With some advanced training, I recommend you work in the welding industry to gain some practical work experience. While you're working in the welding profession, you can take advantage of ongoing skills training and certificates- and your job will pay for the continuing education be a use you work there. You can then decide if you feel you want to continue your education. Meanwhile, you'll be a skilled welder making a good living wage that can afford to go back to school.
Dawn recommends the following next steps: