Going to school FT, and working PT - how is this possible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-30-2010, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH has been a FT college student for the last 2 years, while also working a FT job. He still has 3 years of school left as he is only able to take 4 classes/semester working around his job. I stay home with our 3 kids (1.5, 4 and 5). I know a few family members with children who were FT college students with PT jobs, I also remember a thread about it recently. My question is - how is this possible? Even with DH working FT, we barely make it. We qualify for pretty much everything (we made $35K last year, the cutoff for a family of 5 seems to be about $55K for most programs), but we don't actually take any of it as we are able to make it without.

DH's job is completely soul sucking, and is making him miserable. He is waaay overqualified (he has an engineering degree and 10+ years in manufacturing experience in Peru, but no one gives a hoot about that here, so he is re-earning his degree now and working a crappy job) and he is constantly bored. We also live in an area that is over 90% (I think its actually 96%) white, and he is Hispanic. His company is over 700 employees, and he gets treated like crap from very many of them. There have been several issues of harassment, which his manager has not dealt with. He finally went over the manager's head to HR the last time, and found out his manager was not reporting any of it either. There is one guy in particular who seems to be on a vedetta to get DH fired, or at least make his life miserable, and the manager takes this guy's side on everything. I could write a novel about what has gone on, but this isn't the right forum for that, and I'm getting sidetracked as it is

My question is - how do people manage being FT students while working PT? I have a very PT job - 10ish hours/week, which I could definitely turn into a 30ish hour a week job. I'd be more than willing if it would get DH out of that place, and able to focus on school, and even finish in less than 3 years. But I only make $9/hr. DH makes twice that working FT and we're tight. DH's college is completely paid for by the Pell grant and a few other small discounts/state grants, which is good. We also get a huge tax return every year, and are offered loans when we get the financial aid package, but we've never taken them. I know we could get Medicaid, food stamps, fuel assistance, WIC, probably more - and would take it if we had to, but is that really enough? I'm mostly thinking out loud, I guess. I would love it if he could leave that place...

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#2 of 8 Old 04-30-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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My husband wants to go back to school full time. It's going to be rough.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-30-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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I would start with what you can do. The WIC, foodstamps, up your work hours, blah, blah.
Cut unnecessary expenses i.e. cell phones, high-speed internet, cable, any extra-classes/activities the kids might be in, turn dow the heat, yada yada yada. All that stuff adds up.

I am in school fulltime and work partime, and those are some of the things I have done. I am still way in over my head.. but I am getting smarter about this and much better at being able to budget.
I just keep telling myself this is not forever, when I am done I will have an awesome career that I love, and that will pay for dd's gymnastics and riding lessons; which are few of the things I had to cut, and feel really bad over. I really don't mind the rest of cut backs at all. In fact, I like seeing how thrify we can get. Life is so much simpler.

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#4 of 8 Old 05-01-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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First find out if you would qualify for services such as food stamps and Medicaid if he went PT. I put my DH through school working a pretty crummy job and we were eligible for nothing because he was a student and "could" get a job and work FT. I live in a college town and they pretty much told us that we were ineligible because if they helped students they wouldn't have any money to help "real" needy people.
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#5 of 8 Old 05-01-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 34me View Post
First find out if you would qualify for services such as food stamps and Medicaid if he went PT. I put my DH through school working a pretty crummy job and we were eligible for nothing because he was a student and "could" get a job and work FT. I live in a college town and they pretty much told us that we were ineligible because if they helped students they wouldn't have any money to help "real" needy people.
ITA w/this. You need to make sure those services would be available to your family if he were a ft student. Since in many places the thinking is that you guys would not be truly in need.

As for your question, I worked and went to school, 7.5 years straight to get my BA and M.ED and yes I was a mama as well. Its hard, no doubt, I had no life, granted my dh made enough that we weren't starvin but without a doubt its hard but its doable.

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#6 of 8 Old 05-01-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I assume you have already looked into this--- but would DH be able to go straight to a graduate program with his undergrad degree. DP works in software engineering and while he was getting his MS of computer science he knew a *lot* of people who had gotten their undergrad out of country. They weren't accepted by US companies as BS degrees, but they WERE accepted by grad programs. So instead of doing a 4 year degree they did a 2 year masters degree. The advantages are numerous: less time, better funding (they all had teaching or research positions which came with stipends AND free tuition plus cheap health insurance) and they ended up with a better degree as well.

Personally, I think you should take any and all help you are qualified for. Additionally, there *is* an acceptable level of student debt. One of my sisters really worked a TON during college to stay 100% out of debt and she has said since then she really wished she had taken it a bit easier and taken a small amount of debt. It would have been WAY easier to pay it off while working a professional job than working herself crazy while in school.

 

 

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#7 of 8 Old 05-01-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Well my dh's doing it because I work full time. Other than that, assistance (food stamps, wic, etc) would be the only way.
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#8 of 8 Old 05-02-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I agree, I think your DH needs to have his transcrips 'verified' by WES. Basically they take foreign diplomas and give a report of the American equivilent, if he is really doing the exact same degree, that sucks, and if it is an American diploma he is looking for the grad degree would probably be a much better way to get it instead of re-doing a BA.

The website is here, http://www.wes.org/evaluations/preli...FQUeDQodsnkG_w I used to work in an MBA program in Europe through an American University, and any university and/or job in the US 'should' be able to use their report for admissions and/or hiring. If the admissions person doesn't it is simply because they are not educated in foreign credentials. last I checked it was a couple hundred dollars plus official, and translated, documents from the university. But it sounds like it would be money well spent in your case.

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