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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: FIRE_at_45 on October 02, 2016, 08:05:32 PM

Title: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 02, 2016, 08:05:32 PM
I'm curious to see what others are considering paying for their children's educations and why? 

Looking back my parent's paid about 25%.  It was a great help! I worked summers though from the time I was 12 and every summer during university (no PT jobs) so getting through debt free wasn't that difficult even living away from home. 

Where I live I don't think it is realistic that my kids will be working at 12, but maybe 16?  I fully expect them to work every summer during university.  So, I think my number is around 25% and that may be while supporting them at home.   

Reason for 25% - I want my children to have some 'skin' in the game.  They also have a mom who will likely contribute so the % may be more in the end.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Cranky on October 03, 2016, 09:08:40 AM
We paid all of our EFC, which depended on how much of a scholarship they each got. We provided a little bit of spending money, but not much - they had summer jobs for that.

My youngest is still in college locally, and works part time because she doesn't want to live at home. (I would actually contribute to her living expenses, but she prefers to work.)

No loans.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on October 03, 2016, 09:18:54 AM
My parents paid 100% of my education, as in tuition, room and board. I paid everything else. That being said, I was taught the value of money from an early age, and also taught the value of my education. Had I or my sister been the type to squander to slack off at school, my parents never would have done this. There were very open lines of communication on that front. I hope to be able to do the same for my children.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Saskatchewstachian on October 03, 2016, 09:29:53 AM
My parents had enough set aside to pay for 1 year of tuition. Room and board and all other costs were paid for myself with money from summer jobs.

I hear from many many people that "a summer job can't pay for university anymore" like it did in the good ol days. In my opinion though it really depends on what you are taking in school. In the summers I managed to get on with an engineering company doing basic surveying (no training required), this was $20/hr which was a good wage but not enough to live on for 8 months with only 4 months to earn. The big break came with the hours supplied by this job, either a 10-4 or 12-2 schedule which would lead to 70-90 hour weeks vs a normal 40, and all time over 40 hours was 1.5X pay.

I earned more in that summer working for $20/hr than my first job out of school making 80k/yr. Many friends also had similar opportunities though and turned them down because it required you to be on the road all summer and many long days, but with it I was able to pay for my own schooling and come out debt free. Well worth the work if you ask me!
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: erae on October 03, 2016, 09:35:00 AM
We will likely handle college the same way my parents did, by letting our kid know they have X amount to set themselves up as adults. We were told if we didn't use all of X on our undergraduate degrees, mom and dad would hold on to the money and we could use it later for graduate school, down payment on a home, to start a business, etc. So it was earmarked, but could only be used on projects determined legitimate my our parents. I was the older sibling and was told that my little sibling would also have X amount and that my parents' retirement plans were not affected by their decision to set aside X*2 for these funds, which relieved me of any concern of taking more than my fair share of the family's resources.

At the time (early 2000's) X would have covered 60-70% of the sticker price of an Ivy League. I blew mine on a fancy undergraduate degree and a semester abroad and graduated with minimal debt (around 5k). My sibling took scholarships to the local public school and used the rest of his account to get himself set up in his 20's.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: PharmaStache on October 03, 2016, 09:36:11 AM
At minimum, 4 years of tuition and books. 

We're too far away from university for me to be sure.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: KCM5 on October 03, 2016, 09:37:19 AM
My parents paid for a bit - they provided a car, car insurance, a cell phone, and gas to go home to visit. Maybe that was 10% of costs, if you consider those things to be college costs? We lived in a rural area with no public 4 year schools nearby, so we all but had to go away for school. And I took out loans and worked (a lot) for the rest.

My spouse's parents didn't expect a 4 year degree and it didn't occur to him to get one, so they didn't cover college costs. He went back for his degree after we married and we paid for all of it. (not that I would expect his parents to cover anything in that situation).

For my child, I'd like her to learn how to stretch a dollar like I did. It was a valuable life skill. But as long as she values her education, I plan on paying tuition and giving her a book allowance. I think that's a good balance and imparts the skills that can be honed in college regarding money without burdening her with loans. I suppose if she wanted to take out loans instead of work, as I expect, we may have a discussion about priorities. If she has good reasoning regarding loans and perhaps thinks they're a good investment in her time in school, I'm fine with that too.

Edited to add: when I say tuition I mean in state tuition or state school (9,000 pounds a year in the UK).
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: honeybbq on October 03, 2016, 09:51:09 AM
I hope to pay for room and board and tuition for my child's education. I'll get them a reasonable, suitable car and insure it until they have an accident (or graduate college).

They will have to make their own fun money.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: little_brown_dog on October 03, 2016, 10:00:26 AM
Our baby is under 1 so it is still really hard to tell just how much we can pay for college (who knows how insane even public in state tuition will be in 17 years). Right now, we have a savings goal of 5k per year for her college fund with the hopes that it will be enough to cover the majority of the costs. This goal is substantial enough to really help her out, but not so much that it detracts or derails our own financial goals. The plan is to continue to commit 5k per year per child until age 18.  If we come up short then we come up short and she'll have to make up the difference with part time work, scholarships, or loans.
We figured this was the least stressful way to save rather than attempting to predict how crazy tuition might be almost 2 decades from now.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: englishteacheralex on October 03, 2016, 10:04:30 AM
There are so many factors, it really depends. I went to a state school and had many scholarships, so my parents were able to fund 100% of my college expenses for four years with the savings they had put by over the years. I had to take out a loan for $5k for the fifth year (I had a lot of majors/minors in college and had to do student teaching).

Not having a large student loan was very important to my ability to move to Hawaii in 2003 and live here for 13 years on a teacher's salary. I'm thankful for that.

My mom was adamant at the time that they would not pay for school unless I had some kind of professional certification at the end. She didn't care what it was. She made me a list of things she had heard of (I remember EMT and RN being on the list, but there were other things I don't remember) but said I wasn't limited to those things. Every tuition payment was contingent upon me taking classes that would lead to something concrete and tangible that you could get a job with. I had to show her the classes I was registering for every semester and explain what each one was for and what they were leading to. I COULD take classes that were just for fun, but there had to be classes with a clear career path.

Control freak? Yes, my mom has issues. We had a lot of fights about it at the time. But it actually turned out to be pretty good sense on her part. In some ways. I wanted to be a writer and work in publishing, and she would only approve of that if I got a summer internship in some capacity in that field. So I did. And found out I didn't like office jobs or living in big cities. Student teaching, which I did the next semester (because she insisted; I really didn't want to) turned out to be the most fun I'd ever had. I'm a career educator and love my job 14 years later. So...mom was right. Hate it when that happens.

Anyway, with my own kids, who are toddlers, we are saving a small amount for college but are focusing on paying off our mortgage so that when they are college age we can cash flow their education. But we will probably make it very contingent on them having a plan for their career and being wise and mature about school/life. I also will not pay for my children's pocket money during that time--I worked throughout college to pay for my own expenses beyond room/board. Teenagers can be beasts in college when it comes to discretionary spending.

Money with no guidance can be very dangerous. The high school students I work with...I've seen so many horror stories after they leave high school. So much wasted money and time. There are some of them where it's so clear: DO NOT PAY FOR THIS KID TO GO TO COLLEGE! Just because he/she can get in doesn't mean he/she is ready!
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: I'm a red panda on October 03, 2016, 10:22:20 AM
Hopefully all of it, however, we would expect the child to apply for scholarships.

If we don't have children (I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant, but it is looking more and more likely this will end like the last one did) we plan to offer significant contributions to our nieces and nephews who attend college.

My parents paid for all my non-scholarshipped college expenses and it really helped me start my adult life well.  I wasn't allowed to work my first two years of college, but the savings I have from the final two years was a real nice start once I left college.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 03, 2016, 10:41:47 AM
I'm not voting in your poll because it's not that straightforward.

We will pay for 4 years room, board and tuition at one of our state's excellent public colleges/universities.  If the kids choose to go to a more expensive institution or take longer than four years, we are not paying for the excess cost, although they could live home and finish up locally or online and just pay tuition.

It's not "100% because I don't want them to suffer like I did."  My parents paid for all six of their kids to go to a moderately priced college.  Dh's parents paid for all five of their kids to go anywhere they wanted (and paid for med school and grad school for most).  It was the greatest gift they could have given us, and we are grateful to them every single day for it.

We had summer jobs and our kids have summer jobs and that goes toward spending money and books.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: dcozad999 on October 03, 2016, 10:51:07 AM
I'll pay whatever I can.  If it's 100% then I'll pay for it all. I'm not going to set back my retirement for it though.

I'm putting around $1600/year in their 529 plans. That's all I'm willing to invest right now. I'll cash flow what I can when they get there, but not sure how much extra that will be. I'll be 54 years-old when the first one gets to college.

They are almost 5 years apart, so it will at least be staggered. But I'm hoping to be retired by the time the second one goes in.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: BTDretire on October 03, 2016, 11:00:28 AM
I voted, but it's more complicated than a simple percentage.
Both my kids earned a scholarship with good grades. (Florida Bright Futures)
It was 100% when my daughter was in college, 75% for my son.
 My daughter graduated and worked three years, her company merged with another,
this caused many changes. She decided to go back to college and become an Orthodontist. My wife told her if she would go back to school she would pay for it.
Asian mother wants a doctor in the family. Looks like she promised my money too! So, we are looking at $42k to $50k a year to pay for 5 years of dental school.
  My son dropped out for a year, he's back in school now but lost the Bright Futures scholarship. We are paying for his classes as long as he has decent grades.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: nobody123 on October 03, 2016, 11:04:58 AM
I voted 100%, but not because I "suffered".  Based on some research I've done recently, it's unrealistic (in my opinion) to expect my kids to earn enough from part time jobs to cash-flow college unless they are very lucky with significant scholarships.  I consider it my responsibility to make sure my offspring aren't ignorant assholes who are leeches on society.  Since college is pretty much a prerequisite for any decent-paying job, I will be paying for it if I am financially able to.  Obviously, I won't be paying for spring break trips, study abroad, etc., and I'm going to make sure they pick a degree that is at least somewhat marketable.  They'll also be required to have part time jobs over the summer.  Frankly, I'm also fine with paying for trade school and a good set of starter tools if they choose to become an electrician or plumber.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: mm1970 on October 03, 2016, 11:26:20 AM
I have no idea.

But I put 90%.

I figure they will have to at least work and save for some of it.

