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SS going to college

TrueNorth77's picture

SS17 will be going to college in fall. Woohoo! I literally cannot wait. However, he chose an out-of-state college that is on the high end of cost, but his career path is specialized so out of state is almost necessary- DH and I are pro out-of-state also, but at a reasonable cost. Almost every single person I know gets stuck in our state and wishes they had moved but never did. (midwest). In-state college is an option but would only be for prerequisites and wouldn't really need to happen- he can go out of state, he has options and was offered $ at out of state colleges that are more reasonable. SS is paying for his college and we worked with him to understand what that means, but also thought his college choice wasn't astronomical. We just learned that SS wasn't offered $ from the college like he initially said, and that this college increased tuition and our initial estimate was apparently low anyway, so he will be looking at probably $50K/YEAR. DH will most likely need to co-sign loans to make this happen, and that's IF he gets approved. At this point, this is not a feasible choice in my opinion. SS got accepted to other schools with his program that cost less. No one can afford this. IF SS graduates (no one in DH's family thinks SS will make it through college, because, well...SS is lazy and not driven), he will be paying probably $2K/month. I am sick just thinking about it, as is DH.

SK's came by us yesterday and DH had checked their grades- once again SS's grades are slipping. DH has to ride him to do better every single quarter. DH's work has a scholarship that SS would be almost sure to get, and DH has told him to apply 5x over the past month and 1/2. Last night SS told DH he hasn't applied. And that he put very little effort into applying for scholarships. SS took college classes (for free) while in High School at a very good college for his program, which will give him 15 college credits (again, FREE). It's an amazing deal. Last night as we were talking to SS about the severity of the cost and the possibility that this college may not be an option, SS said he "didn't even want to take those classes, but here we are".SS still wants to go to this college, we are telling him he may not be able to afford to, and he is saying he "didn't want to take the classes to get 15 credits which will save him $20K". WTF??? He doesn't get it or take it seriously. SS also has half days this year, and we learned he didn't even take basic Calculus classes, which he will now have to take (and PAY FOR) in college. He sleeps and plays video games on his half days. When I was in high school I scheduled my study halls at the end of the day so I could leave school to work- SS has half days and doesn't ask for hours at work to save for school or even just get $, he sleeps instead. We also told him that he has to have a job at college and that now he would need to put $ towards his college while he's in school, but I cannot see him doing that.  

DH is talking as if he will still try to make this college happen, and I get it- SS is excited, but he's mostly excited about saying he's going to a Big 10 school and the idea of it all, plus girls. SS has champagne tastes on a beer budget- but SS is not a $50K/year college student. He doesn't show the drive and DH 100% knows it, we both have expressed fear that SS won't get the drive at college, but DH also doesn't want to tell SS no. We do NOT have this $. SS was very nonchalant and doesn't seem bothered by the cost or that DH is putting himself at risk by cosigning. We are still waiting for FAFSA and scholarships to find out final costs and then a decision will be made, but to me, if it isn't below X $ amount, then SS needs to pick a different school, end of story. My fear is DH will not want to tell him no, which isn't even the best thing for SS, since SS will be neck-deep in college debt, as will DH. 

I am absolutely fuming at SS's lack of care and trying. DH told him that him not applying for the scholarship at his work, not trying hard at school, and saying he didn't even want to take the college courses are all reasons why he is very nervous to cosign loans and try to make this school happen. And that he needs to "Put the effort in now. Now is the time". DH has been telling SS this same thing every single semester for the past 2yrs, and here we are. It doesn't work! I told DH, I do NOT think this should happen. Yes we can wait for FAFSA and see where we land, but unless that lowers the cost significantly, this should not happen. It's not feasible and every single person we know would tell you and SS this isn't a good decision. DH didn't go to college or have loans so he doesn't totally understand- I did have loans. I know what interest does.

I am terrified DH will try to make this happen even if it's at an unreasonable cost. To be clear, DH and I have separate finances so I would not be footing any of this bill (and there's no way DH could afford to pay loans for $200K), but DH also isn't even contributing to 401K at the moment, so this all affects me.  


ESMOD's picture

You and your husband need to have a serious discussion about this.  Because, as you point out, even if your finances are separate, you are not immune from financial decisions and obligations that he takes on becasue it reduces the amount of money he will have available long term.

I would tell him that your line in the sand.. he will NOT cosign for any loans.  If he wants to say he will pay X/year out right.. that is fine.. if you can agree on that amount.

