Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Case for NOT Saving for College

Jeff Bogle's "The Case for NOT Saving for College" (Huffington Post) tells middle-class parents that trying to put away $1200 a year for their kids' future college education might be less worthwhile in the long run than spending that money now on teaching them: exploring the world, learning new things, and expanding their horizons TOGETHER through travel or educational projects and programs.  I think the argument speaks to how much the focus on delayed gratification at the heart of middle-class thinking often prevents us from spending time here and now with our kids so that we can pass on our knowledge and values to them.  It also says a lot about how suspicious people have become regarding the value of higher education, which seems increasingly to benefit the banks.  As Bogle writes near the end of his piece:
Maybe this can be read as a case against college itself; I do think it's terribly overrated for professions outside the highly technical. But there can be a lot of value in education -- probably more value when one is educated at 28 as opposed to 18 -- but value nonetheless. Really, this is a case against the relatively new idea that we must -- MUST -- stash money away for our children's higher learning expenses. That we are doing them a disservice if we don't or cannot. I contend this idea is a bit of a marketing ploy by the financial industry desperately searching for new ways to get inside our wallets. 
Read the full post here.

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