Today’s article is inspired by an email conversation with a complete stranger.
This needs a little explaining.
I have a personal email account with the form of first letter, last name at a very large email provider. For example: email@example.com.
A few times a year people send me email thinking that they are emailing their friend Joe, Jen, or James. Whenever I get these, I try to help the person out by explaining that their email isn’t getting where it was intended.
This week an email came in from an “@princeton.edu” address. After I let her know about the error, I asked if there was a way that she could grease the wheels for my boys to get accepted there.
She came up with a great idea. As an employee, Princeton gives her 50% off tuition for her kids. Alas, she doesn’t have kids herself. She then offered to adopted my kids.
I explained that my kids were 4 and 5 and it would be a little too much to ask with it being so far down the line.
I hope it’s obvious by now that we were joking back and forth. However, let’s pause and thinking about the idea.
Is there an adoption loophole that allows college employees to make money with their benefit?
Princeton’s tuition is around $43,000 a year. It’s a little more, so let’s round it to $175,000 for 4 years. If my newfound friend were able to adopt one child the cost would be $87,500 with a savings of $87,500. (I love easy math like “divide by 2”.) It would make sense for a student to give $43,750 to the newfound friend to save the other $43,750.
To put it more simply, the employee discount is 2 years free, so a student would pay one year to the employee to get a year free. It’s win-win, right?
Of course the downside is that the adoption process might not be so simple. I don’t know how any of it works. There’s also the pesky problem of having a stranger be the parent of your child for a bit. On the other hand, we seem to have embraced the world of surrogate mothers, so maybe this isn’t so far-fetched? Of course, there might be options where the employee is a family friend and not a complete stranger.
I’m also sure that it might raise eyebrows to adopt a child just before he’s college age for the discount. Maybe colleges have a rule against that. I did a few internet searches and the schools I found didn’t seem to have anything outlined.
College costs seem to keep going up at an astronomical rate. As long as they keep going up, I expect more and more people will “think outside the box” to save money.