intentionally NOT saving for your child's college? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-10-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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Deliberately not saving... well... it'd be deliberate if we had the money. I earned my way through Uni and am prouder of that than of my degree. Granted, the degree I took wasn't terribly useful or likely to lead to gainful employment (at least, not coupled with my particular strengths and weaknesses). Looking back, I'm glad I went to Uni because I enjoyed it, met my husband and learned some stuff - but yeah, "expensive luxury" isn't far off.

I'm less enamoured with tertiary education these days, but will still be happy if my kids want to go. I'll provide them with a home and food while they do so (well, up to a point... a couple of doctorates in, they might have to move out)

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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Holy cats, I read this entire thread! (I'm giving myself a hand right now. )

Okay, to answer the OP's question with a short answer:

We are not saving for our children's education. This is a deliberate decision on our part.

Long answer (that is, why): We started thinking about this when DSS was about six. We and his mom decided that DSS would be better off with us taking CS money and investing it for DSS's college. (This was a joint decision and her idea, so no flames please.) Anyway, the four us (me, DH, DSS's mom, and her now-husband) went to see a financial advisor a few months after we opened the 529, and came away a little shaken.

At the time, I was in college myself, and had a good idea of how gov't financial aid works in the U.S.
(The highpoints have already been hit upthread, but the upshot is that if your parents don't file taxes or won't fill out your FAFSA, there is !@#$-all you can do about it. The easiest way around it- if you are under 24- is to enter into a paper marriage with someone in a similar situation.)
Because, theoretically, either set of parents could claim DSS on their taxes when his college time comes, and the smart thing to do would be to have the set of parents with the lower GAI claim the kid (to get more financial aid), the financial advisor said, quite honestly, that he couldn't give us sound advice, because there were too many hypotheticals. He also told us that any money we saved in DSS's name (and a 529 has to be in the intended student's name) would profoundly count against him come time for financial aid.

Then we took a bath, as the 529 is tied to the stock market. We cashed it out, paid the penalty, and stuck what was left in savings until we figured something better out.

I recalled the situation of two girls I went to high school with and roomed with my first year of college.

J's dad worked for Ford, her mom worked part time, she was one of four kids. J's dad was well known for being cheap. He had money sacked away in CDs for his kids for college, and took advantage of Ford's tution programs for dependents.

K's dad worked for GM, her mom worked part time, she was one of four kids. K's dad was a miserable drunk, the family finances were always a mess, the parents lived together off and on, there was lots of credit card debt. There was no savings for college, and K's dad couldn't be bothered to do the paperwork or pay the taxes to take advantage of GM's dependent tuition programs.

J got absolutely nothing in financial aid. K got a full Pell every semester, a couple other need based grants, and $2500 per semester in gov't backed loans. This was enough to pay her tuition, room, board, and books living on campus. Granted, she graduated with $20,000 in debt, but that's a car, people. The point is, because J's parents were responsible, she got squat- too much money in CDs in her name. K's parents had incredibly similar circumstances to J's, but were irresponsible, and thus their children were rewarded.

It boggles the mind, no?

J and K both worked for spending money.

Anyway, after the meeting with the financial advisor, I thought about J and K, talked about them with DH, as well as DSS's other parents, and we decided we needed to pursue alternative strategies.

Also at this time, my cousin, who was homeschooled from K on, was in college. She started community college right after her 14th (maybe 15th?) birthday. Quite early, at any rate. She did this because she had been planning on getting her GED, but when she and I investigated, we discovered that in her state, and in mine (FL and MI, respectively), you can go to any state college/uni for free if you are under 18 and DON'T have a GED. You just have to pass the entrance exam. Most community colleges are good about this- they are used to high school kids and "dual enrollment", so taking more than 1-2 classes a semester isn't a stretch.

Also informing my thinking was the fact that I had worked at UofM as temp for about a year, and from that experience I knew that most colleges offer tution abatement for employees and their dependents. Some even have reciprocal agreements with other schools.

And so grew our outside-the-box funding plan for DSS's college. DSS's mom is totally on board with passing on high school for college, assuming that's what he wants. We will respect his decision, whatever it may be. However, we have given him the rough outline of what it entails to go to college early, and discussed the advantages and disadvantages, and, so far, DSS says he wants to go college as soon as possible.

