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UFL says "F U" -- perpetual student blues
Old 07-24-2007, 06:26 PM   #1
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UFL says "F U" -- perpetual student blues

Hi folks, just bitching more about limited opportunities for a trustifarian reporting on the difficulties a retired man may have seeking to further his education. I've previously posted about checking out Gainesville (FL) as my next home. In large part, this assumption was founded on the premise that I would be part or full time stud[ent] at UFL. Well, today was the first visit to campus proper and the results were not altogether positive. A few employees there told me that UFL has a policy against "second bachelorates". Apparently they are so full up (50K + students) that it is difficult for folks like me (with an old BS degree) to enroll in something we'd like to study. Graduate school is possible, but not my first choice. Non-degree studies also possible, but apparently only in summer semester. I guess this policy makes sense, but still kind of disappointing. I may just apply anyway, or some other scheme. While my plans pale in comparison with the world record holder (Wikipedia "Perpetual student") (13+ years, go!!!) I would still like to study recreationally. Apparently the error I made in younger years was actually graduating Anyway, I still have to dump the crazy ex-girlfriend tidy up my living situation before I consider a move. Anyway, applying to a few schools can't be that hard, or expensive. Just may not be successful
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the problems in admission to UFL. I had a similar problem many years ago and it is SO frustrating to be told that no matter what your grades and test scores, you cannot get into the program you had in mind.

Allowing non-degree students only in the summer is a new one on me. Might be worth getting some confirmation on that.

I am hoping to take some classes after ER, though I probably won't seek a third bachelor's degree. Ideally I would like to be able to take a couple of classes a year in areas like math, economics, or finance as a non-degree student. Whether I get in or not, I'll be spending time in libraries. They can refuse to admit someone, but they can't keep us from learning.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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OK, instead of taking the class, why not try teaching a class or two? You can become the perpetual low-paid or non-paid instructor.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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OK, instead of taking the class, why not try teaching a class or two? You can become the perpetual low-paid or non-paid instructor.
I can't speak for Pedorrero, but I used to be a university faculty member, and have taught classes, but that is not really what I have in mind for my retirement. It's too much like work.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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Most places demand at least a Master's to let you teach. I've never had much of a teaching urge, although I certainly fit the bill as far as always been a know-it-all and not being afraid to tell everyone my opinion. While I like campus life (or did ten years ago in my 30s), I don't think teaching is all that alluring to me.

Re my OP, of course I still have options. It'd seem to me that even an overloaded university would tolerate non-degree students on a space-available basis. All schools I've ever attended had some type of priority system, upper-classmen over frosh, graduates over underclassmen, etc. Apparently FL has budget pressures...or so says today's Tampa Tribune. (Cynic: of course, did you ever hear of a government entity that cried it had too much money? Case closed.)

I'm sure some place in FL will take me, if I decide to become a student again. Somewhere there is a school in need of my parent's money.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #6
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I'm not sure which employees you talked to, but if I were you I'd try to schedule an appointment with the head of the department to which you'd like to apply. UF definitely does NOT have a policy against second BAs/BSs. It will be more difficult to get in, but there is no blanket policy that disallows second bachelor's degrees.

You're right, though, UF is in a huge crunch right now. They are trying desperately to get more professors for the staggering number of students it has. Their ultimate goal is to get down from a 21 to 1 ration to something about 14-16 to 1. Adding career students is probably not their idea of a smart move. They are turning away some exceptional candidates as the popularity of this school continues to grow. They really don't have a choice; there are already 50k students here.

If you're really interested in Gainesville and UF, I would ask for an appointment with the dean of the department. Also, if you're just looking to be part time, why not check out Santa Fe Community College. It's a great CC, and is huge (many courses).

Lastly, if money is no object there are some really cool Florida schools on the coasts/beach towns.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:13 AM   #7
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So you understand some of the political context for the bind UF is in:

The state heavily subsidizes tuition for Florida's state universitys. This is why tuition is so low. As with all university's, there has been an increase in the time it takes students to graduate, often 5 or 5+ years instead of 4. This occurs for a number of reasons, but many students end up taking extra courses because they change majors. Because the state heavily subsidizes these extra courses, it is strongly pushing students to stick with their first major and get done and get gone. This will also free space for other students (next paragraph) The state does not have the resources to encourage exploriation, self-actualization and true personal growth through learning. ( I think this is short sighted, but no one asked me ).

