Advice for High School Seniors and their Parents with College Coach Rita Waters – OBHF Podcast Ep. 16

Expert advice for high school seniors who are college bound.

High school seniors still have a lot to do for before college!

San Diego college coach Rita Waters has helped dozens of families and she has some advice for high school seniors and their parents. While the junior year of high school is often considered the toughest, senior year is not a cake walk. Rita says it requires patience and fortitude!

All through the summer, impending seniors should be researching and finalizing their college lists, filling out applications, thinking about topics for their essays (those dreaded essays) and having honest conversations with their parents about finances and expectations.

Rita’s advice for high school seniors starts with knowing what your family can afford so you make realistic choices.

In this episode you’ll find advice for high school seniors like:

  • The wisdom of starting at a junior college (JC)
  • Know that JC means 60 credits, not necessarily two years
  • The danger of Senioritis and the importance of keeping grades up
  • Know what applications are required and the deadlines for each college
  • Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines
  • The truth about scholarships
  • How to alleviate family and social pressure
  • Enjoy your family and friends, this time is ending soon
  • Sign the HIPPA form and give permission for parents to see grades
  • And so much more

Many thanks to Rita Waters for her expert college admissions tips. We found her advice for high school seniors to be spot on during our college application journey. And if you have a high school junior you can find Rita’s tip on an earlier podcast.

You can listen to the pod on the blog, on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. We’re so glad you’re listening! And if you like what you hear, please give us a top rating on Apple, it makes a difference and we’ll be forever grateful!

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  • Advice for High School Seniors and their Parents with College Coach Rita Waters Transcript – OBHF Podcast Ep. 14

    [Music – Our Bird Has Flown]

    From the Dusty Urban Ham Shack studio of WB6QWD, this is the Our Bird Has Flown podcast.


    Paul M Bowers: So we’re going to wrap up with Rita Waters, college coach, in part two and what to do if you have a senior in high school getting ready to go off to college. Specifically, advice for high school seniors. We’re also going to talk about a lot of other things including the cost of college, but first we’re going to talk about – Yes, one of our sponsors, The National Conflict Resolution Center. The National Conflict Resolution Center Lots of great programs from them, check them out online at And we thank them for their generous sponsorship of our program.

    So let’s get started with Rita Waters. Well I’d like to welcome back Rita Waters, our family college coach to the Our Bird Has Flown podcast and this time we’re going to talk about parents of – well not parents, but families that have seniors in high school and are really getting ready to take the big jump and get prepared for college. So Rita, what does it take?

    Rita Waters: Other than a lot of money, it takes a lot of fortitude and patience, believe it or not. I am in the process now before San Diego school starts in two weeks, getting the seniors that I work with prepared to submit their applications.

    We’ve been working over the summer getting college lists finalized, filling out applications, reviewing topics for essays; the dreaded college essay and kind of holding their hands, because believe it or not when a senior goes to hit the button for the first time it’s kind of nerve wracking because this is a very adult decision for them.

    So it’s sometimes it’s a matter of just taking a deep breath stepping back and reassuring them that all the things they’ve done for the last eleven years to get to this point, is going to pay off. No matter where they apply, no matter where they’re accepted to.

    Paul M. Bowers: So let’s talk a little bit about paying off. College has gotten extremely expensive for families. Some would say disproportionately that, the education, very similar education that colleges are offering now cost twice as much as they did even the shortest ten years ago, has that been your experience?

    Rita Waters: Yes. I remember when we were first saving for our daughter, seriously saving, we started I think in middle school and by the time we got to the actual process in senior year we were looking at almost double the cost.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yikes.

    Rita Waters: And it’s unfortunate because there are so many great students, so many top students, so many students with very different talents that they’re all trying to get into let’s say one hundred colleges. Then we all know who those one hundred colleges are, and the cost to go there is exorbitant.

    I think parents and students have to be aware of the fact that there are many options out there and they don’t have to cost seventy thousand dollars a year.

    We have great state schools here, but also there are other opportunities if they’re willing to go out of state, that might be comparable to a state or UC school here in California.

