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Old 04-19-2013, 03:14 PM   #586
PlutoPony
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Most parents around us go to orientation. Don't think they spend all their time actually IN the sessions, they seem to do a fair amount of checking out the town/city and things like that.

At least one of us will go with our son to orientation, and maybe both if we can get away. Of course we still don't know which school we'll be doing the orientation at - still 3 schools in contention, and all are a good 3.5 hours away. To say the next 10 days are going to be stressful is an understatement lol
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:22 PM   #587
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Most parents around us go to orientation. Don't think they spend all their time actually IN the sessions, they seem to do a fair amount of checking out the town/city and things like that.

At least one of us will go with our son to orientation, and maybe both if we can get away. Of course we still don't know which school we'll be doing the orientation at - still 3 schools in contention, and all are a good 3.5 hours away. To say the next 10 days are going to be stressful is an understatement lol
Hopefully they're all in the same direction.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:34 PM   #588
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You guys are making me rethink orientation. DD signed up awhile ago and did not sign us up. We really didn't see a need to go and she agreed. I just went back and looked over the agenda for parents and the topics look like the exact same ones that they had during the open house. They cover housing, dining, financial aid, student panels, etc. The kids are busy the entire time and don't spend time with their parents unless they want to meet up for dinner the first night. I don't want DD to be the only one there without parents, but I really don't see the need. It was going to be the first time DD made the 3.5 hour drive by herself which is something I wanted her to experience sooner rather than later (she has driven it with me in the car). DD says she is totally fine with me/DH going, but now I don't know.
Our open house covered all of these points, also but it was more for marketing purposes. The orientation is based on people who are decided and need specific information.

Another point, my son met a group of people during his orientation that he is still close with now. They formed a group that is inseparable! As shy as my son is this was a BIG thing.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #589
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Our open house covered all of these points, also but it was more for marketing purposes. The orientation is based on people who are decided and need specific information.

Another point, my son met a group of people during his orientation that he is still close with now. They formed a group that is inseparable! As shy as my son is this was a BIG thing.
That's good to hear. I would be so happy if I my daughter made a couple of friends at orientation! Nice to have a friendly face on move in day.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:17 PM   #590
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That's good to hear. I would be so happy if I my daughter made a couple of friends at orientation! Nice to have a friendly face on move in day.
I might note that his "friends" were mostly women...

What's wonderful is they are all different and probably would've NEVER become friends outside this experience. One woman is 40 and divorced, one girl is 16 and skipped a grade, one gay guy, one very wild party girl, a very personable jock and my shy son. They do EVERYTHING together and even take classes together. The end of the year is in two weeks and they're already crying about it. It's strange but wonderful!
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:14 PM   #591
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Hopefully they're all in the same direction.
Lol , nope. North, south, and southwest.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #592
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Our open house covered all of these points, also but it was more for marketing purposes. The orientation is based on people who are decided and need specific information.

Another point, my son met a group of people during his orientation that he is still close with now. They formed a group that is inseparable! As shy as my son is this was a BIG thing.
This. Our DS met the guy who became his roommate this year at orientation. They sort of knew each other from opposing school's soccer teams, but connected at orientation and realized that they had some things in common and by the end of orientation, thought they could be roommates. It worked. They are friends and have had the same circle of friends this year.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:06 AM   #593
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We're still debating going to orientation. Luckily, we don't have to decide right away. I checked the sheet--if she goes one time, her birthday is the last day--which would make a nice chance for the entire family (6 total) to go into Boston, see a few sights, and take her to dinner. OTOH, the week she has marked off, it's the week before we go on a family vacation, no birthday, her brother has Scout camp, and her dad might have a class that week. So obviously, no chance of going, and even bringing her out and back will be a bit of a PITA. Plus, I think her sister has a cello concert that time frame (hmm, maybe that's not the best choice of orientation times...)

I do think there are things I'd get out of attending, but it's 3 days long--that's a lot of time to be away from my younger three with DH having to handle everything at this end. I'll have to think about it some more.

