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Old 09-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #211
anelson81993
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So I thought I'd chime in with my experience, though mine is a bit unusual. I'm a college junior, my older brother is a college freshman (he took time off to work before starting college), and my sister is a high school sophomore. When my siblings and I were very young, we were all diagnosed with severe heart defects. My parents had to cover seven open heart surgeries (between my brother and me), as well as various treatments for all three of us, and all the doctor and hospital visits (they did have good insurance that definitely helped out). Since our conditions were so severe when we were young, my parents made the decision to focus on treating our conditions and enjoying the time they had with us. By the time college came around, they hadn't saved for our schooling at all. My parents *probably* could have paid for at least some of my schooling, but definitely not my brother's or my sister's. So I cover the costs of my schooling. I live in the dorms (I do pay a little extra to live on my own, but that was my choice, and the cost is not so significant that it outweighs the benefits, especially considering my health problems); I have a meal plan, and I take a full load of classes each semester. I got some grant/scholarship/federal loan money, and I'm going into Teach for America (or a similar program) after graduation to cover the payments on my federal loans. I've also had to take out some private loans, about $12,000 so far, and I have three semesters left before graduation. I work at two jobs (tutoring on campus and working at the grocery store), but I don't feel like I'm missing out on any kind of "college experience." I will have debt when I get out of school, but I knew that would be necessary going into school. In fact, I work at two jobs to build up savings for payments on my loans.
Meanwhile, my older brother spent a semester at community college, a semester at a $15k/semester private university, and then transferred to our state university. He did not accumulate enough credits at the other schools to enter school as anything other than a freshman, and he'll have at least 3 more years, and probably 4. He does not work during the school year (right now he's in an internship and doesn't really have time to work), and has no real savings accumulated. So far, he's taken out ~$25,000 between government and private loans, with no clear end in sight, as he has not settled on a major yet. Furthermore, the major he's currently considering is not a major with any kind of job growth, nor is it a major with a set "profession" he can go into (he's currently considering political science). He has no idea what he's going to do with a political science degree, except pursue more education, nor does he know how he'll pay his loans off.
Do I think my parents should pay for my education, or my brother's? Absolutely not. While a college education is necessary in my field (teaching), my brother doesn't even have a field yet, after a full year of school. My parents would go broke trying to pay off his school. I think my education should be my responsiblity, and only mine. My parents did not cosign my loan; I have to work to maintain a spotless credit report so I can get good rates. I work all year to pay for my car, my gas, my insurance, and anything else I need/want. My parents do help me out where they can, and they put up with me at home on weekends for my second job (I commute the ~45 minutes for my grocery store job every weekend), but ultimately, I am old enough that this needs to be my responsibility.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #212
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I think it's great that students can still manage to put themselves through college. It takes a lot of maturity.


However, I notice that most of those that are putting themselves through school are receiving financial aid (need-based aid like grants, not just merit scholarships). Students who don't qualify for need-based aid (due to parents' income) are in a more difficult position if their parents do not contribute towards the costs. They could get loans, but they might only qualify for the unsubsidized Stafford loan, which everyone can get but is something like $5500 for freshman year (and I believe further loans would require a co-signer, usually a parent).

I think there are so many factors involved and there isn't really a blanket rule for all families.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:11 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
That's what I'm saying though... that for many families, there isn't enough money to save for the big priorities like retirement and college while still having something left for the smaller priorities like traveling or extracurriculars. I know this is the budget board where living primarily for tomorrow is applauded, but I don't understand sitting in judgment of someone who chooses a balance between traveling and saving for college even though it means covering a 2+2 plan instead of 4 years at university, or who has two children when they could only afford the 'ideal' university experience for one, or who stays home when the children are small even though it means getting a later start on saving, or who otherwise prioritizes other aspects of life over college savings.

We could save enough to cover 4 years of the full college experience for all three of our children at all but the most expensive schools, but that would come at the cost of not traveling, not sending the kids to private school, not allowing travel/club level extracurriculars, and living a much diminished day-to-day lifestyle. And we're simply not willing to do that. We live simply, drive our older cars, fix up our old house, carry cell phones that only make phone calls, and make do in many ways but there are some things that are worth having a little less in the bank to give the kids a greater range of experiences as they grow.
I agree that there should be a balance between saving for the future and enjoying the present but I still think too many people prioritize the present with the attitude that the future (retirement, kids college, etc.) will somehow take care of itself. It might but unless you plan for the future, I doubt it will be optimal, and that applies to retirement as well as to how your children's college educations will be funded. I am not sitting in judgment but I do have an opinion. We have been discussing the various aspects of the question of who should pay for college. My husband and I believe that we should and we have acted accordingly. We are in fact doing it right now as we have a daughter who is a college freshmen. She goes to the public, in state university of her choice and lives in a dorm because that is what we have saved for. Others on this thread feel they should pay for the university or college of their child's choice, no matter how expensive, but we did not set that as a financial priority so our child goes to a state university 2.5 hours away from home and we're comfortable with that. We will provide the same for our younger daughter. A whole heck of a lot of people disagree with me in both directions and it's certainly their right.

