There are some things that do not make sense.
In an ongoing attempt not to go broke sending my daughter to college or have her start her life with too much debt, my wife and I filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms.
Turns out, as little money as we have, it's still too much.
My daughter will have to take out student loans, rely on scholarships and work in order to get an education that, in theory, will lead to a great-paying job so she can pay back her loans.
Sounds like a great plan — in theory.
My problem with the FAFSA forms is that when calculating what forms of student aid — grant, loans, work-study, etc. — a student qualifies for, it does not take into consideration all of the expenses parents have.
There are no questions on the forms that ask if there is a mortgage payment, rent, utilities, car payments or other debts just about every person in the world has.
The forms ask what's in your savings and checking accounts, which accounts for wealth (although that term is laughable when talking about my accounts) but there is not much consideration of debt.
Seems like a one-sided equation.
I am sure there are reasons for filling out the forms in this manner — No. 1 being there is only so much "free" money to give away to students, and those in most need of grants should receive them.
But it would make college a lot more attractive to those young people debating whether to further their education if there was a way to get them more help financially.
There are probably a lot of people who look at the cost of college and decide to hit the work force instead. The choice should not solely be based on money.
My daughter will go to college. She will contribute. We will contribute, and she will be able to go. I guess that makes her lucky.
But the biggest worry, because I have been there, is the debt accumulated once she graduates college.
To the best of my memory and what I have learned recently, the clock starts ticking on repayment of most loans as soon as six months after graduation. Some may start even sooner.
So after a student graduates college, most find a job, a place to live, hook up utilities, likely cable or satellite television, possibly a contract with a cell phone provider (or maybe take over payments from Mom and Dad), buy groceries, and pay for laundry and incidentals.
Then six months later, the loan payments start.
Welcome to the real world kid.
That is a lot to put on a young person. Certainly, the way finances are figured has been done this way for years, and students continue to navigate through life, managing to pay their bills and still have enough to live on.
I was one of the fortunate ones. I had some debt, but not a lot when I left college. Still, it added to the stress, adding another bill to the pile. I had friends who accumulated much more debt than I did, and they struggled to keep up.
Like always, it is best to be rich. But since that is not going to happen in my family, my daughter will have to persevere.
Until that time, the real world of bills can wait, and hopefully not accumulate too much.
Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.