N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL on October 12, 2010
Husband Doesn't Believe in College
I just found out that my husband doesn't think going to college is necessary, and doesn't plan on encouraging it for his daughter. I think college or some type of trade school or training is ESSENTIAL. I really do believe that going away to school is a good step for a lot of kids to help gain their independence.
I went to a 4-year college, graduated with honors, and did 10 years in my chosen field. I was on my own right out of college and remained so ever since.
My hubby had a child and had to get married right out of high school. He didn't have a chance to go to college. He did go for a semester once and decided he didn't like it. He lived at home for 6 years after getting married and only a few years ago studied for a certificate and is now working in his field and he owns his own business.
Having gone away to school I can honestly say from experience that it gave me a good intermediate step to being on my own. Even though my hubby's business is successful and I'm so proud of him, I made more than he does now at my first job right out of college. By the end of my 10 years I was making double what he makes.
My hubby thinks that colleges are a waste of money, that they don't teach you anything, and you could learn the same things by reading books on your own. He points out the many people who are successful who didn't even graduate high school. HE hated school, and also he hated the one semester of college.
I believe that you don't HAVE to have college to be successful, but those people who were able to "make it" without it are exceptional and not the norm.
It's true that the new career I'm doing doesn't require a college degree, but I would not know what I know about life had I not went to college AND worked in the business world for 10 years. Even in my new career, I still apply MANY of the things I learned in college. I'm also happy that I was independent for so many years, and even though I now depend on my husband for a lot of our income, I still have the knowledge that I could do it on my own if I wanted to.
I feel it's my duty as the homeschool teacher to guide my SD down the right path. Whatever she decides to do will determine what kind of training she needs, and that could mean college.
However, she's not my child so ultimately the decision isn't mine.
Any suggestions on what to do???
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone who weighed in! I think it's a great idea to expose my SD to all sorts of ideas, including college. I think I will arrange a trip to my Alma Mater with her and my hubby so they can both see a little bit of my past. I'm sure touring the school will be fun and seeing the dorm rooms.
Right now my SD wants to be an actress and a singer (common goals for girls her age) but we'll see what she wants when she gets older. She's never acted before nor sang. My husband thinks that acting school and colleges for the arts are dumb, but I would venture a guess that actors have to have some sort of a resume, just like other fields, before they get picked to audition. I would also bet that putting some kind of acting school on the resume would be important.
I would never trade my college years in for anything. Not only was it a lot of fun but I learned a lot as well. Sure it's not for everyone, but I think my SD deserves to know that it's an experience worth having for some people. Then she can decide for herself. I hope when that time comes my hubby will grant me the space to at least let her know ALL her options!
D.S. answers from Tulsa on October 12, 2010
i am 40 and never went to college and am struggling bad in todays economy. I wish now I had gone and am trying to go back and get a degree at 40. my other half never went to college either. now in all fairness not all kids are college material such as my son but he is going to go to votech and get his hvac liscense. which still makes good money college or votech or mcdonalds is the choice in todays economy
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S.B. answers from Chicago on October 13, 2010
I graduated college at 41 because no one strongly guided me in that direction when I was younger. I agree with you that it is ESSENTIAL and have wished on many occasions someone had taken the initiative to push me in the right direction at 18. Good luck.
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M.A. answers from Orlando on October 13, 2010
It should be her choice. He should support whatever she wants to be. What if she wants to be a doctor, she can't work her way up the ladder for that... In the meantime at least open a savings account to have some money saved if she does want to go.
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on October 13, 2010
Here are some facts:
"A college master's degree is worth $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau."
"In 1999, average annual earnings ranged from $18,900 for high school dropouts to $25,900 for high school graduates, $45,400 for college graduates and $99,300 for the holders of professional degrees (medical doctors, dentists, veterinarians and lawyers)."
"Overall the households and demographics featuring the highest educational attainment in the United States are also among those with the highest household income and wealth."
Share these and more facts with your daughter. Ultimately, the decision is hers to make. She can go to college with or without her father's help if she is motivated enough.
I am the first in my extended family to go to college. I am now finishing a PhD. I had very little financial help from my family (while my siblings were having babies when they were 18 and 19 and getting thousands of dollars in support from my parents), and have had a successful career.
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J.S. answers from Chicago on October 13, 2010
Ultimately, it's not a decision either one of you get to make for the girl. It's her own choice. She has lots of options (2 years community college, 2 years at traditional college, trade school, etc). It doesn't have to be the traditional 4 year route.
If I were you, I would encourage having higher education. Talk about your experience at college, your friend's experiences. Let her know she has options and the choice is hers.
6 moms found this helpful
M.J. answers from Houston on October 13, 2010
College only works if you do well in college - treat it like a job, study hard and make the most of your investment. My parents were not college grads, we grew up modest but happy, but they always wanted more for me. I went to college, then law school and worked very hard at both and graduated top of my class. I spent $125k on my education in student loans but paid those off in 10 years. My husband is a college grad as well. We live within the same modest means we grew up with so we have saved a substantial amount of money, and one of us is always the stay-at-home parent (currently its him). Because of our college degrees, and our earnings we have the flexibility of always being there for our children - even if we both stopped working we could survive on our savings for 10 years or more. We are living the dream - none of this would be possible without our college degrees.
6 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on October 13, 2010
Your husband can believe whatever he wants. That does not mean you, his daughter or anyone else has to follow his beliefs.
Would your husband go to a doctor without a degree? How about a dentist?
Does he drive a car? An engineer designed it.Does he have a bank accout? A business major runs the bank and accountants are there to make sure everything is running well.
