Friday, July 18, 2008

Loan mess!

Okay--pretty soon I will have all this crap behind me and my blog will get fun-I promise! My parents are really freaking out about the amount of loans I may end up with by the end of my law school career. I am looking at needing 100% financing for at least my 1L year--then I am planning to adjust based on how that year goes for 2L and 3L and I am looking into a bunch of scholarship options for 2L and 3L as well. My parents are not thrilled...

How crazy is it that my life is still dependent on them--even if just in this small area--I am 32 for goodness sake! Anywoo their biggest cause for concern is the idea that I may end up with over $100,ooo in loans for both undergrad and Law School combined (they have never even had a mortgage worth that much)--I went to a private undergrad and it's a private law school that I have been accepted to (yeah--even with all my your-poor-single-mom status grants I ended undergrad with $20,000 in debt and a semi-worthless BS!) My parents are so not thrilled that they are hesitating on co-signing a GradPlus loan for me...

I will be spending this weekend with them and a bunch of family (including an attorney)--maybe we will be able to discuss everything in person and let them hash out their issues... I really want this--I hope they see that...

Monday, July 14, 2008


My parents still haven't told me their decision about endorsing a Grad Plus loan for me...My Mom keeps telling me that they have been too busy to mull it over. We are taking a weekend trip this coming weekend--a 2.5 hour drive and an overnight together--pretty sure that we will get time to talk then. Looks like I won't be giving my bosses as much of a notice as I wanted to but hey, it'll still be a month, they can't really complain about that! I am thinking that they may still keep me on part time to do patient/insurance billing and maybe frame buying--I am going to bring it up as an option...

I am really looking forward to this change now--is that crazy? If all goes well I will be quiting my job (or greatly reducing hours) to go to school which is kind of freaking me out BUT I am still excited!

There were some posts from some 1L's on the schools web bulletin board asking about my town and since I have lived here for 10 years I responded and have been emailing a couple students in the entering class--it is nice to be able to do that before classes start. I know that it is very possible that I will not even meet them but the gesture is nice. I am not sure how old these folks are but I am sure that at 32 I probably look like an old lady to them (particularly after calling them folks...)!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feeling better

but still freaking out a bit. Going back to school is such a huge decision when you have 2 other lives that depend on you to live--it's crazy! Here is the update: I am leaning toward still going to school. I emailed my parents last night to see if they would 'endorse' me on a GradPlus loan. I haven't applied yet but I know that they are going to ask for it. I have a friend who is helping me get a part time job at a coffee shop--not optimal and @ minimum wage it's about half the $ per hour that I make now but it'll supplement whatever the loans don't cover--I could check with some of the retail optical locations in the area to see if they are hiring for part time help--I kinda want something that will give me ~20hours b/w the afternoon/evenings and weekends that the kids are gone--optical would mean larger payscale--so less hours needed...I wouldn't be able to start at any of those types of places until after I quit my current job (conflict of interest!!)

My plan is to start my 1L year with all the loans to cover my bills and work just to supplement my income from the loans--after the first term I will probably figure out what is going to work for me and if it works out that I didn't really need the GradPlus loan I can adjust things after this first year. Right now my Stafford loan will only cover tuition so I definately need need SOMETHING to supplement my income--it's rough not having a husband to help with general bills!

My daughter was asking me about night or weekend classes but doing that and working full time--I would never see my kids and I would never have time to study. I know that for undergrad I was tired all the time while working full time and taking classes full time and trying to raise the 2 of them, I can't imagine doing that again with law school--a much more demanding program! I would still have to find another job--I work my current one until b/w 6-7 on the nights I don't have kids--if I was taking classes those evenings they would begin @ 6pm--it wouldn't work with my current schedule. If I have to find a new job anyway I may as well have the schedule that I think will work best for me. I really just want to work part time and go to school semi-part time--I am signed up for what the school calls their 'extended program'--it's still considered full time for loan purposes but it's the 4 year program--so less classes each term, 3 terms a year for 4 years. If I take 3-4 classes each term I'll be done in 3 years so I think I'll start out in the extended schedule and see how things go--if I can add an extra class here and there to be done in 3 years it'll all be worth it and it's less loan money spent on living expenses!

I hope my parents agree to endorse me on the GradPlus loan...I really want to make a final decision so that I can give notice at work or talk to them about part time opportunities here...

Monday, July 7, 2008


So today I am beginning to doubt myself completely. First I think--'just give up on law school, it wasn't right for you'--then I think--'just take out more loans, you can work hard to pay them back' or 'forget law school, just go for your MBA' or 'there is always the paralegal certificate program' or 'optician isn't sooo bad' or 'working while going to school wouldn't be THAT bad, people do it all the time'...I keep going back and forth and back again...I just want someone to tell me what to do--isn't that insane. I am plenty old enough to make my own decisions.

On the 4th before the fireworks we spent some time at my neighbors house and there was a law student there--(how is it that I keep meeting people who go to my school?) is that a sign or is it just a coincidence? We talked a bit about my predicament and she said 'just make sure you love the law before you take the leap, if you don't love it you will hate the next 3-4 years'. So my new question to you is how do I know if I love the law? I did not grow up thinking about becoming a lawyer, it has not been my dream for years upon years. I began thinking about this a year ago. This is the most invested I have ever been in thinking about grad-school type options. I never went very far in discussing or applying for MBA programs. I have always read about law type stuff all the time--both fiction and non-fiction. I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger and was a communications/poly sci double major when I first started school. Our countries history has always fascinated me and that is mostly a history behind our legal system.

My only options beyond law school would be an MBA and maybe a certification to teach because an MBA doesn't excite me at all (a JD does...) or getting a Masters/PHD in history to teach college level. The Masters/PHD program that I looked into would take me about 7 years to complete...again, it doesn't excite me as much as getting a law degree does.

I still haven't applied for a GradPlus loan--my credit score isn't fabulous so I don't know if that will go through but maybe I should just give it a shot--if I take out loans and work part time this year I can apply to a bunch of scholarships for next year and see what I can get for my second and third year. I can also work my tail off and get a scholarship based on grades for my second and third years. I guess it will not hurt to apply, all the loan company can do is say no, right?

edited to add: I know that I should be thankful that I already got through the admissions process--many don't get as far as I have...maybe I should just suck it up, take some loans, get a new part-time job (now, and work 2 jobs until school starts) and work my butt off to get what I want--there are too many people out there who never get a chance to reach their potential--I shouldn't whine about a stupid scholarship...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

LSAT scores are in

And I am not really excited...I did do better but not studying my butt off better...I don't get it, my pretest scores were in the range that I was looking for and this was nowhere near. Now I have to decide if I want to
  1. Work through law school
  2. Try to sell my house and move my kids into 'low income housing'
  3. Give up all together on the idea of law school
  4. Defer my enrollment to next fall and use the year to try to get some scholarships and cash money together (and pay off my car/other misc. bills) and/or take the LSAT a third (or 4th or 5th) time!