Friday, June 17, 2011

Show Me The Money!

You have the brightest child in the neighborhood and everyone knows it.  Any university in the country would be lucky to have your child.  Without exception, though, all of the top flight schools cost a fortune to attend.  We’re not talking about new car kind of money.  We’re talking about the kind of money to buy a decent house—the kind where you have to keep paying for it forever and ever.  The kind f money it takes a regular working family decades to prepare for.
What are you going to do?  You make decent money—at least enough to keep the rest of your family living comfortably—but it’s not really enough to keep them living comfortably and leave enough to pay for that college education.  The cost of living here in the Bay Area eats up most of your paycheck—when you get a paycheck—and leaves little to sock away to pay for a decent education for your children.
You and your child could take out loans to pay for that top flight education but what kind of life would that be for your child to graduate owing almost as much as the National Debt?
Your child could get a job but what kind of money could an 18 year old make before acquiring the skills that the college education will help provide?
What’s a parent to do?  How are you supposed to take care of your family and provide them with a quality education—the kind of education that will open the right doors once your child has that sheepskin firmly in her grasp?
What are you supposed to do?  You’re supposed to turn to The Ivy League Connection’s very own Sue Kim—a professional educational consultant specializing in admissions and financial aid counseling since 1991.
Sue has helped many dozens of ILC students and others from the WCCUSD find the perfect fit of a college and then find a means to pay for that education.  She knows what she’s doing and she’s good at it.
On Thursday June 16th Sue hosted 39 ILC and WCCUSD students and parents in a financial aid workshop where she helped point the way for the parents to find ways for other people to pay for the education of their children.
Between grants, scholarships, gifts and other options that may be available to the students and parents in our area, more and more of our students have opportunities to attend better schools than they might otherwise have been considering.
Sue explained that although California has an outstanding 10 campus University of California and a 23 campus state university system, both systems have little money to offer students in the way of financial assistance.  The cost to attend these schools is prohibitively expensive and the costs are steadily rising.
On the other hand, there are numerous private colleges spread throughout the country that have large endowments designed to help the very kinds of students we seem to have an abundance of: smart but needy.
Tonight’s session was only a primer but it laid the foundation so parents and students can start their preparations.  Once their students enter their senior year of high school, the college application process becomes a full time job requiring a tremendous amount of dedication and attention to detail.  There are openings at these schools and there is money to be had but if our students and their parents don’t do the necessary homework and prepare themselves, those opportunities may go elsewhere.  We want everyone around the world to have the option of getting a top education but if there are limited funds and limited openings, then we’d rather that our people be taken care of first.  Call it selfish if you will—and you’d be right—but such is life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

They're Off! Brown-I Departs

At what point in the process can we say that the Ivy League Connection is past the point of no return?  Surely we can turn back after the interviews and even after the dinners with the alums and sponsors.  Even after our cohorts come before their city councils and the School Board we can always turn back if need be.

But once the airport shuttle leaves the parking lot at ECHS we are probably at that point and our cohorts know for sure that they’re really on their way.
Don offers a wide variety of 'loaner' items for our travelers.  From laptop
security cables, Ethernet cables, USB cables for their cameras, card readers
for their cameras, umbrellas, surge protectors, extension cords, alarm clocks
flash drives, desktop lamps and even laundry bags, Don's one stop bazaar
table offers that last minute shopping experience.

All luggage is weighed so our
intrepid travelers aren't hit by
the ridiculously high
overage charges.
Such was the case at 3:46 AM on this beautiful morning.

We had asked our cohorts to arrive in plenty of time to pick up their loaner items, get their last minute instructions, weigh their luggage and take the obligatory group photo.

If nothing else it seems that we’re getting our ILCers properly trained in showing up on time.  Every one of our students arrived plenty early—early enough so that we were finished with all of our tasks early enough so the airport shuttle could depart nearly 15 minutes ahead of schedule (because we all know how much fun waiting at the airport can be).

Even before our ILCers arrived, though, Don was paid a visit by a patrolling police officer checking to determine why this guy in the loud shirt was standing outside the local high school at three in the morning.

Excitement was in the air.

Despite the early hour and the fact that this was a time of day better suited to catching some zzz’s, our ILCers were wide awake and ready for their adventure to begin.

Why are we still here? Why aren't we moving?

Despite the early hour and the fact that this was a time of day better suited to catching some zzz’s, our ILCers were wide awake and ready for their adventure to begin.

Many thanks to Joann Miller for the use of some of her great photos.