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Thread: Well, since we're asking school questions.... which one would you pick?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Well, since we're asking school questions.... which one would you pick?

    I am currently enrolled in option #1 but have also looked into option #2. Both degrees are fully accredited universities in Texas, both are distance learning (online) programs and both have similar tuition costs, with #2 being slightly more (but not much). I'm planning on pursuing graduate studies in Urban Planning when I finish my undergrad degree, so keep that in mind. Also, since the courses aren't laid out as clearly as in option #2, I would like to add that in option #1 I will be taking Public Administration and Sociology/Psychology courses for the bulk of my coursework:

    1. Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences - Liberal Arts Emphasis

    2. Bachelor of Science - Human Relations & Business


    Given the choices, which would you go with?

    Your opinions are most-appreciated!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Given the choices, which would you go with?

    Your opinions are most-appreciated!
    I think that either of them would be good. It all depends on the specific class that you do take for each, and how they will relate to your future education and employment choices. Maybe if you have a grad school in mind, contact them and see which one would better prepare you for their specific program requirements.

    For the program that I am in, number 2 would have helped a bit more (but not too much) than number one.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    I would go with Option 1, especially if the bulk of your courses can be in Public Administration. The PA courses will give you a foundation in local government and there is a direct connection with planning...this will be helpful if you know you wish to work in the public sector.

    That's just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Maybe if you have a grad school in mind, contact them and see which one would better prepare you for their specific program requirements.
    That's a great idea... will do that now

    Thanks for the replies so far!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The liberal arts degree will definitely open up more job opportunities. The fast food and retail industries are always hiring liberal arts grads.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    The liberal arts degree will definitely open up more job opportunities. The fast food and retail industries are always hiring liberal arts grads.
    Planning is usually considered a liberal arts degree, is it not?

    Call it a wild guess, but I'm thinking you picked #2?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Planning is usually considered a liberal arts degree, is it not?

    Call it a wild guess, but I'm thinking you picked #2?
    Nah, I went with the liberal arts degrees. It gave me an open mind and the ability to think creatively. Those have paid off big time.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- Also he fries potatoes like a pro.

    I'm doing a BA of English. I figure it has more possibilities than LAS. Have you considered something like that or Geography or Public Administration, etc?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Planning is usually considered a liberal arts degree, is it not?
    FWIW:
    I have an associate of arts in humanities (but my real education in humanities was acquired elsewhere ). Okay, I don't have an income of my own -- I am kind of an unemployed bum/homemaker/sick person/part-time student/wannabe entrepreneur. But, gee, I "should" have died 4 years ago, I have a child with a form of Cystic Fibrosis who has not been on antibiotics in over 6 1/2 years, and I generally make a habit of doing things that people tell me are "impossible". Many college degrees aren't actually "an education", they are actually "training". The difference is that an education teaches you how to think. Training teaches you specific skills and it is the kind of second-rate thing we offer up to folks on welfare to try to make them get a job and get off the dole, when we don't deem them to be worthy of a real education.

    I'll take the real education any day. It has stood me in very good stead. Now, would you like fries with that?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Have you considered something like that or Geography or Public Administration, etc?
    Yes, I have definitely tried to find something like this. I was actually a GIS major for awhile (earned a certificate) before a 2-year break from college.

    The problem is that I work full-time and although there are many great universities all over the Austin metro area, none of them really cater to working professionals. They have all their classes during the daytime and that is out of the question for me. The few that do cater to working professionals either have the typical 3 choices of Business/Computer Science/Criminal Justice degrees or they just cost too much. Example, St. Edwards University is about 5 minutes from my apartment and offers a Bachelor's in Public Administration available entirely in night courses. Sounds perfect, right? Well, the tuition there is $532.00 per credit hour Since I have about 60 hours left to finish my degree, there is no way I can afford that. If I'm going to take out large student loans, I'd rather it be for my Master's degree instead.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Sounds perfect, right? Well, the tuition there is $532.00 per credit hour Since I have about 60 hours left to finish my degree, there is no way I can afford that. If I'm going to take out large student loans, I'd rather it be for my Master's degree instead.
    You might crunch some numbers and look at financial aid. If it is otherwise "perfect", the cost may be something you can overcome without taking out huge student loans. Go talk to them about the money part of it. If you count in the tax deduction you can get for spending more than X amount on tuition in one year, plus Pell grants and the like, etc. and then divide it over the period of time you will be in school, you may be able to cope better than you think.

    I had a friend in college who cleaned offices before school, grew a vegetable garden to supplement their groceries, and god only knows how she and her mom scrimped continuously. She got through veterinarian school with much smaller student loans than is typical for that major while also flying to Europe every year or two to visit relatives for a few weeks. And she qualified for a LOT more student aid than I did. These people did not have a lot of money. Oh, and let's not forget the mini-zoo in her home: She was a vet major because of her love of animals -- dogs, turtles, fish, etc.

    Whichever way it works out, good luck and happy learning.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Michele, thanks for your advice

    I guess I could talk the numbers with them but it's hard for me to see it working out. I'm not sure if I would qualify for a Pell Grant given my income (not high but maybe too high to qualify).

    If I were going to be a veterinarian or doctor, then I wouldn't worry about paying back student loans. A planner, though.... well, you know

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Michele, thanks for your advice

    I guess I could talk the numbers with them but it's hard for me to see it working out. I'm not sure if I would qualify for a Pell Grant given my income (not high but maybe too high to qualify).

    If I were going to be a veterinarian or doctor, then I wouldn't worry about paying back student loans. A planner, though.... well, you know
    My husband is in college and I am in college (intermittently). We pay out of pocket for the full cost of tuition and books for all my classes because my health problems and other factors mean that I generally decide/discover at the last minute that I can take a class and there is one available that I need. The only student loan I have is for when I paid $4000 or so lump sum in tuition for GIS school, bought a laptop computer to take with me, and had to cover 2 months room and board, etc. a couple of summers ago. I can never get Pell grants and the like because I cannot take the minimum number of classes required to qualify.

    It is your life and you can do whatever you want with it. Look at the options. Search for a scholarship. Buy a copy of "the tightwad gazette". Crunch the numbers. If you want it, dragging it out over a longer period of time may make it more affordable. And Don't Say No For Them. The surest way to make sure you never get any financial aid whatsoever is to decide beforehand that the odds are long and not bother to even ask. Most people are perfectly capable of telling you "no" and to shove off without you politely slitting your own throat for them and not bothering and not wasting their valuable time, so they have a few extra minutes to gossip on the phone and paint their nails rather than doing their job.

    Do you WANT this? If you do, then explore every option and find a path forward.

    (And if I sound obnoxious, I don't mean to be. I'm just good at it. )

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