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Old 09-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
It has been interesting reading all the different opinions on this topic. I'd like to think I am somewhat in the middle.

I do not feel any type of obligation to pay for college for my kids. I also don't believe in "you're 18, get out and pay everything from this point forward on your own." In contrast, I am not a "we will do whatever it takes to pay for college including cashing in the 401K, working until we are 100, or taking out ridiculous amounts in loans."
DH and I have saved since the kids were born. We have enough to pay for a 4 year degree for both. DD wants and needs a graduate degree immediately after her undergrad. We would like to pay for that, as well. She has known that we didn't have the money available for both so she has done her part to reduce costs including dual enrolling so she has fewer undergrad classes to take, great GPA, very good test scores, applying for multiple scholarships, and looking at state schools which are dirt cheap around here and most private schools with merit aid can't begin to match. She is a senior in HS this year so we shall see if it has all paid off. DS (10th grade) knows exactly what we can contribute and knows he needs to pick an affordable path if he wants a "free ride."

I do think the statement that kids take it for granted if the parents pay is ridiculous. I know plenty of parents who paid and their kids didn't take it for granted, myself and DH included. There are certainly kids who take things for granted, and if my kids ever did that, funds would be cut off immediately. I found the slackers in college were simply the kids who didn't want to be in college, period.
LOL! What thread have you been reading?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #77
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There's a problem with saying that we paid for college on our own, so our kids can too. College bills have more than quadrupled since 20 years ago. What was possible back then with summer work and part time jobs won't pay the bills anymore. I agree that the kids need to put in what they can, but we need to be realistic about what that will cover.

I'm talking about state public college too, not anything super fancy or privileged.
This is so true! And I have wondered how many parents just don't realize that now days.

I looked at a calculator ( http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi ) and the $14,000 that I spend for 4 years of college in 1980 would be the same as $36555.33 in today's money. Now that $14,000 was for all 4 years of my college, but that same amount in today's dollars would only cover two years of the same things (which was all of my expenses including entertainment) at our state college.

So it really isn't fair to expect our kids to be able to take on the expense of college in the same way we did. But there are ways to reduce cost (like living at home, going to a community college for a couple of years first and then transferring to a larger university, stuff like that).
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #78
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Is there really a state flagship that's under $10,000? The current estimate for ours is $22,000 a year for an in-state student. It is always listed as the best or one of the best values in higher education.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #79
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I was on my own for college. I got a small grant because my mother worked at McDonalds and my father didn't work (yes, they were on welfare a long time because it was easier than working to them). My grandparents raised me but parents wouldn't let them legally adopt me, grandparents lived on his disability, small pension, and grandma worked in a grocery store, but they taught me to work. I got loans to pay the rest. I started working full time as a clerk in the ER when I was 18 and worked there all through college to pay for my car, gas, health and car insurance, and whatever else I wanted. I went to school during the day and worked evenings/midnights and weekends. I lived with my grandparents while I was in school, until I got married two months before graduation.

DH's parents paid for his associates degree, but he also worked two part time jobs (EMT and 911 dispatcher) on evenings and midnight shift and weekends to pay for his car/insurance and extras. After he got his associate degree, he got an internship in a manufacturing plant that turned into a full time job as a quality analyst, and that company paid for his Bachelors degree. He worked full time mostly during the day and went to school in the evenings after that, but they allowed him flexible hours so he could attend any classes that were offered only during the day.

We have some savings for our kids' college, planning to continue that, and will help them as we are able, but they are probably going to end up with some loans. They will not be expected to work full time and do it on their own as I did, but they will have to help out.

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #80
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I will add though....in my state, if you get divorced (not the situation for my DH and I) there is an odd law that the court will decide how college is paid for, and in general, if parents don't want to pay in full, the courts will order the mom to pay 1/3, the dad to pay 1/3 and the student to pay 1/3. This includes room and board.

This law is not in all states (we haven't always lived here, and the state we moved from doesn't have this law). But I have seen this issue come up a lot lately since so my DD's have friends whose parents are divorced. Now if you are not divorced in my state, there is no obligation for parents to pay for college. So DH and I can decide how much (if any) we want to pay for our kids college. But if we were divorced...the courts would tell us how much. It is a strange law.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #81
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Is there really a state flagship that's under $10,000? The current estimate for ours is $22,000 a year for an in-state student. It is always listed as the best or one of the best values in higher education.
I think some people live near those schools and their kids will live at home, so they are only quoting tuition. If you use the numbers that included room and board it's quite different. I'm guessing 22k includes room and board, that's about what it is in our state too.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:50 PM   #82
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Personally I think my parents rocked in this area. They were very clear with us (my brothers and I) in terms of finances and expectations.

They paid for our whole freshman year (dorm housing, food plan etc). For the next 3 years we split the cost - they paid about half and I paid half. They paid tuition and room as I recall - I paid misc things - food, books etc - key thing for me was I paid things that I could control the cost (I was not ordering pizza).

