Nov. 8, 2011 — In less than 30 days my youngest has to apply for college.
We have been talking about this deadline since she was a freshman, but there was not much we could do about it until now.
She had to take the SAT test, wait until her junior year was complete to get a good look at her grade point average and narrow down where she wants to attend.
Those are big decisions and probably bigger decisions than can we afford to send her to her number one choice. As I write this my daughter and husband began a road trip to her choice schools — the campus visits.
The tour guide will try to sell father and daughter on the virtues of the university or college.
After the tour, the two will head back to a motel or shopping mall with brochures in hand.
I am sure my daughter will look at the campus atmosphere, dorms, food and conveniences.
Her father will look at cost, scholarships and how far from home she will be. I am not going to say if we want her close or not.
For me it will be a quiet week at home.
I hope to get some fall cleaning accomplished, but the silence will end when they return, hopefully ready to tell me the pros and cons of each college.
With facts in hand, we will start the application process.
Once that’s done, then we have to wait and see if the right letter comes in the mail.
My dilemma is what is the right letter? It would be nice to get one acceptance letter if it is from her number one choice, but if it’s from her least favorite school, the angst starts all over again.
If she applies to all the schools she likes and gets accepted to all of them, I guess we look at cost, which is not an easy decision.
Frankly, I am not sure how a middle-income family sends a child to school these days without making huge sacrifices.
The stock market sure has not been kind to our college investment plan.
One choice is Lassen Community College because the Lassen College Foundation helps students, but so far that is not a choice my child will even consider. She wants a four-year college experience as far away from Susanville as possible.
I don’t blame her. I did the same thing, and I truly hope she gets her wish.
Yet, it is an option that too many students dismiss before they look into it.
High school-aged children need to consider at least getting an associate’s degree or a trade certificate if they want to get a decent job.
I know some will say there aren’t many jobs right now.
However, when jobs do open up again, I can assure you that those who have degrees will get better wages and better jobs.
Time after time, I hear that someone didn’t get a job because he or she didn’t have an AA degree or the training for the job.
It’s never too late to go back to school or plan to continue your education.
In my family it is a given that one will get their bachelor’s degree.
Some of us continued our education right after high school graduation.
Others of us went to school while working. Others raised a family while getting a degree. Some of us never got the diploma but never stopped learning.
That’s the key right there. Never stop learning.
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