A Bone to Pick

29 02 2012

Stop being so bratty, boys!

Okay, after yet another Skype conversation with my sons, I’m fed up. This face-to-face interaction beats the cell phone exchanges from my oldest son’s first term, but that’s not the point. I think they like to make me irritated.  I’m pretty sure if we were on the phone and couldn’t see each other, a certain topic wouldn’t be brought up.

“Well, I’ve taken both online and on campus classes, so I know how much easier an online course is.” This from my oldest son who had a 4.0 in high school and finally got straight As in college for the first time – last term, fall of his junior year.

Comment number two is courtesy of my youngest, a college freshman (18-year-olds think they know everything!) “I’d ace my tests, too, if they were open book like yours.”Justification of poor test score or attempt to discredit my online education? I’m not sure I even care which it is, because either one makes me a little hot under the collar.

From Other Adults

I work at a school. Every teacher there has to take classes in order to keep their license current.  Many of them have taken online classes and most of them take classes at a campus, usually during the summer. How about if we have some of them add their expertise to this discussion?

“I don’t know how you can do online classes. If I’m not scheduled to be there at a certain time, I’d forget to show up completely.”

“I need to go to class so I can hear what the professor’s saying and soak up the discussion around me.  Reading things on the internet wouldn’t help me get it at all.”

“Plain and simple, I’m an audio learner, so unless they’re going to record lectures for me to listen to, I’m not going to get a thing out of it.”

“Online classes are too much work. Professors expect more written assignments from you because they can’t see that you’re making an effort otherwise.”

Chime In

Now that both sides of the story have been laid out, I think we can narrow the focus. What makes online education seem too simple?

  1. Open book tests
  2. You don’t have to go to class

On the other hand, what makes taking online classes seem more challenging?

  1. More reading
  2. More written assignments
  3. No face-to-face interaction with students or professors
  4. No set schedule
  5. No audio input for people who learn best by listening

If I tally up those votes, online college classes appear to be more challenging at a ratio of 5 to 2. Perhaps this method of calculation seems unfair and doesn’t apply proper weight to the individual arguments. If it supports my position (which it does), then the methodology works perfectly well in my mind.

If you have a comment on this debate, please feel free to post it here. Which is more challenging? If you’re like me, you think both avenues present obstacles, and both offer benefits. In either case, some things will prove more difficult. On either path a respectable education can be obtained by the faithful pursuer.

My thoughts to those demeaning sons of mine (after questioning the ability to teach of the person who taught them respect for their elders) can be expressed simply, “You’re just jealous!”


Becoming Well-Rounded

27 02 2012

For many people who’ve reached middle age, the term “well-rounded” could very well refer to their physical shape.  Something about turning forty seems to reverse metabolism.  Losing weight becomes a hair less than impossible, while gaining pound after pound requires no additional exertion of effort.

To a co-ed, well-rounded refers to what their university of choice hopes they will be upon graduation from their chosen course of study.  In order to assist students, a Bachelor’s degree requires a little bit of something from multiple fields of study. For me, those areas include everything from fine arts to history to philosophy.  Not satisfied that those courses will round us well enough, classes, referred to as “global markers” at SNHU, require expanding our minds onto topics that involve the ever-shrinking planet on which we live.

In theory, such requirements logically indicate a broadening of intellectual scope.  After all, a global citizen shouldn’t only be versed in Information Technology or Law or Criminal Justice or insert your field of study here. Knowing a little bit about an abundance of things might lead to an open mind or broadened horizons.  Of course, it might just end up being a subject studied during that term and quickly dismissed once the final exam has been taken.


Currently, I’m involved in my third psychology class. In the introductory class, I learned all about how the brain functions, when the study of psychology began and a few basic theories of general psychological study (which included Sigmund Freud’s lewd obsessions with sex as the motivator behind every action).

This term, I’ve broadened my scope (or would that be narrowed my focus?) on theories of personality.  Can you guess the very first theorist we studied? Bingo! Sigmund Freud again, and with no less emphasis on ego’s never-ending task of satisfying id’s sexual desires. Of course, he is considered the founder of the concept of personality. Considering the negative opinion he held of humankind, this fact seems overwhelmingly pathetic.

As with most of my other classes, I realized I didn’t really even know how to define personality.  Now that the class is nearing an end, I think I might have a better idea of some of the things personality includes, but we’ve only scratched the surface of this subject.

