College sucks!
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09-05-2016, 08:10 PM
RE: College sucks!
I don't think my reasons for wanting to go to one of these schools is important. I DO want to, and this is all you really need to know. The reasons are personal and convoluted. I'm not sure I even understand them. I want the satisfaction of having done it.

This thread was not made to talk about why I want to do this. It was made with intent that the respondents will accept the premise without much inquiry and help me figure out how to accomplish it instead of asking me why I want to do it. The answer is- I'm not sure, I just do..... Why do you want a nice house, as opposed to a not-so-nice house? Why do you want a nicer car as opposed to a not-so-nice car? The answer is- people just do..... I really don't want to stay on this topic of "why" I want to do this. I'd like to move on to the "how" if we can.

I'm not looking to be "elitist". I just want to accomplish something great during my lifetime and I deem an accomplishment like this to be great. I have done enough failing and being an absolutely pathetic excuse for a person ad nauseam in my life. I'm ready to do something truly remarkable.

I'm not saying the state schools are necessarily crappy, but I do not buy into the idea that there is as big a presence of the partiers and knuckleheads at top schools. I don't really care if there are. The top schools don't have a reputation for that, whereas schools like the University of Tennessee do. People care more about the dog damn football team than the prestige of the academics of the school. I could have a Phd from there and I would not feel accomplished. It's a "meh" school. It's not like going to W&M, Vanderbilt, or Duke. I really can't explain my reasons any further than that.

I don't understand why people ask 1,000 questions when I say I want to do something like this then proceed to tell me a million reasons why I shouldn't, or why there's no good reason to desire this. I'm just like anyone else who decides they want to do something. Because its what they fucking want to do.
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09-05-2016, 08:16 PM
RE: College sucks!
And everyone keeps suggesting McGill. What makes McGill more accessible or affordable for me than W&M? I'm a resident of the US, and McGill almost certainly would not accept me. If you remember me saying it, I completely failed out of my first college and have only had one semester of good grades since then which were from this semester. The reason I'm wanting to go with W&M is because they offer a guaranteed path to admission through their community colleges (which are open enrollment). It is the most surefire way I could ever get into a top school. After I'm in, I can make good grades and be set to go on to a top private school for graduate studies. It's just the out-of-state tuition that will doom me in this process.
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09-05-2016, 08:42 PM
RE: College sucks!
Quote:My parents don't hold me to any such standard.

Glad to have been wrong about that.

Quote:Btw, I just finished a semester at a Tennessee CC. This was my first semester back to school in four years so it was my first action towards getting back into school and working towards my education. I made 3 As and 2 Bs this semester.

Congratulations! The first is the worst. I went back after letting my brain turn into a sponge for three years, took a course overload and nearly went mad. From there it's all downhill.

Quote:I just need to figure out what kind of aid I would possibly qualify for. There just seems to be roadblocks everywhere. Everything is qualified for certain people and there is always something with every type of scholarship or form of aid that disqualifies me.

Now you know what it feels like to be a minority. At least a little anyway.

You might have some luck with scholarships for "mature students" but I wouldn't pin my hopes on it. W&M will likely have a financial services section that can tell you what they've got that you might qualify for. Scholarships probably aren't your best bet though:
- Most are based in large part on grades.
- Most are donated by aulmni, the majority of whom came from in-state. That's why they're earmarked for students who are in-state.
- Most are for first-time students because the second time around you're viewed as a bigger risk.

You already know most of that but it might help to know the reasons. They aren't selecting against you, they're selecting for somebody else. I know cold comfort.

You might find it more profitable to check some of the various organizations in your state. Many will have scholarships that you won't have the out-of-state problem with and a lot of these go untapped. You'll still have trouble with grades and this being your second attempt.

Assuming scholarships don't pay out, you're left with:
- Family
- Loans! Whee!
- Get a job and save. This might take a while.

Loans are nasty but if family can't put you through W&M they may be your only realistic solution in the near future. You can try and work while in university but that eats into your study time severely and I wouldn't advise it. The minimum wage you'll be paid simply isn't worth the time you'll lose.

If you can't fund it then W&M is out.

One of the first things that you should do is approach one of the comp sci profs at the elite school of your choice for advice. It may be that there are other ways in that you haven't considered. At the worst you'll have established a contact.