Last edited by Patience; 09-10-2012 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:35 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by luvthemouse71 View Post
"However, you really sound like you want to justify that what you can afford is best"..


That's true, what any parent can afford is best. Why on earth would anyone put themselves into a hole so their kid can go to a fancy school? Anyone who does that makes no sense to me.

There are plenty of schools that give a great education and you don't have to break the bank to go there. I will not be financing a social experience- if my kid wants to live on campus, that comes out of her pocket. She will also be expected to have some sort of a job. If living at home, I expect a contribution of some sort, whether that's grocery money or partial rent.
I fund my kids' social experiences right now, as well as their living expenses, because they are dependent on me. While they are in college, they will continue to be dependent on me and I will continue to fund them - since they won't have money to pay for dorms or rec fees other than the little they make at summer or part time jobs - which isn't enough to do much for most of the parents I've talked to with kids in school.

That doesn't mean they get carte blance - I'm not funding Spring Break trips to Mexico. But paying for their living expenses and a small allowance - absolutely. I think that they will benefit from the experience - even if they might drink a little. My daughter, in particular, will benefit from the experience (my son, maybe, maybe not - he might turn out to be a live at home kid, or join the military, or go to tech school.)

Now, the big difference here is we are well able to afford to do this for our kids. I will do this for my kids, we can afford it, and the sacrifices to do so haven't been extreme - we aren't sacrificing our retirement - we are sacrificing cherry cupboards and granite countertops and only go to Disney every other year for a week, and my husband's Audi is eight years old. That doesn't mean that I think you NEED to. In fact, even if you can well afford it, I don't think you NEED to.

Are there great low cost schools - absolutely. Are there great educations to be had living at home - absolutely. But I'm working to set up my kids so that they can have the best possible choice for them without loans - my oldest is six years out from college, I don't know what that best choice will be yet - if that means a 2000 student private school at $50k a year, or if that is living at home and going to community college - by saving for it, when we get there, we get choice. And note the WE. THEY don't get to choose - I don't get to choose - WE get to choose.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:33 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by crisi View Post
I fund my kids' social experiences right now, as well as their living expenses, because they are dependent on me. While they are in college, they will continue to be dependent on me and I will continue to fund them - since they won't have money to pay for dorms or rec fees other than the little they make at summer or part time jobs - which isn't enough to do much for most of the parents I've talked to with kids in school.

That doesn't mean they get carte blance - I'm not funding Spring Break trips to Mexico. But paying for their living expenses and a small allowance - absolutely. I think that they will benefit from the experience - even if they might drink a little. My daughter, in particular, will benefit from the experience (my son, maybe, maybe not - he might turn out to be a live at home kid, or join the military, or go to tech school.)

Now, the big difference here is we are well able to afford to do this for our kids. I will do this for my kids, we can afford it, and the sacrifices to do so haven't been extreme - we aren't sacrificing our retirement - we are sacrificing cherry cupboards and granite countertops and only go to Disney every other year for a week, and my husband's Audi is eight years old. That doesn't mean that I think you NEED to. In fact, even if you can well afford it, I don't think you NEED to.

