The first choice (college) — the good news and the bad

My niece got into the school of her choice! It’s great news, really… until you realize that it will cost her an estimaetd $54,000 a year to go there. Yes, you read that correctly: fifty-four THOUSAND dollars. That’s a little more than $200,000 for a four-year degree… assuming she doesn’t have any extra expenses.

I’m happy for her, and scared. If she doesn’t get really close on the funding (through financial aid and scholarships) I don’t see how she’s going to be able to go. 

I don’t want to be the person to tell her that. I don’t want to be the sole voice of reason (and doom) in the chorus of well-wishers. I want to believe that we’re going to find a way to send her there. I want to believe that it will all work out.

But I’m me, and historical data doesn’t lend itself to my being hopeful about something this big.

Join me in holding your breath for the next six months… 

The first college acceptance letter

Represents the look my niece gives me after I gave her the scholarship assignments. It’s was a very long list.

My niece spent the weekend on cloud nine (very very happy) because she received her first college acceptance letter. I’m so thrilled for her. Especially since it was accompanied by a financial aid package of $20,000 a year for four years.

Of course, the school actually costs $30,000 a year in tuition, then you need to add room and board. But this is a great start.

I often find myself reliving life’s “first” events through my nieces and nephews. The first day at school. The first sleepover. The first job. The first real driver’s license. The first dance, date, prom, etc. I find myself wanting to tell them to slow down, that I’m not ready for them to be grown ups, to grow up, to stop being the little kids who own my heart. But I’m a good aunt, so I just dive in and help them achieve the next milestone, and celebrate the next win.

For my niece, college is the next milestone.

I’ve agreed to help her with her scholarship search. Which means regular meetings to go over potential scholarships, writing applications, and all the steps in between. And I’m wondering how that happened, that I became the “guru” on something I barely did for myself so many years ago.

So, be warned, you’ll probably suffer through the process with me. And we’ll all cheer when she makes it to her college of choice.