rural families, higher education and teens - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-08-2008, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I live an hour away from any form of brick and mortar college or University.

While I still have a long way to go, I am starting to wonder how we as a family can facilitate higher education given our location.

I would like my children to have the option of living at home while going to college/Uni - which means moving.

Have any of you moved so children can go to school - or did any of your parents move so you could live at home and attend school?

Of course, when my eldest is 18, my other two will be 15 and 11 and may not want to move. Ahh, balancing the needs of so many.

Kathy
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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The town we live in back home is an hour drive from the university. A good number of students do the commute.

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Old 08-08-2008, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The town we live in back home is an hour drive from the university. A good number of students do the commute.

I worry about young adults driving that far regularly.

It is an option, though.

Kathy
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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I live in a pretty rural area and it's very common for kids who live at home to drive in to the university. Just an idea, but is there any chance you could locate a university employee who lives nearby who might be willing to carpool or just drive your child?

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Old 08-08-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Are you sure your kids want to live at home during college?
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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You're talkling about the child who is now 12? I think it's hard to judge at this point what that child will want when he's 18. He may very well prefer to go away to college---maybe far/out of state, maybe at the one that is an hour way and come home only on weekends. Or perhaps he'd prefer not to go straight to college---to work or travel. There are so very many options he could take that unless you really want to move, I think it would make very little sense based on a decision someone else will be making so far in the future.

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Old 08-08-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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If you do move, do it now. Moving during highschool is really hard.

Do you know for you sure your kids will want to live at home during college? Do you even know that they will want to go to college?

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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I can't imagine uprooting my younger children so that I could be closer to my grown child's college. I also can't imagine being afraid to "let" them drive an hour from home.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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I can understand being uncomfortable with having them drive so far each day but at that age it really is the child's (actually adult's) choice. I think comfort level for me would partly depend on the situation. Where we are it's a divided highway pretty much the entire way - you can't driving conditions much safer. And let's face it with the internet & the way school's are set up & timetables chosen a university/college student does not necessarily need to go to the actual school every day of the week - especially if bad weather is a concern.

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Old 08-08-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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Most kids that age typically want to leave home to go to college, so I would think moving the entire family would be a little extreme. Plus if they apply for scholarships, they could land up anywhere far from home depending on where they get accepted. My sister is in college in a different state and always comes home to visit on holidays and breaks.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I know a couple of families who've bought a house near a university for their kids to live in. They had four or five kids. Extra rooms were rented out. The house was sold when the kids were finished.

Because the house was near a university campus it was always easy to fill the extra rooms, often the kids friends just rented, and it was easy to sell the house when the kids were done. In the long run it saved money, or even made money. Even in an economic slowdown there is always a demand for housing near campuses.

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Old 08-08-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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I really think kids shouldn't live with their parents when in college... I'm probably in the minority but I really think kids need to get out there on their own and learn to be an adult in a safe semi-controlled setting. Of course I went to a Christian, small college and it was a great environment for me to "grow up" in. This coming from a super shy, not very socialized homeschooler. Going to a secular, party college is a totally different thing... A little parental control and guidance might be a good thing then.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I grew up (and went to hs) about 3 hrs. from the nearest university, and that wasn't a very good one. I chose to go to one that was about 8 hrs away. I can't imagine what I would have done if my family had decided to come with me! I think I agree with Isfahel, even if your kid does go to a party college. But I have noticed I seem to have high expectations of 18 yos.

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Old 08-08-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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I really think kids shouldn't live with their parents when in college... I'm probably in the minority but I really think kids need to get out there on their own and learn to be an adult in a safe semi-controlled setting. Of course I went to a Christian, small college and it was a great environment for me to "grow up" in. This coming from a super shy, not very socialized homeschooler. Going to a secular, party college is a totally different thing... A little parental control and guidance might be a good thing then.
No, you are not alone here. We feel the same way. I really feel that way after my experience of being home my first two years of college. UGH! LOL

As for living an hour away, I really do not think it is that far. I live in a major city with a university. If our children went to their main campus and commuted from where we live now, it would most likely be about an hour each way with traffic.

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Old 08-08-2008, 08:46 PM
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I've known a nuber of people who bought houses for their kids to live in that were closer to the college. It made sense to them and worked out ok. I personally like that idea better than moving closer to be by a college they may or may not attend... this coming from someone who doesn't have two cents to rub together at the moment. Also, while education is the best possible investment imo, there is no need to having the children coming out more in debt than need be. Living at home will probably be an option for my dc as there are many good colleges around here. They don't have to take it but I would hope they would consider it as it is so costly otherwise. We would finish the basement into an apartment complete with its own entrance (it's about 80% there already...) if that would make them more likely to stay home. If they choose other living arrangements, they will have to cover the cost.

