College: Would you live in family housing? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We need to figure out something. Ok my dh has an ok job and I'm a sahm. We'd like to move to a different city and Eric wants to go to school. Well I was thinking he is the main money earner so I'm not sure how he could work full time and go to school full time. Would living in family housing and using student loans to pay for things be a stupid move? Can you really live off of student loans? He only has a 1 or 1½ left to go so it won't be a whole 4 years. I'm just wondering whats possible here. Have you done this? Would you do this?
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#2 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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Wow you have described my current situation. I am a sahm and my husband is a full time law student. We live off grants and student loans. And we live in family housing. His law school owns a bunch of houses around campus and families with kids get first priority. We love it! PM me if you have any q's.

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#3 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 08:27 PM
 
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We were seriously considering it...but after visiting the family housing at the university, decided against it. Small spaces we can deal with but not when they're falling apart. The one they showed us was just...bad. I'm still considering it though for the future. I have to transfer eventually and the university I' may be transferring to seems to have much better family housing from what I hear.

Oh, and dh and I are both undergrad students...he's closer to finishing than I am. Not sure how it would work with his job though, he's going part time and I'm full time. I think that with student loans and such it is possible to do. Or at least from everything I've heard from other people. I know it would have saved us a lot of money each month...the student housing is like half our rent now.

Good luck and let us know if you do it!
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#4 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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I would do it.
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#5 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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We lived in Family Housing for 2yrs. It's not so bad really. Just like living in a dorm with your family :LOL
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#6 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The housing at this school is pretty ok. I wouldn't mind living there and the area is hip and urban.
So a few questions. Do you or your partners work outside the home? How many hours?
Would it be a good idea for me to go ahead and go to school as well? Sophie is our only child and she is 3. If we worked our schedule one of us would always be there with her while the other is in school. We don't plan on anymore children so I want to work in the future. Not to mention I really love learning.
If we do this we would actually be moving closer to my family. The very thought of having my friends and family near by excites me!
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#7 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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I have friends who live in university family housing. Their apartment is simple, but they have everything they need. There is a nice playground for the children, plus community garden plots, and a community rec room. They live on probably less than $15,000--20,000/year (without loans), but they don't lack for anything. Graduating students with families donate toys/clothes/furniture when they move out. There are always swaps at the rec center. They have one vehicle, plus free full bus service to wherever they want to go. Their children are in a great public preschool program.

My husband and I took out loans and both went to college in our late 20's, after we got married. We have loan debt, but my husband now has a good job that pays decent, and the loan repayment is a modest monthly amount. We couldn't have had the life we have now if he hadn't finished a degree. I say Go For It! It will be an adventure. Life is short, and it's only money (when it comes to the loans). Your earning potential will most likely make up for having to take out loans.

Edited to add: both my friend and her husband are school in full time. It works out well for them.
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#8 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 09:54 PM
 
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We did this when dh was in school, and lived off grants, student loans and the ocassional money I brought in doing childcare for a friend. It was great. It was really neat to live among so many kids. The kids had the run of the place and the parents all had relatively similar goals so it was neat. Money was tight, but it was doable.
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#9 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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It's only for a year. Go for it. Time will fly and you'll have a great time.
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#10 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 09:59 PM
 
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Would and did (well, it was seminary not college, but still) We lived in a shoebox with two kids. Knowing it's temporary really helped!

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#11 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 10:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfeet
The housing at this school is pretty ok. I wouldn't mind living there and the area is hip and urban.
So a few questions. Do you or your partners work outside the home? How many hours?
Would it be a good idea for me to go ahead and go to school as well? Sophie is our only child and she is 3. If we worked our schedule one of us would always be there with her while the other is in school. We don't plan on anymore children so I want to work in the future. Not to mention I really love learning.
If we do this we would actually be moving closer to my family. The very thought of having my friends and family near by excites me!

Sounds like what I was hoping for!

If we had done this my dh would be working full time going to school half time. I'm going to school full-time no outside job. This is actually what we'll be doing in the fall so there really wouldn't be much difference for us...just the location.

I think you should go for it.
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#12 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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I lived in student housing during grad school with lots of families and I really loved the atmosphere and had some great friends with kids at that time.

