Do you feel like you Need to pay for the kids' college? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you feel like paying for college is a requirement for parents?
Yes, I need to pay for each of my children's college education. 70 49.30%
I will help, but they need to fund the bulk of it. 65 45.77%
No, I expect them to pay for it on their own. 7 4.93%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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On the heels of the chilren being expensive thread, I was wondering how many people feel like they owe their kids a college education, or like they need to to able to pay for it for each kid. One thing that was said was that if you have 3 or 4 kids in community college, that's a lot of money. I, personally, am not planning to totally funding my children's college. I'll help if I'm able, but I expect them to either get scholarships, grants, financial aid, or work to pay for it.

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#2 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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My husband had a full scholarship to any college of his choice, because of his "perfect" SAT scores.

I helped him finish ad we worked to put me through school. Worked out fine and no debt to pay off.

My kids will be expected to have jobs and scholarships to go. I can't afford it otherwise.
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#3 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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: Well....

We want to fund as much as we are able.

We don't want our kids to start out their adulthoods highly in dept if we can help it.

I don't have any answers.

Sure, we hope they get scholarships. Who doesn't?
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#4 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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I would expect my kids to contribute a small amount. Summer jobs. Maybe a very part-time job during classes if they want extra spending money. Of course any scholarships they can get. But I will pay the bulk of their college expenses. If I absolutely can't come up with the money for the school they want to attend then they may have to take some loans, but I'll do my best to minimize that.

If they get to college and don't take advantage of it, then my financial support will not continue. The standard will probably just be remaining in good academic standing at the school.

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#5 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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Your choices are limited.

I do not need to pay it, but you better believe I will if they need help. I never want money to deter my kids from a college education. I am more than willing to give them whatever they need to make their dreams come true, including money. Especially if I am financially able.

I got plenty of grants and scholarships, but my parents majorly helped me fill in the gaps. They were able to send 4 of their 5 kids to college (1 went to the Navy), and they have 3 graduates and one on the way. This was important to them and to us. I worked, sometimes 3 jobs, to make money to spend. I even had one of my jobs for 5 years (as I took time off to have a baby and everything ). But my parents always helped if I needed it. They are the reason I was able to go to college. And they will be there for me when I continue on and get other degrees.

My friends whose parents could not or would not help out were always stressed and worried about money. It often overshadowed everything else.

So, yes, I would pay for my children's college educations, but I do expect them to seek grants, scholarships and work if possible to contribute.

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#6 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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It was a big relief to my father when he realized he wasn't responsible for paying for college. My parents did help as much as they could but there were 7 of us and his income was modest. I can't see taking out a second mortgage to pay for a child's college education.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#7 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meco
Your choices are limited.

I do not need to pay it, but you better believe I will if they need help. I never want money to deter my kids from a college education. I am more than willing to give them whatever they need to make their dreams come true, including money. Especially if I am financially able.

So, yes, I would pay for my children's college educations, but I do expect them to seek grants, scholarships and work if possible to contribute.
I agree and feel the same way.
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#8 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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If I have the money I will definitely pay for them to go to college. I do feel that it is, in a sense, the parents' responsibility but if it's not possible for some reason, then it's not possible. I wouldn't sell my house to pay for it, or anything like that. We were blessed with an unexpected third child when my older two were 11 and 8, and his arrival (along with other circumstances) threw off many of my financial plans.

My mother was a single mom with a low-paying (teaching) job and paid for me to go to college. (Although, I didn't finish.) She also offered to pay for my brothers, but none of them went. Oh well.
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#9 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Well considering that in 5 years, my first born will be going off to college, this is a topic that hits home. I know I will not be able to pay his full freight but I do plan on helping out as much as I can.

School is high and depending on the child's area of interest, learning style, etc, going to the local state/public school may not be an option. Also there have been a lot of changes to financial aid so things like grant $$ are not always an option. I went to college as an adult and yet with dh's income and mine combined and having a child, I did not qualify for any grants. Even the few scholarships I won were a drop in the basket. That said I completed my undergrad over 30K in the whole and racked up a ton more debt in grad school.

