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Question: I graduated from high school in June but didn’t feel ready for college — mentally or financially. So I’ve been working construction, living at home, and saving money. I was thinking about going to college in January, but then a friend said I should wait to see who becomes president first— because if Clinton wins, she’s going to make college free for families who make less than $125,000 a year. That’s definitely my family.
If Trump wins, no free college. In that case, I might wait longer to save up more money. So my question is: Should I wait until summer to sign up?
— Paul in Iowa
I’m a financial expert, not a political one, but I think this is probably a bipartisan opinion: Don’t let the president dictate your choices.
If you want to go to college, do it based on you: How much money you’ve saved, your readiness to study hard, and your career goals.
You’ll waste a lot of years waiting on the government to launch the particular program you want. If Hillary Clinton is elected, she won’t be able to deliver on her free-college campaign promise for quite awhile. If at all.
Remember, Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act didn’t become law until midway through his first term, and it almost didn’t happen. You could argue that grinding all the details to make college free for families earning less than $125,000 is even more complicated than overhauling the healthcare system.
You’re doing the right thing by saving money, Paul. I hope you’ll do the right thing and vote this November. What should you do after that? Neither I nor the president can answer that for you.
Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and Howard Dvorkin will review it. Dvorkin is a CPA, chairman of Debt.com, and author of two personal finance books, Credit Hell: How to Dig Yourself Out of Debt and Power Up: Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny.
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