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Subject:  Re: Musings about grad school tuition and loans Date:  6/16/2008  4:27 PM
Author:  bibliophage Number:  274181 of 312188

Do you have any experience as a teacher? Are you sure it's something you would enjoy doing full time? I ask this because a large percentage of new teachers switch careers within 5 years of starting their teaching career, and it would be a shame if you went back to school and went further into educational debt for something that you don't like long-term.

Another option would be for you to take a job at a private or charter school, which doesn't require the same level of certification as the public schools do. The downside to this is that the salaries are truly terrible, but it would give you the opportunity to make sure that teaching jr high-high school level kids is something you enjoy enough to do long term without having to go back to school.

I would recommend against joining loan repayment programs up front unless you're SURE this is something you would want. If you get your master's and graduate and look around at jobs and you decide you want to work in a low-income area, you can probably still enroll in some kind of loan repayment program at that point.

I understand the need for you to make a career change. But the fact that you've been so unhappy at your work makes it all the more important that your next career choice be one that will make you happy--both in the sense of achieving job satisfaction AND in the sense of having enough money to enjoy your non-working life. Be smart about this and make sure you are not running away from a bad job but running toward something that will enrich your life.

Finally, assuming you've thought about all these things extensively already and you're determined to go back to school this year--I'd go ahead and take out the subsidized loan package. I don't see any reason why you won't be eligible for it, and subsidized loans are definitely the best way to pay for school if you don't have cash in hand and can't get someone else to pay for it.
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