Wednesday, 12 October 2011

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You Want to Go to University WHERE??

Want to know one of the bad things about traveling with your family?  Kids get ideas.  Expensive ideas.  The other day, the topic of where my kids would like to go to university came up.  I remember when I was young (so many, many years ago) and the biggest post secondary dreams I had were to go to the university across town.  My kids apparently have far more grandiose (and far more expensive) ideas in mind.  It never gets brought up while we're actually on the road, but it seems that my children have been taking note of what the cities we travel to might offer them as a higher education destination.  I'm just not sure that they're taking note of the right things.

The one who has to figure these things out first is the boy.  He's gotten it in his head that UNLV looks like a great place to go to school.  Let's leave aside the glaringly obvious question of "Just what did you see in Las Vegas that makes you want to go to school there?" and focus on the much more important question, "How much does it cost?"   For an out of state undergraduate student, including room and board, the cost is
approximately $35,000 per year.  I can't see this being our best plan.  I'm thinking that I teach him how to play video poker properly, and instead of living on campus he can move from hotel to hotel in Las Vegas.  Of course he'll only be 19 when he starts university, so that might present a bit of a problem.  Considering he's only 13 and almost six feet tall, I might be better off just teaching him to shoot a jump shot.

My older daughter told me that she can't make up her mind.  I thought this might be the case with her, as she'd be the one I'd picture having a hard time moving away from Mom.  Apparently though, I need to work on my "picturing" skills, as it seems she's torn between the University of Florida ($42,000 a year) or taking her courses on a cruise ship (surprisingly cheaper at only $40,000 per year).  Both of these actually sound like fun, but my problem is that this is the child whose plan for university, I suspect, will be to major in "boys".  With that in mind, I'm not sure if I prefer the limited number of opposite sex interactions available to her on a cruise ship, or the constant knowledge that she's going to school near a major airport, and dear old Dad might just drop by at any time.  Ideally what I need is an all-girl cruise ship that doesn't stop in ports like Italy or Australia or any place that the guys have those seductive accents.  If you hear of a university cruise like that, please let me know.

OK, now that we've gotten the cheaper options out of the way, let's move on to the baby.  Our youngest has decided that she wants to pursue greater knowledge at the University of Hawaii.  I tried to price out a semester at UH, but once you get past basic course credits and start adding housing and food to the package, the website gets pretty confusing.  It's almost as if it's telling you "Look, if you have to ask...."  I did find one little stat of comfort however.  While trying to discover which lottery I was going to have to win to be able to afford the University of Hawaii (looks like it's gonna have to be Powerball) I noticed that the gender split for the school is 58% female to only 42% male.  I might have to talk the older girl into transferring here.

Now my kids are young, and obviously I'm not making plans around their choice of University at this age.  What surprised me though, is that they had formed opinions of the cities we had visited with regards to where they would like to spend a few years of their life.  Maybe they've noticed the large amount of extra-curricular activities that are available to them in these cities.  Maybe they've noticed the rugged beauty of the surrounding areas and how hospitable the local people are.  Or maybe they've just noticed that it's freakin' cold in Canada during the winter, and that spending their time in the desert or on a beach would be a much better option.  Hmmm...maybe they're smart enough already.


  1. No doubt, there can be a down side to raising "kids of the world" as my mom used to call me:)

  2. Yeah, if only there was some way around that housing cost. If only I knew somebody from Florida... :)

  3. Oh wow - Gosh your kids have good taste!! I did not realise how expensive UNI was? I reckon I would take the cruise ship least then she is going from port to port and doesnt have too much time to form friendships! Or again the Hawaii one sounds ok. Hey what about a discount? If you send all three to the one UNI do they give you a discount? Kinds like pay for one get two in for free?


  4. Aaaw, that's cute. Think of it from the bright side, at least they're excited about going to uni. Let's hope the interest stays. On the other hand, since when does uni get soo expensive?

  5. @Lisa - There really should be a discount, maybe a Groupon or something. I'd be all over that!

    @Jill - Our university costs are probably inflated because we would be considered "Out of State" students (or even more expensive "International" students) so we would pay the full cost of the education. Add on room and board, and it gets pretty expensive!

  6. My undergraduate was done at the University of Hawaii(UH), and graduate at Hawaii Pacific University(HPU), so I think that I know these two Hawaiian options pretty well.

    I recommend HPU. They have two campuses, one is downtown, the other in Windward Oahu. They are connected by regular shuttle bus service.

    HPU offers a few great (and relatively unpublicized) tuition waiver programs. For example, I participated in their band and got a 100% waiver for my graduate degree (I am a mediocre musician at best).

    It's a great deal if she can play an instrument. The funny thing is that HPU doesn't even offer a music degree, so all the musicians are non-music majors.

    They also have great tuition waiver programs for various sports, cheerleading, and even game attenders. Yes! They actually offer 50% tuition waivers if you attend college sporting events.

    The most expensive part of being in Hawaii is housing. But the windward side is still relatively affordable. If she takes advantage of the shuttle, she can probably make get by with sharing a house for $500-$600 month.

    If she is set on UH, I would recommend doing her first two years at one of the Community College campuses that UH has. It is much cheaper to attend and you can enroll in the exact same classes that transfer easily into UH.

    I could go on and on, but I will leave it at this for now. Hope this helps.

  7. Well she's only 10 right now, so we'll have to see how strong her fixation is on UH later, but I'm fascinated by the 50% off for attending games. Who in the world wouldn't do that? Do they cap the number of people who can do that or is there just some behind the scenes reason for discounting 50% so easily?

  8. HPU (private Univ) has a huge International student populaion. I believe that it is their way to attract more locals who might otherwise choose to go to UH (public Univ with low in-state tuition). It is definitly not published. But if you go to the games, most any of the participants in the stands can tell you about it.

  9. You need to start taking them to third world countries... might be a bit cheaper to go to university there :-)

  10. I'm not sure Lori is willing to let them get quite that far away from her. Maybe by the time they get old enough for university. I'm sure I could tempt the girls to Argentina just based on your ice cream posts.

  11. It never gets brought up while we're actually on the road, but it seems that my children have been taking note of what the cities we travel to might offer them as a higher education destination.

  12. If you hear of a university cruise like that, please let me know.

  13. While attempting to find which lottery I must win to have the option to manage the cost of the University of Hawaii (seems as though it must be Powerball) I saw that the orientation split for the school is 58% female to just 42% male. | sheboygan dumpster rentals

  14. I agree, Universities are really expensive.

  15. If you have all the means to study in college, then go for it! It's an opportunity often neglected by a lot of youth today.