Funding post secondary education is a major issue for many families. Funding post secondary education seems to be an afterthought in my homes. Many folks believe debt is acceptable to funding post secondary eduction. They don’t realize that when students use debt in funding post secondary education, that debt will linger for years.
In Canada, and the USA, governments provide tax-efficient means for parents to fund students’ post secondary education (later refer to as college education). Fifty percent of Canadian parents don’t save for their children’s college education. In the USA, yearly, sixty percent of students borrow to pay these expenses. According to a recent study of young adults between 22 and 32, more than half financed their education with student loans. Fifty Four percent say debt is their biggest financial concern with 42% calling it “overwhelming.”
Funding Post Secondary Education – Whose Responsibility?
Many parents expect children to use student loans to fund college education. Several of these parents argue that children work harder and do better when they pay their own education costs. Probably, these parents hold this view because they do not teach their children good stewardship according to Deuteronomy 6:49, and Proverbs 22:6.
We should not expect our children to be prudent and behave as good stewards when society promotes poor stewardship, and countless parents succumb to societal pressures. Numerous high school students tell me a credit card is something used to get what people want when they can’t afford it. Borrowing to fill a casual want is normal, these students say; that’s what they see. Borrowing to go to college because it is the thing to do, sets the stage for victim mentality.
What are potential sources to fund college education when parents or guardians do not save? Scholarships, bursaries, grants, earnings, loans.
You are 18-19 years old, wanting to enter college, but broke; what do you do? I suggest if you follow Jesus you need to know whether He wants you to go to college, now. Therefore, the first step is to seek Him…not my will, but Your will. Too often, folks rush to borrow because society expects a certain path…graduate from high school then off to college irrespective of circumstances.
When the Lord shows you that you should attend college, zoom in, zoom out, decide, fund, execute, review.
What has the Lord revealed to you about post secondary education? What is the primary goal? What will you study? Where might you go? When might you start? Where might you live? What alternatives exist to achieve your goal? What if you took a year off? These are merely a few questions to help consider the full effects of the decision to attend college. Be precise as feasible; however, don’t consider funding sources yet. Look at whether you should study, where, why, when, costs, but not how to pay. That’s for later. Separate basic analyses of what, when, why, where, how, from payment.
As you pray, remember, God is a God of details and will show you His goal. Be open to Him. Don’t start with preconceptions. Especially, don’t let incomplete knowledge of financing alternatives influence your thinking.
The first pass of this stage might show different paths. For each, ensure you write a goal (Exodus 3:10-12), plan, and budget.
Stage one placed the issue under the spotlight. Now, step back, look at the big picture, consider likely results of different paths. I repeat; now, don’t consider funding.
If an option will include moving away from home, consider your likely future lifestyle. You will be on your own, providing for yourself. Will you cook? Can you cook? You will need to grocery shop, do laundry, clean your apartment. These activities need time, effort, and funds.
How disciplined are you working on your own? You don’t have to figure everything out now, but decide what you need to do today to start to prepare for later.
The main goal of this section is to ensure you look at the bigger picture and try to understand broad, potential effects.
You have two basic decisions. […Read the full article]
Copyright © 2013, Michel A. Bell