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I have been dreaming of returning to my alma mater, Murray State University, since the day I graduated in December 2013. I applied for multiple jobs there in the weeks and months after graduation, returned to campus many times to visit friends, and even took Andy to visit Murray on our second date weekend. When we first received Recruiting orders, the sole thought that motivated me for the tough 3 years ahead was the possibility we would be returning to Murray afterwards. Andy would enroll in the Army’s Green to Gold program and I would pursue a second Bachelor’s degree, this time in Business Administration. I had even been accepted to Murray’s online Business Administration program and was deciding which courses I would take in the upcoming semester.
So when I came home from work one day with the realization that I would no longer be attending Murray, Andy was a bit concerned. Honestly, so was I. Out of nowhere, I settled on attending Liberty University for their online Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Human Resources. But why did I decide that the college I attended 5 years ago is not the right college for my second Bachelor’s degree?
Liberty’s tuition rate is more affordable than my alma mater.
Because I will be paying out-of-pocket for my degree, cost was a huge influence in my decision. I originally thought that I couldn’t find a school more affordable than a Kentucky state university. After all, I’m a Kentucky resident and we all know in-state tuition is more affordable than both out-of-state and private colleges. Well, turns out I was wrong! Liberty offers a generous military tuition discount for active-duty military, Reservists/Guardsmen, military spouses, veterans, and veterans spouses in their online degree programs. In this program, undergraduate-level tuition is $250 per credit hour and graduate-level tuition is $275 per credit hour. They also offer the above students a book voucher of $100 for every 3-credit hour class. Considering the fact that in-state tuition is $350 at my alma mater and book vouchers are non-existent, this means I will be saving thousands of dollars!
Liberty has a strong Military Affairs department.
My alma mater is a great school, but as a traditional brick-and-mortar university with extended campus in western Kentucky, I still felt disconnected from the school. I wanted a college that understood my needs as a Army spouse and online student, and I felt like my alma mater didn’t exactly fit that need. Liberty was recently ranked #2 in the Military Times’ list of online and nontraditional schools for the 10th year in a row! Unlike some schools, Liberty’s Military Affairs department is staffed by people who have truly experienced military life as veterans and spouses themselves.
I will graduate sooner from Liberty University than I would at my alma mater.
I originally thought I would lose undergrad credits if I transferred to a different college for my second Bachelor’s. Not only did all of my gen eds (except one) transfer to Liberty, I didn’t need as many business prerequisites to enter their Business Administration program. Less time spent in school means I’ll save more money on my degree. It’s going to be a stretch, but I am hoping to graduate from Liberty in Spring 2020 (right before our next PCS!)
Liberty’s online Business Administration program has an Human Resources emphasis.
Those of you who know me know my passion lies within the Human Resources field. While my alma mater offers a Business Administration degree online, their Human Resources emphasis is taught in-person only. Liberty University’s online Business Administration degree offers various tracks, including Human Resources.
The past is the past.
Attending Murray was a wonderful learning experience for me, but I can’t change the past or re-experience it by returning to the same location. I can’t change my major from Criminal Justice to Business, I can’t restore friendships that have ended, and I can’t meet my future husband on campus and nail our shoes to the Shoe Tree. (Since, you know, while I was studying at Murray, my future husband was enlisting in the Army and all that.) I’m not sure if my desire to return to Murray was to “fix” the past, but I want to leave the past in the past. The memories are great, but…
…I want to experience somewhere new.
This sounds odd as someone who, just 7 months ago, had never moved out of her home state. But living in a new, unfamiliar place has taught me that I can survive anywhere! Although Andy is still considering the Green to Gold program post-Recruiting, none of the schools he’s looking at are in Kentucky and I’m absolutely okay with that. In fact, I suggested it! It’s time for us to make a new adventure together.
As the mini-banner that arrived in my admissions letter says, “My journey starts now!” So here’s to a new journey. It’s one I didn’t see coming, but am absolutely thrilled about.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. -Proverbs 16:3