Are there great low cost schools - absolutely. Are there great educations to be had living at home - absolutely. But I'm working to set up my kids so that they can have the best possible choice for them without loans - my oldest is six years out from college, I don't know what that best choice will be yet - if that means a 2000 student private school at $50k a year, or if that is living at home and going to community college - by saving for it, when we get there, we get choice. And note the WE. THEY don't get to choose - I don't get to choose - WE get to choose.
This is exactly the way I feel.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #216
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I just want to add that when researching schools, don't rule out what CC have started to offer(at least at ours) there are 4 or 5 majors that are in a "3+1" category. Basically, various state/private in-state schools have agreed to offer their 4 year BA/BS degree at a greatly reduced rate if the student attends the CC for all 4 years (or 3 at the CC and 1 at final school)...paying CC costs for the first 3 and about $15,000 for year 4. Examples are business, criminal justice,nursing,marketing, culinary arts, hotel management. Basically, that student can obtain the same degree for around $35,000 by taking this route, vs the average $110-120 by attending said college from Freshman year. This is the route our DS is taking thus far, he plans to transfer Junior year tho, IF it is an intelligent financial move. However, he is having a tough time justifying spending the extra $$$ to do so. After commuter costs I would say the fair difference in his case will be $60,000 over 4 years. My DS did not aquire any scholarships of large sums, so in a way, this is another avenue for those who do not have aid, scholarships ,savings or flat out just do not care to pay more than necessary for whatever reason.(perhaps letting mom and dad hang on to some of those hard earned savings for a rainy day) While in early stages and a limited number of degrees in the program right now, the response in enrollment has been huge so as of now, a great alternative and ties the students in with the university from the start, not to mention, the degree will be from the university( which does have specific requirements throughout the programs) It also alleviates some of those "grey area" classes that may not transfer if not in the articuation agreements. Anyway, hopefully other CC are offering these types of programs because it is a good thing!
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:54 AM   #217
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I fund my kids' social experiences right now, as well as their living expenses, because they are dependent on me. While they are in college, they will continue to be dependent on me and I will continue to fund them - since they won't have money to pay for dorms or rec fees other than the little they make at summer or part time jobs - which isn't enough to do much for most of the parents I've talked to with kids in school.

That doesn't mean they get carte blance - I'm not funding Spring Break trips to Mexico. But paying for their living expenses and a small allowance - absolutely. I think that they will benefit from the experience - even if they might drink a little. My daughter, in particular, will benefit from the experience (my son, maybe, maybe not - he might turn out to be a live at home kid, or join the military, or go to tech school.)

Now, the big difference here is we are well able to afford to do this for our kids. I will do this for my kids, we can afford it, and the sacrifices to do so haven't been extreme - we aren't sacrificing our retirement - we are sacrificing cherry cupboards and granite countertops and only go to Disney every other year for a week, and my husband's Audi is eight years old. That doesn't mean that I think you NEED to. In fact, even if you can well afford it, I don't think you NEED to.

Are there great low cost schools - absolutely. Are there great educations to be had living at home - absolutely. But I'm working to set up my kids so that they can have the best possible choice for them without loans - my oldest is six years out from college, I don't know what that best choice will be yet - if that means a 2000 student private school at $50k a year, or if that is living at home and going to community college - by saving for it, when we get there, we get choice. And note the WE. THEY don't get to choose - I don't get to choose - WE get to choose.
Bravo! well said
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #218
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This is exactly the way I feel.
And if they don't spend it because community college and living at home looks to be the better choice, or they go into the military...it's money, it can be reallocated. Maybe it gets reallocated to my retirement so I can do more traveling, maybe it helps them open up their own auto repair shop, maybe it gets donated to the alley cats of Paris.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #219
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Our plan is to pay for any education our child NEEDS so they can have a career that suits them. I am NOT paying anything for time to find themselves or explore different options. If they have a goal/plan in mind them then I am willing to spend the money. I am open to any training, not just traditional college.

Of course I am thinking affordable state schools not private and not super extravagent and they need to be employable after graduating.

My parents paid for my undergraduate and teaching credential and I paid for my masters (since it isn't essential they felt they were done paying). My brother on the other hand had his undergraduate and medical school paid since it was what he needed for his career. They didn't want him to NOT do what he wanted just due to worry about debt. Of course there were strings associated with this. Both of us were so thankful to start our adults lives debt free. We finished in the timeliest of manners and it was understood education was for a job, not just for fun.

My hubby unfortunately had to pay for his, although he did get some help with grants, scholarships, etc and he was always annoyed starting off with debt even though we considered it good debt and we paid it off quickly.

We put aside money every year so that way our kiddos should be able to start debt free. Granted, that is our intention, but if something goes wrong, it may not happen that way!

