Foust Law May 2020

MAY 2020 THE

COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE STUDENT LOAN DEBT

Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I got married in 2013, she agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys, Andrew, who was 12, and Chandler, who was 11. The boys are now 18 and 19 years old and face growing up in a world very different than the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. While we are far from perfect parents, we do our best. Our newsletter chronicles some of our successes and some of our less than stellar moments. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find some entertainment in the moments we share. Americans are carrying approximately $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Let that sink in for a minute. Approximately 70% of college graduates have student debt, with the average borrower owing more than $37,000 at graduation. At my alma matter, Gonzaga University, the figures are even worse: The average student debt carried by graduates is $100,000. Have we all gone crazy? When I studied at Gonzaga University, the tuition was around $12,500 per year. I actually sat down and figured out that it was about $20 for each and every hour I was in class. So, skipping Friday classes because I had been drinking too much the night before meant I would lose the $20 I spent at the bar and another $20 because I could not get out of bed. Although Thursday was the big party night at Mr. Stockton’s bar, Friday hangovers had to be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, tuition has risen at a rate that is significantly higher than the rate of inflation, so that $12,500 per year I paid has mushroomed to over $43,000. The price tag has nearly quadrupled in 24 years. There is absolutely, positively no excuse for this increase. There is no way I would have been able to consider asking my parents to fund my education, and there is no way I will be funding a private education for my children, either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your adult child attending a state university. In contrast to the $43,000 per year price tag at Gonzaga University, Montana State University tuition is $7,277 per year. That is 17% of what tuition runs at Gonzaga! Unless your

child is fortunate enough to be accepted into Stanford University or Harvard University, the schools are not all that different. The Lamborghini can wait! There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking five or six years to graduate while you work. Unfortunately, we have convinced ourselves that graduating in four years is a must and failing to complete an undergraduate degree in that time makes your degree somehow worth much less. That is a bunch of baloney. One of the smartest and most accomplished people I know finished his undergraduate degree in nine years, choosing to work for a semester and take classes for the other semester. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working and saving and making your tuition payment in the cash you earn. However your child decides to fund their education, it is absolutely critical that you talk to them about how they are going to pay for it. We wish you and your family the best in your future. A college education cannot and should not require our children to mortgage their futures!

- Lucas Foust

406-587-3720 • 1

www.lucasfoustlaw.com

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