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Old 09-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #31
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Between scholarships and financial aid I go to a very cheap state school for nothing out of pocket. I live at home so I pay for my phone, insurance, gas, and a few groceries monthly and my parents pay for all the other expenses. I have a part time job now so I use that money for savings and I'll probably need a bit for tuition next year.

As for my kids (if and when), I expect them to do well enough to get as many scholarships as possible. I don't want them to have loans, so the cost will probably end up split. Hopefully I'll have no debt and a great job that I'll have enough money saved up to easily pay my part. Depending on the situation and how hard they work beforehand it's possible I'd pay for it all.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #32
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This is a big topic at our house right now. We will be paying for our DD college, at least till grad school. She wants to go to Harvard and I will do whatever I have to to make sure she has the opportunity if she wants it. Whatever it takes, ill get it done. We currently put a fair amount of money away in an account. When she no longer needs me to be a stay at home mom, ill be going back to work and putting away my salary for her school. Shes doing her part by going into a special "high school" next year that's at the local college. The classes are duel credit and she can earn 22 a semester. I don't think she will take it for granted tho, she works way too hard to hold up her end of the deal.
FYI - You might want to check to see if Harvard will take those credits. I'm pretty sure the Ivy's and other elite schools don't take much, if any transfer credits. It may help her get into the school, but they may not be worth much more.

Now, if she goes to a state school, those credits will be valuable, and she can shave years off her education.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:44 AM   #33
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As much as we'd like to be able to pay for college with 4 it's just not feasible for us. Oldest DS is at school now and took a year off to work and save money to be able to pay for his housing (scholarships pay for tuition). We will pay foe books all 4 years from his 529, keep him supplied with snacks and necessities and I sock money away in his savings account to help with his payments. We will do the same with the others.

I got absolutely no help from my parents for college so I don't feel bad not doing more. I hope it will make it them appreciate it more by not having it handed to them.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:23 AM   #34
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This is a big topic at our house right now. We will be paying for our DD college, at least till grad school. She wants to go to Harvard and I will do whatever I have to to make sure she has the opportunity if she wants it. Whatever it takes, ill get it done. We currently put a fair amount of money away in an account. When she no longer needs me to be a stay at home mom, ill be going back to work and putting away my salary for her school. Shes doing her part by going into a special "high school" next year that's at the local college. The classes are duel credit and she can earn 22 a semester. I don't think she will take it for granted tho, she works way too hard to hold up her end of the deal.
You know the less you make, the better off you are there?

Harvard, like its cohorts, is free if you make < like $60,000/yr.

It's still less than a 1 in 100 shot at getting in no matter what, but if she happens to hit that lottery, she wouldn't need money unless you make a significant salary (more than twice the $60, I believe, before you even get into having to pay more than 10% of the tuition). As someone else said tho, Harvard won't take those credits for anything.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:24 AM   #35
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We will pay for four years at a state university or the equivalent. The kid will have to maintain decent grades or they can come back home and go to community college. This is a top priority for us.

This is essentially what my parents did for me. Dh's parents paid for all educational expenses, including putting his brothers through medical school, and the kids could go anywhere they could get in, so some very pricey private schools were in the mix.

I think it's complete rot to say that kids whose parents pay for college don't appreciate it. Hands down, my education was the most priceless gift my parents could have given me and I will be forever in their debt.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:29 AM   #36
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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
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Last edited by eliza61; 09-05-2012 at 12:06 PM. Reason: vocabulary. "no" vs. "know". lol
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:31 AM   #37
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Our ideal plan is to make our kids think they are paying for it themselves and then pay off their loans at graduation.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #38
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I paid for my own education - undergrad and grad school.

I'm paying for all my kids undergrad educations. They've been told Grad school is on them if they want to go that route. My oldest is facing it now. He saved up enough money to pay for one class this semester and his school let him enroll it in as a non-degree seeking student. He's exploring options for the rest but I think he's going to have to work a couple of years and save some money.

In my educational experience the students with significant parental monetary support (we called them the rich kids) did great. They weren't burdened with having to earn money to pay for their tuition and they had time to study and when we got to our Senior year there were several networking and job searching functions via the Professional societies. There were also scores of unpaid internships that were great for the resume and getting a post-internship jobs. I really never met any of the "only there to party goof offs" people talk about but I think that if you wanted a four year party you wouldn't be likely to choose my major.