Was he taught by a teacher? Was there a Principal? How did he learn to read and write?
Does he live in an building? An architect and an engineer were involved.
How does he know what his daughter will want to study? What harm could it do for her to take the years to complete higher education if she wants? Why would he object to supporting her in any way that would improve HER life? Does he not feel she deserves even better than what he had?
My husband and I did not complete our college learning, because we wanted to get married. Once we were married we could not afford to go back to college. My husbnad really regrets this. He would have had so many more opportunities and money earning capability had he finished his degree.. there was so much more to learn in his field.
Our daughter on the other hand has ALWAYS talked about college.. At the age of 3 she began saying she "wanted to go to college where it snowed".. And that is exactly what she is doing now.
She worked her butt off in school, She was student beyond our comprehension.. She loves college. She loves learning, she cannot get enough of it. Sure she could have skipped college and gone straight to work, but she wanted more than that. She wanted a foundation of how to think and learn on the highest level. She sees the world very differently than most people. She needed to be around others that also do not see limits but see possibilities and can have the tools to reach those goals.
And FYI.. her college is not making any money off of our daughter.. she is on full scholarship for everything.. The endowmemt is what has allowed this. We are very fortunate that our daughter was devoted to her studies, because literally, it is now paying off for her.
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on October 13, 2010
Tell your husband that just because SOME are successful with no college, most are not. If he wants her working for minimum wage the rest of her life, then he's on the right track. Does he also want her living there with you the rest of her life or into her 20s or 30s? What if she gets pregnant and then there's a baby to support on her minimum wage job? Doesn't sound too pretty, does it? These days a college diploma is about like a high school diploma used to be. Actually if you REALLY want to get ahead and you're getting close to college age, you need to plan on graduate school as well or some type of intensive technical training to learn a trade that is in demand and will remain so in the future.
Sorry -but he needs to wake up and get into the real world! Quite honestly he sounds like a cheapskate who is looking to avoid paying for her possible college experience. Remind him she can get loans! I cannot imagine any worthwhile parent discouraging their child from going to college in this day and age.
****Here's a great link I found on CNN -it lists the top 10 least stressful jobs, 10 most booming jobs, 20 top paying jobs, etc. -they ALL require college degrees!
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C.G. answers from Chicago on October 13, 2010
My parents told me that I didn't need college to get a good job. Let me tell you that I struggled and struggled in my early twenties because I could not make enough money to cover my expenses - and I didn't even have a car payment. It was strictly rent, utilities, insurance, and food. I was in a lot of debt, and my parents ended up having to bail me out - the cost would have equated to a years worth of college.
Now I'm a mom, and I stay at home. I have had many moments of wishing I could go back to work because staying at home can get overwhelming. The fact is, I can't get a job that pays more than daycare costs.
I know that people *CAN* get great jobs without going to school - it is *possible* - but it requires a lot more hard work, having a thicker skin than most, and I honestly think you have to have the gift of natural bs. I hate the idea of setting our kids up to fail.
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I.L. answers from Alexandria on October 13, 2010
I understand not believing in Santa anymore. But doesn't believe in college?? Good ones do exist, for a reason!! :*)
My family is a perfect example. My brother, started in a voc-tech in high school. By the time he was 18 he was skilled as a diesel mechanic and had a well-paying respectable job. He worked that job for several years, built a good reputation for what he did, and finally went out on his own and has his own company as a diesel mechanic.
I went to college. In seven years I received three degrees. The entire 7-years I worked hard at school full-time and worked 2-3 jobs at at time to make it work. However, now I have a stable career that I will be at until I retire.
Here are the differences:
I work 8-5, weekends off, paid holidays, sick time, 4 weeks vacation time, excellent health and retirement benefits. I am certain I will retire comfortably at 50 (if I want to).
He works looooong inconsistent hours, regularly working 12-16 hour days, has irregular days off, vacation only when he takes it. His work takes a toll on his body. He will work as long as he has to work.
Both of us have respectable careers and do well for our families. The difference is he has to work a lot harder than I do to achieve the same outcome, and makes more sacrifices to do it.
I believe that there are plenty of trades that make a good living at what they do without going to college. But there are a lot of people in the field, it's hard to get the experience and it is hard to get the job that pays the bills. I believe in work smarter not harder. If that is what your sd wants then she needs to go to college!
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I.M. answers from New York on October 13, 2010
I'm going to tell you from my perspective. When I was young I didn't want to go to college, I did a business school instead. That was almost 25 years ago. For the last 16 years of my life I've been working at a University. For the last 5 of those 16 years I've been working in the College of Business and Public Administration within the University. I will tell you and your husband and Dawn like I tell my children. Years ago, if you didn't go to college it was not a big deal as long as you learned to do a trade or something to survive. If you apply for any jobs, your life experience was just as good as a college degree; and in my case I've been able to succeed without the college degree. Now, is that the same for now? Absolutely not! We encourage our students to do internships and co-ops, because when they leave college they will then have the degree and the life experience in the field of their major. Can you make it without the college degree? But of course you can! But let's just say that if you go for a job interview and there is someone that has the life experience and you have both, guess who will get the job? You! Because you have both. Going to college is a great life experience although is not meant for everyone; in which case you can go to a trade school, a travel school, culinary school, fashion school, etc. But education is essential in the growth of each person.
If your husband is going to count on all those that made it without a college degree, ask him to search for all of those that didn't make it too!
He'll be surprised. All you can do is give her your opinion and support her as much as you can. He won't make the decision, her mother won't make the decision, or yours, SHE is the one to make the decision! and if she has good counsel, we all hope and pray that she'll make the right decision, the one that is right for herself and personality.
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