intentionally NOT saving for your child's college? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
We seem to be moving waaaaaaaaaay far away from a discussion of finances and into parenting decisions. I'd like to suggest that those of you wanting to discuss whether or not you would encourage your children to pursue higher education please start a new thread in the appropriate forum, so this one stays on topic. Thank you!

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#242 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I think I was very unclear when I said my kids will reach adulthood at different ages. I fully expect most of them to reach it on the "early" side of the norm for the US today. I can already see my oldest 2 being very mature for their ages. I just meant it to clarify that them being "adults" won't mean the end of my feelings of financial responsibility for their education.

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My child won't be choosing to go to a private high school, either, because I wouldn't pay for that. If we were wealthy, maybe. We're not. I'm not going to short everyone in the family because my child has decided they want something expensive...whether that's a private school education or a new car.


Are you going to pick their college courses for them? Are you going to decide what school they go to (aside from whatever financial restrictions may occur)? If my son wants to make adult choices about his life, including career choices, I can't see any reason why I'd feel I had to pay for them. I also don't get how I can "expect" him to choose a particular life path. I mean - he used to be really, really into art. Now, he's into science. His life choices are his, and that obviously includes the choice of going to college or not. Of course, I have no expectation, one way or the other, because it's not up to me to tell him what to do with his life. This is just a disconnect for me.

Obviously, I see education differently than most of you. If my son wants the luxury of a post-secondary education, so he can have his dream career or make more money or whatever, that's his choice, not mine. It's not any better a choice than the other options out there. I certainly don't see it as my "responsibility" to pay for something that he's not even required to do. I guess if I somehow thought that I could, or should "require" a college education, I'd feel that I should pay for it...


So, would you be disappointed if your child dropped out of high school? I just wonder, because here you say that your child wouldn't be a disappointment if he/she didn't go to college, but earlier in your post, you said that college is an expectation, just like high school.
Would I be disappointed if my kids dropped out of high school? The answer for that is the same as if they don't go to college. Assuming the best of them (that they have some plan for their life that isn't sit on the couch and watch TV, mooch off of us, etc. - or worse!), I would help them with whatever their plans for the future involved. A PP mentioned going to community college instead of HS, that would certainly be something I could see them pursuing. If one had a great talent or interest in an career path that would in no way be helped by HS or college, I could see them wanting to get their GED or something. (I do think life would be very hard without at least that)

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#243 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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Sorry AM , I was posting while you wrote both of those, you know how it is, trying to be a mom and complete a conversation online, darn kids get in the way of speed.

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#244 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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No problem. If you all want to start a new thread, you can even link it here.

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#245 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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then until 23 as long as she is enrolled full-time (12 hours or more) in an accredited program (I believe several "trade" and non-degree programs also qualify - paralegal, cosmotology...)



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(lucky mom to Amelia 19, Camille 17!, Evan 14, and Gracie 11)
Does she have any medical conditions? If not, she may be able to get an affordable plan on her own. Or can she get COBRA from her current insurer? I used COBRA for three years when I aged-out of my Dad's plan. The premium was surprisingly affordable because I was a dependent and not the employee.

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#246 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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i have NOT read the responses...just the original question. i have saved a little for my sons, but not much....cant afford it right now. when they are college age, i have no problem with working to help them pay expenses at that time.....and i'll help them apply for jobs, grants, loans, scholarships, etc.

my parents didnt save a dime for me. i wish they had, but they didnt......and i was still able to obtain 2 A.A.S. degrees and a B.S. degree with minimal debt. for my 1st a.a.s., i won a full scholarship (academic) and got a part time job to pay for books. then i got a job with the college, which paid for my 2nd a.a.s. degree (evening classes). for my b.s., i transferred in a lot of credits from the 1st 2 degrees....got a small scholarship and a small grant....worked to pay for books and fees....and took out a small student loan for the rest. i found a way to do it (many ways, actually)......and i think that most resourceful people will be able to find a way too.
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#247 of 324 Old 06-10-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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First of all, Peppermint and Oriole, I loved hearing about your families because my family of origin was very similar. I was raised with the expectation that I would attend college, and that's all there was to it.

