Monday, April 09, 2007

Planning for College: A (Terrified) Parent's Tale

In September, 2008, three of our four children will enter the university. Peter took a year out after high school and is attending the local community college for his first two years, and Aleks and Kat will graduate from high school in June, '08 and head right to the university, so it just turns out that all three will head off to school that September.

Not only will three tuition checks be due that month, but Tom and I will very suddenly become empty nesters that month as well. I'm not looking forward to being an empty nester, but I'm not too worried that the kids will suddenly be out of our lives, because it looks like Peter, Aleks and Kat will all attend in-state universities -- Peter to "Wazzu" (Washington State University) and Aleks and Kat to "U-Dub" (University of Washington). Out-of-state schools have essentially become unaffordable. Elisabeth's out-of-state tuition at Cal (UC Berkeley) doubled during the three and a half years she was there, from about $26,000 per year her freshman year to over $42,000 her senior year! As much as we try to be fair, that kind of tuition times three is simply an impossibility, so it looks like these guys will just have to all go to in-state schools.

I took the day off work today and Kat, Aleks (that's him sagging... grrr!) and I headed to UW to get a better feel for the campus. (Peter is already set on WAZZU.) Elisabeth, who is an avid school-a-holic, joined us, showing up in-- and flaunting -- a Cal sweatshirt! We explored the political science department for Aleks and the Health Sciences department for Kat and were even treated to an impromptu dorm room tour by a "cute blond coed" (for Aleks!).

By the end of the day, Kat and Aleks were pretty certain that they each want to go to UW... and I was pretty certain that I better put a little more money each month into their college accounts.

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Goofball said...

Hmm I guess you do not wanna know how much we have to pay in Belgium to go to University.

For a normal program leading to a Bachelor and Master degree, if you don't have a scholarship or student grant, you have to pay €523,70. This obviously does not include books and rent. If your parents have a low income, you can get a student grant and the tuition decreases up to 80€!

Sometimes it's nice to be reminded why we pay the most taxes in the world!

Anonymous said...

Boy, does that take me back! When my husband and I got married we had three kids in college. Those were some lean times.

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