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I woke up feeling happy yet anxious at the same time. I knew that the day would be filled with lots of emotions, happy tears and tedious arrangements.

With 10 kids & two dogs, making all the sleeping arrangements and pleasing everyone was challenging to say the least.

Today was the big day, our middle child Daisy was graduating from college, and the whole family couldn't be more proud.

A few years ago I wrote an article titled College on almost a dime with an example on how a child even in today's very competitive world can get an education without costing their parents a bloody fortune.

I wrote the article hoping that everything would go according to plan, and Daisy would be accepted as a transfer student to a good school. Today, I'm writing to report that not only was she accepted to every school she applied to, but she is now a graduate of UCLA.

healthWe live in a very competitive world. It's getting harder and harder to compete with kids that are gifted, talented or simply smarter than our average kids, but it's not impossible.

It wasn't easy for Daisy to blend in as a junior at UCLA. It wasn't easy to make new friends, or begin studying away from home the very first time in her life. It wasn't easy, but it was doable. She made the best of it and she succeeded.

And ironically my fear came true. Stephanie and Daisy were to both graduate on the same day almost at the same time in two different cities, and of course all of us couldn't be there for both of them. Before I could even begin to stress Stephanie announced that since Daisy never had a High School graduation, she would be more than happy to forgo hers and we can all attend Daisy's graduation and give her the spotlight she deserved.

Two down, Two to go.

I'm sharing this with you to reiterate, that even though times are tough, even though it's hard to get accepted to any school now days, I want you to know that if there is a will there is a way.

Our son Daniel also attended community college for two years, and transferred to a state university. He will be graduating next year with a degree in Finance, and is determined to get his MBA from a reputable school.

As for Sasha, she is now a senior and will begin her application process in fall. Sure, I could start obsessing about her not getting in to a school of her choice, I could be driving her nuts and making myself sick worrying, but by now I know, if there is a will there is a way.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Titwillow64 wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • I’ve got TWO in college now...tongue out and two more still at home, BUT it has been doable.  Not without its fiscal rough patches, but definitely doable!  My oldest, if all his courses fall right, will hopefully graduate in May from Clemson University, followed by his brother the following year from Winthrop University.  Thankfully, both had substantial scholarship & student loan assistance; one of the younger one’s loans becomes an outright grant if he teaches in a targeted school district in the state for a period of 3-5 years after graduation!

      Always, always, ALWAYS research EVERY available financial aid option before, during, and after the application process!!!  It pays!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sunkist wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • It’s been very doable for me, fortunately in the state of Florida they have the Florida Pre-Paid College Program where you purchase the cost of tuition or dormitory years before they attend, when the cost is way lower.  I bought 4 years of tuition (120 credits) for both of my sons and 2 years of dormitory, what a help that is!  Also, Florida has the Bright Futures Scholarship which is awarded to students according to their SAT scores and community service hours.  This will last all four years of college as long as the student keeps their grade above a certain average.  In a year, I will have two sons in college and then the real test will come.  I know that I will be able to do it, because a college education is so important!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • WTG!! Congrats to both your girls!!!

      My 13 yr old already checks out colleges online. We/They are very fortunate that my dad has college funds for each of them that he started when they were born.
      Also, there are scholarships out there waiting to be found. We will be finding every scholarship we can and along with their fund, I am hoping they can go wherever they want.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us Yana!!
      xoxo



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bea Kunz wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • Yana, and everyone who has commented. Your stories are so heart-warming to me.

      I have two sons- one went into the US Navy and just recently retired with a successful record to be proud of.

      The youngest was ran over by drunk drivers when he was 20 and threw us into many years of medical bills, re-hab cost, and the cost of an education that would allow him to be successful with limited movability.

      Didn’t take very long at all to go through insurance and all other assets that could provide funding for what we needed.  

      So, for the better part of 10 years needless to say we worked many extra jobs and he graduated Law school with honors, passed the bar first time out, and is now a practicing attorney and Law Professor.( he and his wife are partners in their own firm for 4 years now. )
      We tried for help in many ways...because of his age, our status ( not dead broke) he never qualified for money that otherwise seemd so easy for some to get.

      So we gave up on that and just took the bull by the horns and did it the harder way.

      I was in debt 10,000 dollars when he graduated. ( not much considering the expenses.) Medical upkeep and re-hab was and is a major issue for him.

      He was so strong and determined to be in such a situation. He finished the last year of law school without books that he really needed, did all of his work on the computer and in the law library...a tough assignment for any mind.

      Planning is very good, a must really, but...regardless how well we plan, it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

      Nothing compares to a strong and determined will...yes, where there is the will, the way will find its own level.

      Life is good ~

      Bea Kunz



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rnfisher wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • I have another side to that story.  I graduated high school 26 years ago and went straight into the Navy, served for 9 years stateside and overseas.  After that I came back home to Iowa with a husband and no job to go to, and no idea as to what I wanted to do.  We eventually got divorced and I floundered in one job to another for a couple more years.  Eventually, I got hired on at a larger postal facility and worked status quo for a couple more years.  I then got a yearning to do something more with my life and started attending a local community college just working on the general education classes.  Eventually, I started thinking about how much I had missed working with the patients I had back with I was working several different jobs, one as a certified nursing assistant.
      After being denied a supervisor position because I hadn’t applied and interviewed for one before, I decided to work towards a degree in nursing. A year later, after my father passed away, I quit the post office and went to work as a nursing assistant once again.
      I graduated with my associates degree and obtained my RN license in 2006, $18,000 more in debt. Six months later and without that great job in sight, I decided to start working on my bachelor’s degree. I have 1 year left, give or take a few months, and am looking at another $20,000 or so to add to the first sum.
      So, here I am speeding up to year 45 and nearly another $50,000 in debt.
      Can we say spazzing!!!!
      But I love what I do.  I have also began working towards specializing in community health and parish nursing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Wow40plus wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • Great stories ladies! My oldest is only in 3rd grade and i’m sort of stressing about college all ready. I just hope there will still be programs out there that we can tap into in 9yrs for help because my kids are going to college!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Dahringer wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • That was a very selfless act on Stephanie’s part..Do not stress about Sasha , we‘re here to lend you our ears



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 16, 2009
    • THANK YOU for sharing your stories, thank you for your wishes and for your comments.

      It’s amazing what we as parents do for the better of our children. What makes it even more special is to see our children emulating us later on in life. This is when we know we did something right along the way.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Jun 17, 2009
    • My oldest is eleven, so no stresses about Uni as yet. happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dalia Spurgeon wrote Jun 17, 2009
    • Thank you Yana for this message, I am going true it with my son.  He worked so hard in High School and got accepted into and Ivy League College and I needed to hear this, I asked him to read your commentary and we will get to an understanding and agreement in this subject of course this school is his first choice but it’s the wright choice for your family I will let you know...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Svhotchick wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • It is my dream to obtain my Bachelor Degree. I made the mistake years ago of dropping out of school because I was in the wrong place. Fourteen years later, I found myself attending a  community college and wondering if I would fit in. I found that I wasn’t alone, because there were many people my age and older that went back to school. After working full time and going to school part time for quite awhile, I obtained an Associates of Arts Degree, a certificate of achievement in Management and Supervision, as well as in Technical Communications. Now, I am going for the Paralegal Studies certification and am halfway there. I have an interest in technology law, but I’m not sure if law school would be the right choice for me. Friends of mine who are attorneys think that I am too creative to be an attorney. The jury is still out, so to speak. I’ll figure it out when I get there. I think that I should finish the Paralegal Studies courses first, and then transfer to a university to obtain the Bachelor Degree.



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