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intentionally NOT saving for your child's college? - Page 2

post #21 of 324
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post

Although there are shades of "intentional." If I had money to spare, I might think, "Why not invest it for my kids' college?" But I don't.

I do not think it is wise to save money right now. The value of the dollar is guaranteed to drop significantly going forward, and every dollar saved now will be worth far less than a dollar when it's needed, unless you are VERY shrewd investing (and even then, I think unconventional investing will be the only way to preserve the value of your wealth).

I do not think college is likely to be a good investment for my children. I am going to encourage them to get life experience in fields they are interested in, and if/when they are ready, to only go to college if it's effectively guaranteed to pay for itself. Otherwise I will consider it an expensive luxury.

I enjoyed college. A degree was convenient when I applied for jobs, but my DH did just fine without one. I cannot believe I spent so much money on a fun and interesting 4 years. I wish my parents had helped us put that money into a good living situation instead (land, house, etc). This is what I will encourage my kids to consider.

I don't think college will be essential in the world my kids will grow to inhabit. I think more and more people will be giving it up as a luxury. I think my kids will go farther jumping right in to a useful craft or profession that does not require an expensive degree. Yes, they may need training or apprenticeship, but I don't think an $80,000 piece of paper is the best way to go about that - for most professions. For some, it is a necessity, and it does pay for itself, and I will support that, but I will not save for it because I don't think it's the likely route.

Yes, I know this is a radical view. I assume I'm ahead of the curve. I think it will become more and more common.

We unschool also, so that affects my perspective on this. And both my dad and DH don't have college degrees and managed well in professional fields.
I have had the same thoughts and am inclined to agree. There was an article in the NYT called something like "The Value Of Working With Your Hands" that I loved.

I also agree that *if* we had the money to spare (say some unknown rich relative died leaving us millions) we'd consider it.
post #22 of 324
We are saving for our kids college, they have a 529 plan but I don't think it's something you must do.
post #23 of 324
DS has an account that his father set up so that he and his family can deposit money. This really has cut down on the friviolous gifting. I have asked my family to give savings bonds and all money gifts go into his savings account. I didn't want a traditional College savings account because as some of the others said College is not for everyone. We are choosing to pay off our debt, pay down our mortgage, get a good amount in the bank for retirement and other things. If everything works out as planned we will be financially sound enough to be able to assit when it is time for post secondary school.
I worked my way though college and came out with less than $8000 in debt. My parents assisted me for three years and when my sister graduated they helped her for three years. I felt a huge sense of responsibility because I was paying for my schooling. I learned how to budget time, money and plan ahead. I had everything paid off by 2002 using an AmeriCorps NCCC education award.
I will help if it is needed, but I would like my children to feel the responsibility of paying for something that they feel is important.
post #24 of 324
I think saving for college should be near the bottom of the priority list in a person's household budget - well behind essentials (food, housing, transportation), getting out of debt, saving for retirement, and having over all financial stability. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it, and I don't think anyone should feel bad about it. There are a lot of alternative ways to pay for an education including community college, GI Bill (which has been generously beefed up and now offers benefits equal to what returning WWII soldier's received), going part-time, etc.

That said, we can afford it so I do have college savings in our budget - my plan is to save enough to send DS to the best public school in our state. If he wants something more expensive when the time comes we will talk and he can come up with a plan to pay the difference.

College savings is important to me because both DH and I were very talented students and really struggled to pay for school even though we both had pretty good student jobs. We both feel we were distracted from our educations. And we ended up with loans that significantly limited our freedom after graduation to do what we wanted. Fortunately they were not the crippling amount I see many have, and they are long paid off, but they were still a burden and directed our career options to an extent.
post #25 of 324
Well my son is a year away from college and I never saved anything and I do regret it. He will be a senior this fall so we have already started looking at schools and even a cheap in state school can be rather costly. My ds is a great student with an extensive resume (drama, he will be senior class president, etc) so I feel pretty confident that he will get some scholarships.

That said even doing modest guesses on what he may get will probably still cost anywhere from 5-10K after all loans and scholarships are factored in. He already knows this summer is his last relaxed summer, that next summer he has to work but realistically considering what jobs pay at minimum wage, its not like he will earn enough to cover whatever is not covered by assistance.

