grae313 wrote:Actually, most graduate schools forbid you to have an outside job. You are specifically not allowed to work more than the 20 hours a week you are already employed as either a TA or an RA. They want you to focus on your classes. Some might allow it under special circumstances, but you would have to get permission and if you were working 20 hours per week already they probably wouldn't let you work more than 10 on the side. Now, if you were funding yourself, that's nother matter. But realize that if you want to work a total of more than 20 hours a week while taking a full load of graduate classes, you are going to be busier than the average grad student, who already spend day and night working.
Just goes to show how different my mindset is. I never really thought about applying for financial aid. Resident tuition for CU is amazingly reasonable even before the tuition tax deduction, and I assume that any financial aid package will take into account my assets (which, including a house bought in Boulder 25 years ago that has quadrupled in value, are going to be far greater than most grad students). If I was going to spend time working, I'd rather come to an agreement with my employer to reduce hours ... the pay will be far better. In addition, I'm looking into spreading out the classes so as not to take a full load of classes and not go into intense mode until thesis research.
zxcv wrote:Also, what is your long term plan? If it's academia, sticking around in Boulder may not be viable. If that's not your plan, what can you do with the degree?
I feel kind of silly giving advice to someone twice my age.
There are a number of institutions in the area with varying degrees of association with the University that are essentially closed to someone without a Ph.D. Plus there's the obvious benefit of developing close relationships and working with faculty who are currently PIs for the type of space instrument programs that I'd eventually like to run.
But a big part of it is personal satisfaction. I want something new in life that's challenging. And who knows what doors it may eventually open that I don't even know about now.