Deciding Whether to Pay for Your Child’s College Education

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. This begins from the moment they’re born and continues long after they reach adulthood. However, there can be a sticking point for many parents as their child moves through the schooling system, and this regards whether or not they should pay for their college education. It’s not a decision to make lightly, so consider the following information.

Improved Job Opportunities

If you financially assist your children in getting into some of the best value schools in the United States, you get to enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they may have improved job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one in three jobs requires education above the high school level. The unemployment rate is also lower for people with a Bachelor’s Degree than a high school diploma. If you know that your child may not attend college without your support, helping them may make a considerable difference to their career prospects.

Better Earning Potential

You may have to cut costs to set aside money in a college education fund, but the sacrifice can be worth it for many parents. Children who attend college and gain a degree may have better earning potential. The BLS states that people with a Bachelor’s Degree had median weekly earnings of $1,189 compared to a high school graduate with $718.

Higher Chances of Graduating

You can prepare your children for exams and many of life’s challenges, but there is simply no way to prepare them for juggling study, classes, and work when they have just left high school. For some, the pressure and financial burden can be too much, and they drop out before they graduate.

The consequences of this are that they may be more likely to default on their student loan over students who have obtained their degrees. If you help your children financially, they may be less likely to feel the crushing weight of debt that drives them to drop out and find employment.

They Avoid Student Debt

As crucial as it is for your children to learn life skills like planning, cooking, and money handling before heading off to college, that doesn’t mean they have to handle everything independently.

Even by offering a small amount of money, assisting with their college fund may mean they aren’t burdened with a considerable student debt once they graduate. They may then hit the ground running with earning potential without significant monthly payments from their education.

The Potential Downsides

While considering the benefits of paying for your children’s college education, it’s also essential to think about the disadvantages. Talk to your children about what they want and whether a college education is even in their sights. The last thing you want to do is force your child down a path they don’t want to travel.

It’s also worth thinking about how paying for your children’s education impacts your finances. Tapping into your 401(k) or retirement fund may affect your comfort levels in your later years. There is also the risk of dependency. If you pay for your children’s education, they may also rely on you for other bill payments and don’t learn financial independence as quickly as students who pay their own way.

It can be worth putting thought into college education funding while your children are still young. Consider whether you’re in a position to help them out or whether you believe it’s in your child’s best interest to support themselves. 

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