That being said I would be very reluctant to borrow any more money than you would have too, especially if your partner is not going to make a lot of money when he finished school. I wouldn't recommend going 100,000 into debt to be a teacher.
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#13 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 10:48 PM
 
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Go for it.. we did for 2 years with three kids there at the end. FAmily housing had a real since of community..Space was VERY tight...Three kids in less than 600 sqaure feet...but looking back..It was fun...
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#14 of 26 Old 06-09-2005, 11:48 PM
 
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We lived in family housing from when we got married until DD was 15 months old (and we moved, DP had graduated). *LOVED* it. They were much nicer places than we could have afforded otherwise, had super playgrounds, right on the bus line and even had a co-op daycare on site (we didn't use it, but still...).

You will also want to check out what other things the University does to support families. Our's had subsidized daycare/preschool, health insurance available, etc...

When we were both in school (undergrad) we both worked. DP 15-20 hours a week, me 10-15. Then after we graduated and traveled a bit I worked full time for a term (while pg with DD). Then took off to become a SAHM and DP was in grad school so got a GTF and then a GRF position. At that point we were pretty much making ends meet (but we were on Medicaid & WIC). Took out a few small loans which we paid off within 6 months of DP getting a job. Totally worth it for us.

 

 

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#15 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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i did for 18 months while i was newly married. it was the most affordable/safe/descent housing for the price we paid. if we paid that much in town we would probably be living in a shack. it is a fancier version of a dorm room, but it is only temporary and it will make you very thankful when you actually own a real home. our family housing had all cinderblock walls and lineloium floors and dust bunnies the size of small rodents.
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#16 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 12:53 AM
 
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we arentin student housing but we would move in in a second if they allowed cats . we did find a house with OK rent but not as cheap. my ds is 3 and we have been swapping him back and forth and juggling our schedules since he was born. i was in school when preg, also.

we were both in school up till last fall but now DH graduated

dh worked full time for a while, then cut to part time. i havent worked in 4 years. we live on school loands mostly. summer sux if we dont go to school in the summer, we are VERY VERY broke.

i think its OK but it is really stressfull too. buth of us in school meant we competed for study time. finals week and midterms were insane. like almost breaking our marriage insane.

so i have taken a semester off here and there and go part time. we have onlyhad to use child care 1 semester for DS, and one month durring 1 summer. and that was just for a couple hours a day, like 3 days a week.

i feel like you *can* juggle schedules. and you *can* live off loans. if there is any way you can avoid loans though and just do the federal financial aid, you will be much happier when it gets close to the end. we are freaking out currenltly about dh's $24,000 debt and my $20, 000 debt ( thus far) dh has to make payments now and just finally got a ful time job but its like $300 a month they want from us for the next TEN YEARS to pay *just* his loan. its freaky.

i am glad he got his degree and i know it will all be OK one day ( i hope) but its really scary right now and if i could go back in time i think i would have got a part time job at least when i was **** just pregnant, and avoided loans as much as possible. also we learned alot about schedule juggling. we are pretty good at it these days. so add me to the list of people you can ask more of later if you want. for us it helps to write our whole schedule for the month on a calander where we can both see. and schdule study time in advance, etc.
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#17 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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Yes go for it! I'm living off child support and student loans right now myself. It is insuring a better future for us.
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#18 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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we live in family housing, and have since 2001. we love it. it's very affordable, and it has a real community feel--we know and like all of our neighbors, and there are tons of kids around us who are the same ages as our kids. it's not luxery, but it's good enough. if you have any questions, feel free to pm me.
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#19 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 04:26 AM
 
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I did it at two different universities. Family housing varies a lot so check a few out! I would loved it. You'll probably meet a lot of great people. Try to take as many classes for yourself as is feasible.
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#20 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 07:07 AM
 
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We live in "married housing," and there are lots of families around. No kids yet for us, I work full time, and DP is a PhD student. I want to go back to school, but when we worked it out, it would have meant loans of upwards of £20,000 for each year that we were both students (and this on top of $20,000+ in loans I already have from undergraduate days and to get me into a profession (midwifery) that doesn't pay very well). So we've decided that I will wait to go back to school until DP is finished. By then, we'll hopefully have a toddler and DP will have a flexible work schedule. So we should be able to work it out with minimal daycare, etc. For us, it just made more sense to 'take turns' on the school front than both do it at the same time.

