One of the most impactful decisions many recovering addict face is College. The financial implications should not be ignored. College is but one step in the road to recovery. There are many more unknowns that lie ahead. As families begin to comprehend the investment of time required heal as a family, it is important that they also comprehend the financial investment required to heal as a family.
For many families, there is a sense of urgency, whether real or imagined. Before families make decisions that they may regret in the future, they need to plan, a unique plan reflecting their unique set of circumstances.
The first decision that needs to be made is: “Is college for me?” Today the workforce has become more specialized, where an expertise in a very specific field is valued. Depending upon the prospective students’ desires, there may be certifications and on-line degrees that can satisfy their educational requirement more effectively than a traditional education.
If college is determined to be the appropriate course of action, then every family member needs to be invested, both emotionally and financially. Many families find a financial oriented conversation difficult to have, as emotions cloud the mind and rule the discussion.
The amount of information available to families regarding educational alternatives and methods of financing options available can overwhelm families and suffocate their ability to make any decision at all. A well-informed decision is not possible, and families may put themselves in what could have been avoided financial distress.
Consider all the issues a family face when considering continuing education:
- Selecting the right vocational path
- Selecting the right educational program
- Living a sober life in a college setting
- Sharing financial responsibility among the family
- Meeting the financial obligations
As a member of the addiction and recovery community, I believe more needs to be done to assist families manage the college experience as part of a broader recovery plan.