If I'm lucky they'll get scholarships.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Liralen on October 03, 2016, 11:32:31 AM
100% of undergrad at an in-state public school. My parents did that for me and I'm very appreciative.
If our children opt for private schools, we'll pay what public would have cost and possibly more if we're able.

I also took advantage of scholarships for college so my parents didn't foot the whole bill. When I went to graduate school they wanted to pay and covered whatever my work didn't reimburse. So in that case, they payed 5-10% of graduate school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: acroy on October 03, 2016, 11:40:34 AM
I assume this is for 'college' education.

We are of course paying 100% for grade school education. Twice; since we homeschool.

We will pay 0% towards secondary education. It would be enormously irresponsible to deprive my own offspring of the invaluable experience of working & paying for their collegiate education.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Spiffy on October 03, 2016, 11:51:10 AM
Not sure yet. My husband and I work at an expensive private university, so we get free tuition (yea!) So if they live at home (saving the whopping 12,500 per year room and board fee) we won't be paying much except books and fees. But fees are $4500 per year. By the time the kids go, who knows how high it will be. But they also have the option of choosing a school on the list of universities with reciprocal tuition. So we would have to pay for room and board if they move away. We are just waiting to see what each child ends up doing, knowing that it doesn't have to cost much if we make the right choices.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: teen persuasion on October 03, 2016, 12:34:27 PM
Kids one and two are done with college, 3 and 4 are in college now, 5 is waiting in the wings (6th grade).

Every kid is different, every college is different (one and two did privates, 3 and 4 are at states), every year the FAFSA rules and scholarships available are different.

So far we've kicked in roughly $1k or so per kid to fill gaps.  They've all taken fed loans out, and had WS.  Some were/are more gung-ho about summer jobs.  Lots of grants (fed, state, school) and scholarships, some merit, some need. 

The relatively large family size helps on the FAFSA, and by selectively saving where it is advantageous for FA (HSA, 401k, not 529) I've tried to net the kids the max aid that I can.  It's getting trickier - most changes to the FAFSA are not positive (retroactively moving the auto EFC=0 cutoff AGI from $32k to $23k, for example), and our family stats keep changing as each kid leaves college and later turns 24.  DS5 will effectively be viewed as an only child when he goes to college, at a time when we are trying to make up for low savings rates while raising the gang.  I've been running projections, but the inflation adjustments to each year's charts are unpredictable (asset protection amounts shrank a few years back, and are currently 50% lower than I remember from 2008).

It looks like we might be ready to FIRE right around the time we first file a FAFSA for DS5.  Trying to minimize his EFC will be less than optimal for optimizing retirement income and taxes.  The Roth conversion ladder, in particular, is something we really could benefit from, but hurts FA (conversions increase AGI, and Roth contribution withdrawals are added to income on the FAFSA, effectively double counted).  Timing will be everything.  We've got a window of no FAFSAs from 2018-2020, but we will still be working, I hope, so not good for conversions.  Then 4 years with limited conversions (to stay under auto EFC=0 cutoff for AGI (so withdrawals are invisible, if rules stay the same)).

I really don't know if DS5 will get the aid that the older kids have gotten.  Even the loans are worse.  When DD1 started, they were all subsidized.  Now only a portion is subsidized, and the grace periods are evaporating.  Some of the "grants" convert to unsub loans (with retroactive interest) if the student doesn't meet job quotas later.  Scary.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Laserjet3051 on October 03, 2016, 12:53:32 PM
My parents paid for <5% of my total educational costs which include both undergrad and grad school. While, I have stated that "I dont want my kids to live a life of indentured servitude to bloated bank loans," and I would want to pay the lionshare of my kids undergrad costs, it is highly unlikely I will be able to shoulder that total cost. Oldest is a freshman in highschool, youngest in elementary school. If they go to excellent, but expensive, UC (state) schools, I estimate I will be able to pay 50% using both 529 and cashflow mechanisms. They will shoulder the other 50%, through college work/study programs (or work), scholarships, and as a last resort, loans.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on October 03, 2016, 02:22:37 PM
I put 80% only because I am not sure how it will all work out BUT like others I will help out as much as I can but not give up retirement to do it.

With 4 kids and having saved in 529s things are already changing as the Oldest is going to College Next year with a partial athletic Scholarship, the next year the Second Oldest received 100% athletic scholarship so their 529 will roll down to the younger 2. The third if stays health is way ahead of the other 2 and should get something as well but you never know. So 50-100% averaging all 4 so I am guessing as of today 80%.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: hops on October 03, 2016, 02:42:12 PM
We're going to do what my future in-laws did, which is not a comment I make often. They told my partner from the time she was 13 or so that they would only pay 50% of her undergraduate expenses and nothing beyond that. This compelled her to work her ass off during high school because she knew that she wanted to attend a very expensive university, followed by medical school. To afford med school on her own, she had to keep her undergrad expenses as low as possible. Between scholarships (some of them large, but she also applied for all kinds of obscure, meager ones) and saving what she earned babysitting and working summer jobs, she covered her half and her parents ended up paying less than they feared.

It's doubtful that our future kids will be as highly motivated as she was (which is fine), and they'll probably tire of hearing tales of her badassity, but she looks back on the way she busted her hump to be able to afford something seemingly out of reach and says it taught her invaluable lessons.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Cassie on October 03, 2016, 02:52:15 PM
I did what my parents did for me and that was to offer them to stay home for free, feed them, buy their clothes, etc. Before my divorce my H & I were also paying tuition/books but afterwards with it just being me I could not afford to do that.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Cwadda on October 03, 2016, 03:02:51 PM
50% and they won't be going to a $50k/yr private institution for undergraduate studies unless they get scholarship funds for it.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Rionoskae on October 04, 2016, 12:25:28 PM
I have to be honest here, after reading the initial question I was expecting a totally different answer from the community.

But perhaps I am a bit biased... My parents co-signed my loans and that was it. (IE 0%)

Your kids are lucky to have such responsible and forward thinking parents :)
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: catccc on October 04, 2016, 01:24:17 PM
I didn't respond to the poll, because we will cover what we can, and I'm not sure what that will be.  Kids are 5 & 7 and we have about 50K put away in 529s between the two at this point.

Voting for Hillary (for a multitude of reasons) and hoping this free tuition for families making under $125K/year by 2021 will be a reality.

Both my sister and I had scholarships that covered about 1/2 of the bill.  Of the remainder, my parents footed 100% of my sister's bill.  But she also handed every single one of her checks from part time work in high school and college directly over to them.  Of my 5.5 years of undergrad that were not covered by scholarships, my parents covered the 1st year.  I paid tuition and room/board for years 2-4, and tuition for years 5-5.5.  They let me live at home for the last 1.5 years, so I didn't need to pay room and board.  And they covered a vehicle and insurance on said vehicle for all the years. 

Just pointing out that your kids might plan differently than you do, and that could be okay.  Even though college coverage really varied for my sister and I, I think everyone feels pretty positive about the whole experience.  Zero hard feelings for anyone. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 04, 2016, 01:42:34 PM
We would like to provide half, for three kids, but it's a soft goal.  If the market tanks and my SWR is in danger, they will get less.  It is after all my money, not theirs.  I consider our flexible college spending to be part of our retirement savings safety margin.

Any money that we contribute to college will be more than my parents provided to me, so I feel no obligation to impoverish myself any further on behalf of my kids.  We'll both be long since retired by then, so it will be an easier decision than most couples face.  It's probably harder to say no when you're still working.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Radagast on October 04, 2016, 01:59:03 PM
My thought is that once they are old enough to work part time jobs, we will match all income reported on tax returns up to a lifetime inflation adjusted maximum of 120k, whatever course they decide to take. This solves both the entitlement problem and the school-is-too-expensive problem. It also allows them to go to school, or graduate school, or not, and still be treated the same. Especially if we have two or more.

So I voted 0% :). Of course it may be 50%, or 110%, or infinity% depending on what they decide to do with their lives.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 04, 2016, 02:05:35 PM
100%, but not 'because I don't want my kids to struggle like I did', more the opposite.  My parents paid 100% for us 3 kids and it allowed me, the youngest of the bunch, to concentrate on school and the opportunities afforded to me with the free time.  I can't imagine a better thing I could do with my savings than provide the same for my kids.  And if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, they at least have a leg up to earn money and might even feel indebted to keep their dear parents from starving...  JK, we've been saving in excess of FI for several years, just don't feel the need to ER yet (but it looks like my wife is going back into ER after this school year).  I'll do all the usual optimizing and ensuring good value for our educational dollar, but this is a blessing to both early retire ourselves and set our kids on a path to early, self-achieved FI.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: tonysemail on October 04, 2016, 02:24:26 PM
i put 90%.  my parents paid 75% of undergrad and my company paid 25% of grad.
I'd lean towards 50% because I think it was well worth paying for my own education.
But my wife is staunchly for 100%, so we'll have to compromise...
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: nobody123 on October 04, 2016, 02:31:14 PM
100%, but not 'because I don't want my kids to struggle like I did', more the opposite.  My parents paid 100% for us 3 kids and it allowed me, the youngest of the bunch, to concentrate on school and the opportunities afforded to me with the free time.  I can't imagine a better thing I could do with my savings than provide the same for my kids.  And if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, they at least have a leg up to earn money and might even feel indebted to keep their dear parents from starving...  JK, we've been saving in excess of FI for several years, just don't feel the need to ER yet (but it looks like my wife is going back into ER after this school year).  I'll do all the usual optimizing and ensuring good value for our educational dollar, but this is a blessing to both early retire ourselves and set our kids on a path to early, self-achieved FI.

+1.  Barring some sort of unforeseen tragedy, I should be set for retirement by the time the first one heads off to college.  I can't think of a better gift to give my kids than a debt-free degree to begin adulthood.  I would feel like a jerk if I had the means to provide them that and chose not to so I could stare at a bigger pile of money that they will eventually inherit anyway.  I can appreciate the views of others that think providing 100% of the cost is irresponsible, and I am not going to put myself in the poor house or work 10 extra years to make it happen, but if it's an extra year or two at a job that I can tolerate, it's worth it to me.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MDM on October 04, 2016, 03:00:26 PM
We have been fortunate that the combination of our children's
- partial scholarships (mostly merit-based)
- choosing not to attend the most expensive schools to which they were accepted
- summer and part-time jobs
- taking the maximum (i.e., several $K/yr) undergraduate student loans
has allowed us to cover all remaining expenses for undergraduate degrees.  The % we covered varies from one to another but we never tracked that number.