    Paul M. Bowers: So do you see parents, for our choice, it was intentional that Jesse could go anywhere he wanted, and what we explained to him was ‘dude you’re built to fly’ and you should go where it fits you best. Other parents want to keep their kids close, does that affect their decision?

    Rita Waters: You know it’s kind interesting, the last few years, and I think it’s because of the horrible winters back east, a lot more parents and families and students are sticking to the west coast. OK, I think what happens is I’ve asked my senior parents that prior to senior year of the summer they have a financial talk with their students and it’s a very hard conversation because every parent wants to give their child whatever they want. Well that’s not always possible and it’s a very adult conversation for a student to hear that there are limitations.

    So what I tell students and families from a financial standpoint is;

    Define what you can afford, don’t talk about what you can’t afford, define what you can afford.

    Maybe that’s the first four years of college or maybe it’s to a certain degree it’s X dollars and then they have to try to get scholarships for the balance or maybe it’s a situation where hey, you know what, I’ll help you for undergraduate, but let’s look at more of a state school or a more financially feasible school so that if you’re going to go on to med school or grad school there’s still some money in the bucket there for you. It’s stupid expensive.

    Paul M. Bower: Yeah I see.

    Rita Waters: I mean it is crazy.

    Paul M. Bowers: Ironically college is stupid expensive.

    Rita Waters: So what are some good options? I tell parents when they’re putting together the college list, have at least one, if not two, what we call safety schools or likely schools that a student can get into without any difficulty, but that they can also afford.

    Now for some of them, it’s our state colleges. And for some of them, it’s even the junior college, and I’ll be honest with you, I used to be a junior college snob. I used to think “Oh no, that’s not the way to go, there’s no way”. Well the systems have improved so much here in California over the last few years. I have students now who are transferring into the U.C. schools, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Irvine and they’re doing just fine.

    Paul M. Bowers: So straight out of California’s community college system, they get a two-year degree and they go straight to a four-year college. That means that two years of their college, it is at the community college rate, but when they graduate they can say hey, I graduated from Berkeley or whatever.

    Rita Waters: Exactly.

    Paul M. Bowers: They paid for two years of Berkeley? That seems like a really good bargain if the college is adequately preparing them for a four-year environment.

    Rita Waters: Exactly and that’s the key. I think a lot of kids think that I’m going to go two years to a J.C., well it’s not two years, its sixty approved credits worth of a J.C. So unfortunately our J.C.’s are overcrowded as most of the state schools are, so some students they’re able to complete sixty units in two years, others it takes three to four years.

    Paul M. Bowers: Just because of the availability of classes?

    Rita Waters: Right or they haven’t decided yet on what exact major or didn’t realize that certain core classes were required and stuff. But again, the J.C. is a great financial tool to use.

    And like I said, other colleges, the out-of-state colleges, some of them will look at a California student and say “hey there’s some possibility of some merit scholarship” or there are colleges that are part of what we call the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program, where their out of state tuition fee, additional tuition fee may be fifty percent of what it is and therefore the entire cost of going to that college is comparable to a U.C. or Cal State school.

    Paul M. Bowers: So that’s sounds like pretty good advice for high school seniors. So you know in our last gripping episode, we talked about what juniors should do and we talked about getting testing done, we talked about visualizing schools, going to colleges and seeing what they look like, even colleges that the student didn’t intend to attend, but nevertheless good to help them understand what a college environment is all about and we talked about the infamous blue crate system.

    Rita Waters: Yes, my little brigade. So like I said, I have students who are starting their senior year these next few weeks. So what we have done now is we’re to the point where we have defined our college list, that means they have their ten to twelve to fourteen colleges that they want to apply to.

    We have to find what applications are required and we’ve also looked at what deadlines they want to meet. There are different application dates for early decision, regular and rolling. So we’ve gone through and calendared out critical dates for them to meet these deadlines by.

    Paul M. Bowers: And these are at the beginning of senior year? We didn’t do that.

    Rita Waters: At the beginning of senior year.

