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Now that the US has elected Trump, everything is up in the air. This would not be the year to assume you can manage your loans with an IBR program like REPAYE.
Hi, I will be starting 2nd year of MPA at Columbia SIPA. I'm an international student. Though I have a partial scholarship from SIPA and taken a loan for my studies, the living and course have been so expensive that I'll run out of money to finance my last semester. I have already reached out to Prodigy Finance and MPOWER for additional loan, but they have declined my application. Since I'm an international student and have no one in the US who could be a cosigner for US bank loan, that is not an option. Plus, my family can't support my studies since it's not affordable. Are there any other options I could look at? Urgent help needed here, please. Thanks in advance.
This is my first post. I found The Grad Cafe by searching Google for topics pertaining to graduate programs that do not require the GRE (to which I was directed to the following topic): And I must say that I was very intrigued. However, given my current difficult situation I am now somewhat more concerned and/or perplexed as to how deep this rabbit hole I currently seem to be in is going. But before anyone gets too confused by my own confusion let me explain my situation (and I apologize in advance for being long winded). I have a BA in philosophy, currently work 2 jobs (7 days/week; it just turned out that way and I can't afford to quit one of them b/c then I wouldn't be able to make ends meet), and I want to go back to school to do some sort of advanced education. Now originally, my goal was to do graduate work in philosophy (this was my plan while in undergrad). However, I did my undergrad online at the University of Illinois and at the time I didn't know that grad school required the GRE, that there are no online philosophy programs, that philosophy professor jobs are few and far between (very competitive), and that if I was accepted into a program somewhere I would likely get stuck in adjunct faculty forever (at least this is my current belief - correct my if you believe I'm off the mark). So I became discouraged. These discoveries lead me to question of changing majors (I currently work part time for a grant funded program at a JC and have thought about counseling or psych). But then that line of thinking opened up an entirely new Pandora's box. Master's degrees often require the applicant to have taken the prerequisite courses in order to even apply (such as switching from philosophy to psychology) and if I have to take pre-reqs it would likely take me 3-4 years just to do so, in order to start applying for Master's programs that are different than my current discipline (since I'm trying to support myself and keep my current $55k debt in good standing while keeping a roof over my head). But in doing some of this research I also discovered that some Masters programs don't require the GRE. In thinking about the potential of applying to one, or more, of these programs I have now opened up yet another Pandora's box (a box inside of a box inside of a box, it seems) b/c I am now faced with the question of where I want to wind up. That is, what major am I going to switch to and why am I switching to that major? What job will I be hoping to get after switching majors? Is that path reasonable? Is that job one that I will be happy with? What majors should I even consider and why? What will that life look like? [I was a small business owner for many years and, in a way, all of this future decision making is super stressful]. Anyways, these are really such huge life questions and I'm not expecting any ground-breaking answers (though that would be nice) but right now I'm faced with not knowing where to turn. I feel like I need help from a counselor of some kind. Someone who knows all the ins-and-outs of online programs and who could guide me in a general direction given my current needs. I should mention that right now I am on an income based repayment plan for my student loans, and I fear that as soon as I do my taxes for 2015 the DOE is going to start sending me a bill every month (this is not to mention the fact that I really need to get out of working these two jobs but feel totally stuck). My ideal situation would be to quit one of my jobs, work the better one part-time while doing an online program somewhere (since I can't really see how doing an in person program would be cost effective for me; How could I afford to move/live etc?). So my questions to the forum are the following: 1. If you can relate in any way what advice do you have? 2. Does the GRE really matter that much in terms of finding a good job? 3. What non-GRE online schools are good, if any? 4. As I don't really know what career I should head toward now, what should I do? I feel like I'm in a very stuck place. I had a career, the economy crashed, I bounced around from low paying job to lowing paying job, and I now need to make an important decision that will set me up for years to come. In short, I'm stressed out! And I don't really know where to turn. If anyone can help I would be immensely grateful. median p.s. - The career options I have been keeping on the table are ones that pertain to philosophy, teaching/education, counseling, social work, or educational counseling. However, I'm still undecided at this point since so many times one cannot know if they really want to have a specific career until they have the facts about what that career looks like from the inside (day to day, etc). I guess in general I just need help finding my way.