You work hard to provide the funds for your student's college degree. You pay. They borrow money and finally graduate. The New York Times ran a story on this natural phenomenon. In fact, it told the story of one young woman in such a way that reflected such a disconnect that anyone who really thinks through the cost-benefit ratio can only marvel.
She borrowed $100,000. She graduated. She now has a $37,000 a year job as a file clerk. This is normal. Across the nation, it is normal. Why does it take a B.A. nowadays to get a job as a file clerk? Has the filing industry changed so drastically that that is truly what is required?
Gary North, a well-respected and common sense American economist asks, "Is it better to take on $100,000 in debt that legally cannot be escaped by bankruptcy in order to earn a B.A. degree or to work at McDonald’s part time and pay a total of $15,000, with zero debt?"
He goes on to add, "Most parents take the first approach. I don’t recommend it."
We add to his question these:
- Why don't parents and their students ask this question of themselves more frequently?
- Why is it "safer" to take on ridiculous amounts of debt to go to a traditional brick and mortar school for five of more years of your life than to pay as you go--paying less than $15,000 total--to earn the exact same, fully accredited degree?
- And to the parents who actually have the $75,000+ per student in your household, why not put $15,000 of it toward your student's degree and present him with a $50,000 graduation gift for a solid start in his adult life?
Instead, because it's the way it's always been done, we settle for rational like the managing partner of the law firm of our example file clerk above who says, "You know, if we had someone here with just a G.E.D. or something, I can see how they might feel slighted by the social atmosphere here...There really is something sort of cohesive or binding about the fact that all of us went to college.”