I'm RC01 straight out of high school, 6 and out, with 18 months left, and I have decided not to reenlist for personal reasons. I am capable of standing panel watches, but I don't like it enough to make it my career end-game strategy; I'd much rather end up designing, inspecting, repairing, or writing procedures for reactors than actually operating them on a day-to-day basis. This has led me to believe that I should plan for a grad school when I get out, and I figure if I finish my undergrad (I'll have CLEP, NPACE, and whatever-the-Navy-gives-me credits) at the same school I won't waste resources on credits I'll have to retake for my Master's. Unfortunately, I didn't start growing up until after high school, and my GPA reflects it, so I'm concerned that it will lock some doors...how much did I screw myself? Do decent standardize test scores and an honorable discharge make up for a bad GPA (like, <2.5) in high school? Is there anything I can do to better my chances of being accepted by the dream school I end up deciding on?
Now obviously, the GI bill isn't going to get me through grad school, and my meager nest egg is just that - a nest egg - so I'm looking for alternative ways to pay for school. I've heard a couple stories now about colleges with on-campus reactors that allow students to work there part-time to help pay for college...does anyone know of any schools doing this? Location is not a major concern; accreditation, military friendliness, and tuition costs are. What sorts of college research tools are out there at this level of detail?
Third half (yeah, I know):
I've also heard about some companies paying prospective employees to go finish college degrees if they agree to do a certain amount of time afterward (Excelon's name was dropped in particular). If I could get a company to pay for my undergrad, man a panel for a year or two, and then direct my GI bill at a graduate degree, it seems like I could get where I want to be quickly with minimal debt...does that even sound feasible?