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By Matthew D. Kane | President | Advisor

For our family, we decided on our plan for college funding many years ago when my oldest was in middle school. At the time, we didn’t have a whole lot of money to fund college, and we weren’t expecting substantial support from grandparents at that point. With our financial resources in mind, we made the decision that half of all college expenses were to be paid for by our children.

Now, we have a lot of kids. We have five sons, ages 16 through 26. This fall, I dropped our 4th son off at his freshman year. I can say now, going through the college planning process, that I’m thankful for the decision. I’m thankful for the education that our capital has enabled, but I’m also thankful for what the process has taught my kids.

Clear Expectations

Some of my kids have loved the clarity of the 50/50 deal. For them, knowing what will be asked of them well in advance has given them time to prepare and make decisions accordingly.

Overcoming Challenges

One or two of my kids have found the arrangement particularly challenging – which I understand. That being said, growing responsibility is often challenging, and I’m glad to be able to walk through the discomfort with them in these formative years.

Learning to Research Well

College has gotten remarkably more expensive in recent years, and it makes the decision of where to go to college more complicated. It’s not just, “Can I afford it?” It’s also a matter of “Will my career field be worth the investment?” This has been incredibly valuable for my kids to learn the weightiness of financial commitments.

So, as food for thought, I would encourage you to reflect on college funding for your own children and grandchildren. Regardless of your resources to fund their education, how can you help them encounter and gain deeply valuable insight from the decision making process?