Must Your Child Owe Thousands After Graduation?
By Ric Edelman
Parents are privately borrowing more money for college today. Indeed, the most you can borrow from the federal government remains $35,125. As a result, parents and children are turning to private loans.
This can be financially devastating to the undergraduate, who is more likely to leave college with a massive amount of debt. Huge debt loads force graduates to seek higher-income jobs, limiting their career choices. It reduces their ability to choose public service, volunteerism, or to become a stay-at-home parent.
What can you do about these huge college expenses? Simple: Do whatever it takes to avoid them. Ask yourself if spending $80,000 to $150,000 is worth it, and whether you can afford it.
I am not suggesting that you should not send your children to college. I merely ask you to consider if the higher-priced school is worth the extra expense. For many students, especially those who plan to enter fields that are not known for high remuneration, less expensive strategies should be considered, such as:
- attending part time while working;
- working before college, possibly with a company that offers tuition benefits as part of the compensation program;
- joining the military, which offers college benefits; or
- enrolling in a community college for the first two years, then transferring to a four-year school for the final two years. After all, most employers only ask about the degree, not whether you attended that school all four years.
Get creative, because you want to make sure to avoid a financial disaster with massive amounts of debt for either you now or your kids after they graduate.