My name is Michele. I am 50 years old, and after falling off a 40-foot ladder in 2009 and having spent the last 18 years working as a residential contractor, my mind, my body, and my 14-year-old son say it's time for a change! I am asking for $27,000 to complete my Associates degree in the Rad Tech program at Gwinnett Tech and start a second career as a radiographer.
I live in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia has a Hope Grant and Zell Miller Grant that I am not eligible for because I have been out of high school for over 7 years. We also have a Hope Scholarship that I became ineligible for once I was formally accepted into a program. I noticed my Pell grant for spring semester was much lower than previous semesters. When I inquired at financial aid, I was told that the Pell grant is only available for 6 six years and that includes the four years from 1985 – 1989 that I took some college classes at Middle Tennessee State University. Next semester is the last Pell grant I will receive. The only financial aid that I will be able to get are loans and they are significantly less than what one would receive at a four-year university. I need help if I'm going to get my Associate degree while supporting myself and my teenager.
This Spring I will be taking 11 credit hours and 160 clinical hours. Mondays and Wednesdays, I will be at the hospital from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are also times when I may have to go to the school after finishing my rotation. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays I will be at school from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. So essentially, I am at the school or hospital 40 hours a week and that does not include any studying, homework, or projects that I will have to complete. This is a “SET” program so I cannot pick and choose my schedule. I will be doing residential contracting work on weekends and early evenings to make whatever money I can. My GPA is currently a 3.89.
Awards, Honors, Activities
- I was nominated and elected as the President of my class this October and will continue to serve as President through graduation.
- I was nominated by one of my instructors to compete in the GOAL competition . There were 60 students originally nominated out of 7000 students at Gwinnett Tech. 48 students competed in the speech/interview competition and I was chosen as one of the four finalists.
- I’ve made the Dean’s list for my third straight semester. The last two with a 4.0.
- Here is a recommendation letter from my instructor, Dr. Timothy M. Casey
My Path to Graduation
As of December 2017, I have four semesters left. I earned 14 hours of college courses from 1985-1989, 22 hours of core classes from Gwinnett Tech (9 hours specifically from the Radiologic Technology program) and have to take 43 more radiology hours for a total of 79 hours to complete the program. I will be taking 11 class hours and 160 clinical hours next semester.
Costs (School & Cost of Living With Side Jobs Included)
* Tuition, fees, uniforms, books (x4 semesters) - $7,140
* Vaccinations – (one time cost) $325
* Housing for 1 year ($850/month) - $10,200
* Utilities for 1 year ($225/month) - $2,700
* Gas and Transportation ($175/month)- $2,100
* Food ($250/month)- $3,000
* Cell phone ($125/month) - $1,500
TOTAL COST- $26,965
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity that Gwinnett Tech has afforded me and look forward to securing a job in my field. The idea of going back to school at my age was needless to say, a bit overwhelming. But, my reality has been that it is exciting and fills me with a sense of hope, confidence and direction. I also have the benefit of seeing how my commitment to school is having a profoundly positive effect on my 14-year-old son and his education decisions. My only fear is that I will run out of funds before completing this program because of the time committment this program demands. Thank you again for your support. I could not do it without you!
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