Author Topic: Paying for Kids' College  (Read 17295 times)

AdrianC

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2016, 05:00:09 AM »
I am strongly against paying for college for kids (as discussed elsewhere on the forums).

I think it's detrimental to them in multiple ways as well as unnecessary.

If your kid will go to an Ivy league school, then your MMM life style will almost make sure that he/she does not need money from you, if your taxable income is low enough. Their scholarships are most need-based.

If a parent is against paying for their kid's college, wouldn't they also be against someone else paying for it?

Mr. Green

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2016, 06:50:34 AM »
I am strongly against paying for college for kids (as discussed elsewhere on the forums).

I think it's detrimental to them in multiple ways as well as unnecessary.

If your kid will go to an Ivy league school, then your MMM life style will almost make sure that he/she does not need money from you, if your taxable income is low enough. Their scholarships are most need-based.

If a parent is against paying for their kid's college, wouldn't they also be against someone else paying for it?
There's always academic and athletic scholarships.

arebelspy

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2016, 11:08:02 AM »
I am strongly against paying for college for kids (as discussed elsewhere on the forums).

I think it's detrimental to them in multiple ways as well as unnecessary.

If your kid will go to an Ivy league school, then your MMM life style will almost make sure that he/she does not need money from you, if your taxable income is low enough. Their scholarships are most need-based.

If a parent is against paying for their kid's college, wouldn't they also be against someone else paying for it?
There's always academic and athletic scholarships.

Yes.  The point is we want them to work hard and earn it.  Scholarships, grants, working and paying themselves, loans.  Lots of ways to pay for college.

We will love them unconditionally, but we won't hand them everything unconditionally.
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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2019, 08:58:12 AM »
It seems like a big problem with determining whether a kid should pay for they own college or not is that the system itself has already determined the parent should help and bases the cost off of what they determine the parent can pay in their opinion, in some cases resulting in extreme differences.  In a resource that is a bit dated now but helpful to me to understand "real" costs (https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/30/444446022/what-youll-actually-pay-at-1-550-colleges) you can see how extreme this can get.  On the most extreme end was:

"Amherst College. The cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, books, etc.) for students in the lowest income tier (with a family income of less than $30,000) is only $2,000, but for students in the highest tier (over $110,000), the cost is $40,000."

So the college has determined that $2k/year is a fair price for someone with little money/income, but the kid with no parental support (and thus little money/income) doesn't get this price.  I'm not saying this is the way it should or should not be, I'm just saying the way the system has decided to calculate costs now can really do in the kid with no support but a middle-class to upper middle class family.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #54 on: March 09, 2019, 09:23:38 AM »
It seems like a big problem with determining whether a kid should pay for they own college or not is that the system itself has already determined the parent should help and bases the cost off of what they determine the parent can pay in their opinion, in some cases resulting in extreme differences.  In a resource that is a bit dated now but helpful to me to understand "real" costs (https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/30/444446022/what-youll-actually-pay-at-1-550-colleges) you can see how extreme this can get.  On the most extreme end was:

"Amherst College. The cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, books, etc.) for students in the lowest income tier (with a family income of less than $30,000) is only $2,000, but for students in the highest tier (over $110,000), the cost is $40,000."

So the college has determined that $2k/year is a fair price for someone with little money/income, but the kid with no parental support (and thus little money/income) doesn't get this price.  I'm not saying this is the way it should or should not be, I'm just saying the way the system has decided to calculate costs now can really do in the kid with no support but a middle-class to upper middle class family.

To be fair, a kid whose parents COULD pay for their college but aren't willing to foot the bill for Amherst still has, all other things being equal (yes, situations vary) a lot of advantages over a kid whose parents couldn't pay if they wanted to.

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2019, 10:38:09 AM »
We are not financially some place where we could pay for our kids' college, nor would we foot the entire bill even if we could. There is something I personally see missing in most of my peers, even the highly successful ones, that didn't have any financial skin in their college educations. There are just life experiences they missed out on, which has affected them in later life. It's hard to name, it's just a real-world experience thing they miss which makes its harder for them to see things from certain perspectives or to exercise certain problem solving skill sets. Parents can likely pay for college without shorting their kids on this sort of experience, but it takes a mindful parent to do so (likely a mustachian, that has the time to provide more guidance during their children's upbringing, as opposed to the standard two-income, 50+ hour a week parent).

