Considering Heading to Grad School

When I graduated from high school back in 1995, it was pretty much unspoken but understood that I WOULD be attending college. So, for the next 3 years, I worked full-time at a paint store and carried a full-load at community college. When ready to transfer to the university level to get a Bachelor's degree, I still had no idea what I wanted to study and was bored to death of attending school for almost 20 years. But, I went for 2 more years and earned a B.A. in Human Communication with focus on practical and professional ethics.

I have now been working in Human Resources at the local community collge for about 11 years. Never been a big fan of the job, still can barely stand it, but it HAS provided me with a stable job, decent wage and EXCELLLENT medical benefits that covered almost every cent of my expenses for my surgery and treatments.

As I have mentioned to some of my pals here on the site, as much as the job has been a support to me, it is simply not where I want to be in my life, and a big part of this is a result of my surgery. Having part of my left temporal lobe removed has changed the way I think. While I have always been into drawing and building things, I have never considered it a career option, but am now considering a huge shift, heading back to school, getting an MFA and possibly becoming an art instructor at the high school or college level.

But I am currently supporting a wife and two young kids, have limited time to attend classes, which would have to be taken at night and on the weekends, and expenses are going to be a major issue.

I am looking for any information I can possibly find on scholarships and perhaps people that have been in similar situations that might be able to provide insight on how to accomplish this feat. I would greatly appreciate it!

Hi Jake. You are a very talented guy! I have the belief that if you like what you are doing…you will live longer!

Jake, good for you! Like Barbara said, if you are able to work doing what you love it will make a huge difference. I wasn't a huge fan or HR either, so much drama! There's tons of options for financial aid out there, the trick is finding them. I would imagine the college has someone that assists with that kind of thing? Yes, it will be difficult to manage all of the responsiblities, but it won't be forever and it will be so worth it! Good luck.


I have a bunch of experience with student loans and worked for a guarantor of student loans for almost a decade. Granted scholarships are ideal, if they don't cover all your expenses, student loan programs through the federal government are the way to go. They have a ridiculously low interest rate and have no payback requirement while you're enrolled in school. Stay away from private loans if you can because these have higher interest rates and not so flexible pay back periods. Fill out the FAFSA and start from there... and beware of those that charge you to fill this out. It's a huge scam. Its a free service and I believe "Free" is even in the name. BTW, I'm getting my second Master's degree right now and funding it through federal direct loans. If I can help in any way, just let me know. Always follow your dream and that include's your education. Good luck always.

Thanks, everyone! Suzy and Trish, while I do work in human resources, one of the benefits is that I happen to work in HR for a community college district and work primarily with professors, so I do have some good resources. The one thing that is unfortunate is that even the academic counselors that specialize in finding scholarships and admission to universities have no information on anything that is specific to students that have dealt with things like AVM or brain trauma. There is, however, quite a bit offered to people that have survived brain cancer.

That is one of the reasons I have brought it up here... I figure there might be a chance that I happen to stumble across someone that has been through similar situations and perhaps has an insider source to special scholarships. Aside from that, it never hurts to get a little support from your peers!

Thanks again, everyone.

Oh... And FYI... Filling out the official FAFSA documentation was one of the first things I did, as well as met with one of the counselors that works at one of the colleges in our district that I have known since before my surgery. She has been very helpful.

Good deal Jake... sounds like you're on the right track. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any AVM-related/brain trauma financial assistance. But I will let you know if I ever do. Again, let me know if there's anything I can do to help. :)