Parents can be really off the rails when it comes to college planning. I have proof right here in this post. I received this email from a parent who found me on the internet. Try imagining yourself writing this same email to a blunt instrument like me.
What follows is her email and my response.
"Our daughter got into some wonderful schools, Bard, Smith,Emerson, Occidental, Reed...but paying for them is another matter. She got money from Occidental (10,000)...and Chapman (15,000)...but we are waiting to hear back from [I've omitted the school's name] her #1 choice. We do not qualify for need based aid. But we are only willing to pay...only??!...40,000 per year for 4 years. Do schools ever give aid that is not need based? My sister is a private college counselor and really helped her get into the schools...Now we cannot afford for her to attend!
Your thoughts ...thank you for your time."
Thank you for asking, but I'm afraid you are not going to like what I have to say.
Your problem was caused by your sister and your agreement to go along with
her efforts. It takes two to blow this cookie.
Or, your sister did not have a Plan B because you didn't disclose to her that you
couldn't afford your version of Plan A; if this was the case, your sister did a terrific job.
I'm going to give you Plan B. Here it is at no charge.
I hope you're sitting down for more of what you will not like - but it will likely
help your daughter graduate from her first-choice: she needs to attend an in-state state college for the first 2 years and then transfer to her first choice for her last two.
Ask the college what credits are transferable from a state college near you (yes, make her a commuter to save money for the last two years).
You have forced yourself into a college version of "tough love": this is where
you tell your daughter to take the above suggestion or forget ever going to
I would NEVER send my students to a Seven Sisters college or to an Ivy League
school; not worth it. It's all obsessive brand name stuff and a Gallup Poll (2013)
said that only 9% (!) of employers in this country consider where you went
to college to be "very important."
One of my clients has interviewed for a local Ivy League school for the past 26 years and she agrees with me.
Had you hired me, your daughter would be attending a school she absolutely
loves (with the possibility she never heard of the school before I came along),
and you would be thrilled with her choice and what you will pay.
It's emails like yours that keep me focused on helping parents before they make your kind of mistake.
You asked an honest question which I assumed deserved an honest answer.
Good luck. You won't need it if you follow Plan B.
Copyright 2015 Paul Hemphill