Too Much School

Nick says his son is heading off to college. Nick is paying off debt and wants to know if he should put off paying down his debt to pay for college. He'd have to borrow $22,000.

QUESTION: Nick in Connecticut says his son is heading off to college. Nick is paying off debt and wants to know if he should put off paying down his debt to pay for college. He’d have to borrow $22,000. Dave doesn’t need to take much time in figuring out his answer here.

ANSWER: Based on all the numbers you’ve given me, that’s about $42,000 a year for tuition. You and your son may not like me, because I’m going to tell you that you are absolutely insane if you put him in that school.

You cannot afford $42,000 a year; you’re broke! He can’t afford that. He needs to go to a school that he can afford. He needs in-state tuition or a community college. If you do that, then $10,000 will get him in. He may qualify for some scholarships there. That’s a big discussion to have with an 18-year-old who just graduated high school. But you guys have set up expectations that are unrealistic here. You are talking about spending $200,000 to put someone through school, and you are broke. You need to choose a different school.

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