This really started as a short Facebook post that I never thought had that much traction. Apparently I was wrong… I don’t have a big following on Facebook, and in fact I really don’t have a big following on this blog but it’s not about big followings for me.
It’s about hoping people will think critically…
God has been gracious to me in so many ways and of course primarily through salvation. He saved me. And He put men in my life that have really taught me things that are useful. Like how to think. I don’t desire to offend anyone, so if you are reading this and have already been slightly offended, please read on and let’s think together. For me that means I must think like God thinks and the only way I can do that is through His word.
The post is about going to college. I have a 16 year old daughter and a frequent question is “where will she go to college?” I’ve not come up with a good response yet that can stimulate people without making them angry, but I do need to work on that.
Since I’m not intending on speaking directly to anyone in this post I’ll say it this way.
“Why in the world would I send my daughter to college?”
For fathers and especially fathers of daughters, they may want to really consider this statement. I’m going to speak to Christian men that are attempting to raise godly children that are either saved or they hope will be saved.
“Why in the world would you send your daughter to college?” And I think I can include sons in this as well in many cases.
In 2016 the University of Iowa ranked as the number 5 party school in the country. A very prestigious honor for the U of I. We do ministry in Iowa City and we meet and talk with these kids. We see some of them on the way to the abortion clinic… Yes, that’s right.
What happens when kids go to college? They engage in sexual activity which sometimes has unintended consequences. And then people suffer because of it. Children die because of it. Lives are devastated because of it. I do not mean to be hyperbolic, I mean to be realistic. I know through conversations most of these kids are sexually active and that happens in college and it more likely than not happened before college. As a Christian I’m not going to intentionally send my children into an environment where they will be unprotected, and I don’t mean that in the way they mean it.
Charles Spurgeon the great English Preacher said this – “Do not leave your children to wander out without the guardianship of holy knowledge, for there are seducers abroad who will mislead them if they can.”
The Apostle Paul put it this way
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart… Ephesians 4:17-18
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor course jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5:3-4
For me this is the end of the discussion. I don’t care if you send them to the state college, to a private college, to a “Christian” college, this will be the norm. I know, I was one of them, and I fully understand the darkened hearts of young men.
I can’t protect my children from everything that will come into their lives, but I sure won’t send them into combat until they’ve at least been through basic training and probably some advanced training as well. I will not yield to the spirit of the age, and sacrifice my daughter’s on the altar of this world to get them a “good” job.
We’ve got other options. There are other ways to do it but as I began this little lecture, we need to think about it. College marketing groups have sold you and I the “American Dream” of believing that college is the answer to making big bucks, so you can live in a big house, drive a fancy car or two or three, finance your life and live like the Kardashians (almost) and have all this life offers.
I don’t believe college is worthless and I’m not saying it isn’t necessary in some people’s lives, but it is not necessary for everyone.
I’m going to quote myself below from my Facebook post because I think it easily highlights my point.
We can do college for less, but we can certainly do college for a lot more, but I think this is an honest assessment and a fair balance.
Note: this was an unsophisticated Google search. I’ll try and illustrate my point with average annual costs of a State College, according to a website called college data.com.
Average tuition – $24,061
Avg room & board – $10,138
Avg books – $1,300
Avg Total – $35,499 x 4 = $141,996
minimum wage is $7.25 x 30 hour per week x 52 weeks x 4 years is $52,780 (before taxes) I think with a little effort a kid can make a lot more than minimum wage through a bit of ingenuity and hard work.
Let’s add all that up $194,776 You could easily get to twice this with a private college. If by the time my child is 22 or 23 living at home working a minimum wage job, in less than 10 years they’ve easily banked $100,000.00 and not spent $150,000 or more.
Should your child go to college? I don’t know but what sort of a degree would they need to get to start making up the difference? And if they are taught money management skills and how to live within their means and to not be covetous and greedy, being content that makes a whole world of difference in what they actually need to live on.
There is a difference between the earning potential of a BA and a high school equivalency and that is estimated about $16,900.00 annually. We’ve shown above that they can already be $250,000.00 ahead and by doing some basic math it will take almost 15 years to bridge just that gap. That doesn’t take into consideration that we are still working and most likely earning considerably more money, they’ve not gone into debt and this assumes they actually graduate with a degree which many don’t.
There are hundreds of ideas of how to earn money as children and teaching them the most basic of all skills can place them very far ahead of kids their own age. My eldest daughter taught herself how to create hair designs by watching YouTube videos and she started a small business that does this for girls parties, or weddings. She also had an interest in playing the harp so we’ve invested in a harp. This $4500.00 investment can earn up to $1500.00 on a Saturday playing at a wedding once she achieves a certain skill level. What an opportunity for a young lady to earn some serious cash but still living under the protection of her home and father and then the opportunity to help in her family income when she is married.
What are your goals for your children? This is a pretty big deal and a worthwhile exercise to ask this question. Having a goal eliminates a lot of chasing around and trying to “find” yourself while spending 30 grand a year.
Alas, if our children lose the crown of life, it will be but a small consolation that they have won the laurels of literature or art. —Charles Spurgeon
Or Jesus even said it better For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? – Matthew 16:26
Our children are valuable and they are precious to us and I’m not saying they are going to hell if they go to college, I’m saying we need to think long and hard about the goals. Online courses cost pennies on the dollar and they can educate your children just as well as shipping them off to somewhere else. It is each parent’s responsibility to care for and protect their children and that doesn’t end on their eighteenth birthday. May the Lord guide us in this important decision.