Those who did graduate work covered the vast majority of their own expenses with stipends, loans, and summer and part-time work.

All have or will graduate with manageable student loan debt to income ratios (some have already repaid all the SL debt).
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: v8rx7guy on October 04, 2016, 03:24:09 PM
I am setting aside $2K/yr, I hope that will be enough by the time he is 18.  At minimum, I want to pay for half, so that was my vote... he has to have 'skin in the game'.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 04, 2016, 03:32:23 PM
My parents paid for two aspects of my college career:
1) a plane ticket to get there, and
2) a phone card to call home each week (woohoo $0.10/minute!  Remember all those 5- or 7-digit prefixes like "10-10-321" we all used to use?)

I was highly motivated to do well in high school and get scholarships, and it really paid off.  Also motivated me to choose a less expensive school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Lanthiriel on October 04, 2016, 04:40:52 PM
My parents paid for 100% of undergrad for which I will be forever grateful. I had to foot the bill for grad school, which seemed totally fair. My dad is straight up cheap, so he did a good job of talking to me about making sure I was getting as much value out of his money as I could. For example, it was the same price for me to take anywhere from 12-18 credits, so I took 16 to 18 every quarter. I wanted to do summer school, and we sat down to do the spreadsheet to figure out whether six weeks of summer school at a higher price per credit was more or less expensive than a full semester once we factored in living costs. Even though I didn't pay for undergrad, I definitely felt like I had skin in the game and learned the value of a dollar.

Part of the reason my husband and I aren't having kids is because I don't want to have to save for college after paying off $20k of my grad school loans and $60k of my husband's undergrad loans (don't get me started on the cost after interest...). I feel like I've spent enough money on school for a lifetime, but I would feel terrible leaving my hypothetical kid to navigate higher education without support. Obviously that's about reason 873 out of 10,000, but it's definitely a factor.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 04, 2016, 04:54:35 PM
All of these people suggesting they feel duty bound to pay 100% are really surprising to me.  I wouldn't pay more than half even if we were billionaires.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: dividendman on October 04, 2016, 05:05:29 PM
Yeah, my parents didn't pay for any of mine, but they did offer to help and I refused. I didn't want to feel beholden to them (more than I already was for feeding, clothing and sheltering me for 18 years). I didn't want them to be able to ask me what my grades are or bother me about what I wanted to study.

For my kids (if I have any :) ), I wouldn't pay for any of it. I think I will be wealthy enough to pay for it so that's not the issue. I would want them to work for it on their own.

I was considering, after they successfully graduated/completed etc. on their own, to "gift" them enough money to cover outstanding loans or a house down payment or something, but I wouldn't advertise this in advance. I would want them to feel the independence I felt by making it on my own rather than relying on me.

I guess the do it yourself mantra of the Mustachians stops at repairing your own bike!
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on October 04, 2016, 06:51:47 PM
All of these people suggesting they feel duty bound to pay 100% are really surprising to me.  I wouldn't pay more than half even if we were billionaires.

I didn't get the impression people feel 'duty bound', more that by starting with a clean slate and getting a good education sets a young person up for success.  I saw plenty of anecdotal peers succumb to worrying about paying bills and the stress of debt piling up which they had little control over.  Sword of Damocles and all that - they wanted to get a good education but each thousand of debt was slowly killing them (and their ability to concentrate on their studies).  Some of them 'just took a year off to catch up'...

Also, you shoot yourself in the foot if deeply indebted kids have to boomerang back to the nest.  But Sol, I can see you being the first billionaire to ever make their kids pay for college :)  While I might struggle to justify the value proposition once I get the slate of schools and majors, I personally think that it is shortsighted to plan for paying anything less than 50%. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 04, 2016, 07:05:10 PM
I didn't get the impression people feel 'duty bound', more that by starting with a clean slate and getting a good education sets a young person up for success.

I absolutely agree that a good education is a valuable thing to have in your experience bank.  Another thing that I think is valuable to have in there is the sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency derived from contributing to that experience.  It means less if someone just hands it to you on a silver platter.  Part of the college experience is learning to be an adult, and part of becoming an adult is learning to deal with stress and bills and deadlines and conflicts. 

I know too many college grads who are basically still high school kids.  If mommy and daddy do everything for you, how are you ever supposed to grow up?  I would never handicap my kids by paying for 100% of their college experience.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Radagast on October 04, 2016, 07:12:07 PM
So, just match whatever money they earn up to a fixed amount, say 100k, like I said earlier. Then they have a head start whatever they do, in proportion to how hard they try. Let them make their own decisions about whether or how they go to college.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: englishteacheralex on October 04, 2016, 07:26:55 PM
Interesting discussion.

I wouldn't say I feel "duty bound" to provide a college education for my kids. More that philosophically, my long-range plan is that my children grow into productive adults who contribute to their community to the best of their innate resources. They were born into overwhelming privilege relative to the rest of the world, and I want them to be raised with a sense of awe at that, and a sense of responsibility.

My paying for college is contingent upon them having a plan to use the college education provided to contribute to their community in some way. I have a pretty flexible idea as to what that way might be--it depends on their desires, talents, character, and temperament--but in the end, I can see no better use for my husband's and my money than to aid our children into developing their full potential for the benefit of society.

I have friends who paid their own way through college due to their parents not being able to help. There was a great deal of character benefit to this, undoubtedly, but it was a tough road for them and I do not envy their position. Personally, I did not have to shoulder the burden of my undergraduate education. I worked very hard in order to obtain a degree that has served me and my community well, and I was able to do so quickly because of my parents' financial contributions. I worked for all my spending money and never felt entitled to my college money, because my parents were very clear that my education was contingent on a plan to use my degree to benefit my community and to be self-sufficient (which I have been since the day I graduated).

I think it's possible to be a person of strong, virtuous character even without having had to pay for college. A parent has 18 years to teach those lessons before they start writing tuition checks.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 04, 2016, 08:11:59 PM
I absolutely feel duty bound to provide my kids with 4 years of college (or support them through a trade school if they prefer).  We have sufficient incomes to afford it. I'm perfectly happy to work a few more years to give this to my kids and it is a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I can't really think of a better way to spend the money--it is what I value.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Jaguar Paw on October 04, 2016, 08:16:53 PM
We have one infant and plan on having one more. My parents paid for around 90% of my education and my wife parents paid for 0% as she knew she had to get scholarships if she wanted to make it out of the hood. By the time  our kid(s) are in college, we should both be retired and should both be getting nice pensions. Because of this we should be able to put 40K plus towards their college by drawing from our 436B (I think those numbers are right). The reason we've picked 40K or so is because we should have over 1Mil in there by then so will draw 4% and put it right towards their schooling. If both are in school at the same time...20K each.

This sounds good until college costs a bajillion dollars in 18 years.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Vagabond76 on October 04, 2016, 09:15:23 PM
30% because I rounded down from 1/3.

Uncle Sam (i.e. all of you) will pay the other 2/3s. Thanks!
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 04, 2016, 09:48:17 PM
I didn't get the impression people feel 'duty bound', more that by starting with a clean slate and getting a good education sets a young person up for success.

I absolutely agree that a good education is a valuable thing to have in your experience bank.  Another thing that I think is valuable to have in there is the sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency derived from contributing to that experience.  It means less if someone just hands it to you on a silver platter.  Part of the college experience is learning to be an adult, and part of becoming an adult is learning to deal with stress and bills and deadlines and conflicts. 

I know too many college grads who are basically still high school kids.  If mommy and daddy do everything for you, how are you ever supposed to grow up?  I would never handicap my kids by paying for 100% of their college experience.

A lot of great discussion and different view points.  I figured this is a topic where people would be completely divided.  Personally, I lean more towards what Sol is saying here. 

This topic got me thinking about my kids a lot.  Right now they are very grateful for what they are given.  Somehow, through years of work they thank me for every meal.  So, I'm not worried about them feeling like things will be handed to them because they won't. 

I also agree with some of the comments above that you don't want your children to be debt ridden either.  However, just thinking about the economics of it how can it be that a child today couldn't raise the same funds working in the summer as we did?  If I recall I could not cover the entire cost of a year of school when I worked in the summers.  Generally, at that time I could make $8,000 a summer and school was $10,000 - $11,000/year.  So, the rest had to come from savings before university, scholarships or help from my parents.

I just went on to a local university's site to see what the estimated costs are today.  If you are interested in the calculator, here is the link:

https://www.sfu.ca/students/financialaid/costs/canadian-2015-16.html

Basically, $9000 per term to live on campus with a meal plan which is the most expensive way to go.  So, that's $18,000 per year assuming they do two terms.  If there are 640 hours to work (40 hours @ 16 weeks) in the summer they would need to earn $28/hr which is not realistic.  However, I think that $15/hr is realistic which means they can earn 50% fairly easily.  I am a bit surprised by this number but remembering this is the most expensive option.  They can live at home at attend a College for 2 years and then transfer to a university for their last 2 years to get the degree.  Looking at it that way they could easily cover their costs (tuition, books, commute) by working through the summers. 

I still remember hearing a classmate gripe about how the government was not doing enough for us in school.  Total bullshit.  Here in Canada schooling is subsidized to the tune of 70% for tuition.  So, we have it great...and with a little hard work from both sides we can make it work and have them debt free and educated with hopefully a leg up.  I do agree that they absolutely must have some direction through school with an eye on getting a job at the end. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 05, 2016, 07:59:14 AM
I was considering, after they successfully graduated/completed etc. on their own, to "gift" them enough money to cover outstanding loans or a house down payment or something, but I wouldn't advertise this in advance. I would want them to feel the independence I felt by making it on my own rather than relying on me.
I remember hearing a story years ago about a billionaire who gave each of his kids $10 million or $40 million or some really large sum, but before they could get it, they had to meet certain criteria: complete college, hold a job for 5 years, spend two years overseas, be married to the same person for 10 years, volunteer for a couple years, and a few other things.  Basically, "prove you've got your head on straight before you get an inheritance."

I've searched several times for documentation of it, but always came up empty handed, so I'm going to file it away as "apocryphal."
I absolutely agree that a good education is a valuable thing to have in your experience bank.  Another thing that I think is valuable to have in there is the sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency derived from contributing to that experience.  It means less if someone just hands it to you on a silver platter.  Part of the college experience is learning to be an adult, and part of becoming an adult is learning to deal with stress and bills and deadlines and conflicts. 

