College Applications

college, graduate, diploma, degree, Brotherton, money, application‘Tis the season for College Application results to come in. I think my high school senior is taking it better than I am. She has a logical mind, which will serve her well in life and engineering. She is realistically expecting NOT to get in to all the top colleges she applied to. She has been accepted in to a few so far so she is comfortable knowing she is going SOMEWHERE to college.
I know all the great things my daughter has done, her academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and sports accomplishments. But she is competing against other kids that have also done WONDERFUL things…and she knows it. The competition to get into the top schools is so tight; I wouldn’t want to be the judge for who makes it and who doesn’t. I find comfort in the fact that American does have these bright and shiny students to offer up out of high school. They will enter the work force ready to contribute and help our society create new and greater things.
I’m not sure what I think about all the reports that kids are coming out of college and unable to find a job. It makes me wonder if they can’t find a job, or they can’t find THE job they want. I wonder if it part of this generations attitude toward “I want it now.” Many graduate college and expect to be living in a house the size of their parents’ house. They need to set their sights more realistically. Part of what you learn in college is planning and responsibility. Would be nice if they could also teach patience.

I do believe college degrees are very important to keep educating our society. Part of the problem is that it has turned into such a business that it’s about the colleges making money. To make money, they need students. To attract students, they need have up to date facilities and top professors. To pay for those things, they need to increase tuition. Horrible circle.

A prospective college student needs to do homework and choose his/her college carefully to get the best return on investment. It’s not a logical decision to dig yourself into debt so far that you can’t make enough money to pay off your student loans, but many chose that path. Remember, it’s about what you are learning in college–not the name of the college you attend. Some of the local, smaller colleges offer great courses and professors. And if that’s what you can afford, then that is the best college for you.

If students work hard enough and get good grades, the larger schools often offer a debt-free graduation. Meaning, AFTER the student is accepted (needs-blind) into the college, an assessment will be done to determine the student’s ability to pay. The alumni association (or other entity) offsets the difference so the student is debt-free when they graduate. That means the student investment is upfront–in high school–where they concentrate on being a great student and community leader in order to get accepted into college.

At the same time, when the student graduates, starts work, and has a family of his/her own, hopefully they will be forward thinking enough to start saving right away for college for their children.