That’s all that can be accomplished in these classes, required by optimistic administrators who believe opening the door on various topics will entice us to desire more.  In fact, if we never stopped taking college classes, I’m sure those administrators wouldn’t mind in the least. Can anyone say “Job security”?

Global Markers

I satisfied the requirements for the two required global markers with World Religions and World Literature. That literature class was actually subtitled “The Foundation of Cultures.” In it, I read excerpts of writings from every continent and from the earliest documented writing – cuneiform in Egypt.

Even two years later, I recall that world religion class having the most intense discussion boards I’ve encountered in online education. As opinionated as I am on the subject (I’m sure you hadn’t guessed I had that personality trait), an online forum allowed me time to cool my jets and carefully respond to people who claimed the Bible was as misogynistic as the Qu’ran.

Environmental Science

At first glance, this appeared to be a class for tree huggers. In fact, I’m pretty sure our professor loves her “mother Earth” more than her real mother. Wake me up to how many of my common practices have a global impact. Studying the very unproven idea of global warming began to round me.  In fact, I was sold on the Civic that burns liquid hydrogen (emitting only water vapor as a by-product), but the only place I could refuel it was in California.  Inconvenient, to say the least.

Music Appreciation

Actually, the professor of this class was the first one that made true the saying I’ve heard from so many who’ve graduated college before me.  “Professors teach a class just so they can make the book they’ve written the required textbook.” Actually, she wanted all of us to check out her studies on some tribe indigenous to someplace because it really related to the history of music.  Sound far-fetched to anyone else? At one point, I could tell the difference between fugue and minuet, but without application and constant use, that (dare I say useless?) knowledge evaporated within weeks.


My plan with the first year history class: the CLEP exam. I’ll buy a study guide, pay a fee (less than $200) and take a test.  If I get at least a 70%, my college grants me the 3 credits and I’ve met that requirement.  A brilliant idea if I do say so!

For my second year history class, I took a class on World War II. The professor brilliantly guided us through pre-war issues, propaganda, Axis motives, Allied failures and eventually Axis surrender.  Some of the problems that lead to that war raise their ugly head from time to time even 70 years later. Once again, history proves that technology may advance, but humanity never evolves from the selfish pursuit of more land, abundant wealth and greater power.

Mission Accomplished?

Do I feel well-rounded in the sense the organizers of my degree requirements hope? In some areas, I have grown exponentially broad-minded. Other areas lack all appeal for me. I’m not sure I’ll fit higher education’s definition of “well-rounded” when I graduate.  I’m positive, whatever the case, it will only be my mind that fills out; I’m keeping my waistline in check.

Us vs. Them

25 02 2012

In all truth, this blog wouldn’t appeal to the younger generation of college co-eds. In their world, my carefully wrought narrative would sound like meaningless drivel. While I work full-time so I can afford to go to college full-time, they sign another promissory note, adding to their college tuition debt, forsake all forms of paid employment and squander their additional hours with Xbox Live, World of Warcraft or some other online gaming community.

Let’s use my sons, for argument sakes.  Briefly, let’s compare their average day with my own schedule. A possible daily schedule on any given weekday:

5 a.m. – I wake up and work out (see the post on stress management); my sons are still sleeping

6 a.m. – I shower

6:30 a.m. – Make my (healthful) lunch (which includes both a serving of fruits and vegetables), then read my Bible while I’m eating breakfast

7 a.m. – I finish ministering to my mature face, teeth and hair, and don appropriately professional work attire, leaving the house by 7:40.  Those darling sons of mine are still snoring away, of course (“Mom! We don’t snore!”).

8 a.m. – Begin working at the middle school. My first hour is spent in seventh grade social studies

9:30 a.m. – Boys finally wake up, jump in the shower and rush to class (who needs a healthy breakfast anyway?) I’ve moved on to eighth grade social studies by this time, where I’m currently absorbing more facts about the U.S. Constitution than any human mind should ever be required to know.

4 p.m. – I end my day at “work” and come home to “go to class.” This involves logging into the Blackboard website and reading the posts made in the discussion forums. My sons have finished their classes and are debating whether or not to consume any vegetables with their dinner (Of course, they’ll tell me they did when I ask about it during our weekly Skype conversation).

