How much money will you give your kids for education (spin off) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 68 Old 10-30-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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DH and I agree that it's our responsibilty to pay for their education. We just refinanced our house and we will have that paid off when our first goes off to college. Hopefully we can adjust what we were paying on the house over to college tuition. We also have 529s for them with a few thousand built up in each.

DH and I did agree that we would only pay for state schools. If they want to go to a private school, the additional cost is their responsibility.

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#62 of 68 Old 10-30-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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Hopefully all, but certainly as much as we can. My parents paid for my undergraduate degree and I want to pay that forward.

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#63 of 68 Old 10-31-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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I lived in residence for six years, and I've lectured at three universities. I absolutely agree that there are a lot of students wasting their own time and other people's money in universities across North America. However....

You need to be careful drawing a causal relationship between getting a free ride and increased incidence of crapping out at school though. Many of those parents remortgaging their house and working an extra job to send their kid to school have pushed, or at least enabled, their child to seek a university education when they are just not prepared to work at getting a degree.

The problem isn't generally the free ride, it's usually the lack of motivation and direction. An academically gifted and motivated undergrad will not be ruined by a funded education. An academically weak, unmotivated and immature undergrad however, is in the position to really make a mess when somebody is dumb enough to remortgage their house and send them off to a pricey private school.

The same thing with working part time while you go to school. Part time work may help kids to develop better time management skills to some extent, but most definitely, the relationship between grades and holding a part time job is not purely causal. The kind of kids who are motivated to work part time to make their university education possible are the kinds of kids who want to be there. They are the kind of kids who make things happen. Forcing a particular student to get a job when they are flunking out will not result in that student suddenly finding the drive they need to get off of academic probation.

In Canada, summer jobs are the norm though. I was really surprised when I started meeting American students who were 20, 22, or even 25 and had never held a summer job.

My only point really, is that parents be willing to take their kids on a case by case basis :

1. Parents need to NOT pay for kids to go to university if they really aren't ready to be there. Maybe pay for part time studies at a local college if you have your doubts and your kid really wants to go... but parents need to wake up to the fact that paying for a university degree does not mean that your kid will have the capacity to actually earn one. Just because the university let your kid in, and just because you can pay the fees, does not mean your kid will put in the work. I know after the first six lectures who is going to crap out in my class! I have no idea how it can be a complete surprise to parents when their kid crashes and burns in university.

2. It is very reasonable to expect contributions from your child, but recognize that it is not possible to be top of your class and hold down part time employment in every discipline. I know a lot of overachievers, and many of them were very fortunate to have the opportunity to focus 100% on their studies. It isn't always possible, but be open to the fact that sometimes not having a part time job may mean that a student has the time to put in the extra work necessary to be top of their class in a difficult program, do all the extra reading, or take a research position with lousy pay and that only lasts nine weeks because it will look great on their application to grad school and help them make valuable connections in their field.
I do actually agree, especially with your first point - that many students arrive at college who aren't ready/motivated, and their parents shouldn't be paying their way in that situation. Unfortunately, IME, usually those parents have no CLUE that their kids aren't ready for college, lack motivation, etc. They are deluding themselves into believing that their kid will focus once he's in college, or etc. These are the parents who would ask my RAs to give their kids wake-up calls, or who would ask ME (the hall director) to hold their students accountable for going to class, etc.

I think many parents fear that if their child doesn't go straight to college, s/he will not go at all. I think for those parents, the compromise ought to be a year of community college - taking basic finance courses etc. The ideal is probably for their fledgling to hop out of the nest and take a gap year (or three) with NO financial assistance from parents, and figure out what they want to do (college, trade school, none of the above). There are trades which pay better (and cost less) than many college degrees. We have a family friend who is a cabinet-maker (fine woodworking). He says the demand is tremendous for a quality cabinet-maker -- but very few young people going into the field. He makes very good money with his work.

If one of my kids doesn't seem ready for college, upon graduation, then we'll encourage her to consider a gap year (or two) - I might ask that she take a year of community college for the finance courses etc. I think beyond career/trade, there are benefits of time on a college campus in terms of learning to think critically, etc., the social atmosphere (exposure to so many different people), etc. I'd like them to have some exposure to that.

My family and dh's family pretty much always goes to college (the question is whether to go to grad school/med/law school, rather than undergrad it seems ). I'll be surprised if our kids don't have an interest in college. I only hope that college is affordable enough for them that it's not a pie-in-the-sky dream.

