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How are your kids going to go to college? - Page 2

post #21 of 208

I don't know that my dd is going to college. If she decides to go that route she will most likely need to work, get scholarships, grants or take out loans to fund her education  just like dh and myself.

I'm not opposed to helping dd with some of the costs but we do not have a bunch of money saved up for that purpose.

At one time one of the grandparents said they set aside some money for dd for a college fund but I suspect the money is not there and I wouldn't have dd count on it.

post #22 of 208
Thread Starter 
I was actually told there was money for both me and my brother to go to college. Then the time came and we found out that our dad took it and paid for his gambling addiction. So I joined the military. Had I retired I could have given my kids my GI bill. Since I didn't its all mine to use. And I have to say its gotten better than when I joined.
post #23 of 208

The same way DH and I did - work-study, off-campus jobs, scholarships, loans. I went to a small private college & DH went to a large state school. We have paid off our BAs and my MA, still paying off his master's currently (he went after me). That's our main debt (cars paid off, minimal credit card, no mortgage - we rent), but it's just not in the cards to save up enough for both of them and hope to retire. Hopefully, we will be able to help out with living at home, paying for a laptop or books, etc.

 

I have to say that I have been thinking about having them look into community college first, whether to collect basic credits or obtain a professional qualification before transferring to a 4-year school. As I said, I got my degrees from well-regarded private institutions, but am currently doing a certificate program at the local cc, and it's quite good. I am impressed by what they offer for the very minimal price.

post #24 of 208

I put aside some money from my divorce settlement that will go toward the kids education, and DH will be adding to it from his mom's inheritance. We don't have money in our regular budget to put aside. I'd be shocked if XH's family contributes to the kids education at all. I hope the kids will decide to go to one of the many good local schools and continue to live at home while they go to school... I think we'll be able to cover school expenses, but definitely not their living or travel expenses on top of that if they move, unless our financial situation miraculously changes. The government here gives you up to $500/year depending on how much you put into an RESP for the kids, so that helps a lot.

 

The other thing we'll do is encourage the kids to look at college programs or technical school rather than university. It seems like you're a lot more likely to have a good job/career after them... I only know a few people who are actually using their university degree, and many who went back after university to get a certificate or diploma that was actually useful. If they decide they want to go to university, fine... but frankly I think they'd be better off even if they went to the art school rather than that!

post #25 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post

I have to say that I have been thinking about having them look into community college first, whether to collect basic credits or obtain a professional qualification before transferring to a 4-year school. As I said, I got my degrees from well-regarded private institutions, but am currently doing a certificate program at the local cc, and it's quite good. I am impressed by what they offer for the very minimal price.


I highly recommend this route. I completed the first two years of my undergraduate degree at a community college and then transferred to a well-regarded public university. It was a lot less expensive, plus I never could've gotten into the university I did with my high school grades alone.   

 

I enjoyed the community college in many ways more than the university. The classes were much smaller which I think is really important those first couple of years. The teachers were accessible and were actually there to teach. They weren't there to publish or do research or get their graduate degree. There was lots of extra help available at the Learning Center. It was kind of like high school, only college.  

post #26 of 208

We aren't putting money away. Instead we are working very hard on our own debt. That way when the time comes we are hopefully in a financial place to help them out. We probably won't pay for it all. However, if we can we will. We are more likely to help them pay their student loans then we are to have a college fund before hand.

post #27 of 208

I hope to save some money for them and pay for the rest with grants/loans/scholarships/part-time work. Right now we have a ton of student loan debt from both of our degrees and have opted for more family time over more time at work (I don't want to go from 3 days a week to 5 days a week if it'll mean I'm burning the candle at both ends and not getting time to enjoy my babe, even though I could make a very nice income). And she's still very small so there is time to save, but I do want to put away some money while she's little to take advantage of compound interest.

 

I think a community college is a good idea in theory, but IME the instructional quality is spotty--some instructors are great and some are lousy, so I'm leary of it. However, my husband teaches at our local CC, and if this is still the case when we have kids of the age to attend, he can figure out which instructors are better. :)

post #28 of 208

What I'd like to do is start a "getting started in adult life" fund for each kid upon his or her birth and add to it as I can. Whether they use this for college tuition, starting a business, or even just purchasing their first car will be largely up to them. I'm not going to start a fund that can only be used on school.

