The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous form below, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

HOW CAN I GO TO COLLEGE WITHOUT DROWNING IN DEBT?

Dear Career Doctor:

Is there any way as a single adult with no support to stay financially secure while in school full-time?

JJ

Dear JJ:

Your question is very pertinent, since these days more students drop out of college because of crushing debt than bad grades! So here are three ways to keep debt to a minimum:

1. Cooperative Education: There are a number of collleges that specialize in cooperative education which means a program that combines academic courses with paid internships in your field of study. These colleges often grant credits for the internships too, so you win three ways: good experience for your resume, college credits and a paycheck! To find out which colleges/universities offer cooperative education, google "cooperative education programs" and/or ask your local librarian to help you research this.

2. Employer sponsored programs: Employers will often pay for employees to get a degree in an area pertinent to their jobs. Some will only pay if you take courses after work. Others will pay for employees to go back to school full-time if they agree to come back and work for several years after graduation. If you are employed, ask Human Resources about this.

3. Scholarships/Financial Aid: You have probably already checked with the Financial Aid department at the college you wish to attend to see if there are any special scholarships that pertain to your personal situation or field of study. If not, do. Some states, for example, give special help to "displaced homemakers" or people who want to teach in disadvantaged school districts. Also, many people go into the Armed Services because of the generous education programs available after their tour of duty.

I applaud you for trying to keep financially secure and I hope you get your degree without going deeply into debt.

The Career Doctor

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.