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November 11, 2007

Comments

VB

Rich, great ideas! As I have a 16 year old preparing for college, your thoughts are right on the money. Thank you! Vlad

EM

About the 4 yr graduation: many excellent state universities are nowadays impossible to get out of in 4 years. It has to do with funding by the taxpayer and corporations. If you can't get in a class you need, and have to perhaps work, you're stuck. Some colleges now offer deals that if you take 15 hrs a semester and don't get out in 4 years because the classes you need were closed, they will pay the tuition for the extra time.

One way to help things is to take AP and dual enrollment classes. However a lot of colleges no longer honor them, especially the Ivies (makes me wonder if it isn't an issue of $$$) Now do I honestly believe that my daughter's junior year honors physics class (dual enrolled at a community college) is college physics? Maybe. But since she's in social sciences and bound for lawyer-hood, it's good enough, along with her AP credit for AP Bio, to clinch the science requirement. Her AP Calculus effort (or lack thereof, given her score and lack of interest) meant only 1 math class. She is in her second year with junior status and the AP Calc and Bio and Honors Physics left her with the skills to excel in some of the gnarlier Philosophy disciplines which also 'count' as math (logic). 4s and 5s in AP English, AP Econ, AP US Hist, AP Spanish... helped her et out of many requirements. So instead of continuing with Spanish, she's now taking Italian and going to study language and poli sci this summer in Italy.

What this AP credit means is that mommy and daddy have funds for her first year of law school or grad school--if she gets out in less than 4. Or $$ for her first year of apartment furnishing, or for starting a business. Whatever she wants. And if she wants a fourth undergrad year to explore some new subject, why not.

BTW, it's been incredibly freeing to her to not have gone to the private and out of state unis she lusted after (in California) and graduate with no debt.

I went to a then-#1-elite college and a second tier private grad school and I can say that for me, it made NO difference. No employer went AHA wink wink. In fact, my current employer once stated that they abhorred hiring out of MIT, Cal Tech, etc. because those folks didn't have 'good midwestern work ethics' LOL. Many employers deep down will admit that the B- student from local-tech U is a much better employee than prima donna A-student from an Ivy.
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Rich notes: Excellent comments ... Here in Minnesota, the University guarantees students will be able to graduate in four years, or the fifth is free! This assumes that the student takes full load of classes, declares a major in their sophomore year, and a couple of other requirements. With respect to your "prestigious" schools comment, see my prior post on the college search series! :)

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