 

But my fiance and I combined have $120,000 in student loan debt. As much as I want to help the kiddos more directly, I'm not sure I'll be able to. But I'm going to be very cautious about recommending college to them in the first place. I was surrounded by an "everyone who's not a loser  goes to college" mentality when I was a teen, and look where it got me!

post #29 of 208

Hi-

   DH and I recently hired a financial planner and he advised us to put a good portion of our extra money into one of these "life insurance to use while living" investments.  It's moderate growth over time and the nice thing about it is that it can be used for kids' college or your retirement, depending on what your situation is when the time arises.  It's important to remember that when it comes to colleges giving financial aid, they cannot ask you to give your retirement money to pay for the tuition (I don't think?).  Some schools (private ones in particular) have large endowments and DO fully fund students who truly cannot afford to go but are accepted (at least, this was the case in the mid 90s when I went to undergrad). 

 

I went to a small semi-prestigous private undergrad and I can support the OP comments fully; it really was largely a waste of money.  Also, the other students were mostly SO rich (driving Range Rovers around campus, etc) that socially it was far from ideal.   The "brand name" I hoped would give me an edge when applying to graduate school and beyond really did next to nothing for me.  I really wish I went to a state school or even did the 2 years of community college then transferred to a 4 year.  My friend did this and saved so much money!  

 

Also, I currently work at well known university with a solid (not super competitive or 'top') reputation.  They offer 90% off tuition to all my children so long as I am working there when they are in school.  If I'm still there, I will tell DD (and the next if we have another) maybe when they are freshman in high school about how great it would be to pay nothing for undergrad, especially if they plan to continue on with a grad degree.  I'm thinking of saying they will be taking out loans and working in the cafeteria (like I did) if they don't go this college.  My DH thinks we should fund their "dream" if they are accepted someplace expensive that they really want to go- I'm thinking no way.

 

I also think funding your own retirement first is key (as previously mentioned).  Three of our 4 parents have major financial problems due to gambling and buying on credit...and we may have to fund/deal with all of them (no siblings to help).  It's a great gift to free your child of the potential burden of broke parents!!  

 

I think parents should still encourage their kids to go to college but they really need to have an end-point marketable SKILL in mind when they start!  English B.A.s will largely get you nowhere, unfortunately.  

 

-Jen

 

 

post #30 of 208

 

It will depend on what career the kids choose, DD1 states her desire of going to Germany, Switzerland or whatever German speaking country and go to Med School, she's a EU citizen so that prices wont be very high ( even though they've been getting higher each year) so I'm not really worried. It will worry me, however, if one of them decides that they want to go to school in the US, i've heard it's really expensive.

post #31 of 208

DS *should* qualify for scholarships and grants.  If not that child will be working.   He just watched something on TIVO featuring Marc Zuckerburg and that solidified his determination for continued education.

post #32 of 208

We've started an investment account for our LO using the Baby Bonus (Baby Bonus is paid [by the federal govt] following the birth (including stillborn babies) or adoption of a child. It recognises the extra costs incurred at the time of a new birth or adoption.) which was $5300. We put in extra money at every birthday and Christmas and her grandparents contribute now and then also. At the moment it's just in a term deposit but, when we accumulate a bit more we might look into some higher risk/higher dividend investments.

 

When she finished high school she may have the money for whatever further education she wants, whether that is university, TAFE, an apprenticeship, her own business etc. If they want to go to university in their home town then they will be welcome to live at home to reduce costs.

 

We hope to have one more child and plan to do the same for him/her as well.

 

I would love to be able to pay for their tertiary education outright but I think it's very unlikely that we will be able to afford to on top of our own expenses and retirements plans.

post #33 of 208

My oldest has a combination of scholarships, grants and working. I help him out with his rent. My youngest will do the same (and so will I). I won't say it's easy, and I wish I could  help them more.

post #34 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

DS *should* qualify for scholarships and grants.  If not that child will be working.   He just watched something on TIVO featuring Marc Zuckerburg and that solidified his determination for continued education.


I think Zuckerburg is a college drop out.......

 

Although certainly Harvard did provide a great start for his multi-billion dollar business. It seems he pretty much did it in his spare time, and it was not  really part of his academic work at all. (I'm totally basing this on The Social Network, which was a good film but has been accused of a lot of inaccuracies and was probably more fiction than fact, so I could be mistaken about Zuckerburg's continued education). 

 

 

post #35 of 208

I have been putting small amounts of money into a 529 account. This currently amounts to bupkis, but it's about 3X as much bupkis as it used to be.

My MIL (STBX MIL OMGWTFBBQ?) has been sending savings bonds for every birthday. My mom, who is a little bit more into it than that, has been socking away money regularly in an investment account since the kid was born. 