At the time, the plan was that I would be the one
to get a job at a college/uni, as DH and I were planning on having more kids but DSS's mom and stepdad were not. However, serendipitously, DH beat me to it, and got a job at my alma mater. And yes, they have tuition abatement.

DSS understands that if he goes to the school where Dad works, it will be free, and any money he gets, in aid or scholarships, will help pay for books and transportation expenses. (We've talked about he doesn't *have* to take a standardized test to get in to Dad's school, but if he does and does well, he might get more money. He always says, "I'll take them all. I don't mind tests.") DSS, of course, is welcome to live with us during his school years, and we will support him as best we can. He will probably have to work on some level to pay for a car, but that need not be a whole lot.

The rough plan right now is that DSS will take a free community college class here and there starting in 2-3 years (he's 11), and then, when he's ready, move up here and go to school full time.

DSS is very bright and academic. Right now, he wants to study computers, engineering, or both. However, if he changes his mind, we are in a good position in that the uni that DH works at is one of a handful of schools in the state that offers certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and few grad degrees- several master's and one doctorate. All undergrad tuition is free, all postgrad tuition is taxed as earned income, and the clock runs out when your non-spousal dependents turn 25.

So if DSS wants to pursue a trade, great. DH's uni has two year degrees in airline and auto mechanics, welding, construction management, and a whole host of other things. He could become a barber or an LPN. I don't care, DH doesn't care, DSS's mom and stepdad don't care. So long as he's acquiring skills to support himself as an adult, we will respect whatever decision he makes. And frankly, I think that the fact that he has until his early twenties to figure things out is time enough.

If DSS wants to go to a different college, he'll have to do it on his own dime.

DD1, age 3, and DD2 (EDD Friday!!) get the same deal, of course.

I am not at all invested in my children becoming "professionals" or getting a bachelor's or higher. I just want them to be able to support themselves and do what they love.

Having said that, (dons flame proof suit) it is my opinion that high school is all but a waste of time. Be it post secondary or alternative to secondary, I feel like you must do something to ensure your ability to find work at a living wage- and I do not believe, in any way, that high school does this. Trade school, classes in office management, an involved, committed intership on a farm, an apprenticeship in a skilled trade- whatever my kids decide they want to do, I will certainly encourage. I want them to have options, and while I can't give them every option in the world, we have given them many to choose from for free.

The government regulations on student aid are absolutely ridiculous. My last two semesters of college happened after DH got his current job, so I had applied for financial aid that impacted one of them already. I got to keep my full Pell amount- which I used to pay off an old student loan. Pretty hilarious, huh? I couldn't believe it. I told the financial aid office to give it to someone else, and they couldn't. The said they couldn't even send it back. Based on our family size and DH's income, if DSS were in college now, he would get a full Pell every semester and get to keep it, despite the fact that he had no tuition to pay. So people who are using their money to pay off the mortgage and save for retirement because they have borderline-low incomes, and therefore their kids may get decent gov't help, but only if they don't save- I don't blame you. That's a big part of the reason that we started our whole outside-the-box plan for DSS's education.

I think the current protocol of four years of high school, followed by four years of college, graduating around age twenty two, is wasteful and silly- wasteful both of time and money. Two years of high school, two years of community college, and then either work (if you got a two year degree in some sort of trade) or two more years of college to get a bachelor's makes sooo much more sense to me. In many states, this would cut the cost of a four year college degree literally in half. I have posted about my homeschooled cousins doing this (the one I already mentioned, plus her younger sister, both to great success) in the education forums before, so IME, this system works.
I don't mean to imply that it's for everyone, but you need not be a genius to make it work. (Nor homeschooled- DSS goes to public school- he'll still be considered "dually enrolled" even if he stops high school to go to college full time. He won't be dropping out, he'll be rising up.) A bright and/or motivated student is plenty old enough at sixteen to do beginning community college level work. I think this is an option that many students would do well to explore- far more should than currently do, IMO.

So this my book on the subject.

