If you do nothing else pleases watch the Dave Ramsey Video at the end of this post.
He nails it!!!!!!
It’s graduation time again. It is the time of year to consider your child’s next stage of education. For some they are moving to high school, graduating kindergarten or moving out of elementary. For those graduating from high school, moving into higher education comes with an increasingly high price tag.
Today a collage education has become such an expectation that some people mistakenly believe it to be a right. Sorry.. but no… a collage education is wonderful to have, a great experience but a right? No not exactly. It is a gift, but is not something afforded, needed or right for everyone.
There is a mistake belief circulating in America, that a collage education is expected regardless of the ability to pay for it. This has resulted in enormous college loan debt ballooning out of control and silly statements that collage should be “free” for everyone. (Sorry someone is ultimately paying for this free education.)
The question become who is too pay for this education? I want to present a different side of this question. Does a parent have an obligation to pay for their children’s education past high school? Over the past decade this high education obligation has been pushed as yet another responsibility of parents. It has become a obligatory parental guilt that if you don’t pay for collage your setting your kid up for failure.
I’m here to let you guilt riddled parents of new graduates off the hook. If your son or daughter seems directionless entering collage and wants to major in underwater basket weaving with no viable job prospects you are now expected to flit the bill. Matter of fact, paying for higher education is your choice, not your obligation.
A some parents are forgoing their own retirement planning to pay for the enormous cost of collage education with no guaranteed return of this investment. Whatever the parents can’t cover, the student is being asked to pay for in the form of student loans that never go away.
There begs the second question. Is a college education even really necessary? This is something we have told is necessary for success in the workplace but is that really true? I am sure if you took a poll of college grads very few of them actually have had employment in the field they majored in. You can answer both of these to questions with a resounding No. No, parents are not obligated to pay for collage and no collage is not necessary for success.
I was listening to a periscope from Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine the other day where she freely admitted she did not go to collage. She is wildly successful with a great blog, speaking appearances and popular books. There are several entrepreneurs and business leaders who never when to collage or attended later in life, but have had success.
So you are not handicapping your children if you don’t put yourself into financial ruin putting them thru college. On the flip side their are several cases of people who were extremely bright, went to collage and have become complete and utter failures by societies standards. So what is the difference a… self knowledge and a plan.
Where collage education seems to work the best is when students have a direction. They are not there to party and spend mom and dads money. they are ther for an education. They understand the gift higher education is and make best use of that gift. This takes maturity that to average high school grad usually doesn’t have. So before you rush to sign the loan paperwork consider a new perspective on funding and experiencing higher education.
- Parents are not obligated to pay for college ( According to financial expert, Dave Ramsey you should be funding your own retirement before shelling out for your kids collage education. See the video below.)
- Help you offspring formulate a plan to pay for it themselves -Cash flow college. It is not as quick and it is not as easy as signing your life away with an unending loan, but they (and you) will not pay for something with money you don’t have. The students will take their education much more seriously if they are paying for it themselves and you will not be put in the poor house.
- Look into trade schools, Learn a skill – I don’t know why trade schools have gotten a bad rap? Most successful entrepreneurs start off learning a trade they love then developing a business based on that skill. Most do not attend business school first.
- Let them take a year off – There is the belief that if a high school student takes a year off they will lose the momentum. However if they enter into college without a plan or a want to even be there then you are wasting time and money to have them drop out, change majors or become discussed with the process in general. Give them sometime to figure out who they are and what they want before forcing another year of education on them. (No this doesn’t mean they can spend 5 years living in your basement, but give them a change to figure out what they want to do.)
- Do a apprenticeship or internship instead of college – This is real world experience that isn’t taught in business school. Sometime just plain hard work will teach more than a 4-year university ever could.
- Go to a Community College for the first 2 years – Not only does this cost much less cost then select a larger program but it also gives the student to have the experience of the college atmosphere, with a more flexible timeline to decide what they want to pursue as a career.
I know this is a big issue many parents are facing right now. Please leave me your comments I would love to know what you think of these ideas and of Dave’s video.