    Paul M. Bowers: We didn’t do that. We had no list, we entered senior year just going ” I don’t know”.

    Rita Waters: So what I do is, I help them get there. I helped them get there, you want to be able to – it’s hard to explain, but senior year, the kids are just plummeted with extra work especially that first semester.

    So we try to get as much done, either during the summer or at the beginning of the semester, so that they can keep up their grades. So that’s another important factor that kids forget. They still have to keep up their grades.

    Even though some of the colleges will not ask for their senior grades or not their midterm grades, they will eventually get their final transcript and there are cases where if a student has not kept up their grades, the college will, even after accepting them say “hey here’s a little dip here, can you explain why?”

    Paul M. Bowers:  And I also imagine that if you aren’t making a sincere and strong effort it’s going to be a lot more difficult for teacher referral letters.

    Rita Waters: Yes.

    Paul M. Bowers: If you have senioritis and you’re screwing around all the time, and you say “hey teacher, the one whose class I just disrupted and I just insulted, would you mind writing me a college referral letter?”

    Rita Waters: I don’t think so.

    Paul M. Bowers: I’m sure they would be happy to do so, but it might not have the outcome they want.

    Rita Waters:  I tell my students they cannot get senioritis until next May. And it’s hard, I mean they’ve worked hard you know? Not only going through school, completing their activities, I tell them they want to finish strong no matter what they’re doing and they see that light at the tunnel, they see them walking down the aisle in their gown – they can’t get senioritis until May.

    Paul M. Bowers: Excellent, excellent advice.

    So tell us what other advice for high school seniors and their families during senior year?

    Rita Waters: OK during senior year the only thing is for them to make sure not only their college list, they meet their deadline. They make sure that things like transcripts are being sent on time. That their test scores are being sent on time, that their tests are done in time.

    U.C. schools and Cal State schools really want testing completed by November, even though their website says December, you’re not always guaranteed that the test scores are getting time to be reviewed.

    Again, if there are any hiccups in the students’ grades you want to make sure that those hiccups have been taken care of or that their senior class schedule shows that they’re going to be taken care of.

    You also want to make sure that – for some students if there’s an audition that they need to do or a portfolio -nursing is a great example, that there’s an extra application essay they have to complete, that those are completed well in advance. Time for the student to think about the process, to be prepared but again to meet the deadline.

    Paul M. Bowers: Deadline orientation, might as well get used to it now huh?

    Rita: Yes, yes and the other thing for parents and students remember is – I’d like the students to start being in charge of this. Helicopter parents need to start landing their helicopters and I know that’s hard to do.

    Paul M. Bowers: Were we helicopter parents?

    Rita Waters: No, you guys were pretty good. It took a little bit, but you guys were pretty.

    Paul M. Bowers: What do you mean it took a little bit?

    Rita Waters: But it is one thing is that the student has to be responsible and take ownership, that’s what they’re going to be doing in college.

    Paul Bowers: You know, one of the things that we, from our process with you, that was one of the takeaways, was that we were successfully able to say “Rita is in charge Rita is going to tell you what to do, you need to utilize that resource yourself” and then we can step back. So we were involved up to a certain point that gets him hooked in and then you did the rest.

    Rita Waters: I’m the third parent that can throw them under the bus.

    Paul Waters: It’s true and you know, he would come home saying “oh I’ve got to do this for Rita”. Well, you think about that statement ‘I’ve got to do this for Rita’. It’s not I have to do this so that I can successfully get into college, ‘I have to do this for Rita’, that’s a big deal. And when I started hearing that I said I’m just going to step out of this.

    Rita Waters: Parents are always appreciated though. There’s often a time when a little insight or just a little comment here and there from a parent will help me guide the student in the proper direction.

    Sometimes they’re things or circumstances that I don’t know about that is going on at home or in the classroom or maybe somewhere along the line there was a hidden desire that I didn’t know about or an interest and I just need to hear it, and to bring that out not only in the college lists and where they apply, but maybe in their essays.