(If you read this whole thing, give yourself a hand. )

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:30 AM
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Holy cats, I read this entire thread! (I'm giving myself a hand right now. )

Okay, to answer the OP's question with a short answer:

We are not saving for our children's education. This is a deliberate decision on our part.

Long answer (that is, why): We started thinking about this when DSS was about six. We and his mom decided that DSS would be better off with us taking CS money and investing it for DSS's college. (This was a joint decision and her idea, so no flames please.) Anyway, the four us (me, DH, DSS's mom, and her now-husband) went to see a financial advisor a few months after we opened the 529, and came away a little shaken.

At the time, I was in college myself, and had a good idea of how gov't financial aid works in the U.S.
(The highpoints have already been hit upthread, but the upshot is that if your parents don't file taxes or won't fill out your FAFSA, there is !@#$-all you can do about it. The easiest way around it- if you are under 24- is to enter into a paper marriage with someone in a similar situation.)
Because, theoretically, either set of parents could claim DSS on their taxes when his college time comes, and the smart thing to do would be to have the set of parents with the lower GAI claim the kid (to get more financial aid), the financial advisor said, quite honestly, that he couldn't give us sound advice, because there were too many hypotheticals. He also told us that any money we saved in DSS's name (and a 529 has to be in the intended student's name) would profoundly count against him come time for financial aid.

Then we took a bath, as the 529 is tied to the stock market. We cashed it out, paid the penalty, and stuck what was left in savings until we figured something better out.

I recalled the situation of two girls I went to high school with and roomed with my first year of college.

J's dad worked for Ford, her mom worked part time, she was one of four kids. J's dad was well known for being cheap. He had money sacked away in CDs for his kids for college, and took advantage of Ford's tution programs for dependents.

K's dad worked for GM, her mom worked part time, she was one of four kids. K's dad was a miserable drunk, the family finances were always a mess, the parents lived together off and on, there was lots of credit card debt. There was no savings for college, and K's dad couldn't be bothered to do the paperwork or pay the taxes to take advantage of GM's dependent tuition programs.

J got absolutely nothing in financial aid. K got a full Pell every semester, a couple other need based grants, and $2500 per semester in gov't backed loans. This was enough to pay her tuition, room, board, and books living on campus. Granted, she graduated with $20,000 in debt, but that's a car, people. The point is, because J's parents were responsible, she got squat- too much money in CDs in her name. K's parents had incredibly similar circumstances to J's, but were irresponsible, and thus their children were rewarded.

It boggles the mind, no?

J and K both worked for spending money.

Anyway, after the meeting with the financial advisor, I thought about J and K, talked about them with DH, as well as DSS's other parents, and we decided we needed to pursue alternative strategies.

Also at this time, my cousin, who was homeschooled from K on, was in college. She started community college right after her 14th (maybe 15th?) birthday. Quite early, at any rate. She did this because she had been planning on getting her GED, but when she and I investigated, we discovered that in her state, and in mine (FL and MI, respectively), you can go to any state college/uni for free if you are under 18 and DON'T have a GED. You just have to pass the entrance exam. Most community colleges are good about this- they are used to high school kids and "dual enrollment", so taking more than 1-2 classes a semester isn't a stretch.

Also informing my thinking was the fact that I had worked at UofM as temp for about a year, and from that experience I knew that most colleges offer tution abatement for employees and their dependents. Some even have reciprocal agreements with other schools.

And so grew our outside-the-box funding plan for DSS's college. DSS's mom is totally on board with passing on high school for college, assuming that's what he wants. We will respect his decision, whatever it may be. However, we have given him the rough outline of what it entails to go to college early, and discussed the advantages and disadvantages, and, so far, DSS says he wants to go college as soon as possible.

At the time, the plan was that I would be the one
to get a job at a college/uni, as DH and I were planning on having more kids but DSS's mom and stepdad were not. However, serendipitously, DH beat me to it, and got a job at my alma mater. And yes, they have tuition abatement.

DSS understands that if he goes to the school where Dad works, it will be free, and any money he gets, in aid or scholarships, will help pay for books and transportation expenses. (We've talked about he doesn't *have* to take a standardized test to get in to Dad's school, but if he does and does well, he might get more money. He always says, "I'll take them all. I don't mind tests.") DSS, of course, is welcome to live with us during his school years, and we will support him as best we can. He will probably have to work on some level to pay for a car, but that need not be a whole lot.

