Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Striking Fear Into High School Seniors

Two words: College applications.

That is what has been consuming my oldest (and my computer) for the last few days. What a pain in the ass.

My step-daughter may be the smartest person I know. I don't say that lightly, she really is extremely intelligent. Mind you, she doesn't have a lick of common sense and she readily admits it. How do you teach common sense? If you have an answer, please, please let me know!

She is ranked eighth in a class of more than four hundred. She got 1900 on her SATs. Her GPA is something like a 3.94. Honors classes, AP classes, clubs, youth group, part time job, this kid rocks. We have very few problems with her. Our major problem: college. We can't afford to pay for her college (even before we lost our jobs) and she has been aware of this for many years. New Jersey has a program called NJ Stars. Any student who graduates in the top twenty percent of their class can go to a community college for free. If they maintain a 'B' average they can transfer to a four year state school and go there for free. Did you get that? FREE. The problem, she does not want to do this. She has no idea what she wants to do as a career (and what 17 year old does?) so why wouldn't she want to take the free education?

We have tried explaining the whole student loan thing, how it's going to be like a mortgage payment, etc, to no avail. Part of the problem is a few of her teachers have told her she is too good for community college. I want to slap the crap out of them! Are they going to pay for her education? Are they going give her a job that pays enough to pay her loans back? Shut the hell up!

The babe is calling me so I'll have to make this a two parter.


Mimi said...

When you get to part 2 make sure to let us know who she thinks is going to repay this loan. It sounds like she's not worried for you and hubby?!

Oh, and I tagged you yesterday! Go peek on my blog when you get a chance!

Noelle said...

That is really tough. Maybe she can take a year off and start working towards her educational costs? I know a lot of colleges love to admit students with real world experience, and they all seem to get more out of their education.

Karmyn R said...

As a straight A student who took all the Advance Placement classes in high school I can try and express what the CC meant to me:

First off - An education is SO important. In reality - a high school diploma means nothing to the working world. (that's sad, but how it is)

Community College will be a great transition. Go get your core classes out of the way (Biology, Chemistry, Eng.101, Calculus, and all those other 101 courses). You have to take these courses anyway and at least at the CC the classes will be smaller and the professors will actually talk to you - not send you to their assistants.

Out of High School I was accepted to a couple of very prestige schools, but I could not afford to go there....I ended up at the CC which to me, at the time, felt like LOSERVILLE - but it ended up being the best thing - getting those core classes out of the way and still keeping a very high GPA. (plus, the 2 years there will help you gain some of that common sense and wisdom you need for the University.)

Coming in as a Junior can give you an edge.

Good luck in whatever decision she makes!!!

Rachel said...

That is an awesome opportunity for her!!! I wish she would see that!

There is nothing wrong with community college. Education is education.

Lost A Sock said...

OMG, I'm having heart palpitations over here for you. Take it from one who is paying back more than 50K in college loans, and will be until MY SIX YEAR OLD SON BEGINS COLLEGE, do everything you can to get her to take the free ride. My parents couldn't afford school for us either, so my mom suggested I could just get through with loans (private college) and having no idea what that would mean for my future, I blindly went along with it.

My sister? 27 years old, 80K in loans, $800 per month, still lives at home because she's not even close to affording rent yet. So depressing for her.

Except for the fact that I met Kevin in college, I would SO do it differently if I could.

Sorry to hijac your comments section. Taking a deep breath now. ;o)

Bethany said...

I am so printing these comments for her to read. Maybe she'll listen to you guys!

CPA Mom said...

I second all of the above. I would still be paying for my loans if my late husband hadn't died and left a smigeon of life insurance that I paid them off with. I have a friend who went to a private pharmacy school who will be paying those loans back until she is almost retirement age.

Community college first, then a 4 year school - all for free - what an enormous gift. I don't care how smart she is - if she turns that down, she is dumb. DUMB.