Saturday, May 21, 2016

School Dayz: Second Week In: Scholarship Edition

I just completed my second week of school at Erwin Technical College (formerly Erwin Vo. Tech.)  On Friday all of our tools came in.  And it wasn't just a few tools.  It was $1200 worth of tools. 

However, instead of pulling a "Tim Allen" and talking about tools, I wanted to talk about something a little different.  I wanted to talk about how I received those tools.  I know you're thinking, "Well, with cold hard cash right?"  In a sense that's correct, but it's a bit deeper than that.  So let me start at the beginning.

The first thing I did was talk to "Employ Florida" about going back to school.  They sent me to the Social Services section of Hillsborough County.  (It's still in the same building.)  To go to Erwin, I would have to apply for a Pell grant, then get turned down for the Pell grant since I have a Bachelor's degree.  Then, Hillsborough County would help out with their Greater Opportunities program.  Their reasoning is that, "It's better to pay to send me to school than pay for me to collect unemployment."

So, my tuition, books, and tools were all covered by the program.  For 15 months of school, the cost was around 3,700.  The tools were $1200, and the books were $400.  So it totaled a bit over $5.300.  Compared to the for profit schools Erwin is a fantastic deal.  At that cost the school isn't making any money.  The program is 15 months, and there are 15 people in my class.  I have two and sometimes three instructors at a time.  So I have to say it's a great deal, and a great program.

I know a lot of people complain about, "What is government doing for the people?"  Well, this is a social service that I believe that people can get behind.  I think this is the kind of thing that government should be doing.  And I have to admit, I am thankful for it.  I am very thankful.     

So I have come away with a new point of view on scholarships.  I always knew they were important, but now it's a bit more personal for me.  Otherwise, I don't think I would have been able to go back to school.  So I extend a very heartfelt, "Thank you Hillsborough County."

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