For those of you with a child in college

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by mominwestlake, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. mominwestlake

    mominwestlake DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    728
    I have been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years. We have 5 children. The oldest is a freshman in high school and the youngest is in kindergarten. I am now trying to decide when to go back to work. I taught high school for several years before having children and would want to return to teaching either junior high or high school- if I can find a job.

    My question is this- how would my 2nd income affect college financial aid? My dh makes anywhere from 80 to 90,000 a year. Will we qualify for financial aid based on this? I guess I am more interested in money my dd won't have to repay. I have been trying to read up on college aid and have looked at expected family contribution. If our EFC is $12000, will colleges help us with the difference by giving my daughter grants? If I go back to work and make $40,000 a year I doubt we will qualify for any aid. We also have an 8th grader- so we will have at least 2 in college at a time.

    Or am I being silly to even think about college aid? I know that work will add a lot of stress to our life but I will do it if necessary.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. nowellsl

    nowellsl <font color=purple>my car finds out everytime I ha

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,237
    I would be surprised if you would qualify for anything even with just your husbands salary - maybe loans? You most likely wouldn't get any need based aide.
     
  4. Kellydelly

    Kellydelly DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,890
    I'm wondering why you would need to worry about financial aid or grants if you and your husband make such a good living? I am a SAHM currently attending nursing school. We would most likely qualify for some financial aid for our children, based on my husband's current salary (I got a whopping $90 this term :rolleyes: , I think mainly due to the size of our family). I am trying to get this ADN degree so we can pay for braces, extracurricular activites, retirement, college, etc. (my kids are still quite young). What is the purpose of you going back to work, if not to provide for your family/future? Why would you ask the government to pay for your kid's education if you are capable of doing so?
     
  5. Toby'sFriend

    Toby'sFriend The thing about growing up with Fred and George is

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    7,420
    JMHO - but you have 5 kids to put through school.
    Take the job and start putting money away. Encourage your children to work and also save part of their salaries. Financial Aid for the middle class is very scarce and is basically made up of loans. What you are asking is "should I not take a $40k a year job so that we might receive a $4k grant or loan next year?"

    My oldest son is a Senior this year and I know alot of kids that could be going to some really good schools next year. But the money is not there so they are not going. They're going to CC next year instead. I don't think there is anything wrong with Community Colleges, but I'm just a little shocked at the number of parents who thought they'd be able to send their kids to major Universities for a couple thousand a year and then they're puzzled and angry when it doesn't happen.
     
  6. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,488
    I'm thinking with your husband's salary, grants would be out of the question. 8 years ago when I started college, my parents combined income was 110k, I was only offered loans, every year. Everyone is eligible for unsubsidized Stafford loans and then I had to seek private student loans to cover the rest (I had a small merit scholarship). The school never covered the difference between cost and EFC (which makes me wonder what the point of the EFC is).

    DH's parents made only 50k combined and one year he was eligible for a $500 grant, in addition to loans. The other years he did not receive the grant.

    If you want to go back to work, you should go. I would venture that your children will probably not be receiving any grants even if you stay at home.
     
  7. mominwestlake

    mominwestlake DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    728
    I don't think his salary leaves us with that much leftover- and we live very simple lives. We own our 2 cars- one is 9 years old and 1 is 4 years old. Our house is nothing fancy and our mortgage payment is $1300 a month. Property taxes are $4000 a year. Add to that car and homeowners insurance, retirements funds, groceries, utilities, cost of gas for our cars, the cost of 5 kids and we don't have that much left over to pay for college.

    If I go back to work there will be more taxes to pay, after school care for my youngest child, wardrobe cost since I don't have any suitable clothes, plus the stress.

    I don't expect the government to give us a free ride and I don't want to be slammed. I was just wondering for those with kid's in college now, what their thoughts were. Currently, I have a part time job and can make around $18000 a year after tax.
     
  8. Lisa_M

    Lisa_M DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,488
    Unfortunately, it doesn't matter to the federal government what your expenses are. If you look at what you make relative to the rest of the country you make over the median income. Grants go to the families who make next to nothing. I'm talking poverty levels. This is where the middle class gets screwed over. Someone's child living off of welfare for a lifetime will get a free ride to college, while the person's child whose taxes pay for that welfare will get offered financial aid in the form of loans.

    Your best bet is to save what you can (and your children too), continue to live frugally, apply and hope for some merit scholarships and if need be, take loans to cover the difference.
     
  9. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    6,210
    My DH's salary is less than yours. Next year I will have two in college. The EFC for my oldest is $13,000 and for the other is $9,000 for a total EFC of $22,000. Based on this, I would say that it's likely that your EFC will be higher than then cost of a state school.
     
  10. Toby'sFriend

    Toby'sFriend The thing about growing up with Fred and George is

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    7,420
    Everybody has expenses.
    What people are trying to say to you is:

    College is expensive and tuition traditionally rises at a rate far greater than inflation.

    College Financial Aid is scarce for anybody with an income that would qualify them as "middle class." What is available is mostly loans which will have to be paid back.

    Even really good students with High GPAs are hit and miss on scholarships. There are very few "full rides" out here and alot of students competing for them.

