I realized I never blogged that I graduated from college last month. :) I earned my B.S. in government, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
One of the things about going back to school that I am most proud of, is that I did it without any student loan debt. I went back to community college in August 2005, and at that time we were so poor that I got way more financial aid than I even needed to go full time, buy books, etc. I am now a huge proponent of community college, and will encourage my children to go to community college after high school. Some of my professors were really wonderful, and you just can't even compare the cost. When I went to school in 2000-2001, I made the financially dumb decision to go to a private university. Neither of my parents went to college, and I honestly never realized that there was a difference. So imagine my shock when I found out that a class at a community college costs $200, instead of $4,000! What a deal! Especially since I can honestly say that the education I received at the private school was just not worth that much more than the community college education. In the Fall of 2007, I transferred from community college to a state university. I got a part-time job and started feverishly saving money to pay for what financial aid I didn't get. I was determined not to take out loans--we are done with that. The first two semesters I had to pay out about $1200 plus books. I also got very creative about purchasing books--I NEVER went to the college bookstore. For the most recent summer and fall semesters, I had enough money in grants and scholarships to pay for everything I needed and then some. I made a hobby out of finding scholarship money. In my last semester I still needed a math class, so I made the decision to take it at the community college, saving a bundle. I was also able to take that class online, saving gas money.
Me and my brood on graduation day: