Author Topic: RE or kids college  (Read 8470 times)

Captain FIRE

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2017, 08:39:07 AM »
For a fairly controversial position on this MMM board, I'd argue that community schools, and (depending greatly on the schools in question) even state schools do not provide the same caliber of education as many top ranked (often private) colleges.

If you are interested in your child simply obtaining a degree to get a job, then many proposals here for community college followed by the local college will work fine for that goal.  If you are interested in your child getting a top-notch education rather just a degree, then it's different question.  And that's without considering the networking impact / that it's easier to get into top grad schools from top college, which is where you often get the better paying jobs.  I'm not saying people who put a lot of effort in can't get a lot out of other schools, but I often feel that people equate one college education as the same as another, a position I think is wrong.  (And before I get flamed, I would clarify I'm also not saying here that parents ought to fund all of the costs of the education.)

I did what a lot of people here propose - took all available AP classes and the community college courses offered through my high school.  I even did early admission at a fairly good state school and took a few classes there while in high school.  The quality of even those state school courses was not as strong as the private college I attended.  Unfortunately, due to college requirements regarding how these courses could be treated/used (receiving "unspecified" subject credits that didn't apply towards minimum graduation requirements for that subject, for example), it was not much use in shortening my time at college.  I've also taught college, so I've seen it from the other side of the fence as well.

MommyCake

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2017, 09:34:52 AM »
For a fairly controversial position on this MMM board, I'd argue that community schools, and (depending greatly on the schools in question) even state schools do not provide the same caliber of education as many top ranked (often private) colleges.


I agree.  I went to private for undergrad and state for grad.  In my experience, private school was better in every area, from academics to customer service and everything in between.  However, I don't think private university is always necessary.  I think the school chosen might depend upon career choice.  If my daughter wants to be a social worker or a teacher, I think state school is fine (public schools in my area have great programs for these).  If she wants to go into a more competitive field (for example if she wanted to be a doctor) I would prefer one of higher-ranking private schools.  I also know she may not want to go to traditional college at all.  She may want to go to a trade school, go directly into the military, or something else completely. 

farmecologist

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2017, 09:51:55 AM »
I would like to point out here $250,000 4-year college costs are NOT to be taken at face value.   The expensive private colleges all have "Robin Hood" tuition policies - they're taking $60k/year from families making hundreds of thousands a year, but kids from families making less pay less.  Apex universities like Princeton and Harvard publicize that if the parents make less than approximately $65k or so per year, you get free tuition, room and board; i.e. with a summer job covering incidentals; you're going for free.  No debt upon graduation.  And at about $120k in parent income, you're just getting free tuition; paying for room and board.  This is all need-based aid; no need to apply for fancy scholarships.  However, private colleges get less and less generous as they get less and less selective.  The bottom tier private schools give only token need based aid and only to really poor people. 

Basically, if you can get into a good enough private college, with low enough income, it will be cheaper than even an in-state college.  While there's nothing wrong with going the community college to state school route (that is going to be the most rational/cheapest route for *most* students), it's worth considering all options.  Even if it ends up costing a little more, the private U route still might be worth it depending on the circumstances. 

All of this dovetails nicely with an early-retirement, mustachian way of life.  Low income = high need based aid.  Sure, high savings will reduce aid, but colleges count savings differently and may or may not look at house or 401k/ira equity.

This is 100% true.  However, you need to be living the 'early-retirement, mustachian way of life' before filling out the FAFSA.  I'd bet that quite a few of us with kids are still in the 'stache accumulation phase'.  If you can get need-based aid, then great.  However, in reality that just doesn't work for many of us.  I'm not complaining...it is what it is.

I'd also like to point out that many of these high cost-to-attend private colleges do offer substantial non-need based aid.  However, they seem to use this as a carrot to get people to bite.  From our experience, at the few of these schools we have looked into, the average out of pocket cost was around 40K ( 60K-ish with 20K-ish or so "guaranteed non-loan aid" ).   Frankly, that's pretty ridiculous.

how are "quite a few" mustachians still working when their children go to college.  even if you had a child right when you started working or slightly before this would equate to an 18+ year working career.  which wouldnt really equate to a mustachian lifestyle.

