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A father of eight explains why he hasn’t saved a penny for his kids’ college education


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He's preaching self-reliance.

They encourage their children to strike out on their own and create businesses from the time they’re in elementary school. If the children are set on going to college β€” and their oldest is– Fagan says he expects his children to work, save up and earn scholarships.

This used to be a common method when I was a kid -- most of my cousins made their own ways through school -- and honestly I don't think a lot of entrepreneurs resulted from the treatment.

My biggest concern is that costs have shot up far faster than the earning power of most teenagers. One of our former developers, who tutored younger guys in his neighborhood for years, told us in no uncertain terms that his strategy -- live at home for 2 years, take classes at local colleges, work nights at a supermarket, and transfer to a good state school with the money he saved plus a modest loan -- is no longer viable for today's young people. In addition to the costs, decades of underinvestment have led to colleges that offer required classes so rarely that it takes YEARS to complete a level. Those years are when kids are making their closest lifelong friendships with people who will help them in their careers and personal lives forever... including, in many cases, their spouses.

So this dad, with all the love in the world, is basically going to give his children the harshest of lifelong lessons in social class. No matter how smart, hard-working, and virtuous you are these days... the kid whose parents sent him to Stanford is going to start life with SO MANY advantages over those who went to community college or didn't get their shit together to go to college at all. Even in becoming an entrepreneur, notice how many success stories start in a Harvard or Stanford dorm room. These days, it is essentially all of them.

And not to be unkind... but I don't think I'm going to take too many lessons in planning for the future from a guy who has eight kids. :p

what is wrong with eight kids?

You can't pay for all of their educations unless you're Mitt Romney... so then you have to justify why it's BETTER for them.

1) My mom is the last of 8, my dad is the middle of 6, and most of my cousins are from families of 3 - 4. I've noticed that in big families there is always someone who ends up feeling like they are not getting enough of some scarce resource -- usually mom's love and attention.

2) I was just reading an article that says parents' happiness increases for the first 2 kids but not after that.

3) Kids are an environmental disaster. :(

how long does a person need their mom's love and attention?Β 

Uh... I don't know if I'm the best person to answer this question, because my brother and I are the only one of my cousins on one side who were just doubletons, and certainly we never felt deprived of maternal love and attention. I know that many of my relatives and friends from big families seem to feel deprived all their lives. But if your point is that we all have burdens to bear or move on from, I agree with that statement.

Yes, we all have burdens to bear.

And Jared, a person needs their mom's love and attention for her entire life!

Man, if this dude were my dad I would DEFINITELY have become a drug dealer and/or stripper by age 18! Entrepreneur THAT, big guy.

I suppose by the father's definition dealing drugs and stripping qualify as entrepreneurial.

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