5 p.m. – I cook dinner (or sometimes my husband does; he’s Mr. Wonderful) and clean up the kitchen

5:30 – 8:30 p.m. – I work on my homework for the week. This includes internet research, textbook reading, reading of related journal articles (a favorite from my current psychology professor) and paper writing or responding to discussion board posts. My boys head back to their abode for times of friendly banter with roommates and forays into their online gaming communities. Since my older son is a junior, he does spend a few evenings per week in the computer lab working on his junior project.  However, this means he can stay up all night Friday playing games and then repeat the process on Saturday.

9:00 p.m. – Head to bed. Research proves that the human body requires a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep for optimal performance.  My sons are getting into serious gaming by this time (unless a paper is due the next day, in which case they will crank it out in no time, text me to edit it and I will get back out of bed in order to cater to their every whim. Isn’t that what moms do?)

2:00 a.m.–On college campuses, no one goes to bed before 2 a.m. (thus the reason for taking later classes in the morning).

Here are the three co-eds on break at Disneyland

As you can see, their daily schedules allow for more frittering away of hours, while my timetable greedily hoards each second (3600 every hour) for prime completion rates on my many tasks. By this comparison, it would seem that being a middle-aged co-ed trumps traditional studenthood in stress factor, if nothing else.

A brief comparison of grade point averages wouldn’t surprise you, I’m sure. Since this blog is for encouragement, let me reiterate that spending all (okay, most of) my available waking hours focused on college course work pays dividends on the “report card.” My sons are maintaining the GPA required to keep their scholarship funding, but announcements about “being named to the President’s List” come via the mail for me.

Am I an over-achiever? Probably, but I wouldn’t recommend being a middle-aged co-ed to anyone who wasn’t at least a moderately high achiever. After all, anything worth doing is worth doing well (which is the same logic my sons use for spending extra time in with those computer/video games). One day, they might attain the mature mindset required for true success.

The Learning Curve

24 02 2012

“The only source of knowledge is experience” – Albert Einstein

One big down side to being a middle-aged co-ed: placement tests. Even worse, the classes you’ll end up having to take because you don’t remember what slope-intercept is or when to use the Pythagorean Theorem. I use these math examples, but anyone who hasn’t brushed up on writing skills, could find themselves taking more “entry level” writing classes, as well.

Math Misery

Let’s face it; those seniors in high school who take their SAT have an advantage: they’re studying that sort of math within days of taking the test. All those geometry formulas for finding the area (or volume) of all sorts of shapes pop up on a regular basis in their math classroom. The last time most of us used any such formula, it was the basic “length times width” to estimate how much paint we’d need for our bedroom walls.

Most stuff (or should I say meaningless fluff) they teach you in upper level algebra or geometry doesn’t get used on a regular basis in the average Jane’s daily life. I was happy I had managed to get that college algebra class out of the way when I went for a few terms back before I got married. The statistical math classes I was required to take more recently weren’t exactly grade school level, but since I could use Microsoft Excel to do most of the calculations, it was just a matter of using the right command. (I make it sound so easy, don’t I? Yeah, well, when my sons who took calculus in high school laughed at me because I didn’t know what an “e” stood for in some formula, I wasn’t feeling very impressed with me.)

Who is the Know-It-All?

Writing Woes

Since I’m an English major (with a creative writing minor), writing flows from my fingertips. I know this isn’t true for most middle-aged co-eds (or even my sons, the typical aged co-eds). Organizing facts and combining sentences is second nature for me. I was that kid in high school who loved essay questions, because even if I had no idea what the answer was, I could write around the question with enough pizzazz to net at least partial credit.  Sometimes, I believe the teachers just looked at the sheer quantity of words I’d written, and gave me full points (not bothering to even read the mini-novella).

Being able to write my way out of a paper bag is one thing, but who remembers how to make citations? What’s the difference between APA and MLA? (Really? Why do we have to have two different types? Couldn’t these scholarly types agree on one format?) What on earth is a peer reviewed journal and where do I find one? There’re in text citations and footnote citations and summations or direct quotations (good grief already!) in abundance.

I’m so thankful for the resources available on the Internet. If I had to do things with my old manual Smith Corona typewriter and liquid paper strips, it would be a nightmare of epic proportions. The beauty of “Son of a Citation Maker” can only be compared to s refreshing drop of water after a 10-mile bike ride (life-saving, in case you didn’t get the metaphor). I would personally like to kiss the person who invented “cut and paste” and “copy and paste” (and I hope he isn’t some old guy with warts or bad breath).