Why didn't I save? Well I was 19 when he was born and struggling, heck I put myself through college and grad school and have a boatload of my own student loan debt. Debt that really is an albatross around my neck at this point in life.

However if you can't afford to save, you just can't so you figure out a way to make things happen. I know many times these types of dicussions on MDC are folks who have small children. I would be interested in hearing from someone who who didn't save and whose kid clearly was headed to college...how did you handle that?
post #26 of 324
While I agree it comes way down the priority list and after retirement savings, a lot of posts in f and f talk about how their student loans have really hurt their future so if we can avoid that for our kids, we will.
post #27 of 324
i am not just assuming that my child will decide to attend college. however, i do set aside money as i can for her, as of now it is not much (she is one) but i hope to eventually save a substantial amount, which she can use for any number of things once she is older. not just for college, though.
post #28 of 324
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
I am saving for it because I believe that a fully paid education is the greatest single material gift I have ever received.
I agree. The fact that my mommy and daddy paid for my college tuition was a HUGE help to me. Did it turn me into an entitled snob? I don't think so. It did however allow me to start my adult life without student loans hanging over me. It improved my standard of living. If I had been paying on student loans after I graduated, it would've made it quite difficult for me to buy a house or be a SAHM.

And even though I've been a SAHM for most of my post-college years up to this point, my degree has made me more employable and allowed me to find a job more easily when I did decide to go back to work. Quite honestly, one of the reasons I've decided to go back to work is because funding my children's college education is a priority for me, and we wouldn't be able to do that 100% on only DH's income.
post #29 of 324
Do you save for your kids college?
We haven't. We haven't really had extra money to do so.

Do you think it is a MUST unless you can't afford to?
I think it is nice to give your child a financial start as they enter into college or whatever they choose to do after high school. I don't think it is a must unless college is something you demand and pressure your child to do.

Do you intentionally NOT save for thier college for any reason?
A relative has already taken care of a college fund for dd.
post #30 of 324
Saving for college is absolutely a priority in our home. I agree with a pp in that a debt-free college education was the single best gift our parents gave us, and it's what we are trying to do for our kids.

If I wasn't prepared to at least help my kids significantly with college, I wouldn't have had kids in the first place.
post #31 of 324
I paid my way through college, every penny. DH's education was paid for by his parents, every penny. Personally, I think I got way more out of my education, because I had to work so hard for it. He spent most of his college years having a good time and wasting his opportunities.

But that said, I'd probably be saving a bit for college if I had it to spare, but I don't. When I do have a bit of extra money, it'll be saved to buy land and after that, for our retirement. College, if my kids decide to go, will have to take care of itself.
post #32 of 324
I agree that our retirement and financial security come before saving for my kids' college educations. My parents helped me out quite a bit which I greatly appreciate, but they were also in a position to do so. I was able to graduate with less than $2000 in student loans which I was able to pay off within a year of graduating. I would love to be able to help my kids in the same way, but only if we can afford it. I have a savings account set up for DS and my parents contribute money to it, and I set some aside now and then when I have extra money. I hope as we get older we will be able to set more aside for college funds.
post #33 of 324
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I would be interested in hearing from someone who who didn't save and whose kid clearly was headed to college...how did you handle that?
I'm still not sure if ds1 will go to college. He's got two more years of high school, and he's still changing his mind about what he wants to do on a regular basis.

That said, I don't see this as something I have to handle. If ds1 wants to go to college, he can find a way to do it. We'll help, if we can. If he doesn't want to go, then it's a non-issue, anyway. I simply don't see post-secondary tuition as a parental responsibility.
post #34 of 324
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by KristaDJ View Post
We don't save for our children's college b/c we have no intention of them going to college. If they decide that they want to pursue a degree we will surely help them but we aren't encouraging them to. It's just another brainwashing system IMO and a darn expensive one at that. I'd rather see them go to a vocational school and learn a specific trade but we aren't saving for that either as we figure they will be able to work and save their money and will then be more likely to appreciate the education and use their skill.
Awesome answer, as usual, KRista!
post #35 of 324
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Saving for college is absolutely a priority in our home. I agree with a pp in that a debt-free college education was the single best gift our parents gave us, and it's what we are trying to do for our kids.
I'm so glad my parents didn't do that, because then I'd have felt pressured to go to college, which was not the right path for me at all. I gues we're all just different. I had absolutely no interest in continuing my formal education. (At that, I had more interest than either of my siblings. It just wasn't something we wanted at all.)
post #36 of 324
If we start making enough to affect Lina's financial aid package, we'll start saving for college.
post #37 of 324
Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
We both feel we were distracted from our educations.
FWIW, I see this a little differently, coming at it from an employer standpoint. Having a fully paid for education, and not having had a job while at college, is not an asset for some employers. It's a liability. I've heard more than one person who does hiring (not generally HR people, but people hiring for their own departments) express concern about people who have come through school that way, because their ability to perform, from a "real life" standpoint hasn't been tested. I've seen people who did very well at school, with all kinds of parental support (often including financial and domestic support), who really just couldn't function that well when they had to take care of other things, as well as their jobs. It's not just me, either. As I said, I've heard other people comment on it.

