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Dont want to let my son down

camerxoncamerxon Posts: 10Registered User New Member
edited December 2008 in Parents Forum
Hello everyone at CC!,

Thanks to anyone that is willing to read my situation!

My son is high school senior '09 here in Charlotte, NC. He has decent SAT scores, He will graduate in the Top 5(currently tied for 3), and has an okay extracurricular record such as NHS, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer(8 hours everyweek), volunteer helper and umpire at a local recreational sports association, 4 years of jv and varsity baseball and wrestling.

His absolute dream school is to go to is WVU. My husband and I are from West VA and lived there for close to 25 years. All of my husbands and my family still reside in WV. I have numerous nieces and nephews that are either alumni or currently attending WVU. We have taken my son to Morgantown numerous time and he has completely fell in love with the school.

The problem is I don't believe that he will qualify for much financial aid. My husband and I combine to make 90,000 a year but due to having 3 children dependent on us, and paying off loans due to financial struggles in the past, we don't have much money. Also out-of-state tuition is 3x the price of in-state.

My son has looked at many scholarships but most are for NC schools.

Does anyone have any advice on how we could pay for education. It will kill me to see my son heartbroken

ALSO: he will be a first generation college student
Post edited by camerxon on
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Replies to: Dont want to let my son down

  • PackMomPackMom Posts: 7,302Registered User Senior Member
    camerxon, Has your S applied and been accepted to WVU? Is your S by any chance a National Merit Finalist? WVU offers a great scholarship to NMF winners if they list WVU as their first choice school. Have you checked the WVU website for scholarship opportunities for your S ? WVU offers some generous scholarships to out of state students with qualifying SAT score and gpa.

    On the WVU website click on "admissions" and then look for the link to scholarships.
    Also check the departmental page of his intended major. Sometimes there are scholarship opportunities for certain majors that are not listed under the general university scholarships. The WVU website says COA is $26,300 for out of state students. That's about $12,000 more /yr. than if he attended a NC school. Has he visited any NC schools that he might be open to attending?
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Posts: 1,487Registered User Senior Member
    What will really help is to let logic rule the planning stages here, rather than the emotion. If it is feasible for your son to attend WVU, the path to getting there will be through logic. If it turns out it is not feasible for your son to attend WVU, logic will help come up with a good second choice.

    First, sit down with your spouse and decide how much out of pocket you can _reasonably_ afford to pay each year for school for your oldest son. Then make sure this also takes into account the younger childrens' college funds as well. Then double check that your retirement funds and your emergency funds are all in order as well. You should be able to have a fairly good idea what you can afford.

    Then sit down with your oldest son and lay it out on the line. Something like "Son, the most we can afford each year out of our own pocket each year to help you go to college is $somenumber here. If it could be less than that, it would be best, because this number is the absolute maximum. The rest needs to be funded through your own savings, scholarships and student loans. This means that a place like WVU may or may not be possible. Thus, let's make a list of alternatives, because they very well may be your only option if scholarships don't pull through."

    You can of course, let guilt and emotion destroy your family's financial stability and send your son to his first choice regardless of financial realities. OR, you can help teach your son the realities of family finances and adjusting accordingly. There are still many months for your son to consider other schools.

    Good luck on scholarship searches - but in the meantime, I strongly urge "shopping" within your price range and leave WVU as a outside possibility.

    Annika
  • laxmomlaxmom Posts: 1,449Registered User Senior Member
    It's not that you would be letting down your son - you have to look at how it affects the whole family.
    There are so many wonderful schools in NC - I know, my son wanted to go there but being OOS, it was cost prohibitive.
    If he's looking for a "WVU" - NC State has all that.
    If he's totally set on WVU, then you and he need to get on that scholarship search and test well.

    Good luck.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    Part of growing up is learning that one can't get everything that one wants. Except for billionaires, most of us adults have had to learn to love what we can afford to buy instead of dreaming for things we can't afford.

    Your S is lucky to live in a state that has a wide variety of colleges including some of the nation's best, and many that offer the kind of education and amenities that W Va. U offers.

    If he insists on W. Va. U., he could work and take out loans to afford his dream.
  • europaeuropa Posts: 92Registered User New Member
    You say that you don't "believe" that your family will qualify for FA. Before you jump to conclusions, go here: FinAid | Calculators | Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Aid and estimate what your family's EFC will be. Then go here: FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid and complete this federal financial aid application. It may be the case that you are eligible for more aid than you think. Also, check with the state of NC to see if you may qualify for any aid through the state. And it also sounds like your son is a good candidate for scholarships, so go here: FastWeb: Scholarships, Financial Aid and Colleges to begin searching for those.

