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intentionally NOT saving for your child's college? - Page 3

post #41 of 324
We have a savings plan set up for my son, but not for the girls yet. Having our kids go to college is extremely important to us. I did not go to college and kick myself for not.

The past few years have been rough for us and we have not been able to put away what we wanted to. But hopefully we can get back on track.
post #42 of 324
I'm an only child and I was lucky to have had incredibly frugal parents. They saved all the money possible and worked incredibly hard. So when I graduated high school, they insisted that I go to a community college and while ideally it was a good intention, it wasn't for me. Took a semester off and met my now DH. He's one of six kids, he's got mild dislexya and never had anything. So his drive to get a college degree at all costs possible, gave me the motivation and drive to finish mine. My parents paid for 2 1/2 years of public university including rent for an apartment for us to live in. It was SO awesome for them to do this and I'll always thank them for it.

Now that's not to say that we didn't work. DH delivered food/pizza and furniture. I worked for the college newspaper and as a TA. Our experiences were incredibly valuable to us and really shaped us. I didn't feel spoiled and got excellent grades because I was always imagining my dad on a high rise beam somewhere hanging by some ropes. He was a carpenter working on high rises before he retired two years ago.

We both felt that college was the right path for us at the time and have both gone on to get a Masters degree. Education to us was and is important. So with that in mind, we started college funds for both girls before they turned a year old. We contribute $150 a month to each. With all that said, I'm not trying to force anyone to go to college. In fact, we're not planning on telling them about the college funds until they've made a choice to go to college on their own. And I'm not trying to raise trust fund babies, we're not rich nor am I trying to create brats. I think that if they decide that their path in life is through college and they want to pursue it then I want to be able to help them with that. Just like when they decide to buy a condo/car/etc. or get married, I want to be there to help and if there was a 529 future condo/car/wedding fund then I'd invest in those as well.

Sorry for the rant...
post #43 of 324
I do expect my children to either go to college or learn a trade. An electrician, plumber, hair stylist, etc does not need college, but they do need training and I expect my children to obtain that knowledge. Once we get back on our feet, saving for our retirement will be our first long term saving priority. After that, we will save for our children's college. Unfortunately, we do not have anything saved yet for college and our DD will be 9 in July so she's halfway to college!
post #44 of 324
My girls will start working when they are 15 or 16 and I will over see *their* saving for their *own* education. And they can work through college. That is the gift I'm giving them.

I paid my way through college working 70+ hours a week between three jobs and taking 18 credits each and every semester. Although I don't want my girls to work *that* hard, I think working and paying your own way is important.

That said, I expect them to save and apply for scholarships and grants, and if they come up short, I could be persuaded to split 50/50 if they are really "college material." I haven't hammered the specifics out in my head yet.

I think out-of-state schools and room and board on campus are wastes of money. If they want to go that route, they can definitely pay the difference without my help (unless one wants to be, say a marine biologist and can't find a suitable school in Colorado!).
post #45 of 324
We do save for our kids' education in a dedicated education savings plan. The government offers to add 20% to our contributions and it all grows tax-free. It can be used by any of our kids. If our kids choose not to use the funds, we transfer the money to our registered retirement plans.

Here, loans are not an option if your parents earn a middle-class income. You are not eligible if your parents earn 'too much' which really isn't all that much IMO.

I feel access to education is important. Whether my children choose to continue to college or university, the important piece for me is that they have the option. If I can help them avoid working ridiculous hours and pulling all-nighters so they can finance their own education, I will.
post #46 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by cymbeline View Post
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.
I definitely agree - I think for many careers there is a huge benefit to having a post-secondary education. I also think that paying for my own education helped me appreciate it more, at least that was my perception when observing friends who were paying their own way like me and those who had parents that supported them. DH and I both noticed this actually.

I plan to save for my kids education, though not in a registered fund because that limits what they can use it for. It won't be enough to pay for all of their schooling and they won't get it in a lump sum.
post #47 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I was reading in unschooling about saving for your child's college and I was wondering what everyone is doing, thinks and why?

Do you save for your kids college?
Do you think it is a MUST unless you can't afford to?
Do you intentionally NOT save for thier college for any reason?

