Grandparents Pay for Your College Education . . . what a great holiday gift for you!

Barry Lenson

If you have grandparents – and I hope you do – you have probably noticed that they can be a lot like parents, only better. Many of them focus on the good stuff you do, without fixating on your mistakes the way many parents do. Most of them light up with pleasure every time they see you. And many of them are actually eager to help build your future success.

So . . . how about getting your grandparents to help you pay for college? If you have the right kind of grandmother and grandfather, chances are they would love to help you out – it would be a true win/win agreement: they would feel great about helping you, and you would save money on college. (Your parents might even win something too, but let them figure that out on their own.)

But you have an obstacle to overcome. The fact is, most grandparents don’t know how little college can cost today if you use StraighterLine and other cutting-edge learning options to keep college costs low.  They’re probably been reading US News and other “expert” sources of information about college and are laboring under the misconception that a college degree has to cost $200,000+ and that you are going to graduate from college owning about half that amount to rapacious lenders.  Faced with monumental statistics like those, they probably assume that they just can’t contribute enough to help you in any meaningful way.

So how do you overcome that roadblock, educate your grandparents, and let them know that they can help pay for your college education without selling their cars or condominiums? Here are some steps to take . . .

  • Sign up for StraighterLine’s Freshman Year of College for $999 program and mention it casually over a holiday dinner. Just say, “I just signed up for freshman year of college for $999,” and watch the reaction.  Jaws may drop, eyes may widen, and you may end the dinner with a check for $999 in your pocket. I mean, what kind of grandparent wouldn’t want to treat you to a year of college for that amount of money? (They’d like to buy you a new Ford Mustang GT convertible for $500 too. They can’t do that, but they can buy you a year of college for less than $1,000.)
  • Talk about how little you are going to pay for college. You can say, for example, “I have figured out a way to earn 30 college credits for about $500,” and watch grandpa’s glasses slide off his nose into his lasagna. “How will you do that . . . impossible,” he will say. Then you get to explain how StraighterLine’s subscription plans work. And again, you will walk away from the dinner table with a check in your wallet.
  • Invite grandma and grandpa to go to college with you. Now this is a strategy that can’t fail. Simply say, “Will you to go college with me?” or, “I think it would be great if you considered going back to college.” After all, most of today’s grandparents are active, curious, and involved in life. You’re more likely to find them in Pilates class than playing Bingo at the church hall. They want to learn new things, but might not know about all the modern options for taking college courses today. If you invite your grandparents to take college courses while you do too, you guessed it . . . you are going to leave that holiday dinner with a check in your wallet. And you know what? You’ll have helped your grandparents too. After all, why should you be the only member of your family to benefit from online learning?

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How to Go Back to College
Evelyn Malzberg Graduates from College this Month
Six Tips to Keep You Moving Forward with a College Education
The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Going Back to College

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