When I was applying to colleges, I was fortunate to have had a grandfather who financially provided for all ten of his grandchildren to go without incurring any debt. He paid for it all. We were so lucky for that and I will be forever grateful. I think I appreciate it more now, as we are headed into the world of financial aid applications for DJ. It is truly amazing just how expensive college is.
When DJ first started the college search process, he told us that he was never going to go to college in New Jersey. He wanted to get away. We visited four schools in Connecticut and he fell in love with Fairfield University which has a price tag of nearly $50,000 per year. I know there are grants and financial aid which lessen the price but the price is exorbitant. Quinnipiac, also in Connecticut, another favorite of his, was just about the same. Dave took him to visit Hofstra, another school with a price tag close to that price range and he found another favorite. Up until today, Fairfield was at the top of his list.
I finally convinced him to at least look at a state school where the price would be cut in half. He agreed and on Thursday, he and Dave went to visit Ramapo College which is only about 45 minutes away. He liked it. Didn’t love it, but agreed to at least apply there. Today, we visited Rowan University. Another state school, but this one was just about two hours away.
He surprised both Dave and me when he told us that he actually put Rowan ABOVE Fairfield! Half the price! Still expensive, but HALF THE PRICE! They have a pretty high standard for students and DJ is going to have to work very hard to get in, but the fact that he is considering a state school is a step in the right direction financially.
The whole process is overwhelming. I am grateful that I have friends who have already gone through it who are able to guide me in the right direction and give me pointers and tips along the way. The next few months of applications and forms are going to be busy ones for all of us. As DJ gets closer and closer to deadlines and due dates I am sure he will narrow down his choices. The Common Application, which wasn’t around when I was applying to schools, is making it a lot easier.
Now we wait to hear if he will receive financial aid and how much! Fingers crossed, it will be enough.