Please elaborate....

No we do not. We have zero savings for anything though. Just not an option right now.

I honestly dont think it is a MUST because for use the odds are fairly low the kids will go to collage or even want to.

I wouldnt call it intentional but honestly even if we had the means to do so I doubt we would but I just dont know since we have never been in a position to save money.
post #48 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
I'm 50 years old, and have worked continuously since college graduation in eight professional positions for employers in the private sector and the public sector. I've also been on too many search committees to count. I've neither asked nor been asked who paid for the college education in question.
post #49 of 324
My kids have tiny college accounts that their grandfather began for them when they were born. They also have/will have Bar/Bat Mitzvah money, 85% of which they are required to put into an account for college or post high school travel.
Other than that, if things don't dramatically improve for us, scholarships and grants, hopefully, no loans. Kids are going to a small middle and high school so they get personal attention from the college counselor. Every kid that's graduated and qualified has had full or close to full financial aid packages.
I worked my way through undergrad and paid for it myself....mostly in cash with tip money. Graduate school was all loans and some part time bartending for rent. We took 32 hours so there was no room for working much.
DH went Ivy League full ride all the way for undergrad, loans for his master's and taught/scholarships for the AbD. Like me, loans for chiro college. He worked very little while getting his education and is one of the most hard-working brilliant people I know. He graduated 5 years before I did and his loans are all paid off. I still have some left. Not much though.
My dad went back to law school when I graduated high school so they were in college mode themselves. Once he graduated, he offered to help all us kids pay our loans...They would pay the equivalent of all the A's and B's. I declined. I was almost 30 at the time. It just didn't feel right. What they did instead, was provide me with seed money when I started a practice. They actually did it twice... once when I started on my own and once when DH and I relocated here. They also paid for my board exam prep classes, my board exams and travel expenses while I was scoping out where to practice.
I don't feel an obligation to provide college tuition for my kids. I would like to minimize their student loan debt. There's lots of free money out there for the right college and right kid. I don't have a problem with kids working while they are school. Heck, both my older kids do some work/study for the school they currently attend. I do want their primary focus to be their education, not survival.
post #50 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
We do save for our kids' education in a dedicated education savings plan. The government offers to add 20% to our contributions and it all grows tax-free. It can be used by any of our kids. If our kids choose not to use the funds, we transfer the money to our registered retirement plans.

Here, loans are not an option if your parents earn a middle-class income. You are not eligible if your parents earn 'too much' which really isn't all that much IMO.

I feel access to education is important. Whether my children choose to continue to college or university, the important piece for me is that they have the option. If I can help them avoid working ridiculous hours and pulling all-nighters so they can finance their own education, I will.
I agree with this completely. We will have a similar plan, so that there is no pressure to continue on if our kids really don't want to.

This whole idea that you only appreciate university if you have to suffer financial hardship is really strange to me. I mean, we are talking about tuition, not a free ride for 4 years unless they are bringing in a lot of scholarship money. How can we expect our kids to make $20,000 extra a year, on top of living expenses on a part time job??? It would be tough for an adult with some experience, not to mention a kid straight out of school who will likely be making minimum wage.

One of the most dedicated and hard working college students I know, not only had her University education paid for, but made enough in scholarships on top of that to live in res, cover all her expenses and actually made money going to college. I have other friends who wasted their own money for a few years before figuring out that they were more likely to graduate if they didn't spend all their time partying. Maturity and work ethic had a lot more to do with it than who paid for their education. I don't buy the argument that you appreciate it more if you have to work for it.

On top of that, I can't imagine what kind of summer jobs are out there that will allow my kids to make the $85,000 they'll need for a 4 year degree in 18 years or so, and I'd hate to cripple them financially by inflicting student debt on them if I can prevent it. I also wouldn't want them pressured into joining the army to get an education, as I generally disapprove of what our military is doing in the world at the moment.

If you can't afford to save for higher education, I don't think it's anything to feel guilty about. Obviously food, shelter and financial stability need to come first. But to choose not to help our kids out with school so "they'll appreciate it more" seems pretty short sighted.
post #51 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
My bold and to comment starting with the not having a job part of the post -

In my careers, more often than not, not working a job while in college is a negative in the eyes of managers and employers.

