As a parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent I am really concerned about our educational system.
Our family has strived to teach our children about responsibility. Most of our families’ children have completed or will complete their college education. They were taught, at an early age, the value of money and the purpose of its use. Education should be based upon need, ability, desire and focus on the potential earning capacity of the planned employment secured by that education. From experience we know that many graduates find employment that does not necessarily dovetail with their education.
Our children worked to accumulate funds, worked through college, delayed entry for a year or two, took classes in community college, qualified for scholarships and graduated with little or no debt. This is not theory, it is fact!
Let us compare opening a business to securing an education. In opening up a business, you probably do not have all the funds necessary to open the business, but you have the potential earning capacity, based upon your skills and knowledge to pay the bank back out of those earnings and still maintain your lifestyle. A college education is similar. If you do not have the money to complete you education, you go to the bank and borrow money with the anticipation of paying back that loan from your future earnings and still have enough to provide a living for your family.
Now the difference: the bank will require collateral, a written plan showing the income potential and the ability to pay back the loan and maybe even provide, if needed extra funds for inventory etc. as the business continues.
From my experience with our family’s students, colleges do not provide debt counseling. There is no requirement to prepare a cost-benefit analysis based upon the student’s course of studies and the ability to pay for this accumulating debt out of future earned income. Loans keep on being available as long as they stay in school.
In my opinion, we have failed our students by not requiring up-front financial counseling. A free debit card is applied to all with no consideration on the ultimate ability to pay the piper. UNIVERSITIES, student loan providers, as well as parents who have not taught their children financial responsibility should be held responsible.
Why, should I, or any of my children be responsible for paying for other children who accumulated debt beyond their capacity to repay?
Go to the universities, go to their parents who did not teach their children financial responsibility. Don’t expect me to pay for your children when our children are not the ones responsible for those overburdened with debt.
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