    However, I believe that the advice given by the posters above is sound. NC has many fine in-state options (and you may try a private like Elon as well, because it may offer merit aid). Have your son sit down with you when you fill out FAFSA so that he's aware of your complete financial situation. And give him the task of searching for scholarships on Fastweb. This way he is a full partner in the process of seeking ways to pay for his education. If, in the end, the numbers just don't add up, he will see this for himself and--this is important--he will know that his parents did their utmost to make the WVU dream come true. However, you should have solid Plans B, C, D etc. in place. Give your son the task of finding an in-state school that he loves.

    Another thought: CC for two years (or maybe 1.5 years if he has some AP credit?), followed by a transfer to WVU?
  • europaeuropa Posts: 92Registered User New Member
    Sorry, of course NC state aid probably will not work out of state, though it's still worth a try.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    In all honesty, if he can get into UNC and go there for less money, it seems crazy to pay for a lesser school.
  • europaeuropa Posts: 92Registered User New Member
    ^^I agree. Unfortunately, this is such an emotional decision and I can understand the OP's pain when faced with denying her son his dream. But it could also be a great introduction to the real world if the process is approached logically, as Annika suggests. If attending WVU is so important to this young man that he would forgo a higher-quality in-state institution such as Chapel Hill, then he should be willing to make some sacrifices too, such as attending a CC and then transferring. Actually, if he were willing to forgo Chapel Hill or NC State, he should really be asking himself what he hopes to achieve educationally in the first place.
  • europaeuropa Posts: 92Registered User New Member
    ^^I agree. Unfortunately, this is such an emotional decision and I can understand the OP's pain when faced with denying her son his dream. But it could also be a great introduction to the real world if the process is approached logically, as Annika suggests. If attending WVU is so important to this young man that he would forgo a higher-quality in-state institution such as Chapel Hill, then he should be willing to make some sacrifices too, such as attending a CC and then transferring. Actually, if he were willing to forgo Chapel Hill or NC State, he should really be asking himself what he hopes to achieve educationally in the first place.
  • tom1944tom1944 Posts: 5,132Registered User Senior Member
    My wife is a WVU graduate so this is not a knock on the school but- the value of the NC state university system is something an in-state kid should not pass up for WVU.

    NC State, UNC and the other NC schools are far better options.
  • fireflyscoutfireflyscout Posts: 5,347Registered User Senior Member
    Here's the link to scholarships for OOS students at WVU:
    WVU:: Undergraduate Scholarship Office - Residents of Other States Scholarships
  • camerxoncamerxon Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    We sat down and talked about the situation. Were gonna do everything we can to get WVU(even though he has already been accepted) but he now has 2 back-up schools. UNC-Wilmington and East Carolina University. My son wants to go into nursing. He has done some interns and shadows at the hospitals. After undergrad he wants to go for a M.S.N in Nurse Anesthesia.
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Posts: 5,807Registered User Senior Member
    As emotional as this process can be, in the end it comes down to the numbers. It's time to sit down and figure out exactly what the situation is.

    Start with the links tha europa provided. Just filling out that information will help you start to see the picture more clearly. Next, look at financial aid. For example, I googled "wvu out of state scholarships" and the link came up to the info at wvu. Decide what your family can contribute.

    Sit down with your son and share the bottom line with him. You can talk about loans, jobs and so on as well.

    Give him some time to process the financial reality. We've been upfront with our son about what we can afford for college for years but when he fell in love with a college last year that does not give merit aid and was beyond our financial reach, he had to process that. He was a little angry but mostly disappointed. Then he rallied. And your son will too with time.

    I do think it's important that you do this asap. Your son needs time to look at some other schools with the facts explained to him. Deadlines are coming up fast.

    Best of luck to your family.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,665Registered User Senior Member
    Just thinking...
    How about if he took a gap year and became independent (you no longer claimed him on your taxes) and if during that gap year he lived and worked in West Virginia, establishing himself there. Would he become a West Virginia resident and be able to get in state tuition?
  • momreadsmomreads Posts: 2,713Registered User Senior Member
    Your son is interested in nursing? First, check out every single scholarship for nursing. There are many. Second, check out ROTC programs. Your son just might get some great money and some opportunities if he is interested.
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