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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Sep 15, 2019, 03:35 PM

10. FAFSA first. Max out what's provided in the way of federal/state grants.

"Niece" means there'll be some women-only money she can apply for in terms of grants and scholarships.

When I was rummaging years ago, I found that after the M/F gap there were boutique scholarships by race/ethnicity, by field of study, by some other arbitrary criterion: For Armenian women, for women studying chemistry, for African-American women, for students from a certain part of the state with income under a certain amount. These tend to be capricious, even if predictable in some cases--chemical societies will likely be active in trying to recruit non-white non-males for chemistry, for instance.

There are also organizational scholarships that aren't often easy to track down. Our local masonic lodge has a small scholarship, for instance. Many such scholarships are under-applied for because they're small, but it also means competition is slight.

Then there are even more particular grants and scholarships for things like study in a certain country or for getting equipment to do research (most often grad research, but there's also undergrad research opportunities).

Depending what your niece wants to do, special arrangements can be worked out between her, a university, and an internship-offering employer. My best friend in high school made a lot of calls on his own because he was motivated to go to college. His parents said they wouldn't pay for anything--not SAT test, college applications, or college visits. In the end he took 5 years for a 4 year degree, but a corporation paid almost all of his tuition/fees, and whenever he wasn't at school he had a 40-hour/week job doing work that used his college training and was relevant to his future career. It took him longer than 4 years because he had to take off a term a couple of times instead of just working summers. When he graduated with his B.Eng. in EE he had a full-time job with a couple years' experience.

Then there's the military. I have a lot of seniors who signed up for a couple of years in the military just for the educational benefits they'll get on the backside. Their ASVAB results came back good and they picked very much non-combat (or at least non-front-lines) positions.

Community college works great for some kids. Mostly, though, not so great. They get caught up in life. Anecdotal evidence aside, the stats for finishing 2 years and going to 4-year schools are pretty dismal overall, and both better and worse if you break out the numbers by SES and geography. It can be made to work, and routinely does for some categories of students, but the kids who transfer after 2 years of CC tend to treat CC like a four-year school. They don't get hefty jobs, they limit their social life, they aren't minions to their families. Like 4-year-college kids, they put studies first, take full loads (not just "minimum full-time loads" ), reduce contacts with high-school buddies, and when asked to help out at home tend to say, "No." But they couch it, "Mom, you wouldn't ask me to stay home to take care of my kid brother if I had a full time job--you're not staying home, are you? Think of college as my full-time job."

(On the other hand, part of me wants to suspect that the reason some groups have such a hard time getting past their 2-year-CC stint, unlike those at 4-year colleges, is because those more likely to have trouble at the 4-year colleges are more likely to go to CCs. Then again, the US has a real college drop-out problem. https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/681621047/college-completion-rates-are-up-but-the-numbers-will-still-surprise-you (we used to count drop-out rates with a normative 4-year time to degree, which was heinous).

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littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 OP
BigmanPigman Sep 2019 #1
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #12
emmaverybo Sep 2019 #2
fierywoman Sep 2019 #6
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #13
Phoenix61 Sep 2019 #3
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #14
mahina Sep 2019 #4
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #15
brush Sep 2019 #5
emmaverybo Sep 2019 #7
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #16
3Hotdogs Sep 2019 #8
brush Sep 2019 #9
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #17
LineNew Reply FAFSA first. Max out what's provided in the way of federal/state grants.
Igel Sep 2019 #10
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #18
B Stieg Sep 2019 #11
littlemissmartypants Sep 2019 #19
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