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SquirrellyMama

Out of state community college

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My dd 16 is thinking of going the CC route right out of high school. The combination of athletics and degree programs can only be found out of state. Not only out of state, but half way across the country in both directions. 

 

I'm fine with CC, and I'm fine with her going half way across the country, but not sure if out of state CC makes sense. When out of state, a CC degree becomes about the same price as a 4 year in-state degree. ETA: Per year the 2 are equal. The total price of the AS does not equal the total price of the complete BS.

 

At her level in her sport she would not be able to get on the team at the big State U's. She might be able to get in at one of the small private schools, but that becomes way too high a price for the degree she wants.

 

Another thing... she is a-ok about moving out of state ;)

 

Kelly

 

 

Edited by SquirrellyMama

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So, the sport will not be playing FOR a college?  It will be some sort of outside of school team?  No sport scholarship?

 

I am asking because I was quite surprised to find out that my friend's son got a scholarship to a CC about 90 min. away from them and the CC had dorms and housing.  I had no idea there were CCs that offered that.

 

Just trying to understand the question.

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So, the sport will not be playing FOR a college?  It will be some sort of outside of school team?  No sport scholarship?

 

I am asking because I was quite surprised to find out that my friend's son got a scholarship to a CC about 90 min. away from them and the CC had dorms and housing.  I had no idea there were CCs that offered that.

 

Just trying to understand the question.

 

Yes, she would be swimming for the college. She could not get on a team of a big State U in our state, but could get on a CC team. The only CC's with the sport she wants, and the degree she wants are all out of state. 

 

Most of the CC's close to us have on campus housing. Not sure about sports scholarships.

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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It’s fairly common in DD’s sport. There are a few Junior/community colleges that offer decent scholarships, and particularly for kids who are on a route that is more obtainable at the CC, it’s often a good choice. Usually such programs either have housing on campus or have a pretty robust referral network for just off campus housing.

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Yes, she would be swimming for the college. She could not get on a team of a big State U in our state, but could get on a CC team. The only CC's with the sport she wants, and the degree she wants are all out of state. 

 

Most of the CC's close to us have on campus housing. Not sure about sports scholarships.

 

Kelly

Just curious how much is that CC(s) for out of state students?

 

I say go for it - if you can afford it. 

As my physical body falls apart now due to disease, I am glad I did sports as a young person.

Many fond memories.

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So, the sport will not be playing FOR a college? It will be some sort of outside of school team? No sport scholarship?

 

I am asking because I was quite surprised to find out that my friend's son got a scholarship to a CC about 90 min. away from them and the CC had dorms and housing. I had no idea there were CCs that offered that.

 

Just trying to understand the question.

(Just thought I'd mention that one of the five CCs in San Antonio [san Antonio College] offers housing, though I do believe it is privatized. http://www.alamo.edu/housing/)

Edited by Kinsa

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Just curious how much is that CC(s) for out of state students?

 

I say go for it - if you can afford it. 

As my physical body falls apart now due to disease, I am glad I did sports as a young person.

Many fond memories.

 

Without looking at all the websites again, I think the lowest out of state CC tuition is $3840. That is still way below our in-state tuition. That school though would probably come with hefty off-campus living.

 

She wants to have an active career. Her combination of sports and degree interests will keep her active. Not sure how well paid...

 

Kelly

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Without looking at all the websites again, I think the lowest out of state CC tuition is $3840. That is still way below our in-state tuition. That school though would probably come with hefty off-campus living.

 

She wants to have an active career. Her combination of sports and degree interests will keep her active. Not sure how well paid...

 

Kelly

When sending a child far away for college, don't forget to factor in the cost of transportation to/from. We live in Texas and have one attending college in Ohio, and it costs us roughly $1000/year to get him home for summer and winter breaks. We don't even see him during shorter breaks.

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I'm really curious what sport and what degree? Is playing the sport but not for a school an option? Perhaps a club in the same town or an intramural team at a bigger university for example.

 

Community colleges really vary in what they offer, in terms of class availability and quality. You also have to worry about finding friends in a sea of commuter students, though the sports team will help with that. Have you visited the CC's, met the coaches, and investigated places to live?

 

Is the problem that the small colleges don't offer financial aid or that the financial aid formulas don't spit out a realistic number for your family?

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I was quite surprised at the number of out-of-state students at our local CC but apparently most of them chose the school because of the opportunity to play their sport. Apparently starting at this particular CC is a good route for getting on a team at 4-year schools. 