Failing that, state is your best bet to get in. If you can't afford W&M then you do what you can afford.

As Chas and I have both suggested, McGill is an option that you should give serious thought to. It has a name that your elite schools will recognize. More so for med school but their comp sci program is solid. It'll run you ~$38,000/year CAD for a BSE, which is less than W&M's in-state fee once you factor the USD-CAD exchange rates in. Immigration's a nuisance but it's better than INS in the states.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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09-05-2016, 08:42 PM
RE: College sucks!
Honestly, Tamiptump, I could care less where you go. It’s your education, and it’s your money. Knock yourself out. But since you came here asking for a conversation, let’s talk. Wanting to go to William and Mary is not unreasonable at all. Blaming William and Mary for requiring you to prove your worth is a tad unreasonable. In addition to that, you’ll have to move to Virginia, wait a year, and declare residency to get the in state benefit. You’re +24, so an act of God should not be necessary. Just wait 1 year and declare residency.

Let’s compare the numbers!
I’m assuming 15 credit hours for 2 semesters per year. Add $15,000/ year for living expenses to WM because you’d be away from home. I’m also assuming that you live in Nashville, where you’d be able to attend school while living with your parents.

2 years Community College: 2 year total = $10,000
2 years Community College + 2 years Tennessee State University: 4 year in state total = $35,000
Tennessee State University: 4 year in state total = $50,000
William and Mary: 4 year in state total = $42,000 + 75,000 5 yr living expenses = $117,000
Vanderbilt: 4 year total = $175,000

To me, the slam dunk here is 2 years at community college, and 2 years at Tennessee State University where (I think) you can live at home to cut living expenses.

It sounds to me like you’re willing to go into some deep debt for a degree that is going to return a job that doesn’t generate the salary that you’d need to pay that debt off and still be able to afford to live a quality lifestyle. Adding on the PhD, you’re looking at debt of well over $200,000 just for the privilege of saying to people that you went to the College of William and Mary. I’ve never even heard of that place before!

I live with family, so I don’t pay extra housing expenses. I have 2 years of community college and I’m finishing up my 2 years of state college. I’ll have spent roughly $35,000 on tuition when I’m done. When I’m on my own, I will not have crushing debt looming over me in an increasingly tight job market. I’m going to get to use my future salary on my future, not on my past.

I’m not going to try to talk you out of your decision. If you want this college, then go for it. It’s certainly not a choice I’d make if I was in your shoes.
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09-05-2016, 08:49 PM
RE: College sucks!
(09-05-2016 07:49 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  You're right, there's going to be a party crowd that's more interested in getting blitzed and getting laid than doing anything serious. You seem to be under the misapprehension that you won't find them in your big name schools. They're a little like lice in that they get everywhere. Our favorite C-student ex-president partied it up so hard at Yale that his dad could barely buy him a passing grade.

Ignore them. The one thing they're very good at is flunking out. They won't be around long and you'll hardly notice them when they are since they rarely bother to attend class.

As to academics, where do you think you'll get a better education? The schools that are about the name and the image that have an inordinately high proportion of entitled little brats whose rich parents dumped them there to get a degree of some sort or other? Or will it be the school that has to be about actual substance because the students that aren't intent on partying themselves blind absolutely have to make it?

The students at state who are serious are going to be working like the devil. They'll be doing that because they don't have a fallback other than waiting tables for the rest of their lives and this will be their only shot. If you want serious academics this is your peer group.

I just wanted to add to this. I am a student of a school with a football team, and I just stick to the science and engineering buildings. My school segregates the nerds from everyone else so I rarely bump shoulders with people who aren’t on science and engineering tracks. We even have STEM housing, clubs and social events on campus so the geeks can stick together. I have yet to hear a single STEM student or professor mention a school sporting event of any kind.
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09-05-2016, 08:53 PM
RE: College sucks!
(09-05-2016 08:10 PM)Tamiptump Wrote:  I don't understand why people ask 1,000 questions when I say I want to do something like this

Because smart people do foolish things for ill-considered reasons.

Having done more than my share of foolish things in my time it might be possible that I can steer you clear of one or two, but only if I understand your motivation. Hence the questions.

