I graduate high school in 1997, went into the United States Navy, and then graduated college with my Associates in Social Work in 2001 – the same morning I found out I was expecting our 2nd baby but the first to be born. I tried to go to an online college after that but it proved disastrous with a newborn baby – so I decided I didn’t need anymore college. I love to read, I love to learn – so studying was never hard and most subjects, excluding math, came easy for me, but my husband and I had decided I’d stay home and we’d be homeschooling so really a BSW (Bachelor’s in Social Work) wasn’t really a need. The online college I was pursuing a paralegal degree.
That said – now that I’m widow I know I have to start planning for the future, both my children’s and my own – the survivor benefits will decrease once my children are no longer eligible, even though I’ll continue to get mine for the rest of my life – there may be some rules about that but I can’t remember them all. However, once my children’s go away I’ll be living on next to nothing so I need to plan. With that said I’m going back to college to earn my BSW.
I applied to a well known, at least in my area, Christian university however they had absolutely no help for widows, which struck me as ironic for being a Christian university. They also weren’t real happy with me refusing to take loans or wanting to do the majority of my general ed classes online. One woman told me I should just focus on “being the best mom I could be”, yes, that is what I’m doing, why do you think I want to take online classes. So after much prayer and discussions with trusted advisers I decided that University wasn’t the one.
It used to be that the state of Ohio, or at least that is what I was told, would not recognize a social work degree that was completed online but on the off chance I contacted Liberty University Online (LUO). I spoke with several people who assured me of their regional accreditation and that they did indeed have a BSW program. Okay Lord? Well then things really started falling in place – they were actually excited that I didn’t want to use student loans and then I was told I qualify for the military discount pricing! Okay Lord I’m getting it. I can do the whole program online, from the comfort of my home except for my practicum which I knew before hand.
I’m already registered for my first four classes, which makes me a full time student right away but I’m so excited! My goal is to become a Path Coordinator (although I’m sure the title will change as it often did for my husband) with our local Board of DD. There are many things to consider though such as I would need to work 30 years more to receive retirement through our state’s system – they don’t pay into SS – which means I could be in my 70’s when I would retire and I want to enjoy my grand-babies so I may have to look into whether I pursue private employment, but I have time to wait on that. I may even pursue my Masters in Counseling after my BSW, I’ll see where the Lord leads.
Right now I’m waiting on my financial aid to be received and processed so I can find out exactly what I’ll be getting, but the estimate seems like it would pay for almost all my classes each semester. I know I’ll still have some out of pocket expenses, which is fine but not what it would have been like had I gone to the other University where my financial aid wouldn’t have covered even 1 full semester. My desire is to do this debt free, to honor the Lord and also to stay out of debt that my husband got us out of and having paid off my ASW earlier this year with the life insurance.
I want to note if you feel led to donate to my educational expenses donations can be made to the Bailey Family Fund at any Huntington National Bank (100% will come to me), there is also a GoFundMe page (they do take a percent), and my friend is hosting a fundraiser for anyone who purchases from her site or her Currclick page – search Shari Crooks (you don’t have to be a homeschooler to use her products). Any helps is immensely appreciated and will go towards my education – books, supplies, gas once I begin my practicum (internship in other fields), etc.
(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws