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SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

Decisions, decisions. College-bound students have tons of them to make, and parents usually play a big role, helpful or otherwise, in making them.

Some St. Petersburg High juniors speak from experience.

Michael Fears says his parents pester him constantly about college: "Where do you want to go?'' "Do you have an idea about what you want to major in?'' "How much is it going to cost me?'' "When are applications due?'' "Do you have enough extra curriculars?"

"It's like they think the whole college thing is going to slip my mind," he says.

"It doesn't really matter where I plan to go to college,'' Zoe Green says with a laugh. "I'm pretty sure my mom will follow me."

Whether a parent wants to jump in the suitcase or just be supportive, there are lots of factors to consider, cost being a big contender for No.1. Also what course of study you want to pursue. And whether you want to stay close to home and the beaches and Mom's laundry services, or venture out of your comfort zone and become more independent.

"It's complicated," Amisha Kshatri says. "I want to stay in-state, because I know it'll be cheaper, but I've lived in Florida all my life and I want to try something new."

Other students agree the change of venue and independence of out-of-state universities appeal. "It would be nice to live somewhere else," Zach Loomassays. "To try living in different weather, and with a different governor."

Trevor Williams describes it more broadly: "It would be interesting to start a new life. Meet new people, that sort of thing."

Manufacturers of the ACT provide a checklist of many of factors to help you make your choice.

Check it out atactstudent.org/college/factors.html.

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