Economy sends some people back to school

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

First at five, November 11, 2008

AIKEN, S.C.---Many people are trying harder to cut back expenses these days, but one area people are putting money into is higher education.

Aiken Technical School has seen an 11.7 % increase in enrollment, this fall over last.

When Lori Densmore got the chance to go to Aiken Tech, she couldn't pass it up.

"It was kind of one of those things. I got a thing in the mail and I said, 'Well why not?" said Densmore.

She started hitting the books because the economy started hitting her, since her husband's job as a mechanic isn't as stable as it used to be.

"Our income basically got cut so I thought it'd be best to have a back-up," said Densmore.

She'll get a nursing degree about a year-and-a-half from now, but in the meantime, she's juggling studies and taking care of her two kids, but she says it is manageable.

"I go to school while they're at school and I take some online classes," Densmore said.

More and more schools are taking students out of classes and onto the web in an effort to make life easier for students, especially adults. Aiken Tech even offers hybrid classes that combine online class time with actual class time.

"We're finding companies have a identified a disconnect between what we're teaching in high school and colleges, to what their needs are," said Dean of Enrollment Management Marc Payne.

He says the best jobs to look into right now are mainly industrial technology jobs, such as electrical engineering technology, industrial maintenance, engineering graphics, radiologic control, machine tool technology and computer electronics.

Payne says there are more of these jobs than many other industries, but with less people applying.

"I'm one step closer and it seems like it's been a long road but to me it's been completely worth it," said Densmore.

And you may think you don't have money to go back to school, but there are many options for paying for it. In South Carolina, residents of any age are eligible for lottery assistance.

Check the links below for some other ways to get some financial help.


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