Now that the semester is nearing an end, I'm thinking about applying to the University of Pennsylvania. I'm hoping to get all As in all of my classes, so that should boost my chances of being accepted. But if I am accepted, I'm not sure that I will start right away. The thing is: money. If I were to enter right away I wouldn't have any scholarships and would have to take out huge loans. At my age, I don't really have time to pay off huge loans and then start a life. I'm going to check in with the University to see if they offer any internal scholarships for full-time students. I know they offer scholarships for part-time students, but I really want to get this over with as fast as possible at my age. If I am not accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, I only have to wait a year to try again during which time I would get my associate degree. I hate the idea of waiting, though.
The University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional studies, to which I would be applying, is geared towards adult students. I think I would feel more comfortable with people around my same age. On the other hand, everything I've been reading says it's better to get your associate degree first, and then transfer. It's only an extra year, but time is precious at my age. Also, I already know ahead of time that I won't be able to transfer a lot of my classes. I'll probably have to go at least 3 years to the University of Pennsylvania, despite having an associate degree. I'm going to be old by the time I graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. Better late than never though? Right?
If I stay at the community college through completion, I'll be eligible to try for two big scholarships--the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship which is up to $30,000 per year for up to three years, and the Hites scholarship which is about $8,000. If I won that Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, I'd be set. All I have to do is continue to get a 4.0 average through the time when I would apply for it, engage in community activities on the campus, and be an overall fabulous student. That's a lot of stress for me, but it has to be done. So, yeah, I think I'll end up staying at community college through my associate degree, but I'm still going to apply to the University of Pennsylvania after this semester's grades come in.