Royce Hall

Royce Hall (Photo credit: wmnoe)

Tuesday night, our daughter asked us what we thought of a particular college she wanted to apply to — because if she wanted letters of recommendations from one of her teachers, she had to get the request in the following day.

Remember, Tuesday was the FIRST DAY of school.

I know the online Common Application went live on August 1, but I did not think it had to be submitted until at least November — and that’s the approximate deadline for early decision. and we’re not able to commit to any private university without some kind of financial package and that can’t be determined until after the FAFSA has been submitted as soon as possible after January 1, which means we have to get our taxes done super early this year, although they will accept an estimate, which is good because I won’t have final numbers until we receive our W-9’s and 1099’s at the end of the month.

This is going to be a stressful year. An exciting one — but agonizing, too.

I was on the phone last night with a friend who has already been through this with one child and is now doing it again with another. She’s only a little bit less stressed than I am, and I don’t know if I should be comforted by that or frightened.

We’ve contacted one of the consultants who were featured at the essay writing boot camp the school held last month. My daughter insists she doesn’t need it. I keep telling her it isn’t for her as much as it is for us. The onslaught of marketing to her by universities, the number of options, the extreme expense of attending college in 2013 (even at our public universities) , the promise of grants and scholarships at private institutions, the expectation by the universities that we should refinance our home to pay their tuition (does that even make sense at my age?), and on and on…

…makes me want to crawl under a rock and wait for it all to be over. Which is not the way to tackle the most important decision we’ll ever make as a family.



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