education

Old Jan 27th 2004, 6:22 am
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Hi Guys,
Its been awhile.
Can anyone give me advice about kids education.
We will be moving to Florida this year on E2.
I have two kids girl 15 lad 7. I understand that they will be treated as international students. Can anyone give me advice on costs, standard best schools etc....
Also anyone got anything positive to say about the schools and the system.

Thanks

Jim
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Old Jan 27th 2004, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: education

Originally posted by jimcheal
Hi Guys,
Its been awhile.
Can anyone give me advice about kids education.
We will be moving to Florida this year on E2.
I have two kids girl 15 lad 7. I understand that they will be treated as international students. Can anyone give me advice on costs, standard best schools etc....
Also anyone got anything positive to say about the schools and the system.

Thanks

Jim
Well, they won't be treated as international students, they'll just be students, like all the rest. You'll need to take them to the doctors surgery to get a health check done and get the important certificate of health. They might need some additional immunisations, so take their records with you. Once you have that, and proof you are a florida resident ie. utility bill etc, you can then go to the school in your catchment area and register them at the school. Some counties have a school choice system, you'll need to find out if that is in your area for yourself. twice I have taken my kids to enroll during the school year, and they have been able to start the very next day. Also, I've never had to show my visa when registering them. Public schools don't cost anything for tuition, but they get you with a long list of supplies at the beginning of the year, and there are always fundraisers and requests for money for this and that coming home.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 27th 2004, 7:54 pm
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What happens when the get to college. Could they qualify for scholarships etc... If not are there costs involved?

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Old Jan 27th 2004, 9:19 pm
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Amazing that people would move to a country and not know about the expensive costs of educating their kids! Universities here are expensive. Unless I am mistaken you are not allowed to enrol in any college funds on an E2 either.
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Old Jan 27th 2004, 9:36 pm
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Originally posted by jimcheal
What happens when the get to college. Could they qualify for scholarships etc... If not are there costs involved?

jim
College is expensive BIG time. To enroll in a college savings scheme you have to be a permanent resident, and I don't think an E2 is classed as that. Your oldest at 15 would probably be too old to enroll for savings anyway. I'm sure there are other people here who are more experienced with colleges and scholarships. Scholarships are out there, but competition for them is high, so you cannot assume your children will get one.
Here's a page from the University of Florida on fees. Note that these costs are for this year only.
This is the Florida savings plan if you're interested 529 plan .
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Old Jan 27th 2004, 11:13 pm
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They are trying to ditch the pre-paid college scheme in Florida- as we speak. I purchased one for my grandson- so I don't know what will happen IF and when they actually do scrap the scheme. college fees are rising too fast and the pre-paid funds are falling short.

On an E2 visa, your children will have to enroll in college as foreign students, which greatly increases the tuition fees. Typically, a 2 year community college will charge you 3 times the fees for PRs and USCs- a 4 yr college or State university will charge at least 4 times the normal fees. Our green cards hadn't been approved by the time our eldest was college age, and he was one of the American High School students of the year and was scouted by the big universities in the nation. Although he qualified for many scholarships with his grades and SAT scores, he was not a USC so couldn't apply. The university he wanted to go to would have cost us $65,000 a year (just in tuition)- crazy money. We tried every way to get financial help for him, even his Principal spent time trying, but without that magic green card, he was screwed. Unless you're Irish, you probably won't find any academic scholarships available to you on your status.
Performing arts scholarships are different, they are awarded on talent, regardless of status, by the school in question. My daughter got a full ballet scholarship before she got her green card (and it still cost us plenty to send her, believe me).

High School is no problem as long as you have all vaccination records for your kids- they will NOT let them into school without proof that they've had all required shots. I only had the baby clinic cards for my kids - which the school wouldn't accept as proof, so they had to have all baby vaccinations again before they could start school. Parents don't have the option here of not vaccinating their kids if they want them to go to school that is.

School standards are lower here, especially in Florida- your 15 year old will probably be way ahead and will breeze through. She could probably graduate now! There's a bit of a challenge for them, initially, as the kids get used to American English, different maths and system, but they soon master that.

In Sarasota they have a school called 'Pine View'- its for the academically gifted. If you're moving to this area- get your kids tested for this school- they only need an IQ above 120 to get in and its free. There are some good private schools in the area too-the better ones being the most expensive of course.

You can also home school children here quite easily and inexpensively. It's well organised and a growing choice to public schooling. I home schooled my daughter and thoroughly reccommend it.
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