I also hope that this specialized field actually makes good money.. because his son will be saddled with the debt for many years.  Clearly they need to get the FAFSA stuff done asap so that they know what they are working with.  

His son may need to hear the reality.. son.. we don't have that kind of money.. unless you have some rich relative we don't know about.. we don't see how you will pay the bills.  

When I was younger.. I got accepted to an out of state college.. and an in state college.. my parents said I could go to whichever I wanted.. but if I went in state I would have more resources available.. I went in state.


TrueNorth77's picture

I agree and DH stating that he would cosign the loans is just completely disregarding any liability that has on me. DH can't afford the loans on his own if SS defaults. I do think my line in the sand is him cosigning loans - and frankly it shouldn't be necessary. SS going to a school where DH needs to cosign is ridiculous. We do not have that kind of $ and SS knows it, he's just hoping we will do whatever it takes so he can go there. I plan on showing DH the student loan calculator which will show what SS's payments will be after school- after all of this, DH had better tell SS no if FAFSA comes back and is not helpful enough. 

We have heard many are getting their FAFSA back already, so SS may get his today. In fact, he may have it already, but he has been upstairs sleeping for the past 5 hours and I know he hasn't checked the college portal today like I told him he should do, so he would have no idea if he did get it back, and I would bet $ he STILL hasn't applied for DH's work scholarship. This kid is unreal. He has not grasped the situation no matter how many times we have told him.   

CajunMom's picture

First, with my bio kids (with my former husband completely on board). Our kids were EXPECTED to do well in high school. In fact, when they got to their Freshman year, I reminded them, this was their fresh start...that colleges only look at high school transcripts, we could not afford to pay full tuition so they needed GOOD grades. The bar was set to what we knew they COULD attain and we refused to lower it. Bad grades? Consequences. Both graduated with excellent scores and several scholarship offers. My daughter opted for the "big school" here...quickly realized she could get her degree at our local school (a nationally recognized department in her degree choice) at a better level and much better price. Between her scholarship monies, Pell grants and my company's contribution ($1K every semester for a 3.0 + average), my investment was $1600. My son had a full scholarship to our local university but chose military service (now out and completed all studies in his career). Our plan worked well for our kids.

To DHs kids: Not one has a full college degree or any trade degree. The one kid that attempted college when I came on the scene dropped out as I suspected he would. DH had to "loan" him money to start. I was not on board for that but when the kid dropped out, I demanded DH collect OUR money back. I also suggested DH tell him, any more attempts to go to university would be on his dime. If he did well, we'd reimburse some of the expenses (if not all). Of course, that never happened.

That's the tactic I'd use if I were your DH. Your SS's comments are filled with red flags. If he's hell bent on attending that high dollar school, then let him get the funding. If he's successful, reimburse but I would not be throwing my money to anything that has a high risk of loss. To note...many kids in our area go to community college for their "basic" classes, then head to the more expensive university for the specific classes. Another option. And NEVER co-sign those student loans. You must pay them back or they will destroy your SS's credit and then your DHs credit. And that will impact YOU.

AlmostGone834's picture

College, no matter where he goes, is going to bury him. Maybe ... maybe... he could be successful if he started off at a community college and saw how things went but I predict (unless he massively changes his ways) that he will wash out his first semester. A lot of students even if they do decent in HS find that college is much much harder

TrueNorth77's picture

I don't disagree. He has taken college courses so there is "some" hope he may succeed. But this will be him on his own, self-motivating to go to all classes and study. It's a different ballgame than 1 class per semester. He doesn't study for his high school classes. I am extremely leery and DH is also. Last night SS said he "thinks he will be ok in college". It really gave us the warm and fuzzies....

AlmostGone834's picture

College courses in HS are nowhere near the same as college courses taken on campus. The material may be a bit more in depth but they still do a LOT of handholding that you don't get in college. In HS for example you're in a small class with teacher support. In college (unless community college) welcome to the lecture hall and office hours.

Rags's picture

Time for SS to be told.  No more games. There will be no cosigning, if he chooses to go to his school of choice he will have to figure out how to pay for it. Show him which schools that  you and his daddy will contribute to.  Show him clearly that the amount you will pay for is now $20K less since he chose to not take the college credit classes in HS that would have been no out of pocket cost.  He can graduate with $20K more debt than he otherwise would have graduated with.  Still, regardless of which school he goes to, no cosigning. Not one Cent.

