College has become a burden - specifically, a financial burden for families and college graduates all across the United States. At one point in history, receiving a college education was an honor of the highest quality. A college education not only guaranteed you a job but it didn't cost anywhere near what it costs today. In fact, most college students could work their way through college and not have a single cent of debt after graduation.
Today, people are beginning to question if college is even worth it. Well, is it? Today, the average student debt for a college graduate is ~$30k. $30,000!!! That is a lot of money, considering that is the national average. Some college graduates have debt in excess of $200,000. How did this happen? To make matters worse, these kids can't find jobs. So, is it worth it...??? Is it worth putting you or your family in debt or even worse, to not be able to pay off your debt? Simple answer, NO! So, what should you do?
Yes, college is expensive and yes, student debt continues to grow. But, does that mean you have to do it? Does that mean that you have to follow everyone else and continue to make this epidemic worse? No... you don't have to do this. There are colleges for you and there are colleges that will not jeopardize your financial future. And even more importantly, there are colleges that will give your child the opportunities. including sports, that they are looking for. But, it takes work... it takes research and it takes time. But, there are options... you don't have to be forced into this.
If there is a high level of communication and awareness within the homes of families across the U.S., then families will make better decisions - and this includes the child. Get YOUR CHILD involved and show them what this decision REALLY means ...
Here are some thoughts and pointers for every family facing this decision today:
- Sit down as a family and ask the common sense questions - do this early and often so no one, including your child, is surprised by the financial impact of this decision
- Talk openly with your spouse and your child about what money, if any, you have saved for college
- Discuss the concept of student debt and how it could impact their future
- Do the math with your child - show them how much college costs - too often kids don't understand the financial impact of this decision. They should - it's their future.
- Ask your child what they want to study and research the potential post-graduate salary expectations for your child.
- Research different scholarship and financial aid packages - again, do this math WITH your child... don't enable them and surprise them when they graduate.
- Does your student-athlete understand, if their sport is an equivalency sport, what that would mean financially for them? Every sports offerings are different depending on the level of play...D1, D2, D3, NAIA, JC
- 8. Identify as many as 50 schools that give you and your child the best financial and academic opportunities
- 9. Once you know you have found the schools for you and your child, create a plan and a strategy to find the RIGHT FIT!
Tim and James Twellman