01 February 2008

Americans are worried...

I've been following the presidential elections since the summer. I've been following them even more closely lately. We hear a lot about the middle class, the state of Social Security, qualms of Americans fearing huge lay-offs and the like. Most of it I feel like I can identify with. I feel like they are pertinent issues that need to be addressed.

But I'm sick of this one: Parents are worried about how they are going to pay for their kids to go to college.

And here's the solution: The kids can pay for it themselves.

No, if they want to go to a fancy-pants private school, they probably cannot. But they can pay for their own educations if they do the following things:
  • Work in high school and save money.
  • Choose a school that charges a reasonable amount of tuition. There are plenty of great educational institutions that do not cost an arm and a leg.
  • Earn a scholarship or many scholarships.
  • Work while attending college.
  • Take out a loan. Assuming the student will graduate from college with a credible degree, paying the loan back will be relatively simple. Interest rates are quite low.
  • Work during the summers full-time (or more) to save money.
  • Be frugal.
It just isn't that hard, folks. And you know what? If you make your kid be responsible for paying for his own education, you can almost guarantee that he will attend his classes, work his tail off to spend the least amount of time in school as possible and make good grades because by-golly, he's not paying to play!

I just don't buy the idea that fewer kids won't be able to go to college because their parents can't pay for it. If you want it badly enough, you will be able to afford it. That's all there is to it.


Janssen said...

I love this post. You know I also feel ridiculously strongly about this issue.

TheMoncurs said...

I am sooo behind you on this. Every time I hear about that issue I'm like, what? Kids feel way too entitled these days. Make your own way in the world, slackers!

Bart said...

Most definitely.

Mom said...

you my child did, you are a great person for it, and you will always value your education.


Kristy said...

Amen, sista!

One Smart Cookie said...

I actually feel kind of ridiculously strongly about this, and I've been wanting to comment, but I didn't want to seem obnoxious. So I hope I don't.

My parents raised me saying that I should get into the best school I could and we (key word = WE) would find a way to pay for it. I went to Boston University (which is one of the most expensive private universities in the country) and I didn't receive a cent of financial aid, and my parents did pay the majority of my tuition.

But! I worked my butt off for scholarships, I have student loans, I got a job and started saving the second I turned 16, I worked full time to pay for my room and board, my books, and everything else that I needed or wanted.

So, I guess this is all to say that if/when I have kids, I will tell them the same thing. They will have to work hard, they will probably have loans, and I will NOT shell out money for things like food or beer, but if they work hard and get into a good (albeit expensive) school, we will find a way.

I do think that in this day and age, when a college degree is practically a neccessity in most fields, that it is the parents' responsibility to plan for this. Not to plan to shell out 40 grand a year - but to have A plan so that the kids can go to college. Afterall, most kids are still KIDS when they go to college, and who doesn't still need their parent's guidance at that age?

Sorry for the long comment - I hope you don't mind!