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Do you have stipulations on what you will pay for and what you won't?


DawnM
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I am just curious.

 

I went to a small Christian school.  Some of the kids there told me their parents said that they would only pay for college if they went to THAT particular school. 

 

My parents said they would pay for 4 years.  I could take as long as I liked, but they would only pay for 4 years and only for a Christian college.

 

I hear some parents say they will only pay for a STEM degree.

 

Other parents will only pay for their kids to go to school in their state.

 

Some parents won't pay for a degree in the arts.

 

 

Edited by DawnM
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For us, it is about finances for sure.  We have told the kids we would pay for in-state tuition and room and board (if necessary) and anything else, they need to cover the difference.

 

However, we have had to revise that a little bit.  We aren't 100% sure what that will look like yet, but it may be local 4 year college and live at home OR two years of CC and then go away if you want at a state price.

 

I want my kids to pursue their dreams, however, we are encouraging them to go into a field that will support a family without too much strain.  I have all boys.

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My son goes to an expensive private engineering school.  I told him I wouldn't pay for a degree in business at that school because he could just as easily get that at the (much cheaper) state university.  A double major with an engineering degree or a minor in business would be ok, though.

 

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I've told my kids we've saved enough for you to attend the very good state school for four to five years.  If you want to go somewhere else you need to make up the difference cost wise through scholarships and work.  I don;t care where they choose to go they just need to know their financial limitations.  We've got five kids and four very good universities to choose from within an hour.  No limits on majors, just advise them to make sure their degree leads to a job when they are done.  Two intend to work toward their masters and another her doctorate and any money not spent on obtaining undergraduate degree will then go toward master's program.  My kids also took advantage of college classes during high school so  one has 26 credits going into college.  Then next two should have an AA or be really close to an AA.  They did this to stretch their college money in hopes to not have to take on loans for masters degree.

 

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My dad told me he would pay for my first degree and then I was on my own. I could choose anything though he did advise getting something that would pay.

 

My biggest stipulation is finances. I've told my older kids that they can go anywhere that they can get full tuition - the reality is that they probably CAN get full tuition at many schools. If they can't get the scholarships or if they can make a case for why it is worth paying more to go somewhere else then we will discuss it. My oldest got full tuition plus housing at the school we thought was the best fit. My second is looking at schools now.

 

My last two are younger, but are likely to cost more (I don't see as much scholarships for them). I'll have to see how much my first two will cost to see how much more I can reasonably afford to pay for them.

 

My goal is to pay for college for all four kids without them taking any loans.

 

I will advise them to look at job opportunities when picking a major, but they will have the final choice. I can't think of anything right now that they'd want to do that I wouldn't pay for. I currently only plan to pay for one four year degree.

 

I am willing to pay more for something that is a good fit - whether it be a selective student population, STEM school, Christian school, smaller LAC, etc. No limitation on distance, but of course mom would like them to stay reasonably close and distance plays into finances.

Edited by Julie of KY
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We're tight on funds, and I said that if we paid for it, it had to be an employable degree. If they want to pay their own way, they can major in something not as employable.

 

One of mine plans an English degree with a focus on rhetoric. She won't make as much as her accounting major brother, but I'm fine with that. That program has an excellent placement history.

 

My parents said they'd pay for college as long as I went to a church in their denomination. The irony was that they rarely went to church unless my mom's choir was on the program. When I chose a different church, that was the end of my college funds from them. I was fine with that.

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We are full pay, and DS is not pursuing what one would consider a lucrative degree ;) so I tell DS to please go somewhere worth paying for (and most importantly, that offers the upper level classes he would need after DE-ing most of high school).

If he doesn't win the admission lottery, then he can either go to Europe and go to college for very little, or there's a local lib arts college that would take most his DE credits, and i'll pay stupid tuition money for 2 years vs 4, and he can try again for grad school (which admission process seems to me more rational than undergrad).

I can't imagine telling him he's on his own if he doesn't get somewhere specific though 😢

Edited by madteaparty
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We've told ours that we'll pay for their undergraduate degree. We never had to say it out loud, but all of us always knew that was on the assumption they earned it in four years. Of course we'll make an exception if there's a genuine issue with getting needed classes or something like that (something that isn't within their control). We very well may change that a bit, though. DS18 attended a public early college high school that cost us pretty much nothing other than transportation and has already earned his AS. So he's on track to earn a double major in two years at the four year university he will attend starting in August. In his case it's likely we'll pay or at least help pay if he decides to continue on and get a master's.

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Our daughter is on the GI bill and going in with 11 AP classes worth of credit. We told her she needs to graduate in three years so she can use the GI bill for her first year of grad school, or if she is not going to grad school so that we can use it for the next kids.  She should be able to with a poli sci major unless she chooses to try to double major with economics.  