The rough plan right now is that DSS will take a free community college class here and there starting in 2-3 years (he's 11), and then, when he's ready, move up here and go to school full time.

DSS is very bright and academic. Right now, he wants to study computers, engineering, or both. However, if he changes his mind, we are in a good position in that the uni that DH works at is one of a handful of schools in the state that offers certificates, associate's, bachelor's, and few grad degrees- several master's and one doctorate. All undergrad tuition is free, all postgrad tuition is taxed as earned income, and the clock runs out when your non-spousal dependents turn 25.

So if DSS wants to pursue a trade, great. DH's uni has two year degrees in airline and auto mechanics, welding, construction management, and a whole host of other things. He could become a barber or an LPN. I don't care, DH doesn't care, DSS's mom and stepdad don't care. So long as he's acquiring skills to support himself as an adult, we will respect whatever decision he makes. And frankly, I think that the fact that he has until his early twenties to figure things out is time enough.

If DSS wants to go to a different college, he'll have to do it on his own dime.

DD1, age 3, and DD2 (EDD Friday!!) get the same deal, of course.

I am not at all invested in my children becoming "professionals" or getting a bachelor's or higher. I just want them to be able to support themselves and do what they love.

Having said that, (dons flame proof suit) it is my opinion that high school is all but a waste of time. Be it post secondary or alternative to secondary, I feel like you must do something to ensure your ability to find work at a living wage- and I do not believe, in any way, that high school does this. Trade school, classes in office management, an involved, committed intership on a farm, an apprenticeship in a skilled trade- whatever my kids decide they want to do, I will certainly encourage. I want them to have options, and while I can't give them every option in the world, we have given them many to choose from for free.

The government regulations on student aid are absolutely ridiculous. My last two semesters of college happened after DH got his current job, so I had applied for financial aid that impacted one of them already. I got to keep my full Pell amount- which I used to pay off an old student loan. Pretty hilarious, huh? I couldn't believe it. I told the financial aid office to give it to someone else, and they couldn't. The said they couldn't even send it back. Based on our family size and DH's income, if DSS were in college now, he would get a full Pell every semester and get to keep it, despite the fact that he had no tuition to pay. So people who are using their money to pay off the mortgage and save for retirement because they have borderline-low incomes, and therefore their kids may get decent gov't help, but only if they don't save- I don't blame you. That's a big part of the reason that we started our whole outside-the-box plan for DSS's education.

I think the current protocol of four years of high school, followed by four years of college, graduating around age twenty two, is wasteful and silly- wasteful both of time and money. Two years of high school, two years of community college, and then either work (if you got a two year degree in some sort of trade) or two more years of college to get a bachelor's makes sooo much more sense to me. In many states, this would cut the cost of a four year college degree literally in half. I have posted about my homeschooled cousins doing this (the one I already mentioned, plus her younger sister, both to great success) in the education forums before, so IME, this system works.
I don't mean to imply that it's for everyone, but you need not be a genius to make it work. (Nor homeschooled- DSS goes to public school- he'll still be considered "dually enrolled" even if he stops high school to go to college full time. He won't be dropping out, he'll be rising up.) A bright and/or motivated student is plenty old enough at sixteen to do beginning community college level work. I think this is an option that many students would do well to explore- far more should than currently do, IMO.

So this my book on the subject.

(If you read this whole thing, give yourself a hand. )
Thanks to the OP for starting this, and OMG, thank you for one of the most INFORMATIVE posts that I have ever read---it will help my family so much.

And, I love OW!

Take care and thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!11:
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:28 AM
 
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We don't have specific accounts for them. Dh is working on becoming very, very rich. But whether that pans out or not, we probably won't pay fully for our kids college for a number of reasons.

