Archive for August 12th, 2011

August 12, 2011

Affluent parents should make their kids pay some college costs

by Grace

new study from Bank of America reports that 47% of Americans with more than $250,000 in assets won’t pick up the full cost of their kids’ college degrees.

I’m actually surprised that it’s not a higher percentage.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said that limiting their financial support for their kids’ educational expenses would teach them responsibility.

Zac Bissonnette, author of Debt-Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents, writes that working is preferable to taking on debt.

There is considerable research that suggests that working during college will not hurt academic performance and may actually improve it. And, it can give students valuable work experience that will help them land jobs later on.

But there are also unwise ways to make your kids help pay for college….  Debt is too abstract to really impact a student’s approach to college. You’re not helping your kid by making him borrow a bunch of money for college; in fact, you may be pushing him into a debt load that will leave his career options deeply constrained when he graduates — forcing him to take the first thing that comes along (to make payments) rather than being able to plot a long-term career based on abilities and interests.

If you want to teach your kid responsibility, do it with work, budgeting, and short-term sacrifices — not debt.

I’m not picking up the full cost of my children’s college education, having always considered work experience to be of great value for young people.  There’s also some student loan debt in my kids’ future.

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