Higher Education & Alternatives

"Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfill them.  It is not desired that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness.  Desire is devotion.  By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being.  Transform desire into love.  All you want is to be happy.  All your desires, whatever they may be are expressions of your longing for happiness."

~SRI Nisargadatta Maharaj

What skills, experiences make "YOU" unstoppable?  

That is what education is truly all about.

When ready, education is one of the tools we can use to guide and allow our best minds to shine.

Today, the traditional path to higher education can be extremely competitive, expensive and stressful for many parents and students. 

For many Americans; young and old wishing to obtain a bachelor degree, the first stumbling block tends to be an opportunity. Second by, a fear of failure, academic skills, age, and too much information that can be overwhelming and a deterrent to higher education.

Students that have been able to establish an early relationship with counselors and had a support system may have identified and navigated the world of scholarship.  A full scholarship is an excellent opportunity to help you reach your educational goals in America.

On the other hand, I dedicate this page to all the students in need of a guide for "Higher Education &  Alternatives," an "Out of the Box Idea" to give you a reason to continue.

Remember, YOU are never too old, too young or too late to get an education.

High School Students and higher education

Collin County community college information.

Collin County Community College

Let’s begin with “Community College” as first steps.

Did you know that the first two years of college are general education core classes required for all bachelor degrees (AS or AA), in all universities and colleges?

  • If you are still in high school, ask a counselor about dual credit classes.
  • If you are a recent high school graduate, your county college offers an affordable education for an associates degree, a certification or the core classes needed to transfer to a university.  

Talk to your counselor at the college to make sure you take the right classes to transfer to a university.  Ask about writing centers and math labs that are available to students for FREE to support you in closing learning gaps and complete higher education work.

Register for Collin College

  1. Apply online - Complete application for admission to attend a specific semester. (Fall, Spring, Summer, etc.)
  2. Request a transcript from your High School to be sent directly to the college.
  3. If under 22 you will need a Bacterial Meningitis Vaccine
  4. TSI - Assessment is required as an alternative to NOT having taken the SAT or similar exam.
  5. You have to complete a Mandatory Orientation and Training for Preventing Sexual Violence
  6. Use the CougarWeb to register for classes every semester you will receive login information and updates via email after you apply online for everything you need.

Financial Aid and How to Apply

The U.S. Department of Education has Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and Pell Grants available to students  IF  you qualify and according to your financial needs.  You need to complete a FAFSA application (every January, yearly) to be eligible.


  • Stay away from Credit Cards!
  • Stay away from student loans for as long as possible!
  • Math & Science classes expire every five years.
  • You can ONLY register to take a class 2 times. There is a limit on withdrawing / failing a class.

Education Alternatives - GAP Year, etc.

What if I Want to Take a Break From School?

What if you are not sure of what you want to do next? You have saved some money, and you want to travel and circle back to your studies in a year.  People do that, and there is one person in particular that I enjoy reading about "Backpacking Europe."  Matt writes the Nomadic Matt blog, and he has valuable tips on how to afford travel and steps for this type of adventure and education through travel.

What About a Gap Year?

How to Apply for an AmeriCorps Program.

A gap year is an experiential semester or program where through observation and unique experiences one can deepen awareness of the world around us.

Eliott's Experience at AmeriCorps, the Baltimore Campus

Elliott's experience at AmeriCorps, the Baltimore Campus.

AmeriCorps is a program for Americans with networks of local, state and national service programs. An enriching bridge learning experience. (18 yr. old to 24 yr. old)

Peace Corps

Peace Corps is a compelling program that endeavors to make the world a better place and they do that through many programs and opportunities to travel abroad. (Bachelor degree needed for the majority of their plans)

How to Apply with Peace Corps

Application and essay for Peace Corps.

You need to apply and write an Essay as part of the process, see what Nick has to say about his application experience.

Survival Tips if you Travel Abroad

Peace Corps survival tips if you travel abroad.

"Survival Tips" from kids that are living the experience, especially if you want to travel abroad.