Topic | Daughters NOT planning to go to college?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  4myboys 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • 3kidsmama

    Hello-  I have recently been thinking about my soon to be highschooler’s future and have thought of the possibility of her not going to college.  I don’t mean that she can’t go, by any means- as I believe that if God wants her to, she will!  My thought is really just the anti establishment idea that she may not go to college.  I strongly believe in the  good of raising daughters to enjoy being keepers of home, whether they further their education at an institution or not.  I guess I just want to know if any of you ladies have daughters that have decided not to go to college or are thinking this way as well.  Any comments on this?

    My daughter is only in 7th grade this year but she repeatedly tells me she is not interested in going to college. Her passion is the fine arts (drama, drawing, singing, etc.) and feels like she can accomplish some of these fields without going to college. Getting a job and working in community theatre is some of her thoughts for the future. I totally agree and support her. In this economy and troubled times I don’t believe that college is what it used to be. If she wishes to go to college more power to her but if she wants to get married and start a family it is just as important. Academics are not her strong suit and unless something changes with her motivation and drive for college it probably won’t happen. Her drive lies elsewhere, as mentioned before in the fine arts. All children are different and I don’t feel it is in her best interest to fight it. Sorry for the ramble but this is something I think about often and have finally come to peace with.

    Sonya Shafer

    My two daughters who have graduated are not attending college, and I’m happy with that decision for them. Here is a link to a previous discussion on the subject, Anyone else not preparing daughters for college, that might give you some encouragement.

    I love this question because many of us are in this situation. There was a time one of my daughter’s wanted to go to college, but then life happened, illness and world economy changing and now it is not as likely. We do not believe it is right to go into debt for a college education and due to certain life events we are unable to finance college. So we are now looking at alternatives. Our requirement was always to educate them to college level and to fill in the squares so they could go if it was possible and we have done that mostly. We also wanted them to know that learning does not stop at a certain age and that they should continue learning always in their areas of interest and new things as well. We agreed that young women need to be able to care for themselves in case God does not have marriage and family in their future, but also we did not want them to go to college just because, there had to be a sensible end game in sight. Taking all this into consideration, we have at this point decided that full time college is not on the cards – so we are in this next year looking at alternatives to that….internships, apprenticeships, home business etc…no answers yet – so this topic is very interesting. Sonya thanks for the reminder about the previous posting on the topic….I for one am glad the subject is here again to have more discussion. I think this is a confusing time for our daughters – there can be huge advantages to a college education if there is a real job and career at the end of it – but I see no point if there is not, and debt is never and should never be an option unless you know at the end you can pay it off. College is becoming more and more expensive, and it should not be a given that everyone goes imho – realistically not everyone is cut out for it, or can afford it – we have unfortunately become accustomed to it being the norm and young people who don’t go are often looked down on – that is such a shame. What we have in the world now are many people with degrees they cannot use, debt they cannot pay and on the other side of the coin, a lack of plumbers, electricians, and skills in the trades that pay really well, but no-one seems to want to do. College is not a right, and needs to be thought carefully about….some extra classes online at home maybe on the cards for our girls, but full time – no – I hope the world situation will become clearer in the next year and we can see a clearer path as to various options and things to do….at the end of the day we are happy with whatever they decide, as long as the decision has been made with thought for all the issues taken into account – if in a years time they want extra education, then they have both said they would want to do it online at home – so we will see, but nothing is set in stone at this house, except that debt is not an option. Linda


    Personally, I don’t have daughters, but I see where you are coming from.  I think that you should certainly teach your daughters what it means to be godly women, but also not rule out the possibility that college might be what God has in mind for them.  I don’t think that everyone is ready for college at 18 — I wasn’t.  I didn’t even really know what I wanted to do with my life then.  My father and high school guidance councellor pushed me into taking Journalism in College. I hated it. I didn’t complete the course, but wound up with a huge debt anyway.

    When you look at the statistics of those — male or female–who take University courses in Canada it is amazing how many never work in their field of study — and a 3 or 4 year bachelor of arts is next to meaningless.  You need some sort of post graduate studies to get anywhere. So there is a minimum of 5 years of education at approximately $10,000 a year — probably in loans which need to be paid back even if you don’t work.  College is slightly better.  Most programs are 2-3 years and prepare for an actual career or trade, and the odds of working in the field are a little higher. 

    While many jobs require some sort of specialized training, not all do.  And some high level jobs can still be attained by working your way up.  Our nephew started working at a grocery store collecting carts while in his last year of high school.  He worked his way up and is now nearly complete the management training program and only months away from running his own store.  He is only 21.

