Author Topic: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(  (Read 20987 times)

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« on: March 18, 2016, 07:36:42 PM »
I have a big decision to make in a short amount of time. I have a daughter ready to make a decision on where to go to college. Never had money to save for their college. And now it looks like the only way to get her in college is to apply for a PLUS loan and Student loans. But I have read places that they say "Parents don't take out college loans for the student". I am not a finance person at all (I know I need to learn), so I am hoping that this forum can help me. I am pretty much pay check to pay check for the most part. I have no retirement to speak of right now either, I am 41 years old.

We don't qualify for any financial aid, my EFC is like $23000 per the government...yeah right I have that laying around.

I really dont know where to begin. If I left anything out that could help with an assessment please just ask.

rageth

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 08:34:55 PM »
My parents were a bit better off financially than living paycheck to paycheck, but I never received any financial help from them other than a random $20 shoved in my pocket from my mom or a trip to the grocery store paid for.  Honestly, at this point in my life 4 years out of school, it's the best thing that they could've done.  I'm getting a grip on my finances that I needed to have, and I'm already planning for my retirement, something I likely would not have done without having had to closely monitor my finances.  Looking back, would I have done anything different?  I definitely would've tried working more to take less out in loans.  Would I have learned if my parents had taken out a PLUS loan?  To some extent, sure, but not as much.

Do I wish my parents would've been able to help me?  Sure, but would I do it for my future kids?  No.  This is coming from someone who got out of college with $50k in debt and is married to someone with just as much.  You will understand that your daughter is signing her life away to the educational loan companies when that master promissory note comes from the university, and your daughter might as well but not fully until she gets her loan repayment plan and her first paycheck from her job.

With you being 41 and having nothing put away for your own retirement especially I would not take out a PLUS loan.  In fact, if you do anything, go to Vanguard, open up an IRA, and set up an automatic withdrawal.  Start small and slowly increase it.

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 08:54:33 PM »

My parents were a bit better off financially than living paycheck to paycheck, but I never received any financial help from them other than a random $20 shoved in my pocket from my mom or a trip to the grocery store paid for.  Honestly, at this point in my life 4 years out of school, it's the best thing that they could've done.  I'm getting a grip on my finances that I needed to have, and I'm already planning for my retirement, something I likely would not have done without having had to closely monitor my finances.  Looking back, would I have done anything different?  I definitely would've tried working more to take less out in loans.  Would I have learned if my parents had taken out a PLUS loan?  To some extent, sure, but not as much.

Do I wish my parents would've been able to help me?  Sure, but would I do it for my future kids?  No.  This is coming from someone who got out of college with $50k in debt and is married to someone with just as much.  You will understand that your daughter is signing her life away to the educational loan companies when that master promissory note comes from the university, and your daughter might as well but not fully until she gets her loan repayment plan and her first paycheck from her job.

With you being 41 and having nothing put away for your own retirement especially I would not take out a PLUS loan.  In fact, if you do anything, go to Vanguard, open up an IRA, and set up an automatic withdrawal.  Start small and slowly increase it.

Thank you for the insight. It's my understanding that they will only allow a freshman (18yo with no credit history) have a student loan for $5500 the first year and the remaining amount must come from either a PLUS loan by the parents, scholarships, or grants.

What did your parents do? How did you take all of the loan risk? I feel like the government sites are trying to put parents in debt and make it look like that is the only way. I had school loans when I graduated college but my kids college is a tremendous amount more a year than my college. But that was over 20 years ago.

Please keep the info coming....feeling overwhelmed here, trying to understand all of this.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Murse

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 564
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 08:58:29 PM »
Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 09:00:30 PM »

Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

Not really an option I don't think...her major is going to be marine biology.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

feelingroovy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 324
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 09:05:41 PM »
So the $23k is the EFC as per the FAFSA? Or did one particular school say this?

Is your daughter dead set on a specific program or major that is not available locally? Does she have her heart set on a school far away?

In my state, in-state tuition and fees is about $8500. Room and board is about $13000 (depending on which particular state school it is).  Is continuing to live at home an option?

My parents did the opposite as the last poster--put themselves into debt to pay for private colleges. (We did get financial aid but it still cost more than state schools would have). They are now in their seventies and still working.

I agree that your first priority should be retirement. I suspect there is a lot of potential fat in your budget you could cut.


xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 09:17:22 PM »

So the $23k is the EFC as per the FAFSA? Or did one particular school say this?

Is your daughter dead set on a specific program or major that is not available locally? Does she have her heart set on a school far away?

In my state, in-state tuition and fees is about $8500. Room and board is about $13000 (depending on which particular state school it is).  Is continuing to live at home an option?

My parents did the opposite as the last poster--put themselves into debt to pay for private colleges. (We did get financial aid but it still cost more than state schools would have). They are now in their seventies and still working.

I agree that your first priority should be retirement. I suspect there is a lot of potential fat in your budget you could cut.

 The efc of $23000 is what is on the fasfa.

She is very dead set on the major, she has wanted this type of schooling since she was about 8 yo. I don't want to take her dream away. I want her happy with her job, and it's not my life.

The state school that she is looking at with her major offered and amount we are responsible for is between 17-21k per her financial aid paperwork that just came in. And the location makes it not possible to live at home, it's almost 3 hrs away.

What option do I have other than a PLUS loan in our name, she has no credit.

I agree there is fat to cut, but not enough to make up a difference like 17-21k a year.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

rageth

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 09:30:40 PM »

So the $23k is the EFC as per the FAFSA? Or did one particular school say this?

Is your daughter dead set on a specific program or major that is not available locally? Does she have her heart set on a school far away?

In my state, in-state tuition and fees is about $8500. Room and board is about $13000 (depending on which particular state school it is).  Is continuing to live at home an option?

My parents did the opposite as the last poster--put themselves into debt to pay for private colleges. (We did get financial aid but it still cost more than state schools would have). They are now in their seventies and still working.

I agree that your first priority should be retirement. I suspect there is a lot of potential fat in your budget you could cut.

 The efc of $23000 is what is on the fasfa.

She is very dead set on the major, she has wanted this type of schooling since she was about 8 yo. I don't want to take her dream away. I want her happy with her job, and it's not my life.