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#21 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 09:18 AM
 
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We lived in family housing when I was in college, before kids, and in graduate student housing both without kids and with dd when she was a baby.

In some places family/married student housing is cheaper than the going rate. When I was in college, we paid about half the average price for similar housing in our area. Given that dh and I were both making less than $8 an hour, it *really* was nice. The units were small but new. Some of the older ones were larger but not as well-kept.

Socially it can be great to have other youngish not-rich families around - you're all in the same boat. We have seen some pretty mediocre parenting, though; sometimes people seem too busy/stressed to take good care of their kids.

In terms of affording it, you might have your dh look for a p/t job and consider doing some child care for a little extra. Given the population - people with flexible schedules but some need for childcare - I bet that you could find some work pretty easily. For 1.5 years or so, you could definately make this work!!

OT: Annettemarie, where did your dh go to seminary? My dh works at one of the ELCA seminaries.. I'm just curious. Can you tell I'm Lutheran by my nosy-ness?

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#22 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 09:33 AM
 
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I would, and have... and personally I'm all for student loans
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#23 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 11:46 AM
 
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I'd live in student housing. We never did, but considered it when my university built new apartments for families. Before that, the waiting list was too long.

Both my DH and I were in school. Neither of us had to pay tuition (for various reasons- scholarships, grants, etc...) And I only got a small student loan in my last semester.

My DH also worked full time, and was in school full time. It worked for us. We just kept reminding ourselves that it was only for a season, and that it would be worth it in the end. Also, we had our son after my 4th year- and when I went back to school after a year, my DH and I arranged our class schedules so that one of us was always home with him. And my DH still was in school and working full time. It CAN be done!
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#24 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 12:06 PM
 
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We didn't do the family housing. It was pretty nice, and there was a good drop-in centre, proximity to classes, etc, but the same or a bit more than the going rate, and we were already renting a place we liked further away from campus. If it's cheaper, though, go for it!

Be careful with the loans. I thought they were swell, too, and we lived modestly but ok at the time. Now, we're stuck paying $600/month for the next 10 years. We're not going to be buying a home anytime soon, and it constrains your job choices for a long time to come.
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#25 of 26 Old 06-10-2005, 10:02 PM
 
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My MIL has been finishing up her pharmacy degree. She (and FIL and useless SIL) have been living off student loans, FIL's $800/mo social security check, and what little money MIL makes when she can work. She's got over $100K in student loans, their credit is trashed because of FIL (a completely different tangent) and their credit cards are maxed out.

I wouldn't recommend living off student loans, but if it's *very* short term it can work. Plus you can consolidate when you're done and get a really low interest rate on them.

But I believe you still have to pay for family housing and utilities of some sort (at least at the universities I'm used to). But what a friend of ours did was pizza delivery 4-8 days a month for extra money and that worked for them (he was a grad student with most expenses paid, she was finishing up a chemistry degree and they had a 4yo). Or you could see about babysitting kids in the same complex for extra money to stay on top of things, or hire yourself out for basic housekeeping if your child(ren) will cooperate.

If you do decide to go to school and take a full load to work towards a degree, really take a look at why you want to and all that (because you *really* want to or because it's just there?). The college I went to had a long running joke about girls going there not to get their B.S. or B.A. but to get their M.R.S. So they'd end up going into debt (maybe $35K-$50K over 4-6 years) just to land a husband and never really use their degree that they weren't all that passionate about in the first place. That bugged me because it seemed like a waste. But if you take a few specific classes pertinent to your own situation/interests/talents/whatever, have fun. I had an awesome Personal Finance class that I still refer back to, 4.5 years later.

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#26 of 26 Old 06-11-2005, 03:40 AM
 
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All this talk about student loans reminded me that you can save a lot on the interest if you pay extra at the very beginning of the payback period(when you can least afford it unfortunately)
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