I know too many college grads who are basically still high school kids.  If mommy and daddy do everything for you, how are you ever supposed to grow up?  I would never handicap my kids by paying for 100% of their college experience.
When DW and I were still in college, she worked at the Financial Aid office.  Every day, she fielded calls from parents who were trying to take care of things for their (adult, college-enrolled) kids, who were unable or unwilling to handle things themselves.  It drove her nuts that these kids still had Mommy and Daddy helicoptering over them.

I consider it part of my parental responsibility to teach my kids how to handle all these things before they leave the house.  How to handle paperwork, how to read contracts, how to operate a bank account, and how to advocate for themselves.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MayDay on October 05, 2016, 08:05:53 AM
I had a full ride scholarship, and H had loans but his grandparents paid them off.

I would like my kids to also be debt free, while having skin in the game.

We have already been talking to them (ages 6 and 9) about college costing money, some being more expensive than others, and scholarships.  They already know we will help with some costs, but they will contribute as well.  They save gift money in their 529's regularly. 

I picked 50% on the poll.  I think that would be our minimum contribution *if they are working hard and applying themselves!*.  We would consider contributing up to maybe 80% depending on circumstances (or eldest has autism, for example, and may need considerably more support).  We would definitely work an extra year to set aside money for college.  We may also inherit a large chunk of money to set aside for college.  But if the markets tank or we lose jobs, we are fine with a more minimal contribution too.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 05, 2016, 08:15:59 AM
I'd like to cover the costs of tuition for schooling, and leave the other costs (food, shelter, transportation, books) to my child.  This way he'll have less incentive to waste money on fancy clothing and booze, but he also shouldn't have a miserable time pinching pennies and holding down a job while attending.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: nobody123 on October 05, 2016, 08:47:57 AM
Part of the reason I have a sense of duty to pay for (or at least make a best effort to pay for all) is that in the US financial aid is at least partially based on parental income and assets.  I make a good living which will probably limit any FA offers to unsubsidized loans.  I am not going to RE and manipulate my income to appear poor just to increase the quality of their aid package.  I'm not going to kick them out or force them to get married / join the military to become independent in the eyes of the government either.  For better or worse, the government has determined that people with means are expected to contribute to their adult children's education.  I might personally disagree with that stance (why aren't all 18 year old high school graduates treated exactly the same), I don't see the point in making it worse for my own child just because I think the way we fund education in this country is a joke.

I also disagree with the "50% max so they have skin in the game" argument.  Do you make your kid pay for half of their braces?  What about a family vacation?  I would hope not.  As parents we provide all sorts of "non-essentials" above and beyond food / clothing / shelter in the hopes that our children appreciate them and it adds to the quality of their lives.  Why is college some magical line in the sand?  Hopefully we've taught them the value of a dollar from birth and they have a responsible attitude towards money, as well as a track record of making logical financial decisions, long before it's time for college.  We will discuss the family plan for funding their college when they get ready to enter high school, and they will be expected to contribute money towards that effort, so I guess they will technically have some skin in the game, albeit a tiny percentage. 

My goal is that they are aware of their privilege and appreciate it to the extent that their life experience allows them to.  I'm in my late 30s and the older I get I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for me more and more.  I am sure I won't realize the true value of the scholarships I had for college until it comes time to pay for my own children's educations.  I could understand the math of the decision to choose a school based on an aid package back when I was 18, but I couldn't appreciate the real-life ramifications of being debt free until I was much older.  I have no expectations that my child at 17 or 18 is going to be as mature than I am in my mid-40s.  Should I only give them 30% of the available money if I think they have a 30% appreciation of a 40 year old?  When they are 40, should I expect them to have a different appreciation for my sacrifice if I only gave them 50% instead of 100%?  Hopefully my wife and I will raise two fine, self-sufficient humans who will behave responsibly regardless of how much money we are able to give them towards college.

Would I be super-proud of my kids if they both said, "No, Dad, you and Mom keep your money for retirement, I want to pay for college on my own."?  Of course!  But I am totally fine with "Dad, I want to attend XYZ University to get a degree in ABC.  I plan to do DEF with that degree once I graduate in 4 years.  Here's my plan to graduate on time and have a job lined up at least a semester before I graduate.  Can you help me out with the $GHI that I am short?".

I would not be fine with "I have no idea what I want to do, but I know college is important, so can you pay for me to go to take some classes and figure out what I want to do for a living?".  In that scenario I would have them pay their way for a few semesters of community college and let them know that once they come up with a long-term plan, Mom and Dad will be there to help them finish their 4 year degree.

And of course any parental aid would come with strings attached.  I would expect nothing less than a 3.5 GPA, no individual grade lower than a B, internships to get real-world experience, summer work, etc.  They would need to fund a fraternity, spring break trips, etc. themselves.  If they blow all of their free money and time during the school year drinking and playing golf on the university course (like I did) but keep their grades up and graduate on time, good for them.  They should also have a contingency plan in the case I have to turn the money faucet off due to a job loss, death, medical issue, etc.  So, I wouldn't categorize what my wife and I are going to offer them a pile of money on a silver platter.

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Ann on October 05, 2016, 09:28:00 AM
...I also disagree with the "50% max so they have skin in the game" argument.  Do you make your kid pay for half of their braces?  What about a family vacation?  I would hope not.  As parents we provide all sorts of "non-essentials" above and beyond food / clothing / shelter in the hopes that our children appreciate them and it adds to the quality of their lives.  Why is college some magical line in the sand?  ...

I think college is the line the sand for many because that is past the age of majority.  To me, it makes sense to pay for most everything when a child is a minor, then much much less as they get older.

At what age do you stop paying for your children's family vacations?  18?  25?  35?  45?  Never?  I know parents who pay for their children, their children's significant others and grandchildren's vacations every year.  And when I think of braces, I think of middle school and early high school.  At that age, there are legal restrictions for getting employment.  If you live in an isolated area like I did, there aren't a lot of outside opportunities to earn money to pay for those things yourself.  I've known several people who got adult braces, but their parents didn't pay for them.  I think you are making a false equivalency.  I'm not saying it is wrong to help your children with college expenses, but I don't think it is the same as paying for things when your child is a minor.

I hope I don't sound antagonistic!  It intrigued me that you equated vacations with college.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: englishteacheralex on October 05, 2016, 10:58:04 AM
There's enabling, and then there's generosity. It all depends on the circumstances.

Neither my husband nor I have asked our parents for a dime since we graduated from college. We've gone through lean times and worked hard, and we pay our own way. We live on Oahu and both of our families are on the east coast, and for the first five years out here (I hadn't met my husband yet) I didn't see my family a single time, because I was living in an extremely HCOL area on a beginning teacher's salary. At one point I had five roommates and a second job, and I didn't complain about it...it was actually a lot of fun.

For the past two years (since we had our son), both of our parents have come to visit us and paid 100% of the expenses to put us up in a vacation rental with them and fly us out to a neighbor island with our son. My mom did it once and his parents did it twice. We could have afforded to pay our own way and would have been happy to do so, but they insisted. And we appreciated it enormously and had a wonderful time! They are proud of us and tell us so constantly. It seemed like it gave them a lot of joy to provide such a lovely treat for us and our son.

If an adult (or 19+ year old child) is self-sufficient and making good choices, and the parent has the money to contribute, I don't see inter-generational gifts as problematic or "spoiling". I also don't think it's necessarily depriving children of gumption and ingenuity. It CAN do those things, but it all depends on the people involved.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MsPeacock on October 05, 2016, 11:19:28 AM
As much as possible up the amount I have saved for them. I have advised them of this. I show them the account balances. I don't know if their dad is going to contribute anything or not. I have emphasized not going into debt for school and that likely means attending an in state public university.

I paid 100% of my undergrad tuition by working full time. I paid my grad school tuition with a combination of loans and scholarship.

It is actually really important to me that my kids start their adult lives without being saddled with huge educational debt. When I attended college in the 80s it was possible to pay tuition by working as a waitress probably making 10-12 per hour. Waitresses don't make much more now (I think) but tuition is many times higher now. It just isn't possible, with the current system, for a regular type kid to pay their own way through school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: nobody123 on October 05, 2016, 11:31:12 AM
I hope I don't sound antagonistic!  It intrigued me that you equated vacations with college.

Not at all.  I like debating big-picture type of things.  Hearing the opinions and thought processes of others forces me to think through my own points and adjust.  A few years ago I was firmly in the "skin in the game" camp and worried about making sure both of my kids had exactly the same dollars available to them.  After all, my parents couldn't give me any money towards college and I found a way to graduate debt-free, so dammit my kids should be able to as well.  I've moved off of those points based on my personal experiences, research, and some of the arguments presented on this forum.

As I pointed out, the FAFSA determines an EFC, expected FAMILY contribution.  The government calculates and public schools factor my parental contributions into the aid package they will present to my child.  While I am not legally bound to provide the amount that the government expects me to provide, my kid can't just demand that the school revise their offer to include more grant money because daddy won't pay what is expected of him.  Like it or not, until your kid can be treated as an independent adult in terms of financial aid, you're tied together.  Maybe that's a better argument for why 0% parental contribution when >0% is feasible is not OK, in my opinion.

I have no beef with those who decide to essentially cut their kids off financially after high school graduation (assuming the child is 18), or set some max contribution level for college to help wean them off parental support.  I don't know them or their kids, and I am not going to tell them how to raise their kids or spend their money.  If my financial situation was different, I might still think that is appropriate.  If my kids are total screw-offs, they aren't getting any of my money for college, even if I'm a billionaire.  However, barring some very bad luck, my wife and I will be in the position to help my kids with their college tuition expenses without sacrificing our retirement plans or financial security.  Selfishly, knowing that I gave them that gift, whether they ultimately appreciate it or not, will bring me a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Should my children be self-sufficient and not rely on my assets to fund their lifestyle as soon as they graduate college?  Absolutely!  Am I worried that by providing the opportunity to finish their Bachelor's degree debt-free will somehow derail that and they will be doomed to poor financial decisions for the remainder of their adult life?  Absolutely not.  My point about vacations, braces, etc. is that you're taking that same leap of faith from the day your child is born until the day they leave the nest -- you are spending money that you are technically not required to in the hopes of improving their quality of life.  You did so without any expectation that they'd appreciate it or contribute financially toward it.  If you've done your job they will appreciate college assistance at whatever level you are able to provide, and that switch isn't magically flipped the day the calendar turns to their 18th birthday.  Knowing that a college degree is essentially a requirement to get any sort of good paying job nowadays, you've been spending money beyond the bare minimum to help the child out for the last 18 years, by not contributing at least the EFC you are effectively harming your child's financial future, and you have the financial means to do so, I find it completely illogical to pick funding college as the point you decide to cut the kid off or use it as a learning opportunity about loans and debt by essentially forcing them to take out a loan.

