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Parents of College Class of 2018 (A.K.A., "Is this the line to the poor house?")

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Gina, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    I know - I just have to find them! Dd is the one who keeps saying crappy schools. The schools here in NJ aren't giving much $ away - even 10 years ago she could have gotten some from Rutgers, but not now.

    She wants to go south, which I am okay with, provided she finds a school close to public transportation, since she won't have a car. I'm thinking NC, she is thinking FL.
     
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  3. AboutTheMouse

    AboutTheMouse Mouseketeer

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    I have a DS graduating in 2014, too. Right now, we are visiting schools. We are visiting two in Indiana next week. His interest right now is aerospace engineering, which I would say isn't a widely available engineering discipline. The only state school that offers this discipline is Univ. of IL and for what they are asking for in-state engineering tuition (and they give very little merit aid), we might be able to go to an out of state school with merit aid.

    DS took his first ACT in December, but wants to raise his score by a few points. So, in addition to the costs involved in visiting far away schools, we are paying for a tutor to help him with the ACT.

    Hey, at least you will all be in line with me for the poor house!
     
  4. shortbun

    shortbun <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><

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    DS and his friends have and are taking both tests then working to improve on another attempt. They're all hoping to crack 32-33 on the ACT as it's the test around here that seems to mean the most, especially with the writing option. The SAT doesn't seem to be as difficult. Scholarship money means a lot for us too. Good luck everyone! This IS the line to the poor house. Retirement? What retirement? lol!
     
  5. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    Wow, such great info already! I'm at work now, so I'll have to read back through later tonight when I can really digest everything. I really appreciate the perspective from those of y'all who have been through all this already, though. It helps a lot!!

    I am blown away that such a small difference in test scores can make such a big difference $$-wise. DS got a 1940 on the SAT when he took it, but that was last June. He has since taken a pre-PSAT/NMSQT test prep course at school, and has a whole year more of AP classes, so I'm not sure if that will help or not. We're still planning on asking at TAMUG in a couple of weeks about which test they might prefer or if it matters at all.

    Luckily (I guess) he will qualify for a goodly amount of need-based aid, so hopefully that + whatever merit aid he can get will be enough! I just went back a few years ago and finished my own degree, so I'm going to be paying on those student loans for the rest of my life already. Trying to not add a whole bunch more to that!

    At least when I'm standing in line for the poor house, it looks like I'll have lots of DIS friends to keep me company, so that's awesome. :goodvibes


    -gina-
     
  6. PrincessKsMom

    PrincessKsMom <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/tlk

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    And I hear the poor house doesn't mind if we reuse mugs from previous trips to the poor house. :laughing:
     
  7. njmom47

    njmom47 <font color=blue>He's such a fiend!<br><font color

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    DS is 17 and a junior as well. His grades are average and he didn't do all that great on his PSATs so I am figuring he will start in our local community college. Sometimes I want to wring his neck because he isn't taking this all too seriously. He really doesn't know what he wants to major in, so if he's ok with cc for starters, then I guess we are too. :confused3
    My dds did not go to college; I did but we all know that was a lonnnng time ago!!
     
  8. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    :rotfl:
     
  9. maxaroni

    maxaroni DIS Veteran

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    Not sure what part of NJ you are in but my DS started out fall 2011 at college in north jersey and it didn't work out. He is now back home at CC and will be looking to transfer winter 2014. So many start out at CC these days. My girlfriends daughter was lucky enough to go using the NJ stars program but opted to gou out of state to finish her degree.
     
  10. bballmom56

    bballmom56 DIS Veteran

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    My kids ended up going west - to PA. PA has a number of very good schools that offer nice merit money. They also looked at colleges in New York state with similar offers. When all the aid packages were received, the out of state privates were going to cost just about as much as a NJ state school would have cost us.
     
  11. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    Having taught seniors for 21 years, I've heard this plan before. I've also heard the closely-related, "I'm white, so I'm going to get a minority scholarship to a predominantly black school." I've not seen anyone actually succeed with these plans.

    Thing about crappy schools: They cater to the crappy students, the desperate ones who can't get in anywhere else. As such, they don't give much in the way of award money.