    Paul M. Bowers: Good, so you have your IPhone there, is there more on that list? Any other advice for high school seniors?

    Rita Waters: And you see the other thing is not only to get the applications in on time, you get the fees paid on time, this is also the time once they’ve got the college list completed and start the applications to look for scholarships. Okay?

    There are scholarships online now that parents can be looking at but –

    The majority of scholarships from my experience, have been found through the actual universities or colleges they’re applying to.

    And often those scholarship applications are not available to seniors until January of their senior year.

    Rita Waters: So to lot of students I say “OK let’s get the stuff done before Thanksgiving, give you time to relax and let your brain reboot just before you start looking for actual scholarships” and..

    My advice to high school seniors is that looking for scholarships is like a part-time job.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yeah and I saw that there are certain resources is one of Indra’s favorites, lists a ton of them, where you put in all your interests then it pops up with a list. We went fishing off that pier, didn’t get anything.

    Rita Waters: It’s hard. Again my experience has been that the colleges that you apply to are where most of my students found their scholarship resources. That’s not to say that there are national resources and there are students who are able to get large national scholarships. San Diego Foundation here in town, they open I think in January and they provide scholarships for San Diego seniors.

    Paul M. Bowers: Good.

    Rita Waters: That’s a good local source. A parent’s company may have it, business affiliations, your church or groups that you belong to or other resources.

    Paul M. Bowers: Speaking of groups and resources it’s time to mention another of the Our Bird Has Flown Podcast sponsors; that’s the National Conflict Resolution Center. Great folks. Look to the National Conflict Resolution Center for training programs in mediation and civil dialogue, for those of you that might need it and we certainly don’t have enough of that these days, so is your contact for that and we thank them for their sponsorship. So Rita Waters, college expert and college coach.

    Rita Waters: Ah, well helper.

    Paul M. Bowers: So, what else is on your magic IPhone?

    Rita Waters:  After your student applies to college, there is that wait or that waiting period and this is some advice I tell all my students and parents “it’s no one else’s business as to where your student applied, everybody is unique everybody has their own preferences, their talents and that’s why those particular colleges were selected”.

    Everybody is shooting after the same hundred, true, but at the same time it doesn’t matter to anybody else except you what your grades are, what your test scores are and where you want to go. So when parents ask or family members ask I tell my kids hey if this comes up answer with “I don’t want to jinx it.”

    Paul M. Bowers: Nice.

    Rita Waters: It makes a holiday dinner a lot more palatable. And then the other thing is in that waiting period, it’s time for students in addition to scholarships to start thinking about what they want to do the rest of their senior year. It is kind of poignant and a little sad, but this is going to be probably the last time that a lot of students see each other. So go out there be a senior, enjoy it while you can.

    Keep your grades up you know, but at the same time enjoy the family life that you have now.

    You will be getting responses starting in as early as December, depending on when you applied and for most kids there are going to be Yeses. If we’ve done this right and we’ve strategized as to when to apply, the majority of those first letters are positive. There will be a few, and there will be several for some, wait and see you know on the waitlist and they’ll be some that are going to be rejections. I tell my students that they are so much more than the numbers and the grades there on their application, so don’t get frustrated after that first rejection letter.

    Paul M. Bowers: Well I think like with business pitches, personal relationships and colleges, there are so many reasons why a student would be accepted or rejected that has nothing to do with the student himself.

    Rita Waters: Oh exactly I mean…

    Paul M. Bowers: How many people are coming from California or how many people are coming from out of state that year? In our experience, Jesse applied to seven different colleges and was accepted at almost every one of them and I still don’t understand that but one of them rejected him and it was not a college with particularly high standards so there was some reason that it wasn’t a fit and we’ll never know and I mean it doesn’t really matter to us anyway.

    Rita Waters: It’s like I tell some parents, it’s almost a crapshoot, you know – there is for instance some students will get into U.C.L.A. and not get into a Cal State school. Other students will get into let’s say U.C. Irvine and not be able to get into Chico, so it’s different factors that are involved, how many kids are applying and it all works out for a reason.

