Should I pay for College the rest of my life?


Being the mother of a soon to be high school graduate, facing the reality of the cost of having a good education (and everything else that comes with it, like boarding, books, etc.),  I have asked my self, my friends and family, and asked him this a good couple of times. Do you really need to go to college, to then have to pay for what ever you study the rest of your life?

A former neighbor was a doctor, as well as his wife.  They had 4 kids, and their biggest expense was to repay for their education.

Both of them were (are) extremely smart people, both worked full time (and a bit more), had all 4 kids on public schools, went shopping only when it was a good sale, and they even utilized coupons.

I remember one day we were joking about jobs, and how much you were getting paid, and we came to the cost of education.

It was funny that you will expect that after investing $250k, to start with you had to do a ton of specializations, that cost an arm an a leg, and even after that you couldn’t be sure you were making enough to even repay the loan you were taking to “get a better future”.

Both of them kept on saying that the most they were going to pay for their kids was undergrad, and even then, their kids had to find at least a part time to help out.  It doesn’t make sense to start your life in negative!

You see all this kids that are not even sure what they want to do with their life’s, that have a thousand dreams, that believe they can change the world in a day, that see everything so easy.

And then reality kind of sets.

1- You need to go to a good school! The only issue with a good school is that usually they are not on the cheap side, and their acceptance rate sounds more like a joke.  And even with scholarships, you will need to have a good couple of thousands just to survive, meaning: place to live, books, food, clothes, etc.  And yes, we parents will help! the problem is that the way things are, there is no guarantee for anyone in any job, and most people live check by check. So you can choose to pay for your kids education or have a retirement fund.

2- Books are expensive! It’s funny how some books are worth hundreds of dollars.  And then during the semester you open them just a couple of times.  But you still need them.

3- Eating well is not cheap! we are a family that we are very health conscious, I try to feed them the best I can, that is how I know that good quality food is not cheap.  Usually there are no coupons for healthy stuff, getting fresh veggies require to do several trips to the store during a month, and since the food doesn’t have chemicals (preservatives and that kind of stuff) it doesn’t last that long.  So here we send our kids to school, on a budget for everything, and what can they eat? junk! That in the long run they will have to pay for too, since all the bad things you do to your body will eventually come up, whether is in the form of cholesterol, diabetes, hormonal disorders, Cardiovascular issues, etc.

4- Dealing with stress! let’s face it, most of our kids are going to graduate from high school with stress about how much work they had, having just experience College applications (and hopefully acceptance), making one of most important life decisions (choosing what to study).  And then have even more work from the clases they start to take, having to figure out what to eat every single meal (no more Mom, Dad, Grandma to make any of the meals), dealing with being sick and alone for the first time in their life!

5- How to afford it! This is huge! we are working towards a good scholarship, sponsor, etc. and there are options that is the positive thing, but what if you don’t get any of them? You need to go with a loan. And this my friends is the part that really sucks! You are starting your life with a huge debt that you have to pay, no matter what! Some of this debt will be for more than if you bought a house, what will actually give you some trouble to buy a house.  In the way the job market is, well is concerning to say the least.

How many kids are we seeing graduate, put four years (at least if they don’t go for a masters, doctorate, etc) off a lot of work and sacrifice, to end up doing a blue collar kind of job, that the only requirement (if any, is having a high school diploma or GED).

If they don’t act quickly, then in no time they are “outdated” in their field, and until further education is achieved, they are stuck where they are.

College is an experience that everyone should have.  Is that last step into becoming an independent person, is that moment that you are forced to fly by your self.  But it isn’t fair to start your flying lessons with a bandaid on your wing.

If you are in the process of looking for college, look for options to support your self.

There are options for you to have your own business.

If you are interested in a way to pay your way to college go to if you speak spanish.

About Juanita

I was born in South America, and moved to North America when I was in my late teens. I had a kid and needed to be able to support him on my own, so like most immigrants I ran after the american dream. I love and try to keep most of my latin traditions, mainly the old school things and values. I'm on my 30's, I am a Mom & I love every second of it (yes even when I feel like I want to run away before I kill him). I love to cook and bake. But keeping my family healthy is a must! Like most women I Love chocolates also reading, working and anything that helps me be a better person. I am always working on improving who I am, I am thankful for all my experiences (good, bad and ugly), because of them I am the person I am today! I lack any coordination, have a "special" sense of humor So, yes I could be a lot of fun, most of the time I will keep people around me, very much amused (and my body with new bruises) I belong to the club of "I don't fall, I do random gravity checks", I am also constantly attacked by furniture! Those things are secret ninjas! Some day someone else will see it too! I am just another person fighting to be who I am, and hoping to get more to join my path! Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” - Bernard M. Baruch
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