    A tip-top student may get a good award from a mid-tier school, but expecting a big award from a bottom-of-the-barrel school just isn't realistic.
    I think many -- if not most -- high school seniors alternate between "I can't wait to be on my own" and "I'm not ready". Quite a few of my daughter's friends had a panic-moment (mostly in the month of May) in which they seriously considered dropping their plans to go away to school. I don't mean they considered not going to college at all; rather, they all seemed to have a moment when they realized "this is real, and this is soon" and they considered staying home and commuting to a nearby college or community college.

    My daughter did become teary when we dropped her off at school. She was ready, and she wanted very badly to go to college . . . but she also didn't want to see us get into the car and drive away.

    I think it's normal for a student to have those moments, and none of my daughter's friends actually changed their college plans -- they got over it.
     
  12. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    Had one of those sniffly parent moments yesterday... I'm sure many more of them are to come over the next year or so, lol. :rolleyes: The football schedule came out, and I glanced over it, mostly to figure out which games were home games and if my birthday was on a home or away night. I read over the game marked as "Senior Night" three times before it hit me -- this is Senior Night for US this time. For 3 years I've watched the football/band/colorguard kids walk across the field with their parents and be announced, and now this time it'll be *ME* walking with my son... :scared:

    I had so many mixed emotions -- I take huge pride in being a band mom and live for the games and watching DS march, and I'm a giant football nut on top of it so Friday nights are always a Big Deal. It makes me sad to know I only have one more season of it!! But at the same time, I'm so excited for DS and his future before him, and so proud of the young man he has become. I just don't know how this all happened so quickly!! :sad:

    Good grief, is the whole next year going to be like this?? Lol :thumbsup2
     
  13. PrincessKsMom

    PrincessKsMom <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/tlk

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    I know it's hard. I'm going to try to look at it not as an end but as a beginning. Like how excited I was when DD started school. When they're little we can't wait for them to do all the "firsts". And then something changes and we dread those firsts because it means they're that much closer to spreading their wings and flying solo. Well, I'm going to try to get back to that mindset where I was so excited for her and all the firsts that she was going to experience. :grouphug:
     
  14. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    That's a really good way of looking at it... I like that. :goodvibes

    I think I'm just anticipating an identity crisis -- When it's marching season, band is so all-encompassing... our lives literally revolve around practices and competitions and games and such. And I'm on the uniform-washing committee -- with 300 band members, there's a lot of washing that goes on, lol. And I have my sparkly "Band Mom" apparel and my pins and my ribbons and I don't think I know how to be just Gina anymore, LOL. :confused:

    I know it's dumb, that with everything graduation/college-related I have to worry about, *this* is what is bothering me... but there you have it. :rolleyes:
     
  15. PrincessKsMom

    PrincessKsMom <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/tlk

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    Gina, my daughter is on color guard this year and it truly is a year round membership. And while I'm not as involved as you, I did attend their football games, a marching band competition and a few winter guard competitions. I always say if it weren't for my daughter's social life (and she doesn't have much of one), I wouldn't have one either.

    Maybe the band would like you to stay on next year.
     
  16. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    That's so true, isn't it?? Maybe that's what scares me -- I'll end up locked inside by myself once he's gone and become the crazy cat lady, lol.


    Happy Friday all!! :cool1:

    Anyone off doing any campus visits this weekend?

    I have a question for you guys -- Are any of you starting to gather items for your kid's dorm room now? I'm wondering what would be good to start stockpiling, or grab when there's a sale, like I do all year for vacations with trial-size products and whatnot. How many sets of sheets/towels do they (namely, boys) need to have with them? Do any of you who have done this before have a great list you could share?

    Hope everyone has a great weekend! :goodvibes


    -gina-
     
  17. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

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    I'll be in the line for the poorhouse with the rest of you! :lmao:

    My DD16 (she won't turn 17 until the fall) is a junior and we are trying to figure out a plan of attack for senior year and beyond. We just chose her courses for next year yesterday, and she is hitting it hard with a bunch of challenging classes for her senior year. She's ranked near the top of her class but not in the very top, her GPA is 3.8 and her practice SATs were a bit disappointing to her (1820), but she'll be taking them for real in June. By the time she graduates she will have at least 20 college credits on her transcript (her high school has a great early college experience program with UCONN, and we only have to pay $25 per credit plus $15 fee for the classes in that program! :thumbsup2), and she may have as many as 16 if she does well on the AP classes that aren't part of the early college program, sot aht will help save us some money in the long run.

