Colleges and higher institutions of learning

You’ve read my rants about the imploding education system here in our country. With that in mind, I’m focusing in on something I’ve noticed working with patients up here in the relatively affluent area I currently reside in.

As the kids become college aged and ready get off into the world, I ask if they’re excited, and where they’re going and what they’re planning. What I’ve noticed from parents and kids alike, is the gamut of different schools they talk about. While a good amount of them sound like private schools, the vast majority of students are going out of state. Parents give their resounding approval and even divulge to me that they hope their kids choose out of state. I’m talking, Florida, Montana, Colorado, Iowa, California…areas that are seriously far away from here. What I glean, then, from that is the parents’ abilities to pay for all of this. Out of State AND private. The students can never give me a good reason to go where they are going, either. I guess they’re going because they can. The Virginia school-goers, are mostly going to William and Mary or UVA. Then, of course, you have your 5% who are hanging around and going to NOVA or GMU. Whenever they tell me, most of them are quite glum about it. Let it be known, that this is a sampling from my particular practice.

Living in this area, though, I shouldn’t be surprised. The average cost of a property up here is easily 3-10 times the amount elsewhere and especially the area I am from. What this highlights, then, is a distinct dichotomy in means. Think about the cost of college: it’s the same for everyone no matter where they come from. $40,000 to a family up here who regularly spends that much a year on daycare, is a walk in the park compared to someone whose house is worth just under $200,000. The kids up here, with their access to a fantastic public school and wide array of private school systems, complain about how college acceptance is not fair because a very small percent of the area will get accepted into schools like UVA, giving precedence to less likely subjects from backwater areas like Appalachia or Eastern shore or Southern Virginia. Goodness gracious, not them. It’s really not fair because kids up here area smarter, perform above and beyond on tests, and have exceptional numbers of AP testers, so why would they not get into these schools while the others should? I had a lengthy discussion once to a mom about how in my high school AP tests had to be paid for which put a huge damper on how many people would attempt them. I sure didn’t for the same reason. I didn’t have the money to throw around just to fail the test. I just didn’t. On the other hand, the students up here don’t have to worry about cost. She was surprised and hadn’t realized that was even an issue in other places.

I would elaborate further into my investigations, but now I am late and must go.


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