Author Topic: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation  (Read 3641 times)

LibrarIan

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Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:40:56 AM »
I'm in an uncomfortable situation right now and I need some advice. My wife just applied to grad schools and we're now hearing back from all of them. Her dream schools were in Ohio (we live in northern KY), so she "moved" to Ohio a year in advance to nab that in-state Ohio tuition rate by "moving in" with a friend of mine. This was all going well until she got rejected (much to our surprise) from all Ohio schools. She did, however, get accepted to the University of Louisville. The problem is that since she was "living" in another state as far as UL is concerned, she will have out-of-state rates for the first two semesters. The final two will be in-state since she has now "moved back" in with me after the Ohio school rejections. She really, really wants to go to grad school, which is great, it's just that now it's more expensive than we'd hoped and is in a place that is not conducive to my job aspirations as opposed to Ohio which would have been good for both of us.

I've calculated (and estimated) that her tuition bill plus gas to drive back and forth (she doesn't want to move there, which would actually be more expensive than just driving) would be approximately $33,547. This doesn't count parking costs, books, etc. This is as opposed to what it could have been in-state all the way which would have been $23,500.  The school is far enough away and her course load would be heavy enough to where she'd have to quit her current job, totally relying on my income and having to take out a loan for the remainder of the money. Also, I hate my current job and was hoping to quit it in August once I finished my masters degree. I really want to return to library work, which is what I used to do (but it doesn't pay as much).

Now that those details are out of the way, here's my main concern. Dropping our combined annual income to just mine, having her commute probably around 3 times a week for 4 semesters (going FT), taking out a loan and having to work at a place I hate (not wanting to risk leaving - I know my desired career in this area probably won't pay what I'm earning now) all sound like bad things to me. But she really, really wants this. I'm totally willing to help, but I'm having a hard time getting the medicine to go down. Plus, when I talk about the financial and life implications of this situation, she just gets really mad. What are your thoughts? Am I just blowing this out of proportion?

Current money situation...

Combined annual gross income: $75k
Savings: $16k and counting (which we wanted to use toward a house)
Roth IRA: $10k
my retirement thru work: 6k

After every conceivable monthly expense (including putting money into investments), we have approximately $2,400/month just sitting around that we could dump in savings or do whatever with.

NOTE: I'm just now coming out of grad school myself, but I was able to get in-state, go via online and pay it off without a loan.

Gin1984

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 11:43:56 AM »
So, you knew she wanted to go to grad school, you were supportive for the last year and now that where she got in has changed, your support is gone?  This from someone who finished grad school, which I assume she was supportive of?  Do you see why she may be upset?

LibrarIan

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 11:57:02 AM »
I see your point. But my support is not gone. I still want her to do what she really wants to do. Now that our circumstances are drastically different than what they could have been, the costs and other issues are very different. I simply want her to make the most informed decision possible, but she is taking it as me being a miser and not being supportive.

She has been getting really serious lately about saving money for a house and that's been the talk of the town, so to speak. Now that this opportunity has come up, we probably won't be able to save nearly as quickly. It's just a lot of financial changes all at once.

EDIT: I should also mention that if we opt to postpone this one year, she'll get full in-state tuition and we'd have time to save toward with two jobs. Understandably though, she wants to get a move on with the first semester this fall.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 12:01:24 PM by LibrarIan »

MDM

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 12:05:26 PM »
Gin1984 may be spot on, but a slight rearrangement of pronouns, etc. gives this:

So, she knew you supported her desire to go to grad school, she made alternate living arrangements for the last year to reduce the cost and now that where she got in has changed, she won't discuss the consequences of that change?  This from someone who made financially-driven changes in the first place, which I assume you were supportive of?  I see why you may be upset that she won't even discuss the changes now.