And good luck to everyone as we get into the homestretch on decisions!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #594
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Dd is a college freshman now. Her school had a two day orientation last spring...we all went. We said goodbye to her in the morning and off she went. Dh and I went our own way...various meetings and seminars. Were they the most interesting and compelling things we could have done with our day? Nope. But, they were mostly interesting. I think the best thing was watching the younger parents asking questions. I am an older parent and have been there, done that as far as college goes. So, when parents ask the admin how they intend to keep the campus 'dry'?? Well, I did find that kind of funny.
We got to meet other parents and to figure out if there were particular parent groups that might interest us, going forward.
We met up with our dd after dinner....the kids all sat in the front of the gym and ate, while families sat in the rear and ate. We said goodnight and off she went and off we went to our room. Met up the next day, after lunch.
It was a worthwhile thing to do...we got much more familiar with the campus, we found out what support there would be for different issues...much to my dd's dismay!!! We learned a lot. Each college/university is a little bit different. So, while I had already sent kids off to college, it was a good thing to go to this orientation and see how this particular university did things.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:41 PM   #595
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Well, we officially have one financial aid package, and are still waiting on the second one. We went to accepted student day yesterday at the state school he is waiting on. It was a good day, and now he feels pulled in that direction, rather than the small Christian school.

I have a feeling that they might not be too far from each other $ wise. He did appeal the Christian school for more money, but we are waiting to hear. Right now, that one has us at $15K of our own money a year. I think the state school will come in right around $10K. Honestly, we are not in the position to be able to afford either, and will have to take parent loans (we are actually considering getting a HELOC to pay for college- lower interest rate. Much lower.)

I hope he gets some answers this week so he can make his final decision and we can get that deposit in!
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #596
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Well, we officially have one financial aid package, and are still waiting on the second one. We went to accepted student day yesterday at the state school he is waiting on. It was a good day, and now he feels pulled in that direction, rather than the small Christian school.

I have a feeling that they might not be too far from each other $ wise. He did appeal the Christian school for more money, but we are waiting to hear. Right now, that one has us at $15K of our own money a year. I think the state school will come in right around $10K. Honestly, we are not in the position to be able to afford either, and will have to take parent loans (we are actually considering getting a HELOC to pay for college- lower interest rate. Much lower.)

I hope he gets some answers this week so he can make his final decision and we can get that deposit in!
We are down to two schools, one a Christian school and the other a technology school. The Christian school is offering him nothing other than a $58K tuition, the technology school, which ranks in the top 5 in engineering in the country, offered him their Honors program which only 3% of the Freshman class get and its only $40K, a bargain by comparison and its in the Southeast, where it is much warmer. He got offered 4 scholarships from other colleges and turned them all down, including the State school which would have ended up being only $18K here in CT. He will likely wait till midnight April 30th to make the choice by May 1. We do not qualify for any financial aid and were told we had enough equity in our house to remortgage to pay his college for the more expensive school. That is not happening.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:28 PM   #597
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I have been getting a lot of advice from friends and a lot of it includes sending my son to community college for 2 years to save money. While I have no problem at all with community college, and I think it would be a perfect choice financially, my DS17 NEEDS to go away. He is super dependent on my DH and I, and he really needs to grow up. We give him responsibilities around here, but he is the type of kid who is afraid of everything and in turn, that sabotages everything he tries. He failed his license test 6 weeks ago- and has another test scheduled for the end of April- but he's not driving yet. He finally does his own wash, but it took months of me saying "yes, that's right" until he could do it with NO input from me at all. I need him out of here for his own good. He needs to know he can survive on his own, and if he makes a mistake, it's OK and he will bounce back.

