With so much talk about student loans recently, I thought I would give you my thoughts on the whole debacle. Recently, the President said that the US Government would forgive up to $300 billion worth of federal student loans. Each person who qualifies will receive at max ten thousand forgiveness. While it seems like a good deal, it is just a political tool for midterms. I am not against student loan forgiveness, I am just not sure if it will have an impact on the American people. Currently, there is about 1.7 trillion dollars worth of “federal” student loan. After the debt forgiveness, there will be around 1.3 trillion dollars. My main issue is this if federal student loans are a crisis, and it is, then why are we still giving them out? This is the whole issue I have. Let me share a few different views on the whole student loan debacle.
- Parents, pay attention. Please do not let your kid get into student debt. If you really want them to be successful, do these things. Encourage them to go to a local community college. Live at home, work a job, save their money, and work the plan. Matter of fact, have them dual enrolled while in high school because it will help them get done and out of college quicker.
- Do not fall for the marketing. Somewhere along the way marketing has infiltrated our culture and how we see college. For some reason, we have been sold the idea that where we go to college matters. For the most part, it does not matter. Over the past five years, I have asked many professionals if the people hired ever asked where they went to college. The answer is still a one hundred percent no. The talk of where they went to school only comes up when they are talking about football. So, we as parents have to be aware that college is marketed to us. We believe it should be only four years. Why? Because that is what we have been sold. If you would tell your kids to go through college debt free and pay cash, they will come out in 6 years with a bachelor’s. Sure it may take a little while longer, but the end of their college looks different than the normal students. They will be debt free, with a degree, and then can take a job they want and not just a job that pays them. That is a huge difference and will help your kid win.
- I want my kid to go to ____________ University. Parents, brace yourself, if you are not paying for your kid’s college, which is your prerogative, you can only advise your kids on where they attend school. If you are paying, then you have a say in it. I have seen so many parents insist their kids go to that university, you know the one that the parents are probably still paying student loans to because they went there and want their kids to go to. As always, figure out your child and what is best for them.
- College is hard. This whole “college experience” thing is a marketing ploy. The actual college experience is tired students, frustrations, tons of studying, no money, test, quizzes, homework, busyness, poor diet, and so much more. Sounds fun huh? It is not. College courses are getting harder, more intense, and more involved. Your kids are going to struggle for a while in that environment.
These are just some things that we parents can do to help our students make a better, more informed, debt-free, decisions to help them win in the future.