As a parent, I'm a little concerned about what's happening with my daughter and thousands of other kids headed to college this year. Yes, there is a pandemic, and my daughter will be moving away from home for the first time, and yes, she will be in a state thousands of miles away from me, but my concern is financial.
Even with a 4.9 GPA, my daughter didn't qualify for much financial aid. She received some scholarship money from the school. Because the financial aid was based on my income from a job that I no longer have, she doesn't qualify for very much. When I saw the remainder of costs after the scholarship was applied, I almost passed out. I could feel a cold feeling move from my brain to my heart and down my arms. Twenty-two thousand United States Dollars remained for her Freshman year alone.
As I began to regain my composure, I asked some of my younger co-workers if they could believe this ridiculous number. One by one, they laughed at me. They had paid far more. Maybe using the word "paid" is incorrect because they are all still "paying."
If I could afford to pay the school outright, I would. If I could afford to take the loan out in my name and have her pay me, I would. Instead, we are doing the same thing that most students are doing. She is getting a private student loan so that when she graduates, she can be crippled with debt like most of the country. Hopefully, she will make enough with that degree to make it all worthwhile.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for handouts, and I think that she will take it more seriously by paying. I just think that college is outrageously expensive. Like all other parents, I just hope that she can accomplish all she wants and can have a better life than I had. It just seems wrong to start someone off with that much debt. I didn't go to college, so I'm very proud of her. I know that she will be successful at whatever she chooses to do with her life. Still, it's easy to feel like a failing parent when you can't provide for everything they deserve.