College Tuition Costs Gone Wild – An Apology Letter to My Son

March 20, 2007

College is a lot of fun, a lot of work, and costs a lot of money. The work makes you smart, the fun builds life long friends, and the student loans will follow you around for years.

Times Have Changed
I hope you decide to attend college someday and experience all it has to offer, except the loans of course. The academic, athletic, and leadership scholarships that I earned didn’t cover the cost of my degree but your grandparents were able to cover the rest of the bill. I’m sad to say, I don’t think your mother and I will be able to offer the same assistance to you.

High Cost of Higher Education
College tuitions costs are out of control and who knows how high they’ll be once you’re off to school. We started saving money in a 529 plan before you were born but I’m afraid it just won’t be enough. You’re so much fun that we plan on having more kids. With the cost of tuition today we just won’t have the money to pay for all of your educations.

Making Tough Choices
We are making choices that you may not agree with. We’ve been saving heavily in our retirement plans since we were married, at the expense of a college fund, because you can get a loan for college but we can’t get a loan for retirement. We also recently decided to have your mother stop working to stay home to raise you. Although this cuts back on the money we can save for your schooling we hope that this extra love and care will help you develop into a well-balanced person, for whom student loans are no obstacle to success.

Our Support
The legacy of zero student debt that your grandparents left us was amazing and I apologize for not being able to pass the same onto you. This may all sound a little discouraging but don’t worry, we won’t leave you high and dry. After all, you are our son.

We have been saving for your college education and will continue to do so. We’ll do our best to balance funding your schooling with all the other costs of life. We’ll help you develop skills that may someday lead to scholarships and most importantly, we’ll be there for you no matter what road you take, whether it leads you to college or some other path in life.

P.S. In state tuition is much cheaper. Go Mizzou!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Responses to College Tuition Costs Gone Wild – An Apology Letter to My Son


    You are looking at this situation the wrong way. YOU HAVE an education account for your son; which puts you in hmmm.. about 5% of the American population that has a 529 plan. You should applaud your accomplishment. I got my fingers crossed that your son will be a genius so you don’t have to pay for school at all 😉


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