The state school that she is looking at with her major offered and amount we are responsible for is between 17-21k per her financial aid paperwork that just came in. And the location makes it not possible to live at home, it's almost 3 hrs away.

What option do I have other than a PLUS loan in our name, she has no credit.

I agree there is fat to cut, but not enough to make up a difference like 17-21k a year.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I had to take out a private student loan, a few of them throughout the years, through my bank. I had no credt either. My parents co-signed with the understanding that they were only doing it to help my brother and I get approved for the loans.

One thing that my wife and my friends are learning that what is our passion is not always what gets us jobs. My wife got her degree in wildlife ecology, and 2 years later she still can't find a job in her field. A friend of mine did a program in marine biology where he did 2 years at a local university and the remaining 2 years at their partner university in Hawaii and he did internships. 4 years later and he finally joined the navy because he couldn't get a job in marine bio. This is a 4.0 student we're talking about. It's a tough field to get into without an advanced degree and a lot of unpaid research experience.

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 09:43:13 PM »
We have a senior graduating and are currently going through all this FAFSA stuff, so am aware of what you are going through.  Here's the best advice I can give you.

First of all, saving for your retirement comes before your child's education.  And I should also ask how much has your child saved for college? 

Child attends a community college for the first two years to get her general ed requirements out of the way and then transfers to a four-year school.  You will slash your expenses by starting at a two-year community college, and child can also live at home during this time.  Child also should work part-time to contribute.

If going directly to a four-year, the amount a student can take a loan for is $5500.  Child can also probably get a work-study, but I don't think it's a lot.  There is also a tax credit of $2,500, and I believe there would need to be expenses totaling more than $4,000 or so to take the credit, but that would not come until next year when you file your taxes.  Has your daughter applied for scholarships? 

Our son is planning on attending a private college.  Even with the scholarships he received, it's still expensive, but manageable, and we've been saving, but still won't have it all.  My husband is a firm believer that he take on some debt.  I'd prefer he not have any.  And he is setting aside money from his part-time job to help to be able to pay for it this Fall.

Your child could also delay college for a year or so and go to work full-time to earn the money to attend while living at home. 

What I don't think you will want to do is take out any parent loans.  If you could take out the minimum, that would be one thing, but you would potentially be looking at (and this is an estimation):

$23,000 Expected Financial Contribution
-  5,500 Student loan
-  2,000 estimated work study (may be higher or lower)
-  2,500 tax credit
---------
$13,000 in a parent loan for one year at a four-year college x 4 years.....



 

hankscorpio84

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 09:47:41 PM »
Have you explored the possibility of starting at a community college then transferring into the state school once it is necessary?  You could save a ton by taking general education classes at a CC rather than the state school, especially if there is a CC near you where your daughter could live at home.  Another possibility is to find a 1 or 2 year program related to the sciences (lab technician, surgery assistant, dental hygiene?)that would allow your daughter to get a job and work her way through the marine biology program. 

I'm glad you're on here seeking advice, I know your pain.  When I was entering college I was given a ton of bad advice regarding loans and felt pressure from my folks to meet their expectations.  Luckily, I didn't go into debt at all.  I quit school, worked for 10 years, and went back to school at 28 paying on my own terms.  I think I got a lot more out of it that way.  The decision to take out student loans is a big one that will affect your life for many years to come, but there's nobody forcing you to do it, consider all the possibilities!!!

11ducks

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 575
  • Location: Duckville, Australia
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 09:54:34 PM »
I have a big decision to make in a short amount of time. I have a daughter ready to make a decision on where to go to college. Never had money to save for their college.

If you've never had money to pay for her college before, what makes you think you can afford to pay back a loan for it? I'm not trying to be unkind, but more realistic. You can't afford for her to go to this college. My dream is medical school. Can't afford that, so I'm working towards saving for it. Dreams that are handed to you on a platter might not be as valuable as ones you need to work for.

If you are deadset on it - You need to split the $23k across a few areas, to minimise your debt (because you cant afford to pay it)

1. How much has she saved for College so far? If she gets a PT job, hopefully she can contribute $5k/year towards her dream college.
2. She can also apply for the $5500 loan/year. 
3. You can post your budget here  (see Case study), let us pick it apart, and hopefully find another $5k/year or so that you can use to pay for college.
4. If she can get work-study as well, great. If this is her life-long dream, I'll assume she's getting darn good grades, which could give her another few grand in scholarships = $0-5k.
5. This would leave you with an shortfall of between $3k-$8k per year- not great, but significantly better than a $23k loan.

Just to check, is this your only child?  Because if you have more than one, you need to be super careful of setting the precedent of paying for college. If you cant afford to save $5k/year for school, you definitely can't afford to take out loans of ($23k x 2,3,or 4 children) per year.

SilveradoBojangles

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2016, 10:18:29 PM »
I majored in marine biology at a state school (UC Berkeley). I can tell you that the first two years is all basic bio-sciences requirements. Looking back it would have been much smarter to do them at a community college. I would have had better teachers and smaller classes. As it stood, I had my bio, chem, and physics pre-requisite courses in giant lecture halls with 700 other competitive pre-med students, and it was rough. I didn't get to do anything hands on until my junior year. After that I loved it, but those first two years were so hard, as those classes are designed to weed people out.

Of course, as an 18 year old I had no intention of going to community college because none of my friends were going. Luckily, I applied for a bunch of scholarships and got one that gave me 3500 a year. Between this, some parental support, working ~30 hours a week during the school year at $10 an hour and full time every summer, and student loans (only about ~6K) I was able to pay for school. But there are no job prospects for a marine biologist unless you have a higher degree, so after graduation I made 30K a year working at a marketing firm (this was 10 years ago). I ended up joining the peace corps to get some hands on experience in my field, and then getting full funding to do my PhD, and only after all that was my marine biology degree worth something.

I'm so glad my parents didn't put their retirement on hold to help me. They retired last year at 66 and I am thankful every day that they were able to save enough money and not be dependent on me in their old age. I'm also thankful that I was able to have a minimum amount of student debt. The small amount I had was still a pain in the ass to pay off, especially given that I didn't make more than 30K a year until I was 30. But the experience of paying them off made me never want to be in debt again. I'm thankful that my mom encouraged me to apply for every scholarship possible, every year, and to work while in school to offset the amount of loans I would need. That was really valuable experience for me, and I came out of school way more mature than many of my peers.

