I shouldn’t complain too much. The first college we saw was only $15,000 per year. That’s a bargain considering what other colleges are charging. The second school costs $43,000 per year! It does have a great scholarship program. Still, the whole bill will cost well over $100,000K.
Did you know that the average cost of college has risen by nearly 600% from the time I went in 1985? That’s three times faster than the consumer price index. What’s worse, a lot of students are having trouble finding jobs after graduation. Oh, what joyful news. I can’t imagine the joy of leaving school without a job but with a HUGE student loan.
So why are so many kids still going to college? As a parent, my answer is because I’m scared. The gap between rich and poor is getting wider and I’m worried that my kids will be left behind. For all I know, in ten years you’ll need a master’s degree to serve a caramel macchiato at Starbucks. Plus the rate of unemployment for college grads is half the national average -- a fact not lost on me.
Of course, that’s not the only reason. College also gives you that ever important factor called ‘prestige.’ Also, you do learn a lot -- and not just academic stuff, but a lot of necessary life skills. You learn self-discipline and how to organize your time. You learn to take responsibility for your actions. You learn how to work with others -- both one on one and in groups -- as well how to cook Ramen noodles. Plus you really learn the value of a dollar. I still remember when my grandma used to send me $5 in the mail. I’d float around all day, feeling like Donald Trump without the freaky hairstyle.
So no matter the cost, my kids are going to college. I'm sure it's a fact universities rely on. I just wish I could count on my kids not needing to live in my basement once they are done.