So I never made it back here last Monday to talk about what went down at the Financial Aid office. Sorry about that! Let’s get caught up, shall we?
I dipped out of work an hour early (because my boss is pretty much amazing) and headed over to the school. After waiting for a while since there were four people ahead of me, a lady finally called me back. I gave her the forms and the IRS tax transcript, and she attempted to send me on my way.
Umm. Wait, what? No, ma’am! Look. I know it’s close to the end of your day and you’ve probably already mentally checked-out. And I actually sympathize, I really do, I totally get it. But here’s the thing: I am burning an hour of PTO to be here, so technically I’m on the clock, too. And what that means is that we’re going to sit here and you’re going to answer my questions and you’re going to give me actual information. What you’re NOT going to do is rush me out and leave me to just sit around wondering what happens next.
So, as sweetly and politely as possible, I innocently ignored her hints for me to leave and continued to ply her with every damn question I could think of, successfully digging out all the information she should have offered up if she wasn’t trying to shove me out of her office.
The Bad News: As far as the issue of what happens next, it’s basically just hurry-up-and-wait time. She said that they haven’t even finished processing the requests for the summer semester (which starts next week) yet, so don’t expect to hear anything about my financial aid award package for at least another month. Great. Fantastic. Thanks for telling me so I’m not obsessively checking my student email every day, hoping to hear something from ya’ll. (Spoiler alert: I’m kinda doing that anyhow.)
The Good News: She was VERY clear that she wasn’t making me any promises, but she said based on my income and estimated financial need, between federal Pell grants and the South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance program… It looks like my tuition might be completely covered for the next two years!!! The only thing I would have to take out a student loan for would be books and supplies. I’m trying to keep in mind that she could be completely wrong (as she herself stressed), but still… It’s definitely a nice thing to think about!
So hopefully now sometime in June I’ll have more information. If I haven’t heard anything by the middle of the month, I’m gonna be dropping by their office and being annoying again. Note: This is a perfect example of what I said in a previous post about wanting to stick with schools within a reasonable driving distance, because sometimes you just gotta show the fuck up in order to get shit done. Which actually brings me to my next bit of news…
Another school has been added to the short list of transfer opportunities. Last week for work I had to attend a required 2-day OSHA training course (*snore*) and it was located in the building next door to mine, which happens to also be the base library and Education Building. During a class break, I wandered upstairs to the Education office and chatted with one of the advisors there, and told her a bit about my academic goals. The lady (I didn’t get her name) directed my attention to Park University.
It’s located in Parkville, Missouri, but the school actually has a satellite campus right there in the same building. They offer a fully online Bachelors degree in Psychology, and it’s not super expensive. Still more than Kennesaw State, but way less than University of Florida. But I like the idea of having reps from the school right here in town, walking distance from my office no less, should I need anything (like to pester somebody about Financial Aid). Plus I read over the degree requirements, and if I’m understanding correctly, they only require ONE math course, College Algebra, and that’s extremely appealing to me. So Park is in the running now, probably #2, with KSU still being #1 and UF getting bumped down to #3.
She also gave me a two-page list of websites to check out for grants and scholarships. She said they curated the list mainly with active duty military service members and spouses in mind, but that Department of Defense employees were eligible for some of them. I haven’t really delved into it yet, but I will this week just to see if I can find myself even more free money!
In other news, I’m still pluckin’ away at my self-study Algebra lessons, doing 2-3 of them each night. Last night I finished Lesson #35 of the the first module. Since there’s two modules, with 120 lessons total, that puts me at 29% finished. (I just calculated that percentage using my newly acquired math skills. No, for real. I didn’t know how to do that before.)
Some nights with it are better than others, that’s for sure. Like, some of the lessons just come crazy easy to me, and I fly right through them. (It turns out that I’m really good at fractions… Who knew?)
Other lessons… Well. Not so much. On those occasions, there’s typically a whole lot of cussing and screaming at my laptop. (No crying, though… yet.) Things like:
- “Why are you overcomplicating this?! The answer is 10, god dammit! Why do I have to do all these confusing extra shit?!”
- “I have no fucking clue what you’re saying to me right now! Speak English, motherfucker!”
- “Why am I so stupid?! You know what? Fuck algebra. Nah, bro. Just FUCK Algebra.”
No, really. These are actual things that have come out of my filthy mouth. (It turns out I’m really NOT good at solving equations and inequalities. Ugh.)
The struggle is so very real, ya’ll.
But! The silver lining here is that eventually I do always master each and every lesson. I actually refuse to move on to the next lesson until I clear the current one with 100% accuracy. Granted, some of them I have to redo 3-4 times before I get it. Even then as I’m completing the skill assessment, I’m closing my eyes and holding my breath after I input each answer until I hear the DING! telling me that I got it right. But… I’m getting it.
Now if I’m retaining it on the long-term, that remains to be seen.