College seems to be pushed as the ultimate cap to childhood. Children have not grown up until they have gone to college for a few years and gotten a degree. But what is the purpose of college?
Is the goal of college a well rounded education?
Is college just an extension of the teen years, more freedom and less demands?
Is the goal of college to be able to make more money than flipping burgers at McDonalds?
Is college for finding a spouse?
Is college an extension of the high school sports playing?
Is college for receiving a degree and a piece of paper to hang on the wall?
Is college required in order to obtain the necessary credentials for a chosen career path?
Is having a college degree a matter of pride, a notch in your belt, which says you are important?
Have you really sat down and contemplated why or if your child should attend college?
Cannot many of the reasons for college be met in different ways with much less expense?
See when I was a young mother one of the first things others stressed is that you shouldn’t have too many children, nor have them too close together, because then how would you be able to afford college. Honestly, the issue was of a little concern then, but not something I stressed about, now I know that the Lord will provide for ALL our needs. We even at one time signed up for the PACT (Prepaid Affordable College Tuition) college funding available in our state, which is now defaulting. After signing the papers with a salesman who came to our home, we had 30 days to review the papers before it was final. But upon closer reading we found that what we were going to have to pay would be so limited in what we could do with it and really it was only a savings account regulated by the government. It wouldn’t cover out of state schools, had problems if we moved across state lines, and was really restricted if my preschooler at the time was not intending to go to college upon graduation. We dropped that and haven’t regretted it at all. Especially after the issue our state has had this past year with PACT funding for colleges, the year our oldest was eligible.
Throughout high school we were not only encouraged to attend college but we were seriously recruited from the colleges. We were taught that anybody worth anything would attend college. Only those who desired to be live in poverty or live off the government wouldn’t attend college and get a good supporting career (only possible with a degree supposedly). But is that true? No, it isn’t true at all. That is just one of the many lies the public school system will strive to convince students.
Another lie that is fostered by the college mentality is that young people should finish college before getting married. Only red-necks and country bumpkins got married right out of high school; intelligent people waited until after college. It didn’t matter if you had been dating the same person for three or four years during high school (courtship and not dating weren’t popular then); you still needed to wait until you graduated from college. College was more important than marriage. Need I point out the issues this causes!
So one of the first things for parents to determine is what prominence a college education holds in the life of their family. Is it a requirement or it is dependent on the actual career choices of the child? What if your son desires to do carpentry? What if your daughter just desires to be a homemaker? Now of course if your other son feels called to be a surgeon he will have a decade of college ahead of him. But will one be more highly favored just due to the college education?
Must mothers give up being home with their children in order to pay the outlandish prices for a college education? Which will have more influence on a child, eighteen years of an available mother or four years of college?
Is the Lord more concerned with the externals of a college education or with the internals of the heart?