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Value Creation Blog

What Should You Do About College Costs?

Posted by Josh Patrick

college-graduationI don’t know about you but I think college costs have gotten more than a little absurd. The list price for lots of colleges has now crossed the $60,000 per year threshold. That’s a lot of money for a college degree. College has now become out of reach for a lot of people.

I’m a big believer in the value of a college education. A good college education will do three things. It will help you think critically, read critically, and write critically. All are good things. The question I have is it worth $250,000 to learn these lessons?

It can cost less.

College can cost less. You can send a child to community college for a few thousand dollars per year. You can go to a state college or university for less than half the cost of a private school. College under these circumstances still costs a lot. It’s just not $250,000 it’s more like $60,000 or $70,000.

Sometimes taking a year or two off is a good idea.

We’ve all seen it if we live in a college town or at least read about it. Kids are going to college and they spend more time drinking than they do going to class. Sometimes a child just isn’t ready for school.

You might be more than a little scared that if your child takes a few years off they’ll never go to school. That might happen or in the case of my son, he’ll likely get a college degree when he’s 30 because he realizes he needs one to reach his goals. I can tell you one thing, getting a degree at 30 will be much more valuable for my son than if he went to college right out of high school. What about your kids, are they ready to go to school yet?

Have a talk with your child.

There’s a big range for where to go to school and when to go. If you’ve decided that $250,000 is too much for education you need to speak with your child early. I believe that starting the conversation in 7th or 8th grade is a good time. If you wait until their Junior year you’ve waited too long. Just because your neighbors let their children go to any school they want doesn’t mean you have to. School for your children shouldn’t bankrupt you or put your retirement in jeopardy.

College debt is one of our nations looming problems.

We have over one trillion dollars in college debt right now. I believe this is one of the looming bubbles we have in our economy. I can’t fathom a way for all of these college loans to be paid. I’m hoping that you are thinking about whether a lot of college debt would seriously hinder your child’s chance for a great life. If you believe it is, then you must talk with them.

Have a plan and have one early.

One of the best investments you can make is to find a college counselor and speak with them about what your options are. The good college advisors know what financial aid packages are available and what schools are more likely to provide your children with the best aid packages.

Like many things in life planning for how your children are going to be educated makes sense. It might mean the difference between you being able to retire or not. The choice is yours.

We’ve put together a special report on some things you might want to think about as it relates to educating your children. If you would like to get a copy of this report, please click on the button below.

controlling college costs

Topics: communication, financial planning, Children

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