It's officially official

(Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was going through a dry spell, but I thought of something to post.)

So I have my plane ticket booked for my trip back up to DreamSchool. We've made the first (of MANY) payments. Y'all, it's officially official that I'm going back!

It's really sunk in and I can't tell you how excited I am. My living arrangements are all taken care of: I'm in a suite with five other girls, my closest friends up there. We each have our own little rooms and share a common room, kitchenette and bathroom. It's awesome! Better yet, our closest 6 guy friends have the suite next to us. GAH I can't wait!

I wanted to comment about something that Kaitlyn commented on this post. Now, a disclaimer: Kaitlyn and I talk/debate frequently either on the phone, via twitter, or text message. We disagree on a LOT of stuff, but we still have MAD love for each other. So this post is in no way attacking her at all!!! Just bringing up a discussion.

Kaitlyn said, "Hm. I stand firm that tuition should be the responsibility of the child, for the exact reason one of your parents mentioned above... You can take out loans for school. The same is not true of retirement." in response to my writing that I felt guilty for putting my parents under financial strain, which I absolutely have.

I've been a private school child all my life. Before you roll your eyes and stereotype me, let me explain why. Where I live, the public schools are, frankly, awful. The elementary and middle schools solely teach to the TAKS test, and are overfilled and often violent. High schools are much the same way, and the drop out rates are enormous. Because of this, my parents decided long ago that they would sacrifice a huge deal financially and personally so that my sister and I could go private school all the way.

I am so, so lucky that my sister and I were able to do this. We both received excellent educations. I can't speak for her about this, but for me, I look back on every year of schooling with fond memories. There was no middle school hating. Sure, high school had its cattiness (especially for me being the poor kid in a high school of millionaires) but it was still an amazing experience. I am so grateful.

For college, my parents made it clear from the start that they would support me wherever I wanted to go, whatever I wanted to do. The school I fell in love with, DreamSchool, is a private college. Its yearly costs are astronomical (though, from what I understand, relatively mild compared with other private colleges). But I'm receiving an amazing education there. Because of DreamSchool's reputation, they guarantee me a job in my field (which is a dying field) within six months of graduation. The professors are excellent, the academics amazing.

I wouldn't be there without my parents' financial (and other) support. Of course I'm going into debt by going there, but my parents are easing that financial burden generously. They believe, above all, that a good education is the absolute best investment you can make in life.

My parents are willingly and happily contributing to my DreamSchool fund. Retirement will probably never happen for them (at least not full-time), but they have assured me that's okay. They want me to go to DreamSchool. They want my sister to go to any college she wants to. They want this for us. This is their gift to us. I am so, so grateful. Who cares about inheritance? They've given us the best academic start possible to our lives.

How amazing is that?

Note: this is NOT to say that all public schools are bad, or that state schools or community colleges are bad! Quite the opposite. I wish the public schools in our are could have been better. I did take a class at a community college, and it was an amazing experience.


Kaitlyn said...

As usual, I agree to disagree love :) I am very glad you have a quality education though!!

The Nanny said...

Aww man, I thought you were going to embellish your opinions a bit! Care to? Or want to stay out of the discussion?

Anonymous said...

Your post makes me happy on so many different levels. I'm happy that your parents' sacrifices and perseverance paid off. I'm happy that you appreciate their sacrifices, and hope my children will as well. I'm happy that you value education so much, and have such a great work ethic.

I worry that, even with the willingness to sacrifice lifestyle and retirement (which we are totally willing to do...grumbling, but willing!) that I won't be able to provide the private school education for all 3 of my children. It is such a strain to do it right now for just 1...I am really hoping that in a few years, we will be able to pay 2 more tuitions, but I worry.... sigh.

Love this post!

Bethany said...