So many parents have the attitude of "you need to focus on your studies, you shouldn't have to work (for money) like I did" and so on.

What often happens is the student can't function working outside of the boundaries of what they have learned in class.

I also see this with my university work. These kids are terrifically book smart but don't have a clue about the working world.
post #52 of 324
We absolutely are saving for college. I want my children to have the opportunity to a good start in life. College can be the way to do that. If they don't end up going to college then the money isn't lost.

Since DD is so young, all cash gifts go to her college fund unless the giver specifically requests we go purchase something for her because they didn't want to have to shop and ship the gift. When she is older we will let her keep her birthday money, but I know the grandparents will probably actually give us the bulk of her gifts on the side so she doesn't feel like she is getting cheated because they intend that money for her college fund.
post #53 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I'm 50 years old, and have worked continuously since college graduation in eight professional positions for employers in the private sector and the public sector. I've also been on too many search committees to count. I've neither asked nor been asked who paid for the college education in question.
I don't think these people ask, either. Sometimes, the person lets it slip in an interview. Sometimes, it's just a matter of matching up after the fact. Sometimes, it's the resume. If someone has a degree, and also shows work experience during that time, then you know they've worked while pursuing their degree, yk?

Anyway, people obviously get degrees for other reasons, anyway. I just know a lot of employers/managers who have been underwhelmed by the job performance of their hires who have degrees. I've had more than one person tell me that if they can hire someone with four years related work experience, or someone with a four year degree, they'll hire the one with the experience first.

Now, this may be partly regional. From what I've seen on MDC, and what I've observed myself (limited), there seems to be even more cultural emphasis on degrees in the US than there is here.
post #54 of 324
There is a difference between doing part-time work while in school and being responsible for paying for your entire education. It's not all-or-nothing (work for your entire education no matter how many jobs you have to have OR don't work at all and get a 'free ride'.)
post #55 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
Here, loans are not an option if your parents earn a middle-class income. You are not eligible if your parents earn 'too much' which really isn't all that much IMO.
This is kind of the underside of the whole view of this that I don't get. Why on earth should the income level of the parents affect a person's ability to get loans? The parents aren't the ones applying in the first place.
post #56 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This is kind of the underside of the whole view of this that I don't get. Why on earth should the income level of the parents affect a person's ability to get loans? The parents aren't the ones applying in the first place.
Quote:
Now, this may be partly regional. From what I've seen on MDC, and what I've observed myself (limited), there seems to be even more cultural emphasis on degrees in the US than there is here.
IMNSHO though it may not 100% be this it is largely in part about status.
post #57 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
IMNSHO though it may not 100% be this it is largely in part about status.
I have wondered about that. I knew someone who was worrying about her son's future (he's in his mid-20s and has career jumped/changed plans at least 6-7 times since high school). She was talking about university and I wondered out loud if he might be happier in a trade. She reacted as if I'd suggested teaching him do burglaries. I was really quite taken aback.
post #58 of 324
I don't know about the US but here many universities have co-op programs available. These are like internships, but they are paid (more than minimum wage). You have to apply, interview, and compete with your fellow students, but they are an excellent way to learn real-world job skills that you won't get in the classroom alone AND pay for a lot of your education.
post #59 of 324
We are not saving for our kids college right now because I am currently in school (PhD) and I am still paying off my own educational loans.

We do expect our children to go to traditional college or learn a trade.

The unfortunate reality of saving for your kids is that that money actually works against them when financial aid is calculated. (I can say this after working in higher education for 10+ years.)

I paid my own way through my BS and 2 masters programs and it was hard. At the same time I strongly believe in the moto "If it is to be, it is up to me."

Currently I work with a scholarship program which provides full ride, four year scholarships to disadvantaged students. We see about 50% of these students drop out. I am amazed at the fact that the students are being "given" their education and they are unable to understand the true value of the gift, so their loose it. I am not sure that traditionally aged students are able to appreciate a cost-free college experience.