In addition, years ago, the brightest students left the state when heading to college. After successfully implementing many policies to encourage the state's brightest in-state students to stay here, combined with rapid population growth, there are not enough undergraduate "slots" across all of the universities to handle the population. This is especially exacerbated at UF, the state's flagship university. Admission is now very competitive and many students with great grades and SAT scores are turned away because of lack of space.

As a strategy to address these pressures to keep you away: Keep in mind that the university has 3 goals: education, research and public service. You might consider helping with one of these missions in exchange for enrollment: tutor students, volunteer for one of the community projects that serves underserved or rural residents (these vary greatly depending on the department). As a strategy, I would consider approaching the department you want to major in. Find the chair or a a sympathetic faculty member, plead your case, and get their buy in for you to enroll for a 2nd bachelors, while assisting them in something they need. This will make you a more valuable student, and will end run your admission. Best of luck.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:42 AM   #8
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Well, it's a good thing, Pedorrero, that you never got your BS degree, and in fact only graduated from high school (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I played in a big band, as an adult, at a community college. The college had rules about taking a course more than twice, so many of the "students" registered under pseudonyms so that they could play year after year.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:12 PM   #9
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Who says you have to sign up as a student

I can tell you that the classes are usually large and an extra body sitting in the class will be missed... get an education and don't have to pay a dime...

Now, you do not get a degree.. but who cares if you are retired....

BTW, THE University of Texas has the same problem with enrollment... IIRC they were up to 55K or so and made a decision to drop down to 48K... and they have a law saying that if someone graduates in the top 10% of their HS class they can attend the school... more than half of the students get in under this law... so someone who is 11% of an upper school with a HIGH SAT etc... might be sent away because some 9% and a crappy school with an average SAT gets the slot...

HMMMM... how about only have cheap tuition for 4 years and then have it go up to what it REALLY costs OK.. let's say 5 years then...
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:10 PM   #10
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pedorerro, isn't that story somewhat on the line of how Stanford got started? Some older farm types, I think it was, had a son who went to Harvard, but was killed when young. As I remember, they wanted to donate money to Harvard, because that was where their son was happiest. Harvard, in all their wisdom, figured these folks to be poor and not worth much time, so left them sit in the waiting area all day.
Well, the joke was on Harvard, because they just decided then to use their money to start another college...hence, Stanford was born.
Go to Tallahassee and see what they say if Gainesville snubs your efforts.
Somewhere I have seen posted either on this board or city-data.com a listing of ALL the colleges across the U.S. that have retiree return-to-college programs for no money or little money. If I find it, I will post it. Probably alot here are interested in doing the same thing. (I think it was city-data.com in the general section?)
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:04 PM   #11
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pedorerro, isn't that story somewhat on the line of how Stanford got started? Some older farm types, I think it was, had a son who went to Harvard, but was killed when young. As I remember, they wanted to donate money to Harvard, because that was where their son was happiest. Harvard, in all their wisdom, figured these folks to be poor and not worth much time, so left them sit in the waiting area all day.
Well, the joke was on Harvard, because they just decided then to use their money to start another college...hence, Stanford was born.
Urban legend:
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Founding of Stanford University
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:55 PM   #12
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That Malcolm Forbes...such a kidder!
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Old 08-04-2007, 11:26 PM   #13
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Saturday (08/04) Tampa Tribune has an article "Bursting at the Seams" about FL's huge university system. Fears of overcrowding, already high student/instructor ratios, budget cuts, and possible freshmen admission freezes. On the up side (for bums like me seeking to be career students), I would not be a "freshman" (possibly). Also, I learned there are 11 different schools (although they ain't listed). I have some hunting to do.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:25 AM   #14
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list of state schools in Florida with link to each school

College and University Information
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