Monday, March 16, 2009

Prepaid tuition is detrimental

By Velida Alemic

Recently, New York State Senate Republicans proposed a bill which would grant parents the opportunity to pay for their children’s college education before the child starts college. The purpose of the proposal being that it would lock in the child’s future tuition at its current rate. In addition, the pre-payments would provide huge investments for CUNY and SUNY schools, estimated at more than 8 billion dollars over 10 years.

While this proposed bill is intended to address the financial crisis that both parents and schools face while encouraging more parents to send their kids to college, there are several questions that need to be asked.

Can parents afford to pay for their children’s college tuition right now? Given the state of the economy , parents are probably not looking to invest in their child’s education years down the road. Rather, they are trying to consolidate the money that they have as they endure this recession. In addition, by paying for a child’s college tuition well in advance, parents would be placing restrictions on their children’s choice of education. Who’s to say the child wouldn’t be interested in attending a private university over a CUNY or SUNY school?

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