It seems in vogue today to blame everyone other than yourselves for your financial woes.  People are bellyaching about mortgages they were duped into taking out as well as college loans.  The attached New York Times article talks about how deceptive schools are in presenting financial aid packages to parents and students.  It is my opinion that most people are smart enough to figure out that when they borrow money they need to pay it back and they don’t get to change the deal just because things are not working out as they expected.  There are a lot of ways to lower the cost of college.  In my opinion, going to a private school is a luxury and not a necessity.  There is nothing wrong with going to community college and transferring to a state school if finances are tight.  This makes much more sense than going into debt and jeopardizing one’s financial future.  Another option to lower the cost of college is have a student work from 18-23.  Once they turn 24 they can qualify for financial aid based upon their income and assets, not their parents.  Since they are paying they will probably do much better in school and will have had 6 years to figure out what they really want to do.  A study by the Harvard Business Review found that almost half of the top executives at Fortune 100 companies did not go to prestigious schools, so I will end with this question.  Is it really a good value proposition to pay $50,000 a year to go to a private university?  If you take that $200,000 cost of college and you invest it at 8%, it grows to $3,900,000 over 40 years.  I think if my parents gave me a choice, I would take the $3,900,000. How about you?


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