Thursday, January 04, 2007

Should parents pay for college?

In a discussion with a friend last night, Mrs. Expat Teacher spoke about how she was hoping to pay for college for our (yet to be conceived) kids. Her friend won't be paying for her 3 children's university. Mrs. Expat Teacher's parents paid for her university, while the friend is still paying for it.

In the first 100 hours, Democrats plan to cut a 50% reduction in Stafford loans down to 3.4% from 6.8% and PLUS loans down to 4.25% from 8.5%.

The Nation has an editorial that outlines some issues with a university education today. Since 2000,
  • the average cost of attending a four-year public university has increased 42 percent, while median household income has fallen 2%
  • The average student graduates with almost $19,000 in student loan debt--not to mention another $3,200 in credit card debt
  • This is nearly three and a half times as much debt as the average college graduate faced a decade ago
  • If trends continue, an estimated 2 million qualified students between 2001 and 2010 will not receive a college education because they cannot afford it

I'm not arguing against university education. It is a given for upward mobility in today's economic environment. However, the cost of university gets in the way of able-bodied students from achieving their full potential because they can't afford to go.

I believe parents are obligated to pay for as much of their child's education as they can afford.

Full Disclosure - my parents paid for my undergraduate degree and I paid for my graduate work.

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