    Not everyone will go to college, not everyone needs to go to college, but everyone should have the option.  Marriage will not be in God’s plan for every woman or every man.  Not every daughter will be content to live out her life in his father’s home if she doesn’t marry.  My sister-in-law has lived in her parent’s home her entire life.  She is 52.  She has worked since she was 14 and plans to retire in 3 years.  She didn’t go to college, but working has been the only real independance she’s ever had.  Still, she and her mother wait on her father hand-and-foot — that is NOT Biblical submission. 

    Niether of my own sisters are married either, and they both work, have attended college and are doing well for themselves.  They share an apartment.  Their independance allowed my mother to move several hours away to care for her mother for the last years of her life.  Our mother has remairred and has never moved back. It is important that our daughters are able to take care of themselves — they may not have husbands, and those with fathers now, may not always.   


    I haven’t had time to read through all the posts, but a great encouragement in this area if you have not seen it is Voddie Baucham’s dvd on Getting Your House in Order. It is part two in a dvd set called Children Of Ceasear.  The last part of dvd   2 he spends much time on that very topic~and powerfully.

    Funny, because we watched it last night as a whole family!



    I think that there are so many educational options now that we need to stop thinking in terms of ‘going’ to college.  It is totally possible to get a degree these days without having to leave home.  There are also online training programs for a variety of professions.  I do think it is important for our daughters to have options in terms of potentially supporting themselves or contributing to a family’s finances, but that does not have to mean participating in on-campus education and all the craziness that can go with that. 

    One example is the plan outlined at Milestones Academy for taking advantage of all the exams for credit that are available.  You can learn the material in any way you choose (Charlotte Mason approach anyone?) and then just take the test.

    Our province also has a site where you can access the online or distance courses from several institutions across the province and piece together your own degree or certificate program.

    MIT has free access to many of their courses online. 

    The possibilities are endless, and I  believe they will only increase in the future.


    Oh what a joy to find such great responses!  I love the fact that God has a plan for everyone, and just like our schooling, they are taylor made to the individual.  Missingtheshire, I appreciate the way you articulated how your family requirement was to educate them to college level and then fill in the squares if needed.  Thank you all for your encouragement.  Hoping others will chime in on their thoughts. I’m going over to Sonya’s link!


    I don’t think by ANY means that everyone–male OR female–should go to college. 

    A few things to keep in mind, though—

    1.  Life is unpredictable and education in general and skills in specific are very, very useful.  There is no way to know who might need to support 6 kids when she’s 30 . . .even if one isn’t going to college, typing skills or transcription skills or the ability to draw blood or be a medication aide or . . . health care is the field I know–some of these things are very easy to learn as a teen.  I was certified as a nurse’s aide, a transcriptionist, a medication aide, AND a phlebotomist  while I was still in high school and going to school full time and working part time, and almost all the money I’ve ever made came from those skills.

    2.  Education is almost NEVER “useless” although it can be a poor return on investment.  I’ve never earned a single dime from my degrees unless you count my teaching assistantships but I don’t regret what I learned at ALL (although I do regret the loans!)

    3.  It’s a lot easier to work in skills in high school that  might make it easier to get further education–of ANY kind–later than it would be to go back and start from scratch in ten or fifteen years with few skills or little liberal arts education.  Case in point–I am digitally acquainted with a family with a teen girl who are deliberately NOT teaching her any math more complicated than basic fractions, although she has aptitude and could easily learn, because she “won’t need algebra as a mother.”  I quibble with this to begin with, but then, suppose she is widowed or divorced  at age 30–she’s going to have a MISERABLE time trying to learn enough math for even something as simple as an LPN certification, and she’s going to have to PAY to do it when it would be so easy to do it now. 

    4.  Being a college educated woman and being a keeper at home are NOT mutually incompatible–I know DOZENS.  Laughing  They don’t take your ovaries upon graduation.  LOL  And you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a wife and mother.  The more a woman knows–the larger the room in which she sets her feet–the richer and more rewarding HER life can be and also the lives of her children, especially if she becomes a homeschooling mom!  One can gain tremendous education on one’s own, of course, without ever walking in the walls of a college, but one can also learn a tremendous amount to enrich the lives of all posterity AT a college. 

