Unwanted College

I’m a sophomore in HS and I live in a town called Gainesville and it revolves around UF (University of Florida). Both my parents live here and work at UF. The problem is that both of them are forcing me to go to UF even though I really don’t want to and don’t see myself going there.

I’m a really smart and high-acheiving student. I have a 4.83 gpa and lots of extracuricculrs. My dream college is Brown University or some other ivy league school. However, my parents already told me that my goal should be to get into UF and study there for at least 6 years. They expect me to live with them for this time. They are also constantly paying for some college savings which only pays for use in Florida colleges. Even though they really really want me to go there and even my siblings are going to go there, I just don’t see myself going to that school. I want to study in Brown university or lots of other universities.

It feels like I can’t tell them that I don’t want to go to a college in Florida because the other day my dad told me that he won’t be allowing me to apply to any other college than one in Florida since they are constantly paying for it.

Please help me and tell me what I should do.]
Thanks :slight_smile:

The University of Florida is a very good university.

If you were to look at the graduate students at Ivy League universities, you would find that a lot of them did their undergraduate degrees at schools that are lower ranked than UF.

University can be very expensive. It sounds like you parents are concerned about the cost of your education. This is a very reasonable concern. You would be well served to avoid debt for your bachelor’s degree, particularly if this is possible while attending a university as strong as UF.

As @DadTwoGirls points out, UF is an amazing school (ranked 30, if you care about the rankings, and #6 if only considering public universities.) Have you considered applying to the Honors programs at UF and other schools (UCF, USF etc?) These tend to offer small class sizes and can be beneficial when it comes to creating relationships with professors and peers. :smile:

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Guys, this isn’t about the quality of education at UF, isn’t that clear from the OP’s post?
It’s about leaving the nest that seems awfully tight, for reasons many HS students can relate to.
Not that I have a ready solution, @vrmeenrajan

Unfortunately for you, parents can have full control in terms of limiting their kids’ college choices.

(In addition, wanting to go to Brown does not necessarily mean that Brown will admit you.)

@vrmeenrajan, Brown university is over $60K per year.

Where are you personally going to get that kind of cash?

You would need over a quarter of a million dollars to attend Brown or similar schools. Have you saved this amount? Do you have a part time job?

Financial aid? You can’t count on it. Schools have less and less scholarship monies which are VERY competitive. If you apply and need Need-based aid, the schools decide what you get. You don’t get to ask for a certain amount and then receive it. Loans? No, you are only allowed to borrow less than $7500 per year. You would need 10 times that per year.

If your parents have been saving, in a 529 account, this means they don’t have buckets full of money to pay your fees to go away to school.

UF is a very good school. You need to consider that your parents are doing right by you by paying for your college education. They are no longer obligated, by law, to pay for anything for you. They are done. Your parents are funding your college education.

A lot of parents tell their kids that when the kid turns 18, he/she is on their own for money.

@ArtsyKidDad @auntbea Florida has the Florida Savings Plan and the Bright Futures program (which is full tuition or close to it based on academics) and the in-state tuition’s ~5-6K i.e. much cheaper than any flagship state schools in the country. Florida’s a large state, so OP could always go to Orlando or Tampa or Tallahasse or fill in any city here if he doesn’t want to live in Gainesville.

The Florida prepaid program does not only pay for Florida schools. It is basically a 529 program but it guarantees to cover the cost of the Florida public schools. MANY people use it at OOS schools or a Florida private schools, but there is no guarantee that it will cover the tuition.

You need to recognize the sacrifice that your parents have made to get you the college fund that they have. Most students don’t have that. You should qualify for the highest level of Bright Futures and with the FPP you may be able to graduated debt free.

If you want to attend another college or university in your current situation, you will need to get a full ride scholarship (tuition, fees, room & board) to another school.

Consider Honors Colleges at large state supported universities throughout the South as a starting point.

Ivy League schools only give need based financial aid–not merit scholarship money.

OP - college is expensive. If you truly want to get out of FL, look at schools that you could potentially get a full ride. The problem is going to be getting a full ride to a school as good as your instate option. UF is hard to beat.

Even if you need to stay at UF at home, you will be super busy with classes, study groups and activities. You’ll be home only to sleep. It won’t be like HS.

Coming out of undergrad debt free is a huge gift.

At least your parents are trying to do right by you in providing you and your siblings an excellent college education that is within their budget. Don’t forget they need to save for their retirement too. UF is a fantastic school. You are very lucky to have such a highly ranked and esteemed university as an affordable option. I get wanting to move away from home, but perhaps you can negotiate with your parents to split the cost of a dorm room. That is much cheaper than attending a college they can’t pay for.

If you want to go to Brown, you, not your parents, are going to have to pay for it.

