Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Proud moments

While I've been away THIS happened



It was a proud moment for S & I and all of our family to see him walk across the stage. Yep the teen finally graduated and we all sighed of relief that high school was finished over a big stack of IHOP pancakes.

What? We like IHOP. Not to mention it was freakin' 8PM on a Wednesday night and IHOP was right around the corner.

After our celebratory dinner/breakfast it was time to get ready for the graduation cruise. We planned, packed and dreamt of nights on the sea not at all worried about what was to come.

College plans & arrangements were made and only the money part wasn't nailed down. His school of choice had some staffing issues in the financial aid department that caused his paperwork to be sent to us late. "Don't worry" they said.

So we didn't. Then vacation was over and a bill was waiting in the mailbox.

No problem! We had already talked about student loans and narrowed our very small amount of choices* down to one lender - Sallie Mae. Little did I know what I was in for.

First of all, the criteria set by these institutions is just crazy. They really expect a high school senior to make $12,000+ a year? No, they don't but it's their way of forcing the parents to be responsible for the loans.

Not an issue, I thought. Signed my name on the dotted line and told them to proceed. A few days later we got the "good" news - we were approved! Yay! At an astronomically HIGH interest rate.

Uh, excuse me Sallie Mae maybe you didn't hear but I have an 883. In fact Trans Union pats me on the back and says I'm in the top 20% of the nation with that score. Turns out SM could give a darn about any of that.

With this interest rate his loan would be DOUBLED by the time it was paid off, and that's with making a monthly interest payment. Some "they" somewhere makes that decision and there is nothing more that they can do. I can accept it. Or not.

You know what I did when they said that? Bad ass that I am...I cried.

Then I called S & cried some more. It wasn't that we were told no, but it was pretty close because there is no way in hell that I'm going to hinder him (or us) with a loan like that. By the time he graduated he would owe over $100,000.

My God!

S sat him down and explained it all to him. I will tell you as proud as I was when he graduated, it was at that moment that I was most proud of the teen. He took the news in stride, much better than I expected. Then with a very grown, mature attitude he made the decision not to accept that college on those terms and began to talk of Plan B.

I'm not sure where Plan B will take him yet. He's weighing all his options now so there will be an update to come on that but this weekend he stepped into adulthood. And he's walking tall.

My suggestion for any parent hoping to send their little ones to college one day - College Fund. A big, huge college fund. Or maybe start playing the lottery because the costs are only going up.

*Thanks to the new health care plan.


Living It, Loving It said...

I have been saying “college fund” for ten years now. The problem is, even with two incomes, we are still struggling, and I have student loans too so I know it is a nightmare of a situation. There is always Plan B so don’t give up. Congrats on the graduation. My brother is a ’10 grad too. Because my father died when he was 4, and my mother’s income is quite low, he qualified for grants and his grades (and situation) qualified him for scholarships. He is going to live on campus but so far, it seems like his tuition is covered so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Your son has to go to college, and it can be figured out so don’t worry yourself crazy over the situation. He can apply for scholarships, try a college that is a little cheaper in tuition, work study, etc. It will happen so don’t eat yourself up about it.

blueviolet said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. The amount they expect us to pay is absurd!

You have to be a street person with no home or job to get any real assistance!

Congrats on graduation though!

Veronica said...

That is insanely ridiculous! That being said, he is taking it in stride. Between that and him graduating you have much to be proud of!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

God bless him.

He should look at plan B. Maybe start working for someplace that would do some tuition matching? Look for grants and things you don't have to pay back. Does he know what he wants to do? I'd say have him start looking for jobs in that field and see where it takes him. Do you know how many VERY successful non-college going people I work with???

The Royal Family said...

i'm sorry that doesn't sound fun at all... I am far from college for my girls guess I better get started saving... no wait if I save money each month I can't pay my mortgage... guess that's out.
Money sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

_The Buzz,Brandy

WhisperingWriter said...

It's okay, we like IHOP too. It rocks.

We do have a College Fund for our kids. There isn't a lot in it but it's a start.

CaraBee said...

What a major bummer to have to come down off of graduation and vacation high to that kind of news. When I heard about the student loan provisions in the HCR bill, I couldn't believe they would slip something like that in. So not only are they attempting to nationalize health care, they're taking over student loans as well. It's a bunch of horse shit. What could possibly go wrong with the government having an even bigger piece of the economy? Only, you know, everything. I'm afraid. For real.

How proud you must have been of the teen at his response, though. You raised a good one.

Good luck, I know it will work out.

Christina said...

Congratulations! You should be proud. Not only for the super smart graduate, but for the exceptional parenting he has received and the maturing he has shown. I'll keep an eye out for a money tree for the both of us!

lynn said...

We were just discussing the cost of college this weekend. My oldest graduates in 3 years....I'm scared! LOL

*~Dani~* said...

Good for you guys for not taking the high interest rate option just because you thought he should go to that school. $100,000 is a lot to pay off. I am paying over $70,000 that was from just law school alone. I think I will be paying it 20 years from now.

Plan B, not matter what it is, will probably be better for him in the long run.

Congrats on the graudation!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the grad! College fund - seems as far away as winning the lottery - we have four years until Big Sis graduates..... cross that bridge when we get there I guess - my first visit to your blog - it is awesome!!!

Armando Codina said...

Wow! You should be proud! It feels awesome when you have degree in your hand.

kathy said...

Well, There is always Plan B so don’t give up. Congrats on the graduation.