The Importance of: Paying for College

I am not talking about paying for your college, but that of your children. The more and more that I read personal finance blogs, the more infuriated and boggled I become as I read more and more about letting your very own children and flesh and blood fend for themselves in terms of the ever increasingly complicated financial  world.

At 18, I am incredibly fortunate to have had a great-grandfather who wanted to pay for his great-grandchildren’s college education. As of November 2013, I had just over $68,000 in that fund to spend on higher education materials or courses. Higher education includes eight semesters of master or phd work, full undergraduate, or even yoga instructor courses. Materials may be school books, laptops, or even vehicles. I have known about this fund since late elementary school. By the way, if you were wondering, that $68k is mine. Each person of my generation gets $68k. My great-grandfather was an incredibly intelligent man, even if not necessarily the nicest.

I know that I have no right to tell you how to spend your money, but you are reading this personal finance blog so I assume, and I may be incorrect, that you value what I have to say. If so, continue reading this post. If not, I implore you to read this post just in order to respectfully listen to what I have to say. I also request that you comment on this article below, as I would love to hear what you have to say on the matter.

As an individual who does not need to worry about fulfilling my higher education, I have been able to focus on much more important things, like learning, spending time with my family, and discovering my passion. I did not have to waste time worrying about whether a college degree was worth the money as I already knew it would be paid for. This is not to say I did not earn this money. I graduated high school with (unfortunately only) a 3.6 unweighted GPA and 25 credits to transfer to college. I still earned scholarships, but was unable to accept them as they were for specific, expensive, private colleges. Plus, I visited and accepted that they were not the right fit for me.

Mind you, this fund could not get me through private schools that tend to run around $50k a year. Yeah, I would rather not wipe my fund out before I could get a degree.

The best thing about this fund is that once the youngest of my generation turns 35, everyone will be able to cash out their portion and use it for absolutely anything their hearts desire. The youngest is currently seven, so when I turn 46, I will have (most likely) around $30k to do anything I like with.

You know what I am going to do?

I am going to pay off my sister’s vet school if I have not yet or put it into any funds I have for her children (or if I ever actually decide to have my own, theirs).

You do not have to tell your children you have money for them until late, if you’d rather. The way I figure, waiting until their junior year of high school would be just fine as they would (hopefully) have a decent GPA and completed college scholarship applications as well as have college credit and good study habits under their belts.Then, their upperclassman years they can really dedicate to narrowing down to what they want to do and accomplish.

I just feel so incredibly fortunate to have had such considerate family and I want to pass that on to future generations.

What do you think? Did you have to fend for yourself or did your family help you with college?

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