Shocking, I know.
Let me preface this by saying I fully believe in college. I fully intend on my daughter going to college, or at least completing some sort of technical or traditional college. And I will help her every way I possibly can.
But I’m not going to pay for her college.
That’s a great question. My (and my husband’s) reasons are threefold:
The most important quality that we want to instill in our daughter – over and above even how to manage our finances, and to respect us, her parents – is a good work ethic. What is a work ethic? According to Wikipedia, work ethic is:
- Work ethic is a value based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. Workers exhibiting a good work ethic in theory would be selected for better positions, more responsibility and ultimately promotion.
I believe that by just handing my daughter her college education, without her having to work for it, it will undo everything we will have done her entire life to install a good work ethic in her. Make sense?
So, we’ll encourage our daughter to do well in high school, in order to obtain scholarships for college, live at home for her first 2 years of community college (so save money) and work her way through college in order to graduate debt-free!
I worked hard before and during college. How? During high school I studied ridiculously hard, got a stellar ACT score and GPA, and was given a $40,000 scholarship to college! Then, during college I got a job as a server at a local restaurant. Really, when you’re in college, there isn’t much better pay per hour than being a server or bartender, so that’s what I did.
I believe that allowing our daughter to work her way through college will make her realize just how valuable her college education is. The fact that she is paying for herself will motivate her to work harder. And knowing just how expensive college is, that will motivate her to learn more.
At least that’s what it did for me.
A Bright Future:
If we can instill a good work ethic in our daughter, and make her realize that value of her education, I believe we will be setting her up for a responsible and happy adulthood.
She will know the value of hard work.
She appreciate every dollar.
She will know what it is like to be without debt – and never want it any other way.
We will have given her the best start we can.
And that’s all any parent can do, right?
What we will do instead –
Don’t think we’ll leave her without any sort of assistance. I’m sure some of you are thinking we’re terrible parents, but don’t worry, we fully intend to help her out:
- By letting her live at home during some or all of college, if she chooses a school close
- By helping her choose an affordable school
- By giving her all the help we can while she’s in high school, in hopes that she’ll obtain several scholarships
- We’ll help her with travel costs, if necessary
- And we’ll do everything we can to help her get a job while in college
We’ve also started saving some money to give her after college. We may use it to fund her wedding, or maybe as a graduation present so she can put a down payment on a house – or maybe we’ll give it to her just because we feel she’s responsible enough to handle a large sum of money.
Whatever we decide to do, we won’t be paying for her college.
Are you paying for your children’s college? Tell me in the comments below!
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