As far as your question on how long to pay for vacations / whatnot for your adult children, I think the answer is 'it depends'.  Assuming I have the means and I enjoy spending time with them, I will probably help subsidize family vacations.  If I want to take the grandkids to Disney (I know, I hear the groans already), and one son can & wants to pay for himself and his wife but the other one can't afford it, I'll probably just pay for the 4 adults as well.  The instant one of them demands that I pay for something, the free ride ends.  I am happy to be generous, but it stops being generosity when it's a requirement.  My mom likes buying my kids outfits and small toys all year long 'just because'.  She and my dad are on a very limited income and I would much rather they save their money or at least spend it on themselves, but they choose to buy for my kids.  I'll probably want to spoil my grandkids as well.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: historienne on October 05, 2016, 12:37:38 PM
I'll pay 100%, not because I don't want my kids to struggle like I did, but precisely because my parents paid for mine.  It seems fair to pay that generosity forward to the next generation.  Having my education paid for in no way caused me to take it less seriously (I graduated in the top 10% at an Ivy League school).  It did give me much more freedom when choosing my career, because I didn't have to worry about paying off thousands of dollars in student loans, and I am tremendously grateful for that freedom.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: formerlydivorcedmom on October 11, 2016, 04:16:00 PM
I got scholarships that paid for the bulk of my tuition, and internships and part-time on-campus jobs paid for housing, food, and spending money (except my parents each gave me $800 for travel/spending money so I could study abroad). I was flat broke when I graduated - but I had zero debt.  That set me up for success.

My parents paid 100% of my sister's expenses, and she partied her way through the first few years.  Dad cut her off financially but mom paid all expenses no matter what,  which honestly did sister no favors.  It took her a decade to learn to live within her means.

I don't want my kids to graduate with debt, or be otherwise unable to afford to attend college...but I don't want to teach them that we'll always bail them out either.

For the purposes of the poll, I chose 50%, and by that I mean my husband and I will pay for tuition, fees, and books at an in-state public university (or other cheaper learning institution that provides some form of certification) for 4 years. They can either live at home (and pay some rent), ask their other parents for room and board money (we're a blended family), or work for housing/food.

If their grades are bad (under a 3.0 average), the money spigot turns off.  If they get scholarships, they get the rest of "their" college money when they graduate and have a job.





Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: GhostSaver on October 11, 2016, 04:29:23 PM
I think I will be in a position to pick up the tab for kiddo at the state U, and I'm grateful for that and will be happy to do so.

If her grades are good enough to get into my alma mater, most of her BA will be paid for with grants from the endowment, given our current household income and the current policies of the school. Otherwise, busting her ass and keeping her grades up at the U will be more than adequate.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MrsPete on October 12, 2016, 06:30:31 PM
This question isn't hypothetical for me.  We're IN the college years right now -- our oldest just graduated in May, and our youngest is a college sophomore. 

We paid 100% of necessities; that is, tuition and books, dorm and meal plan.  The kids are responsible for working in the summer and part time during the school year to provide their own spending money.  They've also both helped by earning scholarships -- not something every kid can do. 

I feel very good about having done this because it's allowed them to focus on school (instead of working excessive hours, as I did).  I can say more about my oldest because she's finished with college, whereas my youngest is still slogging her way through core classes.  My oldest graduated on time and left having completed internships and having made some professional connections (she has great references).  Because she wasn't worried about paying her tuition, she was free to take jobs that best boosted her resume.  She had a job lined up in her field before she graduated, and she's doing great.  My youngest is on track to do the same, but -- only being a sophomore -- I can't say as much about her.

Someone else commented that kids need guidance in choosing colleges and majors -- definitely.  I see so many of my high school students choosing colleges for ridiculous reasons (they have great pool tables in the student union or granite counter tops in the dorm kitchens -- yeah, I wish I were making those up).  We told our kids that we'd pay for 4 years at a state school.  We said we'd pay the cost of a dorm and meal plan, and IF they opted for a more expensive living situation, we'd give them that money, and they'd be responsible for the rest. 

We think the skin-in-the-game idea during college is a load of bunk.  If you wait 'til then to make the kids responsible for their own choices, it's way too late.  We started working with our kids on understanding money about the time they started school -- meaning, kindergarten.  By the time they were teens, they were ninja-level frugal, and they've behaved just as we expected:  they've understood that we scrimped and saved to provide them with this opportunity, and they've worked hard to make the most of what we've provided. 

Finally, college was easier to pay for than we expected.  The numbers that the media tosses around are greatly inflated.  In fact, we only dipped into savings once, and that even includes last year when we had TWO in college at the same time.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 13, 2016, 12:53:53 AM
I assume this is for 'college' education.

We are of course paying 100% for grade school education. Twice; since we homeschool.

We will pay 0% towards secondary education. It would be enormously irresponsible to deprive my own offspring of the invaluable experience of working & paying for their collegiate education.

Don't you mean 'post-secondary' education?
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 13, 2016, 07:34:01 AM

We paid 100% of necessities; that is, tuition and books, dorm and meal plan.  The kids are responsible for working in the summer and part time during the school year to provide their own spending money.  They've also both helped by earning scholarships -- not something every kid can do. 

I feel very good about having done this because it's allowed them to focus on school (instead of working excessive hours, as I did).  I can say more about my oldest because she's finished with college, whereas my youngest is still slogging her way through core classes.  My oldest graduated on time and left having completed internships and having made some professional connections (she has great references).  Because she wasn't worried about paying her tuition, she was free to take jobs that best boosted her resume.  She had a job lined up in her field before she graduated, and she's doing great.  My youngest is on track to do the same, but -- only being a sophomore -- I can't say as much about her.

Someone else commented that kids need guidance in choosing colleges and majors -- definitely.  I see so many of my high school students choosing colleges for ridiculous reasons (they have great pool tables in the student union or granite counter tops in the dorm kitchens -- yeah, I wish I were making those up).  We told our kids that we'd pay for 4 years at a state school.  We said we'd pay the cost of a dorm and meal plan, and IF they opted for a more expensive living situation, we'd give them that money, and they'd be responsible for the rest. 

We think the skin-in-the-game idea during college is a load of bunk.  If you wait 'til then to make the kids responsible for their own choices, it's way too late.  We started working with our kids on understanding money about the time they started school -- meaning, kindergarten.  By the time they were teens, they were ninja-level frugal, and they've behaved just as we expected:  they've understood that we scrimped and saved to provide them with this opportunity, and they've worked hard to make the most of what we've provided. 

Finally, college was easier to pay for than we expected.  The numbers that the media tosses around are greatly inflated.  In fact, we only dipped into savings once, and that even includes last year when we had TWO in college at the same time.

You make a lot of great points.  A kid can choose a degree that's completely useless when they get to the work world.  And yes saving is a lesson they can learn without help from their parent's although you see so many kids whose parent's do everything for them.  I just me a woman at work who is about 24 and has a broken wrist.  We were talking about her injury and she says 'ya, I need to get my mom to phone the doctor because this cast just isn't working for me'.  If her mom still phones the doctor for her when she's working FT what else do they do for her. 

I also agree the money numbers are inflated and if they work in the summers they should have a lot more than spending money to show for it.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 13, 2016, 07:35:34 AM

We paid 100% of necessities; that is, tuition and books, dorm and meal plan.  The kids are responsible for working in the summer and part time during the school year to provide their own spending money.  They've also both helped by earning scholarships -- not something every kid can do. 

I feel very good about having done this because it's allowed them to focus on school (instead of working excessive hours, as I did).  I can say more about my oldest because she's finished with college, whereas my youngest is still slogging her way through core classes.  My oldest graduated on time and left having completed internships and having made some professional connections (she has great references).  Because she wasn't worried about paying her tuition, she was free to take jobs that best boosted her resume.  She had a job lined up in her field before she graduated, and she's doing great.  My youngest is on track to do the same, but -- only being a sophomore -- I can't say as much about her.

Someone else commented that kids need guidance in choosing colleges and majors -- definitely.  I see so many of my high school students choosing colleges for ridiculous reasons (they have great pool tables in the student union or granite counter tops in the dorm kitchens -- yeah, I wish I were making those up).  We told our kids that we'd pay for 4 years at a state school.  We said we'd pay the cost of a dorm and meal plan, and IF they opted for a more expensive living situation, we'd give them that money, and they'd be responsible for the rest. 

We think the skin-in-the-game idea during college is a load of bunk.  If you wait 'til then to make the kids responsible for their own choices, it's way too late.  We started working with our kids on understanding money about the time they started school -- meaning, kindergarten.  By the time they were teens, they were ninja-level frugal, and they've behaved just as we expected:  they've understood that we scrimped and saved to provide them with this opportunity, and they've worked hard to make the most of what we've provided. 

Finally, college was easier to pay for than we expected.  The numbers that the media tosses around are greatly inflated.  In fact, we only dipped into savings once, and that even includes last year when we had TWO in college at the same time.

You make a lot of great points.  A kid can choose a degree that's completely useless when they get to the work world.  And yes saving is a lesson they can learn without help from their parent's although you see so many kids whose parent's do everything for them.  I just me a woman at work who is about 24 and has a broken wrist.  We were talking about her injury and she says 'ya, I need to get my mom to phone the doctor because this cast just isn't working for me'.  If her mom still phones the doctor for her when she's working FT what else do they do for her. 

I also agree the costs are inflated similar to any other mainstream stuff you read.  If they work in the summers they should have a lot more than spending money to show for it.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: jerseyboy on October 17, 2016, 09:30:10 PM
This might sound crazy but I'd love to be able to tell my 17/18 year old future children that I'll pay for all of their school or a large percent if they get a useful degree or one that has at least a decent amount of job opportunities in.  And then tell them ill also pay 0 percent if they want a degree in art history or dancing.  Not sure if the whole "do what you want with your life, follow your dreams" idea is big on this forum, but I believe in the get a useful degree/good paying job that you can somewhat tolerate/enjoy so you can comfortably afford to enjoy your habits/dreams in your free time/weekends. (probably won't have enough cajones to go through with the zero percent, if my kid calls my bluff or gets the art degree im probably still paying :D)
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: LuxuryIsADrug on October 17, 2016, 10:00:16 PM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 17, 2016, 10:14:59 PM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Shane on October 18, 2016, 01:26:56 AM
Just voted 100%, but it'll totally depend upon circumstances at the time. In our case, the beginning of our daughter's college is still about 8 years away, so our plans are tentative.