There's little that many of us can do to guide you financially. Sadly that part is relatively cut and dried, so we were thinking along other directions.

Since you seem uninterested in pursuing that avenue I'll leave off.

The only advice that I have for you in terms of funding is to check for in-state sources. You'll have one fewer strikes against you. I still wouldn't expect it to be terribly productive. Your grades are going to weigh heavily against you.

---
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09-05-2016, 08:58 PM
RE: College sucks!
(09-05-2016 08:53 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(09-05-2016 08:10 PM)Tamiptump Wrote:  I don't understand why people ask 1,000 questions when I say I want to do something like this

Because smart people do foolish things for ill-considered reasons.

Having done more than my share of foolish things in my time it might be possible that I can steer you clear of one or two, but only if I understand your motivation. Hence the questions.

There's little that many of us can do to guide you financially. Sadly that part is relatively cut and dried, so we were thinking along other directions.

Since you seem uninterested in pursuing that avenue I'll leave off.

The only advice that I have for you in terms of funding is to check for in-state sources. You'll have one fewer strikes against you. I still wouldn't expect it to be terribly productive. Your grades are going to weigh heavily against you.

And, to be fair, because most of us are atheists and skeptics. It is in our natures to scrutinize the fuck out of everything in which we see a possible inconsistency Tongue

'Murican Canadian
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09-05-2016, 09:10 PM
RE: College sucks!
(09-05-2016 08:16 PM)Tamiptump Wrote:  And everyone keeps suggesting McGill. What makes McGill more accessible or affordable for me than W&M? I'm a resident of the US, and McGill almost certainly would not accept me. If you remember me saying it, I completely failed out of my first college and have only had one semester of good grades since then which were from this semester. The reason I'm wanting to go with W&M is because they offer a guaranteed path to admission through their community colleges (which are open enrollment). It is the most surefire way I could ever get into a top school. After I'm in, I can make good grades and be set to go on to a top private school for graduate studies. It's just the out-of-state tuition that will doom me in this process.

We have suggested McGill because, like most Canadian universities, they have a "mature student" designation that ignores past academic inadequacies under certain circumstances.

Now that I've read up on it fully one of the conditions is that you have to be a Canadian citizen or Resident so that isn't much help to you.

Digging in to W&M's tuition shows that part of the high cost is room and board, which is not included at McGill. Add that on and you're pretty much paying W&M's out-of-state rates,so forget McGill.

American schools are ridculous. If you were Canadian you could do your BSE at McGill for ~$8,000 plus room and board.

Check your local universities for a similar "mature student" designation. Those grades might not count against you.

---
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09-05-2016, 09:20 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2016 09:25 PM by Fireball.)
RE: College sucks!
OK, I think that the question you need to ask yourself is, "What do I want to be in my life?". Case in point- do you want the title "Engineer" (or whatever), or do you really want to be an Engineer (or whatever)? You are going to have to accept "The System's" definition of what that means, or work your way through said "System", and prove you are better than it, like, for instance, Elon Musk. Look at him! If you can beat his record, I will Bowing BTW, however smart you think you are, there are people smarter. I have a degree in Mathematical Physics, and I can assure you that there are millions in this world smarter than I am.

ETA- how many wealthy people do you see in the world who don't technically have a college education? DAMNED FEW. They busted their asses in a different way.
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09-05-2016, 09:23 PM
RE: College sucks!
Every time I want to get up and go tackle this dream, it all boils down to "NO YOU CAN'T. GET YOUR ASS BACK INSIDE, SIT ON YOUR FUCKING COUCH, AND CONTINUE BEING THE FUCKING LOSER YOU ARE! YOU'RE PATHETIC YOU LITTLE FUCKING INFIDEL!" That's how college admissions make someone like me feel. Make one mistake at the most immature and pretentious age and you are deemed forever a pathetic, incompetent, loser who is unwelcome on any of their campuses for as long as you live. That's basically it. Or at least that's how it feels.

I give up. I'll stay in my shitty CC and get a god damn associates certification like the loser I am. Maybe I'll just pull out of college and become a Walmart associate. The college system just doesn't want you anymore after you've messed up and you're too old. They put up every barrier they can find to people like me.
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