When I was 17 my parents offered me a deal: We’ll pay for your entire undergraduate career if you go to community college first, and a public, in-state school for the bachelor’s degree. I couldn’t say no; this was free college.
Now that she’s a high school senior and gets to set her own agenda, Malia is trying to figure out where to go next. Stanford? Berkeley? Harvard? Back to the city for NYU? Somewhere lower profile?
Planet Money has put together a very cool tool showing the average net price that students pay at 1,550 colleges at various income levels, rather than the sticker price.
“People get a lot more out of college than earnings potential. They learn to be better citizens and better human beings.”
Most people attend college to get started on a career path. I also went to college for a job, but in a more immediate sense: I was headed toward the door of my high school, floating on that superior feeling of the final days of senior year, when the guidance counselor stuck her head of the office and hailed me by name.
If you’re at college and you need a loan, ask an English major.
Another columnist wrote a candid and widely read response about her own family’s finances, and what she believes is the main distinction between people who are wealthy and those who are struggling.