We're planning to encourage our daughter to skip HS and go straight to college, taking CC courses from ages ~15-17, and then do her undergrad at a U.S. public university from ages ~17-19, graduating at 20 years old, at the latest. If she works hard, studies and gets good grades in CC, we'll pay 100% of her in state tuition at a public university. She'll also be able to live at home with us until she gets her BA/BS, if she chooses.

If our daughter chooses to go to a private school, live on her own, or wants to do something totally different like start her own business or get some sort of vocational training or whatever, we plan on being open to helping her to fund other non traditional paths to a career that are within our means, but we'll also encourage her to work to earn some of the money on her own if it ends up being more expensive than the regular public university route.

We want to encourage our daughter to study something "practical" that will lead to a viable career path, but we're not going to be inflexible about it. If she wants to study engineering or to become an RN or teacher or whatever, that'll be fine. We'll encourage her. If she's not sure what she wants to do, we'll encourage her to seek out internships with people who are doing things she thinks look interesting, and hopefully that will help her to make informed career decisions. If she doesn't seem ready for school, we'll encourage her to intern or work, either at a job or her own business, for a couple of years before starting school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: KCM5 on October 18, 2016, 06:03:50 AM
This might sound crazy but I'd love to be able to tell my 17/18 year old future children that I'll pay for all of their school or a large percent if they get a useful degree or one that has at least a decent amount of job opportunities in.  And then tell them ill also pay 0 percent if they want a degree in art history or dancing.  Not sure if the whole "do what you want with your life, follow your dreams" idea is big on this forum, but I believe in the get a useful degree/good paying job that you can somewhat tolerate/enjoy so you can comfortably afford to enjoy your habits/dreams in your free time/weekends. (probably won't have enough cajones to go through with the zero percent, if my kid calls my bluff or gets the art degree im probably still paying :D)

I believe in the useful degree, too. But I'm also of the opinion that if you raised your child with your values, you shouldn't be controlling their choices to that degree. I'd like to think (my kid is 4, so this is all conjecture, and we are all better parents before we have kids, right?) that if I spend enough time talking about values, living within society, time and efficiency, that my child will make the choice that is best for them. And hopefully it'll be a degree with a practical career path, but if its not, then they will have a damn good reason for choosing it.

Our goal is to raise a competent, and self sufficient adult (among other things). I think letting go and letting them prove that they are competent and self sufficient is important, and college is a great time for that.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Mmm_Donuts on October 18, 2016, 07:32:50 AM
This might sound crazy but I'd love to be able to tell my 17/18 year old future children that I'll pay for all of their school or a large percent if they get a useful degree or one that has at least a decent amount of job opportunities in.  And then tell them ill also pay 0 percent if they want a degree in art history or dancing.  Not sure if the whole "do what you want with your life, follow your dreams" idea is big on this forum, but I believe in the get a useful degree/good paying job that you can somewhat tolerate/enjoy so you can comfortably afford to enjoy your habits/dreams in your free time/weekends. (probably won't have enough cajones to go through with the zero percent, if my kid calls my bluff or gets the art degree im probably still paying :D)

Had a laugh at this one. My parents told me the exact same thing, and I wanted to go to art school. I went, received zero financial support (aside from scholarships that I earned myself), and am now FI in my early 40s. I made 6 figures for the better part of my 30s, and learned how to be frugal by working through college and paying my own way. If my parents' "threat" had worked and I'd gone to law school or something I would have been spoiled AND miserable. No thanks.

If I had kids (I don't) I would encourage them to choose whatever path they want. But law school or the arts, they would be paying 100% their own way, like I did.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Guesl982374 on October 18, 2016, 11:27:23 AM
I'm not voting in your poll because it's not that straightforward.

We will pay for 4 years room, board and tuition at one of our state's excellent public colleges/universities.  If the kids choose to go to a more expensive institution or take longer than four years, we are not paying for the excess cost, although they could live home and finish up locally or online and just pay tuition.

It's not "100% because I don't want them to suffer like I did."  My parents paid for all six of their kids to go to a moderately priced college.  Dh's parents paid for all five of their kids to go anywhere they wanted (and paid for med school and grad school for most).  It was the greatest gift they could have given us, and we are grateful to them every single day for it.

We had summer jobs and our kids have summer jobs and that goes toward spending money and books.

+1 DW and I are in the same boat. Didn't vote.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 18, 2016, 12:13:21 PM
Even if I wanted to pay 100% of college expenses for my kids, I would still have them take out loans and work study and THEN pay everything off for them after they graduated.  I just don't see any advantages to fronting the full cost.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: LuxuryIsADrug on October 18, 2016, 08:53:28 PM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974

I'm not surprised. Both her and her husband have spent a 5 digit sum on career paths that barely pay above minimum wage. (Photojournalism and History). They're also bleeding money by owning a 100-year old home that needs significant work.

I was earning more per year as an assistant manager at McDonalds in my early 20s than their chosen career path.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 18, 2016, 10:17:06 PM
Even if I wanted to pay 100% of college expenses for my kids, I would still have them take out loans and work study and THEN pay everything off for them after they graduated.  I just don't see any advantages to fronting the full cost.

While I like this plan, for me it would very much depend upon the loan costs. Perhaps taking out loans and having the child pay the interest while it accrues (to get the 'benefit' of the lessons of paying off debt) and then fronting the principle upon completion of school.  That way the 'stache would grow, kids would grow, and debt would be reduced. 

Just a thought.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 18, 2016, 10:52:27 PM
While I like this plan, for me it would very much depend upon the loan costs. Perhaps taking out loans and having the child pay the interest while it accrues

In the US, student loans don't accrue interest until you leave school, so the loan costs would be zero.  Even if you had the money in the bank on day 1 of freshman year, you could put it in savings bonds for four years and come out ahead by paying it off at the end instead of the beginning.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Jschange on October 18, 2016, 10:57:38 PM
100% of a first degree or diploma, but really a top up from the savings I cruelly force them to keep for school. And some of it might be by covering repayment or matching.

I also don't have kids and am in my thirties, so I might spend this money on cat training  (like circus tricks, or meme worthy faces) or helping my nieces with their educations.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Shane on October 18, 2016, 11:05:15 PM
Even if I wanted to pay 100% of college expenses for my kids, I would still have them take out loans and work study and THEN pay everything off for them after they graduated.  I just don't see any advantages to fronting the full cost.

I've thought of doing the same thing: letting our daughter pay for school through savings, work and loans, and then if she does a good job, pay everything off for her afterwards.

Every kid is different. It always makes me cringe a little bit when I see people post something like, "Well, if parents do their job correctly while their kids are growing up, then by the time they get to college, they shouldn't have much to worry about. The kids should be responsible and able to take care of themselves by then." Partly this is true, but I've seen several examples of families that have one or two really well adjusted kids who are super responsible and good students, but then they've got another kid who is off the charts irresponsible. I know one family with a pair of fraternal twins, where one twin is an honor student and got tons of scholarship offers for college, but the other twin, raised in the same house, same parents, same food, same water, everything, but he has always been in trouble and is now, literally, in jail. Sometimes, no matter how good parents are, kids end up with problems.

For some kids I've known, if I were their parent, I'd be fine just paying 100% of the costs for their tuition and books, and maybe letting the kid work during breaks to earn spending money.

For other kids I've known, If I were their parent, I don't think I'd pay anything for their college. I'd let them pay 100% of the cost of school, themselves, and then, maybe, pay off some loans for them afterwards if they did a really good job.

How our kid, who is only 7 now, will turn out is yet to be seen.

It's cool to read everyone's theories, now, about how we're planning on doing it. In 5 or 10 or 15 years, when our kids are actually in college, it'll be interesting to check back in and see how many of us end up actually doing what we said we would...
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 18, 2016, 11:10:42 PM
While I like this plan, for me it would very much depend upon the loan costs. Perhaps taking out loans and having the child pay the interest while it accrues

In the US, student loans don't accrue interest until you leave school, so the loan costs would be zero.  Even if you had the money in the bank on day 1 of freshman year, you could put it in savings bonds for four years and come out ahead by paying it off at the end instead of the beginning.

I believe unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest as soon as they are disbursed.

http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/033115/how-does-accrued-interest-work-student-loans.asp

http://www.loan.com/student-loans/student-loans-how-interest-accrues.html
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: KCM5 on October 19, 2016, 06:01:59 AM
While I like this plan, for me it would very much depend upon the loan costs. Perhaps taking out loans and having the child pay the interest while it accrues

In the US, student loans don't accrue interest until you leave school, so the loan costs would be zero.  Even if you had the money in the bank on day 1 of freshman year, you could put it in savings bonds for four years and come out ahead by paying it off at the end instead of the beginning.

I believe unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest as soon as they are disbursed.

http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/033115/how-does-accrued-interest-work-student-loans.asp

http://www.loan.com/student-loans/student-loans-how-interest-accrues.html

And the ability to get subsidized loans is dependent on income. In 2003-2007 when I went to school I took out about $25,000 in loans. $2k were subsidized. That was about 30% of the loans for the one year that myself and two of my siblings were in school - upper? middle class family income.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: ender on October 19, 2016, 06:26:52 AM
We don't have any mini-enders yet, but I've considered the idea of having a "match" for any money my kids earn for college purposes.

Maybe 2:1 or higher.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: asauer on October 19, 2016, 06:56:24 AM
We're not aiming for a certain percentage.  We're going to save 65k for each child.  They already know this (at 9yo) and can later use that information to shop for colleges.  The 65k will get them through 4 years of a state school, living at home.  It will be up to them to get scholarships, jobs etc if they want to go to a fancy school or live on campus.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on October 19, 2016, 07:19:35 AM
Root of Good has an interesting article on how to pay for College when you are early retired.

http://rootofgood.com/pay-for-college-while-retired-early/

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: nobody123 on October 19, 2016, 07:27:44 AM
Every kid is different. It always makes me cringe a little bit when I see people post something like, "Well, if parents do their job correctly while their kids are growing up, then by the time they get to college, they shouldn't have much to worry about. The kids should be responsible and able to take care of themselves by then." ... Sometimes, no matter how good parents are, kids end up with problems.

