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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Calculating College Costs

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You know a college is really expensive when your child gets a letter congratulating them on receiving $18,000 a year in scholarships and your reply is, "Not nearly enough." At today's tuition rates, the remaining cost for her tuition and board would be $108,000 for four years. Um, no. There's no way I could justify that amount for the career path she has chosen. I can't see saddling her, and me, with a student loan so high.

I imagine that cost will drop some once we apply for financial aid, but I've begun bracing her for the possibility that she may very well have to follow her brother's community college footsteps. She's not thrilled with that prospect, and reminded me there is still hope as she also applied to the Scholars Program. Oddly enough, her award letter suggests she's "encouraged to apply" to said program, so now I'm wondering if they ever received her application.

I know she is an excellent student and has worked very hard to achieve her 4.0, taking the most difficult courses, going above and beyond what was "required" of her, and succeeding despite her medical travails. It's wonderful when you have a child who is so determined to achieve a goal, but sometimes Mom's got to be the "bad guy" and bring them back down to earth. I don't want to rain on her parade, but I do want to make sure she has an umbrella handy, just in case.

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