My son doesn’t want to go to college

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Q. My son is 17 and will go to community college in the fall. It’s all we can afford. I want him to pay half, but he wants to save for a car. I want him to go to college more than he wants to, so I’m afraid if I push it, he will just say he won’t go. I really need advice.
— Mom

A. You’re in a tough spot.

We’re guessing you think college is the best way to prepare your son for his future.

But you could be wrong.

Not everyone is really cut out to go to college, said Stephen Craffen of Stonegate Wealth Management in Oakland.

He said you should sit down with your son if he is willing, and get a sense of how he views his future.

“He may be more inclined towards a trade and there is nothing wrong with that,” Craffen said. “Tradesman, which can include electricians and plumbers, are almost always in demand and those are excellent careers.”

Your son may also need time to “find” himself and figure out what he likes, Craffen said, noting that pushing him too hard towards college may just encourage him to start and then drop out, which is not a good use of your money.

“These days there are still many opportunities for people without college degrees to have a job and advance if they work hard and learn on a job,” he said. “Many companies are more than willing to send someone like that to school at night and contribute towards the costs of their schooling.”

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NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.