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Golden Handcuffs (tuition thread)

brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I am currently a student online at University of Phoenix. My company has awesome benefits and is paying 100% of my tuition. Heres the bad thing though; the pay, it sucks. Others in my field are making more then twice as much as I am (with no degrees). One of the conditions of the tuition reimbursement is that you have to stay with the company for at least one year or you owe them all money they gave to you, thats fine with me, but I still have another 2 1/2 - 3 years left before I graduate and I dont want to be stuck making crap money for that entire time (plus one year after graduation).

Heres my question: What can I do to keep going to school and pay with an alternate means that doesn't come directly out of my pocket (grants, etc.)?

My plan is to find to an alternate source of funding for my academic endeavors, stay with my current company for a year, then go find some money in my field. Normally I wouldn't care about making crap money, but I have a family to provide for and I would like to see them well provided for. If it helps I live in Maryland (USA), my major is Information Systems Security, and I work in the defense industry (not as cool as it sounds, basically I am a glorified windows admin). Any information is appreciated.

brandotheninjamaster on

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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    I am currently a student online at University of Phoenix. My company has awesome benefits and is paying 100% of my tuition. Heres the bad thing though; the pay, it sucks. Others in my field are making more then twice as much as I am (with no degrees). One of the conditions of the tuition reimbursement is that you have to stay with the company for at least one year or you owe them all money they gave to you, thats fine with me, but I still have another 2 1/2 - 3 years left before I graduate and I dont want to be stuck making crap money for that entire time (plus one year after graduation).

    Heres my question: What can I do to keep going to school and pay with an alternate means that doesn't come directly out of my pocket (grants, etc.)?

    My plan is to find to an alternate source of funding for my academic endeavors, stay with my current company for a year, then go find some money in my field. Normally I wouldn't care about making crap money, but I have a family to provide for and I would like to see them well provided for. If it helps I live in Maryland (USA), my major is Information Systems Security, and I work in the defense industry (not as cool as it sounds, basically I am a glorified windows admin). Any information is appreciated.


    Even university of phoenix online should have a bursar's or financial aid office. Just call them up and have then send you the applications for student loans.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Sounds like you already have one. You'd be paying of student loans for waay more than a year, and be at a reduced salary because/while you were paying them.

    Check out what those 'others' are making compared to how much they have to pay in taxes, what their benefits are, and how reliable and solid their workplace is. I know lots of people in my line of work who do contracting that make as much as I do, but they are chasing down new contracts every day, or every six months, with no guarantees of continued employment. For me, knowing that I will always have something to do, and a company I can rely on means a lot.

    I'm just saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so make sure that your opinion of that is informed and accurate before you cut yourself loose.

    Sarcastro on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    Sounds like you already have one. You'd be paying of student loans for waay more than a year, and be at a reduced salary because/while you were paying them.

    Check out what those 'others' are making compared to how much they have to pay in taxes, what their benefits are, and how reliable and solid their workplace is. I know lots of people in my line of work who do contracting that make as much as I do, but they are chasing down new contracts every day, or every six months, with no guarantees of continued employment. For me, knowing that I will always have something to do, and a company I can rely on means a lot.

    I'm just saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so make sure that your opinion of that is informed and accurate before you cut yourself loose.

    No, contracting is not the life for me either. Maybe if I was single I would consider it, but not with a family. Most of the companies that I have been looking at (Raytheon, Boeing, etc, etc) have similar benefits with higher pay because of their size. I have been researching opportunities with other companies for about a year and a half. I know at my current income (and that of parents since I am 25) that I would be eligible for certain grants, I just don't what the heck is out there.

    Another thing that I forgot to mention is that my company was recently bought out by a bigger one. They have already begun “corporate cleansing” and limited the benefits. Starting in 2009 they will only cover $3,000 a year; that’s about enough for 2 classes for me. So even if I decide to stay with my current company, I still must seek alternate funding to continue my education.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    CasperCasper __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2008
    You could join the Army Reserves or National Gaurd. They will pay for your school and even have a loan repayment bonus.

    Casper on
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Casper wrote: »
    You could join the Army Reserves or National Gaurd. They will pay for your school and even have a loan repayment bonus.

    Ha hah. Funny story about that...

    When I was 18 my father was trying to get me to leave the house. He actually had brain damage after contracting encephalitis. It was bad news all around. After his brain damage his means of getting me out of the house was starvation. After about 1 week of just peanut butter and jelly (do not attempt) I decided that I needed to get out of there in the worst way. So I decided to join the Army; everything worked out fine with the paper work and ASVAP (got an 83) and I was able to everything they physically demanded. I went through the entire day and a half physical (MEPS) just to find out at the end they considered me too fat join. While I was a little plump back then (260 at 6' 4") I could still run, do pushups, etc. They gave me 10 weeks to lose 40 ibs. Needless to say I lost interest and took a retail job, met a girl, got married, etc, etc.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Also, you might want to consider changing your thread title.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    If another company wants you, then they will cover the (relatively) small amount of money you would owe your current company for schooling. As for continuing the schooling, the new company should have tuition reimbursement plans as well... but be careful and some of the larger companies have exclusive deals with certain colleges and credits may not transfer. Also, the $3000 limit is becoming more and more common across the board. The only other concern is that you'd be getting a new job without the new degree... and you'll never get a company to give you a raise equal to the difference in salaries to what you would have been given had you finished the degree BEFORE you were hired.

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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    supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Sarcastro is right: tuition adds up to a hell of a lot over a few years. And with banks running from the student loan industry like Republicans from conservative government spending, student loan interest rates are rising fast. If you don’t actually dislike your job, staying where you are and getting the free education is probably a pretty good idea.

    And don’t forget that by the time you finish school, you’ll have been around for a long time and be considered loyal employee worth promoting into something big. I realize that in your industry the fastest route to promotions often seems to be jumping ship every year or two, but hanging around and sucking it up for a few years can put you in line for six-figure management jobs that mercenary IT guys might not get considered for.

    supabeast on
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    MurphysParadoxMurphysParadox Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    That assumes we want management jobs. It also assumes the management jobs are six figures... guess mileage varies (my experience comes from being a software developer with Lockheed).

    MurphysParadox on
    Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
    Murphy's Paradox: The more you plan, the more that can go wrong. The less you plan, the less likely your plan will succeed.
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