Financial aid is hard to get. Loans are still available but not as available as they were a year ago. Parents of kids in college or about to go to college are a wreck because they have lost a big chunk of that college money in the market. And the market does not look like it’s going to get better anytime soon. Add to this the news that job loss is at historic levels. Is a four-year college out of reach?
Absolutely not. It’s time to look at local colleges, online colleges, other options. It’s not that kids can’t get a college education — it’s that they can’t get the one they want — the one they have been led to believe they must have to be considered a success. Going to a community college for two years to many kids is not even considered because it screams “loser” when it fact, community colleges are a valid, strong (reasonably priced) option for a kid who really wants the education.
Talk to your kids about going to a community college for two years and then transferring to a four-year institution that they wanted to go to but could not afford right away. Suggest to kids in a four-year program that they take classes at a community college this summer. These classes are generally less expensive. Check with your college in advance to be sure that the classes you take will be accepted. Classes over the summer will shorten the amount of time and expense at the four-year college.
Night school, state school, part-time school. There are lots of options that may not be the ideal kids were hoping for, but definitely quality education that is available and affordable. So, before you raid your retirement, or mortgage the house, remember, kids have options — you may not.