Study and prep for the PSAT and try to be a National Merit Finalist. It means you shouldn’t just be an excellent student - it means scoring higher than 99% 11th graders in Florida.
It won’t help with Brown but will allow you to attend universities outside of Florida.
I get wanting to leave the heat and the “Florida” vibe.
Rather than Brown, look for a university that is different culturally/climate-wise, smaller, offers merit scholarships.

Look into Colleges that change lives, UUtah, UAlabama…
Look at the honors college at UCF, it’s very good (even if the university is suffering growth pains), check out NCF.

I agree that negotiating for R&B, to live on campus and become independent, is a reasonable aim.

Save money to pay for your applications ($75/application = you need to earn and save about $1,000). Perhaps get a part time job, altough in this economy it’s almost impossible.

My boss went to UF Gainesville, and so did a lot of my colleagues. The alumni community is strong and entrepreneurial.

Also, if you’re thinking about going to graduate school, Gainesville for undergrad will serve you well.

I understand wanting to leave. It’s hard to beat the financials in your case, however.

I understand why you would like to move away but like it or not finances is a huge part of the college equation. If your family can afford UF then you are more fortunate than most. If you look at other schools my guess is you would have to find options that would not cost your parents more than UF (a difficult task to be sure).

When the time comes I would look into applying to the UF Honors Program.

Your situation seems similar to a lot of situations posted on these forums, where it looks like a clash between teenage rebellion (from the parent viewpoint) and parent authoritarianism (from the kid viewpoint).

Sometimes, it is because the writer of the post ignores what the other has to say (i.e. an actual teenage rebel or parent authoritarian). Sometimes, it is because the other does a poor job of explaining their reasons (that would be more accepted as valid if explained properly), making them look like an authoritarian parent or rebellious teenager to the writer. Sometimes, it is because the other actually is an authoritarian parent or rebellious teenager who will not accept what most people would consider reasonable reasons. Sometimes, both can be unreasonable or unwilling to listen.

In any case, there is potential to escalate a vicious cycle of rebellion and authoritarianism that would not be good, especially for the one in the position without any of the power in the relationship (the kid like you, the OP).

One compromise that you could suggest would be to go to UF, but live on campus for your first year. That way you would get in-state tuition and save some money, and you would be near home.

Living on campus would be almost a totally different world compared to living at home even if you are only two or three miles from home. You would wake up in your dorm room surrounded by other students, and would get the “student experience” and some amount of independence.

If finances became a squeeze, you would have the option of moving back home for your later years, but you will would have had the on campus experience.

Agree with the compromise about living on campus and away from home. Perhaps in another year sit down your parents and talk to them about how you have worked very hard and will continue to reach your goals no matter where you are.

As others have said, money talks and is a very huge factor in your parents decision. I work for a college as well and I know my own kids are saying “never” right now in going to that school. Just know that as as adult, there is some protection for your information called FERPA and even though your parents work there, unless you give them permission they would not have access to your classes/grades, etc and if they did access it you could report it.

Breathe. Wait a year and then try to maturely sit down with them and talk finances. You will have a better idea about what merit aid might be available to you then.

One thing you do want to figure out is if their resistance is due to cost (or perceived cost) or something else.

If you find an out-of-state college that costs less than UF or other Florida public universities, would they not want you to go to that out-of-state college? If that is the case, why?

Cost (or perceived cost) is the most common reason for parental limits on college choice, but some parents are not good at communicating that to their kids, and some parents have other reasons which they may or may not communicate well and/or which the kids may or may not find reasonable.

That is actually not a very big reason. Financial reasons are not too big of my parent’s concern. When I keep saying parent’s, I mean my dad mostly. My parents don’t think I would be ready to live on my own and they think I still need them to take care of me. I’m just a naturally independant person and this obviously makes me want to leave even more.

Also for my academic performance I do above average than the people that get into brown so I think that I just feel that I can do A little better than UF. I’m not saying UF is a bad school (In fact I think it’s an excellent one) but I just feel that for what I’ve accomplished, and countless amount of work I’ve put in to getting A’s, I think that I can do better than UF.

Also thanks for your concern for me, it really means a lot.

Looks like finances are a concern, but it seems (at least to you) that they are a secondary concern compared to parental control or supervision (which is an issue that directly aggravates the “rebellious teenager versus authoritarian parent” perception and conflict).

It is still possible that Brown or some other colleges are too expensive even if they were ok with you going away for college. But if they prioritize keeping you at home or close to home, it may be that neither they nor you have looked into the actual likely costs to know for sure.

Do they expect you to live at home while attending UF (versus living in a dorm or other housing at UF)? What do they expect you to do if you are not admitted to UF and have to go to some other college?