[aprssig] College tuitions

Gerry Creager gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Thu Apr 10 00:29:50 EDT 2008

Robert Bruninga wrote:
>> Bob... Soon to be simultaneous tuitions...? 
>> Are you selling our satellite secrets to 
>> the Russians...?
> Its frustrating.  A real eye-opener. Nothing like what we
> expected...  If anyone else has APRS Ham kids going to college
> (that makes it germain to this email list), here is what we
> learned (the hard way).
> Don't save for college, spend all your money, buy cars, boats,
> and houses, go into debt, mortgage to the max, drive 10 MPG
> SUV's, don't worry, all of the top schools (and the government)
> will GUARANTEE to pay any or all college costs that you cannot
> pay.  If your kid is accepted, the top schools guarantee that
> they will pay whatever you need.
> On the other hand, however, if you both work, save for college,
> live frugally, drive 12 year old cars, the bus and carpool,
> don't buy boats, and McMansions, don't go on vacations, and
> cruises, don't live off of credit, buy only what you can pay
> for, and try to save for retirement and don't run up debt, then
> there is no money, no scholarships, no loans, and no financial
> aid.  You are on your own...
> Apparently, in these modern times, all incentives are on
> spending, and consumption and debt (which leads to waste, but
> that is another story)...  There are few public incentives
> (beyond personal values) toward frugality, saving, and living
> within one's means.
> Oops, we did get one scholarship of $1500 from the ARRL
> Foundation since the kids are hams.  That was the ONLY
> scholarship that was not "based solely on "need""...
> Sorry for the political diatribe... But it has been an
> eyeopener...

So far, no hams in the kid-ranks, but there's still one left and he's 
interested in some of it, so there's hope.

My oldest qualified for several really good merit-based/scholastic 
scholarships.  That helped.  A lot.  Middle kid isn't in the same league 
as his sister at test-taking but he's gotten his grades up over the last 
3 semesters.  IF he'd done that from the start, I suspect we'd have 
gotten a bit of 'merit' scholarship money but all he was offered at one 
of the better, albeit smaller and private, schools in Texas was 
work-study.  Since he's also playing soccer for the school (nope, Div. 
II/III schools don't offer athletic scholarships) we're footing the 
bill.  Realize, though, that this is based on my somewhat biased 
professional opinion that he'd not do well at a large, impersonal State 
school.  I suspect he'd not do well in the Army either, so that option's 

I've watched tuitions skyrocket over the last 10 years here at our 
institution.  When I was in the undergraduate program, tuition was 
$4/semester hour.  No, that's not a typo.  Now, we're at $65/semester 
hour, plus books, fees, housing and board.  A parent can burn $10k/year 
on a state-supported, in-state tuition, easily.  Ah, for the good old 
days.  Let's just say I'm looking at multiples of that for the middle kid.

Ob hack-APRS:  My daughter was convinced, for her entire time in high 
school, and her freshman year in college, that I'd left an active 
tracker in the truck she inherited from me.  Maybe it was that wired 
Motorola hulk I left in, and the permanently affixed quarter-wave 
antenna that did it.  I did tell her when she bought her first (used) 
car, that I'd not been tracking her.  She told me that fear that I was 
had been sufficient to keep her from going places she didn't want me to 
find out about...

Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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