I'm the oldest in a family of 7 kids. I went to public school, private school, and was homeschooled, all before high school. Eventually I attended a private university, paid for by loans and grants. I also worked my way through college, every summer in between, spring breaks, winter breaks, etc. My parents have never been in a financially stable place, probably never will be. Truthfully (and I know this isn't always the case) most of the kids I knew in college whose parents paid for their education were spoiled. The majority of them blew off classes, tests, etc. because sadly, their view was that "hey, mommy and daddy are paying for this, who cares?!"

On the other hand, I have a good friend whose parents paid for her college education, a car, all her vacations, etc. She is a very humble, sweet gal and she hated that everything was handed to her. She and I had many conversations about what parents should and shouldn't pay for...it was eye opening for me!

I don't have a problem with parents helping to pay for college education for their children. However, if the parents feel they have to take out a 2nd mortgage to do so, no way in my mind. By the time college comes around, teens/young adults should be helping to pay for their higher education in my mind. Not necessarily paying for 100% of it, but working to help, certainly!

Cindy W said...

Well.....I am a parent of a kiddo who will leave me in a month to go to a public college that we will pay for in it's entirety. He went to public schools (good ones, he was admitted to college at 16!-He goes off to this new college as a junior, he's 18) I am thrilled that my husband and I CHOSE to make sacrifices in order to allow both my kiddos to go to college hopefully debt free. I say debt free because if they go private they may have to get a loans or a really bitchin' scholarship. My son did not get into his dream school...not smart enough! They did have 43,000 applicants and admitted 2000, that includes international students as well. Just as well, it is TOO far away from me :) And he would have to help pay.
We sat down with him and came up with a yearly budget, he was VERY appreciative of the fact that we could have done a whole lot with the money we will spend over the next few years (and have already spent)but WANT to pay for his education. I would eat bread only to help both of my kids out. It's just money, I can't take it with me.
I also have to disagree that it makes any child more responsible to pay for their own, that is an individual child trait. C is VERY responsible. In fact, he is working this summer, and we begged him not to, we wanted to spend as much time with him as we could. (AND NO, we do not have loads of money, I assure you. I have only had a job for 4 years, and my husband is a cop)
Great debate, but I gotta side with The Nanny, good for you for following your dream and GREAT for your parents who are willing to help you out to achieve your dream.

Go get 'em Nannykins :)
Good luck next year and have the best time of your life :)

Bethany said...

Cindy, thanks for your comment- it was interesting for me to read. I really like the fact that you sat down and set out a budget with your son. I think seeing the numbers on paper and seeing the sacrifices your family is making in order for him to go to college is awesome. The fact that he's 18 and heading into the new college as a junior is putting him at a huge advantage- obviously, he's a responsible, smart teen who has already learned a lot from the way you and your husband handled your money while he was growing up. :) I hope he really enjoys his college experience. A budget would have been a wonderful thing for me while I was in college!

I'm interested to hear Kaitlyn's thoughts now! This is a cool conversation :)

The Nanny said...

I'm going to jump back in and add another couple of thoughts to the mix. BTW thank you all for your wonderful & respectful comments!

I firmly believe that you can get an excellent education anywhere -- as long as you push yourself and work for it.

That said, what I'm majoring in is a dying profession, a difficult one to get into. DreamSchool specializes in it, so the connections I have simply by going there are priceless. I am *guaranteed* a job in my chosen field within six months of my graduation. So the decision for me to go to DreamSchool was not solely because of a community college v. state school v. private school reason, but because of what DreamSchool can offer me. If I wanted to major in something different, a state school or community college might have been enough. But I'm majoring in this specific field, so DreamSchool is the best choice possible for me, and I'm thoroughly grateful that my parents are working to make this possible with me.

And I say with me because I am contributing as much as I can to my college education. I've been babysitting and nannying since I was 11, saving up money to buy my own car (therefore increasing the amount of money I could charge, and increasing my clientele), taking a gap year so I could work then, too. I worked in DreamSchool's admissions office during my freshman year. I'm working now, during the summer. So I firmly believe that I myself am responsible for my education -- but my parents also believe (and I'm so, so grateful for this) in helping me as much as they possibly can so that I can have the best possible opportunities for me.