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Okay, so, she's almost certainly not good enough to be a professional swimmer ever, right (does she even want to be one)? In which case, it's swimming - you can swim without being on a team. Or she might be able to find a non-college team, or w/e... my inclination is that no, I would not pay for out of state CC for a swim team. Now, if she paid for it herself, well, adults can do w/e they want to do. 

 

If our income were three times what it is, I might be willing to... depending on what the academics at the CC were like. Some CCs have better academics than others, from what I hear.

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Okay, so, she's almost certainly not good enough to be a professional swimmer ever, right (does she even want to be one)? In which case, it's swimming - you can swim without being on a team. Or she might be able to find a non-college team, or w/e... my inclination is that no, I would not pay for out of state CC for a swim team. Now, if she paid for it herself, well, adults can do w/e they want to do. 

 

If our income were three times what it is, I might be willing to... depending on what the academics at the CC were like. Some CCs have better academics than others, from what I hear.

 

It isn't just the swimming. They also have the degree she wants. And, it's in a warm state :) It has everything she wants :) Yes, she can swim without a team, it's the team that she wants during college. 

 

We have 3 options we are looking at. One is an in state 4 year with a swimming club, another is an in state 2 year along with teaching dance and swimming lessons (no swim team or club), and the 3rd is an out of state 2 year in a state that has a 4 year she wants to transfer to. The 3rd option does have a swim team, no club.

 

I won't pay for a 4 year private college just for swimming. I would consider an out of state 2 year with a degree she wants since it is $40,000 cheaper than the private colleges.

 

I'm trying hard to give advice without pushing her. I got pushed into a degree that I hated, and refused to ever work in. I really wish I had gone the 2 year route. 

 

ETA: She's my kid that wants to do what she likes. I have a ds14 who thinks the only important thing when looking for a degree and job is money. Who cares if he hates it, as long as he makes a lot of money.

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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Okay, so, the 4-year in-state does not have the degree program she wants? So, she'd have to do the last 2 years out-of-state either way? 

 

I guess you could try to figure out if there's a way to get in-state tuition at some point at the out-of-state school - apparently in some states that's easier than others. That would make a big difference when looking at the financial picture. 

 

Basically, my inclination is that I'm not paying tens of thousands of dollars for a hobby, because we don't have that kind of money. So, I'd largely take swim out of my considerations - sorry, but such is life. That said, living on her own has value as a learning experience as well vs living at home, so, I'm not dead set against spending some extra for that (nor for spending *some* extra for swim... just not $$$$$). Of course, I don't know how the numbers work out for any of the options - I'm not dead set against out-of-state CC - but the numbers would have to make some sort of sense. Of course, if we had more money, my willingness to pay for stuff changes, so, ymmv etc. 

Edited by luuknam

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IIRC some people on the boards give their kids x amount of money for college and a down payment for a house, so, if the kid wants to spend it all on an out-of-state CC with swim instead of in-state CC without swim but with money left over for down payment on house, then that's up to them. It leaves the choice to the kid, while making it clear that there's a financial trade-off. 

 

Of course, that only works if you have enough money to make that kind of deal... I don't think we will. 

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Okay, so, the 4-year in-state does not have the degree program she wants? So, she'd have to do the last 2 years out-of-state either way? 

 

I guess you could try to figure out if there's a way to get in-state tuition at some point at the out-of-state school - apparently in some states that's easier than others. That would make a big difference when looking at the financial picture. 

 

Basically, my inclination is that I'm not paying tens of thousands of dollars for a hobby, because we don't have that kind of money. So, I'd largely take swim out of my considerations - sorry, but such is life. That said, living on her own has value as a learning experience as well vs living at home, so, I'm not dead set against spending some extra for that (nor for spending *some* extra for swim... just not $$$$$). Of course, I don't know how the numbers work out for any of the options - I'm not dead set against out-of-state CC - but the numbers would have to make some sort of sense. Of course, if we had more money, my willingness to pay for stuff changes, so, ymmv etc. 