However, we will invite them and encourage them to live at home and start at a local college (and hopefully hs will help them be able to get a good base of college courses in theri later highschool years). We will help out financially where we can and where they need it, but we will also encourage them to work and pay as they go, and do everythign we can to make that convenient and doable for them.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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Then we took a bath, as the 529 is tied to the stock market. We cashed it out, paid the penalty, and stuck what was left in savings until we figured something better out.
Edit: I realized my comment had nothing to do with the thread topic, and was probably not useful anyway. Sorry!

4 kids under 10
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:34 AM
 
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Not saving, but there is a plan.

1) She'll have to show some academic aptitude in high school so that she can get merit based scholarships.

2) She'll have to live at home, rent and board free, boo hoo.

3) No out-of-state schools, obviously.

4) Community college first, then public four year.

5) She'll have to work 10-15 hours a week for her own spending money.

6) We'll pay for whatever is left over after FA packages have been accounted for.

7) I seriously don't believe college will cost $9,000,000 or whatever they predict it will cost by the time she graduates high school. College tuition is a bubble.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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OK, I said I would bow out but I came back to read and I think it feels like a clear split based on our personal lens. I know some of the Mamas who are most adamant about getting degrees are WOC ( I am too). I can't help but thinking that perspective may shape our feelings and desires for our kids.

Someone made a comment that times are different and there was a implication that the race perspective was not valid. Sorry its early don't feel like going back but I disagree.

Anyway I know personally for many minorities especially African-Americans and others of the African diaspora, that education has in fact been the key factor in acheiving financial security. Hell, just upward mobility in general. My grandparents were sharecroppers, my father wanted a college education but as one of 16 in the rural south it was not possible. My father is one of those self taught men, he is well read but he struggled financially his entire life to the point that when my Mom died years ago he didn't have enough money to bury her.

His story is a very common story in Black America, and its one of the reasons that folks like AndrewsMother is saying what she is saying...I doubt she is trying to impose her will its just part of what we carry as African-Americans.

With regards to my own son, I am glad he wants to go to college, I suppose if he didn't I would suggest trade school. I got no problems with trades, most folks I know in the trades are actually more financially comfortable than my college educated buddies.

I do want to share a story, for everyone saying what about the trades...once upon a time it was hard for many Black Americans to even get in the unions. My Dad was a teamster in Chicago and it was a bitter fight to get in the union and in the end the union did not look out for him or other MOC as well as it did the white guys. By the same token, my father in law was a white union electrician who earned enough money to create real wealth for his family. These stories are not extraordinary, they were real for many. Its always been easier for whites to work in the trades.

I don't mean to get into a race/history lesson but I don't think you can have such a discussion without considering these factors.

By the way good or bad society is not as accepting of a young person of color who wants to find himself and is not in school or working. A young white person of 18 or 19 who is finding themselves is not viewed with the level of suspicion that a young person of color is particularly a young man of color.

OK, I am outta here.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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We'll encourage college. We both loved college, loved grad school, and when we turn 65 and can take classes for free, we'll take more. I guess in my mind, if a child doesn't want to go to college, they'll need to convince me why, you know?

That said, our state has free tuition if you keep a "B" average. Every time we think of moving out of state, I remember that as a huge benefit to living here. There is also joint enrollment. Scholarships. Lots of ways to pay for college.

We're saving what we can, we'll encourage them to live at home if money is tight, and we'll help out as we can when the time comes. We want to very much encourage our children to get out of college debt free (someone upthread said "it's only $20,000", but from our debt-laden experience, we'd like to help them get out debt free). I'm a SAHM now, but if I need to, I'd go back to work to help pay for their college.

Oh, and we're white, but our experience also clouds our thinking. My great-grandparents were the sharecroppers. My daddy got education and gets to work in the air conditioning, something he's happy about. Plus, unions aren't very big where we live, and so construction is a $10/hour job here. If you love it, that's great, but it's not easy to raise a family on $10/hour.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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Anyway I know personally for many minorities especially African-Americans and others of the African diaspora, that education has in fact been the key factor in achieving financial security.
Education has done well for my family and for my husband's family - not just for AA families. I see it as an investment in my child's future. (Thank you EFmom for providing the salary stats!) Also, since we are able to afford to save for college, I see it as my moral obligation to do so - to keep limited financial resources available for those who can't. Having a college fund does not mean my kid HAS to go to college, it gives him options. As far as I am concerned, options are a good thing. If he wants to go to trade school (plumbing, electrician), pastry chef school, or whatever, that is OK also.

