College expenses are rising every year and both students and parents alike wonder how they’ll afford a college education. If you have the finances to pay for your child’s entire college expenses, please reconsider.
When Parents Pay
As a college professor I’ve witnessed the results of parents paying for their kid’s entire college expenses. These students are less responsible for their education because they have no vested interest. I hear students flippantly comment, “So what if lost my textbook. Too bad I failed that class. I can just take it again. My parents will pay for…”.
Your Student’s Share
Consider allowing your student to pay for certain expenses, such as their clothing, entertainment, car payments and insurance, textbooks, course materials, or even several of these categories. It will pay off in dividends. They will become more conscientious students which ultimately results in less overall expenses. When students are vested in their education, they’re more likely to attain their goals in a timely manner.
College and Car Insurance
If your son or daughter is attending college so their car insurance is covered under your policy, within six weeks, most of them won’t be attending classes. When I meet students each semester I share, “Your parents’ car insurance won’t motivate you to arrive twice a week for an 8:00 A.M. class. You must have your own personal reasons for obtaining a college education or you’ll drop out.”
College Graduation Rates
Unfortunately many young people who enter college won’t graduate. A study by Harvard University reports that, “Only 56 percent of the students who enter America’s colleges and universities graduate within six years, while only 29 percent of students who enter two-year programs complete their degrees within three years, the study found.” 1
Raising financially responsible young people is possible, but requires advanced planning. In order to train your son or daughter, you need to know what your financial expectations are for your family. Then together with your young person, you can create a financial plan that works for everyone.
1. Study: Nearly Half Of America’s College Students Drop Out Before Receiving A Degree, Travis Waldron on Mar 28, 2012, thinkprogress.org/education/2012/03.
2. Image from: desk-1239435-1280×850 [freeimages.com]. .