Parents struggling with high college costs have only themselves to blame

November 09, 2011

Along with countless other parents, Susan Reimer complains about the humongous cost of a college education ("Student loans: Obama's reforms won't help the middle class," Nov. 7). I don't blame her.

Why, when there are plenty of fine public colleges in Maryland that are within commuting distance, would a family opt for an out-of-state school? Out-of-state tuition is always higher, and living on campus is a huge expense.

The idea that you have to go away from home to receive a college education is, in my opinion, a scam.

Whenever I've asked parents who are struggling to pay for their kid's degree at some distant school why they didn't choose a place nearby, the answer is always the same. "We want him or her to have the 'college experience.'" And that's part of the problem.

I wish Ms. Reimer and her husband were enjoying a second home at the beach instead of paying off their daughter's debt, but the fault lies with them. They should have insisted on some "fiscal responsibility" when it came to selecting a college.

Frankly, the education mafia has brainwashed us into believing that money doesn't matter for far too long, and now people are hurting.

While I'm on the subject of "fiscal responsibility," why isn't the younger Ms. Reimer helping her parents pay down her loans? Clearly, she learned nothing about duty and responsibility at her expensive, out-of-state college or university.

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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