Where I left off in last week’s blog was a photo of Jennifer Lynn in her cap and gown, beaming with enthusiasm about leaving high school behind and moving onto the independence that she believes awaits her in college.

She has good reason to smile because she is a very blessed graduate.  Her prayers that a fat envelope from a four year school would be her ticket out living with her “I’ll take the senior discount” parents in a 1600 square foot condo in Cotati, have been answered.

You see, like most high school seniors these days, she applied to almost 10 colleges, most of them in the northeast. She didn’t apply to any California state schools; her strategy was that hoped to get enough scholarship money from a private school that the cost would equal that of a state school and she knew she would be able to graduate in four years – something that is not always possible at a CSU or UC.

By early April, she had heard back from seven out of the eight schools she had applied to. She had been accepted by all of them except Northwestern (a definite long shot) and she had gotten significant scholarship money from all of them but even with that, given the astronomical cost of college, she was still looking at borrowing six figures to finance an undergraduate degree. There was no way we would go along with that plan.

Thankfully, Jennifer Lynn is a practical girl; disappointed as she was, she knew that the JC was her best option and we did our best to help her see the positive aspects. We told her:  it’s an excellent school;  it’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you end up. We even suggested that she could consider finding some roommates and moving out as a way to signify a step into adulthood and give her a sense that she wasn’t just settling for “the high school after high school.”

There were some tears but it only took about a week before Jennifer started to embrace the good things that could come from going to the JC. She even started researching the class schedule and their study abroad program.

Then she got some news from Pepperdine, the one school she hadn’t heard from yet. She sent me a text while I was at work, saying that she had just gotten an email from them. Even in the short message, I could tell she was practically hyperventilating. She forwarded the email to me.”Am I reading this right? Are they offering me a full tuition scholarship?!!”

Yes, Pepperdine did offer her full tuition for four years. Jennifer is a good student, had good SAT and ACT scores and a good range of activities. But why did she get a scholarship that when looked at as just a number, is a ridiculous amount of money?

Frankly, we don’t know but we’re grateful.

She will be in Southern California where her older sister is, it’s a conservative school (that makes me happy) and she will be in arguably the media capital of the world – what better place than LA to pursue broadcast communications.

We are thanking God every day. Steve reminds Jennifer that she too, should be on her knees every night thanking God. While Cotati isn’t exactly the fiery pit, he did rescue her and come August 20 when we drop her off in Malibu, she will be set free.