Those of us with outside jobs had very little time for those types of things and to be honest it made getting my first opportunity post-graduation much harder.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:34 AM   #39
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My parents paid - kind of. I went to a local state college where I commuted and I had a scholarship for 2 years and they (my parents) paid for 3 semesters of tuition ( I graduated in 3.5 years). I graduated with no debt (well even if they hadn't paid, the debt would have been small).

I will offer my children the same thing - I will only pay the tuition for the local state college - tuition only no room and board. So for the rest they will need to pick up the bill.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #40
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We pay for state education. If they choose to go anywhere beyond that cost they would be responsible for it.
So far it's worked out at as my 21 & 18 DD both love their colleges. My older is upset this is her last year! I see that they appreciate that we are footing the bill.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #41
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We'll pay, wherever they get in. We don't want them to spend the rest of their lives paying off college debt. But we are encouraging them to get AP credits and community college credits to lessen the cost. My son, who is a senior, has 8 credits of Arabic and should be able to get 4 credits for the AP Calculus class he took last year (he got a 5). I'm hoping he get some more 4's or 5's when he tests for the 5 AP classes he's taking now, also. We are definitely encouraging them to go to in-state schools, since the tuition is so much lower, but are not limiting them to those.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #42
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DH and I were 100% responsible for our own college costs.

For our kids, who just started high school, it will be a combination. We would like to see them shoulder some of the responsibility in the hopes it will help them make good choices.

To that end, we've been talking through the issues with them for a while now, and we've even done some walk throughs of college campuses to take some of the mystery out of it for them.

They understand the importance of things like having a good high school experience and keeping college debt load low.

Since they are thinking about possible career choices, we talk to people we see doing jobs they might like to do about how they got to where they are. For instance, we were on vacation this summer and we got to talking to a forest ranger/environmental police officer and DS was I think a little surprised to hear he had several years in the military, and bachelor's and master's degrees. Last week we met a cameraman at a ball park and lo and behold, he had a bachelor's degree in videography technology (or something like that). Both of these young men seemed incredibly happy doing their jobs, which was nice to see (and why we chose them to talk to!).

I work with a lot of young people just out of school and have talked to most of them about their college experiences. (And of course have friends and family whose kids have been through this as well.) Many are still changing majors and even schools after a year or two, or changing careers completely after finishing their degrees. Some are in debt up to their eyeballs and some express regret over some of their choices. Not judging, because I did this myself and understand how it happens (and realize it could happen to my kids as well despite the best laid plans). But I think in this day and age, it's a hard road to travel with the astronomical costs involved.

So my hope for my own is that they have a good idea of what they want to study by the time college rolls around, and that the choices they make are good ones (however that plays out) so they can utilize the funds they have wisely and begin their working lives without a ton of debt.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #43
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My parents contributed what they were able to (which was nowhere NEAR what the school said their "expected contribution" was supposed to be), and I worked and took out loans to pay what they couldn't.

I couldn't tell you what the "college experience" is like, because mine involved being late to class on a daily basis because I hadn't slept more than a few hours, trying not to fall asleep IN class, doing my homework at work and hoping my boss didn't see, and then desperately trying not to fall asleep while I drove home from work.

I don't blame my parents - they tried. So did I. But if you have the means to help your kids through college, please don't make them try to do it themselves so they "appreciate it more" or whatever. If you've got a goof-off screw-around kid, you probably know it already. But if you've got a determined and hard-working kid, you probably know that already too, and those kids WILL work themselves into the ground if they have to, even if it makes them miserable.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #44
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Dh and I didn't have money to put away when our twins were younger. The just went off to college (Missing them so much!) and they have done it 100% on their own. They didn't want to struggle financially like we did so worked hard for their grades and AP classes. I'm very proud of them.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:50 AM   #45
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I received a full tuition scholarship based on grades, and my parents paid my room, board, and books with the understanding that my grades and integrity were maintained. I walked out of my undergrad degree with no debt. My sister chose a very expensive private school, and she received a small scholarship from them. She made a bad decision, lost her scholarship, and she had to take out student loans to cover the money she lost while my parents continued covering at the same amount.

For my kids, it will be a joint effort. All of us will contribute to paying for college, whether it be earning high grades for scholarships, work-study, or plain old savings.
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