In simple things like this, the younger generation of college co-eds simply doesn’t understand the convenience of college life in this digital age. My nephew got an iPad when he enrolled in college because the instructors expected him to take notes on it and use it to submit his assignments to their inboxes. Textbooks are even available in digital formats that can be accessed online or downloaded to your Kindle application (or iBooks) and conveniently carried everywhere (no back strain required).

Wisdom instead of Wizardry

I’m happy to say, I’ve earned every gray hair I valiantly strive to cover with peroxide and dye. According to the Book of Proverbs, this is a sign of wisdom [well, it actually says “the beauty of old men is the gray head” (Proverbs 20:29b, KJV), but the implication is that old guys are wise].  On the other hand, the younger generation is blessed with electronic gadget wizardry. Which of these has more immediate value? Is a different winner predicted for the long haul?

Obviously, wisdom is the clear winner.  With some practice (screaming, hair pulling and violent tossing of electronic gadgetry), this middle-aged co-ed can learn to make those gadgets perform enough magic to keep her head above water.  But attainment of gray hair wisdom, takes years of patient practice, trial and error and working through frustrating situations.  Sorry, dudes, you can’t by that on E-Bay.

Choices, Choices

24 02 2012

Although I know a few middle-aged co-eds who attend classes at a physical campus, I can’t imagine how that would even be possible in my life. After all, with the fixed commodity of time ever ticking forward, I need to consider how to fit all my responsibilities into those 24/7 units. Carefully consider both options before you enroll in one program or the other. In fact, many institutions of higher learning offer both options, so if you’re unsure, place these schools at the top of your list. (Watch this video titled Online Colleges)


As an adult with a slew of responsibilities to be accountable for and only 168 hours each week to meet them all, counting the cost (in time units) is essential. To start, make a list of the amount of time needed to accomplish each task.  To help generate your list, how much time do you:

  1. Spend at your job.  Make sure you include travel time.
  2. Need for family commitments. This will include date nights with your significant other, running your kids to baseball practice, PTO meetings, charitable commitments and housework.
  3. Use to maintain personal health. This includes time for sleep, exercise and social activities.
  4. Estimate for college coursework. A usual estimate is two times the amount of credit hours per week. Realize that some courses will have more reading or writing required. (If you’re an English Literature major like me, literature classes will require two or three times as much reading as others; but we love to read, so no problem, right?)


Aside from the fact that I have only four waking hours each weekday to dedicate to college classes, I had to be able to find a reputable college at a price I could afford.  I had a friend who got a University of Phoenix human resources degree by attending class one evening per week and one Saturday per month. I wasn’t interested in this college because I’d noticed a few student teachers at our middle school who seemed to reflect that education degree holders from this institution weren’t truly equipped for the classroom. Also, I really didn’t want to spend time travelling back and forth to class; this would be an additional two hours for each and every class (and I can think of plenty of things I’d rather do than sit in a car for two hours – like sleep, for instance).

Some things to really compare:

  1. Accreditation: Most reputable colleges have the same accreditation as “brick and mortar” schools. You can check this with the state where the college is located.  I was drawn to Southern New Hampshire University because it has actual campuses, and the diploma granted is exactly the same for online students.
  2. Time: Let’s face it; I don’t have all the time in the world.  I need to be able to go to class when I have a spare minute and do most of my book work at whatever time is convenient for my schedule.  I also don’t want to be working for 8 years on a degree that I could get in 4 years at a traditional campus. (This was actually my number one deciding factor in favor of online college.)
  3. Credit Transfer: This was a big one with me.  I went to college at a state school over 25 years ago.  I really wanted to get credit for these classes.  I didn’t get the full amount of credit hours, but I was granted credits in the ratio of 2:3 (2 credit hours awarded to every 3 hours I took all those eons ago).
  4. Cost: Some online schools may require selling blood for years, or even the traditional “arm and a leg.”  Most of them will still accept government financial aid and also offer scholarships. Don’t let this point be a deal breaker.
  5. Degree options: Many online schools have only limited options for degrees they offer.  Make sure the program you want is available. Is there any point in taking classes just to take classes? Well, sure, maybe, I guess, if you don’t know where you’re going with all this.
  6. Workload: The amount of work for online classes will be comparable to classrooms. Do you have the time and energy to commit to this? People who have test anxiety might prefer online courses because all the tests are “open book.” However, only a limited amount of time is allowed, so don’t be like some teachers I work with: read your textbook first.


