Ditching the College Fund for a Personal Growth Stipend

Let’s face it, college is not for everyone.

And it’s definitely not required for success in all careers. Still many young adults, including myself, seek higher education as the requirement without seriously considering the return on investment. Alarmingly almost one third of Generation Y believes they could be in a better situation if they had skipped college and tuition for the workforce.

As a high school student I knew without a doubt I would attend college. For what degree? No idea. Choosing a major and career path really wasn’t that important because I knew that a diploma would open doors for me. My good grades would lead to college acceptances, internships, landing a job, and climbing right up the corporate ladder to the corner office.

Was it really that simple? Are careers as structured as The Sims game? Absolutely not.

Although thankful for my degree, I didn’t go to college for the right reasons.I didn’t have a plan, strong desire, or appreciation for the money funding my education. I was just doing what I thought everyone else does from ages 17-21. Simply “keeping up with the co-eds” and looking for a standard big girl job. Leaving me incredibly unfulfilled.

One of my fears is having children that view college as the sole option to success when there are hundreds of paths to take in life. Although not it’s intention, handing over a college fund could be debilitating for identity growth. Not only does it assume that every child should have college aspirations, but it builds a sense of entitlement. Nothing else in life is free should a degree be?

To break the cycle, I’m kicking the college fund method to the curb. Instead, I’m planning on building a personal growth stipend for each child to earn for their own desired skill or career path. (I can already hear my imaginary kids groaning 🙂 ). It could be anything from traveling, volunteering, or college. Any type of experience that they believe will help them transition from teen to adulthood.

Of course this stipend doesn’t come for free. I’ll have to be convinced they meet these expectations below before they get the dough!

Investment Analysis – They’ll have done thoughtful analysis of the financial costs and benefits of the intellectual investment.Calculating if and when you’ll get a return from those experiences is an important thought process in choosing the right path.

Research – The #YOLO craze should be over by the time I have kids *crossing fingers*. We can’t fly by the seat of our pants making life changing decisions right? My teens must prove they’ve done their research thoroughly to earn their stipend.

Passion – My kids will have to show passion and dedication to their path of choice. This is crucial. Why waste money on something you’re only mildly interested in? If true passion is there life fulfillment will follow.

What’s your take on the topic? Do you agree with the practice of building a college fund? How do you plan to usher your kids into the adult world?

Posted in: Education

Top of page