Putting decision-making power in the hands of an 18-year-old feels counterintuitive. Perhaps that’s because it is. Or, perhaps, it’s just my kid that this applies to. Somehow, though, I don’t think so.
At present we are engaged in whittling down her college choices. Unfortunately, it comes down to money. More specifically it’s about where she’ll get the most education for the least amount of money.
As it happens, as it always seems to happen, the college that she prefers would leave her in about $70,000 worth of debt at the end of four years. The college that we would rather she attend will leave her with ZERO debt at the end of four years. My husband and I think this is a no-brainer.
There are, of course, other variables to consider. The zero debt college has smaller class sizes — important in any area, but, we think, even more so for anyone seeking a science-related degree. Their facilities are newer. By all accounts their instructors are first-rate, top notch, if you will. Students also seem to enjoy a higher rate of success in its nursing program, if graduation rates and national board scores are any indication of this, which, we think, they are.
So, what’s the problem, you ask? As I see it, it’s two-fold.
First and foremost, this school is only 15 miles from our home. In a nod to compromise, we have not only agreed to allow her to live on campus, but to fund it, as well. If she lived home it would literally cost us nothing to send her there, but we want her to have, as much as possible, the “college experience”. We want her to be happy. Whatever that is.
The second reason that she is resisting this school? I graduated from there. This fact is not exactly a selling point. As you all well know, I’m a complete and utter failure. I’m just a lowly waitress.
We have sat her down, explained to her why we think the in-State college is the better choice, for reasons both financial and educational. We have explained that for $70,000 she can buy herself a Tesla (her dream car) or she can owe that same money to the leeches who provide student loans — the bankers, the government. Again, it seems like a no-brainer to her father and I.
Still, she views this institute of higher learning with disdain. After all, if I was awarded a degree from there, it can’t possibly be that good. (It is, by the way, THAT good.)
Alternately I feel like throttling her and like crying. Luckily, I’m a fully-formed person who understands that neither of these activities will do either of us any good.
What scares me most is that ultimately it is her decision. While her attitude toward me is both hurtful and disappointing, what’s worse is knowing that she may make the wrong choice and that she will do so for all the wrong reasons.
photo credit: thumbs down