“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” ~ Sir Thomas More, Utopia
Everything ultimately is about me…
A frequent subject of my posts, and topic of countless conversations of late, has been the life altering events about to unfold. Eleven days and counting down until I head westward, to deposit my first born child, who took the long way to her chosen institution of higher learning. Two weeks later I will redirect my GPS east, (not really, I’m flying), as I take Thing Two to the opposite coast. She chose a direct route from high school.
Our quest for funds has been the central focus of my energy these past few months, which has had me in panic mode. It has been an eye opening process. I have been offered scads of solicited and unsolicited advice, an assortment of which no two suggestions are alike.
Money is a subject people are passionate about. We are slaves to it after all. Some of this advice was offered to me through clenched teeth, and with a sharp bite of anger behind it. This a huge amount of money we are talking about…I could pay off my house, wipe out all of my debt, buy a new car, and take a two month holiday in the south of France wearing new clothes, with the money it will take to educate the first two of my three spawn.
Let me add, I have been saving all along, but as a single parent, what I was able to save while keeping a roof over our heads and oatmeal and hot dog buns in our bellies will barely cover their meal plans for a single year at school. Let’s review some of the advice I have received, and my findings on each:
1.) “Send your kids to community college for the first two years to get their general education subjects out of the way.”
*My first born actually took this advice. While it is excellent advice for those whose goal is a traditional education, as an artist, with plans to attend a university of fine arts, most of her credits will not transfer. On the upside, this gave her an opportunity to improve and complete her portfolio. She also worked the entire time, which was an education of sorts in itself. Life experience is priceless.
2.) “Make the kids take out their own loans. They are young, and they have time to pay them off. Do not under any circumstance co-sign anything, because if you do, you will never be able to retire.”
*How exactly does a child without a credit rating or job qualify for a loan? The government loans my children were offered will barely pay for the astronomically priced books. Private loans require a co-signer.
3.) “Choose in state colleges and universities to enjoy the great savings offered to residents.”
*That is a wonderful idea, unless you live in Hellinois. Illinois doesn’t offer residents a discount of any kind. What do you expect from a corrupt state on the verge of bankruptcy?
4.) “As a single parent with two children in college, you will be offered tons of grants.”
*That might be true for underemployed single parents, or the unemployed who stayed home collecting government funds like welfare and food stamps. This is the point when my words take on a sharp bite of anger, because I wanted to spend more time with my children. Instead, I worked the equivalent of two jobs to support them. In the eyes of the government, my pay check to pay check existence, puts me in the category of middle class…the red headed step child. Although I struggle to support my children, I make too much money for my children to qualify for government grants. America punishes those who choose to do what is right—work.
5.) “Do whatever it takes. Borrow money anyway you can, worry about refinancing or renegotiating interest rates later.”
*Unfortunately, this is what we are reduced to, high interest loans, offered by thugs in suits. I may never be in a position to retire, but my children will have the benefit of an education.
6.) “Buy lottery tickets.”
*Done. Although this is not really a business plan, it is something to hope for. Just don’t buy Illinois state lottery tickets, because they don’t have the money to pay their winners.
I do appreciate all the advice I’ve been offered. It left me with an understanding of the process of funding education that I didn’t have.
This brings me back to the above quote by Sir Thomas More, who was a proponent of women’s education, and who is credited for making it fashionable for women in the sixteenth century to be educated.
As Americans, we need to start looking at education as an investment in our people. We will not have a better country, or a better world until education is available and affordable to everyone. #I miss Bernie Sanders.
*My other posts on this topic:
Magic Books https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/magic-books/
Student Debt https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/student-debt/
Wait and Hope https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/wait-and-hope-2/
False Contentment https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/false-contentment/
July 23, 2016, One Word Daily Prompt: Punishment~ <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/punishment/”>Punishment</a>