It's also hard because I know first hand how impossible it can be when parents provide zero support, as well, including refusal to even fill out a FAFSA, thus leaving a child with no choice but to forgo education or take out loans. It took me 20 years after high school to begin affording my own college education. We struck what we hope is a happy balance between extremes with our kids.

Fortunately, there are ways to pay for a world class education without chipping in cash ourselves. We helped our eldest navigate state programs to earn free tuition, but the effort was up to him. He does qualify for some grants, thanks to having lower income parents, but all the other grants and scholarships (including a one he just earned that will cover books for the next two years) were earned via his own hard academic and extracurricular work. At this point, he will graduate in two years with a BA and no debt, and he plans to go for a post grad degree in education. Younger one is still a few years out from college, but he has begun navigating some of the state program requirements and in the next two years, as his post high school plans solidify, will begin looking into scholarship and grant applications.

I like to think we are gifting our children with the knowledge and skills to achieve a debt-free or low-debt education, but requiring that they do the hard academic work and bureaucracy navigation work needed to earn it. These skills may be even more important than the education itself, since much of a successful adult life depends on realistic creative problem solving. We do provide free living at home as long as they are pursuing their degree/certification/whatever they opt for, and we do our damndest to cover any books and supplies not covered by other funding so they don't have to work long hours or take out a loan to afford them.

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #56 on: March 09, 2019, 12:04:31 PM »
We have an almost 2 year old daughter and started putting money aside for a 529 right after we found out I was pregnant. We are saving aggressively ($400 a month) into it because we are targeting FI in January of 2017. My husband will quit his job and I will continue to work part time bc I like it. Once my husband quits we will either stop adding to the 529 or only add into it when we have a surplus of cash. We're planning on having around $12,000 in her account and just letting it grow.

Thanks to a full academic scholarship, a part time job, and deciding to join the ANG I was able to graduate with only a $3,000 loan for a study abroad experience that was worth every penny. I would have never joined the military without needing to pay for school, and as a midwestern girl from a small town that experience really helped me gain confidence and people skills. My husband's parents covered the first year of his engineering degree and he worked/took out loans for the rest.

I think it is impossible to know what education will look like in the future or how much it will cost. I'm happy that we will be able to help our daughter pay for her schooling (if she chooses to go), but I'm not expecting to pay for all of it. I will also not dictate what she studies, my husband knew at 10 what he wanted to do, while I took a more meandering path. Every experience and job along the way gave me skills that I am now using. I am going to trust that our good example and some frank conversations about money will help her to make the right decision for her. Even if that decision isn't the one we would want her to make.

Our goal is to raise her to be the boss of her life, not a worker bee in the hive.

Our son just turned 4. We are funding a 529 plan with $3,600 annually from ages 0-5 & then waiting & watching it grow. We're aiming to pay for tuition at the local state university at 100%. Kid can live at home with us rent free & commute, or he can pay his own living expenses & live near campus. We are currently maxing 2 403bs & 1 457 & we have a paid off house. I plan to use future tax returns to fund a Roth IRA in lieu a 529.

Goose

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2019, 12:12:34 PM »
I'm carrying on my family tradition of paying for my kids college, as my grandparents did for my parents and my parents did for me.  But post undergraduate is up to them - so my grandfather put himself through law school, as did my father, and I put myself through an MBA (was an RA at 25, so sacrifices were made).

So my kids had the same deal put in front of them, but not with an unlimited price tag - we would cover up to state college level expenses.

Did it stop there?  No.

My oldest decided on Psychology - knowing she would have graduate school in her future, so went the state school route.  She graduates in May with zero debt and is interviewing at graduate schools (with a 3.9 GPA she will have options).

My youngest wants to get into video game design, so our state schools were out.  She applied to schools across the US and played them against each other - so while she got accepted to USC, she got the opportunity to go to UCF for the same price as a state school.  She made the choice and is going to UCF and graduate with zero debt as she is not sure if graduate school is in her future or not.

