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  1. Thank you for your cents! You make some good points. I hadn't thought of looking for research grants. Also, now I'm thinking my company may provide a tuition reimbursement program at the national level. Going to look into it!
  2. I take offense to your comment on two points. First, nonprofit is not weird. It is a legitimate sector of the economy and an important field to be in. Second, just because I provided one example of my point, that does not mean I only have one example. Your comment was uninformed and dismissive.
  3. On the contrary, I know multiple people who have received scholarships for school in virtue of their working for a nonprofit. For instance, recently a colleague received a full scholarship to Vanderbilt Owen School of Management to earn the MBA. The scholarship was in conjunction with the Center for Nonprofit Management and is awarded to a nonprofit employee applicant showing merit.
  4. Checking again to see if anyone has any advice on funding my education.
  5. Thanks for the advice. Already had a meeting with both the academic director and financial aid. That didn't produce anything helpful. I'm already getting a $40,000 scholarship, so the university is not going to give me any more money. I might earn more through awards as I perform well, but that can't be predicted or counted on. There's not a nonprofit subtopic, else I would post there. I'm not willing to delay a year, as it throws off a lot of things in my personal life. And, Vanderbilt has always been a dream of mine, so I get just as much personal satisfaction out of going there as I do professionally. I started at community college and have been working my way up the ranks to finally attend an institution such as that. I had offers from other schools, but once Vanderbilt said yes, my decision was certain. I'm not willing to go anywhere else, so I am okay with the price tag. Just trying to figure out how to mitigate debt as much as possible. My car terms are fine at 2.9% interest. I'd be better off keeping that loan and paying extra cash towards school loan interest since that'll be at least 6.5%. I'm up for salary review in August and will push for a 7% increase based off my performance this year. I know half a dozen people who went through this program and are doing very well in their careers. I've done 2 dozen coffee meetings with folks associated with this school and its programs to make certain I was choosing the right degree for what I want to do. I could have gone for the MBA through Vanderbilt Owen. But for nonprofit work, this Leadership and Organizational Performance degree will serve me much better - both in terms of cost and in academic focus. I have access to payroll info at my current company and know I can expect a $25K/year increase 2 years from now when I have my Master's and my supervisor retires. They're grooming me for his role, so if I decide to stay here then I can expect enough increase in salary to justify this degree in the first year alone. Many of the director level folks have Master's at my company, not to mention my own peers, who I must remain competitive with. I will heed your advice on the loan forgiveness. Will not count on that. Another thought occured to me - I have equity in my home. I might be able to pull that out to pay for school. When I sell the house in two years (part of the master plan, mind you), I can pay all of it off and be done with it. Since my home appreciates at 4%/year, I know the equity will be better put to use paying down higher interest student loan debt.
  6. Does anyone know of any scholarships I should be applying for to help cover the tuition gap? Or loan options you'd recommend.
  7. I am seeking advice on how to pay for my graduate degree in light of my status as a nonprofit employee. I intend to continue working in nonprofit for the entirety of my career. About me: Twenty-six years old; Single/no dependents; No student loans from undergrad - put myself through school and had full scholarships; Strong credit history with a score of 770; Full-time Grants Manager for a large nonprofit under a national brand; Salaried at $42K/year with strong benefits package; I have a mortgage and three years left on my car payment; I have a retirement account, HSA, and an emergency fund. After all expenditures, my leftover funds each month totals about $400. Professional goal: earn my Master's and eventually work in nonprofit leadership as an Executive Director. I was accepted to Vanderbilt Peabody's M.Ed. in Leadership and Organizational Performance. Two-year program, going at night and weekends. Received a 62%/$40K honors scholarship. Will still be on the hook for the remaining $25K. I plan to continue working full time and cover all living expenses as normal with my paycheck. If you know of outside scholarships I should be applying for, please leave the link. Regarding loans - I am not sure if I should go with a private or federal loan. I will have no problem qualifying for the best interest rates with private loans, so they beat the Direct Unsubsidized's 6.5% plus 1.68% origination fee, but I am also aware of public service student loan forgiveness with federal loans after 10 years of payments. Thinking that if I get on a repayment plan relative to my income, then I could possibly have a good 20% or so of my loan still outstanding after 120 payments (10 years), and get that forgiven (since I'll be working in nonprofit). This would effectively cut my grad school cost to $20K. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks.