While the long term financial items are important, I'd be more concerned about whether the two of you are able to communicate and plan your lives together.  I suspect that with a little give and take on both sides this is manageable, but you need to have that discussion together. 
The quote may not be exact, but one of Covey's 7 habits "seek first to understand, and only then to be understood" is a good idea when entering these discussions.

homeymomma

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 12:47:21 PM »
If she has been planning this for a while (which she obviously has), it might be very hard to accept that things are not going according to plan and that she may need to delay starting school. I had this exact decision to make after college. I was accepted to Johns Hopkins for nursing school, accepted admission (because it's a good school. No other questions were asked), and quit my job in NY. My husband in preparation for the move agreed to finish his graduate degree early, which meant a lot of extra work. About three weeks before the start of the semester, I did the calculations for what this year long program was going to cost me over the life of my loan repayment and balked. I pulled out of the program at the last second, after having already declined admission to every other program that had accepted me. It was the hardest and most embarrassing decision I have ever made. Suddenly we had to explain why I wasn't going (money), what we were going to do instead (we didn't know), and where we were going to live (we didn't know). It was awful. I ended up working, living with husbands parents, for a year, saving up tuition in full for an instate program, and beginning the next year instead. Best decision ever.
All that story to say that it is soooo hard to accept that your best laid plans may need to be altered, or that worst of all it may have been a personal failing that led to the problematic situation. I'd give her a little time to really think about what's best for all of you. Maybe there are even more emotions at work here? I really wanted to start a family ASAP, which made the decision to delay school an extra year even harder. Perhaps your wife is struggling with similar internal pressures? I'm just saying it may not be as obviously a financial pro/con list to her.

LibrarIan

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 12:57:11 PM »
Homeymomma, you hit on some important stuff. Yes, grad school and finances aren't the only things sitting in our shared future. We've sort of decided that once we both finished grad school, we'd then start seriously thinking about children. Putting that off for a year isn't ideal. If she puts things off for a year, we wouldn't have to move in with the folks or anything (I wonder what that was like), but we'd at least be able to better prepare.

homeymomma

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2014, 01:19:47 PM »
That does make it a much more emotional decision. Do what feels best for you all. The biological clock can sort of screw things up. (Yeah... I would know... I was pregnant by the time I graduated nursing school and now I'm a stay at home mom... Never used either of my bachelors degrees. Oops). I think having a plan for actual employment/income after graduation and really looking at that time realistically may help sort out the pro and cons of waiting or going for it this year. Rather than just seeing "graduation" as the end all and be all. Will your wife have improved earning potential immediately? Will she need employment experience right after graduating? All this depends on the field but you see what I mean.
In my own story... Who knows? Maybe if I'd gone to Johns Hopkins, I would have have better job prospects coming out of school and been able to wait on babies, worked for a while to pay off some loans, and actually set myself up for a future career, and much more earning potential. No way to know. You just have to make the choices that seem best with the information you have at the time.

Villanelle

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 01:38:13 PM »
Can you split the difference and put it off one semester, so she only delays one semester and only has one semester of out of state tuition?

Also, perhaps you can get online and research the hell out of scholarships.  Not only would that save you money, it would show her that you do support her goals.  Often people just look for large scholarships, but if you can cobble together a handful of ~$200-$500  awards, it can make a real difference.

Think about any groups with which you've been involved, any organizations pertaining to her field of study, anything that makes her special in any way, and look for scholarships relating to those thing. 

Gin1984

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 01:49:20 PM »
Gin1984 may be spot on, but a slight rearrangement of pronouns, etc. gives this:

So, she knew you supported her desire to go to grad school, she made alternate living arrangements for the last year to reduce the cost and now that where she got in has changed, she won't discuss the consequences of that change?  This from someone who made financially-driven changes in the first place, which I assume you were supportive of?  I see why you may be upset that she won't even discuss the changes now.