So, we are probably going to go into some major debt, against our house, on this kid. I am terrified of this. We are currently debt-free. So I ask- in your opinion, is this a good reason to go into debt?
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #598
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I have been getting a lot of advice from friends and a lot of it includes sending my son to community college for 2 years to save money. While I have no problem at all with community college, and I think it would be a perfect choice financially, my DS17 NEEDS to go away. He is super dependent on my DH and I, and he really needs to grow up. We give him responsibilities around here, but he is the type of kid who is afraid of everything and in turn, that sabotages everything he tries. He failed his license test 6 weeks ago- and has another test scheduled for the end of April- but he's not driving yet. He finally does his own wash, but it took months of me saying "yes, that's right" until he could do it with NO input from me at all. I need him out of here for his own good. He needs to know he can survive on his own, and if he makes a mistake, it's OK and he will bounce back.

So, we are probably going to go into some major debt, against our house, on this kid. I am terrified of this. We are currently debt-free. So I ask- in your opinion, is this a good reason to go into debt?
I wouldn't do it. I went to a very expensive school. I paid for it myself with work, grants and loans. I went to school with a lot of kids who had parents write a check each semester for the full cost. And then partied their time away and never had a full appreciation for the value of that education.They had no skin in the game. I strongly feel that kids need to own part of the process to appreciate what they are getting.

I don't know your son so can't say what is best. Our oldest had some similar issues to yours. He ended up going to a private school here in town as a commuter student. And he still didn't get his license until TWO DAYS before beginning his 40 mile round trip commute through the city each day. I still bear the extra gray hair that whole process gave me.

Our second just committed to a school 3 1/2 hours away from home. Thankfully he is much more of a self-starter, so probably not as much gray hair (I hope) coming out of this process, even though he's moving away.

Both of them are taking a small amount of student loans to make it happen. I would never take a loan on my house to make it happen. This is the point where they have to want to make it happen.

Many students start at one school and never make it through the first year. I would never put my home at risk for that. And it's not the sort of pressure I would want my child to feel. Maybe you can find a way to help him grow and be more independent while doing the 2 years at the community college if that's all he can afford right now.

And you're not alone in many ways. Our oldest turns 20 tomorrow. And I finally got him doing his own laundry about a year ago. I still highly suspect that he wears a lot of dirty clothes. But he would likely be doing that if he were away at school too. I have really had to learn to just let go of many things with that approach. Treat him as if he was away at school, even though he's living at home. It's definitely a work in progress here though.

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Old 04-21-2013, 09:08 PM   #599
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I have been getting a lot of advice from friends and a lot of it includes sending my son to community college for 2 years to save money. While I have no problem at all with community college, and I think it would be a perfect choice financially, my DS17 NEEDS to go away. He is super dependent on my DH and I, and he really needs to grow up. We give him responsibilities around here, but he is the type of kid who is afraid of everything and in turn, that sabotages everything he tries. He failed his license test 6 weeks ago- and has another test scheduled for the end of April- but he's not driving yet. He finally does his own wash, but it took months of me saying "yes, that's right" until he could do it with NO input from me at all. I need him out of here for his own good. He needs to know he can survive on his own, and if he makes a mistake, it's OK and he will bounce back.

So, we are probably going to go into some major debt, against our house, on this kid. I am terrified of this. We are currently debt-free. So I ask- in your opinion, is this a good reason to go into debt?
I would never go into debt for college especially when there is a cheaper way. I might have you mistaken with another poster and I apologize if I do, but wasn't it your son who didn't do great in high school? If so, between that and the fact that he isn't responsible says to me that he isn't ready for a four year college that will cause you significant debt. If it was my kid (and it likely will be with my 15 y/o) he would start at a community college and we would reevaluate after a few semesters.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #600
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I'm not a huge community college person, but it seems like the case above is a perfect time FOR community college. He can start there and pick up some independence skills before moving away.

The kids I've known that have gone to community colleges have lived at home, but held part time jobs, managed their own transportation, and taken care of all their school stuff on their own. Being home where they can get advice, but being expected to take care of it all on their own is a good intermediate step for those not ready to be totally on their own yet.
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