Sunday, March 30, 2008

College funding

I was recently asked, "How do you afford college?" Well the question is rather personal in my opinion but I wanted to respond, "what do you mean? I already went to college and I paid for it already." But I don't think the person knew they were being offensive so I just responded with "Oh I know college is so expensive." Then I continued with small talk and left on a happy note.

The truth is I do not feel that it is my duty as a parent to pay for my children's college education. I am not alone in my thinking either. If you search the web, or ask a certified financial adviser, they would agree that it is not a good idea to use your future savings, retirement, 401k's etc to pay for college. Give the gift of a good retirement to your children instead. They will be young enough to work and pay back their loans and not have the worry of carrying your financial needs as well.

Another very good friend of mine confided that she not only pays for her child's education but is also sending $1000 a month to her 23 year old for living expenses. Her 'child' is doing well but was not thrifty with her class scheduling and must take a few more classes before graduating. By 'thrifty' I mean that when YOU are funding YOUR own education you make sure that you are on the right track and you don't sign up for the wrong classes accidentally.

Another friend is in the same boat. She has already decided that her youngest will not be going to college, it just is too expensive for them. I asked her why not stop paying for the oldest now and allow him to pay his last 2 years, to which she replied, we tried that option but he said he just won't go. OK, so there you go problem solved. He can get a job and let the youngest go to college.

I love my children, and sure I do not want them burdened with extra loans, so I will do what I can but I will not forfeit my retirement, nor will I ring up crazy bills that weigh the family down. Rather I will help when I can, educate them on getting scholarships, and leave the rest up to them.


laura said...

Bravo! I'm one of ten children. My parents helped us a bit when they could, but we all worked and saved, and a few of us did some cheap time at community colleges before attending other universities. We all (except the youngest who is 13) went to college and were much more appreciative, knowing what it cost.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on that, and thankfully, so is Bob! My parents got a Parent loan when I went to college for the first two years and the other two years, the loans were in my name. When I graduated, I took over my parent's loans and I was paying mine too. When I was in the military, I got my masters and believe it or not, I paid that in full before graduating, no loans . . . Here I am 13 years after I received my Bachelors degree and I only owe $1500.00 more. That's it. That's all I have left to pay! I'm so psyched to be done!! I will be done before the end of the year and what a wonderful feeling it is!!!!!

Saint Maker said...

Thanks Larura for the comment. Ten kids! wow you must have some fun stories to share. I think parents are certainly responsible for body, mind and soul for the per-adult years, but after that the responsibility rests with the young adult. Of course when we can help financially we will and of course we are always there for the many other reasons other than financial. Peace to you and your family!

Saint Maker said...

Wow angie, that is great only $1500 more. congrats to you. That is wonderful.


Mary Poppins NOT said...

I am in total agreement with this. My husband and I both paid for our own college educations, and besides NOT wasting our time and money, we value our education and have a sense of pride and great accomplishment. My parents did assist me financially when they could, and I repaid them by financially assisting my brother when he was in school, and he did the same for the next youngest and so on.

We have seven children, and there is no way we will be able to finance the entirety of their college educations. They will be free to live at home and go to a local school, or live at home and work a few years to save up. We'll support them in any way we can, but we won't pay for the education entirely.

Thanks for the boost. Most people I talk to think it is shameful we had so many children and therefore denying the first ones there deserved education. I think the kids are better off having siblings, personally.

Saint Maker said...

Happy to pass the boost on to you Mary. We do live in a world that values 'stuff' more than kids. shameful and sad.

catherine said...

I completely agree with you. We'll help as I can, but I expect them to work, apply for scholarships and grants, et cetera. Although if they attend a Catholic college maybe we'll chip in a bit more :)