The Hard, Good Choice

To understand the decision our 18-year-old son made, there needs to be a little background. All his life, Zach has loved Minnesota and has hopes of living there someday. He supports each of their professional sports teams, has purchased more jerseys than I could count, and early on knew he wanted to attend the University of Minnesota. Kevin and I were both born and raised in Minnesota, so this passion for our home state has been endearing to us.

He applied to several colleges but we all understood the University of Minnesota was his number one pick. When we went on our college visit he noticed, walked over to, introduced himself, and had a conversation with Rodney Williams, Maurice Walker and Andre Hollins, all Minnesota Gopher basketball players, whom he had just watched play in the NIT basketball tournament! The deal was sealed in his mind. This is where he wanted to spend four years, and thousands upon thousands of dollars…both ours and his.

He was beyond thrilled with this arrived:

But the boy is smart. He used his math skills to figure out how much tuition (out-of-state) would cost for four years. He then sat down with his dad and went over the college funds that will be available to him from the Bank of Mom and Dad (we’re actually less like a bank and more of a pre-loaded debit card – when it’s gone, it’s gone. And it won’t fully fund four years.)

One of the colleges he applied to, and was accepted at, was Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, otherwise known as IPFW. As he began to look at the data he had gathered, he began to wonder about staying at home for 1-2 years to begin his college education in town at IPFW. The many saved dollars on the front end would allow him to transfer to the University of Minnesota and likely leave college debt free.

Then this arrived:

Yep. A scholarship from IPFW.

The boy is also wise. Simple math led to a difficult choice ~ the numbers were just too favorable for him to pass up. He had two goals, one to graduate from the University of Minnesota, the other to graduate debt free. So Zach accepted the scholarship from IPFW, got in touch with the University of Minnesota to make sure each class he registers for now will indeed transfer later. We went to orientation, he registered for classes, and he begins college in the morning. He made a hard, but good choice, but in the end it will pay off as he is on track to graduate both debt-free and from Minnesota.

I’m proud of you.
Love, Mom

Later this week I will write about how we helped him move into his dorm room – which happens to be upstairs in the room he has been sleeping in since he was four.

3 thoughts on “The Hard, Good Choice

  1. Zach, We are so proud of you too! So many kids do not have an appreciation for the cost and the sacrifices required of their parents and themselves – nor the impact of a high dollar accumulation of college debt. You indeed made a wise choice that in the end will be a great one! Enjoy your first year of college! Love, Aunt Jamie & Uncle Jeff

  2. I love this! I’m so proud of you, Zach! And he didn’t get to this wise decision without fabulous coaching way before this!! Good job, Kevin and Sheri!!

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