Yesterday my son updated his Facebook page to say that he "Studies Sports Management at University of Minnesota" and I instantly hit "like." Then I was overcome with a mix of emotions: excitement, pride, happiness, fear and then sadness; and I'm not sure what I'm more sad about- how far away he's going to be or the heavy price tag that comes with the kid going off to a major university. But I digress, the University of Minnesota is an amazing school and I couldn't be more proud to be a Gopher mom.


Mandy James, Townsquare Media

Now I know that a lot of kids want to have the "true college experience" (that's why my son says he wanted to go to a university), but that doesn't mean they have to move 6 hours away and spend your life savings, yes I said yours, in the process. One of the best community colleges in Illinois is less than 30 minutes away.

USA Today named Highland Community College in Freeport as the third best community college in Illinois. What makes it so outstanding is the cost of books and supplies, it's affordable and they're dedicated to making their students successful. This would be a great place for your child to adjust to college life and decide if moving on to a four year school would be the next step in their academic career.

I wonder if there's still time to get my kid to reconsider his college choice? Close to home, affordable and they want your child to be successful? Doesn't get much better than that.