Tuesday, November 21, 2006

College on my Mind



These days college is on my son’s mind. Mine too. Big questions abound. Where—public or private? How—loans, work or maybe the lottery? If you have a kid in college or have had recently you know how expensive it is. And from the Chronicle of Higher Education this morning:
The nation’s public flagship universities are becoming less accessible to students who are from low-income families or who are members of underrepresented minority groups, according to a report released on Monday by the Education Trust.

Surprisingly, the authors of the report noted that these schools “increased institutional grant aid per student more for those from families in upper-income brackets than for those in lower-income brackets.”

I’ll be taking a little jaunt over to Berry College in Georgia next week with senior son if I can wake him up, and of course, I’ll probably write about the experience. Older son went on his college visits alone, and I’m flattered to be allowed in on the process. Top question: how the devil are we going to pay for this?

10 comments:

Don said...

Win the lottery, maybe? :)

Seriously, I've heard good things about Berry. I recall when I was a kid the school was called Berry School for Boys, or something like that. It was for problem children who needed discipline as well as education and they all had chores to do on the school farm. One of my peers was sent there and got his life on the right path. I think later they began accepting girls, and then later grew into the college that it is now.

Sheila said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the college and can see why Scott is interested from all the lovely photos. Imagine going to a college with a campus that allows deer hunting. They have 28,000 acres and of course, the part where they allow the hunting is a wild life area. Least I hope so.

Not sure where else we will visit. I think the University of Alabama is too big for him and I'm steering him in the direction of smaller colleges where he can more easily make a place for himself and get to know the professors more easily. Anyway, he wants to get out of Alabama but is strangely considering Mississippi University for Women. I still haven't figured out quite how this one thinks but let's just say, he is an interesting guy.

Marion said...

Lol! I think you are going to have fun with this son!

Berry College sounds amazing...can't wait to hear about it.

I really don't know how we managed to get our kids through college. I think it was one step at a time...and the RRSP's grew smaller. They worked and contributed, there were loans, and we contributed.

It would have been so nice to win the lottery!

Sheila said...

Marion,
I'm glad your kids are finished and everyone survived. There's a 11 years difference in our two guys and so at least we had a bit of a break. Plus, for two years, our older son got free tuition from the university Dad was working at. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Dirty Butter said...

We had two in college at the same time for awhile. That was interesting! I ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch every day for several years. Between Grants and Loans and money we had saved, we managed.

Tim said...

Oi! I'm still quite young enough to remember the excitement, double-edged stress and headache of searching, applying and registering. Of course, I no longer work in the area of my "expertise" - another story for another day - but I would do the same all over again.

Hope the visiting is enjoyable and your choices won't dig TOO deep below the hole under your pockets. Just remember, steer clear of Sallie Mae!

Sheila said...

Rosemary, I can't imagine how hard it must have been with two in school at once. My mom paid for my first year and helped out with loans when money was short for my remaining years, but I got married after my freshman year and paid for most of my school with work-study and loans and one scholarship. Then, when I was in law school, my husband got a job at the University of Alabama and my tuition was free.

Tim, you say you'd do it all over again and I would too. Once you have that education, it truly is something you can never lose even if you venture out in other directions, voluntarily or otherwise.

Jay Croft said...

For several years I had one wife and two daughters in either private boarding school, college or University, all at the same time. And clergy in mission congregations do not earn big salaries.

The good thing about financial aid is that it takes the other students in the family into consideration, as well as your own financial situation. So, paying for three at the same time was little more than paying for one. It was not easy, but we did it. Among the four of us we now count nine academic degrees!

Jay Croft said...

"If I can wake him up?"

Do NOT wake him up. If he wants to visit that college badly enough, he will find a way to get up on time.

If he wakes up late, drag him down to the nearest military recruitment office. I guarantee that boot camp will teach him to wake up when he hears the bugle.

Sheila said...

Jay, I'm not looking forward to filling out the financial aid paperwork, but luckily I saw a seminar of the process and I think I'll go see if I get motivated that way. My work study job was in the financial aid office and I saw a lot of really deserving kids flow through our office. I'd like to see Congress devote more resources to student financial aid, but I read today where the Republicans are delaying votes until after the new members get in.

Nine divided by four. Who is the over-achiever?