Monday, March 22, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Applying for College

This afternoon when we opened the mailbox, a big cream-colored envelope (recycled, of course) awaited us. It was addressed to Grace, but Earl and I tore into it since she was at school. The letter had finally come from her top pick college. She was accepted!
We rejoiced for Grace's acceptance to a school, a really good school where the incoming class hails from places like: Marblehead High School in Massachusetts, Seton Hall Prep School, Miss Edgar's & Ms. Cramp's School in Quebec, Lawrence Academy at Groton, and La Salle Academy in Rhode Island. I'm not sure Grace realizes the odds of a student from a small, public high school in Ohio getting into this elite college. I'm not sure that she realizes her good, but not great, grades were probably not enough to have pulled her into this school. Her freestyle swim stroke may be what twisted the arms of the administrators to allow her to attend. But we'll take it.
During her lunch break, I called and told her the news. She screamed then screamed some more. "I got in!"
The elation we felt for her rose to the ceiling, before falling to the wood floor beneath us when we saw the financial aid offer. The offer was so generous. More than $26,000 each year for Grace's college education. But the tuition is so much more. The college offer included a couple of loans and some work/study opportunity in addition to the $26,000 grant. The bottom line is that our family portion is still going to be more than $19,000 for tuition, room and board each year. Gulp!
It didn't take long before I was on the computer searching for our airline reservations, the ones that were supposed to take us to France next month. We still aren't sure if the tickets are refundable, but if they are, they can go a small way toward paying that chunk of tuition. We realize, now that the numbers are on the table, that we have to put the money toward college rather than a whimsical trip to France.
Even though we may not be going to France, I'm keeping the purse.


Stephanie the Wise said...

Congratulations Grace!

Parents of Grace: are you kidding? The money you spend in France won't even make a dent in her college tuition. GO TO FRANCE! Celebrate your 20th! You've worked so hard for this. What was the point of working all those hours anyway? Grace will still go to school. It WILL work out.

Just go!

Frenchee le Trip said...

A selfless move. What generous people you are. I hope you can still swing France anyway. I'll be waiting to know the outcome!

Michelle said...

I agree with Stephanie the wise. :)
With Mirae at K college and Alex entering Trine in the fall, college debt has to be a separate category from our life budget. Otherwise we'd be eating generic mac and cheese forever! Also, going to France will fill you with the energy you will need to make the transition with Grace to college. I found it to be similar to the transition to high school after homeschooling, a BIG one.
It was 11 years ago that we went, and the memories are a highlight in my life!

Paulita said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom, especially from the two of you who have kids in college and are dealing with those payments. Yes, Michelle, our trip to Paris was a highlight for me too and it looks like I'll be making reservations at the same hotel again since we can't get a refund on the tickets. Darn?

Linda said...

I was thinking you should just go too. The money will come as you need it--then I see that you can't get refunds so there you go. It was meant to be.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

..... so we're not going back in the fall for the Athens to Marathon marathon ?

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