Along the way we discussed which majors gave you an education with minimal job opportunities versus those majors with massive appeal.  In each case, they recognized their opportunity to take whatever but knew it needed to be something that would enable them to survive once life was on them post graduation.

I decided to follow my parents as I watched my cousins go down different paths - as my aunts / uncles were unwilling and/or not able to assist due to their own choices - and mostly end up on economic assistance in one form or another.  My wife also had to pay her own way and still had 15K in debt when we were married, so she had quite a bit of guidance to provide our kids.

I guess I'm saying that with proper guidance (which as a former RA I know many parents fail on this front) and discussion and evaluation of options, funding a college education can really put your kids on proper footing. 

 I will also say - if your child is not ready or capable of college, don't force it.  The idea here is to use money to put them on a good path, not burn it for the sake of following through on an ideal.  To be blunt - I saw kids who were in college for their parents and should not have been there.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2019, 01:03:10 PM »
My plan is to definitely ensure that my hopefully future childís college and first post-graduate degree is covered. I believe thatís my obligation as a parent, if the kid chooses that route. I donít think parents should pay for homes or weddings but education? Yes, absolutely! There are few things worse than school debt.

That said, Iíll do everything to help my kid understand all the options, universities outside the US are generally much more affordable, hell, education in Germany is free! I donít care if my kid goes to an Ivy, or anywhere in particular as long as the kid wants to go and has a plan for what to do while there. Since Iíll only have one kid and will have plenty of money invested, this shouldnít be too difficult. This wasnít done for me and paying for it all myself didnít build anything for me so I disagree that kids need to have that particular skin in the game. If my kid goes the requirement would be to maintain top grades and be engaged, waste nothing or lose privileges.

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2019, 09:36:46 AM »
It seems like a big problem with determining whether a kid should pay for they own college or not is that the system itself has already determined the parent should help and bases the cost off of what they determine the parent can pay in their opinion, in some cases resulting in extreme differences.  In a resource that is a bit dated now but helpful to me to understand "real" costs (https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/30/444446022/what-youll-actually-pay-at-1-550-colleges) you can see how extreme this can get.  On the most extreme end was:

"Amherst College. The cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, books, etc.) for students in the lowest income tier (with a family income of less than $30,000) is only $2,000, but for students in the highest tier (over $110,000), the cost is $40,000."

So the college has determined that $2k/year is a fair price for someone with little money/income, but the kid with no parental support (and thus little money/income) doesn't get this price.  I'm not saying this is the way it should or should not be, I'm just saying the way the system has decided to calculate costs now can really do in the kid with no support but a middle-class to upper middle class family.

To be fair, a kid whose parents COULD pay for their college but aren't willing to foot the bill for Amherst still has, all other things being equal (yes, situations vary) a lot of advantages over a kid whose parents couldn't pay if they wanted to.

Agreed, and maybe putting those kids $160k in debt to go to that school would help even those things out with those that come from little and come out owing $10k.

Henrysmom1

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2019, 02:45:44 PM »
Already FIRE with two kids, 16 and 17. My husband and I strongly believe that we donít want the kids to be launched into adulthood with student debt. I think itís a parents duty to do what they can to prepare their children for adulthood and for many, college is necessary to launch careers and self sufficiency. We both received assistance from our parents to the extent they were able. That said we are not paying for frivolous studies or an out of state college ďexperience ď. Many of my siblings wanted their kids to go to whatever college they wanted and to have the experience of going out of state and now they are all in debt for degrees in things like communications and womenís studies.

We have several community colleges nearby, live only 1 mile from a state university and have two others within reasonable driving distance. Tuition and fees at these universities is about 7,000 a year. We put about 35,000 into 529 account for each of them. We also have put money into I bonds and taxable accounts at Vanguard. They each have about 90,000 total. If they dont need it for college they are free to use for housing, help with starting a small business,etc. My kids are fully average and will not get scholarships, nor will they become doctors or anything requiring expensive extended education. Frankly I would be happy if they wanted to become plumbers and bypass college altogether. My plumber makes more than I did with my masters degree.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2019, 04:13:22 PM »
Already FIRE with two kids, 16 and 17. My husband and I strongly believe that we donít want the kids to be launched into adulthood with student debt. I think itís a parents duty to do what they can to prepare their children for adulthood and for many, college is necessary to launch careers and self sufficiency. We both received assistance from our parents to the extent they were able. That said we are not paying for frivolous studies or an out of state college ďexperience ď. Many of my siblings wanted their kids to go to whatever college they wanted and to have the experience of going out of state and now they are all in debt for degrees in things like communications and womenís studies.