Having gone through that I would not wish that on either my son or the new baby. To start your life off with that much debt will have long term effects on me and my family and affects many of my decisions in the future (not being able to stay home with new baby).

My own parents felt like college was not their reponsibility and while I respected that, it didn't make my life easier. Thankfully in the almost 10 years between my brother & I, they changed their perspective and allowed my bro to live at home while he went to state college and even kicked in a few bucks to help cover it. So he graduated a few years ago owing less than 10K, he was fortunate. Now he is in grad school which is costly but because our parents helped him out, he can reasonably afford to attend.

The cost of college is rising fast and there is less aid available than years ago, yes it would be great for a kid to get scholarships but it doesn't always happen.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#10 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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I expect that we will share the burden.
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#11 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:38 PM
 
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I will pay but only the public college tuition amount and I will not pay for apts for them to live outside the house. couldn't afford more than that anywho.
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#12 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Like Meco, Queenie, and Shay said.

I definitely plan to. If my plans don't work out, it won't be the end of the world. But I wouldn't want my poor financial planning to be the barrier between my son and his dreams. (Not saying that anyone else here is guilty of poor financial planning. Just saying that is my personal fear.)

Like Shay said, education costs are skyrocketing, aid is dwindling, affirmative action is gasping its last breath, and community colleges and state universities are increasingly privatized. It's a lot harder to work your way thru college now than it was in my parents' generation, and I predict it will be A LOT harder 20 years from now. And debt totally sucks.

ETA: But I wouldn't pay 100%. I'm sure I won't be able to. My own undergrad education was paid for thru a patchwork of Pell grants, loans, generous parental support, and a part time job. I know my parents wish they could have given me more but what they did give me was a huge help. I'm also glad it wasn't too easy, ikwim.
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#13 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:43 PM
 
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Considering we have already started a college fund for him, and intend on adding to it for the next baby, I would say, yes, we intend to pretty much take care of college for our kids. Scholarships and grants would be welcomed, of course, but I know from experience how hard it was to work full time and go to school full time and I wouldn't want my kids to do that if they didn't have to.
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#14 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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This is something that causes me a lot of stress.

I very much want to fund both of my kid's educations, up to and including college (and help w/grad school if they want to go).

That said, looking at the calculators available I am just not sure we will be able to do it all. Hopefully they will be willing to go to a state school to save some money I very much do not want them in major debt. Additionally, we consider a college degree "necessary" and, as such, our responsibility to finance.

 

 

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#15 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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Well, this is a discussion DH and I have had and don't neccessarily see eye to eye on. He went to college for practically free (his mother worked there, so there was only room and board to pay for at an expensive private liberal arts college, which they paid). He dropped out 1/2 way through his junior year and lost his tuition abatement and has never finished.

I worked/financial aided/loaned my way through the same college with minimal help from family (my sister agreed to co-sign my loans and gave be about $500 when I went overseas for study abroad for 6 months...my parents provided $0 financial support). I finished with just over a 3.0 GPA (not great, but not terrible). 3 of 5 of us kids paid for and finished college successfully on our own (1 did not attend college and 1 dropped out after his first year).

DH fully expects to pay for the kids college costs and I frankly laugh at the assumption that we will be 1) in any position to pay their tuition and/or 2) that we should. I am all for subsidizing some portion of the cost, but it is my opinion that college is more meaningful if you want to be there and are paying your own way. I will co-sign their loans (if they need them) and assist with filling out the forms for financial aid and probably kick something in for tution or room and board...but I do not intend on entirely "paying their way".

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#16 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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We've got an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) for the first one, and the Canadian govt adds 20%, to a max of $400 per year. We figure what the heck -- where else are you going to get 20% return for your money?

