Your situation is very similar to mine. I to have a bachelors degree (graduated 2008) and have been trying to get my foot in the door offshore for two years now, currently I work for Ingram Barge as a deckhand. I considered applying to SUNY Maritime which has a good marine transportation masters program. Its a three year program, after graduating you'll have 3rd mate Unlimited license. Although a great option between tuition, living expenses, ect. it was just to much money. Enter MITAGS/PMI, I have recently applied and interviewed at MITAGS for their workboat mate program. Its a two year program of formal schooling and sea time. IF i get accepted and go on to graduate I could have a 1600 ton Mate Oceans licenses then upgrade to master 1600 after a year. The program is much cheaper than SUNY and other maritime academies. When I toured the MITAGS facility (actually just last week) in baltimore I was very impressed with their facility, all up to date technologies, professional instructors, and some very nice simulators. I have seen their AB to Mate program on their website havent looked to much into it but I can tell you that after meeting the administrators their a top notch organization. Good luck man, nice to hear from people in a similar situation .