  8. I forgot to follow up on this. I was admitted two months ago and offered their most competitive scholarship, the Peabody Honors Scholarship. It covers 75% tuition. Very exciting for me!
  9. Thanks for the advice. I just sent an email to my contact at peabody that I met with this week. She's the admin coordinator. I explained and asked if I should include a transcript. Good advice about it being better to explain on the front end than to explain afterward.
  10. I am applying to M.Ed. program at Vanderbilt Peabody and the MBA program at Vanderbilt Owen. Three years ago, one year after I graduated undergrad, I spent all of two weeks enrolled in Nashville School of Law. It is the city law school. I had been pre-law in my undergrad and thought I wanted to be an attorney, but I did not. I went to the city law school so I could try it out and the cost burden would be minimal (i paid my way on cash). Not to mention, it was easy to get in. I withdrew from classes after two weeks. Never looked back. Should I tell the Vanderbilt admissions people about this and include the transcript in my application? It was a small blip on the radar of my life that I'd really rather just leave out instead of having to explain.
  11. Thanks for the help! I ended up scoring a 4.0AWA on my first GRE a few weeks ago. I just retook it yesterday and did much better. I'd say a 5.0 is not unreasonable. Appreciate the help.
  12. Four years out of undergrad. Great work experience so far, interning and then later clerking for a year with Speaker of the House of Representatives at the state capitol. Spent last two years working for a large, national nonprofit coordinating a 35,000 person volunteer program. It's been a little less than half a year since I was promoted to Grants Manager in which I apply for and oversee half of a $1.7 million grants budget. Hold a Bachelors of Science, double major in Philosophy and Law. (3.9 GPA) Two study abroads under my belt. Lots of community involvement. Served on a board of directors, built some houses, scholarship panel for several years, etc. Letters of Rec from Speaker of the House, Chief of Staff, and Vice President of the public education foundation in Nashville. All I know personally. I should mention that the Speaker holds a doctorate from Peabody. I took the GRE 3 1/2 weeks ago first time. Got a 305 (148Q; 157V; 4AWA). Retook yesterday and got a 314 (155Q; 159V) I expect my writing to come back at a 4.5-5.0 range. What are my chances of getting into Vanderbilt Peabody's M.Ed. in Leadership and Organizational Performance?
  13. If it would be helpful, I have pasted in my issue essay so you don't have to download it: GRE Issue Task Prompt: Formal education tends to restrain our minds and spirits rather than set them free. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. My writing: Many self-proclaimed creatives eschew formal education on the grounds that it boxes in their artful approach to life. They want the chance at freedom of choice, painting their own destiny. The prevailing alternative, it seems, is a lifestyle void of formal education, and open only to free-form creativety. The mind and spirit need not be at odds with formal education, however. The “free as a bird” lifestyle can be reconciled with education if one understands the value universities offer their creative students. It opens our minds and spirits to the labrynth of possibilities available to the student. Further, it provides opportunity to practice these skills, exploring all the avenues and corridors down which the student could travel in pursuit of knowledge. Without formal education, the student cannot discover all the advanced ideas and perspectives on life that only come thorugh academic discourse. Therein lies freedom of thought and expression, made clear through the ability to critically think about one’s position on life. The outlook of the formally educated student is one of analysis and great skill in handling complex ideas. When you can handle complex ideas with relative ease, it opens up a world of opinions that can be freely traversed and dwelled in. Another way formal education provides freedom to the mind and spirit is in the way it trains you, giving the student confidence in disciplines previously foreign. What can be more freeding than the confidence to do whatever your mind sets out to do? You can spend hours learning about a particular aestethic, or attempt mastery of a skulpting technique. Freedom comes in the ability to do the things you freely choose to do. There are challenges to formal education’s ability to free the mind and spirit, however. The riginess of formal education institutions can stifle the creative spirit. But this does not have to be the case. Those same insitutions can provide access to resources such as advanced graphic design software, expensive screenprinting machines, whole workshops for students with a predisposition to invention. Universities need not be looked at as inflexible monoliths, suppressing all inspiriation, but as concrete foundations - runways on which the mind and spirit can take flight. With all the opportunities available to the formally educated student, Truly, the student can learn more about freedom of mind and spirit at the desk of a classroom than one could ever dream.
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