as “articulation agreements” between two-year and four-year institutions that outline the classes and grades a student needs to qualify for a transfer. So if you plan to extend your education into a four-year university, it’s important that you know which courses you will need to take.
To ease the eventual transfer to the university of your choice, ideally you will want to choose a two-year school or community college that already has such an articulation agreement with your chosen university. That way you will already have a road map of courses and other benchmarks you can follow that you know will satisfy that university’s transfer requirements (and which may satisfy course requirements for your degree as well). This will also keep you from taking additional classes that you don’t need, as well as helping you avoid coursework that won’t transfer, which would force you to spend time and money to take those classes again.
  • Articulation Agreements = More transferable credits = Better chances for success in admissions
Universities often look to transfer programs as a way to help evaluate applicants. So don’t be too worried if your high school grades were not up to par. If you buckle down and get decent grades while earning your two-year degree, this will take priority in a university’s admissions process. The articulation agreements between your current school and the next aid that process; the more transferable credits you have, the greater your chances of success.
Lastly — and from my experience — a well-planned effort at a two-year college can serve as a “warm-up” to university work, a solid demonstration of your true potential, and a great foundation for success in a four-year university.
  • Articulation Agreements can help keep your options open
And if you don’t know where you want to transfer to yet or you just want to keep your options open, it can be a great idea to choose a two-year program that has articulation agreements with numerous four-year colleges and universities that you can later choose from.
These options and complexities are why it’s also important to look closely at two-year schools and community colleges that offer one-on-one guidance. Advisors can give you an edge before you’ve even registered for classes. They can provide the necessary time and attention to help you plan your coursework, identify your academic strengths and challenges, map your career goals, and eventually help you decide on the universities where you’d like to apply. It’s this personalized coaching that can put you over the top at finding success at a four-year university and, ultimately, to getting that bachelor’s degree.

There was also an article about transferring credits - something called an Articulation Agreement that I guess is important so that you know your credits will transfer from an online school or community college to a 4-yr institution. Good luck and make sure you post something about how it works out with juggling kids and all that to motivate me!
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