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Lies and exaggerations in the college process


Replies to: Lies and exaggerations in the college process

  • Yalie 2011Yalie 2011 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    edited February 2
    I used to think lots of people get full rides and full merit scholarships, until I found out that most of those doesn't like to call it a loan or financial aid. Calling it merit money, makes kids sound intelligent and families affluent.
  • Yalie 2011Yalie 2011 Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    edited February 2
    @sseamom Underprivileged and underrepresented minorities do have more opportunities and aid available to them when it comes to college admission process, compared to high achievers from affluent Asians or Caucasian families can ever dream of. However, people do have lots of misconceptions about these issues. Field is flat as those affluent Asian/Caucasian kids get privileges in life that underprivileged don't get.

    However, affluent parents are the ones who get short end of the stick as they end up spending most of their earnings on their children. Sometimes they do get envious of people whose kids get tons of financial aid.

    For really wealthy folks, these hurdles don't exist.
    Post edited by Erin's Dad on
  • Midwest67Midwest67 Registered User Posts: 1,336 Senior Member
    I lost my mom to cancer when I was in college and it hit me very hard. One of my dear friend's mom gave me a small poster, with a cartoon of a college student that said "These are the best years of your life!".

    It was meant to be loving, and encouraging, but at the time? oh how I hated that poster. It made me feel even more depressed! Of course that wasn't her intention!

  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,475 Senior Member
    I really, really loved college - it was a fantastic time in my life- and I would jump back there is a hot second (If only to relive the tiny waist.....)
    My D is a junior in college, and I have worried many times about whether she is "enjoying" herself enough. She goes to a challenging school, and has a competitive major - she works WAY harder than I did in school. But TBH - I think she may be getting more OUT of college than I did - of course, that remains to be seen....
  • chzbrgrchzbrgr Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    Here is one that I think we can blame on the government: your expected family contribution is what you should expect your family to pay.

    Even on this forum I think "Financial Aid and Scholarships" should be called "Paying for College".
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 1,879 Senior Member
    How about the term "Expected Family Contribution"! A misnomer if I've ever seen one.
  • FatherTimFatherTim Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    edited February 3
    My college experience was okay. Not bad (fun a lot) but also not incredible.

    I'm more of a family guy than a friend guy. First couple years were rough since I had no close friends. Eventually moved into a good housemate situation where I shared a suite with 3 other guys and we all got along and became like a family and that was nice. Also made a few good friends by the last couple years and that was good.

    Parenthood has been a lot of fun for me. Kids haven't been easy but they've brought a lot of joy. I think I'd rate parenthood above college from my perspective on the fun factor. But again, I'm more of a family guy than a friend guy.

    I did think the books and learning were a lot of fun, especially the upper level classes.

    Senior year was a bit stressful when I wasn't sure what I was going to do. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to grad school for a few years but they say hindsight is 20/20.
  • Belle315Belle315 Registered User Posts: 329 Member
    This discussion comes at an interesting time for me. I just got an email from a college rep from my alma mater wanting to meet with me to discuss my college experiences. I'm sure she's looking for blurbs about how wonderful my days were on campus so that she can use them in advertising. I toyed with the idea of meeting with her for about a minute, then realized that she would probably be disappointed if I were to be completely honest.

    Don't get me wrong. I did have some wonderful times. I had great friends and experiences, and I learned so much about so many things. But there were some not-so-great moments that I can't separate out (for example, multiple incidences of sexual harassment by male professors). I have a feeling she wouldn't want to hear the whole truth.
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,947 Senior Member
    @Belle315 Why not tell her the truth? For all you know, your remarks will spark a discussion of how college has changed for the better for young women.
  • 1Dreamer1Dreamer Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    Because it is? I'm almost 60 and have had a very satisfying life, but college? Just magical. I'm hoping heaven is as good.


    I thought I’d already died and gone to heaven. :-)
    Emphasis on the YMMV. If someone's not having a "magical" college experience -- look at all the depressed, lonely, or otherwise discouraged students posting here every single semester -- then "your life will never be better than it is now!" sounds like "I know your current life sucks and it's ONLY DOWNHILL FROM HERE."

    I can see this, but CC is a bit of a bubble. I’m guessing there is a disproportionate number of sad and depressed college students posting on CC about their unhappiness as compared to super happy kids having a magical experience.

    I’m also guessing at least some of those having a tough time may be due to a less than optimal fit. It’s not always easy to find a good fit when you have to work within more limited parameters than others. These might include cost of attendance, inability to afford visits before attending (if they’re able to afford to go away at all), distance from home (too far or too close), and/or parents who make the choice for them.

    I remember one student who felt her state flagship of UVA was the perfect fit for her. She loved everything about it and she wanted to be closer to home, but was being forced to attend Berkeley by an immigrant father who was willing to pay OOS costs for bragging rights with his family because Berkeley is considered more prestigious in his home country. I remember another post about a year ago by a guy who had been homeless and living in a car for part of HS and was now in his first year Harvard, but somewhat disillusioned. At least one parent said if he couldn’t be happy at Harvard, it was his problem and not the school’s, but even the most amazing opportunities aren’t always a good fit and it doesn’t make the student’s feelings any less real.

    We often hear “you grow or bloom where you are planted,” but I don’t know how often that's the case. Some plants thrive in direct sunlight or shade, while others whither in the same environment. Some do better in small planter boxes while others need large beds where their roots can spread.

    College exceeded my already high expectations going in, but I attribute part of it to luck that my intuition was correct, part to being fortunate enough to have more options available to me than many (if not most) have, and part to having parents who allowed me the independence to make choices I felt were the right for me even if they didn’t always understand them or agree at the time.

    @ChoatieMom , as a long time reader of your posts, I am guessing you can relate to that last part. ;-)
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 8,248 Senior Member
    I’m guessing there is a disproportionate number of sad and depressed college students posting on CC about their unhappiness

    Yes, probably. I'm also probably more aware of that particular viewpoint because I was/am one of those students. :D

    Even if the person you're saying it to is perfectly happy, though, it's still a sad statement. Everything gets worse from here!
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,690 Senior Member
    I went to the wrong college, so took lots of extra classes and was out in 3 years. I enjoyed grad school much more. Internship was my favorite of the long process. It was really nice to not have a thesis over my head, but lots of short reports.
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