Lazy kids do not get a choice, they pay for it themselves, and .... when they start crying, tell them that tears won't solve their problem.

We thought my SS was lazy. As it turned out, he was very self aware, did not apply for schools because he knew he was not ready to focus.  After months of us riding  him like a cheap pony about getting applications submitted he finally sat us down and gave us clarity. So, we continued to ride him like a cheap pony to step into early adulthood.  He chose not to take the mom and dad full meal deal college ride scholarship so... he had to step out. That took the form of the military which is now paying for his college.  He is moving slower on that than his mom and I would like, but... he is moving.  He has completed his ASCS and is plucking away at the remaining classes to complete his BSCS.


Cover1W's picture

SD20 decided on a PRIVATE out of state college, aka with housing the costs are above $85K per year. She did get a "scholarship" - aka bribe money so they choose the school then the school knows they get the housing and the other half of the tuition. I read about private schools doing this. DH refused to pay anything because he has zero relationship with OSD. Who knows where the $$ came from (oh, wait - the college and retirement fund DH had and BM was awarded 100% of at divorce and also wealthy grandfather!?).

SD18 is looking also now at a PRIVATE out of state expensive school. DH committed to BM, I think, around $2K per month. I have no idea about the deal or logistics because he refuses to discuss it with me. I did tell him he better not also foot a bill for a "single" room if YSD requests one.

Basically I've been against out of state private schools from the get go. We have excellent in state schools and an exchange program with a neighboring state that also has excellent schools. But no, not good enough for SDs. DH talks out of both sides of his mouth, criticizing people who choose "ivy league" schools because "it makes no difference" but oh, with his kids, "they deserve the best school choice they can get." I called him on this several times but was shut out.

I will not pay anything for their schooling. DH knows I won't cover him if he's low on funds. I am working on my own retirement plan without him at this point. He knows I'll be furious if he takes out any private loans for college b/c as a joint assets state I could be on the hook. Although we still have separate accounts/money management but for true joint house costs. It's so frustrating to have zero say even though it WILL effect us!

TrueNorth77's picture

The whole "separate finances" excuse can only go so far- this 100% affects us! DH and I have already argued a few times about him not contributing to 401K- he just says he plans on working until he is old anyway, he can't afford to contribute, I don't have to pay child support so I have more $, etc. He does pay more of our mortgage (we had to buy a 3 bedroom house in a more expensive town because of his kids- I was not going 50/50 on that when there are 3 of them and 1 of me), but I pay for our vacation home (which isn't a lot). I am willing to look at adjusting the mortgage payment when SS moves out, but not for DH to get into debt paying for SS's ridiculous college loans and still not contribute to 401K. DH not being able to retire affects me, I would like to move! 

Anyway, that is a crazy amount for your SK's to be paying for private out of state schools! And $2K a month is insane and uneccessary.Oh the life of a SM with zero say in these huge decisions....

Rags's picture

If he is paying $2K/mo to support a college kid from a prior failed family, he needs to match that $2K in cash to you. See how he likes having to step up on his support of his current marriage for every Cent he continues to send to his failed family.

What so many failed family breeders fail to recognize is that every Cent they provide to their failed family comes out of their current marital resources.  The whole separate finances thing is a total and complete falacy IMHO.  All income to a marriage is marital income.  Every Cent spent, is a marital resource.

If I were on the NCP side of a blended family, I would be completely confrontational on any money spent on my mate's failed family beyond CS or otherwise COd support.  Even if college was COd, I would be extremely limiting on the form of that support and where it was spent. I would provide zero cash to either an X or the Skid. All payment would be paid directly to the school up to whatever the minimum level was. Not one Cent more.  I would also be hip deep in what school the kid went to and what the kid studied.  No pie in the sky dream degree. Something that would deliver a viable job market upon graduation. Basically, STEM or Business. That is it, at least on my dime.  My marital resources would not go to a non viable degree category.

In our CO and in SpermLand, CS ended when SS turned 18.  He could petition for CS to continue until age 21 if he was a student in good standing in College/University/Trade School.  At 18 CS would cease to go to the CP and would then go directly to the kid though direct payroll withholding from the NCPs pay would continue.  SS sucumbed to the SpermClan guilt pressure not to keep them on the hook for 3more years of CS.  We would have gladly paid for the full meal deal mom and dad scholarship ride to any school on the planet he wanted to attend and could get into.  However, he would have been required to keep the SpermClan on the hook.  It would have been a zero sum game for him. Keep them on CS, or forfeit our support for his college.

