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September 20th, 2014

Reiss’s Pieces

 

After I had ranted and raved about our property taxes and how they were affected by our local schools, I decided to look into colleges. Well, if you thought I was upset and shocked with our property taxes, let me tell you about colleges and how much it will cost to send our babies to further their education. Now keep in mind, all of our young people are told that in order to get a good job and to be able to support themselves and their families, they have to go to college. And actually, I believe that, too.

I went to college right after I graduated from high school in 1957. Because my parents felt that my brother, who was three years younger needed to go to “a good school” and that they would have to pay for him, I needed to go to a school that I could manage to pay for on my own. So, I went to a state college in New Jersey. As I think back, it was very inexpensive, but I still had to work three to five jobs a day in order to pay my way. But, when I graduated in 1961, I had no debt at all. Now, I may be old but even I realize that those days are over, and going to further your education costs a tremendous amount more these days. But, to be perfectly honest, I had no idea how much until my grandson had to decide where he wanted to go. And what I found out was outrageous!

Before we even think about the Ivy League schools, lets talk about our own state university. Did you know that for a Vermont student to go to UVM, the cost is $29,674, a year? And for an out-of-state student it is $51,735? Can you imagine? The in-state tuition is a lot more than we paid for our house!

Now, because I was so shocked by the cost to go to UVM, I decided to look and find out what other college and universities cost. And all I can tell you is that UVM is really at the top of the pack for out-of-staters. But we are really only interested in our own Vermont kids, right? Well, almost any college or university that you have ever heard of costs, at minimum, from $37,000 to $68,000! And this is per year!

Now here is my question: how much do you, as a parent, have to either save or make in order to send your child to one of these schools? I really have no idea at all. What I do know is if you think a child can take out student loans and then pay them off when they graduate, you are amazingly wrong. The interest on student loans is outrageous and it will take a student with only an average loan about 10 years where they have to pay, at least, $700 a month to pay it off. And that means, of course, that they have to be able to get a pretty good job in order to live and pay it off! And, I believe, there is also a credit problem until they pay it off.

So, my question is, how can we load our kids with such debt? Unless, of course, you only have one child to send to college or have a bag of gold buried under your porch! I only thank God that my children all went to college and all got good jobs when they graduated. And I can only pray that my grandchildren are able to do the same thing.

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