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Old 09-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #1
anc876
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College: Who Pays - Parent or Kid?

How did you pay for school, and how are you planning for your kids to attend college?

My parents helped with community college expenses, then I used my GI Bill to pay (and get paid!) for university costs. I have a BA and zero student debt (never even had to take out a loan). I still have GI Bill money left.

From my experience in college, it seemed like many young students whose parents were footing the bill were under-appreciative and not taking their studies seriously. I am thankful that my husband and I had to earn almost everything on our own, and plan to have my son do likewise. He may have to serve a few years in the military, work while in school, or apply for financial aid, but he will be expected to bear the brunt of his college tuition.

In addition, we won't be pushing him to go to college if he is unsure of what he wants to do. So many kids are expected to automatically jump into higher education and amass thousands in student loans without truly planning or preparing themselves. But that's a whole 'nother thread. =)
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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I did work-study with loans - I was lucky for M&D to buy books & give me maybe $5 a week (sometimes mom gave the money to sister & I didn't see it) so yeah I was pretty broke during school

I agree with not pushing kids into - I was told I had a choice, go to this college or work at Dairy Queen - couldn't do anything else (being female Dad wouldn't let me join the armed forces - goes back to something that happen when he was in the navy - he didn't/won't say but it must had been pretty bad to a female since my brother was allowed too)
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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My parents paid for my first degree. I paid for my second.

I will pay for my kids college. My experience has been that students leaving today with student loans find themselves unable to both pay their student loans and support themselves - and I don't want them moving home. And when I paid for my second I was in college with a lot of people working and paying their own way - and few of them had the capacity for both - graduation rates for those students was half that of those who didn't have to do both at the same time.

I set the expectation that my kids will go to college or have some alternate plan to better themselves post high school - either that or they move out and deliver pizzas until they are ready to go to college (or tech school, or join the army or something).
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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My oldest had to take out a large amount in loans but ended up with a job that was not entry level upon graduation in May. She willl be fine with her payments.

My next oldest is attending a state school; Between federal grants, state grants and disability assistance is able to go with out any out of pocket expenses.

My third child is in his freshman year. He has a little more in loans this year hen I would prefer but we are going to try to get it down further next year. He also has work study this year.

So, all in all my kids are responsible for their own college bills...though legally I'm on the hook as a co-signer; though they look at them as their own loans.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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As long as my kids have a plan we'll pay as much as we can. If they are slacking or putting partying over studying we'll revisit that position, but I don't believe that who is paying has as much to do with that as overall maturity and sense of purpose when it comes to higher education. Too many kids go to college because it is the expected thing to do, with no regard to whether they're ready to handle life without any supervision or have a clear plan for where they want their education to take them.

Personally I would strongly discourage military service as a means of paying for college, assuming the global landscape doesn't change significantly in the next 5-15 years. I don't believe that is a good trade-off unless the child wants to serve for reasons beyond the GI Bill.

Right now, I anticipate my oldest will go to community college or trade school. He's particularly interested in machining, welding, or otherwise working with metal, and he's not especially academically focused. My middle child will go to college; she is going to be the funding challenge because she has her sights set on selective private universities and doesn't think she wants the big state school experience. She's extremely bright and athletic to boot so I hope she'll get at least some merit aid to supplement the prepaid tuition contract and small college fund she'll have to start with. The youngest is too soon to tell but when she gets older we'll help her find the path that is best for her and put together a plan for how to fund it.

ETA: Money was a major issue in my household when it came to education, to the point of my mother doing everything she could to get me to follow the (scholarship) money even though the offer came from a school without the program I was most interested in. I didn't last a year before I dropped out, took out loans for a tech program that got me out on my own ASAP, then later earned a second associates as a SAHM before our 3rd child came along, and am just now contemplating going back for my bachelors. I really don't want to put my kids in that position; I want them to have a realistic picture of the help we can provide and guidance to navigate all the options but also have the flexibility to make their own choices. After all, they're the ones who have to live with those choices day in and day out.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anc876 View Post
How did you pay for school, and how are you planning for your kids to attend college?

My parents helped with community college expenses, then I used my GI Bill to pay (and get paid!) for university costs. I have a BA and zero student debt (never even had to take out a loan). I still have GI Bill money left.

From my experience in college, it seemed like many young students whose parents were footing the bill were under-appreciative and not taking their studies seriously. I am thankful that my husband and I had to earn almost everything on our own, and plan to have my son do likewise. He may have to serve a few years in the military, work while in school, or apply for financial aid, but he will be expected to bear the brunt of his college tuition.

In addition, we won't be pushing him to go to college if he is unsure of what he wants to do. So many kids are expected to automatically jump into higher education and amass thousands in student loans without truly planning or preparing themselves. But that's a whole 'nother thread. =)

DH and I worked and paid our way through. DHs dad did pay for his master's
degree 10 years after DH got his bachelor's and after we had 4 kids. I think his father realized how much more he did for Dh's sisters than DH and felt badly that he had not done more for DH.