I hope to be able to help my children when they are of college age but that will be determined based on where we are financially at that point.
post #60 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
I think your son is only a year younger than mine but are you saying at 18, he would basically be on his own? Just a honest question because that's how my parents were and beleive me I so wish that they had not. At 18 I had no skills so as a woman I fell back on getting married and it was a lousy choice. Maybe that is why I feel adamant about helping my own kid because while I may not have known exactly what I wanted to do at 18, in the end what I did when I grew up wasn't that far off the mark from when I was 18. Instead I got a degree at 28 after years of crap jobs and raising a kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramama View Post
My girls will start working when they are 15 or 16 and I will over see *their* saving for their *own* education. And they can work through college. That is the gift I'm giving them.

I paid my way through college working 70+ hours a week between three jobs and taking 18 credits each and every semester. Although I don't want my girls to work *that* hard, I think working and paying your own way is important.

That said, I expect them to save and apply for scholarships and grants, and if they come up short, I could be persuaded to split 50/50 if they are really "college material." I haven't hammered the specifics out in my head yet.

I think out-of-state schools and room and board on campus are wastes of money. If they want to go that route, they can definitely pay the difference without my help (unless one wants to be, say a marine biologist and can't find a suitable school in Colorado!).
I see your kids are pretty young but what will you do if they are active in extracirricular stuff? I ask this because as soon as my son turned 16, he did get a job but between the sheer volume of homework kids get in HS plus at that time he was just involved in drama and working 20 hours a week, he was burning out. Most nights he was not gettong to bed until after 1 am and had zero down time, we finally told him to focus on school.

Again and I posed this earlier but as someone with an older child I am interested in how folks with kids who are 16. 17 18 are handling this is they have not saved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlin View Post
I agree with this completely. We will have a similar plan, so that there is no pressure to continue on if our kids really don't want to.

This whole idea that you only appreciate university if you have to suffer financial hardship is really strange to me. I mean, we are talking about tuition, not a free ride for 4 years unless they are bringing in a lot of scholarship money. How can we expect our kids to make $20,000 extra a year, on top of living expenses on a part time job??? It would be tough for an adult with some experience, not to mention a kid straight out of school who will likely be making minimum wage.

One of the most dedicated and hard working college students I know, not only had her University education paid for, but made enough in scholarships on top of that to live in res, cover all her expenses and actually made money going to college. I have other friends who wasted their own money for a few years before figuring out that they were more likely to graduate if they didn't spend all their time partying. Maturity and work ethic had a lot more to do with it than who paid for their education. I don't buy the argument that you appreciate it more if you have to work for it.

On top of that, I can't imagine what kind of summer jobs are out there that will allow my kids to make the $85,000 they'll need for a 4 year degree in 18 years or so, and I'd hate to cripple them financially by inflicting student debt on them if I can prevent it. I also wouldn't want them pressured into joining the army to get an education, as I generally disapprove of what our military is doing in the world at the moment.
I am with you 100%. Like I have been saying we are a year away from making that first college payment and I don't see how my son would be doing college on a minimum wage paying job. Yeah, you can work 2-3 jobs and I know I did it as a single Mama but it took 10 years before I got my BA and in the end I still ended up with a boatload of debt. Compared to my much younger brother who by the time he was of age to go to college at least my folks were able to pay a little plus he was able to live at home which helped a lot.

It really sucks to start your professional life/career cripped with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and it effects your future. Right now if I was not bogged down with my own loans maybe I could have another child but that is not a reality for me, neither is being a SAHM....good for me I like working most days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
There is a difference between doing part-time work while in school and being responsible for paying for your entire education. It's not all-or-nothing (work for your entire education no matter how many jobs you have to have OR don't work at all and get a 'free ride'.)
Yep, agree with you 100%

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This is kind of the underside of the whole view of this that I don't get. Why on earth should the income level of the parents affect a person's ability to get loans? The parents aren't the ones applying in the first place.

In the US unless a kid is over 22 or 23 I beleive (not sure of exact age) they are still considered a dependent when it comes to college. If you are married or have a kid, then you are seen as independent. Since I had my son at 19 I was able to get my own loans but my brother in 2001 when he went to college had to have my parents sign off on things because he was considred a dependent. So my parents income was looked at as part of his being able to even get loans.

Its been a while since I looked at this stuff so maybe its changed but that's the way it used to be.

Shay
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