    I have students who come to me afterwards and say you know what I’m glad I ended up at so and so college because it’s really where I should be. I have students that have come back to me later and said you know it didn’t work out at the first school but by the time I transferred it was my number one school to begin with but I got such a great experience at the first.

    Our own daughter didn’t get into her first school the first time out and it was one of those things, she had a freshman year at her second choice, it was the best for her, she was ready then to transfer to her number one school it couldn’t have been anything better.

    Paul M. Bowers: Worked out great then.

    Rita Waters: Yeah.

    Paul M. Bowers: So all right, presumably you have counselled family and you’ve counselled the student, they’ve sent out a bunch of different applications, they were accepted at a number of different schools and then what?

    Rita Waters:  Then they get the choice as to where they want to go. So they have National Commitment Day which is May first. The majority of school’s colleges will have let you know by April 1st whether or not you’ve been accepted. So often I’ve had families travelling across the country every weekend during the month of April.

    It’s a matter again for the student to step back and say OK where do I really want to go? When I start the process with my students we look at all the colleges and we put comments as to why they want to go there, we go back to that original list, is it still true that you want to go there because of the feel of the student population? Is the major still there? So it’s some soul searching again.

    There’s that financial talk too with the parents and financial aid office to see what we can afford, and then May when you send in your commitment letter, you send in your deposit and you can start looking for a roommate.

    Paul M. Bowers: You know that’s an interesting thing, I was listening to N.P.R. the other day and they were talking about roommate selection and how they had devised these Facebook or type applications. Where they would pair the roommate with those that are like them.

    And I guess it was MIT that discovered that it actually wasn’t very good for the college, that people were siloing in their own particular ethnic groups. They ended up doing away with it and randomizing roommate selection.

    Rita Waters: Yeah and colleges just have different systems. Some you can go on Facebook and select your own, some of them are as you said selected by the college and then some is just random.

    Our daughter was lucky that when she got her roommate it was kind of choice and it was a random selection and it worked out great. It’s one of those things that some colleges have a college essay, that has a prompt that says write a letter to your future roommate.

    Paul M. Bowers: Oh, interesting.

    Rita M. Bowers:  Yes, it’s one of those things where you can talk about yourself, the music you like, if you’re vegetarian or pescatarian, you like to study in, watch tv or whatever. So it’s a way for the student to start kind of figuring out – interviewing themselves to see what kind of roommate they’re going to be and you know some colleges have two, three kids to a room.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yeah, Jesse is in a, there’s eight students in his suite.

    Rita Waters: Oh, he has a suite?

    Paul M. Bowers:  It’s a suite and there’s eight of them and with I think one bathroom, but best of luck to you guys. So you’re off to college, which food program do you get? Gold, silver or platinum? What do you get?

    Rita Waters: Our experience has been don’t get the gold.

    Paul M. Bowers: Don’t get the gold?

    Rita Waters: Don’t get the gold, that’s the all -you-can-eat, she never eats that much. It’s a matter too when you look at the food program, you want to also look at the college dollars –  they call it that, are they interchangeable between all the different eateries on campus? Are they interchangeable or acceptable at off campus eateries?

    So I recommend kind of the medium program and stuff. You’ll find a lot of kids after a while they really want to make their own food sometimes. Some of the dorms have kitchens on different levels so some kids can get together and have a taco night or some kids get together and make huge dinners for people. They get a little tired of the dorm food.

    Paul M. Bowers:  I imagine so. Although the colleges that we toured had some pretty fantastic food offerings and of course you can use your card at Starbucks over here and over there. Oh these kids, they got it made.

    Rita Waters: One other thing for the students after they commit to a college, make sure they understand when their orientation date is. Some colleges have it a week before classes start, some have them spread throughout the summer, so you can plan around that.

    Parents be prepared for a little extra money if you’re out of state or traveling to get your student to and from.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yes.

    Rita Waters:  And the room for you to be there, to move them in.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yeah, that’s also a yes. And in some very interesting parts of town.

