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Thread: Graduate School

  1. #16
    Rising Bag Star baybeshell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    No matter what you do... do it to the fullest and do what it takes so that you don't wake up one day with regrets.

    And that's my advice for all of life... school.. family.. otherwise...

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    The Bag Star BexlovesBagz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    My graduate program was half online and half in person. It was also structured like you mentioned before as six weeks , but each class we took was 5 weeks. I am not going to lie to you -- it KICKED my butt --- It was an eighteen month program too !!! Most of my work colleagues have or are participating in 2 year programs but this program was 18 months. I worked through summer and holidays.
    I had very little of a social life -- Saturday night was it for me and the fiance' ( and also found a once a month on the Saturday for the bff ). However , as a teacher it allows me now to make a higher salary and give me a bit more job security. The financing for me was done through my employer and they took money out of each check until it was paid off (which was a few months ago).
    Last edited by BexlovesBagz; March 1st, 2009 at 09:17 PM. Reason: bad grammar errors

  3. #18
    Bag Hoarder CalGal98's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Okay, I'm a bit late chiming in, but here I go....

    First - Green Mountain college is fine - it's regionally accredited, which means that your degree is "valid" and universally accepted for employment or future study. The online degree structure can be either much easier, because you're focusing in a field that you are truly interested in studying, and you're not bogged down by degree / campus graduation requirements. OR, it can be a nightmare and much more difficult - as you lose the faculty interaction and in-class discussion that makes for good conversation, critical thinking, and further exploration in the area. It's really a personal choice. If you are fine with self-directed learning and little face-to-face interaction, than an online program will be fine.

    Have you also looked at other online programs? I know there are several available at public institutions, which can be less expensive with respect to tuition. Just check their regional accreditation. If it's from one of the agencies listed here: CHEA • Directory of Regional Accrediting Organizations you'll be fine.

    As for funding: You need to be in a "high need" area in most cases for an employer to finance your education. There aren't many field that do this right away - some employers have a minimum length of time you need to be employed before using this benefit, or sign a contract to stay on after your degree for 'x' number of years. Have you considered waiting to see if Mr. BRS will enter a school that you could also attend? Is it possible to work within the campus/division? I know in my master's program, they had a paid 50% intern position on campus that was related to the discipline. In my doctoral program, I was able to be a graduate student instructor (GSI or TA) - which paid my tuition plus a stipend (this was on top of student loans). It was enough to support myself and hubby for a while. We did have to scale WAY down: no cable, pre-paid cell that we shared, no going out, tagged along with mom to target and threw stuff in the basket when she wasn't looking (thank goodness for that!! and yes, she knew what I was doing ). Ultimately it was worth the sacrifice, but it wasn't easy.

    Repayment of student aid/loans will be deferred if you are enrolled at least part time. Loan levels increase at the graduate level, but that's all that's available other than fellowships/private scholarships/grants. There's no such thing as federal grants for grad school. Again, depending on the field of study, you may find a ton of funding, or very little.

    Ultimately, you want to enter and graduate from a program that will meet your educational and career/professional goals, along with your intellectual needs. I find that online coursework just doesn't do it for me - I need the physical interaction and discussion.

    Good luck - keep us all updated on your decision!

  4. #19
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    ^^^ Thank you for responding. To answer your question, Mr BRS has been attending the state university off and on for several years, while I currently attend a private college. If Mr BRS goes back, it will be the same place he has always attended. I have already checked into programs that they offer. They don't offer an environmental studies program exactly... they have a Masters of Biology program. It could potentially be catered to have an environmental studies focus, but the program is not specifically for that. It is with the state university, but it is offered in a different city. Oddly enough, though, it is an online program as well. I really don't know how I would pay for graduate school no matter where I went unless I had some sort of financial aid. I seriously doubt I would be able to find a job around here that would be willing to pay for it though. So I was hoping to still qualify for student loans. So, yeah, it's looking like it would be best for me to wait a little bit. That is, IF Mr BRS goes back to school like he says he wants to.