I can kind of understand Andrew'sMother's comments about going to college because what else would you do? because that was the prevailing attitude in the area in which I was raised. My extended family, my neighbors, my friends, my classmates, everyone I knew in my middle class upbringing went to college. There simply wasn't a question. I didn't know ANYONE who didn't go to college- it's just what you did after high school. And it took me a long time and lots of life experiences before I understood that this attitude wasn't representative of life in general. It wasn't until I moved out of the suburbs to a more rural area that I really saw for myself that it was possible to make a good living without a college education. Up until that point, it just wasn't a part of my world view. I don't *think* I was a snob, it's just that I had very limited exposure to people who weren't college educated.

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A related question... those of you who say that you expect/intend your child to go to College (or trade school) vs just saving money in case they go... what will you do/say to them if that is not part of their plan? Or is it that you mean that you expect them to in order to get the money that you have saved?
I expect my children to attend college. My parents expected it of me, I expect it of my kids. If for some reason they don't want to go to college, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I don't have any predetermined notion of what I'd do. But I know that college was a good experience for me and I'd like to provide a similar experience for my kids if at all possible.

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Does your college degree make being a wife and mother more fulfilling to you? No snark, honest question.
I can say that I live a fuller, richer life as a result of attending college. I've been a SAHM for almost 10 years, and I still feel that the knowledge and experiences that led to my attaining my BS are valuable to me and help me to feel more fulfilled. Certainly there are other things that make me feel fulfilled, but I do cherish my degree.

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What if your degree were 15-20 years old, and your most recent job experience were 10-12 years ago? Do you really think that having the degree would enable you to support your whole family? I just can't see it making that much difference, after being out of the workforce for a significant amount of time.
I can speak to this first hand. I graduated with my BS 12 years, I've been out of the paid workforce for almost 10 years.

My youngest child is starting kindergarden in the fall and I decided to apply for a job while my kids are at school. I applied, interviewed for, and was offered a job. While the job is not directly related to my degree, I was told by the person that hired me that my degree did influence the decision to hire me. I was also told that I am being paid at a higher rate than someone without a degree would be paid. I chose to take only a part time job, although I was also offered a fulltime (benefits eligable) position. Although it would require cuts to our budget, I would be able to support my kids on that fulltime salary if needed, despite the fact that my degree is 12 years old and I've been out of work for 10 years.

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Originally Posted by Kristine233 View Post
We're going to suggest PSEO options if its something our kids are interested in.
I believe that PSEO is a strictly MN program, although there are similar programs in other states that allow high school students to attend college courses for free. I participated in this program as a high school student, and it was fabulous. Thanks to credits I earned from PSEO and AP classes/CLEP exams, I was able to graduate from college in 2.5 years. Not only did I save my parents money and save myself some time, I found the college classes to be a lot more enjoyable than my high school classes.

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#248 of 324 Old 06-11-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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I believe that PSEO is a strictly MN program, although there are similar programs in other states that allow high school students to attend college courses for free. I participated in this program as a high school student, and it was fabulous. Thanks to credits I earned from PSEO and AP classes/CLEP exams, I was able to graduate from college in 2.5 years. Not only did I save my parents money and save myself some time, I found the college classes to be a lot more enjoyable than my high school classes.
I didn't realize it was only a MN thing. Guess I always assumed it was available to more.

All more more reason to move to MN, lol.

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#249 of 324 Old 06-11-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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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..
I certainly didn't say this, I believe few here have. If my son chooses not to go to college that's ok. I may or may not choose to support other plans financially depending on my evaluation of their merit. As others have pointed out its is my money and he is not entitled to it. At age 2.5 I don't buy my son everything he wants and I don't plan to when he's 18 either.