    Rita Waters:  That’s right, that’s right and you know what? If the student is doing everything they’re supposed to be doing right freshman year, they don’t need a car freshman year.

    Paul M. Bowers: Actually the colleges that we toured, they’re not allowed to have a car on campus, some of them, they definitely frown on it and I’m a fan of not having a car. Come on, you’re at a great college, go do college stuff, don’t go driving around.

    Rita Waters: And they end up being the taxi cab or Uber driver for their friends. My advice for high school seniors is to ditch the car if they have one.

    Paul M. Bowers: And there are all kinds of solutions there, they have snap cars or whatever cars if they need to do that and a lot of the schools that we were touring were in metropolitan areas that have a lot of transportation, public transportation. So if you want to go somewhere get on the bus.

    Rita Waters: And to those moms and dads that are out there, they’re saying oh my child is going across the country, with Skype and Twitter and texting, it was like our daughter was down the hall. That’s for sure. So it was one of those things that you know, we were able to go out maybe once every other month to visit with her before businesses that type of thing.

    But really with today’s communications where – it was like she was down the hall. So the only thing that worried us is if I would get a call from her at eleven o’clock our time, I go alright, what’s wrong? They are like why are we still up as a freshman at one o’clock in the morning?

    Paul M. Bowers: Jesse has asked to be removed off of our family location service via our phones, I said no.  No I don’t think so. We actually had a discussion on our last podcast episode about a college contract. Certain kind of an agreement between the parents and the students of what the expectations are.

    For example, in our situation, Jesse has got a scholarship, if he blows that scholarship we can’t afford to send him to that college, so that has to be the understanding. We know they have resources, the last time we visited we sat down and said “Is this kind of a trap because we know in freshman year first semester he’s going to take a dive, once he gets below a certain level do alarm bells go off and people come and get him out of the college?” Have you had families that use college contracts?

    Rita Waters: Yes. Well here’s what I will tell, I sent out a little note that you got this last year on what to expect and one of the things is – from the student’s standpoint I say OK. Let the parents know what you’re doing OK. As you said the expectations, OK, one parent said to a student “you fail a class, you have to take a class over, you’re paying to retake that.”

    Paul M. Bowers: Yeah. 

    Rita Waters: OK, another one is again if you are not able to keep up with the requirements for a scholarship, we have to really talk about whether or not you can to continue with that college cause there’s only X amount of dollars.

    From the other standpoint, I let the students know that for your parents, for us parents, our babies are leaving us. So be mindful of that, I suggest to my students that they give a copy of their class schedule to their parents. So the parents understand that yes they are at the lab at nine o’clock at night or they do have eight o’clock morning class.

    They know when the test schedule is so that during that time maybe conversations or contact by phone are going to be a little harder. I also tell them to set up well once a week phone call time, whether that’s laundry night or…

    Paul M. Bowers: Once a week laundry? Yeah.

    Rita Waters: Sometimes.

    Paul M. Bowers: We’d never hear from him.

    Rita Waters: Or maybe it’s Monday night or Tuesday night, whatever, that you guys can sit down and say OK at least for the first year there’s an agreed upon time that yeah we’re going to connect you know?

    Talk to me, give me a two minute conversation and maybe a thirty minute conversation and at the same time parents sometimes I tell my husband she’s in class, that’s why she’s not calling you or that is why she’s not texting you back. She said, “she’s in class so that we know what’s going on”.

    Paul M. Bowers: At least somewhat in touch and have some security.

    Rita Waters: Exactly. So the ties are still there, to the parents who are newbie parents at this, when your student comes home at Thanksgiving, they’re going to know everything.

    Paul M. Bowers: Wait a minute, how can they know more than everything now that he knows everything already before you go?

    Rita Waters:  But it’s because you remember when we were there, you know? It’s like it’s neater, there are new ideas and stuff like that and you just have to understand this is part of the freshman process and the college experience.

    Paul M. Bowers: Well I did know everything, and I still know everything.

    Rita Waters:  Yeah. So it’s one of those things that is an adjustment to them being away. It can be a big thing but moms and dads you can send those care packages.