The view people like that would have of you or your dh isn't that you were distracted or learned less than you could have. They'd have the view that you managed to accomplish what you did, while still managing other responsibilities. That's worth a lot to many people.
post #38 of 324
I am torn on this one.

My parents paid for my college expenses (mostly). I got a full scholarship to a private school my first year, but I hated it, so I spent my second year at community college (VERY cheap!). My last two years I went to a state school and it was relatively affordable. Years later I found out that, even though my grandparents had saved enough to put all of the grandchildren through college, my parents took out student loans to get me through.

The rule was that as long as I kept a 3.5 GPA or above, they would pay for tuition, room and board. If my GPA dropped, I had to pay my own room and board. I graduated with a 3.85 GPA, a pretty useless English Lit degree, and a great tan from hanging out by the pool every afternoon.

Later on, I got a pretty useless MLA, and I am still paying off the student loans.

I LOVED college. I love learning, and I loved the academic environment, and I would have become a professor if I hadn't been rejected from a slew of PhD programs. Instead I got a bunch of low-paying jobs and ended up teaching myself web programming on the bus every day and worked my way up the dot com ladder until I made lots of money. I'm not exactly sure how necessary my degree was in some ways.

What I learned about the usefulness of a college education:

- Even though I didn't have a comp sci or MIS degree, no one would have hired me to do web programming without a 4yr degree under my belt -- even though it was in English Lit. Elitist or not, that is just the way it works. For that reason, I am very glad to have a degree (and a Master's to boot).

- As someone who is entrepreneurial in spirit, I have learned as a boss that there is a big difference between an employee that has been to college and one that hasn't. It is both an academic difference as well as a psychological/emotional difference, and I have had much better experiences with employees who had 4yr degrees.

- Those without a 4yr degree will be hired at the low end of the payscale. A 4yr degree gives you an automatic bump straight out of college. But entrepreneurship offers the strongest earning potential. It also carries the most risk. I am more concerned about teaching my children entrepreneurial skills than I am about them finishing college.

Ok, so, enough rambling. We want to have a big family, and I would love to see them all go to college. That said, the Bank of Mom and Dad can probably afford tuition-only loans which could be paid back in cash, or relieved through graduation with a good GPA
post #39 of 324
I went to college from home and my parents didn't pay any tuition. As a matter of fact, I was unable to go to the Ivy League school I got into because they couldn't afford it. I was so angry for so long but then I realized that my public college education was good and the things I learned along the way were so priceless. Not to mention, my sister did go to an elite school on scholarships only to come out and not be able to find a job. Imagine if she had student loans to pay back?

We have a small savings account which we contribute $50 a month to for both our boys. At one point we stopped contributing but we re-started again once we got our finances in order. Like a previous poster said, the worth of one dollar today will not be it's worth tomorrow. And honestly, the cost of school today, I would not be willing to pay for any tuition aside from public college. I'm hoping to have enough money to help my kids pay for college when they get there. If not, they will have to find a way. I did, living in my parents house (rent free) and I think it helped build my character and shaped me in a way that a ritzy private school all-paid by mom and dad could never have. And these days, honestly, I feel like college and higher education is so overrated. It sounds good to say "I went to college" or "I have a degree in" but it doesn't really translate into anything concrete. If my boys want to go, I'll help any way I can with what I have (not borrowing or putting myself in financial danger) but I'd be okay with them wanting to learn a good and needed trade like plumbing, carpentry, etc. In terms of my own personal growth, too, that shows that I've come a really long way. I'm not believing the hype any longer.
post #40 of 324
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