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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.)
I used the term slacker specifically to address posters who believe that only those who work their way through college appreciate their degree (or somehow appreciate it more). There seems to be a stereotype that people who have their education paid for by their parents party their way through college and don't work hard. If this turns out to be the case with my child I would have no problem cutting off funding, but I'll still be glad I saved.
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#250 of 324 Old 06-11-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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We have been saving for dd's higher education although we have been conflicted about it from day one and this thread is reminding me that perhaps we should do something about it. A 529 has been set up for her and we automatically contribute to it. As Leta has pointed out, there are all kinds of reasons I am uncomfortable with it. I think we will always put some money aside for her future but I think we need to investigate vehicles other than a 529.

Dh and I both have college degrees, I have an advanced degree. Neither of our families were able to contribute much but we both qualified for a lot of aid and we both worked all through school. We did leave school with HUGE loans but paid them off immediately. We have been very lucky and I cannot assume someone else could take our exact path 10+ years from now. This is why we have saved. But we used to "assume" any kids we had would go to college. It was just "the way things are done" in our experience. However, after much soul searching, our views have changed dramatically.

Neither dh nor I directly use our degrees. But they have opened many doors to us. We cannot discount that. But I also believe that we have had to rely on our degrees to open those doors because we were raised in an environment in which acquiring skills/trades/professions outside of college was not encouraged. Dd is unschooled and I expect that her path will be much different. I cannot predict the future, but I am guessing that any traditional education she may decide to pursue will not be the normal 18yo-goes-to-the-dorms path. I can see her taking cc/university classes early as a "dual enroll" or deciding to apprentice. I can see her "working" or starting her own business at a younger age. Or maybe she will just eat chips on our couch A 529 does not allow enough flexibility for the type of paths we want to keep open for her.

Ironically, despite 12 years of college between dh and I, dh's main passion and business is now photography. Something he is very successful at, both financially and artistically, and also something he has not taken a single course in. He has intern "apprentices" that work for him....a mix of college students and lay people. There seems to be no difference in their success. Having a degree is something vastly different did allow us to have high-paying jobs that gave seed money and cushion time for him to develop his business. However, had he apprenticed at a younger age, we might still be in the same spot.
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#251 of 324 Old 06-11-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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We decided we would save for our retirement and paying off debt first. Then we put money in a savings account for whatever they wanted when they turn 18. DH's parents like to give money so we put it in the savings account.

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#252 of 324 Old 06-11-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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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..
DH and I have discussed this in different terms. We are saving and intend to fund fully our children's undergraduate education. We will deal with professional and/or graduate school as it arises, but our hope is to be able to provide for them until their education is entirely complete. I know how painful it is to live off an assistantship in graduate school.

Within our circle and DH's family, everyone has been to college. The majority of people have more than a bachelor's degree. Our children see that as normal, but...

If they don't go to college, however, what do we do?

Do we just cash out the funds and buy a yacht? For us, it depends on the choice they make. While my children always will have shelter and food and other necessities with us and I will be generous with them, that doesn't mean I'm willing to hand over all of the money I would have spent on college regardless of what alternative decision they may make.

If one of my children wanted to be an artist or musician, for example, we would support them while they got started and then subsidize them while they got on their feet. If one of them were to become a missionary or work in non-profits for a while, we'd certainly fund that. If they went to work directly, we'd consider saving the money to help out with a downpayment for a house or some similar big purchase. (We consider this option if one of them goes to school on a full scholarship as well.)

So, I suppose the very long way to answer your question is that college is what I anticipate/expect. I will provide emotional support for their choices (assuming they're healthy), but I won't pretend that them choosing a job just out of high school and foregoing college means we'll fund them the same as we would if they were in college.

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#253 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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We are saving. It's the prepaid college fund in the state that we live. It's $270 a month for 55 payments and it pays for 4 years of college. If she decides not to go we can get it all back, if she wants to go to another state it can be transfered. We just want to give her the oppurtunity and a sacrafice now will make it cheaper in the long run. If she was to be responsible for taking out loans for all of it, it would be substainally more. Also, we put her bday and xmas $ into savings bonds because the more than double over time.

