Interrupter CheckmarkInterrupter IconFacebookGoogle PlusInstagramGroupRamsey SolutionsTwitterYouTubeExpand MenuStoreCloseSearchExpand MenuBackStoreSign in

Ask Dave

Find A More Inexpensive Way To Help Him

Melissa has a 16-year-old son she's about to send to a Christian military boarding school. His grandparents have offered to pay it, or she can get a loan. Dave doesn't advise a loan.

QUESTION: Melissa in New Orleans has a 16-year-old son she’s about to send to a Christian military boarding school. The summer program is going to cost about $4,000, and she’s decided to use money she’d saved for his first car to send him to school. The fall program is going to cost $26,000. His grandparents have offered to pay it, or she can get a loan. Dave doesn’t advise a loan.

ANSWER: If it comes from your portion of your inheritance, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that. That’s not borrowing money. You’re not expected to repay that.

Your son’s education isn’t the problem. He can get an education. It’s his behavior that’s the problem. How about none of the above? Doing financial counseling for 20 years, I’ve run into this many times. This or the rehab issue—rehabbing a teenager or something like that. What I have found is that as you investigate what’s out there, there’s a huge spectrum of cost, and $52,000 a year sounds awfully high. As a matter of fact, it is awfully high. Let me just make that as a statement. I think there are other ways to get this young man in a similar setting that are a lot less expensive. I think you haven’t done enough research yet. Someone put you onto this, and they did a good job of selling you. This is too expensive. I do know what I’m talking about. Actually, I’ve got friends who have sent kids to Teen Challenge. I’ve had situations where people have put kids in other kinds of wilderness programs that are straight up. They’re good, strong programs, and they cost a tenth of this. You need to do some more research. This is ridiculously expensive.

If you decide that the only possible way to help your child is this, then take the gift. But I don’t think that’s a correct decision. I think you found an overpriced center. There are lots of people out there who’ll charge you even more than this, but I’m not saying that that’s a good value.

That’s where I would be. If I was there, my first thing would be in the world of rehab or boarding school arrangements, there’s a vast array of cost. You don’t have to spend that kind of money to get a kid help is what it comes down to.