Adult Student/Non-Traditional/Transfer Advice GSU to UNC Chapel Hill
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Question about "Holistic Review" and being a Non-Traditional Student:
I'm an adult, back in college at 30 years old. I worked in the medical field as a Registered Medical Assistant in Pain Management, Orthopedic Spine Surgery and Rheumatology. I also briefly taught medical assisting at a local technical college before deciding it was time to go back to college myself. My cumulative work experience is exactly a decade. I'm registered with American Medical Technologists (since 2009) but I only have a certificate level of education. Hence, why I'm in college now going for a Biology degree. I have been told by a professor of mine that I should look into Biology research.
To what degree do college admissions value previous job experience as an 'extra curricular' in the admissions process?
I'm at Ga State/Perimeter. Ga State just bought out GPC, the two year college and as a result most extracurriculars have disappeared at all campuses except for the Ga State Downtown campus which is miles away and at an unrealistic distance from Alpharetta campuses. I'm worried about my ability to transfer out to a place like UNC Chapel Hill because of the minimal student activities and lack of local access to extracurriculars to build my application with at GSU/Perimeter right now. Other students are getting worried about the same thing...I'm hoping that my decade long career will at least help supplement what I might lack in extracurricular activities. I will be joining the STEM club, but other than that the Health Sciences Club is no more. The only active local club is Student Government. The Athletics department is even gone, now.
Furthermore, I'm married. My Biology teacher recommended me to the Biology department for a work study program in the lab since I was concerned about all this. However, in order to qualify I have to demonstrate financial need and technically, since I'm unemployed and just schooling, I do have a financial need and a desire to work in the lab. But according to the IRS, I do not meet those qualifications. As a result, the Biology department chair emailed me directly seeking me out and said she would like to have me in the lab and they could use me. However, upon review, because I don't meet those qualifications "they don't have the money" to offer me a position without it being through the work study program. They wont allow volunteer positions either. It has to be grant based.
I'm hoping to transfer to UNC Chapel Hill in 2019 as my husband works for the school of social work at UNC and we need to relocate back there, eventually. I have a 3.28 GPA. But as an adult student, I'm already nervous enough. I don't have SAT and ACT scores to boost my application because they aren't applicable, they're so old. Adding to it the tumultuous effect the merger has had on the extracurricular clubs, as well as apparently unavailable money for work study or other positions that aren't grant eligible - I'm nervous that I wont meet qualifications in the extracurricular area in application review, but it's not for lack of trying or even recommendations. I'll have all of one club (STEM) on my application. Will my work experience help supplement that? Does my High school transcript even matter at this point even though they ask for it? I was very sick as a child and now I'm rocking the all A's but I'm up against kids who have 4.0s in high school.
I'm a little depressed about my lack of options being both an adult student and how being married has affected my chances at a work study program. :( How should I deal with this? I want to make lemonade out of these lemons, but I really don't know how.