Coming up with an “educational game plan” that links educational goals with financial resources is important for parents wishing to plan how they can afford Catholic education for their children, according to a Catholic financial expert writing for the National Catholic Register.
Phil Lenahan writes that it’s the responsibility of parents to raise their children in the Faith, and that Catholic education might “play a key role in helping them fulfill this responsibility.”
Comparing the educational process to a “marathon,” rather than a “sprint,” Lenahan says that parents need to have the resources not only “to start the race but to finish it as well.” His family homeschools because there were no Catholic schools in the area and because they wanted to save money for college, according to the Register.
Lenahan further explores the financial considerations in choosing a college in his article, “Big Money, Hard Choices,” which is featured in The Cardinal Newman Society’s magazine for high school students, My Future, My Faith. The magazine is provided free of charge online and helps Catholic families navigate the college search process and prepare for college.
Lenahan emphasizes the many benefits of a Catholic college education and offers advice on paying for college. He writes:
It’s wise for a family to discuss and plan ahead for a graduate’s financial welfare, especially if the student seems likely to get married. The fact that most young men and women develop and sometimes radically change their career interests while attending college does not mean that families shouldn’t plan for a student’s likely path after graduation—allowing sufficient flexibility in the plan for changing career goals and increasing awareness of God’s calling.
I am concerned that today’s parents and students are too easily accepting more debt than they should as part of the financing package, especially when it comes to a degree that, on its own, doesn’t point to an adequate income to pay the debts off in a reasonable time frame. Handling $50,000 in student loans is very different for an attorney than it is for a teacher at a Catholic school. While there are certainly no guarantees that the lawyer’s career path will work out, one can make reasonable assumptions. It is pretty clear that a teacher at a Catholic school will have a limited income, and heavy debts will be an incredible burden.
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