I got my financial aid awards from Evergreen – no grants and $14,700 in loans and workstudy. I bill at more than I would get from workstudy, so 3,400 of that doesn’t count that much. Tuition is $13k and change, since I’m not a resident of Washington. Additionally, Evergreen has no microbiology major, nor do they have Português classes.
So that’s right out.
Instead, I’m going to go to URI as a full-time student in the spring. In the meantime I’m going to take some CLEPs for credit and take some classes in the summer session and in the fall. This should let me get to only a few credit-hours less than I would have if I’d started in the fall; if I take a summer session in 2005 I’ll catch up entirely.
The other advantage of spring is that I’ll be even poorer this year than I was in 2003, so I should get a pell grant in addition to local grants. Further, having taken CLEPs and a few classes I would be in a great position to attempt to apply to all the decent schools in New England – there’s a “New England” residency where tuition is 1.5x the in-state rate.
URI does give merit grants, so my second year + should be less expensive for me.
URI has a laboratory of soil ecology and microbiology. As you may or may not be aware, I’m fascinated by decay. Microbes will eat your shit, no problem, and they’re researching how to accelerate the process. A sufficiently accelerated and versatile decay engine would allow a biologically based artefactual space to be completely recycled.
URI is also involved in exploring microbial ecosystems of marine sediments, and they mention deep-sea sampling. I have a possibly naïve intuition that the microbes that live around heat vents will prove remarkably useful for biosynthesis, as they’ve got the run of an extraordinary temperature gradient, so I’d love to see and perhaps participate in any sea microbe action.
Exciting stuff; I’m looking forward to it.