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Raising four children very close to the same age, my husband and I always stressed over the college fees that awaited us.

By now, most of the parents know that unless you have a genius in your family, or a supper athlete, scholarship is a far fetched alternative.

I adore my children and think that they are all pretty smart and determined, but geniuses and supper athletes they are not.  As they got older I realized that scholarship wasn't the only issue.  Now-days unless they have a GPA of 4.0 or greater a good university is not within their reach.

college expense

As my oldest daughter graduated from high school with a 3.6 GPA, my husband and I were elated when she was accepted to a reputable UC school.  Elated and shocked, because many of her friends didn't get in.  You see 3.6 is not good enough now days.

My other daughter at about the same time announced that high school was not a place she wanted to be for the next two years, and she was determined to take a proficiency test and start attending community college.

Luckily for us, we have heard about the TAG program and thought it was a great idea.  Both my son and my daughter took the proficiency exam and passed.  At that time my husband and I were forced to make a decision, do we make them stay in school or allow them to go to college that year.

After few weeks of contemplation we decided that while our daughter who was 16 at the time was responsible enough to attend community college, our son, on the other hand who was 17 was to remain in school.

Fast forward a year and a half later, and I can happily report that this by all means was the right decision.  Our daughter is doing great and is almost done with all of her requirements, she will have no trouble at all transferring to any UC or State school of her choice.  

Our son has graduated High School and began his first year in community college.  He is now much more wiser and grown up compared to last year.

If your kids are getting average grades, and not scoring supper points on the football field, I encourage you to look into this program in your community college.  The program allows your child to complete two years of required units and transfer to University as a third year student.  Your child has to be at least 16 years old to take the proficiency test.   Even though this is probably not be the "college" experience your son or daughter is looking for, for the first two years, but it will take away not only financial burden away from you, but much of the stress on getting them into the "right" college.

Currently the only aspect of college that my husband and I stress over, is when our middle daughter transfers to the university of her choice, after two years of community college she  will transfer as a Junior, which means that she will be graduating at the same time as our oldest daughter.  We are now trying to figure out, who will attend who's graduation, if they happen to be on the same day in two different cities.

But this is the kind of stress I can handle.

All the best,
Yana

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