Thursday, November 12, 2009

The College Search Begins...



Last Wednesday marked my son's foray into the college search process when we attended "College Night" at the high school and got to walk through the gym and cafeteria with about 500 other students and their folks checking out the offerings of colleges and universities from all over the east coast.

My son is a junior - which is good. He also knows what he wants to major and minor in, which is even better. I also have an idea of what we can afford (in-state tuition, please!) so it was basically a matter of looking for schools with Theater/Drama programs that wouldn't make me faint dead away when the "Tuition/Room and Board/Fees" part of the equation came into play.

He actually came away with more than a few that would fit the criteria - and ironically, the two he is leaning towards right now are schools he's familiar with: Purchase College (we take karate classes there once a week) and SUNY New Paltz (we've been to a few performances and athletic events there). But just so he has the obligatory "safety school," he and I jumped online on his day off from school yesterday and discovered that Queens College - part of the CUNY system - has an excellent Theater curriculum. We also looked at SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Albany. So now there are five schools in the mix. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

It's been a while since my own college search days so most of the process of "What's this gonna cost?" is a little fuzzy, but I know that what I did after we checked out the course of study for each school was go straight to the page that outlined tuition and fees. Can you say "sticker shock"? Believe it or not, the tuition wasn't what made me gasp - it was the room and board! Purchase's fees for one semester are TWICE as much as tuition! My mouth went dry for a second...

So, at least we now have an idea of what we're reaching for. All that's left to do now is pass NYS Regents Chemistry, register for SATs, visit/apply to the schools, audition, get accepted, figure out how to stretch the college savings, find some scholarships/grants and voila! He'll be on his way.

OMG - I think I really am going to faint...