    Oh, and I really don't have a problem with online classes. I used to take them all the time.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    BrS...I make a decent living and I still qualify for subsidized stafford loans to fund my education. Granted, I can count my husband and stepkids as dependents...but you should be fine as long as you aren't making a ton of money.

    Do what makes YOU happy. If Mr. BrS doesn't like it, well then that's HIS problem. That's just my take, though. I am doing a night program for grad school and it's time consuming, but well worth it.

  6. #21
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Yeah, I'm really going to have to look into the program more. I need to work and make some money for awhile... whether Mr BRS goes back to school or not (but especially if he goes back). I would have to make sure I could even handle taking the classes and working full time. It might be best to wait a little bit anyway. Give myself a break from school. You would not believe how sleep deprived I am right now...

  7. #22
    Moderator/Blogger VivaLaJuicy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    ^^^ sleep sounds so good right now too... Ok, so only you know what situation you and Mr. BRS are in. But this is the way I see it, you've achieved so much already and I think you should continue your studies right away. A break sounds good, but look at how close you are too. How many years are we talking here? Maybe just a summer break, but continue fall/spring and on. Let's say it's another 2 to 3 years, can't Mr. BRS wait that long since you are already on track, kwim?
    <--- BRS

  8. #23
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Quote Originally Posted by VivaLaJuicy View Post
    ^^^ sleep sounds so good right now too... Ok, so only you know what situation you and Mr. BRS are in. But this is the way I see it, you've achieved so much already and I think you should continue your studies right away. A break sounds good, but look at how close you are too. How many years are we talking here? Maybe just a summer break, but continue fall/spring and on. Let's say it's another 2 to 3 years, can't Mr. BRS wait that long since you are already on track, kwim?
    <--- BRS
    LOL! Well, Mr BRS is getting "old", I am afraid that if I got to grad school right away he'll think I'm holding him back. KWIM? I guess that's why I thought I should give him a chance to get his act together before preceding full speed ahead. But, yes, I have come a very long way. Remember, I had to take 1 class per quarter for several years at the community college just to get 2 years worth done because I didn't qualify for financial aid back then and could not afford to pay the tuition of more than one class. I remember how angry I was because I felt like HE was holding ME back. So I don't want to do the same thing to him. IDK... this is such a tricky situation.

  9. #24
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    This is an old thread, but I thought I'd revive it instead of starting a new one.

    So as most of you already know, I am currently participating in a summer research program. One of the reasons the university has this program is to help people prepare for graduate school... because, well, they secretly are trying to recruit you to do your graduate studies with them. Anyway, I had to go to this mandatory workshop that explained graduate school stuff. They said that rule #1 was that you should get paid to go to graduate school through a stipend provided by the college or university. The thing is, this really only applies to people wishing to do scientific research at the school. I remember a professor of mine saying something about colleges paying for you to go to grad school as long as you're doing research for them. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that I'm not sure if lab type research is really something I want to do. In the research program I'm in now, I'm working with bacteria in a lab. BORING!!!!!! Or at least I think it is anyway. No offense to people out there that are giddy about bacteria. Plus, these people who are doing research there never (and I mean never) go home. It'll be 6pm and I want to go home and they're telling me I need to stay to finish this or that. Why the heck can't it wait until tomorrow? Don't you people have lives?! I'm sorry, but if grad school is like that then I seriously don't want to go!

    I was interested in that online program, but you obviously have to pay to do it. ::sigh:: Are there more environment-related programs out there that offer stipend packages? I'm more interested in field research than lab research. My interests don't really put me in a position to have a job that is willing to pay for tuition.
    Last edited by boysRsmelly; June 20th, 2009 at 07:09 PM.