My parents paid for my schooling, giving me the opportunity to take extra classes and also summer research jobs instead of possibly more lucrative off campus jobs. With the higher course load, I was able to graduate a semester early.

In response to a question others have asked (in general), if my kid decides not to go to college, he does NOT get the college fund for a wedding, a new car, or to buy a house. This is about teaching a person to fish instead of giving them a fish. If he really wants to travel the world, there is the semester at sea program or volunteer opportunities.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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We are raising our children with the absolute expectation that they will go to college. We are trying to save enough for 4 years at a public institution. We aren't going to let them fritter it away partying. Two semesters of bad grades, and they are out.

In our family, higher education is the norm. Dh and I come from large families and everyone, with the exception of my deceased mother, have a minimum of a bachelors degree. I have 13 grown nieces and nephews, all of whom have gone to college, and most of whom have advanced degrees.

If they want to take a year or two off to work after high school before going to college, that's OK. They can continue to live with us and save the money if they want to go someplace more expensive than the state schools.

If they decide not to go to college, we will keep the money. We would let them use it for trade school (although we'd prefer they did college first), but not for travel, house down payment, cars, etc. If one child decides to go to college and the other does not, the one who doesn't isn't getting the money. There's nothing unfair at all about that--they have the same opportunity as their sibling to further their education, but they have decided not to avail themselves of it.

It is possible to live a financially succesful life without college. However, statistically speaking, it's much less likely. According to the BLS, someone with a bachelor's degree earns approximately $54,392 per year, v. a $31,044 average yearly salary with a high school diploma.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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Well, we were saving...now we're not, deliberately. Economics are the biggest factor. That said, both dh and I are from very well educated families, masters, JD's, PhD's, many Ivy League schools as well as some state schools in the mix. By and large (and this is generational) folks have paid for their own educations w/ work and loans. My parents paid for the first year to get us on our feet. There are 12 siblings between us, so paying the full way for our parents would have been prohibitive. Something feels different to me with my generation of kids, and I could be off here, but paying for anything beyond a state school seems pretty unrealistic. I am breathless at the current cost of the schools dh and I attended, and we paid for. I just don't see it.

I want my kids to have at least one service year following high school-peace corps, Americorps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc. To dh and I this feels more important than saving $$. Ultimately we'd like to do it as a family.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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It is possible to live a financially succesful life without college. However, statistically speaking, it's much less likely. According to the BLS, someone with a bachelor's degree earns approximately $54,392 per year, v. a $31,044 average yearly salary with a high school diploma.
Yes! ITA w/you. Of course one can have a good life and even have a nice level of financial comfort without a degree. Yet the odds are that without some type of education beyond high school that you face a greater likliehood of struggling.

By the same token having a degree does not always equal financial stability (I work in the non-profit sector and my dh is a journalist, so we know this well) yet considering I spent most of my 20's with no degree I know firsthand that education can open doors.

Funny point...I hated high school. I wasn't a bad student I just didn't apply myself so I thought nothing of dropping out my senior year at 18. However when I did get to college many years later, I loved it. I am still on the fence whether or not I feel my graduate degree was worth it but without a doubt for me personally getting my BA was a very valuable experience beyond any monetary rewards.

That said, of course I could have learned on my own...heck, I still do. But I do think even a kid who hates school can do well in college.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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We're going to suggest PSEO options if its something our kids are interested in. I know several people who graduated High School and College (2 year) at the same time. I got one year of college finished while in high school as well when I did it. My SIL was one who graduated both at the same time. You push a bit harder during freshman and sophomore years in high school to get your classes done and then you have 2 more years free. You still have to complete English and such but those can be taken at the college and count for both.

Will we save? No. We'll provide a home and support while they are in school. And I do know how much it costs. I'm back in school for my 3rd time, working and have 3 kids. My Dh is starting school again this fall. My job as a preschool teacher is in a college as well, so I am there all day. Many of the young girls I'm working with (they are my aides) are there on the work-study program. Most are paying their own way through college and one is a PSEO student. I know very very few people for whom college is paid for, and those few were pretty unappreciative of what they received.