So I guess my advice to you is to help your daughter make an informed choice, but don't take out loans for her. If you want to help her pay for college, help her with a fixed amount each month to offset her expenses (even a few hundred a month is helpful). Let her take loans and work to cover the rest. If you are able to save some by the time she graduates, set aside a chunk and make her a graduation present of a first loan payment. Also, have her contact recent marine bio grads from the school she wants to go to and ask them how easy it's been to get a job in their field. Teach her about interest from student loans, and expected salaries with a four year degree, and how long it will take her to pay those loans off. It's a hard lesson, but better she learn it now than 4 years from now when she's 80K in debt.

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1551
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2016, 12:17:14 AM »
If you child has wanted to study marine biology since she was a child then I think she will have the fortitude to find a way to pay for it without you having to co-sign the debt.  There is a reason when your daughter at 18 years old with no credit cannot get a +80K loan over four years, the likely hood of her being able to pay it off is very unlikely. 

Does your daughter know what the job placement rate is for students who major in marine biology as an undergrad?  Does she know what the starting salary range is?  Does she know what states and cities the jobs are in?  If she cannot answer these questions then her dream of studying marine biology is not a very well thought out one.  I would work with her to these answers and see if she still feels like taking on +80K in debt is wise.  I'm not saying to dissuade her from what she wants to do, just make sure she is informed so when she makes a decision she is making an informed one.

What are your daughters expectations with regards to paying for college?  Have you discussed this with her?  Considering she has known her major for quite some time now what kind of conversations have you had with her on what your contributions will be?  This might all be in your head that you have to pay for her.

I think you would be doing you and your daughter a disservice if you co-sign those loans given your current financial situation.  But the good thing is just because you can't help her now doesn't mean you can't help your child in the future.  Maybe have her take a gap year and serve as a research assistant to give her some insight on what she will be doing after college.  This might give you enough time to get your finances in order and be able to offer her some help if not guidance.

There are many ways to pay for college if she really wants to go to that specific school.  She can join the armed services and commit to 4 years and go on the GI bill.  She can start working full-time to save while taking courses to full-time her GE courses for a few years.  Some employers even pay for college courses, granted most have to be relevant to your current responsibilities, but again she can major in X and take general courses and eventually change to Y.

Abel

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Location: USA
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2016, 04:56:19 AM »
I majored in marine biology at a state school (UC Berkeley). I can tell you that the first two years is all basic bio-sciences requirements. Looking back it would have been much smarter to do them at a community college. I would have had better teachers and smaller classes. As it stood, I had my bio, chem, and physics pre-requisite courses in giant lecture halls with 700 other competitive pre-med students, and it was rough. I didn't get to do anything hands on until my junior year. After that I loved it, but those first two years were so hard, as those classes are designed to weed people out.

Of course, as an 18 year old I had no intention of going to community college because none of my friends were going. Luckily, I applied for a bunch of scholarships and got one that gave me 3500 a year. Between this, some parental support, working ~30 hours a week during the school year at $10 an hour and full time every summer, and student loans (only about ~6K) I was able to pay for school. But there are no job prospects for a marine biologist unless you have a higher degree, so after graduation I made 30K a year working at a marketing firm (this was 10 years ago). I ended up joining the peace corps to get some hands on experience in my field, and then getting full funding to do my PhD, and only after all that was my marine biology degree worth something.

I'm so glad my parents didn't put their retirement on hold to help me. They retired last year at 66 and I am thankful every day that they were able to save enough money and not be dependent on me in their old age. I'm also thankful that I was able to have a minimum amount of student debt. The small amount I had was still a pain in the ass to pay off, especially given that I didn't make more than 30K a year until I was 30. But the experience of paying them off made me never want to be in debt again. I'm thankful that my mom encouraged me to apply for every scholarship possible, every year, and to work while in school to offset the amount of loans I would need. That was really valuable experience for me, and I came out of school way more mature than many of my peers.

So I guess my advice to you is to help your daughter make an informed choice, but don't take out loans for her. If you want to help her pay for college, help her with a fixed amount each month to offset her expenses (even a few hundred a month is helpful). Let her take loans and work to cover the rest. If you are able to save some by the time she graduates, set aside a chunk and make her a graduation present of a first loan payment. Also, have her contact recent marine bio grads from the school she wants to go to and ask them how easy it's been to get a job in their field. Teach her about interest from student loans, and expected salaries with a four year degree, and how long it will take her to pay those loans off. It's a hard lesson, but better she learn it now than 4 years from now when she's 80K in debt.

There is a lot of wisdom here. +1

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2016, 05:47:21 AM »


Thank you for the insight. It's my understanding that they will only allow a freshman (18yo with no credit history) have a student loan for $5500 the first year and the remaining amount must come from either a PLUS loan by the parents, scholarships, or grants.

What did your parents do? How did you take all of the loan risk? I feel like the government sites are trying to put parents in debt and make it look like that is the only way. I had school loans when I graduated college but my kids college is a tremendous amount more a year than my college. But that was over 20 years ago.

Please keep the info coming....feeling overwhelmed here, trying to understand all of this.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I think you need to double check the loan amounts.  My 2 in school after they changed the student loan requirements to 'everyone gets one' rather than having to have already established credit and/or cosigner both received much more than $5500 in loans per year (some they accepted, some they turned down).  Also, when she applies for a student loan it will ask for a cosigner, don't do it, she'll still get the loans. 

That said, if she REALLY wants that school/that major, perhaps doing school 1/2 or 3/4 time and working full time to cover more of the costs will work for her.  Perhaps she can find a decent job now and defer college enrollment for a year while she saves the cost of the first year of schooling.  Perhaps she could look into joining the Military (guard or reserves both are part time, after basic training/tech school) to cover the costs of schooling.  Maybe she can spend the next 6 months spending 10-15 hours per week filling out scholarship applications (finding every obscure underutilized one out there, there are whole books written on how to do this).

Freedomin5

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3976
  • Location: China
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2016, 06:29:22 AM »
My parents encouraged me to study hard in school, get good grades, be involved in community service, and then apply for scholarships.

