. Why I Won't Pay for My Kid to Go To College |

Jul 12 2012

I’m Not Paying For My Son’s College Education

Published by at 7:20 am under Editorial

One of my favorite sites to read in the universe is James Altucher’s blog.   For those of you who don’t know who James is you should definitely read his stuff.   He’s just a no nonsense, smart, successful guy who’s basically been through it all.  He’s been rich, poor, rich again, poor again, you name it.  Smart guy.  Starts businesses.  Fails businesses.  Succeeds in businesses.  But the bottom line is that he has a very refreshing and honest perspective on life.   I love reading his articles and one that particularly caught my attention was one he wrote about reasons to not go to college.

I wanted to give my own perspective on that and tell you all exactly why I won’t be paying for my son’s college education….

It’s not that I don’t want my son or any child I have to attend college.   Far from it.  It’s that if he chooses to I’d sure like there to be a reason behind it.   Particularly a career reason.  You see, most of us go to college and try to “find ourselves” but why is that the majority (if not nearly all) of us change careers more than once?  Why do we leave jobs all the time?  Isn’t college supposed to help us find our “passions?”  Of course not idiots!  You’re a kid in college.  You have no life experience yet so how the hell are those four years supposed to set you up for the rest of your lives?  Put simply, they don’t.    So forgive me if I don’t want to put 100-200K of my own money (probably more if it’s a private school) to fund my child’s “education” when there are better ways to prepare him for what’s out there.

He’ll make more money without going to college

What?  How?  Don’t college graduates earn better salaries?  Of course they do!   Then again, if you don’t go to college you won’t have student loan debt.   If you don’t go to college you have a four year jump on the real world.  You’ll learn your lessons out there.  You’ll fail.  You’ll succeed.   You’ll start building the tools you need to be successful.   Going to frat parties and studying art history to get an A is not going to help you with the burden of the real world.   Besides.  I’m an entrepreneur.  I prefer to make my own money.  And I’m certainly going to be teaching my son how to do so at a very early age.   I don’t have the exact formula but I’d be willing to bet that if you took two people with the exact same intelligence and drive, and threw them out to the wolves, the one who didn’t go to college would be way more successful in the long run in a shorter time than the college grad.  That’s just my opinion of course.

If he wants it bad enough, he’ll pay

If there’s one thing I will NOT do it’s lie to my son about my college experience and the majority of people’s college experiences.   Fact is, most people go to college to party, get laid, and be away from home.   Most people do it on their parents’ dimes.  And we parents are lead to believe it’s some sort of “rite of passage.”   That we owe our children this experience?  Um, no.   I’m not forking over 6 figures for that.  Sorry.   Fact is, I’d pay 200K out of my own money to have college just one more time in my life.  It was that good.  It was that amazing.  Hell I’d pay a million if I had it.   So my point is, college IS that great.   However, it’s so great that you should want it for yourself and not have it handed to you.   Also, we’re talking about the real world here.   And for real world preparation, no.   Give your child a sense of empowerment right away.  Make them independent.  Instill in them that nothing is handed to you in the real world and if you want something you’ve gotta sacrifice.  It doesn’t mean I won’t give my child things.  It just means I will not have my child feel like he’s entitled to anything, let alone four free years to party his ass off.

I plan on turning him into a professional athlete anyway

OK that’s just the father in me :)

The Real World Prepares you for the real world…not college

I’ve already touched on this but I can’t stress it enough.  If you really think that drinking until you puke, potentially getting STDs and skipping class is real world preparation then you are surely mistaken.   And before putting your hard earned money towards this “education” for your child you better think it through.  If you want your kid to have real world experience, make them find a job, kick them out of the house and watch them struggle for a while.   That’s the real world.   Living in a shitty apartment and struggling to pay rent is the real world.   Living off of mommy and daddy at a 4 year sleep away camp is not the real world.  Nor will it ever be.

*Again I’d like to stress that college was by far the best time I’ve ever had in my life and I’m grateful to my parents for sending me.   However, that’s on them.   But honestly I don’t think my college experience has much to do with who I am today and where I am today.   Granted I made some good friends (most of whom I don’t talk to anymore) and experienced great culture and wouldn’t trade it for anything….but that has absolutely nothing to do with what college is supposed to be for:  preparing you for a career and the real world (unless I’m completely mistaken). Isn’t that what it’s for?


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