Kathryn's Blog


How I Brainwashed My Kid into Going to College

 How I Brainwashed My Kid into Going to College

I'm a firm believer in higher education.  Oh, I know, many of us go to college only to choose a major that has nothing to do with our eventual career path.  And yes, there are hundreds of bright people who have made it - and made it big - without having a college education.

But going to college is not just about learning about a particular field.  It is also a transition into the adult world.  Leave home, learn to survive on your own, meet deadlines, plan your day, feed and bathe yourself, grow a social network, compete with your peers, and study a field in-depth - all essential lessons for life.

To make sure that my son (now 12) goes to college, I initiated the following plan:

When my son was 5, I opened a savings account at a local bank.  Every month, we roll coins and deposit them into the account, along with any rebate checks or other odd money that has come in.  When the bank offers a decent CD rate, we push the money into that.  We've amassed over $6000 doing this, about $1000 per year.

I tell my son that this money will go toward his college education.  If he chooses to not go to college, then mom and dad will use this money for a nice long summer vacation while he stays home and works at the fast food joint in town! 

Needless to say, the kid is quite motivated to make sure that mom and dad do not get that money!

This little bank account has become a great educational vehicle for him.  He knows that this amount will not cover his entire college costs.  We may chip in some more (of course we will), but he is going to have to pay for part of college too.  It's a great credit-building and responsibility-building device.

If you have a child who seems uninterested and unmotivated to go to college, or do anything else that requires planning, try this method.  It does take time, and rolling those coins is tedious to say the least.  But it may be just the thing to brainwash them into seeing your way of thinking.  And hey, if they retaliate, at least you can look forward to a great vacation when they graduate from high school.  Good luck!


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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador

Century 21 Real Estate LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

Cell: (508) 982-0686   

Blog: Real Estate Blog
Twitter: @kacciari

Comment balloon 13 commentsKathryn Acciari • April 22 2010 07:11AM


Sounds like a great plan.....luckily my 2 daughters saw how hard I have had to work over the years and were jumping for joy for the opportunity to go to school...good luck with your son as I am sure he will decide right...

Posted by Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner (Hillview Realty) about 10 years ago

You're a conniving, manipulative, cold calculating parent.

I like that........

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) about 10 years ago


That was a great plan. College or a job at a fast food place. It sounds like a good motivator. I wish your son the best in his higher education plans.


Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) about 10 years ago

BRAVO!  Kids who don't go to college fall behind quickly and learn, too late for them, the value of a good education.  Keep rolling those coins.  Kool-aid stand money, grass-cutting and other little jobs also help the child learn the value of the education because they learn that doing manual labor is difficult and that there are certainly better ways to earn a living.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Property Group, LLC

Posted by Charlie Gantz, J.D., M.B.A. (Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay) about 10 years ago

As a kid of the past that didn't go to college I wish my parents would have given a much bigger push. You go mam!

Posted by Jay Schmitt, Gettysburg Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) about 10 years ago

Kathryn, this is a good plan and motivator. I'm sure your Son will make the right choice.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 10 years ago

Kathryn, great that your son is getting it at such an early age.  In addition to a college degree I think every child should also learn a trade, yes grunt work.  It is something to fall back on when things change in their chosen field.  My degree is useless, as all jobs are outsourced.  Anyway, your child is lucky to have such a parent that truly cares about their future!  --Gloria


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) about 10 years ago

I love it, and I wish I had thought of it. I've got 2 sons whom I'm trying to convince to get on through.

Posted by Leslie Prest, Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson, (Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ) about 10 years ago

Kathryn, Sounds like a great incentive, done with a positive twist. Nice job.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 10 years ago

Good plan. My daughter always believed that everyone went to college. She didn't realize that it was an option until high school. We always talked about it as a naturally transition after high school. Then she said she wasn't going! Ug! But she just completed her junior year! Yea.

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) about 10 years ago

Isn't that bribery? Now if he becomes a politican, he'll know what political bribes and kickbacks are all about. LOL

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 10 years ago

I'm hoping this lesson wlll carry my son throughout life.  Whether he goes to college or not, he won't directly receiving the money we're saving. 

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Testing the Comment box as I was having trouble a little while ago.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 10 years ago