Let’s start with some sobering statistics*:
- $1.44 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
- 2 million Americans with student loan debt
- Student loan delinquency rate of 11.2% (90+ days delinquent or in default)
- Average monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351
- Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203
My father, the son of sharecroppers, put himself through college working two jobs. After graduating and unable to find work, he enlisted in the Army for several years. He then started grad school (where he met my mom), got married, bought a home, had a beautiful baby girl (-ahem-) while working two jobs. He had little to no college loan debt. I don’t think that is possible now.
My parents felt it was a necessity for their little girl to go to college. In fact, not going wasn’t an option. They started a college fund for me before I could walk. They stayed on me with my grades, I was definitely not a 4.0 child but I still took Honors and AP classes and did well. I did stats for the boys basketball team and participated in drama. When it was time to apply for colleges I was ready. I applied to four and got into four.
I went to a state public school (Ohio University which is not the same as The Ohio State University). I was given four years to graduate and I made that deadline. Sadly, I don’t know if what I did for college is enough now.
College graduates are drowning in college loan debt. I mean, paying what some people pay for cars every month for a monthly student debt payment. Sadly, these payments will far outlast any car payment. In fact, they seem to go on forever.
So what is a parent to do when they have a kid approaching college. Not everyone can set money aside and not everyone has the luxury of starting their savings while their child is in infancy.
It seems as if trade schools have fallen out of favor and the conventional wisdom is that everyone needs a college education. I, personally, don’t think that is true. However, success has become linked to having that degree (a Bachelors if not a Masters).
Our podcast guest has successfully put one daughter through college and as one in college now. She also has a son who enlisted in the Marines.
It wasn’t easy but she put her mind to it, capitalized on her kids’ strengths, goals and made it happen without breaking the bank or losing her mind.
Want to find out how? Listen to the podcast and find out!