 

 

I do not think we will be able to save enough to get him all the way through school. I just don't, not even with my determined mother in the game. I haven't had the best fortune with money. We might get some help from my BIL (on my husband's side, I mean) and from my sister, who has no kids, and I am assuming that he will be motivated to find scholarships and work to make up the difference.  I do not want him to take out big student loans, because the big student loan thing is why my stbx dh isn't going to have a lot of money to kick in. 

 

 

 

 

I don't think there's a strong possibility that he would skip college. Universities have the facilities for the kinds of things he wants to learn. Every time he does something impressive I think, "Uh oh, let's think more about this saving for college business." 

 

 

 

 

post #36 of 208
Thread Starter 

I wonder how people are prepping their kids for college?  I talk about going to college like it's tying your shoes.  Something you just do. 

post #37 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I wonder how people are prepping their kids for college?  I talk about going to college like it's tying your shoes.  Something you just do. 



My dad did this. They were also involved in my application process, took me to look at all the state schools, and allowed me to choose my school. They didn't force anything (I applied to one school, got in, and went there - it was mostly a good place for me). I just always knew that I would go to college, because my parents never talked about school "ending" it was always elementary, middle, high school, college, and most likely grad school (but grad school was optional - college was not optional).

post #38 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I wonder how people are prepping their kids for college?  I talk about going to college like it's tying your shoes.  Something you just do. 


-Yes, talk about it as a natural pathway.

-Explained pre-requisites for various careers that they are interested in exploring.

-Reassured them that we would find a way to finance any choice they made.

-We have friends who are professors and they enjoy spending time with the kids.

-Signed them up for extra-curricular activities and courses for kids at the university - When she was 12 or so, DD did a terrific lab science workshop on Saturday mornings and another on writing gaming software.

-Once the kids were in high school, we started touring campuses when we were vacationing. Lots of campuses have little art galleries, museums, and horticultural/garden exhibits.  

 

I was in the middle of a graduate program when DS was born. DD arrived 5 days after the end of my last academic year, and as a breastfeeding infant, attended mandatory professional courses for licensing with me. DS doesn't remember much about it, but he spent a lot of time on campus for the first 3 years of his life. Arguably, DD has met mandatory course attendance requirements for the profession  winky.gif.  

 

post #39 of 208

My husband and I have not started saving for college for our 3 and 6 year old, and I doubt we ever will unless we come into some serious money. We make pretty good money in theory, but it just doesn't seem to be going as far as it use to go. If we're ever fortunate enough to have money to save for the kids, then we would not choose a 529 but rather something more open ended. Our son has special needs, so he may need money for other things.  

 

Even though I have a BA, I don't really have any expectation that my kids will get a bachelor's much less go beyond that. I want them to follow their own paths. Right now my six year old says she doesn't want to go to college.  She saw Toy Story 3 and got a complex about it because it looks so sad. eyesroll.gif  

 

I'm thinking they'll need to do something past high school though, and my husband and I will do whatever we can to help.  They could live here, and I guess we'd still feed them. orngtongue.gif Fortunately, there are tons of schools in the area, everything from community colleges to an elite private university and everything in between.  

 

 

post #40 of 208

We don't have much saved for our kids education.  We actually have a couple of educational funds set up, but they were both eviscerated in 2009.  It's a source of heartbreak for us both.  And now we've declared bankruptcy, so at this point we're focusing on not being a burden to our kids.  Seriously, I feel pretty ashamed about this, since my parents managed a fair amount saved for all four of their childrens' college ed.  

 

We are, however, encouraging our kids to go to college, and will help them where we can.  We've got good community colleges around here and we'd be happy to have our kids live at home and get undergrad classes out of the way.

 

And yes, we're really urging our kids to investigate practical Associate degrees.  A person can go to a 4-year and get a BS in biology, for example.  Or a person can get an AS in medical lab technology and get a job pretty quick in a hospital or med center.  The health care field is one of the few that weathered this recession very well. 

 

Though I'm wondering how my daughter's avid interest in psychology can translate into an AA degree.

 

About State versus private, I've got to say that here in California, while per year it costs tens of thousands of dollars less to go to a state university compared to private universities like, say Stanford, it's still ridiculously expensive.  I know, supposedly CA residents go 'tuition free' but in real terms 'fees' are crazy high.  $36,000 for one year at UC Davis with no outside help, as of 4 years ago. And fees go up and up. Don't get me wrong, our UC's and CSU's are among the world's best universities, so I'm not saying it's not worth it.  It's just not the economical alternative people so blithely speak of. 

 

Edited for redundant redundancy.


Edited by journeymom - 2/23/12 at 2:47pm
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