How did I take the loan risk? I didn't. I applied for as many scholarships that I qualified for. My parents were high-earners, so I didn't qualify for some scholarships, but there are many that are based on merit, grades, or a particular characteristic. I would imagine that there are several available for girls entering the sciences or STEM fields.

One of the scholarships gave me $2000 per year for three years, and the reason I won it was because no one else applied. There are many scholarships that go unclaimed each year.

To supplement scholarships, I worked 15 hours per week as a research assistant (to gain relevant experience) and then worked 5-10 hours per week as a private tutor (hourly pay is much higher).

In the summers, I worked. I started the week after my final exams, and worked until a week before school started. Applied for summer internship/work experience programs for better pay and relevant experience. I also taught piano and music theory on the weekend as a private music teacher.

This was about five to ten years ago.

My sister, who graduated about five years ago as well, completed her studies in the co-op program (work/study program), as did my husband. His program was structured so that he worked four months, studied four months, worked four months, etc.

Where there is a will, there's a way.

ender

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6530
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2016, 06:35:15 AM »

Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

Not really an option I don't think...her major is going to be marine biology.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Why?

Someone else already talked about this, but it's far cheaper to do general education requirements at a community college instead of a high-cost school.

Additionally, 1-2 years at a community college can help identify if someone really wants to do what they think they do. An overwhelming majority of people change majors at least once from their initial choice, so basing a $100k+ decision on something that overwhelmingly statistically will not be your daughter's actual major seems quite unwise.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2350
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2016, 06:45:16 AM »
Your daughter will need to work her way through college and she should start looking for jobs now.  It will be important that the learns how to stay on top of both a job and school work.  She will also need to choose an affordable school; don't even look at ones that are too pricey.  Shop carefully for the best value.

You can help your daughter by having her take test prep classes so she scores a few points higher on the ACT/SAT so that she qualifies  for more scholarships.

Best of luck!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 06:47:00 AM by KBecks »

Bucksandreds

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 878
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2016, 06:48:56 AM »

Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

Not really an option I don't think...her major is going to be marine biology.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Why?

Someone else already talked about this, but it's far cheaper to do general education requirements at a community college instead of a high-cost school.

Additionally, 1-2 years at a community college can help identify if someone really wants to do what they think they do. An overwhelming majority of people change majors at least once from their initial choice, so basing a $100k+ decision on something that overwhelmingly statistically will not be your daughter's actual major seems quite unwise.

There is about a 2% chance she actually goes through with marine biology. Coming from someone who changed majors once in college, marine biology is a dream for lots of incoming freshmen because they love animals and the sea and quickly they realize that it's impractical, not nearly as glamorous as they imagined and takes a very long time to get a degree in it worth anything. Encourage anything you can to start with the general classes in as cost effective way as possible.

RamonaQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 877
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2016, 06:53:05 AM »
If you are living paycheck to paycheck there's no way I would take out a student loan for your daughter.

My dad's advice to me when I was looking at colleges: "You're smart.  Get a scholarship."

If your daughter is set on going away to college, what has she done to prepare?  Saved money from a part-time job?  Researched different colleges that offer the major she wants?  Looked into work-study programs?  Looked at starting somewhere cheaper and then transferring?  I'm not saying that she should totally be on her own at this point, but this is HER education, so she should be the one leading the charge, so to speak.

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 570
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2016, 07:27:27 AM »
If you're paycheck to paycheck...are you sure you can qualify for a loan?

I echo the points raised by others suggesting a community college for the first 2 years of gen ed requirements. You're really not in a position to send her to a 4 year private school.

I also echo the concerns about job placement after college. A lot of people like marine biology because they like the idea of playing with Dolphins and Free Willy all day, but my understanding is that the reality is often more unpaid internships cleaning the tank at sea world.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4283
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2016, 07:35:25 AM »

Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

Not really an option I don't think...her major is going to be marine biology.

She will not be employable. marine Biology is jam packed with people, its not t realistic to think she will get a job in in that field

Please please PLEASE get a grip on reality, both her and you.

And yes, community college can take care of some basic requirements, but be smart about it and have a plan so tnat everything she takes transfers.
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 07:38:34 AM by iris lily »

Tigerpine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2016, 07:45:34 AM »

Depends on the degree but community college worked out great for me. 5 years was around 20k for tuition.

Not really an option I don't think...her major is going to be marine biology.

She will not be employable. marine Biology is jam packed with people, its not t realistic to think she will get a job in in that field

Please please PLEASE get a grip on reality, both her and you.

And yes, community college can take care of some basic requirements, but be smart about it and have a plan so tnat everything she takes transfers.
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I second community college for basic requirements.  It's MUCH cheaper, and by transferring enough credits she might be able to get out of the requirement that all freshmen live on campus that many colleges seem to have these days.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2107
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2016, 07:48:07 AM »
I think the way my parents did it was pretty smart.  My Mom sought out jobs at colleges that included free tuition for children.  When she found one, that's where I went.  Did I get the exact degree I wanted, no, but when you're poor you can't afford to be choosy.  In most cases if your degree is at least in the right ballpark it's fine.

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 929
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2016, 11:20:00 AM »
You are under no obligation to pay for her college. My parents did - but if they didn't I certainly would not have expected them to, or to get into massive amounts of debt for me.

I agree on the city college route. Her major is marine bio but she can get all the general ed classes (english, math, comm, etc.) out of the way at a cc and transfer. This will save lots of money.

I also agree with someone saying that if you can't pay for college now, the reality of paying for a loan is also pretty low. Unfortunately.

I know nothing about the viability of jobs in marine bio. It's up to her to assess if 1) the college is affordable and 2) if this is a major she wants to get into debt for. $50k loan for a degree in English? I would say NO (I am pro-humanities but there is no reason to get into massive amounts of debt for these degrees). $50k loan for a degree in Computer Engineering? I would say OK.

RedmondStash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 964
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2016, 11:57:23 AM »
Expecting your daughter to pay her own way is not unreasonable. It's her goal to get a degree in marine biology; she should back that up with action.

She could go to school 1/2 or 3/4 time, as another poster suggested, and work the rest of the time.

