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Am I a helicopter parent?

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Replies to: Am I a helicopter parent?

  • californiaaacaliforniaaa 1868 replies47 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,915 Senior Member
    I am not considering myself a helicopter, but a secretary, who makes an executive summary.

    dad3sons, you are in California, aren't you? University of California is good, and it is relatively easy to apply to all campuses, including Berkeley and Merced (same application form). If it is too expensive, (and If your children are focused and ambitious), they can go to a community college with direct transfer program to UC. Thus you would save tuition for 2 years.

    Alternatively: US army is always an option ->GI bill.

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  • dad3sonsdad3sons 171 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    @itsgettingreal17 Yes, he researched about the place - Huntsville AL although he haven't even visited. He wanted to stay in California.

    Even after UAH merit (tuition only), we still need to pay about 11k for the rest. With community college, it will be less than 11k total per year.
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  • dad3sonsdad3sons 171 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    @californiaaa Yes, the plan is to do community college and then, transfer through TAG program to UC.
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  • mackinawmackinaw 2964 replies53 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    @dad3sons When I interviewed for my first academic job at FSU, I spoke with a dean about the kinds of students who attended and how they compared with UF and other institutions. He said there were basically two streams of incoming students at FSU: those who enrolled as freshmen and those who transferred from community or junior colleges. He said that on average those who transferred graduated with higher GPA's than those who began as freshmen.

    The reason for this was that those who arrived as freshmen sometimes came to college without much sense of purpose, or came with an intent to enjoy all the EC's and the social life of college, and they did OK in their courses but did not excel. In contrast, those who transferred with associates degrees were often more highly motivated, realized that the main purpose of college was training and skill development, and had figured out how to balance work and school. So the transfers worked harder, were more focused, and earned better grades.
    edited April 2016
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  • zbreezezbreeze 64 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    You should be proud of yourself and your son for coming to a workable and affordable option. I wish the both of you much success.

    I think we sometimes get blinded by what we *want* for our children even when we know what the needs are.

    The article in the Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/ by Neil Gabbler, who says he was pretty good at living frugally except when it came to his children is a good example of the slippery slope to financial instability resulting from trying to give your children everything they want.
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  • redpoodlesredpoodles 2078 replies32 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,110 Senior Member
    It sounds like a good plan. Possibly, your son could get a job as well as attending community college, to save up some $$ for the transfer time when you will have two in school.
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  • dad3sonsdad3sons 171 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Things that my eldest son said last that made me tear-up: "I won't sacrifice our family's finances and future just because I wanted to go to a nice university" and then, he said "Community college is cheaper, right?". I said "yes" and that if he keeps his GPA at >3.7 and then transfer, he can still graduate from a UC.

    My second son seems like to get a degree from a local state university (CSU) and take Environmental Resource Management, focusing on Health and Safety. I told him that environment, safety and health (EHS) professionals also make a good and satisfying career.

    I can sleep better and breathe easy now!

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76083 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,746 Senior Member
    If your second son changes his mind and wants to major in something not available at CSUB, then at least he now knows beforehand how the financial constraints will have to be considered when he makes the application list. (Didn't you mention previously that he had an interest in computer science or engineering, which is available at CSUB? Seems like you may have to be prepared for him changing his intended major.)
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  • dad3sonsdad3sons 171 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    My second son isn't sure yet what he wanted to do. He wants to be an engineer and then he looked at CSUBs major and chose ERM. His Math and Science grades are all "As". As much as he can ace Math, he said he didn't like doing it. He's like jack of all trades but master of none. I think he'll be a good EHS guy. State of California needs environmental and safety professionals and also pay them good plus state pension, etc.
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  • RightCoasterRightCoaster 2864 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,868 Senior Member
    @dad3sons Good job going with the team approach. I think it will work well for you.

    We are doing that now with my son who is a junior. We helped find his interests in studies, then we selected some schools that featured some things that he wanted in a school, and now we are just refining the list. We hope to visit a few schools that we have not seen on his list. Fortunately we have saved some money for schooling so budget issues are not a concern. He just needs to find the right educational and personal fit. We had him read an article on best ROI on colleges and majors and that opened his eyes.
    My son thinks he knows exactly what area he wants to study, business, so that helped eliminate a bunch of liberal arts schools. He still likes us to present him new ideas on schools and asks what we think about them. He doesn't feel a huge need to research himself. He's more like " give some options and I'll pick the one I like best". So we are just going with that and hopefully it works out in the end.
    Good luck!
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