How would you choose a school if you didn’t really know what you wanted to study and you didn’t really care where it was? As I planned my retirement, I started with that little definition about my goals. I knew I wanted to go to school because I had always loved engaging in the exploration of ideas. I had a feeling I wanted to get back to the field of literature, which was my college major. However, I had also developed interest in politics, philosophy and sustainability. I also knew that my income would be limited in retirement, so cost was a factor. Finally, I had no stomach for a rigorous admissions process such as my daughter had just gone through to get into Pratt. The thought of taking the GRE filled me with dread. Either I had to find a program that did not require it or, perhaps, I would just audit courses or study as non-matriculant.
With these predispositions, I started browsing the websites of a number of NY area schools, including NYU, Columbia, Hunter and SUNY Purchase. My goal was to get a sense of what courses/programs were available to “non-traditional” students. It was, at times, frustratingly difficult to tell. And then a lucky accident occured.
I was trying to hire a new project manager and in the process of that search, I interviewed a woman who was pursuing a Phd at CUNY. I went to their website and discovered MALS, though I didn’t know it by that name at the time. I was fascinated by several of the tracks that were offered plus I was delighted by the fact that the GRE was not required. Best of all, the tuition was unbelievably low. I thought to myself, “This is a great resource. Let me find out more.”