Paying for college June 25, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in education, older son.
Tags: college, older son, tuition
Nicole and Maggie’s post about teaching kids money management led me onto a slightly divergent path. I’m trying to figure out what to do about college.
Growing up, we had no money. I was basically told that if I didn’t want to grow up to be in a situation like my parents’ , I should get a college education. (Although I’m sure the education will help in the long run, it has not yet paid off. I’m in a decent financial situation because I happened to marry someone who was gainfully employed and didn’t mind that his wife was an educational junky/freeloader.) That being said, I was expected to pay for my own education as my parents really had nothing they could contribute. I took out student loans and am paying them back as we speak.
But what do I do about my kids? I don’t like the idea of saddling them with debt for an education. On the other hand, I think they ought to assume at least a chunk of the expense as their own responsibility. If they are going to benefit, shouldn’t they invest in it, as well?
By the time the older son starts school, I am hoping to have a job somewhere…maybe even a university-type place. That then begs the question of whether older son ought to be required to go to such a school if I get a discount. But what if it’s not a really good school? I have also been reading about the trade off between a nationally recognized alma mater and actually being able to afford one’s tuition.
I have to admit that this looks like a majorly difficult optimization problem…and it’s difficult because of the variable and unknowns.
I do have some thoughts on this…but I’m curious what other people think. How do you plan to handle college expenses? What is a fair trade off between what you want and what the kid wants? Are there certain places that are worth it no matter what?