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Ugh Great Scholarship, but....


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Why ugh?  Well, dd has her heart set on a certain college.  She knows that money is an issue.  While we are waiting on some colleges, I don't really think the money will work out better at any of those.  So, we had three acceptances to her top three colleges.  One was just not enough money.  She just told us a couple of weeks ago how she really wants to go to a certain college and that giving up theater to go to the other, which was a couple of thousand less, would be too hard.  So we were praying and she was applying to more scholarship.  Then college number three, my favorite for her, just all of a sudden out of the blue, sent her more money. Way more money.  It will be 6000 less expensive, which makes a huge, huge difference as we will have three years with two in college.  It's a wonderful school and has theater.  But in her heart she really wants to go to the other college, which is across the continent in another country where she was born.  I don't want her that far away right now, but have been trying to honor her desire if possible.  Now, ugh, just ugh.  She is deep and not a child who communicates her heart easily.  I just didn't want her to be in this situation.  She's been struggling the past couple of months with the pandemic as it is.  I want everything to work out for her and her to be happy. Ugh.

Thanks for listening.

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ug. So hard!

All you can do is sit down together and lay out all the info, discuss the pros and cons, and give her time to process.

JMO: financially, it does not make sense to go to a more expense school in another country when there is a now-less expensive option that ALSO offers her desired degree program. A total of $18,000 LESS ($6K x 3 years) in tuition at the less-expensive school means you might be able to help with her participating in a special summer program or travel or other amazing opportunity -- that you won't be able to help with if she goes to the more expensive school.

Also: if going to the more expensive school means having to take out higher student loans... that is NOT going to be her friend when she is going into a degree program (Theater) that is pretty iffy in the job market coming out at the end (compared to Engineering, where you can have debt, but also a very high likelihood of landing a high-paying job right away, so the ability to pay down that debt.) Having that extra student debt to make up for going to the more expensive school NOW could mean that LATER, after graduation, she is unable to actually work in unexpected theater jobs in various places as they pop up--because she has to stay in place at some sort of stable job to pay student debt.

I would also discuss how sometimes we don't get to have every single detail of what we want (not unlike weddings, lol) -- but often that can turn out to be an unexpectedly GOOD thing, because we end up meeting people, networking, getting opportunities, etc. that we wouldn't have been blessed with, if we instead "had to have it all our own way." (I don't mean that to sound like a spoiled toddler, because I don't think she is--I just couldn't think how to word it better just then. 😉 )

Can she explain why she has her heart set on the far away/more expensive school? Is the theater program significantly better and turns out a high percentage of grads who end up making a living working in theater? Or is it a more intangible reason, such as: getting back to her "roots". Or loved the campus and the "vibe". Or she just wants to move far away right now (don't we all -- as if moving far away would get us away from pandemic stress... 😉 ) Or some other reason?

If she can be more specific, maybe the two of you can brainstorm how to make the thing she is really yearning for happen, and untangle that from the college decision-making.

Much sympathy, and wishing you both the BEST of luck as you work through this tough time! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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12 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

ug. So hard!

All you can do is sit down together and lay out all the info, discuss the pros and cons, and give her time to process.

JMO: financially, it does not make sense to go to a more expense school in another country when there is a now-less expensive option that ALSO offers her desired degree program. A total of $18,000 LESS ($6K x 3 years) in tuition at the less-expensive school means you might be able to help with her participating in a special summer program or travel or other amazing opportunity -- that you won't be able to help with if she goes to the more expensive school.

Also: if going to the more expensive school means having to take out higher student loans... that is NOT going to be her friend when she is going into a degree program (Theater) that is pretty iffy in the job market coming out at the end (compared to Engineering, where you can have debt, but also a very high likelihood of landing a high-paying job right away, so the ability to pay down that debt.) Having that extra student debt to make up for going to the more expensive school NOW could mean that LATER, after graduation, she is unable to actually work in unexpected theater jobs in various places as they pop up--because she has to stay in place at some sort of stable job to pay student debt.

I would also discuss how sometimes we don't get to have every single detail of what we want (not unlike weddings, lol) -- but often that can turn out to be an unexpectedly GOOD thing, because we end up meeting people, networking, getting opportunities, etc. that we wouldn't have been blessed with, if we instead "had to have it all our own way." (I don't mean that to sound like a spoiled toddler, because I don't think she is--I just couldn't think how to word it better just then. 😉 )

Can she explain why she has her heart set on the far away/more expensive school? Is the theater program significantly better and turns out a high percentage of grads who end up making a living working in theater? Or is it a more intangible reason, such as: getting back to her "roots". Or loved the campus and the "vibe". Or she just wants to move far away right now (don't we all -- as if moving far away would get us away from pandemic stress... 😉 ) Or some other reason?

If she can be more specific, maybe the two of you can brainstorm how to make the thing she is really yearning for happen, and untangle that from the college decision-making.

Much sympathy, and wishing you both the BEST of luck as you work through this tough time! Warmest regards, Lori D.

I agree with all of this.  She is not actually wanting to major in theater.  She just wants theater in her life.  Both programs are comparable.  I think she wants to get back to her roots, likes the "vibe," feels like God wants her there, wants to move far away and have an adventure.  The other school is half the continent away so it will be far enough.  Thanks for the encouragement.  The more I look at her financial letter, the more I realize what an immense blessing it is to our family.  My first thought was a  heart drop, but now I am feeling happier.  My dh says he will be active in talking her through it, too.  She and I don't always communicate as well as I wish. 