    Paul M. Bowers: One of the things that fascinated me was we are now getting these mailers from the college, first the mailer was – you know? We have special size beds then they take special size sheets and here is this beautiful four color brochure you should buy these.

    Rita Waters: Yeah.

    Paul M. Bowers: And then the one about the care packages and oh OK it’s kind of a need. Somebody got an idea that they could have a care package service and you could sign up for it and you know it automatically, isn’t that nice? But inside it is a little leaflet and it talks about one RA’s experience saying how great the care packages are well OK you know still but how bad it is for those students that don’t get care packages.

    Rita Waters: I know, great marketing.

    Paul M. Bowers: You got to be kidding me.

    Rita Waters: I know, we get them all the time.  But it’s fun for parents to send the unexpected.

    Paul M. Bowers:  Yeah and now that we can certainly do and certainly through Amazon we can send him whatever.

    Rita Waters: And by the same token I tell students it’s nice to call your parent, not to ask for money.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yeah.

    Rita Waters: Just to say hi, I’m doing fine.

    Paul M. Bowers: Hi. God bless you.

    Rita Waters: The other thing that I wanted to mention is that when your students going off to college, make sure you know where you can get prescriptions filled.

    Paul M. Bowers: Oh yeah.

    Rita Waters: It’s all these little things that you’re aware of as parent, prescriptions filled, that they have an extra set of glasses or contacts at least for the first couple months, things that you know they’re not going to be ready you’re prepared to take care of those first couple months.

    Paul M. Bowers: We also went through this with health care insurance.  And they have a great health care insurance program and that’s terrific but Jesse’s got coverage from Indra’s business so you have to prove up that you have health insurance coverage.

    For me, one of the important things to do was to establish what are the providers in the area, because if he’s sick, can he go to the on campus medical facility and be covered. It took several phone calls to find out and sure enough they’re covered under our plan so it’s just like going to one of the doctors on the plan. So a little bit of research helps with that as well and we got a little comfort out of that.

    Rita Waters: And don’t forget too, for students that are eighteen, you have H.I.P.A.A.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yes.

    Rita Waters: So you have to get permission, your student has to give permission for you as the parent to not only see the medical records but to talk to the doctor, so that’s on my end of my, to do list. The other thing too is to grades.

    Paul M. Bowers: Yes.

    Rita Waters: You do not have access to their grades unless they give permission so that’s one of the things that I make sure that we have our students do. My advice to high school seniors is get all that paperwork signed in advance.

    Paul M. Bowers: Included in the college contract is access to all of those things.

    Rita Waters:  Yeah so you know it’s a weaning your child off to college and to the next step of life you know and it’s exciting it should be exciting and it should be exciting for everybody.

    Paul M. Bowers: It is. At this at this point our family is a week away, less than a week away.

    Rita Waters: I’ll be thinking of you in a week.

    Paul M. Bowers: We pack up a big black trunk of his stuff and get on an airplane and off we go and we’re definitely looking forward to it.

    Rita Waters: He’ll do great.

    Paul M. Bowers: I’m sure he will and part of that is that we get to have that experience because of you. You were very helpful along that way; I know Jesse feels greatly indebted to you. You’ve done a great job for our family.

    Rita Waters: Thank you.

    Paul M. Bowers: And we thank you very much.

    Rita Waters: It was a pleasure, he’s a delight to work with.

    Paul M. Bowers: Of course he’s a delight, for crying out loud.

    Rita Waters: Because he’s your son.

    Paul M. Bowers:  Well that’s about it for the Our Bird Has Flown Podcast. This time our guest has been Rita Waters, the college coach for the Bowers family.

    We’d like to thank the sponsors of the Our Bird Has Flown Podcast that would be and, that would be the National Conflict Resolution Center.

    You can subscribe to our podcast on ITunes and Spotify and any other place where you might find a podcast. You can also go straight to our website and guess what that is yeah! it’s I’m Paul M. Bowers. Thank you ladies and this has been the Our Bird Has Flown Podcast thanks for clicking in Bye Bye.


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