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I suffer from guilt. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m Catholic and Jewish which happen to be 2 religions that corner the market on guilt or if it’s because I’m a mother. Motherhood is a profession that manages to provide me with more reasons to feel guilty than I can count.

But every once in a while you catch a break. Mine came this week after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about sending your kids to private college vs. state schools.

I currently have two kids in college and that means I have had the opportunity to tour more campuses than I can count. Plus any campuses my kids didn’t want to see I got to hear about from friends. At the end of these tours one thing just kept nagging at the back of my mind.

The thing I couldn’t justify was the cost. I toured campuses that included state schools and private schools. The costs ranged from $20k to $45k per year. At the end of these tours I just couldn’t see what made the more expensive schools worth that price tag.

Of course the administrators were quick to point out what their institution had to offer. The big things were the quality education, warm attentive staff and that high paying jobs would be waiting for my kids on graduation day. As a parent who doesn’t want to see their kids go off somewhere that is promising them the world.

I couldn’t justify the costs and I wasn’t prepared to go into debt and my kids weren’t interested in taking out additional loans to cover the higher priced schools. So my kids are now in state schools and even though they will graduate debt free and I still have a few pennies left that haven’t been sucked out for tuition, I still felt guilty that I have somehow deprived them of a better college experience.

According to the Wall Street Journal that talked to recruiters, I can relax a little, they feel state school kids are better prepared for careers and these are the students they want to hire.

I don’t know if that is true all over. I do know my daughter’s state school education has already landed her a great job working in finance at an international company.

My daughter is working and finishing some classes online till her official graduation and my son still has some more time to go till I see how he does finding full time work.

For now I’m choosing to see this as a positive and going to cut myself some slack. Because as a parent I know there is still plenty of guilt for other things to keep me occupied.

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Comment by Terry Starr on September 20, 2010 at 2:47pm
Love this post... I do think moms really do wrestle with this issue. I know a few people who have specifically been torn by the same dilemna. Perhaps it matters more in certain professions (ie pre-med, pre-law)?!? One thing's for sure, no point going into debt, especially the student. Imagine being saddled with $150-200,000 in debt before a 22-year old earns their first prof paycheck? On the flip side, can you imagine what a $150-200,000 investment would do in helping a young adult start a life on their own? Hmmm?!?
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