CIndy W said...

I do not think you need to defend your position. You are blessed, that's all :) My son is blessed. The deal is, clearly you both know how blessed and lucky you are to have parents in the position (somewhat) and willing to help with your great education. I don't think either one of you feel it is your 'right' to have someone else pay. I agree with Bethany, there are kids out there that feel entitled. My son is going into a field that is retiring more folks than it is having new graduates. (Nuclear Eng) Lucky for us, many schools offer this degree (Texas A & M...whoop!)
So, anyhoo...you go off and enjoy the best years of your life, live it up and get that great degree you are chasing, I think you deserve it all :)

EthidiumBromide said...

I stumbled over here a little while ago from Kaitlyn's blog, and this post really hit home for me. Part of the American dream is the ability to do more for your children than your parents could do for you, and I think helping to pay for college falls under that umbrella. Provided a child is motivated and driven, and is actually going off to school for an education, I see absolutely nothing remotely irresponsible about paying for college. I would MUCH rather my future children start off with as little debt as possible, because I would be quite unhappy for them if they were forced into taking a job that they dislike, rather than a job doing what they want, because they were under so much pressure to pay back college loans.
My parents made "too much" money for me to receive financial aid from any school, but at the last minute, revoked their offer of assisting me with college. I had to turn down every Ivy League school because it was just too much, though ironically wound up at the most expensive school in the country because they offered me such a huge academic/music scholarship package. I don't regret this -- I would not have had my internship opportunities or met my husband otherwise -- but because of the debt I did have, I chose to go into research and pursue a tuition-covered Ph.D. rather than going to medical school and piling on signficantly more debt... a decision I know now I will always regret. I could never forgive myself if I had the funds available to help my children and did not, and they wound up deeply regretting what they chose to do with their life, because of the debt they accrued, which I could have helped pay off.

Plus, I would rather my child go somewhere further away, see the world, experience new things, than stay local for college, perhaps even living at home. I think that it is easy to teach personal financial responsibility without forcing them to be completely financially independent, and the life lessons I received during college, being away from my family and living on my own, were far more valuable than the lessons I learned from being financially independent 4 years earlier than most.

Kaitlyn said...

Ah fine, Nans. You want elaboration?

I find nothing wrong with parents assisting their children. Ryan's dad has saved since he was 20 for Ryan's education, and it is the most generous lovely gift he could have ever given him. I truly believe that if a parent spends money on anything for their children, it should be an education.

However, I am tired of hearing how parents are giving up retirement dreams, spending their life savings, and re-mortgaging their homes in an effort to provide an education. I find it absolutely absurd, and heinously irresponsible. All the while, children graduate debt-free and entitled.

I have no objection to helping your children, but when you risk your own financial independence in order to pay for an education, you've shorted both your children and yourself.

I'm not blind, I know that financial aid is almost impossible to get. I know that if you have a dream of attending a private college you're practically forced into debt in order to finance it. I know that college is awfully expensive, yet crucial in the long-term. However, it should be an shared responsibility between parents and students.

Kaitlyn said...

By the way Nanny, I know you work your butt off to help contribute. Although you get paid to snuggle babies, which makes me jealous (I know, lots of hard stuff too!). I suppose I think the loans should eventually be paid by the student, not the parent.

Anonymous said...

I find the continued insistence that children who have their parents pay for their education graduate "entitled" a sad and somewhat ignorant rationalization. It's convenient, but inaccurate as a widespread stereotype.

I have no problem with the belief that, once a child is 18, he/she is an adult and responsible for his/her bills (I personally disagree, but acknowledge it as a valid point). But to twist it into some sort of "favor" in developing character, and that to do otherwise is to undermine ethics of responsibility, is something I find a ridiculous rationalization.

Furrow said...

I'm going to opt out of the debate and just say that I'm awfully happy for you.