This is part of a series of trying to get into college, a parents perspective. Please read all previous blog posts starting at Part1 in “Raising a College Bound Teen”.
Well, Spring training has officially begun. Unlike baseball where teams go south to warmer weather to practice and fine tune their plays, college visits resemble the Amazing Race. I really think there could be a “College Edition” to this popular show. Instead of winning a million dollars, you get to spend a quarter of a million dollars getting to the finish line. (Note to self….enter the Amazing Race to make enough money for college). Kids and families drive and fly across the country to potential Universities. Once there, they make a mad dash to sign in as proof of their visit and undying love of the institution. You would swear by the looks of some people, dressed as if they were meeting the Queen, they must think there is a photographer on site to click and save images to their file, hoping that style is one of the criteria for entry. I’m sure those people must look at the rest of us and wonder where we parked the trailer. This scene is followed by a campus tours, led by top students, who are experts at walking backwards and are really sales people in disguise. Information sessions follow and their purpose is to tell you just how broke you will be if you have the privilege of gracing their campus.
On the subject of costs, The College Board, your go to point for all things college, gets into your pocket book and camps there for the duration. This is not a pup tent operation. They are more like a touring Winnebago, traveling with you along the journey, collecting tolls, rents and fines, to advance your pursuit to Park Place.
Of course, all of this is going on while our kids are being tutored to get top grades with SAT’s or if that doesn’t do it, the ACT’s. Either testing method will cost you between $150 and $4,500. The lesser of the two options pays for the test fees. This would be the” Basic and Cheap Plan”. You can decide and make a small investment ( one that would feed a family of eight in some third world country for three years), and go for the gusto to secure the” Cost you a Leg and an Arm Plan”, which can set you back between $1,200 to $4,500, depending on private or group sessions. I’ve stopped adding the dollars because quite frankly, I don’t want to know. That information would not stop me from doing whatever needs to be done. I am now invested in so many ways, if I need to, I will get a mortgage to get through this. What I wouldn’t do to “ Bewitch” myself 12 months from now and not endure the pain that lies ahead. Yours truly, Disillusioned