Sunday, October 9, 2011

College Acceptance and Reality Setting In

Yesterday afternoon the mail arrived later than normal for a Saturday. I was getting cleaned up to go and watch the Alabama/Vanderbilt game with friends when I saw the mailman stop in front of the house. I scooted out to the mailbox and pulled out a big stack of mail. There amongst the bills and junk mail was a big fat envelope from the admissions office of Princess Penelope's first choice school. Princess Penelope was not at home and was a good hour away at a Pumpkin Patch with friends. I laid the envelope on the dining room table. And there it sat, taunting me. I finished getting ready. And still it sat there.

I tried to call the Princess on her cell phone, but alas, she had no service at the Pumpkin Patch. I tried again. And again. And still the envelope sat there. I knew that I would be leaving the house before the Princess got home. So I tried Princess's friend's cell phone. No answer. Crap. The envelope still sat there. I finally gave it and began to open it just as the Princess called back on her friend's phone. So, I opened the envelope --- a quick scan and the word "Congratulations!" popped out! She had been accepted to her first choice! Squeals from both of us abounded and sent Thing 1 and Thing 2 into a flurry of barking and jumping (can't blame them since minus the barking I was doing pretty much the same thing!). The Princess and I chatted on the phone and then she hung up to get back to the business of the Pumpkin Patch. A minute or two later she called me back, asking me not to tell her Dad because she wanted to. I stood in the kitchen and started trying to call my friends since I couldn't call family because Princes wanted to. And you know what?!?!?! No one answered. So here I was, ready to burst, and NO ONE was answering the phone! Couldn't post it on Facebook because family might see it. So, I posted it up on Google+ since my friends group is much smaller there!

Anyway, after posting it up, one of my friends asked me on Google+, "And how is Mom?". And that's when reality set in. I looked back over the information in the envelope and gulped audibly. This is going to cost a very pretty penny. Time to get serious regarding scholarship searches. Time to buckle down with the spending. Time to start researching laptops. Time to start putting aside the college essentials. Time to figure out exactly how we're going to pay for this. I've got some money put aside, but not nearly enough to cover 4 years at a reasonably priced state school. Time to figure this all out. I know we can do it. Its just a part of getting us there.


  1. Ooh, so exciting! Congratulations to your daughter! It's a bit sad that such wonderful rewards do come with a price tag, and after all the jumping, hollering and celebrating is done, you do have to look at it closely and think to yourself "how?". But you can do it. Just lay it all out, make a list of things to figure out, to buy and get, things to budget.

  2. Congrats Princess! Just enjoy the moment for a bit....then figure out how to pay for it.

  3. Thanks y'all! I'm kind of having one of those O.M.G. days. We'll get it figured out. Somehow. Some way.

  4. Congrats and I hope you can get her there without putting yourself into a big ol' debt hole.

    The good thing about most public/state schools is that they allow you to make monthly payments to pay off each semester. Generally it's interest-free though there is a small fee to set up the payment plan.

    You also want to look into textbook rentals and/or whether the school offers etextbooks. Outside of tuition/room/board college books can run you $500 or more per semester.

    I would suggest you find the book "Debt Free U" by Zac Bissonette at your library and check it out. He wrote this guide to getting through college debt-free while going through school. Lots of great tips in there.

    Also apply for any and all scholarships she can find. The more you apply for, the greater the chances she'll receive $ to go to school. Don't rely on the school to find you aid other than loans, especially a public university as the endowments aren't as deep as private schools. You have to actively seek out $ for school that you don't have to pay back.

    Be sure not to miss the FAFSA application(and make sure you can get her father to fill out his information as well)and your state's grant application deadlines.
    And if she has money in her own name, you might want to transfer it to your name. Any savings in her name count against her more than savings in the parent's names when applying for federal aid.

    Now that she got in, the work REALLY begins! 8-)
    I know of what I speak....I've got 2 in right

  5. Wow! That is A LOT of great information!!!! Does the money that I have in a 529 count as "hers" or as "mine"? Other than that, she only has a very small amount in savings, so I'm not too worried about that.

  6. The 529 money depends on who's name it's in & what kind of 529 it is. Great info on that is here....

  7. Wow! Thanks SO much for the information!!!!! That is VERY helpful!