BOSTON (CBS) – Who should pay for college? That’s a fair question.

The student is going to benefit so should they pay for college? Should the step-parent be expected to contribute simply because he/she is living in the household? I don’t have definitive answers!

I believe that kids should be responsible for some of the cost of college. It is very expensive to send a kid to college today and I am afraid most kids just expect someone else to pay for it.

In doing research for this segment, I found that almost 40% (37%) of graduates are struggling to pay back their loans. Last year 20/20 ran a story on Sugar Babies. College students in need of tuition cash are going to sugar daddy websites for help. Their sugar daddies help them pay their college expenses in exchange for services. They only interviewed young women for the story.

I found this most distributing! College today costs too much money! The presidents of some of our state schools are making 4 to 5 times what we pay Governor Patrick. President Gee of Ohio State University is making close to $2 million a year. That does not include his housing or other perks. I have one world for that; “Obscene”.

I do believe an education is a very good investment! That investment could be worth over a $1 million dollars to the student. That’s the average pay difference over a working career between having a high school diploma compared to a college degree.

One of the criteria for selecting a college should be its affordability. These are conversations that should take place before the kid gets out of middle school.

Start meeting with the guidance counselor as soon as she will let you in door. Start researching schools and costs as soon as the kiddo takes the PSATs in their junior year. Let them do this research. They need to realize how much this is going to cost the family. It is their education and they need some ownership of it.

We have great state schools and community colleges here in Massachusetts. Two years in a community college and then a transfer to UMASS is a very doable plan. Their degree will be from UMASS.

Check out U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings. Lots of good information on schools. Look for schools that give out the most financial aid in the form of grants. Five of the top ten liberal arts colleges are right here in New England, 3 in Massachusetts.

Check out the Princeton Review’s list of the 100 Best Value colleges. The schools included on the list are where parents and the students will get the most bang for their buck. Some of the schools listed offer large grants. Swarthmore located near Philadelphia offers on average a $34,000 grant to offset annual costs of $52,000.


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