It sounds like you feel it's your responsibility to pay for everything for her, which kind of lets her off the hook in terms of both planning and responsibility. I know it sounds harsh, but if she wants to do something that expensive, then it's appropriate for her to be responsible for determining how to achieve that goal. She can work summers, work part-time during the school year, apply for tons of scholarships, take a gap year to work, go to community college for general requirements, etc. All those suggestions posted here by others make a lot of sense.

I know that at 18, none of us are really done growing up. But we're not children anymore either.

And -- 25 years from now, if she is an adult with no savings and a kid about to go to college, what would you want her to do? Would you want her to sacrifice saving for her own retirement in order to pay for everything for her kid? Or would you want her kid to take responsibility and work with her to figure out a realistic plan? Remember that you are still modeling adult behavior for her. You have to show her what it looks like to make it a priority to take care of yourself first, and then extend care toward others too.

Tigerpine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2016, 12:03:41 PM »
Many parents feel it is their responsibility to pay for their children's education, and it's a noble thought.  However, never forget that DD can borrow money to pay for college.  You can not borrow money to pay for retirement.

You're better off making sure that your retirement is funded so that you don't become a burden to your daughter years down the road.

Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1358
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2016, 12:12:22 PM »

The efc of $23000 is what is on the fasfa.

She is very dead set on the major, she has wanted this type of schooling since she was about 8 yo. I don't want to take her dream away. I want her happy with her job, and it's not my life.

The state school that she is looking at with her major offered and amount we are responsible for is between 17-21k per her financial aid paperwork that just came in. And the location makes it not possible to live at home, it's almost 3 hrs away.

What option do I have other than a PLUS loan in our name, she has no credit.


If you are cosigning, it is your life.

Does she understand the implications of the debt loan both of you will be taking on? 

I love following dreams, but dreams can become nightmares.  Six figure of debt and low income potential.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1817
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2016, 01:06:56 PM »
Since the program she wants to do is at a state school, it should be easy for her to do the initial year or two at a community college in the state system.  After two years, she may or may not be interested in the same major.

Separate the needs from the wants.  The "need" for college is tuition at a community college and money for second hand books (slugbooks.com is great).  The "want" for college may include living in a dorm, attending a specific school, joining a sorority, etc.  as with many things, the need is reasonably priced, the want goes way up from there.

I work at a university and my daughter is getting a tuition exchange scholarship at another school.  That can be a great way to finance college, but I know employees where I work must work full time for 2 years before dependants receive any tuition benefits.  If she wants to study marine biology, would she like the Coast Guard reserve?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 03:15:43 PM by Dee18 »

Captain Cactus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Location: The Land of Steady Habits
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2016, 01:33:26 PM »
My parents were not in a position to help me out financially either.  Instead of racking up huge school debts (I did ultimately graduate with about $9000 in student loans), I joined the Army ROTC program at my college.  They paid for almost the whole thing, I got free room and board from my college, and I got a monthly stipend to I didn't have to work in the cafeteria anymore (though if I knew then what I know now I should have kept working so I could have started my IRA 4 years earlier!). 

Upon graduation I had a full time gig as an Army officer, got to travel the world a little bit (Iraq).  When I got home I found out that my state pays for its veterans to attend any state school, for any program of their choice.  I got my masters degree free of charge.

I know its not for everyone, but I was faced with the choice of college with a huge student loan debt or a college education with little debt and a guaranteed job upon graduation.  For me the ROTC route was the way to go.

Ethernet

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Lawrence, KS
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2016, 01:47:59 PM »
I'm a current college student, taking a slower but still steady route towards a four year degree.

I highly recommend you follow the advice of advocating the community college. On top of lower tuition rates, more often than not they'll throw a scholarship at you just for attending. My college covered 1/4 of my overall cost of attendance for all because I took some higher level courses in high school. To give you some relevance, my cost of attending the community college for two years, books and all, is what my girlfriend is spending in one semester at a private college.

My parents haven't contributed a penny to my college expenses, and I don't expect them to.  They've done enough just raising me and keeping a roof over my head. I work part time In an industrial warehouse and pay everything in cash. It is completely possible.

The way that you speak of your daughter, she seems exceptionally bright. She should have no problems surviving.

Jim2001

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 203
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2016, 02:32:52 PM »
+1 for the community college route (it worked for me).

Also, get your daughter online and applying for every scholarship and grant she can find.  A financial adviser told me a story about one of his clients in a similar situation.  The client paid his son $10/hr over the summer to find, apply for and track every scholarship and grant he could find.  It was a great lesson in project planning and management.  He had to write all the cover letters and fill in all the applications and then track responses.  By the end of the summer, he paid his son a few thousand dollars.  The final result was that his son received enough money to cover all four years of tuition, plus room and board. 

Don't assume loans are the only solution.  If your daughter is set on this major, help her make it happen.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5680
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2016, 02:41:57 PM »
I hope the OP and her daughter haven't committed too far to the idea of four-year school RIGHT NOW with marine biology to back out. It can be really hard to turn around when you've been heading for something, even when that voice in your head is telling you you're digging yourself a hole. I've bought more than one house that way.

OP--the best gift you can give your daughter is to be financially independent in retirement. So many people in this forum experience heartache because their parents are broke, asking for money, etc.

I agree that marine biology can be a tricky career field. The woman I knew in college who majored in it wound up a stay-at-home mom in Washington, DC--not a place where she could ever practice her career, but where her husband needed to be for work.

Tigerpine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2016, 05:07:40 PM »
Another benefit of going to community college first is that your daughter would have an additional degree.  I have three associate's degrees, and I treasure them all.

teen persuasion

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1144
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2016, 05:55:11 PM »
I have a big decision to make in a short amount of time. I have a daughter ready to make a decision on where to go to college. Never had money to save for their college. And now it looks like the only way to get her in college is to apply for a PLUS loan and Student loans. But I have read places that they say "Parents don't take out college loans for the student". I am not a finance person at all (I know I need to learn), so I am hoping that this forum can help me. I am pretty much pay check to pay check for the most part. I have no retirement to speak of right now either, I am 41 years old.

We don't qualify for any financial aid, my EFC is like $23000 per the government...yeah right I have that laying around.