Don’t be overwhelmed by all the information. Don’t believe that inner voice that’s saying, “You’re too old” or “You’ll fail” or even “You can’t afford this.” U.S. News reported in November of 2011 that 96% of college graduates had indebtedness (an average of $25,250 total).  Education appears to be an investment worth making, and even going into debt to achieve.

Whether online or traditional education is your choice, choose your future. Follow your dream. Earn your degree. Choose a college and then conquer it!Online Colleges

Stressing Out– or NOT!

23 02 2012

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress
into a positive one”
Hans Selye

When the school district where I work is talking about “staff reduction” for the third straight year, a task of writing two papers (6 or more pages, citing two external sources and only peer-review journals qualify) and the usual weekly reading of 75 pages in the psychology textbook and 50 pages in the other textbook hangs over my head, I confess, I feel a tad tense. “Just a tad” (says Jillian Michaels on her “30 Day Shred” workout video) completely understates the anxiety level I feel.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m not the only middle-aged co-ed to experience any stress in my life.  After all, who would even attempt to juggle a full-time job, a full-time family and a full-time load of college credits? Only a mentally unstable person would think such a feat possible.

Mentally Unstable

Apparently, my mid-life crisis meant returning to college.  Instead of going out and buying a fancy hot rod (which would probably be cheaper, by the way) or getting some reconstructive surgery (ouch! The car is definitely more fun than this), I enrolled in college.

Making this decision wasn’t an easy one for me. My mother returned to college to get her nursing degree when I was 14. I didn’t see her for two years. I know you think I’m exaggerating, but I kid you not, she was at school all day and when she came home, she took her dinner into her bedroom, shut the door and came out once a week for an hour to watch “The A-Team.”

One time, I went in to talk to her about a problem I faced at school. She handed me her flash cards and asked me to quiz her on the skeletal system. You think I’m making this up, but that’s the last time I went in there to talk to her.  I just tried to deal with my life and problems the best way I knew how (which wasn’t very effective, as many of my poor decisions from that time testify).

Before I decided to go back to school, I had been encouraged to get my teaching degree for three years by every teacher at work. One of them brought the subject up at least one time per week. I refused to even consider it until my sons were out of high school.  As it turned out, I started college classes during my youngest son’s senior year (but I didn’t turn him away or ask him to quiz me). Sometimes we talked about literature I was reading that he had/would soon read in school, or we’d discuss some historical events.

Tips for Stress Management

While this hasn’t really read like proactive stress relief, I do have some tried and true ideas for reducing stress.

  1. Work out every day. I meet with Jillian at least one morning per week, do a little Tae Bo or Turbo Jam or plug in the Xbox Kinetic “Your Shape Fitness 2012” game; something on each weekday. On Saturday morning, I walk the treadmill (I didn’t make that up in my first post). Working out boosts endorphin levels, keeping energy level (and mood) up. Make time for this one!
  2. Indulge yourself with something small. For me, this means high quality dark chocolate. Maybe you want a double shot mocha from Starbucks, or Snickers satisfies you. When you feel the tension rising, stop and get your treat.  Savor it and then get back to work. You’ll have a new perspective, I promise.
  3. Pamper your body. Stress takes a toll on our physique and that means we need to give this house of clay some TLC. I get a pedicure every month. While my feet soak, get massaged and eventually beautified, I talk. A good esthetician offers better therapy than a therapist (and for substantially less cash). Maybe a massage or facial will be more to your body’s liking. Whatever the case, love your body and it will serve your increasing demands.
  4. Get away from it all. Sometimes, you just have to say, “I’ll worry about it tomorrow.” This is my Friday evening mantra. I come home from work, check the discussion board, mark out my reading for the next day and then walk away. Sometimes I hang out with a rented movie (and my husband), or sometimes we meet friends for dinner or indulge in rousing games with some other friends. Find what works for your schedule and budget, and then mark it on your calendar. It’s a date!
  5. Vent. Go ahead and let it all out, but don’t direct it at your spouse or significant other.  Spout off to your heart’s content: to the dog, the empty car or a friend who understands you’re not yelling at them.
  6. Sleep on it. Sometimes this can be a difficult one.  When all the projects are lined up, my brain is working on them even if I’m not in front of my laptop. At times, this means I wake up at 3 a.m. with no hope of getting back to sleep. Give in to the impulse and get your thoughts on paper, but once the yawning begins, go back to bed. Sleep deprived, middle-aged brains don’tfunction well.

