Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We Are Not Paying For College for Our Five Kids and Here is Why

Or money. Or are a genius. Or have an outstanding idea to turn into reality and sell. Or amazing business acumen.

Okay, I'm kinda just kidding here. I think college is fine. I have nothing against it. I just think it's overrated (unless you need it to be something you really want to be, like a doctor or lawyer or engineer or architect or some other profession where you must have that degree). Please read on.

I was going to do a big rant about how everyone thinks college is mandatory these days and that parents think they have to pay for it and how even if I had the cash of Trump I would not pay for my kids' college 100% (don't worry, Aron's with me on this one). I'm not going to bore you with the dropout stats and rates or the soaring cost of something your kid might not complete anyway and might not even enjoy.

Disclaimer: if your kid loves writing and drama, for instance, and you can swing paying for it, by all means send your kid to the appropriate college ... you won't see me tsk-ing you. But if your kid is 18 and CLUELESS about a career path and might even just want to get away from you and PARTAY til the break of dawn, you might want to think carefully before funding that action.

Because, AGAIN, I won't bore you with the stats, but a college education does not guarantee that your kid will graduate from a 4-year or even 6-year college stint and be able to get a job (1) in their field or (2) that will pay enough to pay back their student loans.

Disclaimer #2: My man went to school for engineering when he was in his late 20s and took out loans and worked a J.O.B. while he went and lived on his own even. He got an okay job, then a rockin' job he's had since 1999 and together we paid back his loans no problem. I realize not everyone has a sugar mama like me, though (hahahaha!)

Disclaimer #3: I don't know everything and the older I get realize I know less than I thought I knew (thank God for Google!). So before you get all mad at me, read on.

Disclaimer #4: I have an amazing example of someone who is successful who did not finish college: my own dad. He was too ornery for college, for sure. But he worked hard at the post office and was able to go on nice vacations and support his family and then retire at the ripe old age of ... 55. You know he and his wife are doing okay if they can buy Christmas and birthday presents for 8 grandchildren!

Our plan for our kiddos is to see if they can't go to junior college up the street for 2 years while living at home to save a ton of money. They should have enough saved in their savings accounts we started at birth for that. Also, they will be saving money from babysitting and mowing lawns and selling lemonade or whatever while they are teens. After that depends on the individual child and their needs and wants. Like if I have a kid going to MIT, well, let's see about grants and scholarships, then I suppose we'll discuss paying half and the other half will have to be on student loans. MIT kid should be able to pay those back within the first WEEK of working a job out of college :-) If I have a kid who wants to start a business and has a great idea, we'll talk. A kid who wants to wander through life a little ("all who wander are not lost") will be told "go for it, as long as you have a job!" So we support going to college and support not going. So we are not those parents who push college, and we are not those parents who say, "We can't afford it, don't go."

Just for fun, though, check out this link to the bio of an inventor of a very popular toy: Legos! And College Dropouts Hall of Fame. And 10 Famous People Who Didn't Go to College.

**I don't want my husband to work 80  hours a week and I don't want to personally work 40 hours a week from home to save money for my kids to go to college because WE WOULD BE MISSING THEIR CHILDHOOD AND WHAT IS THE POINT? Also, don't you think it's good for kids to take some responsibility in their education, their EXPENSIVE education? To learn how to make good financial choices early? We preach at them to not get into debt and to save and give to charity and LOOK AT WHAT WE ARE DOING! We are going into debt to send them to college, something they may not EVEN WANT TO DO!

Now, hit the Comment section and let's fight because I think I have it all figured out right now, but God is laughing at me while I write this post!