 

I'm not spending extra for swimming either, which is why the private college is out.  The out of state 2 year would actually cost along the same lines as the in state U per year. With all the options come slightly different degree programs. At the 4 year in state it would be Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Dance. The out of state 2 year is an AS in Dance. She might either then go on to a 4 year for a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Although, she would probably try to get a dance job first. Maybe establishing residency in the state for a couple of years. The in state 2 year would be Exercise Science with fitness certifications along with teaching dance at her current dance school, and teaching swimming lessons along with volunteer swim team coaching. She could also try to join a local dance company.  All 3 options would be fine. The $52,000/yr private college is out. Swim team nor the degrees she wants are worth over $200,000 in loans. 

 

I'm leaning towards the in-state 2 year along with dance and swim lessons. After working a bit she can decide whether to go on to a 4 year. But, in the end it is up to her. She's going to be financing most of her education.

 

Sorry if any of this doesn't make sense. I'm watching Victoria as I type. 

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Swimming really wouldn't just be a hobby either. She won't be a professional swimmer, but she would like to use it in her future career. Either in Exercise Science or Therapeutic Recreation. She also wants to use dance. So, in all, these are things she wants to put together into her career.

 

Kelly

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I'm not spending extra for swimming either, which is why the private college is out.

 

 

I meant the cost difference between living at home vs living out-of-state, which is huge. Unless, of course, the in-state options would involve not living at home either, in which case, that's not a factor. 

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I do know that cc in my state have some significant sports programs and do give athletic scholarships. My ds plays baseball and that is a common sport to play in cc. I do know that our local cc have apartments surrounding campus. If she is playing a sport I would expect the coach to facilitate finding teamates to share an apartment with.

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I don't know what kind of dance she is involved in. But from what I understand as a mom of a serious ballet dancer is that a degree in dance -- even a bachelor's -- does not really translate into greater job opportunities. Dance teacher jobs generally pay a pittance and are part-time unless you are the studio owner or have been a professional dancer in a major company. I think the exercise science or therapeutic recreation degrees would expand her job opportunities more.

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So, the out of state community college leads to transfer to an out of state four year? Is the entire plan affordable? (Include housing and travel expenses, too)

 

Did you run the net price calculator on the private school option? Have you checked to see if merit aid is available as well?

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I meant the cost difference between living at home vs living out-of-state, which is huge. Unless, of course, the in-state options would involve not living at home either, in which case, that's not a factor. 

 

She does not want to live at home either way. I think she'll end up at an instate CC then possibly transfer to a 4 year after working for a couple years.

 

Kelly

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I don't know what kind of dance she is involved in. But from what I understand as a mom of a serious ballet dancer is that a degree in dance -- even a bachelor's -- does not really translate into greater job opportunities. Dance teacher jobs generally pay a pittance and are part-time unless you are the studio owner or have been a professional dancer in a major company. I think the exercise science or therapeutic recreation degrees would expand her job opportunities more.

 

A 4 year dance degree is something I'm trying to get her away from. I think any dance career she would have would be short, 2 years at most, then she'd move on to more fitness or Therapeutic Recreation. 

 

That's why we were looking at 2 year dance programs or a dance minor. I can't see the worth in a 4 year dance degree or more. That isn't to sound mean. I just think for the majority of people it isn't going to be worth it.

 

There is a CC in AZ that has what sounds like a really interesting 2 year dance degree. There are the usual dance classes, but also a lot in staging, choreography, lighting, costumes, etc...  

 

Anyway, she's my hardest kid to figure out. I'm guessing in another year and half she'll have decided on something else.

 

ETA: None of out options include a 4 year dance degree. It is either a 2 year dance, 2 year Fitness or 4 year Fitness/Therapeutic Recreation with dance minor.

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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So, the out of state community college leads to transfer to an out of state four year? Is the entire plan affordable? (Include housing and travel expenses, too)

 

Did you run the net price calculator on the private school option? Have you checked to see if merit aid is available as well?

 

We've done some looking at price calculators. I can't see this child getting a lot of scholarships. She's one of those extremely average kids from another recent thread :)

 

We probably make too much money also. Might be easier for the other 2. Eventually we'll have more than one in college.

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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This is a tough situation. I think the most important thing is that you invest your college dollars in the program your child is most likely to graduate from, not the one where she is most likely to make the swim team. I'm not sure she's got her priorities straight.

 

When you visit these community colleges, look very closely. Meet the team and coach, but also sit in on classes, see if the students are friendly. Ask about the food, the parking situation, academic advising, etc. Figure out the cost of junior and senior year. Transfer students often get less financial aid than those who started at the same school as freshmen. Make sure that it's easy to figure out which classses transfer towards the major, not just as general education.