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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PS: where I live we often see ads looking for people with bachelor's and then you look at the pay rate... $9-10 an hour. Totally not worth it IMO if I wanted to stay in the area we live in, perhaps if we lived in a big city. City life is not for us and we love our area. Its a vacation destination for Minnesotans. Here, you can make more with a 2 year degree in many cases or at least the same. Heck, DH made more without any college.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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Not saving, but there is a plan.

1) She'll have to show some academic aptitude in high school so that she can get merit based scholarships.

2) She'll have to live at home, rent and board free, boo hoo.

3) No out-of-state schools, obviously.

4) Community college first, then public four year.

5) She'll have to work 10-15 hours a week for her own spending money.

6) We'll pay for whatever is left over after FA packages have been accounted for.

7) I seriously don't believe college will cost $9,000,000 or whatever they predict it will cost by the time she graduates high school. College tuition is a bubble.
What happens if the degree your child wants is not offered by your state college?

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Old 06-10-2009, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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had to delete for the snark factor, I don't want this thread to get locked down....
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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By the way good or bad society is not as accepting of a young person of color who wants to find himself and is not in school or working. A young white person of 18 or 19 who is finding themselves is not viewed with the level of suspicion that a young person of color is particularly a young man of color.

Shay
I very much agree with this. For my two boys, finding themselves is not a luxury they'll be afforded. They will have to find themselves how I found myself: while in school or working. They can't just do nothing. I'm willing to go along with a plan that doesn't involve college as long it makes sense and is viable but I also agree that in many ways, life is harder/more challenging without a degree. Add to that the element of discrimination, and it takes on a whole new level. My boys will have to be very aware of that. In my mind, it takes a very tenacious, very hardworking, outgoing, ingenious, good-at-networking, good-at-hustling (legally) type person to pull off being highly successful without a degree. (There's got to be some kind of evidence that this is the case with them for me to be okay with not going to college. Me and dh, generally quiet, reserved, awful at networking type people, do well because of our degrees.) Otherwise, they will need that safety net of a degree. DH, who is dyslexic, made it through, gritting his teeth, and so can they even if they hate every minute of it. They must be able to support themselves and their families well, independent of me. I will be pretty young when these boys are full-grown adults. I will not be supporting my children financially into my old age.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:07 PM
 
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d'oh! (accidental post)

4 kids under 10
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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same reason, snarky and all that...
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Does your college degree make being a wife and mother more fulfilling to you? No snark, honest question.
Well, my college degree qualified me to work in an enjoyable and lucrative profession for quite a few years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. During that time, my husband and I travelled widely, something we would not have been able to afford if we had not both been earning good incomes. Additionally, I was able to save a considerable sum for retirement during this time, and we were able to buy a house in a town we very much enjoy.

During that time, I also completed a master's degree which I will likely never use directly for anything, though it is possible that it may have some indirect application in the future.

Now that I'm a SAHM without any particular plans to return to the workforce in the future, my education might be seen as a waste by some. However, the financial security that we achieved together before having children is very helpful to us today. We know that our own future is provided for through the retirement savings we set aside during that time. We have less than nine years left on our mortgage. Even though finances can be tight for us on a day-to-day basis, we know that in the long term, things are sound.

The education itself also isn't a waste. We plan to homeschool our children, and our entire life experiences, including formal education, will undoubtedly be useful. Of course a college education isn't necessary to homeschool one's children successfully, but everything that we know provides background and helps us to see connections with new information, so I do feel it is useful.

We're in the "saving for college" camp -- we want our kids to graduate from college debt-free, which we feel will broaden their opportunities. Our parents provided this for us (with the exception of a small loan my husband had to take out, about $3000), and it definitely worked out well for us. My husband actually works at a university, so our kids could go there for free, but we want them to have a range of options. No, they won't get the money for purposes other than education.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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had to delete for the snark factor, I don't want this thread to get locked down....
I already read it. Too late!

