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So Many Choices But Only A Few Options

Youth 1 is taking college course at the local university. This is the first step in this child’s future, if this future is selected. It doesn’t mean this school will be the selected school. We begun our university search two years ago and are now coming down to the wire. Next fall Youth 1 will apply to a number of schools. One would think there would be excitement with Youth 1, but this is not the case. We have looked at schools from FIT, not Fashion Institutue of Technology, try the second selection in google. There has been Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Penn State, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware and I even think Connecticut. The Ivy League schools shouldn’t be excluded either. For various reasons, the mid-West schools haven’t been looked at as heavily. Alabama was ruled out by me.

What should a homeschool family expect when the reach this point? Look at your local high school for help. Seriously! Our local high school guidance counselors have been more than helpful. We have been allowed to go to a few after school meetings concerning financial aid. We were able to attend a college night where schools came to recruit. Contacting the schools of choice is no different for homeschool parents than “normal” parents.

We are looking at Youth 1’s interest of study as the primary motivator for selecting schools. You do not see religious institution listed because these schools do not offer what Youth 1 wants. Small teaching schools have been ruled out, too. Youth 1 did look at the Merchant Marines. Don’t ask why. This should be the reason for any family looking at schools with their child. If you want to study Ceramic Engineering, you don’t apply to a liberal arts school.

Another inhibitor is the distance. The West coast has been omitted because of distance. Now if the education is fully paid then I’m looking. If Youth 1 wants to attend Hawaii, we have logistics to look at, and it is not a pleasant journey going from the East to the islands. You have to think about the effort of taking you child to the school, holidays and end of the year. Do you want to spend three or four days travel to deliver and pick up your child?

The size of school matters. One of the main reasons to visit schools is to determine the fit for the teen. There are small schools, medium schools and large schools. The reality is none of these are too different. If you go to a large school, you will only spend your time in a small portion of the school. My area of study kept me from the business college, Hotel Management group and some others. The best part about a large school are the resources. You can’t beat a big university. This ranges from activities outside of class as well as what you are studying. You will not have the professor-student relationship at a large school. You get close to that in your junior and senior year. You are a number at a large school. The large school offers more than the smaller schools, but the student needs to seek them out and not be passive. I’m being redundant here, so I’ll stop.

Tuition is the last item to look at. I don’t know if Youth 1 will end up with a scholarship. We are new in this area. Youth 1 has found opportunities for scholarships, but it will be a while before we find out. There are the student loans. My child will be buying a house with this method. Tuition will no stop my child from applying. We have until the end to decide based on tuition. Friends of mine with children who were in the same position a year or two ago tell me that tuition is not as big of a deal as I think. As a homeschooler, how do I earn these scholarships? Research your local area for what is offered. The Rotary or Lions Clud or some other group may offer scholarships. Some time schools just plain want the teen and are willing to pay full tuition for the teen. Yes, that has happened.

The number of schools on Youth 1’s list are really not as many as we think. The list of schools I mentioned early are really no more than two or three. There are a few I didn’t list. Come fall the list may have changed once more. It is my child that is going to school and not me.

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