Daughter won't visit college

Karen - posted on 01/20/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )




My Daughter that will graduate this year has only visited on college. While it's a great school and has offered her her some scholarships it it a private school and will end up costing the same as in-state tuition.She seems to set on it even though I've let her know she will be coming out with a good sized debt. What can I say or do to convince her she needs to check out a state college?


Dr. Peggy - posted on 01/24/2009




Hi:  Just to give this answer some weight with your daughter - I am a college professor who teaches freshmen student success courses at a community college and just got both of my kids out of college . . . one from a small nationally ranked private school and one from a large out of state public school.

First - has she been accepted to her favorite school yet? If not, she might not be. And some state public schools she might be interested could have their freshman classes filled and then she will be at her local community college because that is the only place she can get in. Plus if she is depending on scholarship $$, the grant money is gone and she'll have to get loans.

If she is accepted - now is the time to sit with her and do the math. Pull out the numbers and let her calculate how much money she will need (the school's website and Financial Aid Office has these numbers) and where it will come from.

In the calculations of cost, include her living expenses, allowance, and expenses to travel home for holidays X 4 years. Then take those numbers, add them together, get a total cost for 4 years and then divided it 48 months. That is how much it will cost her to go to her favorite school. The thing that helped me the most was to have my kids actually running the calculator while I pulled numbers. It all was very adult and pragmatic.

Now you talk about where the money to pay for it all is coming from. Let he know how much you have saved, if there is any money coming in from relatives, and how much you can give her from your regular living expenses. Talk about how loans work. It may be hard for you to share your financial situation with her, but do it. She needs to know the reality now.

If she still wants to go to the private school, just a point for you to consider. Nowadays, it takes an average of 5 to 7 years for a student to finish at a state school - has to do a lot with required core courses mandated by state legislators who give $$ to the schools. Privates, however, make it a BIG point to get almost all their students out in four years. If you calculate the cost of 4 years vs. 5 you might be surprised.  Good luck. PBB



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Julia - posted on 02/13/2009




Hmm... Well so far all my kids are going to private colleges and yes the oldest one has significant debt to repay even though she had lots of scholarships. THe best I have been doing is, making them work out a budget on paper for now and, college, and after (Some kids take a while to get around to it! My oldest kid, a college grad, writes Grants for Corp's and she just started doing her books on the computer!)) I paid nothing for college educations other than gas to move them in and occasional, toiletries so I had to make it abundantly clear that this was TOTALLY going to be on their shoulders should they accrue large debt. Secondly, I talk re-payment strategies, and that brings the reality home, but ULTIMATELY, it's their life and their debt! You Do get what you pay for in Education.

Lori - posted on 02/08/2009




We always told are three kids that they would have to "go in-state in whatever state we're in."  Fortunately, we live in North Carolina which has an excellent public university system.  Our oldest daughter chose to go to the local university - which is practically in our backyard and where my husband teaches.  (And no, faculty dependents get no breaks on tuition or preference for admission.)  My second, currently a college freshman, didn't think he wanted to be so close to home and is at a state school about 90 miles away.  Although he likes where he is, he's ready to transfer to our "home" school. 

My youngest, a high school junior, has never thought much of this arrangement.  He has his own of set criteria for the ideal campus life and thinks only one school in the state can provide it - one that he probably can't get in to.  He's going to be the most difficult to get with the program. 

Martha - posted on 01/23/2009




It is tough when they get set on one particular school, and I know it is hard to get high school kids to understand the financial aspect.  What about sitting down together one evening in front of the computer and going on a virtual tour of a few additional schools, including your state colleges?  There is so much you can see and learn about a school on the web.  Maybe she will see one that grabs her fancy.  You could also point out that if she gets too far in debt with college loans, that could circumscribe her choices for either career paths or further, graduate education after college.  I think sometimes kids just don't want to spend the time and effort to look farther when they have been accepted somewhere - the stress and anxiety involved in the process is over and they don't want to think about it anymore.  But in general it is not a good idea to make such a big decision without considering all the options first.

Good luck!!!

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