How to best approach the application process for a thirty-something?
Long-time lurker here. I got my BA in English over 10 years ago from a LCA notorious for being very challenging academically and zero grade inflation. While my GPA is above 3.0 for my upper-division courses (3.2), my overall is under 3.0, due to a combination of, frankly, socializing too much my freshman year and getting mono my sophomore year. I have since taken a couple of classes at a large university and gotten As in both. I recently took the GRE and scored in the 93%ile for verbal and 65%ile in quant, with analytical score of 6. I have been volunteering at the public library for about 6 months and plan to continue doing so.
I considered auditing a course in the MSIS program at UT Austin this semester, just to get a feel for it, but my job will be extremely stressful for the next 2-3 months due to an increased workload. Plus, I am moving next month and will be doing all the first-time mortgage stuff. Now I'm wondering if it's worth the extra stress if I won't be allowed to do assignments/participate.
I plan to apply this fall to UT Austin and Univ of WA's online program for sure. I need to do more in-depth research on other online programs, but I'd like to apply to at least 5 programs just to cover my bases. Since I'm obviously not getting any younger and I've been putting off entering a grad program until my husband's grad loans are close to being paid off, I really want to put together a solid application package.
I feel confident I can write an effective SOP and wrangle some excellent reference letters, but I am very concerned about my lackluster undergrad performance.
So. Here are my questions:
1. Would the fact that I'm older mitigate my not-so-hot GPA? A friend who's a grad coordinator in a tech program at a large university (not library/info sciences) implied that this might work in my favor.
2. Is it worth it to audit a class in terms of trying to beef up my application?
3. Should I take another upper division English class at UT before applying?
I really appreciate any and all suggestions/comments/insight. I am really eager to dive into the application process and hopefully move into the next phase of my education.