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  • Paid for my Masters

    Using the GI Bill and state Tuition Assistance, the Guard did pay for my masters, even with some $$ left over for gas and books and lunch.

    Now, the masters classes were expensive, and since TA only paid for $4500 a fiscal year, one of the terms I had to pay for myself. Other than that, the GI Bill $$ was extra that got put into the bank for that one term, which it did cover when the TA got maxed on the next to last term.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I did it, and the system does work.
    Tips:
    1. save your emails, keep a Word document or spreadsheet or something to document the people you email, what they promise, when they want stuff, etc. etc.
    2. know your counselor, he/she probably knows a lot about TA and GIBill and can probably answer questions or extend due dates for you if you can show proof that the payment is on the way

    FYI: I went to Troy ([url]www.troy.edu)[/url], but took classes in Florida. Started 2007 October, finished 2008 December. It is definitely doable. Classes were about two nights per week, that's it. Big pay raise at work thanks to it.

  • #2
    Re: Paid for my Masters

    A couple of questions,
    What was your major?
    Was the online degree more or less expensive then the normal program?
    Was the time frame the same as a normal program?
    Thanks for the info, I am looking to start working on my masters but haven't decided on a school or major.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Paid for my Masters

      A couple of questions,
      [I]What was your major?[/I]
      Masters of Science in Counseling and Psychology

      [I]Was the online degree more or less expensive then the normal program?[/I]
      Troy at the moment charges a hair over $280 a credit hour for graduate level classes. Each class was approximately three hours so a full-time schedule of two classes per term costs $1680. Troy's ecampus costs around $360 a credit hour. In person is cheaper. I was lucky because they had a Florida campus about 45 minutes from me. My tuition assistane (TA) covered $4500 a year. My MGIB-SR payments totalled $529 a month (I had a $200 kicker for scoring well on the ASVAB). The TA would pay $1500 per term so it ran out after three terms, but TA recycles every fiscal year in October (if it's November, I apologize for the mistake) so then it would start paying again. I could have done three terms and then waited for the next fiscal year so as to save ALL of the MGIB-SR money, but I wanted to be finished and ready to apply for a new job come the spring.

      [I]Was the time frame the same as a normal program?[/I]
      Enlisted 2007. Began classes a few months after AIT in October 2007. Finished everything December 2008. The time frame depends on how many credit hours your degree is. My friend's degree in counseling was 48 hours. Some psychology degrees are 60. Mine is kind of like a "social services" degree so it was only 36, but Florida accepts it for the job I wanted.

      [I]Thanks for the info, I am looking to start working on my masters but
      haven't decided on a school or major.[/I]
      I went to Troy because it was the cheapest around that would still qualify for the VA payments and provided the degree I needed for the job I wanted.
      Last edited by oldspice; November 27th, 2009, 01:58 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Paid for my Masters

        For Marine2Guard:

        Another Military friendly school is Central Michigan University ([url]www.cmuoffcampus.com[/url]). I did my Masters of Science in Administration, Information Resource Management in 20 months Online. The program is supposed to take at least two full years but I doubled up on the 8 week classes and knocked it out early (which nearly killed me!). Tuition is normally $500 a credit hour, but prior or current military get 50% off tuition. I used the GI Bill (what was left) and company paid tuition to complete the degree without paying a dime out of pocket. It's a MAC school (They're playing in the televised MAC championship this friday night) and well recognized so the degree doesn't come with a "University of Phoenix" stigma. The degree itself says Central Michigan University, not "off campus" or "online." I had a lot of Active Military in my classes, including some deployed to Iraq taking classes online. I have my graduation ceremony on Dec. 12th which will be the first time I've stepped foot on CMU property. Also, a lot of my professors are prior military, so they're really good at coordinating schedules and they're sensitive to military needs. Most of my professors were out of state as well, so even though you're not from Michigan, you can still enroll in the program and be successful. Also, for prior military with work expereince there is no GMAT requirement. The only requirements are related to accounting and statistics, if you have those from your undergrad, you can start in January.

        Good luck and FIRE UP CHIPS (CMU saying).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Paid for my Masters

          I've looked at CMU as well. They offer graduate classes at $265 a credit hour now (up from $250). Still a good deal, I just wish they offered more programs. I have no desire to study any of their [URL="http://www.cel.cmich.edu/programs/masters.html"]master's programs that qualifies for the discount[/URL].

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Paid for my Masters

            Make sure you look under each program link on the CMU site, as some programs have specific concentrations: like the Masters of Science in Administration (MSA) program (this is what I did) has numerous concentrations for Acquisitions, Health Services, Human Resources, Information Resource Management (my concentration), International Admin., Leadership, Public Admin., and Vehicle Design and Manufacturing Admin.