ETA: and with gas so high, extra pollution and the added risk of driving (wasting) two hours of their day, I would rather my kids not live that far from their college.




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Old 08-08-2008, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't imagine uprooting my younger children so that I could be closer to my grown child's college. I also can't imagine being afraid to "let" them drive an hour from home.

I do not think 18 is necessarily "grown". I lived at home till I was 22, DH till 25, and it really was a positive experience for both of us. It is a nice gift to give your kids, if you can.

As per uprooting younger kids - well they may also want to go to college/Uni (alternately, there are also better job prospects in town) - so it is for everyone, not just the eldest, yk?

I worry about my husband driving an hour each way - why the heck wouldn't I worry a bit about my kids???? The roads around here are NOT pleasant in winter. Of course, "letting" has nothing to do with it. An 18 year old is an adult and can drive if he/she chooses - but I am still going to worry a bit.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've known a nuber of people who bought houses for their kids to live in that were closer to the college. It made sense to them and worked out ok. I personally like that idea better than moving closer to be by a college they may or may not attend... this coming from someone who doesn't have two cents to rub together at the moment. Also, while education is the best possible investment imo, there is no need to having the children coming out more in debt than need be. Living at home will probably be an option for my dc as there are many good colleges around here. They don't have to take it but I would hope they would consider it as it is so costly otherwise. We would finish the basement into an apartment complete with its own entrance (it's about 80% there already...) if that would make them more likely to stay home. If they choose other living arrangements, they will have to cover the cost.

ETA: and with gas so high, extra pollution and the added risk of driving (wasting) two hours of their day, I would rather my kids not live that far from their college.




.
Thanks for the reminder. It is so much cheaper to live at home, which is another reason it is under consideration (although not now - for the future). High student debt is not fun.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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I lived 2hrs from the closest college but I didnt want to go to that one, I would have never lived at home while going to school anyways, I say consider letting your kids live on their own(rather in dorms or rooms in apartments) its a good experience.
That being said I also moved to a different country on a different side of the continent for university so I dont know.

Moving is also a huge expense, and espcially if you are moving into a more urban region, if your kids get a part time job and rent an inexpensive apartment with friend I dont see it being much more expensive than making a drastic move.

eta: regarding commuting: a very important part of university/college life is community and things going on at school, if they have to drive in for each class they are less able to spend time on campus and go to events at the school and get into their community there. Consider that.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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I wouldn't.

We lived 3 hours from any university, 1.5 from any small private college. There were 4 of us.

I moved 6hours away to go to college in a different province, it was the furthest I could get with the least argument. My sister & 1 of my brothers went to the same university 3 hours away. My other brother went to a regional college in the same city the other 2 went to school in.

We all took out student loans, mine & my sisters are paid off, not sure on my brothers.

We currently live in a city where they can take college or some university transfer classes. While it will save them money if they want to live here, they may choose to go to any other college even in a different province like I did.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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How good a university is it? Is it likely to have the kind of programs you think (hard to judge when it's 6 years away) that your children would be interested in? What are your kids like? My oldest niece needed to be at a university near home, the next couple down the line needed to be a good distance away from their mom and dad.

For my nieces/nephews who are now in college, they got a decent combination of school support and family support so that they do not need to take out huge loans.

Since there are so many unknowns, I'd only move if: You're unhappy with your current community (or what they have to offer teenagers), you/your husband works an hour away and moving closer would reduce his commute/gas/carbon footprint, and/or you'd be happy living in the kind of community you would be in if you moved closer.

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Old 08-08-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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What will you do if you move and then none of your kids want to go to the college(s) you live near? Or what if they want to go there but want to live on campus, even if they have to pay for it themselves? Or what if one wins a scholarship to a school in another state? Or what if your kids don't want to go to college at all? Will you regret the move??

I agree with the LynneS6. I would move for the reasons she mentioned. Not for something that may or may not happen 6+ years from now.

I went to a huge commuter univ. for 1.5 years. I lived there (only about 40 min from my parents) but never liked the school. It was so hard to get together with people because they were always leaving! I transferred to a smaller school about 4 hours away and loved it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You all are right. So many unknowns. I was just wonderring how people dealt with this issue.

Thanks for the input!

Kathy
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I would move if there was a pressing immediate reason... but basing such a large financial/social/family decision on a "maybe" (and not just one maybe, but several maybes stacked back to back) doesn't seem reasonable.

And it could create a really tough situation for your eldest. Growing up, my family always assumed that my brother and I would attend a certain university. It was nearby, we could live at home, it had many many academic options and a great "name". I enjoyed college (though I did live in a dorm). It was fantastic and I had a wonderful time. My brother though felt the same intense pressure to get into this school. He fought against his own interests in order to maintain the grades and "extras" required to place into this school. And once he was there he hated it. He lived at home and put on a facade of happiness, until it got to be too much and he had a depressive break. He almost died, dropped out of school, joined the army, and only now (roughy 10 years later) is he ready to give higher education another try.

