spinoff--paying for college for your kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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if you are, why? if you are not, why not?
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#2 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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We're saving toward it, but the most we'll probably be able to cover is a few semesters, or for them to live at home and attend community college for a few years.

Which is more than my folks could do for me! And so I have not finished my degree-- by the time I was finished earning my college money through Uncle Sam, I was pregnant.

DH's parents DID pay for his college. And so he does have a B.A, and makes more money than I could. It has far-reaching repercussions, eh?

I think it makes him sad and worried that we probably won't be able to do that for our kids, unless we really buckle down. He talks about reducing our retirement savings to make up the difference, but I think that is very, very unwise.

I'd rather the kids scramble, take on massive debt, get second jobs, sell themselve to Uncle Sam, etc, for their own self-improvement than for them to get stuck doing the same stuff to keep us afloat in our old age.

At least I think they will resent the former less than the latter.
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#3 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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We will pay for as much as we can and are saving for it.

We have been paying off a moutain ($30K+) of DH's loans for almost 10 years to the tune of $400+ a month. His parents absolutely could not help him so it was all done on loans.

I don't want my kids to have to do that. We'll look so what scholarships we can get, of course, but would like to do as few loans as possible.

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#4 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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Yes, we will pay for as much as we can. Probably not all of it, depending on where our kids choose to go to school. My parents helped me and I am so grateful to them for that.
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#5 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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we're saving as much as possible-if they don't decide to go to college we'll reassess and see about using it to help them launch into whatever else they have planned. but if they do go to college we'd definitely like to pay as much as we can, and will also look into whatever scholarships would be possible.

I didn't pay for school-and took it for granted. Dh put himself through school on scholarships and working for his expenses-and it was no fun for him. Seems like we'd like to strike a balance-not having them feel overwhelmed with pressure, yet teaching them to respect what we're doing.
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#6 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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As of now, no. We just don't have it like that. I know to some this is going to sound horrible, but it's not the highest thing on my priority list. Don't get me wrong, I very much so want my children to attend college. So much, in fact, that I'm willing to let them continue to live here RENT FREE, meals included, the entire time they attend. And if they're a little short one semester and we have the money, we'll definately help out. But I don't see why my kids can't afford to pay their own way through college if they have no rent, utilities, or groceries to buy. I would think they would be able to maintain some sort of job while going to school. There are also loans and scholorships out there.
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#7 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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Yes, we have saved for our kids college educations and I will be willing to pay most of their tuition for a state school. Why? Because my parents did that for me (mostly) and because I think its easier to get ahead in life if you aren't starting off below zero. I will however make them pay at least some of it and they will have to earn their own spending money, becuase I believe they need to have some skin in the game too.

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#8 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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no. we can't afford it as of yet but even if we could i don't know if we would. this is going to sound awful but we honestly feel that it won't kill them to work for their college education. we have a good number of friends who were put through college and have no respect for it. it was always a given and still is so they just slack off and do whatever. we might pay for a bit but definitly not all. they will always have room and board from us while in school, though.

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#9 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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. But I don't see why my kids can't afford to pay their own way through college if they have no rent, utilities, or groceries to buy. I would think they would be able to maintain some sort of job while going to school. There are also loans and scholorships out there.
I think most colleges are much more expensive now than they used to be. I went to the same college that my parents went to, and while they could work through the summer to make the money to pay for the next year, there is no way I could have made that kind of money. I couldn't have paid for one year working ALL the summers.
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#10 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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We are saving as much as we can, but our plan is also for the kids to have part time jobs when they turn 16 and contribute a certain % from each paycheck. My parents offered to pay for all 3 of our college educations, I got a full scholarship to school, my twin brother accepted money only for books and my little brother who has some learning road blocks and can't work full time and do well in school, contributes what he can after rent and utilities. Our parents raised us with strong work ethics and I hope to do the same for my children.
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#11 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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I was lucky in that my parents paid for all of my college education... including grad school. It left me without the huge financial burden that many of my friends still have. I worked on-campus for spending money, but that was it. I'd like to think I could do the same for my kids, but no idea if we'll be able to afford it. We have enrolled in a pre-paid tuition program that guarantees them 4 years of State school... so I'm hoping that we can at least offer that.

I think I'd encourage my kids to work for a year or two before entering undergrad, though. I appreciated grad school so much more than undergrad.... and part of it had to do with living on my own, supporting myself, etc. I also think they might have more direction as to what they want to study... or at least what they don't want to do in life.

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#12 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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I'm probably not going to because I won't have the resources to do so. We're barely making ends meet now, there's absolutely nothing to put into savings.

If I had the means, I would definitely pay their tuition so they'd enter the workforce without huge student loans to pay back.

