College: Who Pays - Parent or Kid?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by anc876, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    We found this to be true also. My son applied to and was accepted to both Seton Hall and St. Joe's university. both private, catholic schools, both hovering around 45K. both offered about 22K/year in grant money to him.

    Of course he picks the school the offers him the least amount of money and is 10 hours away. :rolleyes: My child. I'm probably the only mother on the planet who is actively planning on being a burden to her son in her old age. :smokin:
     
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  3. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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    My DH and I's parents paid for most of our undergraduate expenses.
    We're currently paying for our son and will pay for our daughter's school expenses for their undergraduate degrees. Anything after that is up to them.
     
  4. ZephyrHawk

    ZephyrHawk Confirmed Disneyphile

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    My parents signed up for a state-wide program whereby they had paid my full tuition (inclusive of room and board) for 4 years at an in state school by the time I was 8 years old. They said they would take care of my undergrad, but that I would be responsible for graduate schooling. Needless to say, it shall take me some time to pay off my law school loans.

    My DH's family made no plans for their children. DH managed to get a Pell Grant which applied to much of his undergraduate schooling. He took out one small loan while an undergraduate, which has been paid off. However, he also has a significant amount of law school debt.

    We intend to do things the way my parents did. Our child will have their undergraduate schooling paid for, but will be responsible for anything in addition to that.
     
  5. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Which still leaves you with a $23K bill to pay.

    The state flagship school here is just under $9K if you get no aid at all, so even with really generous aid many private schools are still much more expensive.

    It definitely varies by place, but if you have put aside the cost of your state system and are faced with paying the balance of a private education, in many places the state school still ends up less expensive unless the private school offers a true full ride.

    Ironically, I just found out that one of our neighboring states offers a reciprocal residency program for our state, and at that price their flagship is $3K less than ours. Guess who will be touring a few campuses in the neighboring state. ;)
     
  6. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

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  7. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    I believe that U of Maryland (College Park), which is my state flagship, estimates yearly cost to live on campus to be $23,101 for the current year. That's exactly what the PP will be paying for a private school. Now, one can argue that the schools are not really comparable in any way, but the OOP expenses are the same.

    I found that net prices of schools (even schools that were pretty interchangeable IMO) varied all over the place. You just have to apply and see.
     
  8. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    It certainly does vary by place! Our flagship university's cost of attendance is around the $27K mark now, and even the distinctly B-list school I plan to transfer to is over $20K for a traditional student living on campus. By comparison, the private university I attended costs $44K/year, but a student with a 30+ ACT and a 3.75 GPA qualifies for a *minimum* grant of 20K and is eligible for higher awards based on need, major, class rank, and other variables. So it doesn't take much to make the private school cheaper than public.
     
  9. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

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    Yep. Pretty much every 4 year college in my state costs more than a young high school grad can expect to make, even if working full time. Heck, some of the private universities cost more than my family of 5 lives on! A part time job is still a good idea so long as it doesn't interfere with studies or beneficial extracurricular activities, but it isn't likely to do much more than cover books these days.
     
  10. Shanna-like-Banana

    Shanna-like-Banana DIS Veteran

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    My parents didn't save anything for any of their childrens education.

    I made it through 1 year of community college on Pell money and a scholarships. I had to put my books on credit cards after my funds were out.

    I was a single teen mom and didn't have money for the 2nd year of school. I couldn't afford to reduce my work hours, and I never had any family help to be able to take night school.

    I couldn't afford to pay rent, daycare and school :(
     
  11. anc876

    anc876 Mouseketeer

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    It's been wonderful to hear so many different perspectives and experiences. Perhaps DH and I will end up assisting our son (only 2 now) with college expenses more than we had originally planned. We are going to put away money for him so he has something to use in the future (as we already intended to), and DH should be able to transfer GI Bill funds to him. But like many of you, we would expect him to plan carefully, study hard, contribute to costs, and apply for grants and scholarships.
     
  12. ICF

    ICF DIS Veteran

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    A combination of both....

    Growing up my 1 paid 1 semester each year and the parents paid the other. They also covered my books and Room/board.

    I'd guess we will do the same (if able to) when the time comes for our kids to start college. Both currently have $150 / mo going into a 529 account which will help us cover their expenses.

    I don't see a reason to pay for it all....I think having them cover some of the expenses, helps to ensure that they are doing their best and know that they are at least feeling part of the "pain" of paying for their degree.
     
  13. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    I have twins who just started college this month.

    When I went to college (early 80s) it was not so expensive to go to college and live on campus. I did take out loans ($2500 a year) and my parents paid $1000 a year and that covered everything (tuition, fees, books, dorm and food plan...as well as some club fees and things like that).

    Now the cost is so high and the amount of government loans my girls were offered ($5500) was not enough to even pay for the dorms for the year. We didn't really want them taking out loans anyway since it took my husband and I 10 years to pay off our loans (graduate school also).

    So we came up with the approach that we are paying for 'needs' and they are paying for 'wants'. They live at home (1 mile from college) and we paid for tuition, fees and books. Now my husband works at the university, we we got a huge discount, and they both had scholarships, so our total for our twins for books, tuition, and fees came to $2250 (so divide that in half for a per child cost).

    We don't want them to work too many hours because I want them to join clubs and do activities on campus, and hang out with friends some. But they do work for their spending money and to pay for any club/sports fees. Any 'extras' they want they pay for. But there is food at home, we do put gas in the car but if they want to drive somewhere far/out of town, they have to pay for that. We pay for medical bills and we take them out to eat with us once in a while (always on Sundays after church but some time we will go out other times).

    We have said they are welcomed to move out if they can pay for it. That will be their decision. So far they don't really seem interested in doing that. But if they do in the next few years they will need to work more hours and give up their entertainment spending (like going to concerts and shopping).

    So anyway...that is how we are doing it. Trying to help them be debt free at graduation, but not willing to put ourselves into deep debt either.
     
  14. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg>

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    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.
     
  15. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Oh, I never meant to imply that it wasn't worth applying; you never know what you'll be offered. What I meant to point out was that one should not count on public/private costs working out about even or better.

    It seems to be a common idea here that private schools have so much more money that they almost always even out with public costs, and that is much too simplistic an idea. I depends entirely on your state. In the Deep South, in particular, you are unlikely to be able to beat the cost of one of your state universities (perhaps not the flagship, however) with private-school student aid unless you get a full ride, or if you can live at home for the private vs. living away for the public.

    Now, if your family income is low enough to be eligible to go to Berea or College of the Ozarks, or another school of that sort, then they should definitely be encouraged to consider them. Those are both excellent private schools that cover full cost of attendance for all students via work-study programs.
     
  16. LuLuO

    LuLuO <font color=darkblue>I am against mandatory fun<br

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    Our kids have 529 plans. They will split the GI Bill. I have a Roth IRA that they are welcome to. They can also live at home if they choose to go to community college or a local University. We hope our kids will work toward scholarships and awards.

    If our financial situation stays about the same as it is now, that will be about it. We feel that we need to fund our retirement first so that is our top priority. Of course we don't want our kids to enter into the world with overwhelming debt, but we also want to be able to take care of ourselves in our golden years and not have to rely on them to care for us. If our income increases the amount we contribute to their 529s increases. We will do what we can, but I don't see us being able to pay for four years of college for each of them. Our oldest will start college in 2025, who knows what the cost of college will be.
     
  17. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    LOL! What thread have you been reading?
     
  18. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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).
     
  19. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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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.
     
  20. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  21. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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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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