Thursday, January 23, 2014

Choosing A College Is A Multifaceted Process; Weather Is Only One Consideration!

Dear Tazi:

I live in the Northeast and like you I hate winter! I am a junior in high school this year and am looking at colleges. I would like to go away from home, somewhere down south where it is warm, but my mother has told me that since I will be coming home for the semester break anyway I will not be missing much of the winter. She has suggested that I save money by attending a state college and taking a trip to Florida on my spring break.

Tazi, one week away from "the white stuff" (as you call it) is not going to help. In fact, it will only make things worse because it will remind me of what I am missing! Besides, spring break isn't until March - I mean, duh it's spring break, right? Since my parents are generously paying for my education, I understand and accept that they have the final say where I go to school, so I am hoping you can give me a really good argument to present as to why they should send me to school in Florida - other than the weather.

Sun Lover

Dear Sun Lover:

I do hate the white stuff! It's cold and wet and slippery and makes my little paws shiver! I completely understand your desire to get away from it as soon as possible, but your parents do have a point - if you are choosing a college based upon the weather you may end up making a poor choice for your educational needs.

There are at least three roads (that I can think of) that you can go by in choosing a college in a warmer climate, and I will present all three to you:

The first is to offer to bargain with your parents by offering to take two years at a community college, completing your general education credits (which are frequently the same at a lot of colleges and colleges have articulation agreements because of this, thus guaranteeing that your credits will transfer). This will save your parents several thousand dollars which could then be put towards the cost of your final two years - tuition, travel expenses, and living costs. If you go away to school, you will need to pay for an apartment or the cost of a residence hall, which can double the cost of a college education.

The second argument you could make is that you want to move to a warmer climate after you graduate, and by going to school in the market you seek to live in after graduating you will be able to make many important connections, both personal and professional. You will be able to complete internships at local companies which will help you find a job in that local market.

The third is to attend an in-state college for your first three years and then spend your senior year as a domestic exchange student. This program allows you to attend any participating state college in the country for the cost of your in-state tuition (plus any associated fees). This would give you a head-start on establishing yourself in the market you seek to live and work while giving you time to grow and mature as a young adult. As your parents are aware, there is a big difference between an 18-year old freshman and a 21-year old senior.

And this is only one of those differences!
I suggest you discuss these ideas - as well as any of your own - with your parents as you continue your college search, making sure that the schools you choose have a quality academic program that will meet your career needs. By handling this matter in a mature manner you will be showing your parents that you are ready to move forward with your life for reasons other than a desire to simply move on from the snows of winter.


P.S. Thank you for the snuggles!!!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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