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Will I get in? Can I afford it?

Original post made on May 9, 2011

Applying to college has always been both exciting and exhausting. In 2011, however, with peers boasting on Facebook, unprecedented competition to get into schools and the recession pressing on the family checkbook, this generation of high school seniors must contend with a set of dilemmas that would have been difficult to imagine a decade ago.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 9, 2011, 11:43 AM

Comments (7)

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Posted by k
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Why do these students seem to forget that they can work to pay their own way through college? My parents refused to pay for part of my eudcation, but I managed it-- went to a UC, worked at least 20 hours per week, and came out with only $6000 in loans. If you really want to do it, you can. It just takes a lot of work and significantly less partying...

High school guidance counselors should offer information about how these students can get jobs too, like putting them in touch with the career centers at their potential campuses to learn about possible on campus job opportunities. Relying only on scholarships and grants and loans isn't going to cut it.

Also, advising them to go to a community college sounds nice, but the classes here are in such high demand that they fill up within days of the class schedule opening. It might take them 3-4 years to get the necessary prereqs!

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Posted by palo alto parent
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

K - the cost of college has gone up significantly since many of us were in school. For example, UC Santa Cruz is 32K a year (in state, including room and board, etc). For a student to work 20 hours a week and come out with only 6K in debt, they would need a job that pays $30 an hour, which is probably more than they will make when they graduate.

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Posted by k
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

It was at least $28k when I graduated. If they live on campus, there's the option to be an RA that will cover your room & board, and you can still have another job on top of that. You can also choose to live in more affordable places than on campus housing (which is ridiculously overpriced). Also, they can sometimes refuse to pay certain student-voted fees. And not have a car.

My point is that there are many ways to cut costs, and counselors are not doing a good job of educating students that they don't have to pay the full pricetag listed in the catalog and the other workarounds. No one told me about these things before I started college, I had to find it out myself.

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Posted by Sabrina
a resident of The Crossings
on May 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I just graduated from a UC last year, and I am sorry to say this but the budget crisis is a very real issue for many families. I attended a cheap community college before transferring to a UC and somehow managed to graduate with just $12k in (cheap, not private) loans. Many students I knew who attended UCs had somewhere from $20k-$40k in loans upon graduation.

As far as working part-time while in school, at least at UCSC, you are lucky to get 10 hours a week with $8/hour working on campus. And you need to own a car to work anywhere off-campus for more hours and better pay. Even so, it is very hard for most to find work.

The middle class is getting badly crunched by the global financial crisis. I remember in 2009 when the UC Regents voted on a measure to slowly increase tuition at all ten UCs by 32%. I feel badly for those younger than me who will need to bear the brunt of this.

And I should also note that there have been extreme increases in cost of tuition not just in California and the US but also notably in the UK where students are dealing with the same anxiety as over here. Unfortunately, the education that "k" enjoyed is getting more and more difficult to attain by the year.

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Posted by Pete
a resident of The Crossings
on May 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Don't go to UC Santa Cruz. I personally know a UC Santa Cruz graduate who applied for a job. The recruiter just couldn't deal with the fact that his college transcript had no grades. Game over.

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Posted by k
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

It's true that it's getting harder. :( But it's still possible to mitigate costs somewhat. Those who graduate with the full (I mean entire catalog price) amount of their education in loans, with very few exceptions, are just lazy. (You can get scholarships & grants for good grades which come from hard work, money from jobs that equal hard work, etc.)

Pete-- you're way out of the loop. UCSC has had grades for many, many years and I believe have even made the narrative evaluation system entirely optional for instructors.

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Posted by Proud Slug
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I went to UCSC back in the days of narrative evaluations, and had no trouble landing a job in my chosen profession after graduating with honors, without a single letter grade on my transcript.

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