  10. #25
    *The TBF Elite* FedUp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Hey Brs,

    I went to grad school, Virginia Tech. actually with an "assistant-ship". I had 3/4 assistant-ship which meant three quarters of my out-of-state tuition was paid for by the University. In return i was assigned as an assistant to the dean in my department. My job basically was to grade papers for undergrad classes and prepare class notes for the specific courses taken by the Dean. It was very interesting.
    I had some friends who were "research assistants" which meant they were confined to lab work. If you are not keen on lab work (i don't blame ya!!), contact the grad school about available "assistant-ships". That would range anywhere from helping out in the computer lab, to being an assistant to one of the profs in the department or doing field research for them.
    You have to be very persuasive and pro-active in getting assistant-ships in grad school. So make sure to contact everyone (including individual profs with whom you might share similar interests in field of study), and always ALWAYS follow-up. If you are persistent and have the brains (you wouldn't be thinking of grad school otherwise :-) you should be able to get a position.

    ITA with you. I used to hate being stuck all evening inside like a lab rat. Good Luck and keep us posted.
    "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have."

  11. #26
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Yes, they called them assistantships. You're supposed to get tuition and health insurance benefits along with a stipend. I guess I'm just really confused about how to figure out which schools offer such programs and which schools do not. And it's not like I can't work in a lab, I'm perfectly capable of carrying out research for a lab-based project. It's just that after being in this research program, I've really begun to question myself. I wonder what the heck I'm doing there. I mean, it's not like I'm interested in what I'm researching there. I just did it so I could have some lab-based research experience (I've already done field research) and I thought it would help me get into graduate school. But now, it's like I don't even know what I'm really interested in. I try to look up graduate programs and it's like everything I'm interested in doesn't fit with the whole "assistantship" arrangement. And I don't even know where to begin to figure out where or if they exist. This coming school year is my last year of undergraduate and I feel as though I've wandered down the wrong path.

  12. #27
    working on my phd pingping's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    Are there any resources at your school for helping you decide about graduate school? At my undergrad, the career center also had resources regarding grad school and could help you get acquainted with what programs are out there.

    Don't let this not-awesome summer research experience get you down. I mean, don't feel like you're not interested anymore in what you've wanted to study because you had a bad lab experience. And it's definitely good you've realized you're not a big fan of lab research - the long hours are definitely not for everyone.

    Do you know any major organizations that provide funding for research in your area? You could see if they fund students, and if so, what schools they provide funding to for students - that could give you an idea as to what schools offer programs with stipends that you'd be interested in. Otherwise, I guess you could go school by school of the big ones in your discipline and check with each if they offer assistantships.
    Now on a BAN!

  13. #28
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    There is a career center at my school, but they don't seem to be too knowledgeable about science-based fields. Or at least they seemed that way when I was asking before. I know the state university (where my research program is) offers a variety of stipends and assistantship packages for graduate students. At the "workshop" that I had to go to, it was pretty obvious that they were anxious for new recruits. But you also need to be "the right fit" they said... meaning you needed to be interested in something a professor is currently studying. I guess it was pretty stupid of me to think I could find something that was related conservation or environmental studies. The state university is mostly interested in biochemistry, microbiology, virology, and plant sciences (mostly viruses and parasitology of plants). That's why I liked the environmental studies program I had found at GMC. The program was right up my ally of interests and I wouldn't have to go anywhere because it could be taken online. Remember, Mr BRS still wants to finish school and he's already halfway through the architecture program here. But, of course, with online programs you have no choice but to pay for the tuition. And I was told you can no longer receive grants once you get to graduate school. Well, at least that's what they told us at that workshop thingie.

  14. #29
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    You see why I'm so frustrated all the time. LOL! It's like nobody that should know these things does. And I have no clue how to figure this stuff out on my own.

    BTW, thanks for trying the help me out everyone. I know this isn't an easy question.

  15. #30
    Moderator and Blogger boysRsmelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Graduate School

    So... had another grad school workshop today. Yeah... I don't think I want to go to grad school. I've never been more confused about what I want to do career-wise. This entire experience has made me second guess myself. The program is practically breathing on you, urging you to apply for their graduate program. They are desperate for applicants right now. And although I had sort of thought about it since Mr BRS wants to finish school at the exact same university, the graduate programs they have to offer are completely unappealing to me. Plus I think it's a bad sign if they are desperate. I mean, why are they so short of applicants? Seems sorta fishy to me...

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