Originally Posted by Two Spunky Monkeys
Oh my goodness! I am so disheartened with everyone's bad expereinces with financial aid! We have been talking about me going back to school - I have a BA in English and I am thinking of getting my teaching certificiation (for k-6). My DH works at a college, and we get FREE tuition there - BUT they do not cover any "student teaching" - so any class that has a major in-classroom expereince is not covered. So, my "Free" tutition will acually cost me more like $30K! And that's just for that one semester of major student teaching - not sure if they cover field experiences. Someone told me that tuition is sometimes reduced for student teachers, so I may not have to worry about that mush, but I have not confirmed this with the college yet. I could go get my master's in Library Science (what I really want to do!) at the state university for the same amount as that one semester, so it's hard to know what to do.
But I was really thinking that we would qualify for some financial aid if I did have to pay for a few semesters - now I am thinking that I may not get much at all.
This is such a hard decision for us - and bittersweet because I really don't want to work full-time, but I'd have to to justify the cost of going back to school. The income potential of working in the public school system is NICE, but I am not ready for full-time employment.
Bush just signed an enormous overhaul of the student aid process into law within the last two days. And one of the (many) good things that it's going to do is provide 100% federal loan forgiveness for anyone who works in a needed public field like teaching, police, firefighters, etc. for ten years, and for people who work in the government. It also massively lowers interest rates on federal student loans taken out in the next few years... down to 3.4% by 2012. And caps payments for students who are having a hard time paying down their loans due to financial hardship to 15% of the Adjusted Gross Income (basically, the difference between 150% of the poverty level and whatever they're making, they'd pay 15% of that. I don't know if there are disregards for daycare or not -- they might not have made it into the final bill).
It's a huge, huge wonderful thing that for some weird reason isn't getting much press, but if you have major student loans or are thinking about going back to school it's VERY worth reading up on. DH and I have 150K+ of student loans, so if we could cap our payments at 15% of our AGI the difference would be amazing. Currently, with them consolidated we're paying 30% of our total monthly income, which won't have them paid off for 30 years. I really hope this applies to older loans as well.