Well...pretty simple actually.  Not all of us are "mustashian from birth".  Many have discovered this site well into their "working career" and may not have been in a "mustachinan" mindset before that, etc... And from reading other threads about raising kids and such, yes there are "quite a few" of us that are still working when our kids reach college age.  I'm not sure why this is a difficult thing to comprehend for you.


Prairie Stash

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2017, 03:25:54 PM »
OP - Lets boil this down some. You want to RE or work longer to pay for college. I also want to RE, I don't want to pay full college for my 2. Instead I plan on spending time at home with them before they move out and only visit periodically.

I also live in a University town, so I plan on providing food and shelter. That's half the cost right there. I'm also taking advantage of some government grants that match my savings that will partially fund their school. Overall I expect them to contribute under $20K/child, what I consider reasonable for them to work/save for in their summer holidays.

How much is reasonable for your kids to contribute for 4 years of school? When saving there should be an amount that the child can contribute/get a loan for as well.  Partial payment blends the best of both worlds, they have the responsibility to shoulder some of the burden plus they have a head start (little to no loan) in life.

teen persuasion

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2017, 09:13:19 PM »
I would like to point out here $250,000 4-year college costs are NOT to be taken at face value.   The expensive private colleges all have "Robin Hood" tuition policies - they're taking $60k/year from families making hundreds of thousands a year, but kids from families making less pay less.  Apex universities like Princeton and Harvard publicize that if the parents make less than approximately $65k or so per year, you get free tuition, room and board; i.e. with a summer job covering incidentals; you're going for free.  No debt upon graduation.  And at about $120k in parent income, you're just getting free tuition; paying for room and board.  This is all need-based aid; no need to apply for fancy scholarships.  However, private colleges get less and less generous as they get less and less selective.  The bottom tier private schools give only token need based aid and only to really poor people. 

Basically, if you can get into a good enough private college, with low enough income, it will be cheaper than even an in-state college.  While there's nothing wrong with going the community college to state school route (that is going to be the most rational/cheapest route for *most* students), it's worth considering all options.  Even if it ends up costing a little more, the private U route still might be worth it depending on the circumstances. 

All of this dovetails nicely with an early-retirement, mustachian way of life.  Low income = high need based aid.  Sure, high savings will reduce aid, but colleges count savings differently and may or may not look at house or 401k/ira equity.

This is 100% true.  However, you need to be living the 'early-retirement, mustachian way of life' before filling out the FAFSA.  I'd bet that quite a few of us with kids are still in the 'stache accumulation phase'.  If you can get need-based aid, then great.  However, in reality that just doesn't work for many of us.  I'm not complaining...it is what it is.

I'd also like to point out that many of these high cost-to-attend private colleges do offer substantial non-need based aid.  However, they seem to use this as a carrot to get people to bite.  From our experience, at the few of these schools we have looked into, the average out of pocket cost was around 40K ( 60K-ish with 20K-ish or so "guaranteed non-loan aid" ).   Frankly, that's pretty ridiculous.

how are "quite a few" mustachians still working when their children go to college.  even if you had a child right when you started working or slightly before this would equate to an 18+ year working career.  which wouldnt really equate to a mustachian lifestyle.

Looks like Pete started the blog in 2011.  In 2011 DS2 joined DD1 in college.  So my kids were already on the college journey before I'd ever heard about MMM.

Looking at the Shockingly Simple Math, a 50% saving rate equates to about 17 years.  Is there some cutoff saving rate or time to FIRE that is just not good enough to be considered mustachian?  Considering we started our FIRE journey in our 40s raising 5 kids on a relatively low income, I still will consider FIRE at age 55 early retirement.

YMMV

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: RE or kids college
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2017, 01:47:54 AM »
OP, it seems like you are easy going on the part time work you do after FIRE from your current role. Would you consider working somewhere that would make your kids eligible for free tuition?

If you live nearby this could reduce the overall cost significantly.