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How the Middle Class SHOULD Pay for College

Every parent wants their kids to get the education they need to move on to a career in which they can be successful. But, no parent wishes $50,000+ worth of debt on anyone, much less their own children. Well, they don’t have to – we didn’t.

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We have two children. One has always wanted to be a chemist and the other chose nursing as a career. Both of those choices require a degree, but neither of them requires the student to pay for … anything.

First, don’t head straight for the expensive four-year university – that’s a serious waste of money.

The Son

My son graduated from a science and math charter school with honors and a 4.18 GPA. He’s going to a community college to get his associate of science (AS) in chemistry and a certificate as a lab assistant. He will then likely work for one of the many pharmaceutical labs in the area where they will pay for his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at no cost to him. He’ll have a $65k+ job with no debt. Whether he goes on for his Ph.D. or not, is up to him and may also be paid for by his employer – not him. Having work experience in a lab will do more for his Ph.D. application than some silly 4-year college.

The community college portion is completely free. We helped him fill out his FAFSA – a form used to ascertain a person’s eligibility for federal aid – and after the local, state and federal assistance, his tuition is free. The 529 we set up for him and put money into is used to pay for books, a computer, school supplies, etc. He’s going to exit post-secondary education with $0 in debt and won’t need the government to forgive … anything. Let’s go Brandon!

The Daughter

My daughter also graduated from a science and math charter school with honors and a 4+ GPA. She is also going to a community college for their associate’s degree nursing program. After that, several hospital systems in the area offer tuition assistance to pay for her bachelor’s degree. Her tuition will be $0 and she’ll have a $65k+ job with no debt. Most hospital systems will also pay for her Master’s degree if she wants to go for it. The 529 we put money into for her will go to computers, school supplies, uniforms, license fees, etc. She won’t need the government to pay off anything.

Community College is Smart

The uninformed think community college is for those that couldn’t get in to a four-year school. Obviously, both of our kids could have, and in fact were accepted into, big schools. They just decided that signing on to the amount of debt that came with going to those overgrown monstrosities wasn’t worth it.

They chose community college because it made financial sense and they will start out life debt-free and become wealthier because of it.

Editor’s Note: Most community colleges (at this time) are more interested in educating than indoctrinating.

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Carl Fox

Carl Fox is the senior money and finance writer for Conservative Daily News. Follow him in the "Money & The Economy" section at CDN and see his posts on the "Junior Economists" Facebook page.

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