Financial aid at community colleges as second degree student

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    I am finding it impossible to get aid at my school (Valencia community college in Orlando, fl) I am currently doing prereqs there and I called today because I was denied for federal aid and also for their foundations scholarships. I don't understand the scholarships because they are awarded, how can they deny me just because I am a second degree? I asked her if it was going to be the same thing when I enter nursing school, obviously it's thousands of dollars more and she said probably. So I asked how do students pay for school if obviously they can't work? She had no answer. I am planning on applying to a community college for nursing and I am scared it will be this way everywhere. How am I suppposed to pay for college as a second degree student? My past is haunting me because I picked a failing field. My Bachelor's was paid out of pocket by my parents but my masters was thru loans which will never get paid off unless I can go to school for something else. Their whole thing is they are a "junior college" and I have more than 90 credit hours and not a new student. Someone please help! What can I do? And pleas don't say fast web because that website is a joke.

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  2. 18 Comments...

  3. 0
    Well from my own experience: you are gonna have to work and go to school. I am in a full time nursing program and I work. Is it recommended? No, but if that is your only option to pay for school, then that is what you do. I go to a private school, so even though I do get some financial assistance from scholarships, I still have lots to pay out of pocket, and I cover it by working.

    Other options would be to apply for scholarships. Go to a bookstore and look through their scholarship books, there are tons that cover adult students, you just have to look.
  4. 1
    It's a common problem, and will only become more common as time goes on. Some school's used to be willing to bend the SAP rules, but the government is pushing them to tighten their belts.
    Have you filed an appeal?
    I ended up having to pay for my program with scholarships. I have filed my second appeal for loans to cover childcare and hopefully that'll come through, but I'm not holding my breath.
    heydelilah likes this.
  5. 1
    It depends on the school. I got Stafford loans as a second degree student and had well over 120 credits. So long as you arent maxed out, you should be able to get them. Even now, I'm at a technical college and getting Stafford loans. Are there other schools in your area?
    CareQueen likes this.
  6. 1
    I am a second degree student...I am getting grants, a loan and a scholarship. I have an associates degree that was over 120 credit hours. I am going back to school because I unfortunately chose a career that spoke to my heart but was going no where.

    Are you unable to qualify for loans and/or scholarships because you made too much money last year? It can be very difficult for someone to work to pay for school, depending on what's going on in their life and where they live. It may be difficult, but if you want it bad enough, it can be done.
    Fearless_leader likes this.
  7. 0
    I have an AAS in General Studies but haven't maxed out my Pell so I'm still getting that. My school doesn't discriminate on having a previous degree. If you're eligible for aid based on funds or at the top of the list for scholarships due to academic status, then it will be awarded. Hopefully you can find a place that is more willing to work with you.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the info. I do not know how it is even possible to work and pay for nursing school. I make 10 bucks an hour.... No way will that pay anything. I will not be going to this same school for nursing because they have a 2 year wait list. Does a loan have to go thru a school? I am trying to find other ways to do this.
  9. 0
    Private loans? Also, look into WIA in your state. It's a scholarship that will pay for all of your ADN costs.
  10. 0
    What does WIA stand for?
    Also I'm in the same boat as you sweetstrwbrry1, I got my AA degree while taking prereqs for the nursing program IT WAS RECOMMENDED. and now all of a sudden I can't get any aid and they don't want us working while doing the program.
    I've never had to have a loan before..
    I just submitted an appeal and I'll let you know what the result is, sucks huh? I'm guessing we could try Sallie Mae..
    Last edit by jglover4168 on Aug 7, '12
  11. 0
    I know at my community college they allow people to "drop" items off their transcripts that are not needed for their degree. The credits will still show up if you transfer to another college but they will never "show" up at our college anymore. Several of my friends did this because they already had Masters in other areas. Maybe you can speak to an advisor about this option! Good luck!


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