 

Visit some four year schools for comparison as well. Keep running net price calculators because every college really is a little different in how they determine merit as well as how they calculate and meet need.

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Just rereading - where is your home state? A number of Arizona community colleges participate in WUE which might help some.

 

Finally a warning about housing in community college: because CCs take so many "locals," if campus housing is offered, it may have a lot of international students.

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This is a tough situation. I think the most important thing is that you invest your college dollars in the program your child is most likely to graduate from, not the one where she is most likely to make the swim team. I'm not sure she's got her priorities straight.

 

When you visit these community colleges, look very closely. Meet the team and coach, but also sit in on classes, see if the students are friendly. Ask about the food, the parking situation, academic advising, etc. Figure out the cost of junior and senior year. Transfer students often get less financial aid than those who started at the same school as freshmen. Make sure that it's easy to figure out which classses transfer towards the major, not just as general education.

 

Visit some four year schools for comparison as well. Keep running net price calculators because every college really is a little different in how they determine merit as well as how they calculate and meet need.

 

Her priorities are fine. She knows not to pick a college solely on swimming. The college also has to have a degree program she wants. So far, the only colleges we are looking at have either both the swimming and degree programs she wants or the degree program and no swimming.  None have swimming and not the correct degree program. They are also all programs she would graduate from. 

 

We are looking at 3 CC's and 2 4 year schools. 

 

Kelly

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I would think a four year degree of some sort would ultimately be more valuable than a 2 year dance degree. So many jobs have a bachelor's degree as the starting point.

 

I'd also be reluctant to let the sport drive the decision when we are talking about the community college level. Maybe my friends just have bad luck, but I've known a few people whose kids got injured and lost the scholarship, and one (state diving champion) who found the college to be so unpleasant that she transferred after freshman year, not only losing the scholarship, but needing to add another semester to her degree plan.

 

If money is not an issue, that's one thing. But it sounds like that is not the case here.

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60% of college students finish their degree in 6 years. Finishing in four has a rate somewhere in the high thirties on average though I'm having trouble googling a current number. Nobody thinks this statistic applies to their kid when they start paying tuition.

 

I'm a big fan of the community college my kids attend, but I still put OOS CC's in a high risk category for not graduating. There's a lot of adjustment to do when moving out of state for college and I just don't trust CC's to provide it.

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I'm not spending extra for swimming either, which is why the private college is out.  The out of state 2 year would actually cost along the same lines as the in state U per year. With all the options come slightly different degree programs. At the 4 year in state it would be Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Dance. The out of state 2 year is an AS in Dance. She might either then go on to a 4 year for a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Although, she would probably try to get a dance job first. Maybe establishing residency in the state for a couple of years. The in state 2 year would be Exercise Science with fitness certifications along with teaching dance at her current dance school, and teaching swimming lessons along with volunteer swim team coaching. She could also try to join a local dance company.  All 3 options would be fine. The $52,000/yr private college is out. Swim team nor the degrees she wants are worth over $200,000 in loans. 

 

I'm leaning towards the in-state 2 year along with dance and swim lessons. After working a bit she can decide whether to go on to a 4 year. But, in the end it is up to her. She's going to be financing most of her education.

 

Sorry if any of this doesn't make sense. I'm watching Victoria as I type. 

 

If she is going to finance her education by working, and she has two job opportunities locally in her areas of interest, going to the in-state 2 year program seems like a solid choice. Especially if they have a transfer agreement with the four-year university, which would leave that option open as well for the future.

 

I can see why the degree program offered by the out of state community college would appeal to her. But if the costs are higher than the local 2 year, and she has no job lined up there, and there is a less clear path toward a four-year degree, the additional hurdles may offset the desirability of that option. Are you planning to visit?

 

 

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60% of college students finish their degree in 6 years. Finishing in four has a rate somewhere in the high thirties on average though I'm having trouble googling a current number. Nobody thinks this statistic applies to their kid when they start paying tuition.

 

I'm a big fan of the community college my kids attend, but I still put OOS CC's in a high risk category for not graduating. There's a lot of adjustment to do when moving out of state for college and I just don't trust CC's to provide it.

 

Gotcha, I see what you're saying. That is definitely something to consider. Degree wise I see her graduating, but out of state adjustment I can see being an issue.

 

Kelly

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If she is going to finance her education by working, and she has two job opportunities locally in her areas of interest, going to the in-state 2 year program seems like a solid choice. Especially if they have a transfer agreement with the four-year university, which would leave that option open as well for the future.