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#64 of 68 Old 10-31-2010, 03:57 AM
 
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we save money for our son and will for future kids but i have seen so many friends waste money and time at college and have known so many people who never went to college and got really good well paying jobs that they are very happy with or went to college later when they knew what they wanted to do and where more mature and ready. so the money will be there to help but it won't necessarily go to pay for college it may get saved for when he buys a house or something it will depend on him and what he does how mature he is. i really feel like college is over rated but then i think school is over rated and we will be unschooling

mama to two amazing children son 10/27/07 and daughter 07/07/11

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#65 of 68 Old 10-31-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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The ideal is probably for their fledgling to hop out of the nest and take a gap year (or three) with NO financial assistance from parents, and figure out what they want to do (college, trade school, none of the above). There are trades which pay better (and cost less) than many college degrees. We have a family friend who is a cabinet-maker (fine woodworking). He says the demand is tremendous for a quality cabinet-maker -- but very few young people going into the field. He makes very good money with his work.

If one of my kids doesn't seem ready for college, upon graduation, then we'll encourage her to consider a gap year (or two) - I might ask that she take a year of community college for the finance courses etc. I think beyond career/trade, there are benefits of time on a college campus in terms of learning to think critically, etc., the social atmosphere (exposure to so many different people), etc. I'd like them to have some exposure to that.
This is so, so true. It's really too bad that there isn't more of a culture in North American of taking a gap year.

A gap year is something that most students would benefit greatly from. First year university can be very difficult for students trying to mature and orientation themselves in their new independence while they attempt to hold down a full course load. It's a huge amount for some kids to handle all together.

Unfortunately, in North America at least, the longer students are out of school the less likely they are to go back. This can be very scary for parents who always dreamed of their child earning a university degree. People need to get over this! They need to see it as saving themselves or their children from a lot of debt (or wasted money). If your kid doesn't really, REALLY want to be in university you shouldn't be killing yourself to send them.

And people have to remember that university is not job training. It's about higher learning, and broadening your mind - often learning purely for the sake of itself.

A university degree gained the status that it did because it was something the wealthy could afford to do. They could afford for their children to learn instead of work. Today some degrees lead to high paying jobs, but many don't, and not everybody can afford a degree that's just about the experience and enjoyment of going to school for an extra 4+ years. And as more people earn degrees the bar gets raised. Now you often need a masters degree to set yourself apart as educated, but many masters programs are being watered down and aren't at all what they were twenty years ago.

And yes, people really need to be more open to the option of trade school.

Our electrician paid cash for his house. My brother is a machinist with CNC training and I imagine that he'll have his house paid for by the time he's 35. DH's cousin went to cooking school, owns her own restaurant and catering company, and employs her university-educated sister (accomplishing all of this well before she was thirty). I know a certified stone mason with more work than he knows what to do with. We want built-in shelving done, and will have to wait three months for somebody good to be available to do it.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#66 of 68 Old 11-01-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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We will be paying for our children's education. Our parents did that for us. And yes, we valued our education and worked hard in college. This thread has been interesting, though.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#67 of 68 Old 11-01-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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We're paying now for private school and plan to pay through undergrad. We're not going into debt to do it, we're planning for it. And retirement is not going to suffer. We'd like her to go to university in Europe because, well, the schools are just better. Dh is a university professor (not American) and knows the system well, so I respect his opinion. Dd could go to the university where he teaches for a discount. While it's a well-respected university, she could definitely do better. Her goal in life, though, is to be a horse rancher, and if that's the path she truly wants to follow, we'll definitely support that financially, as well as we are able. The key is to give a leg up early in life. I worked a full-time job and took 17 credit hours, graduating in 3.5 years and I could barely eat and put myself through school. I will not burden dd with that at 18 or 19 years of age. We will give her every economic advantage we can provide her.
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#68 of 68 Old 11-01-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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I will not burden dd with that at 18 or 19 years of age. We will give her every economic advantage we can provide her.
I feel the same way. And I definitely agree with you about European schools (though I might be biased since I went to one lol).

DS' college fund has already been set aside by my parents so we are fortunate enough not to have to worry but if we didn't have that blessing we would be saving to foot the bill for his undergrad. We would definitely not be sacrificing retirement to do this either.

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