Paying for the second year of college?

second year of collegeThe winter is hitting my checkbook hard. Utility costs to heat this minimally-insulated home have run extremely high. When Scott was home for a month during the holiday break, the bills for food and water also skyrocketed along with extra spending money, gasoline for his car and Christmas gifts. You wouldn’t think one teenage boy could make my budget completely out of whack, but he did. As a single parent now, the budget has to be maintained pretty closely. And as a freelance writer, I’m not quite sure when any of my checks will be coming through in the mail. I have to stretch my money to the hilt and be cautious with every dime I spend. It’s not a pretty picture, but I am working hard to get more clients or even to find a part-time job that can help us out.

Scott is feeling that financial fear, too, now that he has signed quite a few loans during his freshman year. He’s even talking about transferring from the private college next fall to a community college. That scares me. I have nothing against community colleges. They do save you money. But I know my son – too well. If he lives at home to go to such a college, he won’t grow up. He needs to live away from me. He needs to learn to be on his own, make his own decisions and become more sociable. I thought that’s what going away his freshman year would do for him. It didn’t so far, but he had to deal with a lot of stuff those first four months.

He has grown up a bit. But my first born hasn’t learned how to carry on conversations with people he doesn’t know. His dream is to be a college football coach. He played football at college. But now he wants to walk away from that because I truly think he’s scared, and he sees those debts climbing.

I want Scott to stop worrying about the tuition and the debt he’s already accumulated. He doesn’t understand that most college students have debt. His really isn’t going to be that bad off. If he doesn’t like this college, then I hope he picks another four-year college or even a state university which will be cheaper. But of course, his grades the first semester aren’t stellar, and he might even lose his scholarships at this college because of those grades. There’s so much to consider. So many questions to get answers to in the next few months.

But I told Scott that if he wants to transfer, he has to do all the work. I won’t fill out the forms for him like I did when he was a senior in high school. I will do the FAFSA form. But before I do that, he has to start applying to other colleges – even the community colleges. He also has to get a job if he plans on coming home next fall. I know what my food bill will be if he’s in the house. I still have hope that this semester might change his opinion or he finds his niche. A mother can always hope and dream.


Paying for the Second Year