Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"We don't aspire to be the low cost alternative."

My daughter Amanda is graduating high school this week with a very impressive high school resume. While her school does not report class rank, we are guessing that she was 7th in her class of just under 400. Her weighted GPA was over 100. Her SAT score was in the top 1%. She earned 13 varsity letters and was a 6 time captain.  She was named to the all New York state string orchestra on violin and was also named to the ASTA National High Honors Orchestra. She has won every music honor awarded by our school district and has been described as debatably the most decorated musician in school history. She has made me and my wife very proud. After a very stressful few months on picking a college, she has decided to continue her studies at Duke University this fall.

Every school determined that we were not going to qualify for need based aid so our only option was merit aid. She found Duke most appealing although other schools offered her much more attractive merit packages with a couple even offering full scholarships. During a recent visit to Duke we scheduled a conversation with the financial aid office. They told us there was no merit options available for her. I explained that Amanda had full ride merit offers and we were still considered those offers. The financial aid officer said "we don't aspire to be the low cost alternative." I guess she had that conversation before with other parents.

Today we got the tuition bill. Luckily we've been saving for a long time and should be able to pay it. I sure hope that Duke will be worth what we are paying. Only time will tell.

Speaking of time, my younger daughter Courtney just completed the 10th grade. She is a very impressive student in her own right. I know I'm not looking forward to paying two college tuition bills in a couple of years. Somehow I'm sure we won't be looking for the "low cost alternative" for Courtney either.


TriMOEngr said...

Scary to think this might be me in a mere 5 years. I say might because even scarier is that it might not be because my son is considering a military career also. But then 3 years later his sister will likely be looking to spend some of our savings. And in the meantime we are looking at about $45K in high school tuition.

Carolina John said...

holy crap. No financial aide at Duke is one of those scenarios that keep me up at night. That's what you get from a top tier school I guess. You really can't negotiate with those people. And just think, there's going to be another one of those bills coming right around Christmastime!

We look forward to having Amanda here in NC. Please let me know when you're coming into town, I'd love to help her get moved into the dorm. And my guest room is always open anytime you guys want to come down and visit her.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congratulations to Amanda! You must be so proud.