Evil I know.


As it turned out, he had other thoughts and has kicked ass in his adult life and is a man of character, honor, and standing in his life, career, and community.  He is 13+ years into his military career and is working through his degree completion using his empoyment benefits.   Interestingly, when he aged out from under the CO the shallow and polluted end of his gene pool immediately went with the full court press to guild him into paying them back for the 16+years of CS the claimed he owed them.  Nope, that was the final nail in their coffin for him. He has as nearly as possible completely written them off from his life.  He has not spoken to the SpermIdiot or SpermGrandHag in a half a decade or more. He will speak to Spermidiot spawn #2 though even that is exceptionally rare.  Spawn #3 is in prison, and #4 is not far behind the inmate.  He avoids that end of his gene pool like the effluent that it is.

So many kids and parents think that college is about experience. I am of the mind that it is about a qualification that launches a career.  My undergrad is in Engineering. I never had a passion for it, I just knew it was a solid foundation for a decent career with solid earning potential.  That drove my engineering school class mates nuts.  I added an MBA to augment the engineering degree. The combination of an Engineering undergrad with a business graduate degree was at the time a very marketable education to have.  It still is.

advice.only2's picture

I am so thankful this is one thing DH and I always agreed on was college educations:

Bio/Step gets a full ride with scholarships, congratulations go enjoy your 4-year college.

No plans, no clue what you want to do, great then you can attend a JC and tuition will be split between us and them, books as well.

Don’t want to go to college, join the military or get a full-time job.

TrueNorth77's picture

And here DH and I were on the same page, until SS's college ended up costing over $50K and DH flipped the script to give SS whatever he wants.... let's just hope he comes to his senses and this doesn't have to become a conflict between him and I. 

Dogmom1321's picture

Many moons ago, I had an exBF that got caught in some SERIOUS college debt. The college he was going to was "out of state" for him. He took a semster off and withdrew because of health/family issues one year. Also decided to get his master's so that was an additional 2 years. 

He signed off on all the loans himself (mother was deceased) and his dad did not. 

After graduation he realized he had more then $125,000 of debt. He deferred payments until his first "adult" job but eventually missed payments and was marked delinquint. His credit score PLUMMETED. He could not purchase a car a few years later and no one would give him a loan. It hit his renter credit too somehow. 

Thank GOD we never mingled finances otherwise it would have been a disaster. 

DO NOT CO SIGN anything! That debt will be tied to your husband forever and it will affect you BOTH getting loans in the future (vehicles, new house, etc.) Tell him this horror story if you wish. I would offer to help fill out the FAFSA, but that is IT. 

la_dulce_vida's picture

No Co-signing!!

A kid who REALLY wants to go to college for more than the party and girl scene or status will WORK hard to make that dream happen.

This kid is lazy and will FAIL, and your husband will have to PAY, which means you'll have to go without to cover that debt.

No. No. No.

And it's more than just tuition and room/board. There are a lot of other various expenses and your sloth of a step child is not preparing.

My two older kids did really well in school, but they had to be pushed. From an early age, they were taught that only As and Bs are allowed. Cs have to be hard won which meant the only acceptable C was one where they did all they could to get extra help or extra credit. This led the older two to qualify for a generous scholarship from their dad's employer AND other scholarships from their schools. Both did well in school and my daughter has a mechanical engineering degree from a university with a good reputation. My DS33 has two degrees from state colleges and is currently working on his master's degree.

We prepared our kids for college, but encouraged them to go the trade route, as well. Whatever they wanted.

We were lucky to never take out college loans as all 3 kids had college funds from their grandparents. But, that didn't stop us, their parents, from requiring them to get good grades and take college serious. Both of the older two had jobs the summers between college years to earn spending money.

Please sit your husband down and tell him that this is NOT his decision to make unilaterally.

If your SS were mine, I would expect him to demonstrate good scholastic effort in high school and then community college before I would ever consider helping him go to a 50K a year university.

Yesterdays's picture

This is exactly my thought. If the child wants a $50,000 school  that is not something that's not automatically granted, it must be earned through hard work and showing dedication. Not just something they ask for while being rude and demanding and putting no effort into

Good grades and a solid responsibility earned in other areas for example showing they realize that money isn't free and are therefore applying to any scholarships and even taking on a part time job to help out 

Yesterdays's picture

Eta of course that's only an option if the $50,000 is financially a possibility. That is a lot of money. Perhaps with scholarship and part time jobs and some financial help from the parents. It still might be a long stretch. How is he going to get scholarships when he's not getting exceptional grades or applying to the scholarships?