Now I'm not saying your child would react like that, but moving the whole family "just for you to do X" is a lot of pressure to put on an 18 year old. They might rebel, they might go along with the plan despite wanting to do something different. Either way they lose an element of choice (do I want to go to college? do I want to go to this college? do I want to live at home?).

So I guess I'd suggest moving the family if the best thing for the family right now is to move... but not moving if the primary goal is several years down a road of maybes.

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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I really think people should direct their own lives. It drove me nuts seeing my friends' parents direct their adult children's lives in college. I was an adult at 18, married at 21 (while in college), and had ds at 22 (at home, 7 weeks after grad). I'll be 24 tomorrow and I'm still a grown up. My sister (19) lived with my mom for her first year of college and it sort of worked out. She just moved out because my mom is moving to be closer to me (well, ds is the main attraction and she is ready for a job change).

I don't have an opinion on whether adult children should or should not live with their parents, but I think the parents should not really worry about it and let the adult children initiate conversation about how they want their parents to help them (or not help them).
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=wombatclay;11897855

Now I'm not saying your child would react like that, but moving the whole family "just for you to do X" is a lot of pressure to put on an 18 year old. They might rebel, they might go along with the plan despite wanting to do something different. Either way they lose an element of choice (do I want to go to college? do I want to go to this college? do I want to live at home?).

So I guess I'd suggest moving the family if the best thing for the family right now is to move... but not moving if the primary goal is several years down a road of maybes.[/QUOTE]


Putting pressure on an 18 year old is not my intent. In fact, just the opposite. So many kids in rural areas cannot live at home and go to school (and, yeah, despite this thread - some do want to/need to live at home at that age), I feel moving might give my kids more choice. Live at home, apartment or dorm - yk? Also the choice of less student loans....

However, I do hear what you are saying and realise that some kids could misconstrue the whole thing.

Quite frankly, I could move into town for a variety of reason - but that would not be a popular decision, so here I stay....
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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I understand... what I was thinking was that you could offer to move if/when the situation came up. That way, if your child said "I'd really like to go to X, but I want to live at home" you could offer moving the family as an option supporting their decision. And you could even put that offer on the table during the mid-high school years so it would be in the back of their head during the "college pressure" years. That puts a lot of the power back in their hands.

But I grew up very rurally (a town of 8 homes, surrounded by agricultural lands), and we now live in a rural setting as well (middle of a nature preserve) so I do understand the limitations. I think it's great that you'd be willing to offer this to your child!

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Old 08-09-2008, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand... what I was thinking was that you could offer to move if/when the situation came up. That way, if your child said "I'd really like to go to X, but I want to live at home" you could offer moving the family as an option supporting their decision. And you could even put that offer on the table during the mid-high school years so it would be in the back of their head during the "college pressure" years. That puts a lot of the power back in their hands.

But I grew up very rurally (a town of 8 homes, surrounded by agricultural lands), and we now live in a rural setting as well (middle of a nature preserve) so I do understand the limitations. I think it's great that you'd be willing to offer this to your child!
Thank you! I do think waiting until/if the situation comes up is a good idea.

I am also willing to consider, if we are in the finacial place, of buying a house for them and reselling.

kathy
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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I really think kids shouldn't live with their parents when in college... I'm probably in the minority but I really think kids need to get out there on their own and learn to be an adult in a safe semi-controlled setting. Of course I went to a Christian, small college and it was a great environment for me to "grow up" in. This coming from a super shy, not very socialized homeschooler. Going to a secular, party college is a totally different thing... A little parental control and guidance might be a good thing then.
If my kids don't live with me they won't be able to afford school, because free room and board is all I can offer them while in school. This is reality for many many families.

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Old 08-09-2008, 02:44 PM
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Are you sure your kids want to live at home during college?
I thought I wanted Ds to live home during college. We are an hour from his college and by the time he was ending his senior year I knew it was best that he live in the dorms and come home as often as he wanted. First year he came home twice a month, second year he didn't come home unless it was a holiday or long weekend. This is year three he goes back this month I see the same as year two happening.

Living on campus gives them so much more than just an education, they get to participate in so many other things (not all bad ) The small university he goes to encourages all students to live there for at least the first year as so much is going on.
Much as I love my Ds this has been a wonderful thing for him, he is so much more mature and takes on things without asking me to do the phonecalls or make him appointments.

We do see him weekly as where he is is the closest large town for doing big grocery shopping. So we shop for us, and him and go by, say hello and drop off supplies.

At the beginning of junior and senior year I could never have imagined it all turning out like this.
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