 

I can see why the degree program offered by the out of state community college would appeal to her. But if the costs are higher than the local 2 year, and she has no job lined up there, and there is a less clear path toward a four-year degree, the additional hurdles may offset the desirability of that option. Are you planning to visit?

 

I agree with the bolded. I really think she'll end up local, but I did want to help her look out of state. I know she eventually wants to end up somewhere else.

 

We are planning a visit to the top choice for an out of state CC. It happens to be really close to my parents. So, she would have some support out where she is looking at going. But, although I'd love to see her get out and spread her wings I'm thinking closer to home might be a better choice for the first couple of years.

 

Kelly

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I would think a four year degree of some sort would ultimately be more valuable than a 2 year dance degree. So many jobs have a bachelor's degree as the starting point.

 

I'd also be reluctant to let the sport drive the decision when we are talking about the community college level. Maybe my friends just have bad luck, but I've known a few people whose kids got injured and lost the scholarship, and one (state diving champion) who found the college to be so unpleasant that she transferred after freshman year, not only losing the scholarship, but needing to add another semester to her degree plan.

 

If money is not an issue, that's one thing. But it sounds like that is not the case here.

A 2 year dance degree wouldn't be the end. That would only be a beginning, nor would I recommend she get a 4 year dance degree. 

 

If she doesn't go on to a 4 year she would get Fitness Certifications to complete her education. 

 

I know everything seems to require a BS/BA to start, and I'm fighting against it. It is such a ridiculous system, when most 4 year degrees don't pay enough to justify the time and money spent. Especially, if your goal isn't to make the most money possible, but to make enough to live on, save some, and enjoy life.

 

Kelly

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We are planning a visit to the top choice for an out of state CC. It happens to be really close to my parents. So, she would have some support out where she is looking at going. 

 

 

I don't know how old your parents are and what kind of health they're in, but if one of them falls and breaks a hip or w/e, they could become a drain on her time rather than a support, kwim? Of course, if they're young and very healthy, that's not likely to be a concern. Just wanted to mention it as something to think about.

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I know someone who chose to go to an oos cc simply to play a sport. I think it is done regularly in money sports, for players who need to improve scores/grades before going to a 4-year school or for kids who were not recruited to play at a (or not the right) 4-year school.

 

This was a five years ago, so all I remember was the student wasn't ready to stop playing the sport. The school was about five hours away from their home. Iknow they have relatives that live somewhere close. After a year, he transferred to his parents alma mater, an OOS 4-year-school in the same state as the CC. He graduated in four years and graduated this spring with my oldest. He started a job in finance with a Fortune company in a state far away from college or home. (I don't know if he had to go to summer school to catch up after CC, but I know he interned junior summer. )

It sounds like your daughter has thought about this a lot. There are lots of schools,all with risks, and a student has to make a decision based on something. Good luck to her.

 

P.S. if your daughter needs to teach lessons to afford school, do her grandparents have contacts near the CC?

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A 2 year dance degree wouldn't be the end. That would only be a beginning, nor would I recommend she get a 4 year dance degree. 

 

If she doesn't go on to a 4 year she would get Fitness Certifications to complete her education. 

 

I know everything seems to require a BS/BA to start, and I'm fighting against it. It is such a ridiculous system, when most 4 year degrees don't pay enough to justify the time and money spent. Especially, if your goal isn't to make the most money possible, but to make enough to live on, save some, and enjoy life.

 

Kelly

 

I hear you. I'm not of the mindset that all our smart kids need to go to college.

 

I'm just not sure about the value of the 2 year degree, unless there is a definite plan for where it would lead. he 2 year degree by itself is not going to improve job prospects, for the most part. She'd be better off simply working.

 

But it sounds like there is a long term plan, so maybe it's worthwhile.

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So, the out of state community college leads to transfer to an out of state four year? Is the entire plan affordable? (Include housing and travel expenses, too)

 

Did you run the net price calculator on the private school option? Have you checked to see if merit aid is available as well?

 

I agree. You need to take a look at this. Or does she want to transfer to a four-year school in your home state? In California, the system is set up so students transfer pretty seamlessly from CC to our four-year state schools (IGETC: http://www.assist.org/web-assist/help/help-igetc.html).You should really check if she wanted to transfer from out-of-state CC back to your in-state four-year school.

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