I really dont know where to begin. If I left anything out that could help with an assessment please just ask.

I'm going to attack this from another front.  Are you sure you filled out the FAFSA correctly?  I tried to reverse engineer what income it would take to generate an EFC = $23k.  I made a lot of assumptions, so more info would help improve my result, but I figure it would take an income over $110k / year.

I assumed single parent, one child (larger family would reduce EFC), no savings/assets, no retirement contributions, low tax state (higher tax state would reduce EFC).

I can understand how aggressively funding retirement accounts could result in a high EFC but little disposable income (since retirement contributions are added back to income on the FAFSA).  I can see how large taxable accounts earmarked for other purposes can result in a high EFC.  Neither of those scenarios seem to be relevant, though. 

OP, a case study with more information could help us provide better advice on where to find money for college, or patch the holes in your budget so you are not living paycheck to paycheck.  More info could also help me better predict what your EFC should be, or how to optimize/improve it.  Some of the FAFSA common terms and questions don't mean quite what common sense would lead you to believe they SHOULD mean (like dependent - FAFSA's definition is much different from the IRS definition).

ETA: You can find the actual formulas for the FAFSA - Google "EFC formulas 2016-2017".  That's what I was using to reverse engineer your income.  Sorry I can't post the link for you from my tablet.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 06:03:25 PM by teen persuasion »

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8564
  • Age: 64
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2016, 06:21:22 PM »
I would add my voice to those expressing concern about marine biology. Parents' spare bedrooms are full of adult children who followed their dreams and are now unemployable. I would also say that if money is tight, perhaps you should do a Case Study. Your required contribution indicates a fairly high income, and yet you indicate that you have no extra money.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4175
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2016, 06:25:18 PM »
This is a great time to teach your young adult daughter about choices and how we don't just get the things we want, even if we really, really, really want them.  We have to *earn* those things. 

I would encourage a community college for 2 years, and help her do a ton of research on scholarships.  There are tons of smaller scholarships out there, and $100 here and $500 there adds up.  If she truly wants this and it is truly a dream, she should be willing to do these things to make it happen.  If she doesn't, then clearly she doesn't actually want it that badly, in which case it would be insane for you to mortgage your life for it, especially when you can't even afford your current expenses. 

DragonSlayer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2016, 07:08:14 AM »
My best friend majored in MB because it was her dream, etc. etc. and what is she doing now? Water quality testing for a local municipality, making about 35k. Why? Because it was all she could get. She learned pretty quick that all of the "glamor" jobs in MB go to those with PhD's. So I'd say that unless your daughter is willing to go that far, that she rethink the MB major, at least if making money and doing anything related to the actual sea is important to her. Have her get out there and really find out what grads are doing in the field and what degrees they have before committing to this.

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2016, 03:28:48 PM »
Just another vote for community college followed by state university, heading toward a common-sense major that teaches you marketable skills.

My parents expected my three brothers and me to go to college; they just didn't have any money to give us. Three of the four of us managed to get educated on our own: one BA, one MD, and one MPA.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law told their six kids the same thing: "We would love for you to go to college, but we can't pay for it." Five of the six got themselves through at least a bachelor's degree (not sure who's  got an advanced degree and who doesn't) on their own. If your daughter wants it that bad, she'll figure it out. IMHO, you can't afford it at the moment. And I agree with everyone else who says to put your own retirement first. If you end up eating canned cat food at age 66, you'll really be kicking yourself.

Barroom Einstein

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2016, 09:02:50 PM »
I've been lurking on MMM for a couple of months now, but this post compelled me to register. As many others have recommended, I think community college is the best route for your daughter. I have PhD in ecology and I have been successful (i.e., I get paid reasonably well to do something I love). But my background might be relevant to your situation. I apologize in advance for the long post.

Coming out of high school, I didn't have many options for college. I was reasonably smart and had good grades, but a combination of poverty and ignorance of the system steered me straight to the local community college. I attended 2 different community colleges before transferring to a public university. It took me 6 years to get my BS because I had to work to pay tuition, I dropped out for a while, and I had to establish in-state residency 2 times.

I can't speak for all fields, but I think ecology students (and similar majors like marine biology) at community colleges are at a small disadvantage vs. their peers at 4yr schools. In general, I think the instruction for the gen. ed. classes will be better at the community college (i.e., classes won't be taught by grad students, many of whom know or care nothing about teaching). The disadvantage is a relative lack of opportunities to acquire relevant experience. But this disadvantage can be overcome if your daughter is a little creative.

As SilveradoBojangles and a couple of others have mentioned, your daughter will need a Master's or PhD to be a practicing marine biologist (I'm not counting cleaning the tanks at Sea World). To get into grad school, she will need to have some paid work experience. But in my field, to get a paid position, most people first need to complete some sort of volunteer internship. I could never volunteer for a summer because I had to work for the next year's tuition, so I had a tough time getting my first paid field job.

Most students at 4-yr schools can get this experience by volunteering or sometimes even getting paid (check into work study opportunities) to do 4 to10 hrs/week of lab work for a grad student. If the local community college is near a university, your daughter could email professors or grad students doing work that she finds interesting to see if they have any volunteer opportunities. Start small --- it might be 3 hrs every Tuesday doing simple scope work, but it will be a start. And then when she transfers, she could really hit the ground running. If there is not a local university, she could volunteer for a local wildlife agency. My first internship was simply entering data (for free) 1 morning per week at a local wildlife office, but having that position on my resume was critical for future opportunities.

Last, you and your daughter might consider whether she really has to have a highly specialized BS in marine biology to ultimately become a marine biologist. I've known many grad students in ecology who did not major in ecology as undergrads. And many of the brightest and most creative scientists I work with have undergrad degrees in something general like biology, physics, or mathematics. I think having a little diversity in academic training is a good thing.

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2016, 04:12:25 AM »

I've been lurking on MMM for a couple of months now, but this post compelled me to register. As many others have recommended, I think community college is the best route for your daughter. I have PhD in ecology and I have been successful (i.e., I get paid reasonably well to do something I love). But my background might be relevant to your situation. I apologize in advance for the long post.