    You make the decision from there.
     
  11. tar heel

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

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1999
    Messages:
    7,571
    I'm sorry you got unfairly slammed.:confused3 $80,000-$90,000 a year is certainly not an exorbitant salary for a family your size. After taxes, insurance, food, clothing, retirement, etc., I can't imagine where you would find $12,000+ for college expenses, but I'm pretty sure you would get very little direct aid even if you don't go back to work. Your situation is a lot like ours.

    My oldest son got a National Merit Scholarship (lots of prestige, not much $) and we looked at colleges like Duke and Davidson assuming he would be offered enough aid to bring the cost down roughly equal to the state universities. Imagine our surprise when we found out our estimated family contribution was almost twice what a North Carolina state university costs. He ended up at a state university, and we're not even looking at private ones for our other two kids.

    I did go back to work full-time (had done part-time since my youngest was 3) after the kids started college -- I can't imagine how we would pay for everything if I didn't. I'm not sure financial aid will matter much in your decision about going full-time, but other things are: taxes, the education tax credits (you'll qualify at $90,000 but won't get much at $130,000), etc.
     
  12. KelNottAt

    KelNottAt <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,974
    I think that sums it up nicely.

    If I were you, I'd return to teaching, arrange for the necessary after-care, and bank every penny of the remainder for college. This way you'd continue to live off your DH's income while simultaneously saving for college. Even if you net half, you're still coming out way ahead compared to hoping for a pittance of aid.
     
  13. leahjade

    leahjade DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,092
    We make less than your husband and we haven't qualified for anything yet except for Stafford loans. I went back to work when my oldest was in high school and it's worked out well. Most of my salary goes directly to her tuition and she pays her own room and board from her summer job salary. That teaches her budgeting and a good work ethic and what we come up short, she takes out loans for.
     
  14. Mocharilla

    Mocharilla DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,177
    Since you probably won't get any/much money from the government anyways, take the job. Even if you did get government money, you'd be better off with the money from a salary, because you'd have to repay the government money, and it'd be less.
     
  15. maggiew

    maggiew DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Messages:
    8,926
    See if there is a college nearby that offers free tuition to employee's children. Try and get a job there.

    Maggie
     
  16. nowellsl

    nowellsl <font color=purple>my car finds out everytime I ha

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    4,237
    We have a dual-enrollment program in our county and my daughter was able to do this in her senior year (it's also available in 11th gr.) she graduated high school with 30 hours of college credits under her belt - paid for by the school system. It's not for every student, but she was ready to move on from high school and was able to handle the "freedom" she was given at the community college. Those were the best grades she got in all of high school and college!
     
  17. lovepurple

    lovepurple Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    434
    We have 4 kids and combined make less than your husband. Two of our kids are in college. The only thing we can get is the unsubsidised Stafford Loan. We could get the PLUS loans also but my credit card actually has a better interest rate. So I don't think your working or not working will make any difference as far as financial aid goes. Now if your husband were to quit his job, then you would be able to get financial aid. That is probably not a good idea though. Make sure your kids apply for scholarships like crazy. They are not all need based. The school guidance counselor should be able to help when the time comes. My DD got $19K in scholarships to a private college. That would have left us with $11K still to cover for the semester, so she decided to go to the local state school that is about $5K/year and she can still live at home.
     
  18. eliza61

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

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    20,176
    Never silly thinking about college aid, the cost is ridiculous. Unfortunately with your salaries even with 2 in college you won't qualify for much in the way of need based grants. We're in the same boat. Dh works for a major oil company and with his salary the last couple of years, it really bumped up our EFC (we exceed both stimulas plan benchmarks, so we're getting zippo back there also). Our son is entering college in the fall and we got zippo in the way of need based grants. It sucks.
     
  19. eliza61

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

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    20,176
    Hey Mom, Please don't justify your life. We got the same argument about the stimulus plan. People told me all the time, "You make a good living why should you get any thing back"? excuse me? why shouldn't I? :mad:
     
  20. MELSMICE

    MELSMICE Hi Ho, Hi Ho, to Disney World we'll go. It'll be

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    11,068
    Actually, for a family of 7, $80,000 - $90,000 is considered middle class income. It's certainly a decent wage, however, not enough that the OP wouldn't hope for some financial aid.

    I think she is fair in questioning whether it would be beneficial to go back to work. If she would receive some sort of aid with her husband's salary, however, not receive aid if she added to their household income, then why would she go back to work & incur (sp?) additional expenses in the way of clothing, child care, gas, etc?

    Unfortunately, OP, I don't believe the government will deem that you'll need financial aid based on your DH's salary. Sad, but true.
     
  21. momminnie

    momminnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    All I can say is good luck. I have a son in his 3rd year at Military college and all we have been able to get is loans. No he is not going into the Military after college he just always wanted to attend that college and get a degree in law enforcement. We don't make near as much as your husband and we live pay check to pay check. We just weren't the lucky ones. Maybe you will be.My son will be in debt up to his ears when he gets out. Hope you can figure out how to keep yours from being in debt. Maybe you could pay for them. I sure wish I could. And I would if I could.
     

Share This Page