A few weeks ago I posted on my daughter Allie’s college decision, and in particular the debate between going to in-state UVA and Ivy League Dartmouth. That was before Allie got accepted into Princeton, and before she and her dad decided she would in fact accept her acceptance into Princeton. It wasn’t exactly the careful weighing of costs versus benefits that I wanted to do with her before she made that decision, but I think it was more in keeping with how I once characterized how parents typically decide how to spend money on “investments” in their kids or how family members decide how to spend money on health care for their loved ones: two questions, (1) is there any positive expected marginal benefit, and (2) can I come up with the money, somehow? (not how does that marginal money/cost compare with that marginal benefit).
So for a couple days now I am here at Princeton with Allie for her “Princeton Preview” weekend, hoping to be constantly “WOWed” by everything Princeton has to offer, and hoping that come Sunday I will have decided that yes, the expected marginal benefit is high even relative to the (certain and high) marginal cost. Oh, and I am also doing a lot of searching and begging for aid and any way to pay for it that we can find. Because although our family is not considered “needy,” when it comes to the Princeton price tag, I still think we “need” a lot of help. As the summer comes and the first bill due draws nearer, I’ll keep you posted on how we manage.
Meanwhile, I would love any Princeton alums to tell me all the wonderful ways in which your Princeton education clearly enhanced your lifetime income and any other “values” in your life. Those who disagree, please keep quiet.