Final Update (4/3/19)
So, a few things.
First, Winston (my dog, the reason I started this fundraiser) is doing well in Detroit, and will be staying with my mom until I move into a new space in July. The money I've been able to put towards that goal from here and the money I'll be saving by moving will make that possible, so, thank you.
More importantly, though, is the question of school. This week I received an e-mail laying out a path to finishing my degree at the University of Georgia. It's not easy and it's not guaranteed, but here it is. First, I need to register for three credit hours to maintain my status as a student. Second, I need to submit materials to the graduate committee detailing why they should consider giving me a sixth year of funding.
The key word there is "consider." A sixth year of funding is not guaranteed in my doing this; there will be other applicants for sixth year funding, and getting it is contingent upon how much demand there is for instructors on the part of the first-year composition program, and how much progress I have made towards finishing my degree. In comparison to other people in the program, I am behind in a way that prevented me from applying for funding a year ago, as a sixth year for me would involve finishing both my comprehensive examinations and my dissertation. While I believe that I am capable of doing this within a school year, the committee may not agree, leaving me with a decision as to whether or not I'm finished in the program, or if I'll continue to pay out of pocket to pursue my degree.
Putting aside that question for a moment, the issue at hand is whether or not I'll be able to pay for three credit hours by Friday, April 12, which is when my application for funding is due. The short answer is no, not on my own. A credit hour at UGA costs $363, and fees for a student taking less than six credit hours are $908. All in, a shot at a sixth year of funding is $1,997.
Asking my friends and family for money for what is essentially a lottery ticket doesn't feel great. It also wouldn't feel great if I let this opportunity go quietly, if I chose not to fight for a degree that, under normal circumstances, I'd probably be walking for at the end of May. Regardless of what the committee decides, I plan to finish this degree. I can scrape together money for tuition and fees if I know ahead of time that that's what I'm doing, and I am willing to sacrifice my social life and personal ambitions as a writer and a publisher to make that happen. I just need a boost *this* semester, *this* month, and I'll take it from there.
Again, thank you all so much for your support. Without y'all telling me to go after this opportunity, I would have already given up.