Also, because I work at a university, tuition at that university is free for my dependents. So as long as he's okay with going to that university (one of the top 3 comprehensive Us in Canada), then yeah, his tuition will be covered. If he chooses to go anywhere else, then he'd better be getting scholarships! <g>
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#17 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 10:55 PM
 
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I feel there is an option missing. I feel I do need to help them fund college, but that they need to fund some of it on their own as well (through loans, scholarships or work). How expensive a college they choose will probably have a great deal to do with the ratio there. I do not feel that they need to pay the bulk of it necessarily, but I think its important for them to take responsibility for their college education and that includes paying for some of it themselves. I definitely believe that they should pay for all of their own day to day expenses (stuff other than tuition, housing & books).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadean
but it is my opinion that college is more meaningful if you want to be there and are paying your own way.
I agree with this - I think its a balance - having them pay for enough that they take responsibility for it and own their experience, yet not so little that they are saddled with a huge debt coming out of school (of course if you can afford to do that for them)

My parents helped me pay for my college education, DH's parents helped him and it is due to that that we are where we are today, so I would not turn around and then refuse to pay for my kids education - that would seem like to me like I was being ungrateful for what I was given.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#18 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:03 PM
 
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We will be helping, but they will also be getting aid/hopefully a scholarship, and maybe working to contribute. Also, they have had bank accounts for the last few years that my dad (who gives them an "allowance"... it's something between them and doesn't involve me at all lol) contributes to each month out of the allowance he gives them. They have a few hundred dollars in there each currently.

Bottom line is that when the time comes we will help them however we can, but they will be helping too.

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#19 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:06 PM
 
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I can't think of a single better thing for DH and I to do with our money than invest it in our children, and I think that one of the best ways to invest in our kids is in their education. We will be paying for as much as we possibly can for our children's education and are already taking steps with baby #1 still in utero to make sure that we are in a position to do that. It's really, really important to us.

I HATE the argument that 'if you pay for your children's college, they won't appreciate it'. Believe me, I've appreciated every moment of my eduation, graduated with a great GPA and am appreciating at least every other moment of Law School, despite -and, I think, because- of the support I get from my mom that enables me to continue to attend and to devote myself pretty much full time to my education, rather than constantly scraping by, selling plasma and working a patchwork of part-time jobs that effect my ability to get my work done. I honestly think that the whole line of thinking is an excuse that people use to get out of blaming people who don't succeed in school -- which is stupid. Just because you've turned eighteen and graduated highschool doesn't mean you're ready for college. And I think it's kids who aren't ready to be there and be serious about what they're doing that drop out and screw up -- regardless of who is footing the bill for their attendence.

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#20 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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Without a doubt! I didn't bring another life into this world to provide it with a mediocre chance at being just what they want to be... if my child wants to go to college it's surely my responsibilty to get him there!
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#21 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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I will help pay for tuition for a state school (from our state) or an ivy league school. But I see no reason to go to a private college otherwise.
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#22 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadean
it is my opinion that college is more meaningful if you want to be there and are paying your own way.
I think that as long as you want to be there, college is meaningful no matter where the money comes from. In my opinion (and experience), having to work while you are in school doesn't make it more meaningful, it just makes it more difficult.

That said, we will not be in the financial position to (completely) pay for our kids to go to college. That is an option we chose to forgo when we chose to have me stay home with the kids. We will have three, possibly four kids, and two, possibly three, will have been adopted from orphanages overseas. Yes, I want my children to have college educations and lots of options open to them when they are adults, but more important to us is that our kids have a mother at home with them and a family to love them. College will most likely take care of itself somehow, and we will contribute what we can.

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#23 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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I am with Belleweather. My college experience was just as meaningful as people who worked their way through college. I held down a full time job and often a 2nd and even a 3rd job while in college full time. I even enrolled in 2 colleges at once to get hours. On my own merit. My parents did not make me work. I chose to.

Just because I did not pay for my college does not mean it was not meaningful. Just as meaningful as 2 of my college roommates who struggled mightily to pay tuition and expenses to the point they sometimes could not afford food. I am sure my other 3 siblings agree. I loved every moment of my college career too. Thankfully my parents made it less stressful for me by covering the financial bases. I worked hard for my degree no matter who paid for it, and I never took it for granted.

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#24 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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My parents didn't help, BUT their income was low enough that I got pell grants that covered tuition and just had to pay my room and board. My dh makes too much for our future kids to get pell grants (oh and the pell grants program has been gutted), so we are going to have to save for thier tuition. They will need to pay thier room and board though (and I think part-time jobs while in school are good in terms of time management and work skills etc).

