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Offline sefrick

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Medically retired
« on: Aug 18, 2005, 05:14 »
It's been officially completed. I had a Medical board and I was determined by the Navy to be medically unfit to continue military service, PERIOD.
Now after 10 years of service I have reached a dilema. School or work. I'm working with the VA; bye the way EVERYONE approaching retirement needs to prepare to work with the VA. If you have headaches, get it documented. Sleep apnia, go get seen at ENT. Knee, back, shoulder pain, even skin disorders and rashes.
Anywho, my VA percentage makes me eligable for "Vocational Rehab", basically the VA will send me on an all expense paid trip to any college or university. This includes books and supplies.
Now the conflict is, I've adapted to a livestyle that requires INCOME, not a hell of a lot, but enough to have a decent life and a few nice things. Plus I'm a single Dad. While in college I'll have a pension, a small stypend and whatever peanuts that I work for part time. I've been thinking about this for weeks and really I'm leaning toward school simply to take advantage of the benifits and not be a fool and passing them up. But being broke is not my forte'.
Any input would be great. Internship opportunites at plants, etc. My degree objective would be a BSME. If anyone needs info on VA benifits, beyond things like the MGIB feel free to PM me.
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Offline hamsamich

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Re: Medically retired
« Reply #1 on: Aug 18, 2005, 10:54 »
well well well, sounds like you and I have something in common - I just got finished getting a degree from U of DE.  I was also in the NAV for over 7 years.  I learned a few tricks.  Because you are over 26, you don't have to worry about your parents income level hindering the amount of aid the school will give you.  When you fill out your FAFSA (i hope you know what this is), this will help you get more aid.  Go to your financial aid office the minute you enroll.  Start hanging out there a little.  Get to know them.  Ask all the staff questions.  Act poor, but don't whine too much, throw in a blurb about money being tight every now and again.  Fill out everything there.  Let them know you have a kid, talk about your kid, they will feel very sorry for you, and this is good.

Consider NOT getting a part time job unless it is under the table.  The money you make will count against your Federal and State aid and you might be thinking your are making 7 bucks an hour but with the way your tax-free state/fed aid checks are decreasing (if you have pt job), you may really be making 3.  Sounds like the Navy all over again huh!  ha ha.  Anyway, the story goes on.

Your first semester  of the YEAR AFTER you started going to school the aid people will look at your salary from last year and use it as your base for the current year.  Appeal this.  I did and got a good chunk of change back.  The board will meet and talk about your situation.  You may need to have someone in your corner on the board.  Find out who these people are, it should be fairly easy.  I got to know one of the staffers at U of DE financial aid enter and she told me who to talk to.  He was in the NAV!  These people love ex-military, and they should.  Alot of them are themselves.  Anyway, this guy was my hook-up, he was on the board, he got me extra $$$ on the appeal. 

Other secrets: 

The bigwigs like the guy above can give you an extra 5k per year in loans if you really need the change, but you have to ask the right people, only the big guys can change that number on the compu screen.

Scholarships don't nesc. have to be applied for to be gotten.  I applied for general help at the financial aid office (filled out a small form).  They gave me 1 thousand per semester scholorship my final year.  I had a 3.7 gpa, so they knew I wasn't messing around.  And they knew my face, I was always nice and polite to them.  I think that was the key, getting my ugly mug around the peeps.

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.  I don't know much about the internships and whatnot, but I bet if you don't mind limiting your options somewhat, you could probably find one.  They always want you to do a certain thing though, I wanted to do my own thing.  I guess my big thing was, I just wanted to go to school and concentrate on my studies.  I went to school year round (summer and winter semester). A job wouldn't have been much fun, and as it turns out, not getting one was the right thing for me.


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Re: Medically retired
« Reply #2 on: Aug 19, 2005, 09:02 »
Sounds like you already have some good ideas and hamsamich has alot of good input as well.  I wish I had known about petitioning my fasfa.  The first year I didn't get much aid. 
One thing I recommend is getting involved in proffesional societies like ANS(American Nuclear society) and ASME(American Society of Mechanical Engineers)  These provide great networking oppurtunities.  They also offer scholarships and are a great place to just learn about different things that are out there.
there are lots of internships out there.  In NucE it is not unheard of for kids straight out of high school to get internships after their freshman year.  They generally pay pretty well too.  Which may or may not be what you want according to hamsamich.
I think its great that you are using your benifits to their maximum.  I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and have fun while in school you've earned it.


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