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Borrowing for college

Last week it was announced that the combined debt, owed by college students for tuition has reached a trillion dollars. This debt, combined with the weak job market, puts graduating students in a deep hole before they ever get started.

There are several reasons for this that come to mind. One is the inability of parents to finance their children’s college education the way they used to. Two is the rising tuition rates that are insanely high at most colleges. Three is an irresponsible attitude amongst potential students that they will worry about paying for it later. I say irresponsible because many students make no attempt to work while they are going to college, yet drive fancy cars and take expensive spring break vacations. College to them, is not just an education, it is a four-year hiatus from the realities of life.

My son-in-law successfully earned a degree in engineering and came out of college, debt free with no financial assistance from family. He worked nights while he went to school.

He has two daughters in college right now. One of them just graduated with a four-year degree and owes very little money, taking to heart her father’s example. The other one elected to go away to a very expensive college and does not work and is racking up some enormous debt.

This, which is taking place in my own family, is exactly what I am talking about. One of the things that could be done here is for parents, to not willingly co-sign loans, when there are cheaper options. Your willingness to aid and abet the situation is not a very caring attitude when it comes to your children’s future.

Mike Holst