A Parental Gift
In my closet are four expensive pieces of clothing: sweatshirts from Michigan Technological University, University of St. Thomas, North Park University, and Hope College. These were the univesities and college my children attended. They all are great institutions and served my children well. But they were also expensive. Together with each child, we worked out how much we would pay and how much they would earn/save/borrow to get them through. Martha, my wife, devoted her income to funding their education.
But each institution made us pay for a sweatshirt! We are proud of our children's choice of different educational institutions and willingly participated in the cost (growing way beyond the consumer price index). And my thought now, to institutional people is: give each family their choice of 2 sweatshirts FREE. Give a mom and dad a coupon (like Barnes and Noble does) that they can redeem at the store or on-line for their sweatshirt. They've paid enough already, give away a token gift. Look at the math ($25,000 per/year for tuition/room/board vs 2 sweatshirts at $40 per/shirt???). It's a no-brainer.