College – yikes redux!

The adventure continues. This afternoon Alex, Laralee, and I drove down to Boulder for a tour of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) campus. It was about 35 degrees and we were walking around for over an hour, but at least it wasn’t 10 degrees like it was a few days ago!

CU is a big school, with about 30,000 students, and covers a lot of ground. It was definitely a different experience than our recent tour of Colorado School of Mines. Unlike Mines, which is almost entirely focused on engineering disciplines, CU is a true “university” and engineering makes up around 25% of student enrollment. Still, they have impressive research work, and their physics department is world-renowned (they have three Nobel laureates on the physics staff!). Alex doesn’t plan to go into physics, but it’s nice to know that CU has strong science programs.

Laralee said she was pretty bored after the tour. Like our earlier trip to Golden, I found it really exciting to see the campus and picture Alex attending college. And, yes, it brought back memories of my college days as well.

For the past few weeks I’ve been hounding Alex to work on scholarship applications. There are tons of scholarships available, and there are even web sites that consolidate them pretty nicely so you can skim lists of hundreds of them and select ones that seem interesting or applicable. He’s been working on the applications, albeit slowly, and today I hope some of the harsh reality of the cost of a college education will be motivating to him.

I did some quick research and found these estimated annual prices for the four schools Alex is considering:

Colorado School of Mines – $31,023/year
University of Colorado Boulder – $26,933/year
Brigham Young University – Provo – $16,163/year
Brigham Young University – Idaho – $11,483/year

Holy smokes. Those first two will cost over a hundred grand for a full degree. I sure hope he finds some sweet scholarships…