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#13 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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I am not sure exactly. We are putting money away every month. Far more than most parents, I imagine. But if dd attends college, it will be in 15+ years. College costs have more than doubled in the last 15 years and all predictions are saying the same will occur in the next 15 years. So, even with what we are putting aside, I am guessing that it will not be nearly enough. So despite giving all of the help we can, I suspect dd will still be responsible for a good chunk of it.

OTOH, dh and I both put ourselves through school with no help, scholarships, grants, or anything. We both did have loans and graduated with a combined $50K in the hole. We resolved to continue to live like college students until the debt was paid off. With both of us working full time and continuing our modest lifestyle, we had all of it paid off within 2.5 years. And that was while living in one of the most expensive areas in the U.S. We literally sent in 2/3 of our income each month forgoing cable, eating out, and new clothing. I do think it is quite possible and not too crippling to learn that lesson early on. Many of our friends and fellow grads felt compelled to blow money on brand new cars, clothes, new houses, etc......and to this day still complain about their loans. I also feel that we valued our educational opportunities far more than we would have had it been handed to us by our parents.
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#14 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:01 PM
 
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Yes. We are paying for their college. I cannot imagine being 18 and having thousands of dollars in debt already, its way too hard. Their end of the bargain is having a part time job to pay for "fun" extra stuff and getting at least a 3.2 GPA.
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#15 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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Yes. We are paying for their college. I cannot imagine being 18 and having thousands of dollars in debt already, its way too hard. Their end of the bargain is having a part time job to pay for "fun" extra stuff and getting at least a 3.2 GPA.
Will that GPA requirement be flexible with degree program? I was one of the better/responsible/organized students I knew in college, but I had a 3.1 GPA. Studying more would not have helped. I can honestly say I did "my best". My degrees are in engineering. As a (now) engineering instructor and (former) academic advisor I will say that it is the very rare student in science and engineering that can pull a 3.2 every semester.
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#16 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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I think most colleges are much more expensive now than they used to be. I went to the same college that my parents went to, and while they could work through the summer to make the money to pay for the next year, there is no way I could have made that kind of money. I couldn't have paid for one year working ALL the summers.
Well I guess if you only work for 3 months out of the year during the summer, then yeah, it might be hard to pay for. Everyone I know has paid their own way through college (that went, that is) and my SIL is currently paying her own way through. She goes to a decent college full time and lives at home with MIL. She seems to be doing fine.
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#17 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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DH and I neither one believe in paying their way through college. If we are still living in this house then, they will have free room and board as long as they're in school, but they will have to pay for the school themselves. We are within public transit distance of 6 or 8 public and private institutions, so it's not like they'd be that limited in choices. But, if they don't want to go to school, they will be paying rent.

We do not believe in the necessity of entering college immediately after HS, either, though. I entered college at the age of 16 and now at 30 still don't have a Bachelor's to show for it (I paid off my last student loan last year). I decided to stop wasting my money until I could figure out what I truly wanted to do with my education. DH entered college immediately after his stint in the army, he's several years older than me and also does not have a degree (we're still paying on his loans). At this point in our lives, if we get degrees it is because we want them, we've worked for them and have achieved it. Not because we've BS'd our way through 4 years of classes on mommy and daddy's mealticket, and now have a piece of paper that means nothing, and no idea of how the world actually works. I've seen too many people fall into that trap.

Life requires work. I believe in teaching our children that. It may seem harsh to some, but it's reality.

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#18 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:12 PM
 
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For my kids, 3.2 GPA at the minimum for anything. I figure that since we are paying for everything, most of their time should be spent studying. I'm not paying for them to go to a great party for 4 years. If she choose engineering we would have taken that into consideration, but she's chosen anthropology so I expect excellent grades since she comes from a family of anthropologists.
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#19 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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We're saving for DD's college. We started a fund when she was born and we put a set amount into it every month. I don't know if we can fund her entire college bill but we'll do our best. My DH had to put himself through college. His parents refused to pay a dime. All his books, his rent, his tuition..everything he needed during those years was paid by him, partial scholarships, and a huge student loan. He graduated over ten years ago and we're still paying off the loan! We're lucky that my parents paid for my college otherwise we'd be paying two big lstudent oans on top of our mortgage and I don't think we would be able to swing that. I don't know when we'll be paying off DH's student loans (he has consolidated them so at least that saves some money) but I sure don't want *my* child to go through this. Some debt is a fact of life but with college costs expected to be $100,000/year and more in the future, I don't want DD to start off her adult life with a $400,000 loan hanging over her head. I'm not passing judgement on anyone else's choices. This is a personal decision based on our life and the state of our finances. My two cents...