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#254 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 12:55 AM
 
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I believe that PSEO is a strictly MN program, although there are similar programs in other states that allow high school students to attend college courses for free. I participated in this program as a high school student, and it was fabulous. Thanks to credits I earned from PSEO and AP classes/CLEP exams, I was able to graduate from college in 2.5 years. Not only did I save my parents money and save myself some time, I found the college classes to be a lot more enjoyable than my high school classes.
It's pretty much available in some form everywhere. I enrolled in college FT at 16 but because I didn't complete HS, I was able to go under this program and do it for free. It's a super program and a great way to save on college costs.

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#255 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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My child won't be choosing to go to a private high school, either, because I wouldn't pay for that. If we were wealthy, maybe. We're not. I'm not going to short everyone in the family because my child has decided they want something expensive...whether that's a private school education or a new car.
This point may be a key difference in those who save for college and those who don't. We pay for a preschool right now and will start private school next year (our choice, not our 5YO's decision). Because of where we live, I envision a private high school or a homeschooling setting in which we hire various tutors with degrees in the subjects we're covering. We choose those expenses when we could take better vacations or have a bigger house, but we've made paying for their education the number one priority. The kids have a car fund because we want them to. We talk to them about money - saving, spending, generous giving. DH and I just agree that we want to provide for them what we can. You said if you were wealthy, maybe you'd pay for private high school. For us, it's more "I'll cut coupons if needed to cover tuition" because that's where we've placed our priority so saving for college is in line with our general beliefs.


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So, would you be disappointed if your child dropped out of high school? I just wonder, because here you say that your child wouldn't be a disappointment if he/she didn't go to college, but earlier in your post, you said that college is an expectation, just like high school.
I don't know about Peppermint, but I'd be devastated if my child dropped out of high school. I would feel we'd really made a huge mistake somewhere in parenting.

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#256 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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2) She'll have to live at home, rent and board free, boo hoo.
I've made this argument, but DH feels strongly that they *not* live with us while they're in school. While I do agree with him that it's the best decision from an emotional standpoint, the mommy in me doesn't even want to begin to think of them leaving!

For us, living away from us gives them the chance to spread their wings a bit more without us there but while we're still a huge safety net. I don't think (for us) that it would be possible to have them live at home during college and not still treat them as high schoolers, which I don't want for them.

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#257 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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We're enrolled DD in FL's pre-paid college program. I did this for several reasons.

1. If she wants to go to college, money will not be something that keeps her from going. College wasn't even really considered as an option for me and I won't have things be the same way for her. If she chooses to do something else, fine with me...we get our money back.

2. We're paying around $40k for 4 years of tuition, 2 years of housing in the dorm, plus additional fees. I know you won't be able to get a 4 year degree at a state university for $40k in 18 years. That's the biggest reason we went with pre-paid. I'm sure there will be additional expenses but it will be much more manageable.

3. We have the money. We're saving for retirement, plus we'll have military pensions in less than 10 years. We have no debt. Why not?
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#258 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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As of right now our plan is to save and pay for our children to attend two years of community college so they have an AA/AS when done. We are aware our children may not choose college, may not choose community college, may have a scholarship elsewhere, etc.

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#259 of 324 Old 06-12-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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This point may be a key difference in those who save for college and those who don't. We pay for a preschool right now and will start private school next year (our choice, not our 5YO's decision). Because of where we live, I envision a private high school or a homeschooling setting in which we hire various tutors with degrees in the subjects we're covering. We choose those expenses when we could take better vacations or have a bigger house, but we've made paying for their education the number one priority. The kids have a car fund because we want them to. We talk to them about money - saving, spending, generous giving. DH and I just agree that we want to provide for them what we can. You said if you were wealthy, maybe you'd pay for private high school. For us, it's more "I'll cut coupons if needed to cover tuition" because that's where we've placed our priority so saving for college is in line with our general beliefs.
This.

