Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pay It Forward

LP and AK are almost 3 and almost 1, respectively. And yet I find myself thinking of them going to college.

Not in the weepy, "Oh, my babies will be going off to college in 15 years!" sort of way; more in the "How the heck are we going to pay for college in 15 years?" sort of way.

The Hoos and I went to one of the most expensive colleges in the country. I am not saying that because I am snotty and proud, I am saying that because I am shocked and appalled. Going to school in the nation's capital was cool and all, but is my education worth more than an Ivy education? Or a SUNY education? Likely not.

I was fortunate that my parents gave me the option of deciding which school to attend. I am sure SUNY Binghamton would have been a preferred, more cost-effective route, but I was interested in politics and thirsting for life in "the big city." All things considered, GW was a great fit for me; I got my degree, worked for the Feds during school and the summers, and acquired useful skills and gainful employment upon graduation. And I met the Hoos.

I also left school with debt. And left my parents with debt as well. Fortunately, because of the step-up my college education provided me, the values my parents instilled on me, and some lucky breaks, I haven't had to hit them up for assistance any time since.

When the time comes, I hope that I can offer my girls the same option that my parents provided to me. But I have to admit, I am scared sh*tless at the thought of them wanting to go to the most expensive college in the country considering how much will a year of college will likely cost in 2024!


Wenderina said...

Maybe if you'd gone to a cheap SUNY school like me you could correctly spell Binghamton. It's the little things we learn that make a difference.

That being said - I've never regretted my cheaper SUNY education - and I feel I got a great step-up too.

AmyBow said...

Okay, I fixed the spelling. My bad! Second, I wasn't slighting a SUNY education; in fact, I was saying that likely it didn't really matter where I went in the long-run in terms of the classroom education. And we all know Geneseo is mostly awesome because of the local people:)

Anonymous said...

As usual my niece has it exactly right. I bet her grandparents have some thoughts on her choice as well.

Robyn said...

I had to foot the bill for my law school and I chose D.C. as well (one of the most expensive law schools in the country)and got the SAME education as my husband who went to a state school.

My HOPE is to have paid off law school before Bear gets to college. I'd like to be able to foot the bill for college for my kid(s), as my parents did for me, but the cost is going to be astronomical. I'm freaking out, too!

A's Mom said...

I went to a small private school as well, but was fortunate enough to get loans, grants, and scholarships. I'll be paying off the debt for the next 8 more years (I think), but I'm also glad with my decision.

Gramma and Pop-pop have started a college fund for LMA and I'm sure we'll have another fund the second one. When it's not in your name, you don't have to claim it for tax purposes down the road. Just a thought.