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Old 06-10-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the record I have traveled a ton and nope, no college degree here. Just lots of hard work balanced out by saving and planning wonderful trips to places all over the world. Thank you hospitality industry!
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i already read it. Too late!
lol!
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Sonja~ That's all well and good but it still wasn't my question. She said she wouldn't be fulfilled without it. I am wondering if she really finds no fulfillment in life other than her degree. I'm really curious as to what she views as fulfillment and why, if that makes sense.

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(For the record to all reading this thread, I wrote some mildly snarky things that I rethought and deleted. This was not intended as some underhanded attempt to go around the MDC rules, I publicly apologize for the comments I made and should have thought more about what I wrote before I wrote it and that was why I deleted them.)
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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For the record I have traveled a ton and nope, no college degree here. Just lots of hard work balanced out by saving and planning wonderful trips to places all over the world. Thank you hospitality industry!
Yes, I think there are a lot of misconceptions about life without a degree and a lot of hype about having one. Like I said it just isn't that black and white.

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Old 06-10-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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Anyway I know personally for many minorities especially African-Americans and others of the African diaspora, that education has in fact been the key factor in acheiving financial security.
ITA, and thanks for this post.

Although we are white, my father grew up as a migrant farmer and we were extremely poor for much of my childhood. My dad worked hard and earned his degree going part-time, finally finishing when I was 12 years-old.

From my perspective as a child then it seemed that we were lifted out of poverty almost overnight. I have no doubt that watching my father do homework at the kitchen table almost every night and finally seeing a very significant pay-off at the end shaped my entire perspective on the value of education. Obviously there are many routes to success, but I feel like my father's degree has been an asset his entire life.

Also agree with the person who said saving for college is about giving your child choices. I don't see that as a bad thing (if you can afford it). If I save for college and my son turns out to be a slacker, I can cut the financial apron-strings in a nanosecond. However, if he turns out to be a brilliant, hard-working, dedicated, and academically gifted student then its tough for me to make up 18 years of college savings instantly.

Again I'm a big believer in getting one's own financial house in order first, but since we can afford to save in our family I choose to do so. There's no harm in it, and possibly a whole lot of good.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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That said, of course I could have learned on my own...heck, I still do. But I do think even a kid who hates school can do well in college.
I'm sure they can. I'm not willing to go, because I've never heard anything about college that sounds even remotely appealing to me. I also know the people I know who went to college, and have personalities the most like mine, really didn't like the experience at all. Some of them finished, and some of them didn't...but none of them liked it.

Some people have personalities that simply don't mesh well with formal education.

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Old 06-10-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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Also agree with the person who said saving for college is about giving your child choices. I don't see that as a bad thing (if you can afford it). If I save for college and my son turns out to be a slacker, I can cut the financial apron-strings in a nanosecond. However, if he turns out to be a brilliant, hard-working, dedicated, and academically gifted student then its tough for me to make up 18 years of college savings instantly.
So - where are the choices here? Everybody's talking about giving their child choices by paying for college. But, if the child chooses something other than college, they get no support? I don't get this..

Honestly, I think this is flicking a raw nerve. These conversations remind me of my oh-so-helpful high school counselor, who wouldn't even talk about options other than university. As far as she was concerned, as a female brain, I owed it to women everywhere to get a degree, and prove that women could do this (mid-80s, before it became an oft-cited factoid that more women than men are completing degrees) and that women had the option of completing advanced degrees. So, basically, I was supposed to ignore the options that might have worked for me, in order to prove that women have options. How does that work? What if someone really, really doesn't want to go to college? Why does that make them a slacker? Why does someone who does a 4 year degree deserve to have it paid for, so they come out making $50,000/year, but someone who "just" gets a job making $30,000/year doesn't deserve help?

I guess I don't understand what makes higher education the magic bullet? Why is it the only life choice that doesn't mean "slacker"? (I've met plenty of degreed slackers, for that matter...they figure they've done their time when they finish their 4 years, and they should be able to coast on it forever.) Why is helping one's children be financial successful through education something that people will put money into, but helping them be successful in other ways isn't?

And, just in general, I'm astonished at how many people talk about what will or won't be acceptable choices for their 18 year old children. DS1's life is his to live, not mine. The choices that are acceptable are the ones that work for him, not the ones that pass my lifestyle test.

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