Originally Posted by sunnmama
People underestimate how much money a student can earn while going to school. It isn't as much fun to go to work, rather than watch tv or go to parties, but it surely isn't impossible. If a student works 15-20 hours a week, and earns 7-10k a year, that will significantly offset the eventual loans.
I spent a total of 5 semesters getting my AA. (I first went for an AS, but because I kept flunking Chemistry
, I changed midstream and went for an AA my last 2 semesters)
The first two semesters, right out of HS, my income and my mother's income was so low, I qualified for the full Pell. I paid nothing out of pocket, and even had enough grant money to pay my car insurance for full the whole year. I also earned $12,000 while in school full time. I found a job that paid $7/hour and would be flexible with my school schedule, plus I took some classes at 7am, so I could leave and be at work at 8:30!
The next year, I didn't qualify for the Pell, and decided not to take loans
, so I waited 8 years
to finish that two year degree. When I finally went back to school, I was already earning $32,000 with no degree. I had spent the previous 9 years constantly adding to my skills and building upon them.
I only went back to school because my employer at the time required that I had or was working on an Associate's as a condition of my employment. I took out the loans under the agreeement that once I completed the degree they would repay half the cost of the classes. Then they hit financial skids and laid off a bunch of people, including me. Whoops. I'm still happy I've got the degree - I've gotten interviews I wouldn't have otherwise, and two resulted in jobs.