Any additional semisters I had to pay 100% (I went one extra semister)

I was not allowed to have a job freshman year but could work before that (I got a job at 16) and for all the following years (worked 40 hours a week during school and 2 jobs during the summers)

I never took out a loan and graduated without any debt. Not only did I really appreciate and work hard for my education but the experience really taught me a lot financially.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #83
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I believe it's the parents full responsibility to pay for their child's four year college degree, so that the child graduates debt free and without having worked during school. But I know not many will agree with me.
But it is okay for the parents to go into debt to do so?
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #84
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Is there really a state flagship that's under $10,000? The current estimate for ours is $22,000 a year for an in-state student. It is always listed as the best or one of the best values in higher education.
Yes. I'm speaking of schools with tuition and fees under $5K, which means that if you live frugally you can bring the rest of it in for a grand total of about $10K if you try.

The ones that I know of include U.Ark at $4400, LSU at $3300, Ole Miss at $3400, Bama at $4900 and U.Kentucky at $4900. U.Fla is a bit over, at $6100. If you consider schools with tuition/fees of $10K or lower for live-at-homes, the list gets much longer. (And if you can take advantage of the Academic Common Market reciprocity programs, nonresidents can get these prices as well.)

I find that the usual estimated cost of attendance tends to skew a bit high for the frugal. For example, most of them include around $2K for insurance. For the student who is still carried on a parent's health insurance plan and who does not have a vehicle on campus, the real cost is closer to $200/yr for dorm contents insurance.

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:54 PM   #85
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Yes. I'm speaking of schools with tuition and fees under $5K, which means that if you live frugally you can bring the rest of it in for a grand total of about $10K if you try.

The ones that I know of include U.Ark at $4400, LSU at $3300, Ole Miss at $3400, Bama at $4900 and U.Kentucky at $4900. U.Fla is a bit over, at $6100. If you consider schools with tuition/fees of $10K or lower, the list gets much longer.
Those numbers are just amazing to me. Even community college tuition in my area is $3000+.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:02 PM   #86
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Those numbers are just amazing to me. Even community college tuition in my area is $3000+.
You might consider sending your kids south for school. Here is the best deal that I know of: non-resident tuition at the University of Arkansas is just over $9200, but you only have to pay it for the first year. After that, a full-time continually-enrolled student who is not listed as a dependent on a parent's tax return is eligible for resident status. (Resident status is harder to obtain in other states, but Arkansas is very generous about it.)
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:21 PM   #87
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LOL! What thread have you been reading?
There is a poster on the Dis (not on this thread that I have seen) who cashed in everything to put the kids through college and has told the kids that they need to take care of their parents when they retire. There is also at least one person on this thread who has said, "I will do whatever it takes" to pay for my kids to get through college debt-free.

Last edited by LisaR; 09-05-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #88
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But it is okay for the parents to go into debt to do so?
No, but at the same time...

I live in a fairly nice neighborhood next to a really nice neighborhood. And I talk to other parents. And in one conversation we can move from "college is so expensive, I don't know how they expect us to pay for it" to "Roger is getting a new BMW, I tried to talk him into a Mercedes this time" to "where are you going for Spring Break" (because everyone goes somewhere for Spring Break).

If you need to go into debt for your kids college because you make a small amount of money, don't do it. If you need to go into debt because you've been spending for eighteen years assuming that scholarships and grants are going to make up for your lack of frugality, that is a different story.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #89
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You might consider sending your kids south for school. Here is the best deal that I know of: non-resident tuition at the University of Arkansas is just over $9200, but you only have to pay it for the first year. After that, a full-time continually-enrolled student who is not listed as a dependent on a parent's tax return is eligible for resident status. (Resident status is harder to obtain in other states, but Arkansas is very generous about it.)
North Dakota is pretty cheap as well. And it has a booming economy. It is, however, North Dakota.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #90
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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.
That is painting with a pretty broad brush, IMHO. Then again, you did say "many." My DH and I both paid our own way through school with scholarships, loans, and money earned from working the summer. There was no way either of our families could have provided a college education for us (I am one of 7 siblings, and my DH is one of 10!).

We are covering all college costs for our DD beyond what her scholarships don't cover (she is in her 2nd year of college now, but because of her AP and dual enrollment credits, she'll be a junior after the Fall 2012 semester). She is most definitely appreciative and takes her studies very seriously (she graduated as valedictorian of a class of 650, and currently has a 4.0 college GPA, and made the Dean's list every semester so far, and she is in a rigorous pre-vet curriculum). We can comfortably afford to pay for her education (both undergrad and vet school), so why shouldn't we when she is hard working and dedicated to her goal? I think it's an amazing gift we can give her (and we are blessed to be able to do so), and she is extremely appreciative of it.
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