Saturday, April 4, 2015

{WR} Debt...What is too much in regards to college? (Blogging from A to Z Challenge}

(I always try to bring the post back to writing, so please stay with me!)

My oldest just committed to a college after months of agonizing. He had an existential crisis (his words), having been accepted everywhere he applied. Even his #1, favorite school accepted him and gave him a scholarship. However, American University is VERY expensive and even with what he received he'd graduate with $40,000 in debt.

That's not an acceptable number to him when he wants to be a teacher. He managed to eliminate the Massachusettes state school he applied to because he didn't get into the Honors program there (but did at American, so we were a bit confused there...) so he had to decide between three schools (two in PA and one in MD) in the end. He chose the one in the middle, kind of like Goldilocks did. This one was not the cheapest nor the most expensive. It wasn't the preppy one nor the more laid back one. It was "just right"; the campus he felt at home in when we took two tours, the one that catered to him and sent him numerous flyers, phone calls and wooed him in. He got accepted to their honors program and was impressed with their education program as well. On the debt side he will graduate with less than $10,000 in debt which is very managaeble on a teacher's salary.

We were impressed he'd think this way, and actually listened to us when we said that a large amount of debt for certain majors doesn't make much sense. Put your money into Grad School, which is definitely on his radar as he wants to teach secondary and maybe college history.

I'm writing a series of books and right now, the child my main character has is college age. No, he's not becoming a teacher but an architect/designer. I tried to make subtle hints in the story about how he chose his school. The character thought about debt, where he felt comfortable and I introduced real life situations in the scenes with him in college, knowing my son will face similar ones as well.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge


  1. Hi Heather,
    I'm stopping by as a member of Pam's Unconventional Alliance on the a-z blog challenge.
    I appreciate your post have gone through the same process. We told our 4 kids that they had to choose an instate university for their undergraduate degree because of the additional travel expenses and out of state tuition. We have great universities here in California so it worked out well.
    Your son sounds wise beyond his years. I wish him great success.

    1. Yes, CA has plenty of good middle child (10th grade) wants to go into Physics and colleges in CA keep popping up on his radar. You have some amazing ones out there. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Once again you and I are on parallel courses in a matter of speaking. Our son just called and is looking into the "Teach For America" program. He is about to finish his second Bachelors (needed more credit than he had with his first in psychology courses) and is finding incredible opportunities for people coming into the teaching field. Here is the link if your son wants to look into it
    Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

    1. Thank you for that link! He has mentioned that program. I would love to hear how your son makes out down the road.

  3. 40K doesn't actually sound that bad in this day and age... Certainly below the average. But the lower the better and good on him for being conscientious of that and realistic about his prospects and long term goals.

    I wish I had thought about that when I went to university 15 years ago. :-/

  4. It's great when you can meld real life into your writing! My baby is a senior this year and headed to college in the fall, so I know how expensive colleges are. Good luck to your son!

  5. I applaud your son's wisdom. My kids are teens and will be looking at colleges in the not too distant future. The debt factor will definitely affect where they go.