    Dogs Answer to Stress


22 02 2012

February means one thing to college students: FAFSA. What I’ve noticed about this delightful occasion is it is apparent:  a parent will get the joy of completing the U.S. government’s requirements for requesting financial aid. In case you don’t know (or don’t care, which is idk or idc, respectively, in text language), filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is required.  Well, only if you want to get scholarships or student loans to assist with carrying the financial burden of paying for your college education. I have completed this form every year since 2009 (okay, that’s only three times, but the first time it took two hours).


I’m uncertain why this word is included at the beginning of this acronym.  Seriously, do they think anyone would fill out this multi-screened questionnaire about money and taxes and residence if they had to pay a fee? Of course, in today’s crazy economic climate, a fee for the “privilege” (since it is hardly a pleasure) of completing this form could be forthcoming.

What did I actually apply for?

One thing I noticed right away is that the FAFSA is just the first application that must be completed.  It doesn’t actually mean you have requested any funding.  I guess the purpose of the form is to let the financial aid office at the college know if they should expect you to hand over tuition payment in full at the beginning of the term, of if they should offer you some payment plans.

My question every year when I see the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) amount: “Where do they think I’m getting this $13,714?” They’ve learned that the total of all my “liquid” accounts is around $10,000.  Apparently, they think we should drain the retirement account dry.  Or maybe we’re expected to sit in the dark, under a bridge or in a free shelter, forego eating and just use that entire amount to pay college tuition.

More paperwork will follow if you decide to take their student loan offerings. A master promissory note will be signed (which makes me somewhat uneasy.  It’s the exact opposite of a blank check; instead, I’m signing for the current loan and all future loan amounts all at once!) and a cheesy “counseling” session must be completed before Uncle Sam will send the money to the school.

Aid or Axe?

Last year, I completed the form when my youngest son was only 17. This year after I entered that he was a male and gave his birth date (1993), the standard question: “Are you registered with the Selective Service?” appeared on screen. Of course, I selected “yes” assuming that he had indeed done this after his 18th birthday.  It is one of the requirements at our house.  You turn 18 and you a) register for the draft and b) register to vote.  Apparently, the whole draft thing got overlooked in the excitement of getting him off to college two days after he turned 18. How could we forget such an important thing?

I kid you not, two days after I filled out the FAFSA this year, we got a letter from the Selective Service System. Their records indicate he had not registered. Did he realize that he could be fined or imprisoned? Furthermore, he could be denied “certain Federal benefits, such as…student financial aid.” Immediately, I sent a text message to my son and he was rather blasé about getting the deed done.  Should I let him be prosecuted? That would never happen; they just wouldn’t give him any student loans and I’d have to rob the retirement account to pay his $40,000 annual tuition.

Who Should Pay?

This brings me to the real axe I have to grind. Who is paying for my college education? That would be me, myself and I, working full-time at a thankless job that barely pays enough to cover the books, tuition and monthly pedicures (required for relieving stress. Check back on Thursday for more ideas on that subject).

Here’s the deal we worked out with our kids. (I think it’s a pretty good one, considering I was lucky my mother forked over the $50 application fee when I was 19 and trying to go to college.) We had saved a small amount and agreed to pay for their first year of college, wherever they wanted to attend. After that, it was up to them to figure out how to get the funds.

Our oldest son went to his dad’s alma mater, a state school.  It cost us about $15,000 for room & board, tuition, books and other fees.  Now, he lives in an apartment that is about one-third the cost of the dorm room, and his student loan and summer job pays for everything.

Baby boy, on the other hand, chose a prominent private college where it’s required that students live on campus until they’re seniors. Sure, it only cost us about $17,000, but he had to take out a small student loan, got several scholarships ($7,500) and even a need grant from the college in question. How will he pay for next year? Is this my problem? I think not. After all, I completed his FAFSA before the deadline. I’ve done my part!

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