Want to attend Gnomon, but...

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  02 February 2012
Want to attend Gnomon, but...

Alrighty, basically, here is my "life story" (as of now at least) and I am really hoping there is someone who has some ideas or some suggestions to help me out.

(If you would like, you can disregard these next few paragraphs. I am not trying to "puff myself up" or make me look good. I only post these next parts to kind of explain my situation a little bit. And, please don't take pity on me, my life is very good compared to most people.)

Hi, my name is Steve. I am 24 and I live in IL. (Sad to admit it; I hate this wretched cold). My entire life revolves around doing volunteer work and helping others. I have traveled to a few places in the US and a couple outside the US to assist in providing free education, regardless of age, race, or financial situation. It also includes relief work (i.e. Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, etc.) I didn't start getting into it until about 2 years ago but it is my life now. I just graduated from a school that prepares you for that type of work and so now, I want to be able to travel and help wherever I am needed.

Now, because it is volunteer work, I pay for it all personally. I don't mind at all, I just live simple and its pretty easy.

In order to pay for it, I went to school for architecture. However, once I got out, there were no jobs anywhere for it. So, I just got a regular job. Currently, I clean windows and offices, and do odd jobs here and there to make it. But, its starting to fail a little bit; work is becoming scarce. But, everyone is dealing with that; not just me so no need to take pity on me. Also, I want to be able to travel but I will still need to care for myself financially. I took up learning Maya as a hobby, something to fill the free time and I enjoy it so much, I figured, "Hey! Its on the computer and I can make money doing it. Why not?!"

(You can pick up back here. Here is my problem.)

I have been looking for a school that can, not just give me a degree, but can train me. I don't want to get a job at a company (I want to be free to travel whenever and wherever I am needed) but I figured the freelance work could be a good fit: portable, more flexible, still make some money. After looking at a few schools, I think Gnomon would be my best choice. I feel that I will get the training I need.

Here is the problem: the only way to can get financial aid is if I moved to California and went to school at Gnomon. I would love to, but I don't think it would be possible. Online classes are the perfect fit but I can't get financial aid. I know there is the possibility of private loans, but I am in debt right now and trying to get out (credit card company turned on me like so many others, unfortunately).

Basically, just wondering if anyone has any ideas. I know I can't be the only person who has had this dilemma.

Any ideas would be extremely helpful. Thank you all!
  02 February 2012
Gnomon is a great school but last I recall it didn't offer degrees just certificates. If your in such a tight financial bind maybe you need to wait a bit before you hit up school again or just do individual Gnomon workshop classes here and there to stay productive in your learning while you work your way out of current debt.
  02 February 2012

I've had some Gnomon courses and most were excellent (if you get your weekly assignments and final project completed on time, put lots of effort into them, and implement the things that you learn from the weekly feedback from your instructor). CG Society workshops (right here) may also benefit you (you still get instructor feedback on the forums, although Gnomon provides video critiques, on CGS workshops there is more student involvement on the forums and many students are working in industry and taking courses to "brush up").

If money is an issue right now you should consider a community college with an established program in an area that you are interested in. The tuition is much lower than many schools, they are accredited (you can transfer), and you can work "above and beyond" to get good. You could then attend Gnomon when you have the funds.

Good luck!
  02 February 2012
Thanks, I really appreciate it the practical advice. I think I will do that.

Much, MUCH, appreciated!
  02 February 2012
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