I want to go back to college after a 15 year hiatus!
August 7, 2011 7:51 AM Subscribe
I want to go back to college but I feel like I'm starting all over again and don't even know if I can get back in! I'm posting this anonymously because my lack of college degree deeply embarrasses me. More details about my situation inside...
posted by anonymous to Education (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
To make a long story semi-short, I should have graduated college in the late 90's. I had 75 credits when I left school (a combination of illness and an sexual assault drove me away.) My last three semesters at school were a wash - I went from being an A/B student to flunking all my classes because I was in deep denial about what had happened to me, and shutdown completely. (I have since dealt with this through intensive therapy.)
I was lucky enough to be working while I went to college - and that job turned into a career. (For a reference point, I was a liberal arts major who now works in a computer field.) I have been steadily working since my junior year of college and have been lucky that my combination of 12 + years experience and industry certifications (I hold two very high-level IT security certifications) have allowed me to find great jobs without my degree.
Here is the thing - I feel deeply embarrassed and incomplete without my degree. Most people I meet assume I have the same educational background as they do and it pains me to gloss over the fact that while I attended school, I never graduated. I am constantly scared that one day I will run into a roadblock that is caused by my lack of degree and there will be no way around it.
I've wanted to go back to school for years. It seems that most programs that target my demographic are ones for online universities. I don't have a problem with this, but my major is not one that is historically or generally offered online. I am not interested in going back to college to further my career or get a more technical degree. I want to finish what I started. I also would like to go on to a Master's program, again only for my own personal growth.
I've done some research and have found a few schools in the NYC-area that I believe might fit the bill for me. (New School and Columbia's General Studies program.) Both are on the verge of cost-prohibitive; I earn too much to qualify for aid, and am *not* in in the position to take on more debt. I'd like to attend CUNY for its value and diversity of campus locations, but the barriers to entry for someone like me seem higher than those at private intuitions.
A few specifics:
- I was never great at college math - and as such, do not have a college math credit to my name. I have thought about going to a community college to take a math class, just to get this over with and have it on my transcript since most colleges require it now.
- My GPA was 3.2; after everything happened, it slipped down to a 1.97. I was also academically dismissed; but after my mom came in and raised holy hell about what was going on with me, they let me come back and take classes. (I did manage to make a 4.0 my very last semester of college.) However, the academic dismissal on my transcript remains there. I have taken a handful of college classes between now and then (approximately 9 credits) and have gotten A's in all of my classes. For traditional transfer students, I realize that my GPA at my original institution pretty much disqualifies me from getting into a new college as a transfer student. I do not know if my other classes would raise my GPA enough.
Essentially, what I am looking for is this:
- Are there other colleges in the NYC area (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx) where someone with my background and college credits might find a good fit to finish the last year and a half or two years of college? (I realize most colleges have a required number of credits that must be taken at their institution.) I know myself well enough to know that anywhere I land, I will do well. I have the time, energy and maturity to finish my program, but I feel like I do not fit in anywhere at all. Besides the New School and Columbia, I've looked at CUNY (Hunter and Brooklyn College) but am very concerned about CUNY's transfer requirements.
Any help from those in academia (at these institutions or others) or those who have been in a similar is completely appreciated!
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