(I always try to bring the post back to writing, so please stay with me!)
My oldest just committed to a college after months of agonizing. He had an existential crisis (his words), having been accepted everywhere he applied. Even his #1, favorite school accepted him and gave him a scholarship. However, American University is VERY expensive and even with what he received he'd graduate with $40,000 in debt.
That's not an acceptable number to him when he wants to be a teacher. He managed to eliminate the Massachusettes state school he applied to because he didn't get into the Honors program there (but did at American, so we were a bit confused there...) so he had to decide between three schools (two in PA and one in MD) in the end. He chose the one in the middle, kind of like Goldilocks did. This one was not the cheapest nor the most expensive. It wasn't the preppy one nor the more laid back one. It was "just right"; the campus he felt at home in when we took two tours, the one that catered to him and sent him numerous flyers, phone calls and wooed him in. He got accepted to their honors program and was impressed with their education program as well. On the debt side he will graduate with less than $10,000 in debt which is very managaeble on a teacher's salary.
We were impressed he'd think this way, and actually listened to us when we said that a large amount of debt for certain majors doesn't make much sense. Put your money into Grad School, which is definitely on his radar as he wants to teach secondary and maybe college history.
I'm writing a series of books and right now, the child my main character has is college age. No, he's not becoming a teacher but an architect/designer. I tried to make subtle hints in the story about how he chose his school. The character thought about debt, where he felt comfortable and I introduced real life situations in the scenes with him in college, knowing my son will face similar ones as well.
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