    She has no idea what she wants to study in college, and she doesn't seem all that motivated to figure it out. She also has no idea what she wants in a college. The only thing she keeps telling us is that she wants to go to school "Far away from you and Dad". Lovely. :sad2: We have a plan in place that if she goes to a local, in state school and lives at home for the first year or two, we can manage to get her a bachelors degree with no loans. There's no way that's going to happen if she goes 'far away' unless she manages to get a lot of merit awards somewhere, and I just don't think she's that top caliber student that will get a that much merit aid based on what I've read. I am pretty certain that we won't be getting much if any need based aid.

    She doesn't seem to be worried about any of this, but I on the other hand am a bundle of nerves and feeling the stress already....
     
  18. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

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    I bought things ahead for the boys. The best time to shop for college items is next year when they have the back to school sales. I wouldn't buy too much because each school has its own rules for what you can have. Just remember most schools have ex long twin beds when you buy sheets!

    I mentioned buying things ahead for my DD and she was shocked, I guess all of her friends go out and pick out matching colors and patterns with their roommates. With the boys it didn't matter.

    I had wanted to do visits this week but she isn't interested. Right now all she is thinking about is Prom and her senior friends that are graduating. I don't know if any of your kids are even thinking about what they want to do after their Freshman year, but if any of them are thinking off-campus housing, you could start buying those things now. I bought dishes and silverware and those kinds of things. Middle DS has moved 5 times in 4 years and will move another 2 before he graduates. I stopped helping after number 3.

    If any of your kids are at all social, I would also check out the social life at school. Middle DS was really involved in Greek life and that brought a whole new set of expenses. He had to pay for all of his dues and all of the activities himself, but I did start buying clothes for the meetings and formals they had. I went to lots of Goodwills and he has a nice selection of suits and nicer clothes that he didn't have before.

    His senior year for christmas I bought him a whole bunch of odds and ends that I thought he might need. Things like umbrellas, small tool kit, flashlights. He told me that at the time he thought it was really random, but once he got there, he was glad to have them.
     
  19. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    Luckily I already have those, since he spent a week there last summer and had to have them then. Walmart has some soft XL twin jersey sheets for cheap. I'm thinking I'll just get him one more set as a spare.






    Now that is brilliant! Those things are totally going on my list. Thanks for the tip!
     
  20. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    We're off for our campus tour to TAMUG tomorrow, and looking forward to it. I mean, the visit is redundant, but I have some much more specific questions this time. I'm really glad my mom & stepdad are coming along this time -- my mother has been a professor for decades, and my stepdad is no stranger to this stuff either, so I'm sure they'll think of questions DS & I don't.

    He and I sat down last night to try and figure out the whole AP credit thing. He still needs to take 3 more AP tests in his Senior year to graduate under the DAP plan, unless he makes Commended on the PSAT which would replace one of the AP exam requirements. But then it becomes a matter of deciding which AP credits to actually accept. He mostly wants to be able to test out of English Ret & Comp (*shudder*). But there's a program here in Texas where if you graduate from college with no more than 3 credit hours over what was required for the degree, you get a $1000 tuition rebate. So it gets kinda sticky trying to decide which AP credits to accept, because you only want to do that for classes that you know you won't end up taking anyway, so you don't double up on credits. It's weird... but a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks!

    Speaking of AP exams, since those are coming up for everyone in a little over a month, how do your Juniors prepare for them? We haven't done anything yet!
     
  21. PrincessKsMom

    PrincessKsMom <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/tlk

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    Got DD's SAT scores today. First score: 1590; new score 1750!! :cool1:

    Reading 520/540; Math 510/590!; Writing 560/620!! While I know compared to other kids' scores this isn't all that impressive, she really only put a little effort into studying and it was all in math, which obviously paid off. One more time in October and we're good. I'm hoping for a 600/600 in CR/M because that boosts up her scholarship potential at a few schools. I think she's stunned as well.

    Now the big question. Her ex-BFF had a tutor through Revolution Prep and her mom was so excited about how well she was doing on her practice tests (2000/2100). Well she didn't do as well on the SAT. While BFF's mom didn't share her scores, she said he only went up 200 points from last time, which I think is much lower than she anticipated. So do I just ride DD's back and push her about studying and save myself $2500 for a private tutor, or do I spend the money?
     

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