BACKGROUND: I'm an electrical engineering student, and it's my senior year, and I'd like to continue with my education and obtain a Master's degree, particularly in controls and maybe DSP. I have a 3.53/4.0 . It should be around a 3.6X but I attempted to take 23 credits one semester and got a ~2.9. I suppose this atleast shows I'm ambitious. PROBLEM: I've recently discovered that only PhD students really get the funding and tuition waivers to advance in their education. Now, this sucks for me. I don't think I could hold out and get a PhD only because I don't want to be 30 years old by the time I finish my education. I'm also not sure I'm cut out to do research for years on end. I was in an REU, which was all right, but I felt like I was sort of doing a sort of busywork project that had all ready been accomplished. Of course, this could have been because I was still and undergraduate and the REU was really more about the 'research experience' than to contributing to the already-existing body of knowledge, but again I don't know. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS (and what makes me hesitant to jump at these solutions): 1) Apply as a PhD Student...... I don't think I have the GPA or that I would be able to find the recommendations letters. Most PhD students had 3.7 or higher GPA's in undergrad and just seem a bit smarter than me. I also don't think I could find could people for rec letters. 2) Pay for a Master's...... I don't want to add on to my all ready 40-50K of debt, although perhaps it would be worth it. Not sure... I also don't think my dad would support more school that costs money... since he's been helping me financially to keep it to ONLY 40K-50K... 3) Get a job... I feel like I won't get my questions answered. I want to keep learning! I'm sick of two things in undergraduate electrical engineering classes.....No noise (i.e. perfect information) and linearity (e.g. "we can approximate this system as a 3rd order linear, laplace transformable system....") i want to take all kinds of control and DSP with noise classes. 4) Apply to a university in a different country with free/dirt cheap tuition.... I'd be up for this but I'm not really bilingual. I know some spanish but I don't know if I could depend on it, nor do I necessarily want to go to school in Spain. Thanks in advance!