While the long term financial items are important, I'd be more concerned about whether the two of you are able to communicate and plan your lives together.  I suspect that with a little give and take on both sides this is manageable, but you need to have that discussion together. 
The quote may not be exact, but one of Covey's 7 habits "seek first to understand, and only then to be understood" is a good idea when entering these discussions.
MDM, I agree with you and I think she should discuss it.  I would be livid if my husband decided not to discuss a major change in our fiscal situation.  But, since he was the one asking, having him understand why she was upset, I thought, might help their communication.   That being said, personally, I would have had this discussion before she applied to other schools.  Why was a plan not in place for her getting into those.  She could see it as this was a known possibility, why is he needing to discuss it.   My husband and I discussed what would happen if we both got into the same grad school, what happened if we got in to separate ones, and what would happen if one got in and not the other.  It really did help to not be having the discuss after finding out because the emotions were not as high.

MDM

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 02:09:20 PM »
^ - Agreed 100%.  They can't have the pre-emotional discussion on this one because that's already in the past, but the suggested "let's talk about what if...?" beforehand is indeed spot on for relationships in general.

AMustachianMurse

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 06:12:44 PM »
That does make it a much more emotional decision. Do what feels best for you all. The biological clock can sort of screw things up. (Yeah... I would know... I was pregnant by the time I graduated nursing school and now I'm a stay at home mom... Never used either of my bachelors degrees. Oops). I think having a plan for actual employment/income after graduation and really looking at that time realistically may help sort out the pro and cons of waiting or going for it this year. Rather than just seeing "graduation" as the end all and be all. Will your wife have improved earning potential immediately? Will she need employment experience right after graduating? All this depends on the field but you see what I mean.
In my own story... Who knows? Maybe if I'd gone to Johns Hopkins, I would have have better job prospects coming out of school and been able to wait on babies, worked for a while to pay off some loans, and actually set myself up for a future career, and much more earning potential. No way to know. You just have to make the choices that seem best with the information you have at the time.

As a fellow nurse (albeit a male one) I wanted to ask...Why did you decide to quit your job and do day-care instead of SAHM.  From what I understand the net gain in income would be greater with 12-hour nursing gig + Day-Care on your off days than doing the day-care yourself.  Did you want to spend more time with your kid and that's why you did SAHM?  Or am I underestimating the true cost of child-care?

homeymomma

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Re: Need some MMM advice regarding school situation
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 06:49:10 PM »
That does make it a much more emotional decision. Do what feels best for you all. The biological clock can sort of screw things up. (Yeah... I would know... I was pregnant by the time I graduated nursing school and now I'm a stay at home mom... Never used either of my bachelors degrees. Oops). I think having a plan for actual employment/income after graduation and really looking at that time realistically may help sort out the pro and cons of waiting or going for it this year. Rather than just seeing "graduation" as the end all and be all. Will your wife have improved earning potential immediately? Will she need employment experience right after graduating? All this depends on the field but you see what I mean.
In my own story... Who knows? Maybe if I'd gone to Johns Hopkins, I would have have better job prospects coming out of school and been able to wait on babies, worked for a while to pay off some loans, and actually set myself up for a future career, and much more earning potential. No way to know. You just have to make the choices that seem best with the information you have at the time.

As a fellow nurse (albeit a male one) I wanted to ask...Why did you decide to quit your job and do day-care instead of SAHM.  From what I understand the net gain in income would be greater with 12-hour nursing gig + Day-Care on your off days than doing the day-care yourself.  Did you want to spend more time with your kid and that's why you did SAHM?  Or am I underestimating the true cost of child-care?

I was pregnant when I graduated school so I never had a job. When I graduated we also moved to a different city. Trying to start from scratch doing a job hunt, in a new city, while pregnant (I had a very difficult pregnancy) seemed silly since I wasn't convinced I'd be able (emotionally) to go back to work after baby was born (turned out to be accurate for a different reason, I had postpartum complications.). basically I would have worked if we had not moved because I had connections/prospects locally from school, but we moved for my husbands job because we knew he'd be working long term for sure. But generally yes, I'm a stay at home mom even though it would be financially better to work. Not sure that will be true when we have two kids though! Child care is expensive!