            However, you're correct in that each University has it's own specialty and you won't find everything at one place unless you want to be a Phoenix! I'm looking for a good PhD program and I'm having trouble finding anything in my area with the program I want. I'm not sure I want another 5 years of torture, but I seem to be a glutton for punishment.

            Anyway, good luck as a Masters is worth it. In the 5 1/2 years since I've been out of the service, I have completed my undergraduate (2 1/2 years), Masters (20 months) and job specific certifications (CISA) which has resulted in trippling my income at my current employer over the past 3 1/2 years. After January's merit increase I should be over 6 figures: keeping my fingers crossed! Although education wasn't the sole reason for my increases, it helped when I went to ask the boss for a raise.

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            • #7
              Re: Paid for my Masters

              i'm trying to get my TA and MGIB stuff set up right now for spring 2010 semester, and i didn't realize how many freaking phone calls i'd have to make. once everything is set up, does it become a little easier, so i can actually focus on classwork instead of calling the financial department every day?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Paid for my Masters

                [QUOTE=Lance13D]i'm trying to get my TA and MGIB stuff set up right now for spring 2010 semester, and i didn't realize how many freaking phone calls i'd have to make. once everything is set up, does it become a little easier, so i can actually focus on classwork instead of calling the financial department every day?[/QUOTE]

                Sorry but the quick answer is No! Navigating the GIBill/VA system through school can be a full time job depending on your schools requirements. I had a really good VA rep. at my college for undergrad who knew the system and really went above and beyond to help me out. As a vet. himself he even got the school to implement an automated system through the college to certify and update any documentation the school required. For my Masters, it was the exact opposite. No one wanted the job so I was always dealing with a new person, and they never seemed to know what was going on. Through a lot of research and hard work on my part, I was able to square them away and I even started a network through the school for other vets to share information. It was terrible and I hope you find your school is more like my undergrad than grad school.

                With all of that said, keep REALLY good records until you get your diploma and save multiple compies of everything, including emails (even your sent emails) because colleges seem to "lose" a lot of paperwork. Also, plan ahead as your payments may take up to 60 days to hit your account. I currently teach at a community college that requires all tuition to be paid by the second week of classes. I've had many vets run into problems because they hadn't gotten their payments yet. Luckily tuition isn't too bad so they put it on their credit cards.

                PM me any time or email [email]garthsworld2003@yahoo.com[/email] if you need any help. I just finished my Masters in Aug. and had been in school full time for the past 5 years so I've been dealing with it for a while. I'm more than happy to help, provided you've already done some research (you know, don't ask if you haven't already looked yourself, basic BCT stuff right?).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Paid for my Masters

                  [QUOTE=BlueSoldier32]Sorry but the quick answer is No! Navigating the GIBill/VA system through school can be a full time job depending on your schools requirements. I had a really good VA rep. at my college for undergrad who knew the system and really went above and beyond to help me out. As a vet. himself he even got the school to implement an automated system through the college to certify and update any documentation the school required. For my Masters, it was the exact opposite. No one wanted the job so I was always dealing with a new person, and they never seemed to know what was going on. Through a lot of research and hard work on my part, I was able to square them away and I even started a network through the school for other vets to share information. It was terrible and I hope you find your school is more like my undergrad than grad school.

                  With all of that said, keep REALLY good records until you get your diploma and save multiple compies of everything, including emails (even your sent emails) because colleges seem to "lose" a lot of paperwork. Also, plan ahead as your payments may take up to 60 days to hit your account. I currently teach at a community college that requires all tuition to be paid by the second week of classes. I've had many vets run into problems because they hadn't gotten their payments yet. Luckily tuition isn't too bad so they put it on their credit cards.

                  PM me any time or email [email]garthsworld2003@yahoo.com[/email] if you need any help. I just finished my Masters in Aug. and had been in school full time for the past 5 years so I've been dealing with it for a while. I'm more than happy to help, provided you've already done some research (you know, don't ask if you haven't already looked yourself, basic BCT stuff right?).[/QUOTE]
                  i appreciate it! i'm just dealing with talking to machines and waiting on returned calls/emails right now. i had to take out a student loan to go ahead and get enrolled for spring semester '10. it's a major bummer because the 100% TA was a major deciding factor in joining, and now it's looking more like a "maybe" type thing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Paid for my Masters

                    [QUOTE=Lance13D]i'm trying to get my TA and MGIB stuff set up right now for spring 2010 semester, and i didn't realize how many freaking phone calls i'd have to make. once everything is set up, does it become a little easier, so i can actually focus on classwork instead of calling the financial department every day?[/QUOTE]

                    I say yes. I didn't do many phone calls at all, just emails, always sending a copy of the email to myself. Setting up a folder on your computer and a hard copy folder for your desk drawer comes in handy. It is amazing how difficult getting started can be regarding websites to visit, monthy verifications of enrollment, "reminding" people that yes I qualify, haha. Good luck!

                    Comment

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