We're not saving for college specifically because we are paying private school tuition right now, and plan to until DD graduates from high school. DD was born an inner-city kid and will be an inner-city kid for a long time. Barring any financial problems, we will pay for her college much like we're paying for her private school now...year to year. I think there is a general view out there that private school is for the wealthy or elite. Fact is, we live in a one-bedroom apartment, don't own a car, and forego a lot of things to make sure that DD has the education that we desire. Does that make us elitist?

We live around a lot of lower middle class people who live in similar situations so that they can send their kids to Catholic or Hebrew schools. It is a frame of mind. People do it because they believe it is the best option for them. It is highly expected that their children will be more successful than them. Schooling for us is a yearly cost...not something to be saved for later. College will be handled the same way. No matter if DD wants to be a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a plumber or a chef, we will help her achieve that goal.

I read a lot of posts about people who think that learning a trade is just as important as college. My brother is an electrician and makes a very good living. I think a lot of his early success, however, is attributable to the fact that he got a 2 year associate's degree in the study of electrical systems. My sister, who is a SAHM, got a degree in chemistry and now homeschools. To her and her children, that is a valuable asset. Just because you are not making money in the field of your training doesn't mean that it doesn't have value. Knowledge is power and no matter how it is obtained, it has value. Not saying that it can't be learned on one's own, but why are we questioning the means to the end? So what if it's learned through formal education or self-taught? One doesn't invalidate the other.

Just saying that higher education has been very beneficial to me and members of my family. We plan to continue the tradition and help DD achieve her own goals in much the same way.

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#260 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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he easiest way around it- if you are under 24- is to enter into a paper marriage with someone in a similar situation.)
This is far back, but I don't think this is true.

My DH and I married when he was 19 and I was 18, and we both still had to submit FAFSAs with our parents' info eveyr year, as well as their tax returns. When we explained to the financial aid people that we were not their dependents and did not recieve a single dollar of help from them, they didn't care. They said everyone under 26 had to submit parental financial stuff, no matter what. If not, no financial aid. I don't know what someone would do if their parents were estranged from them.

LKuckily our parents are both poor so it didn't matter!

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#261 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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This point may be a key difference in those who save for college and those who don't. We pay for a preschool right now and will start private school next year (our choice, not our 5YO's decision). Because of where we live, I envision a private high school or a homeschooling setting in which we hire various tutors with degrees in the subjects we're covering. We choose those expenses when we could take better vacations or have a bigger house, but we've made paying for their education the number one priority. The kids have a car fund because we want them to. We talk to them about money - saving, spending, generous giving. DH and I just agree that we want to provide for them what we can. You said if you were wealthy, maybe you'd pay for private high school. For us, it's more "I'll cut coupons if needed to cover tuition" because that's where we've placed our priority so saving for college is in line with our general beliefs.
I'm sure it's a key difference. Post-secondary education isn't a priority for me. I don't think any of my posts leave that in doubt. I realize it's possible it may be a priority for ds1 (or any of my other kids), but I don't see it as any more important than any other expensive thing he (they)might want. It's going to hurt to cough up the money for preschool for ds2 next year, but I have to get him out of the house, and out from under dd's feet, for a bit, or the whole family is going to go crazy.

(Cutting coupons wouldn't be enough to fund a private school education for one of my kids, let alone all of them. As for better vacations...our vacations are hitting a few of the tourist sites with my in-laws when they come to visit - and they frequently pay, or going camping. I have no interest in anything else, although dh would like to travel one day. I'll go with him, if we can swing it, but its' certainly not something I'd personally choose to spend my money on...and we rent a townhouse/condo, so a "bigger" house isn't really relevant.)