I don't think any parent will ever stop worrying about their children, no matter how old & responsible they are.  Even the most responsible kids will make bad choices every now and then.  Heck, I still make a bad choice occasionally.  When it comes to college funding, I don't think anyone is going to just hand their kid a pile of money and tell them "good luck, figure it all out".  I may be planning to fund my kids college 100% and will do my best to make sure they they could figure it out on their own, but if one of them is just going to spend the money on booze and pot and flunk out in a semester, I'm not going to fork over the cash to enable them to do so.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 19, 2016, 08:17:20 AM
I agree with the PP.  While we are paying 100% for four years at a state university or the equivalent, if we had a kid we thought was irresponsible, the offer would be on hold until they demonstrated they were ready and willing to do the work.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: thecrazydoglady on October 19, 2016, 09:47:39 AM
I'm planning on paying 100% like my parents did. I'm so grateful to have no student loans. It's really allowed me to get ahead of the game and focus on my work and the lifestyle I want to live.

As far as what universities I'll pay for...I don't know if state vs private will matter to me when I have kids. If they choose a state school that would be great on my budget. A private school would need to be ivy league or providing a good amount of merit based scholarships to convince me.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 19, 2016, 09:56:43 AM
The private/public issue can be complicated.  Our decision was to pay for up to the cost of 4 years of a public.  In some cases, the child may receive financial aid from a private institution that brings the cost down to the same as a public or even lower.  In that case, I wouldn't have a problem if they pick the private, but we aren't paying more than that.  In our state there is almost no merit aid at all for most of the public universities in the system.  A great deal of it is going to depend on the kid, the state, and the financial situation of the parents.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on October 19, 2016, 12:25:26 PM
In our state there is almost no merit aid at all for most of the public universities in the system.

Just to be clear on this point, the widespread perception that merit aid is rare, while true for a majority of people, is 100% false at the upper levels.  Just being in the top 80% of students doesn't usually qualify you for merit aid, because you're not meritorious enough.  But if you win a Westinghouse or a Fulbright, or you're a national merit scholar or a famous teenage inventor, you absolutely can go to school for free.  Thousands of kids every year get full ride merit scholarships.

But they're not available to just any kid who gets decent grades, the way they used to be when the federal government invested more heavily in training our best and brightest.  Since then, they've decided it's more cost effective to train just the top 1% of kids who generated most of the advancements anyway, and let the rest fight it out on the free market.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 19, 2016, 12:52:47 PM
In our state there is almost no merit aid at all for most of the public universities in the system.

Just to be clear on this point, the widespread perception that merit aid is rare, while true for a majority of people, is 100% false at the upper levels.  Just being in the top 80% of students doesn't usually qualify you for merit aid, because you're not meritorious enough.  But if you win a Westinghouse or a Fulbright, or you're a national merit scholar or a famous teenage inventor, you absolutely can go to school for free.  Thousands of kids every year get full ride merit scholarships.

But they're not available to just any kid who gets decent grades, the way they used to be when the federal government invested more heavily in training our best and brightest.  Since then, they've decided it's more cost effective to train just the top 1% of kids who generated most of the advancements anyway, and let the rest fight it out on the free market.

In my case, the state universities and colleges themselves have almost no money dedicated to merit aid.  I work in the state university system and my kids are/will be attending these schools.  I'm good friends with people in the financial aid office.  Students can get private scholarships or National Merit scholarships, but the institutions themselves do not generally provide scholarships based on merit, only on financial need.  A handful of schools in the system will have a few small specific scholarships, usually the result of a very modest endowment for the purpose.

In my older daughter's case, she received merit aid from the privates she applied to, but not enough to bring the costs down to the level of the publics without loans.  She received, as we expected, no merit aid from the publics.

Financial aid is very much a YMMV.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MDM on October 19, 2016, 01:35:24 PM
...you're a national merit scholar...you absolutely can go to school for free.
Note that sol did not say "any" school.

But, for example, see http://www.ou.edu/content/admissions/nationalmerit/nmscholarship.html which pretty well supports sol's general point here.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Pigeon on October 19, 2016, 01:47:45 PM
I wasn't disagreeing with Sol.

When we went to tour many of the campuses in our system though, it was inevitable that the admissions people would give their spiel about costs and would state that their institution doesn't give out merit aid. There would be a stunned gasp from the assembled group of parents, who would then pose the same question repeatedly to the admissions people.

What my kid saw with her fairly high achieving group of cohorts (top 20% or so) was that most of them got some merit aid from privates, but not nearly as large an amount as what the families had hoped or expected.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MDM on October 19, 2016, 03:15:00 PM
What my kid saw with her fairly high achieving group of cohorts (top 20% or so) was that most of them got some merit aid from privates, but not nearly as large an amount as what the families had hoped or expected.
No trouble whatsoever believing that. ;)
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Bee21 on October 19, 2016, 05:57:39 PM
I will pay for their Bachelor's if it is in a sensible field. If they want to do a double degree in philosophy and aesthetics, they can fund that themselves. My eldest is 6 and i already have the money for a basic degree, based on current prices. The little one is next, i think hers will be saved up by next year.

I had scholarships all the way, my parents paid for my accomodation and food. My husband's degree was paid for by his grandparents.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: marion10 on October 19, 2016, 06:57:41 PM
We put both ours through their bachelors with no debt. They are grateful. We insisted they manage their own college application process and get decent grades. They both got merit scholarships at private colleges and it cost us about the same as a state school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: dividendman on October 24, 2016, 10:17:36 PM
I'm curious: how many people here generally want lower taxes/fewer government services, etc. but are paying for or plan to pay for a large part of their children's education?

How do you reconcile the belief that people should be able to work hard make it on their own, but not your kids?

I get that it's private money in this case and you can do with it what you want but that's not the point I'm making. Maybe it's a good topic for another thread.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: davisgang90 on October 25, 2016, 06:39:10 AM
I answered 100%, but there are a couple of caveats. 

I paid for school for my oldest son, but on a sliding scale based on grades.  I paid 100% of As and Bs.  I paid 50% for Cs and he was responsible for Ds and Fs.  This was for him to try community college.  He paid for most of the classes....

My middle son has autism and most likely will not attend school.

My youngest son has my GI bill available for his school if he chooses to attend.

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Mrs. S on October 25, 2016, 07:12:28 AM
I think 100% if we can and if the now nonexistent kid manages to go in an exceptional college we cannot afford it will be partly funded. I was blessed with a great college with highly subsidized fee ( if I remember correctly tuition was waved). Mr. S the same without tuition waiver.
Our parents paid for everything though we both held part time jobs as much as we could, to pay for our overheads.
I expect my kids to hold part time jobs (preferably from before college) to pay for their expenses which do not qualify under tuition, room, board and necessary academic expenses.
This assistance however extends only to bachelors and I expect them to pull their weight with or without finance for masters and beyond.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 25, 2016, 08:01:56 AM
I'm curious: how many people here generally want lower taxes/fewer government services, etc. but are paying for or plan to pay for a large part of their children's education?

How do you reconcile the belief that people should be able to work hard make it on their own, but not your kids?

I get that it's private money in this case and you can do with it what you want but that's not the point I'm making. Maybe it's a good topic for another thread.
FWIW, there's a strong argument that an abundance of governmenttaxpayer-subsidized student loans has been the primary cause for the skyrocketing cost of education.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 25, 2016, 08:44:05 AM
I'm curious: how many people here generally want lower taxes/fewer government services, etc. but are paying for or plan to pay for a large part of their children's education?

How do you reconcile the belief that people should be able to work hard make it on their own, but not your kids?

I get that it's private money in this case and you can do with it what you want but that's not the point I'm making. Maybe it's a good topic for another thread.

Probably best for another thread, but to take a whack at your question without lighting too much of a flame:  I think those seemingly contridictory views are held because the person who argues for lower taxes may believe that some part of their tax money is being wasted on services and overhead that do not benefit anyone, and that this tax money is taken against their will.  They may believe that people should be allowed to spend their own money on frivolous things such as a fully-funded education for their children, but they don't believe their money should be taken to spend on such frivolous things for others.

Mostly the argument then devolves into cost/benefit of the services one side disagrees with, like most money discussions.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: onlykelsey on October 25, 2016, 08:48:19 AM
I am tentatively planning on saving enough for tuition at an in-state school (which would currently be ~60% of tuition at a private school where I am).  If I never FIRE and am still earning enough to mess with their aid, I would probably consider paying more.  My kid is negative nine weeks old, though, so this is definitely up in the air as I see what its interests and capabilities are.

What would you do with money you saved for a kid who ended up not going to college? 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 25, 2016, 08:55:25 AM
.

What would you do with money you saved for a kid who ended up not going to college?

Leave it invested to compound with the rest of the 'stache.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: onlykelsey on October 25, 2016, 08:58:21 AM
.

What would you do with money you saved for a kid who ended up not going to college?

Leave it invested to compound with the rest of the 'stache.

So it reverts back to the parents' pot?  I guess that's workable if you were just flagging money for the tuition, but would be a bit more complex if you set up a trust or 529 or tuition plan.

If you have two kids it seems like a recipe for fighting if one gets 150K and the other gets 0K, assuming the kid that didn't go to college was truly not cut out for it/capable of it (rather than lazy, etc).  I don't think I have a strong opinion one way or the other, but it's something I think about.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Metric Mouse on October 25, 2016, 09:03:21 AM
.

What would you do with money you saved for a kid who ended up not going to college?

Leave it invested to compound with the rest of the 'stache.

So it reverts back to the parents' pot?  I guess that's workable if you were just flagging money for the tuition, but would be a bit more complex if you set up a trust or 529 or tuition plan.

If you have two kids it seems like a recipe for fighting if one gets 150K and the other gets 0K, assuming the kid that didn't go to college was truly not cut out for it/capable of it (rather than lazy, etc).  I don't think I have a strong opinion one way or the other, but it's something I think about.

If there were multiple kids to juggle, it would change the math. If the child didn't go to school because they were not cut out for it, and needed an income to keep their head above water while they found their place, the money could be used for that.  It could be used to fund their business, if they needed it. Or to pay for their lawyer because they were an asshat and got in trouble.  I guess to me money is fungible; just because it was earmarked for education, I wouldn't be afraid to use it to support my child in whatever they decided to do.  Education is just one of the expenses that is easiest to plan for.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: dogboyslim on October 25, 2016, 09:45:34 AM
...) and hoping this free make other people pay for my kids' tuition for families making under $125K/year by 2021 will be a reality.