This is my plan anyway. But you know, in 18 years so much is going to be different in terms of what our kids need education wise and what it costs them/us to get it.
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#25 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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1. I don’t think everybody needs college, especially right out of high school. I do think our students would be better served by learning that college is not the only way to a life skill. My dh works with a kid that is getting ready to graduate. He says he is not college material but he loves to cook. Nobody told them we have a culinary school locally. There are so many paths to an education. Many times life can give you a better understanding of likes, wants, and dreams.

2. As it stands now we won’t be able to fund it by ourselves. We will help as much as possible. They will have a home. We will do our best to help find them financial aid. They are going to have to perform at levels that gets scholarships and grants. I do think our struggles as a family to pay for any secondary education will help them appreciate it more.
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#26 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:28 PM
 
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If your children go to public high school do you have them pay some of your property taxes so they "appreciate it"?

See, for our family a college education isn't a luxury... it is viewed as a necessity. Now, I realize that people can, and do, do well in life w/out a college education but we are working from the assumption that it is something a child *needs* to achieve their adult goals. So we have to be there to get them through it.

Also, I can't assume that my kids will have scholarships or financial aid available. I was offered $0 financial aid even though my parents certainly couldn't send all of their 9 kids through college. They had savings because they were very close to retirement. I have to assume that DPs income will be high enough to exclude my children from financial aid and that most forms of grants will have continued their drying up.

We don't save a ton ($200 monthly per child) but hopefully it will make a dent.

 

 

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#27 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
1. I don’t think everybody needs college, especially right out of high school. I do think our students would be better served by learning that college is not the only way to a life skill. My dh works with a kid that is getting ready to graduate. He says he is not college material but he loves to cook. Nobody told them we have a culinary school locally. There are so many paths to an education. Many times life can give you a better understanding of likes, wants, and dreams.
I would totally support my children taking time off to work or travel between high school (or community college) and university (or, for that matter, university and grad/law/medical school). If they wanted to become a chef... great, but that also costs $.

 

 

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#28 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadean

it is my opinion that college is more meaningful if you want to be there and are paying your own way.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama

I think that as long as you want to be there, college is meaningful no matter where the money comes from. In my opinion (and experience), having to work while you are in school doesn't make it more meaningful, it just makes it more difficult.
I by no means meant to say that people who get help from their parents are not appreciative or that college is not meaningful for them. This isn't a competition and I am sorry if I came across that way. I and my siblings grew up dirt poor (long story as to why) with a well off father and a scraping by, but educated mother who was unwilling and unable to contribute. I am merely relaying my experience (though limited) and where my thinking is directed.

As I said, my DH disagrees with me and I am certainly not so stubborn as to not be influenced by him. I started off in a place where I thought there was no way I was going to pay anything for college (after all I am still paying off my own loans 10 years later) to a place where I think that some amount of money invested in my children's higher education is appropriate. I do think though that if my children want to go to college, they need to pay for a majority of it (be that with financial aid or working). And that by paying for some or most of it themselves, they will take it more seriously than if we just pay for it.

Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi
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#29 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
If your children go to public high school do you have them pay some of your property taxes so they "appreciate it"?
From the perspective of both a mom and a high school teacher, the vast majority of high school students do NOT appreciate it. Perhaps your children are an exception, but most do not appreciate the luxuries they have.
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#30 of 120 Old 04-12-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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In New England, private colleges average about 35k/yr.

Sure, we hope our kids get scholarships. And sure thay are all 'really smart'. And sure we hope their teaching tennis and scopping ice cream in summer will pay for a 35k /yr college.

But if any our children actually want to attend a college summer ice scream -scooping jobs can't fund, and the 10 thousand other people hoping for scholarships means they don't get a free ride, well of course we will help them.

I have no idea where these free-ride scholarships all are, and/or how these kids are supposed to come up with thousands & thousands from summer Burger King jobs.

I hope when it's our turn to send our kids to college (and none will be forced, i swear), these opportunities show up in droves, as our kids are waaaay, waaaaay fab.
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