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I don't know about Peppermint, but I'd be devastated if my child dropped out of high school. I would feel we'd really made a huge mistake somewhere in parenting.
Yeah...well, I'm the only one of the three of us who graduated, and I'm pretty sure my mom was devastated. And, it's not about her. Actually, it has very little to do with her parenting. It has a lot to do with a lot of factors that she had no control over. DS1 is doing fabulously in high school, and that's not about my parenting, either. He's as smart as I was/am (maybe smarter), but he's got a very different temperament. To put it simply...nothing my mom (or dad) said could have convinced me that school was anything but a pointless hoop to jump through, because I was there, and I was paying attention...and it was a pointless hoop to jump through, and nothing more.

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#262 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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I've made this argument, but DH feels strongly that they *not* live with us while they're in school. While I do agree with him that it's the best decision from an emotional standpoint, the mommy in me doesn't even want to begin to think of them leaving!
Why do you think it's best from an emotional standpoint?

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For us, living away from us gives them the chance to spread their wings a bit more without us there but while we're still a huge safety net. I don't think (for us) that it would be possible to have them live at home during college and not still treat them as high schoolers, which I don't want for them.
I also wonder why you think you'd still treat them as high schoolers? I lived at home until I was 23 (not going to college, though). By the time I moved out, my parents had split up and there were a total of four women living in the house...mom, two of her contemporaries, and me. While they all mentored me sometimes, in various ways, there was no doubt whatsoever that it was a household of four grown women. They didn't treat me like a high schooler, because I wasn't one, yk?

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#263 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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I can speak to this first hand. I graduated with my BS 12 years, I've been out of the paid workforce for almost 10 years.

My youngest child is starting kindergarden in the fall and I decided to apply for a job while my kids are at school. I applied, interviewed for, and was offered a job. While the job is not directly related to my degree, I was told by the person that hired me that my degree did influence the decision to hire me. I was also told that I am being paid at a higher rate than someone without a degree would be paid. I chose to take only a part time job, although I was also offered a fulltime (benefits eligable) position. Although it would require cuts to our budget, I would be able to support my kids on that fulltime salary if needed, despite the fact that my degree is 12 years old and I've been out of work for 10 years..
That's absolutely amazing to me. I actually can't even comprehend it, and I've never met anybody in a hiring position who would even care about a 12 year old degree, especially if the person hadn't been working the field fairly steadily since. I wonder if this is regional, or if I just know the wrong people..

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#264 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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I read a lot of posts about people who think that learning a trade is just as important as college. My brother is an electrician and makes a very good living. I think a lot of his early success, however, is attributable to the fact that he got a 2 year associate's degree in the study of electrical systems. My sister, who is a SAHM, got a degree in chemistry and now homeschools. To her and her children, that is a valuable asset. Just because you are not making money in the field of your training doesn't mean that it doesn't have value. Knowledge is power and no matter how it is obtained, it has value. Not saying that it can't be learned on one's own, but why are we questioning the means to the end? So what if it's learned through formal education or self-taught? One doesn't invalidate the other.
Yes, one does. Nobody gives a crap what you know when they see that you have a degree in another field that's 10+ years old. They care about the mystique surrounding "higher education". If you don't have the piece of paper, having the knowledge is largely worthless. To me, that makes no sense at all, but it's an accepted aspect of our culture.

Anyway - this is barely even touching on the financial aspects of things at this point. Obviously, post-secondary is worth a lot to a lot of people. I'd rather pay for a root canal, personally.

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#265 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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There are many non-profit and government jobs that require a four year degree. Some are specific in type but many are not and I've never heard of anyone being told that their degree was too old. Lack of experience, yes, but degrees don't have an expiration date on them. Nor should they.

Research on memory has shown that college grads tend to not retain a lot of the specifics they learned. However, what remains is "tools" in terms of research, organization and expression of ideas, etc.

