DEAR ABBY: I am a high school senior who has been filling out applications for college. I have found a few small liberal arts colleges I'd love to attend, and I have a favorite.
My problem: My father has been out of work for quite some time. He has applied for a job at a large state college. I visited the school and don't like it because it's a huge party school. My mother has now informed me that if Dad gets the job, I'll have no choice but to go there because we would get a 70 percent discount in tuition.
I feel angry and guilty at the same time. The anger is because my parents had promised me that college would be my choice. The guilt is for not wanting my father to get this job, even though it would greatly help my family's financial situation. Dad has made the second round of the long interview process. What should I do? -- BOUND FOR COLLEGE
DEAR BOUND FOR COLLEGE: Your parents may have promised you your choice of colleges, but that was likely when your family's financial situation was much better. What you should do is, first, pray that your father gets the job he so desperately needs. Then go to the library and start exploring what financial aid or scholarships are available at the schools you'd prefer to attend.
Also, don't turn up your nose at the state college just yet. While it may have a reputation as a party school, that doesn't mean you have to participate in the festivities. If you're a serious student, you can still get an excellent education and your degree, if you're willing to keep your shoulder to the grindstone and work for it.