Mulligan wrote:My wife and I have had numerous conversations about college even though our son is 3. We hope he does want to choose higher education but we have decided if he wants help he can go to an in state public school. My education was excellent for the money. If he wants to go to said private school that charges big $, he better get a big scholly. Just no reason to dish out that money. I am very happy with my MAC education.
I wish you the best in holding the line, if that's in the best interest of your child and family when the time comes to consider college.
In my experience, most who say this kind of thing when their kids are young will bail out when they are college juniors, if they have a decent chance to get into schools that are "better" than the state college that's available. There are tremendous social pressures at play, both on parents and children. Generally, the smarter the kid (per conventional measures) and the higher the social class of the family, the greater the pressure to play the elite college admissions game, with attendant financial and time costs, as well as potentially great stress on all involved.
I've witnessed this process costing $10-20K all included, plus 500-1000 hours of parent and child time. The stress can't be quantified, but can be quite extreme (including parent-child conflict). Just my opinion of course, but I think that the actual value added only rarely falls in an equivalent range.
My favorite pair of stories are about families who were in the high end of those ranges, but in the end -- after all the elite school visits, interviews, essays, test prep, etc. -- the kid went to the highly-regarded home-town state school. And seems to be thriving in both cases.