IFYP, but we should probably leave it alone lest we go political.

I voted 90% because I'm not sure how much tuition will be.  I have an upper limit of 100k for each of our kids, but I will only pay tuition/room & board.  They are on their own for books, activities and fun money etc.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Cranky on October 25, 2016, 11:43:02 AM
I didn't get the impression people feel 'duty bound', more that by starting with a clean slate and getting a good education sets a young person up for success.

I absolutely agree that a good education is a valuable thing to have in your experience bank.  Another thing that I think is valuable to have in there is the sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency derived from contributing to that experience.  It means less if someone just hands it to you on a silver platter.  Part of the college experience is learning to be an adult, and part of becoming an adult is learning to deal with stress and bills and deadlines and conflicts. 

I know too many college grads who are basically still high school kids.  If mommy and daddy do everything for you, how are you ever supposed to grow up?  I would never handicap my kids by paying for 100% of their college experience.

This must explain my tragic life. ;-0

My grandparents paid for my mom's college education - in the 1940's. (My dad went to college after the war.)

My parents paid for my college education, and for my sister's, and my in-laws paid for most of my dh's. (He did work summers.)

I've never felt we were handicapped in any way by this. Indeed, because my parents and in-laws were generous with us when we were young, I have been very happy to be similarly generous with my own young adult children.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: drp on October 25, 2016, 04:58:41 PM
I put 0%, but I suppose that's not entirely true.

As long as DH and I are doing okay, I don't mind pitching in here or there, as long as I see my (grown) child is working their butt off (both at a real job to pay their bills AND at school to do their best). I'm not paying for no slacker partying up at college (and I'm sincerely praying neither of my kids will be such!).

I will let them continue to live with us rent free, though (while pursing a degree full time), but only if they pull their weight/help out. I'm not gonna be folding no 20 year old's undies.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Davids on October 25, 2016, 05:02:29 PM
My intent is to be able fund 100% of my child's undergrad education at a state university. If he wants an expensive private university then he needs to make up the difference on his own and he is on his own for grad school.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MrsPete on November 01, 2016, 12:34:58 PM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974
No, I agree with the other poster -- it's not about whether you graduate with debt. It's about your attitude towards it. Two possible thoughts that a grad might have:

- I'm paying for everything because I had to struggle, and it was awful.  I don't want my kids to go through that. 
- I'm paying for everything because my parents did that for me, and it was wonderful.  Their sacrifice made my life easier, and I want to do the same for my kids. 

And you might find mid-points between these two extremes. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: MrsPete on November 01, 2016, 12:37:12 PM
Even if I wanted to pay 100% of college expenses for my kids, I would still have them take out loans and work study and THEN pay everything off for them after they graduated.  I just don't see any advantages to fronting the full cost.
Well, dealing with loans -- especially government loans -- can be a headache.  You'd save time and aggravation by simply paying up front. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: dunhamjr on November 05, 2016, 12:00:14 AM
Most likely none up front. Or at least very little. We don't even any clue what percent it would be. My plan is to help after the fact if needed.

Wife and I both got loans, grants, and scholarships. Our kids can do the same.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 05, 2016, 12:48:31 AM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974

Ah,  I think the stats are misleading.

Yes, the average student loan debt is approximately $25k for students with debt.  In canada, because quite a few students can not get loans (other than line of credit type loans through the bank, signed by their parents), and because tuition is not too high if you live at home, many students do not have loans.

In BC, in 2014, there were 145k FT canadian students, and only 60,000 Canada Student Loans issued.  So let's imagine about half of the students get loans.  The average CSL is $5k per year, but only for 2 years...   we can guess that the senior years get most the loans, once kids come off of dependent status after age 21.

  Truth is, many students graduate with ZERO loans.

So the average reported in the news not only has the highest borrowers skewing it by at least 25% high, but also does not average the loans across the whole student population, including the zero borrowers.

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 05, 2016, 01:08:14 AM
On a separate note, I am realizing that my DD will be 17 when she goes into university.   Now that the time has come, I can honestly say that I feel full responsible for her through age 18 at the minimum, 19 more likely.

Yes, she needs to work to make money to contribute, but she will have one (or more) years less than other students, and if she did NOTHING next year, she would be under 18, and I would feed, cloth, and house her.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on November 05, 2016, 11:35:38 AM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974

Ah,  I think the stats are misleading.

Yes, the average student loan debt is approximately $25k for students with debt.  In canada, because quite a few students can not get loans (other than line of credit type loans through the bank, signed by their parents), and because tuition is not too high if you live at home, many students do not have loans.

In BC, in 2014, there were 145k FT canadian students, and only 60,000 Canada Student Loans issued.  So let's imagine about half of the students get loans.  The average CSL is $5k per year, but only for 2 years...   we can guess that the senior years get most the loans, once kids come off of dependent status after age 21.

  Truth is, many students graduate with ZERO loans.

So the average reported in the news not only has the highest borrowers skewing it by at least 25% high, but also does not average the loans across the whole student population, including the zero borrowers.

That's probably all true.  The more I read mainstream stuff the more I think it's all crap.  I just read another story about how it's impossible to retire. 

I plan on doing a lot of research about how to get them through university efficiently....we will all be further ahead. 
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: BuffaloStache on November 05, 2016, 12:55:41 PM
My parents paid for about 50-75% of my undergraduate university education (in the USA), and I think that was a good metric to live by. Unfortunately, my parents never really taught me the importance of personal finance skills (they were solidly in the "work hard and money will never be an issue" camp until recently), and encouraged me to take out loans to pay for the remainder. Even though that ~$28k of debt was painful to pay off (EMERGENCY! My head was on fire!), it really gave me a lot of valuable money lessons that my parents never taught me.

Additionally, I was able to get grants/scholarships to fully cover the cost of my graduate schooling. I firmly believe in the mantra that "A graduate degree isn't worth it unless it's debt free", and even moreso encourage friends to find free ways to go for these degrees (employer paying for it, grants, scholarships, etc.)


Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: sol on November 05, 2016, 01:26:24 PM
I firmly believe in the mantra that "A graduate degree isn't worth it unless it's debt free"

I'm not sure a graduate degree is ever worth it, in terms of dollars.  Sure, I make more money with my PhD than I would with my BS, but I also gave up seven extra years of salaried income to get it.

When comparing my lifetime earnings to those of my coworkers with less education, I have to work a looooong time at my higher income before the PhD pays for itself. 

Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: FIRE_at_45 on November 05, 2016, 01:37:08 PM
I firmly believe in the mantra that "A graduate degree isn't worth it unless it's debt free"

I'm not sure a graduate degree is ever worth it, in terms of dollars.  Sure, I make more money with my PhD than I would with my BS, but I also gave up seven extra years of salaried income to get it.

When comparing my lifetime earnings to those of my coworkers with less education, I have to work a looooong time at my higher income before the PhD pays for itself.

I agree with what you are saying Sol.  I have even considered the costs of getting a trade (2 years) compared to 4 or 5 for an undergraduate degree.  I grew up in Ontario, Canada.  We went to school until we were 18 turning 19 at that time (grade 13).  Then I did a co-operative education undergraduate degree that took 4.5 years to complete.  The remaining semester I worked a low paying job.  I was a full 3 years behind someone with a trade and for about half my career (maybe more) we would be earning the same thing.  I ended up doing the equivalent of a masters while working (paid by company) and that is the best way to advance your education without taking the risk of no money.



Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: Goldielocks on November 05, 2016, 03:11:32 PM
Why put "I don't want them to struggle like I did?" on the 100% option?

My parents paid my school in full and I will always be grateful for it. There was always a requirement attached to it though; I needed to maintain honour roll.

If I ever decide to get married and have kids I would do the same. However, I do live in Canada so paying for school isn't the headache it is in the USA.

So I'd pay 100% as long as grades are maintained.

Because most people graduate with significant debt.  See this Canadian story that references the average student debt is $25,000. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/average-student-debt-difficult-to-pay-off-delays-life-milestones-1.2534974

Ah,  I think the stats are misleading.

Yes, the average student loan debt is approximately $25k for students with debt.  In canada, because quite a few students can not get loans (other than line of credit type loans through the bank, signed by their parents), and because tuition is not too high if you live at home, many students do not have loans.

In BC, in 2014, there were 145k FT canadian students, and only 60,000 Canada Student Loans issued.  So let's imagine about half of the students get loans.  The average CSL is $5k per year, but only for 2 years...   we can guess that the senior years get most the loans, once kids come off of dependent status after age 21.

  Truth is, many students graduate with ZERO loans.

So the average reported in the news not only has the highest borrowers skewing it by at least 25% high, but also does not average the loans across the whole student population, including the zero borrowers.

That's probably all true.  The more I read mainstream stuff the more I think it's all crap.  I just read another story about how it's impossible to retire. 

I plan on doing a lot of research about how to get them through university efficiently....we will all be further ahead.

I'm giving a two night seminar on "Secret Money Tricks for funding Post Secondary Education" in February... in Delta through the school district's continuing education ..  Let me know if you are interested in the deck or attending..

I am still developing the presentation...  focused on defining the amount needed, through savings (RESP) through loans an other revenues.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: BuffaloStache on November 05, 2016, 09:49:20 PM
I'm not sure a graduate degree is ever worth it, in terms of dollars.  Sure, I make more money with my PhD than I would with my BS, but I also gave up seven extra years of salaried income to get it.

When comparing my lifetime earnings to those of my coworkers with less education, I have to work a looooong time at my higher income before the PhD pays for itself.

Good point Sol. That's why I really encourage people that seem hell-bent on getting an advanced degree to find free ways to go for them. Having an employer pay for part-time schooling while you get a full salary, or obtaining enough grants/scholarships to earn a partial salary while getting it seem to be the best options. Although I agree you'll have to work for a while to make it worthwhile in earned income.
Title: Re: What percentage of your children's education will you pay?
Post by: pirate_wench on November 06, 2016, 05:47:09 PM
I want to pay 100% but not because I "don't want them to struggle like I did" but because it's tradition in my family. My mother paid for my and my brothers' education, her father paid for her undergrad degree, and I want to do the same for my son. I believe not having student load debt is extremely important and key to my financial success, and I want to pay it forward.