I unschooled my kid in middle school but he chose to go to high school. If he wanted to leave high school to unschool again, I'd be fine with that. However, we are encouraging him to go to college, for many reasons. Of course, if he didn't want to go, he wouldn't. Would we fund other choices? It depends on the choice. We'd consider it.
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#266 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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I actually can't even comprehend it, and I've never met anybody in a hiring position who would even care about a 12 year old degree
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Nobody gives a crap what you know when they see that you have a degree in another field that's 10+ years old.
I have never heard of the notion that a degree somehow "expires" after a certain amount of time. In fact, I always thought that was the value of a degree: once you have it, no one can take it away from you.

I am 38 years old and received my bachelor's degree a whopping 17 years ago. Most jobs I have had have required (or strongly desired) the candidates have at least a four-year degree, but I have never heard anything about a degree being too "old".

That does not make sense to me. Most people attend college between the ages of 18-22 - what would they be expected to do in their 30's if their degree suddenly didn't matter anymore? Get another bachelor's?

Mommy to DS Adrian 8/10/04 and DD Geneva 9/02/09
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#267 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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There are many non-profit and government jobs that require a four year degree. Some are specific in type but many are not and I've never heard of anyone being told that their degree was too old. Lack of experience, yes, but degrees don't have an expiration date on them. Nor should they.

Research on memory has shown that college grads tend to not retain a lot of the specifics they learned. However, what remains is "tools" in terms of research, organization and expression of ideas, etc.

I unschooled my kid in middle school but he chose to go to high school. If he wanted to leave high school to unschool again, I'd be fine with that. However, we are encouraging him to go to college, for many reasons. Of course, if he didn't want to go, he wouldn't. Would we fund other choices? It depends on the choice. We'd consider it.
I really really like this approach, and would plan our family finances accordingly.

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#268 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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That's absolutely amazing to me. I actually can't even comprehend it, and I've never met anybody in a hiring position who would even care about a 12 year old degree, especially if the person hadn't been working the field fairly steadily since. I wonder if this is regional, or if I just know the wrong people..
I don't want to take this thread OT since AM has asked that we not but I did want to reply to this. I think the point about a 12 yo degree is what makes the point for some about the value of a degree. I work in the non-profit sector and have for years in fact when I started off I had no degree and wasn't even in school. Yet it was the fact that I had supervisors who had degrees and some not even related to our work who were making more than I ever would without that lead me to go back to school.

In many fields, a degree is what is required to either enter or advance. A degree doesn't stop being valauble since in many instamces its assumed that if you got your degree years ago you still would be doing things to keep your skills updated.

Maybe your experiences are regional since at least in the places I have lived and the work I have done, a degree can make the difference.

Shay

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#269 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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My BS is 28 years old. I absolutely could not get another job in my field without it and my masters degree, which is over 15 years old. Employers would appreciate my experience, but without the right degrees, forget it. A minimum of a BS is required for every professional position I can think of, and no, they don't come with an expiration date.
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#270 of 324 Old 06-13-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Yes, one does. Nobody gives a crap what you know when they see that you have a degree in another field that's 10+ years old. They care about the mystique surrounding "higher education". If you don't have the piece of paper, having the knowledge is largely worthless. To me, that makes no sense at all, but it's an accepted aspect of our culture.

Anyway - this is barely even touching on the financial aspects of things at this point. Obviously, post-secondary is worth a lot to a lot of people. I'd rather pay for a root canal, personally.
The idea that no one gives a crap about what you know when they see that you have a degree in another field or that it is 10 years old is very bizarre to me. I have a undergraduate and graduate degree in fine arts. I got a lot of work in my life (I'm almost 46) because employers were in interested the the "person" and what I could bring to the job, not whether I was designed for a specific task. I got into law school on an art degree and I got a position in a great law firm even though I worked for 25 years in the arts. So when people say that employers don't care about your "degree", that's hogwash because sophisticated employers look at your overall accomplishments and what you can bring to the table, including your prior studies.

While it may be true that there has been a certain mystic surrounding higher education, I think that mystic you speak of is limited to say, the liberal arts. The piece of paper, however, means a lot in many professions. You can't become a doctor, engineer, pharmacist, etc. without one. The study of certain disciplines is important and should be valued in our culture.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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