Here in Canada we have osap and my kids will use that with scholarships and bursaries, their job savings and their dad and I. They are working hard and thinking about scholarships and good grades. 

But if the cost is simply too much and the child is not earning this in the ways mentioned above I would say no. There needs to be some discussions with this child to make it very clear.

That no one is forking over $50,000 without a change in attitude and effort. Or simply saying it's not a possibility. 

TrueNorth77's picture

DH had these same expectations of Skids all along- A's and B's, but only because they were capable. If they got a C- they were supposed to lose screen time. He NEVER followed through with it. So now the C's (and even D's and F's) are frequent, and there are zero consequences. So skids don't give one single shit, especially SS. Had DH actually followed through with some form of consequence, we probably wouldn't be in this cycle of him nagging SS to raise his grades every semester. But DH is completely adverse to punishing SS, so here we are. 

I told DH last night again that SS is not a 50K/year student, period. We got his FAFSA for the other top 2 colleges, and 1 of them is in line with what we had thought he would pay- it's high, but SS could manage the debt on his own if he made it through, and then he would get in-state tuition after 2 yrs. I pointed out that on Monday I told SS he needed to check the school portal again on Tue for his FAFSA status, and that he had to apply for DH's work scholarship. Last night when we asked, SS had NOT checked the school portal for FAFSA status, and he had NOT even applied for DH's work scholarship!!! SS got done with school yesterday at 11am and came home and slept until 4pm instead of doing these 2 simple things. I told DH he can't even do the basics, after being told he may not get to attend the college he wants. I said if the college he is committed to now comes back higher than this school, it's a no, period. He is not putting in the effort and he is not showing he cares. He needs to go to the more affordable school. DH doesn't disagree, so I think we are on the same page. We better be. At this point he should be at a local college-one with a campus where SS would stay, of course, because there is no way in hell he is living at home anymore. Lucky for us there aren't many colleges in a reasonable driving distance. 

Cover1W's picture

I 100% agree with you. If I had a DH that would discuss this with me AND a BM who was reasonable, then I'd be all over the next-state-over state school with an excellent program for her goals, just like the private school. I mean, it's lunacy the $ these parents are willing to give kids just because it's a good thing to do, not out of any realistic plans. My SD18, if she doesn't implode because of social things (think a bit autistic and doesn't like people in general, or socializing, or groups/crowds, music, shows, movies, restaurants, etc.) will do great in college. 

Felicity0224's picture

What we've done with both SDs is tell them, "we will pay for you to live in a dorm, we will pay for a meal plan, and we will pay for half your tuition. Everything else is on you. We will not co-sign for loans. If you decide to move off campus, that's on you too." OSD lost her shit when she tried to push for one of us to co-sign for her to move into an apartment after her freshman year and we refused. She ended up staying in the dorm another year, and is moving off campus next semester, at her own expense. Just in time for us because YSD is starting college next semester, so this will make it a little less painful for us financially.

To her credit, I was very skeptical that she would be able to figure out how to cover everything we weren't covering, because BM won't contribute a dime, and up to that point, OSD had basically no work ethic and also was not a very good student. But somehow she turned it around and has been working full time, is VP of her sorority, and is making all As. If you'd asked me two years ago to predict where she would be, I would have 100% said that she would've dropped out and ended up in debt. Hopefully your SS has a similar turnaround, but in the meantime I would absolutely go with your instincts and refuse to co-sign for anything. 

Harry's picture

There are exter expenses at college.  Books and exter $1,000. Now you rent a computer book, on line.   Bringing us to a laptop computer.  Some colleges want max books. $2,000.  Exter activity fees ?  College insists on medical coverage , must prove, or pay for.  Special sheets. Dome size. Blankets  ect.  Refrigerator. Microwave,  

Transportation,  thanksgiving, Christmas, mid year break, Easter, spring break,  end of term.  All kids travel on the same days.  Airline fairs go crazy,  Airlines know kids have to pay or take the bus.   Or DH will have to take time off to play Mr. Uber,

depending on how far this college is.  Plan for someone to drive him up for the first time, overnight stay, shopping,  book store has most things needed.  So it for thing co-signing a lone is going to be the end of it,  NO.  State schools have the same expenses but the cost is more like $25,000 a year 

Winterglow's picture

Your SS didn't do his due diligence to reduce costs for his education therefore your dh should not lift a finger to help him. Once the kid graduates, he works full-time and also does the necessary to raise his grades and to earn the credits to maximise all grants, etc. Review his progress every month and adapt requirements accordingly. 

