If you’re a regular visitor to Slow Harbor and happen to have children, we want to know who the hell thought it would be a good idea for you to procreate know you’ll understand the pain we feel at this moment. You see, one of our crack investigative reporters here has a daughter (we know, we know) who’s thinking about going off to college.

Well, demanding, really, is a better way to put it. And who could blame her? We certainly recall various times during college between black-outs. They, to the best of our knowledge, were good times. In fact, we learned a lot in college, even in some classes, though if we are being honest with ourselves, any lessons that prepared us for life in the real world* weren’t put forth during Introduction to Microeconomics.

Just recently “our guy” went out and visited a school vying for his money daughter’s attendance. And because he spends his time here in the Slow Harbor Center for Academic Excellence, he is, by nature and training, quite observant. One of the first things to note was that we, who consider ourselves intellectually superior to, say, you, didn’t realize college demographics have changed so much in the last two or twenty-five years. Back then, we went to college when we were around age eighteen, which means that, like dying for your country, you are old enough to have a fake I.D. Now, we know “our” student is prodigious, but it looked for all the world like all thirty-two thousand students there were her age, which, as we understand it, is somewhere between 6 and nine years old. Who knew kids were getting so much smarter so much younger these days? We think it must be hormones in the chicken. Or possibly gluten.

It so happens that this particular institute of higher learning, through some foolish topological error, happens to be smack dab in the middle of a major metropolitan area. So, after circling around one-way streets and taking out a second mortgage for parking, we stumbled over a few “homeless” people who undoubtedly were in college themselves just a few short months ago, and into the warm embrace of the tour group. The first thing we got was a sermon on how safe campus life is.

How affordable college is was next. And don’t think we weren’t impressed. In fact, it occurs to us we may be paying the “help” a little too well. Of course, most parents do realize how incredibly expensive college can be, to the point they often spend four years sitting on the floor in the dark eating store-brand saltines. These are the types of sacrifices parents are making everywhere.

Well, except Los Angeles. It turns out, over there in La-La Land, if you have a pretty face and some money, well, you’ve got everything. Your kids, it seems, have everything too. But before we go down this road, which you (okay, not you) knew we would, here’s your free Positive Thought for the day: Anytime you’re down on yourself, just remember, it could be worse. You could be ugly and poor living in Los Angeles. Don’t thank us. Knowing we’re helping you maintain a positive outlook is reward enough.

So how do you, the parents, pay for college? Let’s face it: you’re not attractive, and, judging by the financial contributions we receive from our “readers”, you’re not, at least in monetary terms, on par with Jeff Bezos. Furthermore, to the best of your knowledge, your child’s high school doesn’t even have a rowing team. Don’t worry! Knowing you’d eventually stumble into the wisdom-laden sanctuary that is Slow Harbor, we sat around for a good ten, maybe fifteen minutes, discussing your options. We do not doubt you’ll find answers here, in this recap of our roundtable discussion:

Slow Harbor Guy 1: Well, it looks like the topic today is, lemme see … I know it’s here somewhere… okay! How to pay for your child’s higher education.

SHG2: What?

SHG3: Who brought the snacks?

Lori Laughlin - how to pay for collegeSHG4: Lori Laughlin is still pretty hot though, right?

SHG1: Wait, did any of you guys ever, um, go to, you know, college?

You’re welcome. And now that we’ve helped figure out tuition, let’s examine all the little “extras”, like housing, meals, books, pizza, beer money, and all the other things your young scholar will need. Trust us on this one: no matter how much research and math you do, you should triple whatever figure you come up with. The obvious answer here, and you will feel so stupid for not thinking this up yourself, is, you need to move to L.A. There, using our foolproof plan entitled, “How to Blackmail Famous People into Giving You Money”**, you’ll be able to cover the cost of your child’s education in no time. Believe it, they’ll pay damn near anything.

Just remember, it could always be worse. At least your child isn’t considering Auburn, which was just crowned winner of the SEX Tournament. That’s the last place you want your child to be. Except maybe Los Angeles.

* Slow Harbor is not the real world

** Available for a limited time at just four annual payments of $42,410. Act now! Please!