    Agree with Michelle, that is why we have equipped the girls to go to college if they want and/or online classes – we do not rule anything out….I have a history/geography degree, never used it for anything useful except in this homeschool, but I have it. I am all for a college education if there is a definite job prospect at the end….but all these kids who go do media studies and the like are in my mind not looking at the big picture. When I got my degree in the UK, it cost very little, that is not the case now. I am horrified to think there are people out there deliberately not educating their children fully because they think they won’t need it….we don’t live in the dark ages, we live in a competitive world where nothing is guaranteed in life. My girls really are not into math at all, and have always been math phobic since public school. However hubby has patiently worked with them over the years so that should they want to go to college or get a job that required math they would be capable of doing so. Every situation is different, but we short change our children I think if we do not prepare them fully for every eventuality. I traveled and worked extensively after college through Europe and Australia, and then to fund my travels I trained as a medical secretary and worked at that for many years, right up until I was married…I worked for the US Air Force in that field and that is how I met my husband. In a round about way it all tied together….my history and geography degree made me want to travel to see the places I had studied, the medical secretary work made that possible, I met lots of interesting people and saw lots of historical sites and worked from treading grapes in Italy to helping in an archeological dig in Greece – then on one of my money earning sprees working for the US Air Force in Europe, I met my husband and my single travel days were over…so the education and interests my education inspired were well worth it to me. I would encourage no-one to short change their sons or daughters, Michelle makes excellent points and that is why we have given the girls all they need academically should they want further education either now or later on….


    I would never intentional not prepare my child for post secondary education.  To do so seems to imply putting a limitation on their right to develope as a human being.  We must remember that while we have our own personal vision of who or what our children should be, God’s plan for them may be completely different.  Not every woman will be a wife, and not every wife will be a mother. 


    Not sure if you read the other post Sonya linked yet, but within that post is an article on SCM’s sister site Intentional Parents called “What About College”. Though we have all boys, I found this very helpful and agree wholeheartedly. Also, want to second her book recommendation of College Without Compromise. There is an excellent chapter in the book titled “Preparing to be a well-equiped Helpmeet” which is all about daughters & college. I also found Voddie Bauchams messages on homeschooling and college excellent! He also has some audios on this topic over on College Plus website under endorsements.

    4myboys, I couldn’t agree more – only God knows what He has in store for our children and all we can do is provide them with all the possible tools so that when God’s plan is unveiled they can take full advantage – I decided like my mum before me that my children must decide on their path and we must have them ready for any and all eventualities – and then let them fly. She did that with me, and when my girls are ready to start the next season of their lives we will help them to soar….whether that is a job, college, online college or marriage….or even travel….they as young adults must find their path and our job is to guide them as best we can in readiness for flight into their own lives.


    I  agree with 4myboys as well.  My original question wasn’t geared toward me saying no to college, just to the idea that not all have to go, or should.  I am one who believes that you pray about each child and trust that God will direct and provide.  That being said, I must do what I can as guidance councelor/teacher to make it possible for her to go if that is her calling.  Education does not end at 18, really only just beginning in my opinion.  Life is learning.  I also affirm that if my daughter is blessed to be married and have children of her own and decides to homeschool them, she needs a well rounded and ever growing education.  One of the beauties of CM is her “science of relations”  with various forms of knowledge, be it book knowledge, hobbies or life skills.  A lifestyle of learning, really.


    I pray that I am preparing my son and daughter for college should they choose to attend a college. I am not going to push a college education though given how the economy now and who knows what it will be like when they are at that stage in life.If the course of study they wish to pursue requires a college education, then so be it. However, given my past experience with time and money spent on a college education, I am not exactly for that kind of stress for my children.

    I attended a community college for 2 years (worked FT during the summer and part-time the rest of the year) and graduated with a degree in paralegal studies. I could NOT find a paralegal job upon graduation and ended up as a mailroom runner for 2 years. I was hired on as a paralegal once but due to the neglience of the person hiring me, I was fired after only a few months. She “assumed” I had more understanding than what my resume represented and I assure you I did not lead her on to get the job. It was all there for her to see.

    After that life changing moment, I pursued a medical transcriptionist program at the local vocational school. I graduated with honors in only 10 months. I found a job as an in-house MT within the year and 3 years later I became an at-home transcriptionist raising my family. I just recently “retired” to fully dedicate myself to my children. Basically, my 2-year degree was worthless but my 10-month degree provided a small income for our family for over 10 years.

    My husband even has a great job without having a 4-year degree. Most of his has been hands-on experience and self-study.

    It all comes down to experience in the field, not some piece of paper. I lost out on paralegal jobs because I did not have experience. They could care less than I spent the last 2 years struggling to gain such an education. They wanted EXPERIENCED paralegals.

    It is just ridiculous the way college tuition is becoming for our future generation. No one should graduate from school and be in debt by THOUSANDS of dollars in student loans and the like.

    Let us all pray for our children and their futures….

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