As a Realtor and Parents of a high school senior, my wife and I had no idea we would be offsetting our child's ability to purchase a home by 19%, when we encouraged him to go off to college (even with the difference in income that education may have earned him). Without a doubt as parents our intentions are always the best, but sometimes as good as our intentions are, we miss the mark! Usually our children recover from our mistakes in a day or two, and all is good. But Student Debt is a whole new monster, we could end up handicapping our children, long after they graduate from college, start their own family - even with an offset in income (which isn't always the case) and we do this.... with all the best intentions in the world.
Certainly not bashing a college education, many careers require it, but we wanted to investigate other options.... Here are just a few: "Home College" (don’t try this one at home-I wasn’t allowed to join the conversation again for 20 minutes), Community college (good option - find out if college is really for them?), no schooling (worse than home schooling, don’t try this one either) Trade school - excellent option, Military another excellent option, and please share any other options you may have.
Without making this blog too long, I wanted you to watch this NAR video below. Obviously if your child is determined to be a doctor or a lawyer or something along those lines, a college education is a must, but don’t dismiss all the trades out there that do not require a college education (as long as you attend a trade school) .... contractors, plumbers, electricians, boat captains, CDL drivers, restaurant maintenance, mechanics, lineman, landscapers.....
These are all well-paying jobs, with 1/10th the debt!
In fact, did you know that Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs has given away more than $5,000,000 in scholarships for trade schools? I didn’t know that until recently..
Again, there are lots of options out there, don't count on Mike Rowe to solve all your problems either, but please make sure you explore them ALL.
Quick plug for our Realtor Association, WHAR (West Hawaii Association of Realtors) , we also gave out 8 scholarships for school, along with college tuition's, ours also included trade schools in the scholarship!
As for our son, at the end of the day, he turned down our offer to help him through college (against our will) and chose Cyber Security through the US Army, not only will he be housed, fed, and earn a living during his military training, a year in cyber security schooling, and subsequent 5 years of on the job experience, with college tuition paid for if he chooses, and VA loans to help him into a home! I have to tell you, after the dust settled on him joining the Army, we couldn't be prouder parents!
This video released by the National Association of Realtors is what inspired me to write this blog, ironically the person in the video has quite the college background :) Just a reminder that college is still for some people, but not for all !