College Admissions: Why Every Child Should Help Pay for College
Monday, May 18, 2015
Skin in the Game
Students who have $5,000-$10,000 dollars a year in loans or work to pay for part of college are more likely to care about their grades and graduate in 4 years. This exercise teaches students the value of education and the extraordinary sacrifices that families make to help them be successful in life. It also incents them to graduate in a timely fashion when many students are taking 5 or 6 years to complete college.
Transition to Adulthood
Until now, chances are that mom and dad have been a virtual ATM, doling out money for clothes, sports equipment, proms, fast food runs, and more. College is the time when kids need to learn about assuming responsibility: academically, personally and financially. Paying for a portion of their education helps them be less dependent on the Bank of Mom & Dad and more in control of their financial freedom after college.
Level the Playing Field
It doesn’t matter whether your child is at a state university or private liberal arts college, more than 50% of students will be receiving some kind of scholarship, work study or loans. Having loans or a job will make your child more mainstream and avoid the trappings of being among the privileged few who don’t contribute to their college education.
Build Credit & Financial Responsibility
Having loans in a student’s name that they pay back monthly after college will actually help them build a credit history to qualify for a car loan, mortgage or other financing that they may need later in life. It will also teach them the value of a dollar when they see part of their paycheck going to a loan payment vs. the latest designer shoes.
If your parental guilt gets the better of you, and you still feel badly about making your child pay for part of college when you can afford it, then I suggest a hybrid model. Tell your child that he/she will be taking out loans in the amount of $5,000 a year, BUT if he/she graduates with a 3.5 GPA (or whatever you decide is aggressive but fair), then you will pay off the loans as a graduation present.
This article was published on May 8, 2012.
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