Time is a measure that cannot be personally repeated or replaced. Once used, it’s gone. As time goes on, it becomes personally more and more valuable.
We have two options to re-gain our time:
- money, which buys another’s time with their service to us, and
- education, which transfers knowledge to our skills development, and our mental, emotional, and spiritual enrichment.
I’ve known many very wealthy and many very poor, those with extensive education and those with no education, at all. If there is one admirable character trait in that population, it is the noble man, woman and child. Personal nobility in this post is virtue, worthy of purchase – but, not at any expense.
Essentially, if we do not have enough money for the education we want, we will need to spend time.
It’s how we expend that time, that is the test of value.
If you choose college, are you tracking your education for a specific job and a known, verifiable career-track?
Or, are you taking a college degree for it’s noble value? If so, can you name those valuable resources you will acquire in this degree plan over that of any of several others?
At what reasonable cost in time, money, risk and opportunity?
And, why pay those costs, at that particular chosen college?
See this from a recent Wall Street Journal Q&A
Q: My husband and I earn over $270,000 together. Our modest mortgage will be paid off in about six years and we’re almost debt-free. We have more than $400,000 saved for retirement, which is not nearly enough. We’re in our mid-50s; my husband doesn’t want to retire ever, but I’d like to switch to lower-paying, more rewarding work soon and downsize to a modern apartment.
But tuition for our only child’s college is $53,000 a year. We’ve paid for one year, but need to borrow at least $25,000 a year to pay for the next three. Should we take out equity against our house, borrow through the PLUS loan program, or sell the house and rent?
ProfessorDad: Not having all of the financial detail, we assume tuition is only one part of the true cost of college.
Using the College Costs Calculator, the “real costs of college” – not only tuition, is probably $410,000 for the four years – it could be considerably more – if the student does not complete the degree program, in the required four years. Apparently, the “average” college BA or lightweight BS degree program is actually completed in 5 years. In this instance, that brings the bachelor’s degree tab, to at least $500,000.
Does that seem reasonable?
It’s in our best interests, to evaluate the reality of these expenses. View these extraordinary costs against the potential of unemployment of either or both parents, their value of personal debt-freedom, the real worth of a bachelor’s degree from a no-name college, and the graduate’s real potential for paying his way, once graduated.
The parents are already aware they have underfunded their retirement – the mother wants “to switch to lower-paying, more rewarding work soon and downsize to a modern apartment” which may help the couple’s savings effort – but, conflicts with the college costs over-burden.
Downsize the kid, now – as soon as possible.
Folks, tell your son today:
“Son, there’s been a death in the family. Our wallet died last night. We’re awfully sorry to tell you like this – but, Uncle Wallet died empty.
We all have to adjust – along with this terrible economy, we are having to lop-off spending of all kinds. We have become born-again frugal savers.
Now, since you are an adult, and because we want the best for you, we have figured-out your part in this situation.
We want you to start acting on this list today, dear boy.”
- withdraw from the high-cost, low value college,
- live at home, with us, and
- get job – any job to pay room & board, live frugal,
- pay for your CLEP or DANTES testing units, through the third year of college, and
- take the last year of college, online,
- graduate with a job-career plan, then
- live at home while saving every penny,
- pay for your room & board, and
- leave home once the career track has started, then annually
- thank God for your parents, that have set you straight for self-discipline and maturity.
Dr. Amen’s book is highly recommended – it is not a “diet” book. It’s a thinking person’s book – meant to be read, often.
“Daniel Amen continually demonstrates why he is truly one of the most original thinkers in medicine today. As he correctly points out in his newest book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, the brain is the integration center that ultimately controls not only the way we think and feel but also the way we look. More important, he provides the dietary advice that has been clinically demonstrated to improve brain function. If you want to optimize your life, this book is a must-read.”
—BARRY SEARS, Ph.D., author of The Zone
A reader asks about the price of a liberal arts education.
Is a college degree really worth the price?
In my opinion, there are definitely low or negative returns, assuming that a single year at a private college is $50,000.
Does it really need to cost $50,000 per year to give someone a liberal arts education?
I don’t think so.
Also, colleges have strayed far from their original mission of providing a solid education in science, mathematics, literature, history and philosophy. Today, they list a large variety of interdisciplinary courses: these include questionable studies of the visual arts (video, movie and TV production, etc.)
It’s disturbing to see the construction of grand sports pavilions, stadiums, research facilities, high-value dormitories, etc. Wonder who pays for all of this excess? Mostly the student, with some help from the endowments.
So, yes, a liberal arts education is worth it, but you shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the college excursions into grandiosity.
The answer is no Bachelor of Arts or lightweight Bachelor of Science is worth more than $20,000 for the entire four years expenses. Depending on the College Costs Calculator, that’s a 90% discount – with a whole lot more value.
How is that possible?
Take this to heart – consider the consequences of each.
Price Is What You Pay,
Cost Is What You Spend,
Value Is What You Receive,
Worth Is What It Brings,
Wealth Is What You Keep,
Life Is What You Give.
- Professor Dad’s view (and, no apologies to Warren Buffett)
For all the 14 or 15 years that the average child spends, in a “learning environment,” can we assume the child would graduate from high school, at age 18, fully-capable, fully-enabled, “actualized” for employment, self-direction and self-management – in other words, ready to go? Nope, not a chance.
What’s The Point?
We all know this, I’m stating the obvious. Legally, our children graduate into the responsibilities of adult life, at 18 years. By law, they can sign contracts, join the military, marry, and seek any employment they wish. However, for most of these graduates, these are not transactions which they have any competency, at all. They likely will fail badly, should they try.
And, why should they try?
- They haven’t a clue, what’s next on the agenda.
- They certainly don’t have a plan – for the goals they tout, are fed to them by pushy, naïve counselors, dubious government ‘studies’ and claims, and magnetic, attractive, college propaganda.
- And this, in a tough economy – these matters are likely to get a whole lot worse, for a lot longer than we can imagine – these kids won’t have a whole lot of traction to get started in life.
Supposedly, college is a “growing experience” – actually, it’s just another spendy buffer from reality. Should they fall into the college trap, they’ll not have to face the real world til 22 years old – or longer, if possibly, “grad school” can be negotiated. In the meanwhile, they’re spending their parents diminishing savings, taking on un-payable “student debts,” and still not knowing what will to happen to them, after college graduation.
This is my point: everyone involved playing along as if nothing is wrong – “kicking the can” as long as they might escape.
Well stop it now! Please! This is dishonesty and fantasy.
Dishonesty as a way of life, is not only a waste of time, money, and resources, it’s training for a life of meaninglessness and futility. Why do stupid, when sensible is easier, with a lot less difficulty?
Truthfully, the blame for this nasty situation lies squarely on the
- parents – who are the first line of defense for their own children, the
- state, and federal governments – that institute and sanction bad behavior, and the
- “education system” most of all.
We need to buck-up here, folks. Yes, I know it hurts but, we need to take corrective action right now.
Parents need to face the reality of their responsibilities, and work with their immature children. They need to do “coach parenting” – help raise their children into adulthood.
Don’t send me your anger. Instead, re-direct your energies into a positive drive of meaningful personal change.
Take action now!
Commit to fulfilling your ambitions. Make your child’s dream of lifetime success, by channeling and focusing on planning – specifically, life planning.
Take the time: start with thoughtful assessing, figure which behavior-modeling works best, personally use goal setting, strategies, and use exercises in incremental steps of achievement. All this is do-able, for you and your child, if you are really interested in turning your future for the better.
First Step: Join this site.
- Keep updated.
- Ask questions.
- Get solutions.
- Work one problem at a time.