Dear College Development Office:

My son is a sophomore at your university. I'm sure you know that; I'm pretty certain that's how you got my contact information. The sum you've designated as tuition, room and board for him total more than my annual salary. You know that, too, because you required every financial document known to mankind from me before you opened the doors to him. So although getting him there was a prayer project, keeping him there will be my living testimony to every unbeliever, nothing short of miraculous. This is my version of taking a few loaves and several fish, and paying thousands. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I know from whence my blessings come and Who provides for me. I am not suffering from lack, but I am not without budgetary paramaters. I know what struggle and sacrifice are firsthand, and I've deemed this sacrifice worthy.  What I can't wrap my head around is your incessant demands for more.

Let me be blunt:  I don't have any more money to give you. There.  Is that clear enough? Will you stop the incessant emails, letters and calls from perky work-study students? I understand you are charged with reaching out to parents, alumni and other potential deep pockets. It's a swell idea for alums, parents of alums and others who've indicated their desire to underwrite your mission. I know you have costs to cover. But let's be honest about this: the cost of living, my annual pay increases, the salary my son is expected to get upon graduation -- none of them rise as fast and as dramatically as college costs. So to prey upon parents who are actively struggling to complete the 4-5 year programs they've already committed to is unfair. I'd love to give you more.  I don't have it. And I'm not going to have it until he graduates. It's amazing how much you can do when tuition, room and board aren't line items on your budget.  So try calling me three years from now.  If you've done what I expect you to do with and for him, I'll gladly make a contribution.

In the meantime, save the time and money you're spending on the printings, mailings, email and call campaigns to me and donate that to yourself in my name.  That I would sincerely appreciate.  

Robin C. Green