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Sat Apr 25, 2015, 05:00 PM

So, the college search that began two years ago ended today

Today, our kid picked a school from the list of those that sent an acceptance, and I forked over a chunk of money to secure a spot in the class of 2019. I'm not going to give the cave dwellers ammo to track my kid down, so I won't say which one. I will say it is a private institution, and it is ranked by US News as one of the top 10 schools in the US.

Some random observations:

1) The FAFSA and the CSS profile are not exactly the most user friendly documents of all time. The good folks at TurboTax need to develop something to guide folks through this process.

2) The selection process, for us, has been lengthy and expensive. We made trips to visit schools, and sent in 10 applications to get 4 "Yes" answers, 4 "Waitlists" and 2 "No". The applications cost money;; the ACT, SAT, and Subject tests cost money; the CSS profile submissions cost money. I realize that there are a sizable number of people who just send their kid to the local commuter school, regardless of ability. There is a certain appeal to this approach.

3) Did I also mention the process is stressful? When your kid announces another waitlist, it's beyond disheartening -- and there's nothing you can do other than to tell your kid to stand fast and wait for other answers.

4) At one level, I felt like we were penalized from the perspective of the FAFSA for having saved for college in 529 funds and an UTMA/UGMA. When I corrected a mistake to show that my daughter had money in an UTMA (I'd believed it was a 529 originally), the EFC rose substantially.

5) At another level, I would not have done things differently. If you have a smart kid, look at private schools in the top 25. Most of these offer much better financial aid than any public school outside of your home state. In some cases, you'll be better off than within your state.

We've proud of our kid, and we feel (a little, at least) validated as parents.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply So, the college search that began two years ago ended today (Original post)
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 OP
shraby Apr 2015 #1
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 #5
MADem Apr 2015 #2
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 #6
MADem Apr 2015 #10
elleng Apr 2015 #3
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 #8
elleng Apr 2015 #9
Freddie Apr 2015 #4
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 #7
Starry Messenger Apr 2015 #11
Algernon Moncrieff Apr 2015 #12

Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 05:10 PM

1. Take it from this old gramma for what it's worth. I think you're jumping the gun a tad.

The kid is just starting high school There are a lot of years between starting and graduation and you're putting a lot of stress on a kid to perform. Sometimes that doesn't work out so good.

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Response to shraby (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 07:33 PM

5. The COLLEGE class of 2019

...however, they have that 2 week summer camp at Duke for smart kids, and that is little more than a recruiting junket.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 05:12 PM

2. Wait'll ya get the BILLS.

This will play in your head when you open the envelopes--at least the part about taking your breath away!!!




And they never stop; they nickel and dime ya to death!

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 08:02 PM

6. Hi Dad!

SEND MONEY!!!!

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 09:30 PM

10. And now they do it by TEXT!!!



If you want to be a hardass, force 'em to SKYPE you when they need a few bucks! That way, at least you can lay eyes on 'em on occasion! You're entering the zone of "I'm Independent and I Need Some Walking Around Dough!!!" Not quite as bad as puberty...but only just!

Nowadays, you don't have to send an envelope, the colleges have debit cards that the sucker parents can "plus up" so the little angels can buy their cokes and snacks and schoolbooks! They've got the whole "separating the 'rents from their cash" thing down to a fine science~~!

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 05:14 PM

3. Congrats on the end of this siege.

I understand it, having 2 daughters who went through it, and to say FAFSA is 'not the most user friendly' is truly a modest statement.

Best of luck to you and your daughter.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 08:24 PM

8. How the Hell is one supposed to know that a 529 is a parent asset

..but an UTMA/UGMA belongs to the student?

If you think the FAFSA is fun, try the CSS profile -- it's like a financial colonoscopy.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 08:28 PM

9. No thanks, I'm through with youngsters

(except for my grandkids, who are LITTLE! Crossing fingers for their parents down the road!)

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 07:17 PM

4. Congratulations and best of luck!

However, my daughter got a great education at the "local commuter school" (a small Catholic college). While it wasn't terribly hard to get into, it was hard enough to stay in, as some of her classmates found out. I think she got a better education there than her brother, who went to a prestigious and competitive Huge State University.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 08:23 PM

7. Some of the most successful people I know went to local/commuter school

And my daughter could have gone to school locally marginally cheaper than her ultimate choice...but her ultimate choice is an awesome school.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 11:19 PM

11. Our kid finished with his masters at Cal Poly

A couple of years ago. Glad he's done, out, and is working at a great paying job. State school worked out well, he loved his department and his thesis won an award.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 11:30 PM

12. I attended one of the UC Schools

I wanted to send my kid to my Alma Mater, but the out of state fees and lack of available scholarship money made that difficult. Meanwhile, state schools in which my kid had no interest, such as Alabama and Oklahoma, indicated they were willing to back up a truckload of money.

Cal Poly at Pomona and SLO are both really fine schools. I hope my kid is headed toward a great paying job.

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