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Old 09-10-2012, 11:38 AM   #220
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I got my Bachelors degree in 2007. I had pell grants and loans. My son just started college at a two year school and will transfer to get his Bachelors to a four year school. He is getting Pell grant and went and signed himself up for student loans even though pell would have paid for everything . Now my daughter on the other hand wants to be a doctor. She is in 10th grade. She wants to go to University of Florida. We live in Georgia. Out of state tuition is $30000 a year. I do not plan on paying that much for school. Before her senior year I plan on moving us to Florida so I can get in state tuition. She will probably get scholarships, grants and whatever else is needed for her career. I know after med school she will have a ton of loans to pay but she wants to be an OB/GYN and she said they make almost $300000 a year so I am sure she can handle that.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:41 AM   #221
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We'll be paying as much as humanly possible for our 3 kids. We unexpectedly ended up with 3 and our expenses for the youngest 2 will be happening at the same time so that's throwing a bit of a wrench in our well-laid plans. But we'll find a way to make it happen. Current plan is for me to go back to work once all 3 girls get into school and put almost all of my salary away for their college. What DH makes currently pays our bills & a little bit of extra (we're saving for retirement as well) and he's finishing up his MBA this semester so in an ideal world, he'll be making more money at some point in the near future.

My parents paid for my undergrad & grad degrees (grad school was my undergrad "graduation present"). They paid for my brother's undergrad degree as well.

DH's parents didn't pay for any of their children's college programs (there's 5 of them) and all of them took different routes to college. DH worked very hard in high school and got a full-ride scholarship for tuition, room & board. Other brothers took out loans or joined the military. I know the ones that took loans had a lot of trouble getting them because their parents earned too much to qualify them for the need-based loans.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #222
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Both my DH and I were lucky enough to have parents who funded our bacherlors degrees. I funded my own graduate degree and will finally have paid that off next year. We have agreed we will plan on doing the same for our children -- we will fund a basic college degree with basic living expenses with no more than 4-5 years of this. If the degree is not earned by that point, it's on the child to finish up. Whether or not we help with graduate degrees will depend on multiple factors: need, our financial situation, our assessment of the situation, etc. I would rather do my children the favor of giving them a clean launch with no debt and letting them go from there.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #223
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My parents paid for my college tuition and we are paying for 90% of our sons tuition.
We did emphasis a college education because we do believe strongly it's the best avenue for certain things.
We did not require that the boys know "exactly" what they wanted to do but neither will they be allowed to just "goof" off. We simply stressed that this is an opportunity that they are blessed to be able to take advantage of. that opportunity comes with some requirements and we hope they avail themselves of it, if they don't it's on them. We do not feel that we are "handing" any thing to our kids.

I totally agree with Pigeon, I was blessed and fortunate that my parents were able to offer me a college education. I appreciate every thing my parents every did for me and I appreciate the times they told me no
My sons are great human beings and contrary to what many feel here are not unappreciative spoiled people simply because they did not have to take out huge college loans
I believe that an attitude of gratitude must begin in the toddler years. We are dedicated to teaching our children to love God and serve all. I do not believe that paying for my children's college education will turn them into lazy, ungrateful people. I also don't think working my way through college made me "better" than my husband who was able to only work summers. We were both diligent in our studies. I will do all I can to make sure my children don't start their lives mired in debt. This includes not "spoiling" them now and saving that money for education.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:43 PM   #224
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My parents paid for college for my sister and me, and they put my brother through a locksmith academy. DH's parents also paid for his eduction. I plan to do the same for my kids. My youngest will definitely be off to college in a few years. My oldest is only two years away, but may end up on a different educational path due to his Asperger's Syndrome. He may very well decide he wants to go to college and pusue a degree, although he would probably start out taking a few courses in community college to get his feet wet. He may also decided to purse a trade, or participate in some other job training program. Whatever he chooses, we will support him 100%. We have investment accounts for both boys to cover some of their expenses, although they're not large enough to cover all four years. We are also fortunate that my parents and my sister are planning to contribute to their college costs. I can't express how nice it was to graduate and get a job with no loans payments hanging over my head.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by akayek31
I got my Bachelors degree in 2007. I had pell grants and loans. My son just started college at a two year school and will transfer to get his Bachelors to a four year school. He is getting Pell grant and went and signed himself up for student loans even though pell would have paid for everything . Now my daughter on the other hand wants to be a doctor. She is in 10th grade. She wants to go to University of Florida. We live in Georgia. Out of state tuition is $30000 a year. I do not plan on paying that much for school. Before her senior year I plan on moving us to Florida so I can get in state tuition. She will probably get scholarships, grants and whatever else is needed for her career. I know after med school she will have a ton of loans to pay but she wants to be an OB/GYN and she said they make almost $300000 a year so I am sure she can handle that.
Just wanted to let you know my daughter toured university of Florida and was basically told they only accept 10% of the incoming class as out of state and includes those coming on sports scholarships
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