Coming out of high school, I didn't have many options for college. I was reasonably smart and had good grades, but a combination of poverty and ignorance of the system steered me straight to the local community college. I attended 2 different community colleges before transferring to a public university. It took me 6 years to get my BS because I had to work to pay tuition, I dropped out for a while, and I had to establish in-state residency 2 times.

I can't speak for all fields, but I think ecology students (and similar majors like marine biology) at community colleges are at a small disadvantage vs. their peers at 4yr schools. In general, I think the instruction for the gen. ed. classes will be better at the community college (i.e., classes won't be taught by grad students, many of whom know or care nothing about teaching). The disadvantage is a relative lack of opportunities to acquire relevant experience. But this disadvantage can be overcome if your daughter is a little creative.

As SilveradoBojangles and a couple of others have mentioned, your daughter will need a Master's or PhD to be a practicing marine biologist (I'm not counting cleaning the tanks at Sea World). To get into grad school, she will need to have some paid work experience. But in my field, to get a paid position, most people first need to complete some sort of volunteer internship. I could never volunteer for a summer because I had to work for the next year's tuition, so I had a tough time getting my first paid field job.

Most students at 4-yr schools can get this experience by volunteering or sometimes even getting paid (check into work study opportunities) to do 4 to10 hrs/week of lab work for a grad student. If the local community college is near a university, your daughter could email professors or grad students doing work that she finds interesting to see if they have any volunteer opportunities. Start small --- it might be 3 hrs every Tuesday doing simple scope work, but it will be a start. And then when she transfers, she could really hit the ground running. If there is not a local university, she could volunteer for a local wildlife agency. My first internship was simply entering data (for free) 1 morning per week at a local wildlife office, but having that position on my resume was critical for future opportunities.

Last, you and your daughter might consider whether she really has to have a highly specialized BS in marine biology to ultimately become a marine biologist. I've known many grad students in ecology who did not major in ecology as undergrads. And many of the brightest and most creative scientists I work with have undergrad degrees in something general like biology, physics, or mathematics. I think having a little diversity in academic training is a good thing.

Thanks so much for the background info and timeline to get what you wanted and where you are now. That is some useful info I can pass to my daughter.

As for the other ideas and responses these look to be common replies

Have her go local for gen Ed- we will discuss

Have her really evaluate her major-we will

Don't take loans out in our names or even consign-could use more info on this, in Ohio who is a good company to go thru for student loans that don't require parent consignment?

We are going to trim some fat out of our budget to make way for better day to day expenses and save for retirement

I'm trying to think if I missed anything key. Thanks so much for all of the idea, it has given us some things to really consider.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Tigerpine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2016, 04:24:39 AM »
I hear decent things about the Federal government.

https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action

(That's how I funded my B.S.)

SMCx3

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2016, 05:20:53 AM »
My best friend majored in MB because it was her dream, etc. etc. and what is she doing now? Water quality testing for a local municipality, making about 35k. Why? Because it was all she could get. She learned pretty quick that all of the "glamor" jobs in MB go to those with PhD's. So I'd say that unless your daughter is willing to go that far, that she rethink the MB major, at least if making money and doing anything related to the actual sea is important to her. Have her get out there and really find out what grads are doing in the field and what degrees they have before committing to this.

This is something I need my high school to tackle when he narrows down his career options and college plans.  Great advice by many in this thread. 

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2016, 06:14:05 AM »


Don't take loans out in our names or even consign-could use more info on this, in Ohio who is a good company to go thru for student loans that don't require parent consignment?



Talk to the Financial Aid Office at the college she will be attending.  None of my kids took out privet student loans, they were all through the school in various combos of federal subsidized, federal unsubsidized, school issues unsubsidized, plus various scholarship and work study programs.  How it worked for them is that once they are accepted into the school, the school will issue a financial aid package which will help determine which of several schools to select then once you've decided on which school and committed to that school she goes into her portal and accepts/denies the various forms of aid.  So how that worked was that for the most part my kids accepted subsidized loans (where the gov't covers the interest while student in still enrolled in school and 6 months after) and did not accept unsubsidized and made up the difference with earned income (and a couple thousand a year from Mom & Dad, we've had 3 graduate, 1 is a jr and the 2 youngest are in grade/middle school).  When needed they've accepted the unsubsidized loans but made interest payments from day one so that the amount didn't continue to grow while they were still in school. 

Sounds like you and your dd need to sit down with a Financial Aid counselor at one or more schools she's considering and really get down to the nitty gritty of how the university system works.  No question is too stupid and believe me they have heard it all before (every year in fact).  With our first we were clueless as neither dh nor I had a 4 year degree (we both had 2yr degrees paid for in cash in the early 80's, dh got his BS the same week #1 got hers) and really when we went to school student loans weren't really a thing.  By the time #4 was entering college we were old hands at the whole process and could help guide him through it. 

Every year, they suggest the parent plus loan but we say NO! and then the student is offered the sub/unsub package.

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2016, 07:18:02 AM »



Don't take loans out in our names or even consign-could use more info on this, in Ohio who is a good company to go thru for student loans that don't require parent consignment?



Talk to the Financial Aid Office at the college she will be attending.  None of my kids took out privet student loans, they were all through the school in various combos of federal subsidized, federal unsubsidized, school issues unsubsidized, plus various scholarship and work study programs.  How it worked for them is that once they are accepted into the school, the school will issue a financial aid package which will help determine which of several schools to select then once you've decided on which school and committed to that school she goes into her portal and accepts/denies the various forms of aid.  So how that worked was that for the most part my kids accepted subsidized loans (where the gov't covers the interest while student in still enrolled in school and 6 months after) and did not accept unsubsidized and made up the difference with earned income (and a couple thousand a year from Mom & Dad, we've had 3 graduate, 1 is a jr and the 2 youngest are in grade/middle school).  When needed they've accepted the unsubsidized loans but made interest payments from day one so that the amount didn't continue to grow while they were still in school. 

Sounds like you and your dd need to sit down with a Financial Aid counselor at one or more schools she's considering and really get down to the nitty gritty of how the university system works.  No question is too stupid and believe me they have heard it all before (every year in fact).  With our first we were clueless as neither dh nor I had a 4 year degree (we both had 2yr degrees paid for in cash in the early 80's, dh got his BS the same week #1 got hers) and really when we went to school student loans weren't really a thing.  By the time #4 was entering college we were old hands at the whole process and could help guide him through it. 