We have several community colleges nearby, live only 1 mile from a state university and have two others within reasonable driving distance. Tuition and fees at these universities is about 7,000 a year. We put about 35,000 into 529 account for each of them. We also have put money into I bonds and taxable accounts at Vanguard. They each have about 90,000 total. If they dont need it for college they are free to use for housing, help with starting a small business,etc. My kids are fully average and will not get scholarships, nor will they become doctors or anything requiring expensive extended education. Frankly I would be happy if they wanted to become plumbers and bypass college altogether. My plumber makes more than I did with my masters degree.

I think youíve done really well for them and have a good attitude about their options. A 90k start would be amazing! Oh, thereís nothing wrong with Womenís Studies, I focused on that but just didnít make it major, although I couldíve easily.

EngagedToFIRE

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #62 on: March 11, 2019, 11:24:48 AM »
Already FIRE with two kids, 16 and 17. My husband and I strongly believe that we donít want the kids to be launched into adulthood with student debt. I think itís a parents duty to do what they can to prepare their children for adulthood and for many, college is necessary to launch careers and self sufficiency. We both received assistance from our parents to the extent they were able. That said we are not paying for frivolous studies or an out of state college ďexperience ď. Many of my siblings wanted their kids to go to whatever college they wanted and to have the experience of going out of state and now they are all in debt for degrees in things like communications and womenís studies.

We have several community colleges nearby, live only 1 mile from a state university and have two others within reasonable driving distance. Tuition and fees at these universities is about 7,000 a year. We put about 35,000 into 529 account for each of them. We also have put money into I bonds and taxable accounts at Vanguard. They each have about 90,000 total. If they dont need it for college they are free to use for housing, help with starting a small business,etc. My kids are fully average and will not get scholarships, nor will they become doctors or anything requiring expensive extended education. Frankly I would be happy if they wanted to become plumbers and bypass college altogether. My plumber makes more than I did with my masters degree.

This sounds similar to a discussion we had with our neighbors over the weekend.  Concerning private school.  Tuition around here is $20k - $30k per year, per kid.  I mentioned that if they would just invest that money, their kid would have enough retire before ever joining the work force.  At a minimum, you could buy them a house or get them started in business, fund their retirement accounts, you name it.

They didn't get it and still think private school is worth it.  We have decent public schools here, too.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Paying for Kids' College
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2019, 06:16:57 PM »
Already FIRE with two kids, 16 and 17. My husband and I strongly believe that we donít want the kids to be launched into adulthood with student debt. I think itís a parents duty to do what they can to prepare their children for adulthood and for many, college is necessary to launch careers and self sufficiency. We both received assistance from our parents to the extent they were able. That said we are not paying for frivolous studies or an out of state college ďexperience ď. Many of my siblings wanted their kids to go to whatever college they wanted and to have the experience of going out of state and now they are all in debt for degrees in things like communications and womenís studies.

We have several community colleges nearby, live only 1 mile from a state university and have two others within reasonable driving distance. Tuition and fees at these universities is about 7,000 a year. We put about 35,000 into 529 account for each of them. We also have put money into I bonds and taxable accounts at Vanguard. They each have about 90,000 total. If they dont need it for college they are free to use for housing, help with starting a small business,etc. My kids are fully average and will not get scholarships, nor will they become doctors or anything requiring expensive extended education. Frankly I would be happy if they wanted to become plumbers and bypass college altogether. My plumber makes more than I did with my masters degree.

I think youíve done really well for them and have a good attitude about their options. A 90k start would be amazing! Oh, thereís nothing wrong with Womenís Studies, I focused on that but just didnít make it major, although I couldíve easily.

Agree--it's not the degree, it's how focused you are on being employable. One of the most stably employed people I know was a women's study major who specializes in working in tiny art museums and seems very content.