DS is in his first semester of college on a full college scholarship. We have stressed to our 4 kids that they are bright and can work towards scholarships and can work for spending money which DS has done.

I always thought that the kids would be responsible for their own college. However, I am realizing that we may have to help them more than I initially thought. Things are just so different and much more expensive these days. I don't believe that I can draw that line in the sand.

While I agree that college is not for everyone, it is definitely harder to find a good job without some advanced schooling-whether it's college or trade school.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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This is between parent & child, a family decision.

My daughter is attending the local community college and luckily has gotten grants that cover her direct expesnes. Since she is living at home, she doesn't have housing expenses.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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My husband and I have one child. We would like to have a second. We will pay for their undergraduate degrees in full. These things are currently budgeted into our lifestyles. If any of the grandparents leave behind any money, that can be used for graduate school.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27

Personally I would strongly discourage military service as a means of paying for college, assuming the global landscape doesn't change significantly in the next 5-15 years. I don't believe that is a good trade-off unless the child wants to serve for reasons beyond the GI Bill.
I agree that one should not join the military solely for the educational benefits. I followed my husband into the military and made sure to get the GI Bill just in case, but thankfully it worked out well in the end. Enlisting has been one of the best decisions we ever made, and it opened up a whole new world of opportunity. We are where we are today because we have been so blessed through the military. Those were some of the best years of my life and I got to experience some absolutely amazing things. We learned real pride, sacrifice and discipline. Of course based on our experiences, we would recommend it to our son, but we realize that it's not for everyone and many have had more difficult times in service. And like you mentioned, who knows what our armed forces and the state of the world will be like years from now.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anc876 View Post
How did you pay for school, and how are you planning for your kids to attend college?
I paid for my college 100% after some financial aid. I had multiple loans that were paid off in 10 years. My DH had a free ride because his dad was a professor on staff at the university he attended and his Masters Degree was paid for my his company (which he is still with 30 years later).

We have been setting $$ aside for our DD since she was a baby and we have about 3 years set aside at the University of Wisconsin (or other state school). She wants to go to the University of Minnesota so we're still OK with the amount that we set aside. If she changes her mind and goes to one of the more expensive schools then we only have 1-2 years for her. We will probably come up with some more $$ for her but not all of it.

Student loans are the new Indentured Servitude.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:28 PM   #11
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i grew up in a single parent household. my mom worked full-time in a steel mill just to make sure we had food on the table and clothes on our backs (dad's meager-$200 per month-CS paid the mortgage), so there was NO money for college. i got grants and loans, and paid back every penny myself.

DH and i don't have the means to send DD14 to school without grants and loans. and yes, we can manage a trip to wdw every couple of years, and shame on us for taking a vacation from the h-e-double-hockey-sticks that is my family, when we could be saving for DD's education. if i can do it, so can she. she's much smarter than i am, or ever was. thankfully, the company DH works for offers plentiful scholarships, and, with DD's grades, i don't doubt she'll qualify.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #12
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I think it depends on the kid and the family. The rules when I was growing up was my parents will pay for our tuition as long as we get certain grades. Well I end up getting married after my freshmen year in college, so that was the end of my parents supporting me (and I agree 100%). Now we are paying for my schooling, but I been able to cover mostly with grants and scholarships. DH is very close to getting his associates and haven't even touch his G.I.bill. When we have kids we plan on supporting them, because we know how hard it is. We will pay 100% of the tuition and reasonable living expenses (probably transfer 2 years of Dh G.I.bill). We will make sure we save enough to be able to do that for them. Of course that is assuming our future kids get good grades and don't get married before they finish school.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I was just curious as to what other parents had done or were planning.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #14
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I wasn't pressured into college right out of high school...didn't start college until I was 25. That was a huge mistake on my part. I was already married with a baby before I started on my degree. It was extremely difficult to balance. I don't want my kids to make the same mistake of waiting until "later". We struggled and lived without so i could finish college. They have been told since birth that school is not over until they have a college degree. I will pay the costs of school (some OOP and some loans). I have insisted my oldest works part-time during this school year (senior year). His goal is to save up for "spending money" while we focus on tuition, books, and living expenses. I will expect the same of my younger children.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #15
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For us it will be a joint venture.

I (shifting to we as I married my sophomore year) paid for my education. I took loans to do so but I was ineligible for other forms of aid until I married. My husband had the GI Bill that paid for his.

We contribute $150/month/per child to a 529 account. Our kids are toddlers. They won't know the account exists, they'll be told they are expected to get scholarships and work to pay for their education. We will help as we see fit. We have no desire to fund the entire education or even provide enough for them to "coast". We expect them to work so long as its plausible.

We will adjust our views based on their situation, but this is even how our will is written. The money will only cover tuition/fees, not living expenses. They will not receive a stipend (our lawyer asked us to reconsider) but we feel strongly that having it "handed" to them devalues it. We want them to work for their future like we have, but we do want to offer assistance to them as we can.
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