Thursday, May 9, 2013

College: Is It Really Worth It?

College loans are a huge topic in today's news, and there are so many thoughts about it I wanted to write a blog to address it.

My mom raised my sister and I while working two jobs and going to college for her bachelor's degree in education. I was in my second or third year of my professional journalism career before my mom earned her degree -- she was 40. The paper the day she graduated had a huge celebratory ad (designed by me) for her accomplishment. She is the best special education teacher and coordinator I've ever met and she is fantastic at her job. My dad was very successful as a contractor and builder, then as a restaurant and antique store owner, and now as a rustic furniture designer and top Visalus person.

My husband and myself attended a year of college but never finished. Both of us jumped right into our chosen arts careers of graphic arts and journalism before our friends had even graduated college, and neither of us suffered from the stress of school loans for more than a few years. The day I paid mine off was a celebratory moment! Both of his parents attended school and are in law enforcement as a detective and sheriff and love their jobs.

Every mother wants their child to have a better education than themselves. Every parent wants their child to succeed. But it is worth having $40,000 to $80,000 in college loans following you the rest of your life? We are going to teach our children if they want to go to school, they have to earn good grades and get a scholarship because we cannot and will not pay for it. It will be a choice they make and follow through with on their own, not because we push them. All we can do is teach them about choices, money, and guide them toward the future using their talents and hope they make the right decisions.

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