Guest Author - D. Lynn Byrne, Ph.D.
Saturday was great fun. I had a chance to do something I haven't done in a while--sit down and have coffee with a few friends from graduate school (who are still in school).
I can honestly say I was surprised to find that Chase (yes, names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) was still in school. Last I'd heard, he'd maxed out his eligibility for grants and federal loans; couldn't qualify for private loans; and was on his way back to full-time work.
Surprisingly though, Chase had found a way to work-around the issue of cost. Yes, he'd gone back to work--part-time, not full-time. But, he'd also worked out an arrangement with his parents that would allow him to move back home to live. All of which made it possible for him to continue with his studies.
I shuddered a bit when I heard him say he'd moved back with his parents. Sure, my parents would have welcomed me home--if I had been totally unable to care for myself or my family, find a job, or locate a place to live. I couldn't imagine moving home otherwise. For Chase however, moving back home with the parents was a way to not only save on his personal costs; but, it also provided his parents with assistance they otherwise wouldn't have.
Here's how he worked it out. Chase would have free room and board until such time as he finished his graduate studies. In exchange, Chase would take over care of the yard and grounds and basic household maintenance--activities his parents could no longer do themselves. He also had use of the car for school, as long as he provided chauffer services for his parents.
Sounds like a tremendous committment, doesn't it? In Chase's mind, however, the tradeoff is more than worth it. Chase lives in and can make certain his aging parents are looked after. In exchange, they see he has the means to finish his studies. All parties are happy and life is in balance.
Personally, I'm happy I chose to work full-time and go to school at night to finish my graduate degrees. My relationship with my parents is pretty solid; but I think we'd all start to wear on each other pretty quickly if I'd moved back home during grad. school.
At any rate, for those of you who are facing a financing quandry now and haven't come up with a satisfactory way to manage costs--other than leaving school and returning to work--you might want to give this some thought. If you and your parents have a good relationship, and if you can find an arrangment that's supportive and beneficial for all parties, then moving back home may be an option for you.
Here's hoping you find a balance that works. Until next time!