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#20 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:15 PM
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I would love to help my children finance their college educations and will do what I can. They'll also have to work/get scholorships/get grants/take out loans.
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#21 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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I will do what I can to help my kids through college. My ILs have accounts for them as well.

I didn't get help from my parents (it just wasn't possible). My DH had his college paid by his parents. I would prefer my kids have my DH's experience as opposed to my own.

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#22 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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I really want to , this is something DP and I have talked about before. I hope that when my kids are in school and I am working again we can save the money that will be needed. Neither of us had parents that would/could pay for our college, and neither of us felt the kind of support from our families we would have thrived under. Neither of us completed our degrees. So to us, being supportive both emotionally and financially is very important.
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#23 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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I'm planning to try my best to convince them to move to my home country where education is free If that doesn't work out, they'll probably have to take out a loan, we'll most likely still be too busy paying off DP's one.
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#24 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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We are saving for our daughter's college, with the intention of paying the equivalent tuition for a state/public university. So, if tution is 10,000/yr (I know inflation will increase it, but, just for fun), we'll pay 40,000 toward her education.

Anything beyond that she pays for herself.

If she gets a scholarship, we'll give her the money we planned for her tuition to her upon graduation as a gift.

If she gets free/reduced tuition b/c of my husband's status (he's got a Purple Heart, which, at this point, qualifies her for free/reduced tuition in some states if we're residents), we will again give her the money upon graduation.

If she decides to not go to college. Mom and Dad will be cashing in the 529, taking the penalty, and going on a very nice vacation.

Why pay? I believe deeply in higher education, and I don't think cost should be a barrier, nor do I think she should have to spend 10 years + paying off her loan...life's hard enough, and I don't think she should be penalized for wanting to educate herself. I think you can get a very good education at a public college (I did), and I don't think "private" schools are all they're jacked up to be, so, I'm not willing to spring for 40,000+/yr, but I'm more than willing to provide adequate funds for a state-run institution.
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#25 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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Yes. We are paying for their college. I cannot imagine being 18 and having thousands of dollars in debt already, its way too hard. Their end of the bargain is having a part time job to pay for "fun" extra stuff and getting at least a 3.2 GPA.
Pretty much the same here.

My parents agreed to pay for one year of college for me. (They could have afforded to pay for more; I was the only one out of 4 who attended college and my parents had plenty of money.) When my one year was up, I got married and got a full time job. I've worked full time every day of my life since then.

I want my daughter to have better. I want her to have time to think only about herself; time to learn about the world and about herself without any other worries. I wish parents had done as much for me.
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#26 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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nope. noone ever handed me anything on a plate like that, i paid my own way as an UG and through grad school. dh paid for his own tuition partly by working through college.

if dd wants to go she's going to have to foot the bill herself. if she asks for financial help we wont flat out refuse, but she's going to have to have a good reason/set of goals, and not just want to go because it's what her peers are doing, and it's 'expected'.
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#27 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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My sister is a financial advisor, so she set up an account for our dd's college fund. I'm sure we would not have done it (at least not this early) on our own. That being said, I have no idea how much money we will actually have saved by the time she's 18, especially with the rising cost of university.
Why do we keep it? I never finished college due to working full time and having no parental support. My husband also couldn't afford trade school and so we are both on the lower end of the payscale and too damn smart for that! I want to be able to help dd more.

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#28 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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We will pay for four years at one of our state's excellent public institutions. I don't want my kids to start out in debt. It is hard enough starting out.

It would be nice to be able to pay for them to go wherever, but we wouldn't be able to do that and fund our own retirements. I'm limiting it to four years because I want them to focus on a program of study and complete it. I work at a university and see too many kids who don't and end up taking at least a full extra year to finish. If they want to do that, it's on their dime.

Our parents paid for dp and I to go to college. It was the best gift they could have given us. I wouldn't have had children if I though we couldn't afford to do this for them. It is too important to me.
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#29 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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If we can afford it, we will absolutely pay for our kids' college (as long as they get decent grades).

My parents paid for mine and I am eternally grateful. DH had scholarships and fellowships. We are so much better off than almost all of our friends who are drowning in student loan debt.

I am hoping that one of us gets a faculty position at a university that offers our children free tuition. That would be wonderful. I really don't want my kids to be drowning in debt. I also want them to pick majors that they love, rather than studying what makes money. Careers are important, but I feel strongly that college is about much more than getting a job.
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#30 of 195 Old 05-15-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Absolutely! This was one of the factors when planning to have children. I want her to have the best start in life.

If we did not pay for college our income would count against her for financial aid. I had a boyfriend in college whose financial aid got reduced to zero because his mom got married. They counted his stepfather's income against him even though they never gave him a dime. I would not do that to her!
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