Every year, they suggest the parent plus loan but we say NO! and then the student is offered the sub/unsub package.

So it is ok to go ahead and commit to a school and when you tell the financial aid office no to PLUS the student will be allowed to borrow more than the max $5500 for incoming freshman we were told?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

xtrm tj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2016, 07:18:03 AM »



Don't take loans out in our names or even consign-could use more info on this, in Ohio who is a good company to go thru for student loans that don't require parent consignment?



Talk to the Financial Aid Office at the college she will be attending.  None of my kids took out privet student loans, they were all through the school in various combos of federal subsidized, federal unsubsidized, school issues unsubsidized, plus various scholarship and work study programs.  How it worked for them is that once they are accepted into the school, the school will issue a financial aid package which will help determine which of several schools to select then once you've decided on which school and committed to that school she goes into her portal and accepts/denies the various forms of aid.  So how that worked was that for the most part my kids accepted subsidized loans (where the gov't covers the interest while student in still enrolled in school and 6 months after) and did not accept unsubsidized and made up the difference with earned income (and a couple thousand a year from Mom & Dad, we've had 3 graduate, 1 is a jr and the 2 youngest are in grade/middle school).  When needed they've accepted the unsubsidized loans but made interest payments from day one so that the amount didn't continue to grow while they were still in school. 

Sounds like you and your dd need to sit down with a Financial Aid counselor at one or more schools she's considering and really get down to the nitty gritty of how the university system works.  No question is too stupid and believe me they have heard it all before (every year in fact).  With our first we were clueless as neither dh nor I had a 4 year degree (we both had 2yr degrees paid for in cash in the early 80's, dh got his BS the same week #1 got hers) and really when we went to school student loans weren't really a thing.  By the time #4 was entering college we were old hands at the whole process and could help guide him through it. 

Every year, they suggest the parent plus loan but we say NO! and then the student is offered the sub/unsub package.

So it is ok to go ahead and commit to a school and when you tell the financial aid office no to PLUS the student will be allowed to borrow more than the max $5500 for incoming freshman we were told?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2016, 10:55:03 AM »



Don't take loans out in our names or even consign-could use more info on this, in Ohio who is a good company to go thru for student loans that don't require parent consignment?



Talk to the Financial Aid Office at the college she will be attending.  None of my kids took out privet student loans, they were all through the school in various combos of federal subsidized, federal unsubsidized, school issues unsubsidized, plus various scholarship and work study programs.  How it worked for them is that once they are accepted into the school, the school will issue a financial aid package which will help determine which of several schools to select then once you've decided on which school and committed to that school she goes into her portal and accepts/denies the various forms of aid.  So how that worked was that for the most part my kids accepted subsidized loans (where the gov't covers the interest while student in still enrolled in school and 6 months after) and did not accept unsubsidized and made up the difference with earned income (and a couple thousand a year from Mom & Dad, we've had 3 graduate, 1 is a jr and the 2 youngest are in grade/middle school).  When needed they've accepted the unsubsidized loans but made interest payments from day one so that the amount didn't continue to grow while they were still in school. 

Sounds like you and your dd need to sit down with a Financial Aid counselor at one or more schools she's considering and really get down to the nitty gritty of how the university system works.  No question is too stupid and believe me they have heard it all before (every year in fact).  With our first we were clueless as neither dh nor I had a 4 year degree (we both had 2yr degrees paid for in cash in the early 80's, dh got his BS the same week #1 got hers) and really when we went to school student loans weren't really a thing.  By the time #4 was entering college we were old hands at the whole process and could help guide him through it. 

Every year, they suggest the parent plus loan but we say NO! and then the student is offered the sub/unsub package.

So it is ok to go ahead and commit to a school and when you tell the financial aid office no to PLUS the student will be allowed to borrow more than the max $5500 for incoming freshman we were told?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Call the schools and ask.  Tell them that the Plus is not an option at this point in your life and what are the other options.  I really do not recall any 'limit' on loans (other than the cost of the term) BUT there IS a limit to the Federal subsidized so that may be what the school is referring to.  ALSO it may be $5500 per semester or may just be a rule at their school.  I will be honest though and say that mine all borrowed more like 10k per year (or way less for several) which would have been $5000 per semester and below any 5500 cap.  Really, just call one (or more) of the schools and see what they say.  They have a whole staff of people who deal with this every day, they CAN help you.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1817
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2016, 12:28:38 PM »
"So it is ok to go ahead and commit to a school and when you tell the financial aid office no to PLUS the student will be allowed to borrow more than the max $5500 for incoming freshman we were told?"

Do not commit to the school until you have a solid plan that does not jeopardize you or your daughter's financial future.  You can go ahead and have conversations with the financial aid office to try to get more assistance, but be realistic in what is reasonable for a 19 year old planning to major in a field that has limited employment opportunities.  Just because she can borrow $10,000 a year does not make it a reasonable decision.  That's another reason why inexpensive 2 year college, or signing up with military active duty, ROTC, or reserves can be a wise choice.  After your daughter has a couple years of college or work experience she and you will be in a much better position to judge how much debt she could manage given employment prospects.  Few 19 year olds understand what it will mean to have to pay back large loans. 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 09:31:30 PM by Dee18 »

RamonaQ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 877
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2016, 01:01:18 PM »
Also, I hope your daughter is looking at a variety of schools, even if she's set on going away to a 4-year university. 

There was no way in hell I was staying at my father's house longer than I had to and I was dead-set on going away to school.  You could talk to me about community college until you were blue in the face and it wasn't going to happen.  But, my choice of schools was highly influenced by which ones would give me the most scholarship money.  If money were no object, I probably would have gone to an Ivy League school.  Since money was a concern, I went to a good state school that gave me enough scholarships to cover all my expenses.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2168
Re: How not to go in debt for kids college-need HELP :(
« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2016, 01:03:14 PM »
Quote
If money were no object, I probably would have gone to an Ivy League school. 

I'm confused by this.  The ivy league has need-blind, merit-based aid.  Unless your parents are quite upper-middle or upper class (so your expected family contribution is very high) and not sharing with you, why not just go to the ivy?