Rags's picture

Sure, help with college.  Just make sure that the degree they pursue is more than a receipt when they are done.  Far too many never even get a receipt because they never complete any degree. Just as many get a degree that is useless and little more than a receipt for the classes they took.

33% of college students drop out and never complete a degree.

50%+ of college graduates are working in fields that do not require a degree.

52% are still unemployed a year after completing their degree.

My point is, a parent has to be a good steward of their own money and a good steward of forming the future of their spawn or StepSpawn.  Just getting a degree is not a viable goal if that degree has no income upside opportunity affiliated with it.

It took me many years to realize this key learning.  I was 20 Semester hours from a BA in economics when I changed majors to engineering.  The best move I ever made in my college career.  I do not love engineering. I do love what I do. Mostly, I love doing the things my career allows me to do in my non work life.

My mom was at the salon getting her hair done for my brother's and my graduation from Engineering school.  She was there with a number of moms prepping for graduations of their kids and other moms whose kids had already graduated.  No one had kids who had offers prior to graduation. A number of the mom's had top tier University graduate kids who were waiting tables a year+ after graduating.  The common denominator was that those kids all had basically non marketable degrees and had not learned that the degree without action and connection was not contributory to their success. 

My brother and I each had multiple offers prior to graduation and had accepted great roles before we graduated.  We did not go to a tip tier University. We did get Engineering degrees.  Neither of us were honors grads, we were solid middle of our class.  Only one of our classmates had more offers prior to graduation than my brother and I had.  We each had 5.  3 or those were from the same 3 companies. We each had 2 offers that the other did not get.  One classmate, a guy that was basically a ghost the whole 3 years of engineering school, had 6 offers.

When the group of moms at the salon asked my mom about my brother and I, she shared that we had both accepted offers already with a solid company.

An interesting event near the end of our degree was when we had a 1 semester  hour class on job search strategies taught by the director of grad placement for the university.  She split the class into 4 groups.  3.8 - 4.0 GPA in one corner. 3.0 - 3.8 in another courner.  2.75-3.0 in a third cornner, and 2.75 and below in the 4th corner.  She then said, "Everyone on the lowest half of the room will have more offers than those in the higher GPA half of the room."  Of course the high half of the room all took exception, commented on their academic performance, and how the were the best engineers in the class. They was right.  The instructor then said "That is why the lower half GPA graduates will have jobs first and have more offers. They understand that opportunity is built with human connection and not standing.  That was all true. Our Valedictorian was the last one in our class to get an offer.

He was brilliant. However, he knew he was good and he let everyone know it. Including the companies he interviewed with.  He ended up as a design engineer working for an inventor whose company was set up in his garage at his house. Probably the most fun job or anyone in our class. Just not much pay and not a lot of growth opportunity.

Shortly after graduation we both were working for a hopping technology company doing some great stuff.  That company hired 32 of my graduating class of 37.  We were working with MIT and engineering graduates from some of the top engineering  schools on the planet.  While they did make more than we did, their school label certainly had value, within a few years we were leading groups that consisted of our fellow former new hire engineers.  My brother, Mr COO, is incredibly successful. I did very well myself.  Of our class of 37 (the school typically graduates abourt 150 engineers a year) my brother is by far the most successful. I am top 10%.  Neither of us was anywhere near the top of our graduating class.

I will restate what I said above, with an additional caveat.  My point is, a parent has to be a good steward of their own money and a good steward of forming the future of their spawn or StepSpawn.  Just getting a degree is not a viable goal if that degree has no income upside opportunity affiliated with it.  

The degree is not the end, it is merely the start of a career. Those who miss the point that a degree demonstrates that you can set and accomplish a goal, and are at least supposed to have the basic ability to analyze and solve problems, are ill equiped to continually optimize their quality of life or their career.

IMHO of course.

I am all in on a degree education. But.... it has to be stewarded with access to a career in mind.

Full disclosure, if I could make solid 6 figures just going to school, that would be my career dream.  Alas, I have not yet found that opportunity.  Instead, I work.