 

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36 minutes ago, freesia said:

I agree with all of this.  She is not actually wanting to major in theater.  She just wants theater in her life.  Both programs are comparable.  I think she wants to get back to her roots, likes the "vibe," feels like God wants her there, wants to move far away and have an adventure.  The other school is half the continent away so it will be far enough.  Thanks for the encouragement.  The more I look at her financial letter, the more I realize what an immense blessing it is to our family.  My first thought was a  heart drop, but now I am feeling happier.  My dh says he will be active in talking her through it, too.  She and I don't always communicate as well as I wish. 

 

That $6000/year scholarship sure sounds like God opening a door and wanting her at the not-as-far-away school... 😉 I don't mean to sound flippant, because it can be very hard sometimes to discern God's will. Especially when we have our own heart's desires deep in the mix, too. 💕 Hugs for all of you as you try and sort this out!

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3 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

That $6000/year scholarship sure sounds like God opening a door and wanting her at the not-as-far-away school... 😉 I don't mean to sound flippant, because it can be very hard sometimes to discern God's will. Especially when we have our own heart's desires deep in the mix, too. 💕 Hugs for all of you as you try and sort this out!

That is my thought,too.  LOL  Now, if she can get there.

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32 minutes ago, freesia said:

That is my thought,too.  LOL  Now, if she can get there.

Also, sometimes it is God being gracious and giving us the option to choose between two goods. But... I do think one of these goods will definitely be easier on her family to be able to help her with some possible adventures and travel or special opportunities! 😉 

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My two cents: Go to the least expensive college, full stop. This is a huge blessing for your family! Take the money and run.

Like Lori D. suggests above, you could so SO MUCH with $18,000 extra dollars. You could pay down your mortgage. You could put it towards school for your other child. You could buy your daughter a car upon graduation. You could open a savings account for her that she can use to start her life upon graduation. You could send her on a special trip. You could put it towards your retirement. You could just save it....

The line of your post that stood out most to me was this:  "Then college number three, my favorite for her, just all of a sudden out of the blue, sent her more money." It seems like you already recognize that this school is the best fit for your daughter. Don't ignore that knowledge! 

If you need more encouragement about the financials of college, I just read The Price You Pay for College by Ron Lieber and highly recommend it. (College is still four years out for my family, so I am not in this situation yet, but the book has already clarified my thinking about college costs in so many ways.)

All that said, I know all of this is way easier said than done! I'm sure it is emotionally wrenching to actually make a decision that isn't your daughter's first choice. But I really believe that a college experience doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. 

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47 minutes ago, EKT said:

...a college experience doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. 

+1 to everything in @EKT's post, but esp. adding on to this above -- the last 20 years, colleges have SOOOOO promoted this. Yes! The "College Experience" is great -- but it happens on EVERY college campus, and thinking that there is only 1 first/best college that will give you an amazing experience of a lifetime really takes AWAY from the reality of college:

- having huge expectations about anything -- the reality never can life up to your dream/expectation
- it's about learning and earning the degree first -- the "experience" is a wonderful supplement, NOT the PRIMARY reason for going to college 😉 

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Just keep talking. Ds was set on a specific college and we were worried because they didn’t offer enough aid. In the end, he chose the one that offered very generous aid and meant no debt for him. We just had to keep having conversations about debt, opportunities, and the future. He will be a senior this fall and is looking at grad schools and knows he can do that because he didn’t take on debt for his undergrad. Good luck!

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Update:  Thanks so much everyone.  I needed folks to tell me what I knew. However, to make this more complicated, it turned out that this was a one time scholarship, so, while it is still coming in the least expensive, the gap isn't as huge as it was.  We are waiting on news of other scholarships from her favorite school, so we will see how this ends up.  Note: if you get a mailed letter about a scholarship, do check that they are renewable.

This process is super hard on those of us who are planners--both dd and me.  I absolutely know that it will all be ok in the end--and feel blessed that she worked so hard and is getting scholarships such that we can afford to send her away to school.  She had some struggles in early adolescence that had to do with loss and sometimes it's hard for me to remember how much she's grown and how stable she's been for years now--kinda like a PTSD thing.  I'm trying to be the non-anxious presence, which is why I came here.  You all are great.

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Also if possible, can she see if the less expensive college had study abroad that she can do to the country of her birth? A semester abroad may be enough for her to get some adventure and if she wants more, she can go after college. 

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(((((freesia and DD))))) Hugs! and wishing you both ALL the best. Wherever she goes, she will have a wonderful college experience, learn lots, end up with a degree to launch her into her future, and continue to grow and become even more the wonderful person she is.

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UPDATE: She ended up winning a really good competitive scholarship to the college that is her first choice. So, it is now more affordable than the school I mentioned above.  One other school came through with a really nice scholarship and she's visiting Monday just to make sure.  I'm pretty sure she will go to the school which is her first choice. Yay!  Thanks for your support!

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49 minutes ago, NewnameC said:

I’m so glad to hear your daughter will have her choice of schools and not need to rule out the favorite because of money.

Thank you!  She is going to her first choice!  I'm very excited for her.  Two down, two to go 🙂

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