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Old 05-22-2019, 12:58 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,822
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
And some just happen to have parents who planned, and good grades, and a little luck. We had only one daughter and we were living in Florida when the Florida Prepaid College Plan came into being. From the time she was a toddler till she was in college, we paid $35 per month for her to be in the 4-year program, but without the dorm package.
Privilege is a continuum.

Just being born in the US probably puts you ahead of about 80% of the world's population. Having parents who have the time and ability and interest to set aside money for your education every year gets you to the high 90s percentile-wise, I bet.

My parents also helped me a lot. They made sure I did my homework and emphasized the importance of good grades. They paid tens of thousands of dollars for my college over 4 years. But since I also went to an expensive private school, that wasn't nearly enough. Even with grants and scholarships and working during school (and working as close to full time as I could get every summer), I graduated with tens of thousands more in debt.

This was undoubtedly a good and responsible decision for me. I make a lot more now than I would have if I hadn't gone to college. Could I have worked more hours while I was in college? Yes. But not enough more to graduate without loans. And it's not obvious to me that spending that extra marginal hour working as opposed to socializing, studying, or sleeping would have been a net improvement.

I had a lot of advantages. The kids who graduated without debt had all my advantages and then some. If someone had come along and offered to pay off my loans when I graduated, I am skeptical that there would be anyone in my class with less debt than me because they worked harder. If they had less debt it was because they were richer to begin with.