4.11.2007

Please Send All Donations To The June Cleaver College Fund! Part Deux

As I was saying...

The price of an education is crazy! I mean, people go off to school to better their lives (or to be in a drunken stupor for 4 years) and when they leave school and are ready to face the world... they are drowning in debt. It just does not make sense to me.

I don't like debt-in fact, it makes me sick to my stomach. We live our financial lives the Dave Ramsey way (If you don't know who Dave is, than just Google him and you will be on the road to Financial Freedom!) Anyway, we don't like debt, we don't have debt (except for my student loans) and sometime soon we will be able to thumb our noses at Sallie Mae and pay off this mega monster.

I attended a small Catholic college that had a HUGE tuition. When I decided to go back and finish my degree I continued my education at the same college doing an "external" degree. That just means that I had no set schedule-it was flexible. I did not have to attend classes, just do the work on-line and get everything in by the end of semester date. Now, this is a brilliant plan for someone who is structured, but I am a procrastinator at heart. I will put off doing things until the very last moment. I only procrastinate when it comes to my own personal obligations. The obligations of my children and husband are always taken care of quickly and meticulously... my stuff gets shoved to the back of the line and sooner or later I freak out and remember that I need to turn in a 10 page report on the abnormal behavior of prison inmates who have lived among primates by tomorrow! I have even been known to start and finish an entire course in two-weeks. I would not recommend this-it is not very conducive to a happy stable home... basically it makes me a crazy woman for a couple of weeks and I retain nothing. Do not ask me anything on American History... all I know is that there were Native Americans, and now we all live here. Good enough-I got an "A"!

Actually, learning comes pretty easy to me. I can put it off, write a research paper in the span of 2 hours and come out of the course with an "A" or a "B". I am not bragging... I am just trying to make you feel inferior to my big brain and my savvy use of cliff notes. There were only two courses that I did not do well in. I received a "D" in both and I received those grades on principle alone so I have to say that I am very proud of those D's. One was in a course called "Woman Imaging God" I was very excited as I thought I was going to learn how to be more God-like (not in the "I am a GOD-worship ME sense, but more in the "I am a servant" sense). The instructor thought differently. It turned out to be a feminist view of God-referring to Him as "her" and "Goddess." Needless to say, the instructor soon thought of me as a thorn in her side and I am sure she even stopped reading my papers as they were along the lines of "What are you a crazy person to think such nonsense in a Catholic College?" I am sure she gave me my D just to get rid of me-and that was fine. The second "D" I received was from one of my psychology professors. He was an evolutionist and told me that humans are in fact the third chimpanzee. I made a remark about Michael Jackson and his Chimp and from then on I received low marks. I fought him on every discussion and challenged his teaching style. Again, I became a thorn in his side and I was glad to be done with that course! I even changed my double major of Human Services and Psychology to just a major in HS and a MINOR in psych so I would no longer have to be in contact with this professor.

Anyway, now I am finished, I is edjumacated! A person needs a college degree in order to deal with the banks in which they owe money to. One of my loans is from a small bank in Indiana. They no longer have a student loan department and do not know what the National Student Loan Database is. They reported my loan "paid in full" back in 2004-so when we consolidated in 2006, they did not get on the list. A few months ago we received a phone call from them saying "You owe us money! Pay up or have bad credit!" Well, after talking to the banker that was assigned my loan (who is a rickety old man who went to college back when women were not allowed to even think of higher education) it was apparent that I was in for a long penance with this bank.

Long story short-they have been paid, they have cashed the check... but they just called me last week and said they lost the check and therefore they feel they have not been paid! HUH? Crazypersonsayswhat? So it is back to the phone lines for me to Sallie Mae and back to the fax machine and back to the frustration of dealing with ignorant people (one of my pet peeves).

The moral of this long winded two day post? Save for your children's college! Give them a fighting chance in the world when they emerge from their 4 year stint of no responsibilities and endless toga parties! Let them get into debt with more fun things like overbuying shoes, or buying a Hummer on a 20K a year job! Those are the good mistakes to learn about debt from-not the monkey on your back that I call Sallie Mae. They will thank you one day as they drive up to your house in their BMW.

7 comments:

Toni said...

I can completely understand! Right now I am in school, and although I was able to secure plenty of assistance- I loathe knowing I will have some debt. I just keep telling myself it will all be worth it!

I'm an AF spouse too! We're in TX- where are you?
(boy that sounded dorky! I'm actually pretty cool)

Kasia said...

I second your vote about saving for your kids' college, although frankly I want to know where my BMW is!!!

My parents, bless them, paid for my undergrad. They even paid my car insurance while I was an undergrad, their reasoning being that school was my primary job and they didn't want me to be tempted to work full-time and distract myself from school. Of course, I still made stupid mistakes around money...but I have no student loans!!! :-)

Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!

Mary Poppins NOT said...

Or here is a radical idea. How about not going to college immediately out of high school? How about a technical school, work a while, be very clear on your educational goals, and then they can use the money they saved themselves for college.

Or, go to a junior college first and work, save and live at home to save even more. Then finish up your degree at a larger school and your debt will be half.

I don't know. There really is no way we can save enough to pay for seven children's college educations. I don't think that means we shouldn't have had seven children. I see so many kids waste their college money when they are 18. There has got to be a better way!

Cris said...

Toni-only because you told me you were cool do I believe you. We are in VA--DC actually. My daughter was born in TX so we have all of the country songs known to man about Texas in our CD library-she is obsessed.
Kasia--I am jealous of you. My parents just wanted it to look like they were paying for my high tuition college education. They were thankful when my husband came along. My husband's parent's did not pay for his college either-so we had a double whammy. Fortunately, we are used to living on rice and beans and paying off debt faster than Anna Nicole changed sex partners!

Cris said...

Mary-the amazing thing is that people with large families who actually love and care for their children will produce adults that our country can rely on. Keep doing what you are doing and have more kids sister! Our country depends on the value system that you are instilling... whether you are able to pay for their college or not! :) It is our duty as Catholic mothers~

Sagey said...

Okay, saving for our kids' college is very important. Here is a fast and easy trick for you (an no I am not being paid by them) sign up for Upromise. Just go to Upromise.com and crazy companies like Coca Cola and Bed Bath and Beyond will pay you a certain percentage of what you bought for them. You can link up a 529 Savings account directly to Upromise and quarterly your earnings/savings get deposited. I have been a member for 5 years and have saved almost $600. Not a lot but hey that is $600 FREE dollars. When I signed up I figured the worse they were going to do was send my coupons for something I already buy, but I have never been harassed or received junk mail because of them. I can't recommend it enough!

Each year college gets more and more expensive so we have to do what we can. I may vote for one of the free military academies when the time comes but with the 529, they can still use the money for something else. :-)

I know as military wives we tend to shop at the commissary so the grocery part may not be a huge help but there are so many online stores that participate so you are bound to save a penny here and there.

Suzanne said...

Have on daughter who works and goes to our community college...no debt at all, so far...full time job which is connected with the degree she will eventually get...God willing, so in the meantime, she is gaining experience while learning and has good confidence. If only most kids KNEW what they really felt called to do before they hit the big paying schools too..anyway, another good post...yep...let't try to keep em out of debt! AMEN to that! Suz