Decision Time

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Decision Time
13
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 3:30pm

Well, it's finally happened. The college applications have been submitted, the acceptance (and rejection) letters have arrived. My kids are working harder than ever and so are the parents!

Is

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-25-2012 - 11:56am

My DD went to a state university--the tuition, room & board were approx, $18,000 and we ended up paying about $10,00 per year--less as each year went on because they can borrow more in the Stafford loans each year.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 11:17am
I'm sorry you felt like people were jumping on you, I don't think that was the intent at all. I think it was partly also for others reading this thread to know that community colleges in general have come a very long way in the last 20 years and should definitely NOT be overlooked, especially when $$ is a factor for many middle class families right now.

Many public 4 years universities are extremely expensive. It is cheaper for my ODD to attend a division 3, but still very good college in Michigan including out of state tuition charges than to attend a division 1 school here in Texas and pay in state tuition, which IMO is atrocious! The cost in general of a college education has really gotten out of hand in this country, especially at the point where you almost need a college degree for just about anything now, student loans are driving tons of people into the poorhouse unfortunately while the jobless rate is not exactly shrinking. I heard on the radio yesterday that 1 in 2 college graduates are not finding a job after college in their given major OR are severelly underemployed, and at a time when college loans are so high, that is just a horrible way to start off your adult career. Sorry to have gotten a bit long winded with that, but things definitely need to change or other options need to be found when it comes to this issue.
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Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 10:54am
The local CC here has this 3+1 program. For certain majors, you go to the CC for 3 years and then go at reduced rate to the 4 year institution. It is with several private and public schools and a variety of majors, sounds like a good solution for many!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 12:37am
Dd is going to be going to go to a small Christian liberal arts school in the fall. She received a scholarship for all tuition, hopefully FAFSA will pick up half of the room and board, which means it will cost us less to send her there than to the community college up the street.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 8:21pm

Whoa--sheath your swords, ladies/gentlemen--i did not mean to imply that

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 4:43pm
Turtletime brought up a good point, there are plenty of community colleges that are looked at just as well as state universities. I don't know what area you are in and if that may possibly be the case. There are a lot of community colleges that are partnering with 4 year universities to offer essentially the same classes with the objective of keeping costs down the first two years for core classes and then doing a seamless transfer to teh 4 year school to finish up the major classes in their course of study.

Even kids that seem completely deadset on a certain career path can get to college, start those classes and realize that it really may not be right for them, and that's really where the cost ends up being such a waste. My cousin was top of his class and in high school had a internet web design business, this was in the late 90's when it was just starting out. He planned on doing a 4 year college and studying religious studies. He got a full ride scholarship to the local community college. He took it and did his 2 years in religious studies and decided that was all he needed/wanted to do, and took the money he had from his high school job which he still did and the money his parents had saved for him for college and was able to buy a house ourtight when he got married and has no student loan debt. There are always options to look into.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 3:56pm

Community college is being looked at differently in our area these days. We know several straight "A", top university candidate students going to or went to community college first. I understand your concerns and I wouldn't send a child who wasn't very focused and driven. However, we have seen several examples of kids who have really been smart. They worked just as hard as your DD in high school. They take their GE's for cheap at community college while simultaneously interning with professional companies in their field (internships that often don't pay or pay so little they require a kid live at home to survive.) They graduate top universities with not only more professional experiences and contacts than their peers but with little to no debtt! They move into the professional world easier. The community colleges in our area are considered some of the best in the country and in this economic climate, shouldn't be easily dismissed.

For my kid, with the middle college program she's starting in the fall and 1 extra year at a community college, she'd still only be 18 when she transferred as a junior into a university. Plus, she's already interning and working paid positions in her field so I'm not so concerned if she does decide to wait the year to go to university that she'll lose steam. She's a sophomore and considering her success with merit scholarships in other areas, it's very possible she'll get plenty to go straight to the university. We are just talking openly and encouraging her to really look at ALL her options despite how hard she works.

It's totally fine if it's not the right route for your child but if shouldn't be assumed that kids that go this route didn't work hard or simply couldn't get into high level universities. It's just using your resources wisely and starting off adulthood a little more financially secure.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 3:07pm

Same here...it was a wash...and I'm very grateful for the scholarship from the school...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2005
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 2:57pm

I've been honest with my kids about what I can provide sure...I didn't have the heart to ask my dd to consider community college because she has worked so very hard at grades, has had a few jobs in high school, has worked in her summers too. She's taken so many AP classes that she qualified for some special AP Scholar

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:22pm

Yes, we have many, many friends with kids in college and many have said it was cheaper to send their kids away to private schools than having them go to a public university because private schools have more scholarships and financial aid to offer at this time. We have a friend whose son is attending Harvard across the country for less than had he lived at home and gone to a local state school.... granted, this kid is pretty specatcular!

We've been pretty honest with the kids about what we can provide. We can certainly help but we can't give them a full ride. My DD is driven, talented and working in professional settings in her chosen field already but starting a life off in the arts with 80,000+ in student loans is just NOT smart. My kids will need to work while in school. They'll need to work summers. They may need to stay at local universities (we have 3 excellent schools in our area) and live at home for a couple years.They may need to take some alternative paths like considering community college and transferring to university later. DD is joining a program in the fall that will allow her to complete 2 to 3 semesters worth of college credit while still in high school (actual college courses, not AP.) We're just doing everything we can to avoid copius amounts of debt. If loans are required, they'll be their loans as they often get better rates... but we'll help them pay it down over the years.

You aren't the only one. Putting a kid through college is scary. I have 2 years before DD goes and then DS will be right on her heals. I guess we'll see what the options are and what sort of aid is available when we get there!

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