 

We would not have let her major in creative writing or film studies (both of what she is interested in) -- she is free to double major in one of those with poli sci. But she's pretty practical herself so that was never an issue. 

 

 

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My family had the money to pay for 4 years (or more) for my brothers and me. However, they only funded 3 years. I graduated in 3 1/3 and financed the last term through savings, scholarships, and PT/summer earnings. My brothers chose to take out loans to stay 4 years. One did it so that he could spend 2 semesters in Japan. The other studied audio engineering and really couldn't graduate in less than 4 years because of the requirements of that major.

 

After I had graduated with my 1st bachelor's, my late grandma put some money into a 529 plan for me to attend grad school. Because it took so long for me to go back to school, the investments grew enough to fully pay for my 2nd bachelor's (I did choose a relatively inexpensive program and only had to do the 35 credits required for the major).

 

Sadly, the amount of money that fully covered my 3 years at Stanford now would only cover a little over a single year there. It wouldn't even cover 4 years residential at one of the UC schools. :(

 

Oldest DD is on the associate's-and-transfer-to-a-UC path. If she can earn scholarships she is welcome to use that money at an OOS or private school. We just cannot remotely afford the EFC that the FAFSA spits out for us. She is interested in linguistics so taking on a lot of debt for that isn't smart.

 

DS hopes to attend a top STEM school. Fortunately there seem to be more scholarships available for STEM than for would-be humanities majors.

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My kids are limited by what the veteran benefits will cover. For two oldest kids, that meant going to "Yellow Ribbon" schools. For next two kids, that means going to "Hazlewood" schools. My fifth kid won't be attending college, and my sixth is probably also going to limited to a Hazlewood school.

Edited by Kinsa
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Our daughter is on the GI bill and going in with 11 AP classes worth of credit. We told her she needs to graduate in three years so she can use the GI bill for her first year of grad school, or if she is not going to grad school so that we can use it for the next kids. She should be able to with a poli sci major unless she chooses to try to double major with economics.

 

We would not have let her major in creative writing or film studies (both of what she is interested in) -- she is free to double major in one of those with poli sci. But she's pretty practical herself so that was never an issue.

Creative writing and film (along with comparative literature) is what my DS seems to be going for, yet I have to say that the only use of my pol sci degree was ... law school ;) Edited by madteaparty
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I can't imagine putting limits on unless the situation was pretty unusual, or I thought the program was a scam.

 

My parents didn't limit me really , although I had to live at home unless I was willing to come up with the money to live away.  I was a little disappointed as I wanted to apply to an art history program in another city.  But - we have five universities in my city, so it wasn't a huge limitation - I could have gone to the art college here, although it has a much smaller history depertment.

 

I had a friend who wanted to study music - his parents told him not only would they not allow that, but he had to study engineering.  Otherwise they would not pay or let him live at home.  I thought that was really rotten.

 

Another friend switched out of a science degree after his first year of university, which his parents were very unhappy with.  But, they ultimatly left it up to him.

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We're full pay too and the price tag at Wharton (dh's and my alma mater) is astronomical. It's more than tripled since we graduated. Yes, it was a great experience and it's served us well, but not well enough to justify that price increase.

 

We'll strongly encourage Trinqueta to go to UT Austin McCombs if she wants to study business (which is looking very likely). The price differential would allow us to help her with grad school and a down payment and the ranking differential is minimal (and sometimes in McCombs' favor). Of course, we're lucky to live in Texas and have access to a public ivy at in-state rates. If we lived in another state we wouldn't have a lower cost/high value choice available.

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We're full pay too and the price tag at Wharton (dh's and my alma mater) is astronomical. It's more than tripled since we graduated. Yes, it was a great experience and it's served us well, but not well enough to justify that price increase.

 

We'll strongly encourage Trinqueta to go to UT Austin McCombs if she wants to study business (which is looking very likely). The price differential would allow us to help her with grad school and a down payment and the ranking differential is minimal (and sometimes in McCombs' favor). Of course, we're lucky to live in Texas and have access to a public ivy at in-state rates. If we lived in another state we wouldn't have a lower cost/high value choice available.

You are so lucky with great state schools. I could not send DS to state school in good conscience *for his particular majors* as he would have exhausted the classes he could take there, in high school. If he wanted business or STEM it would be a different conversation. On the other hand, I don't think any school is worth 60K/year or whatever it is now. It's quite the quandary. ETA that we will look into Canadian schools as well. Edited by madteaparty
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I did limit choice of major, as I am not interested in any ' --- Studies' Degree. I would fund a year of prep school before I went that route.

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My parents paid for community college and after we transferred, we were on our own. Dh's parents paid room and board for wherever their boys wanted to go, but tuition was on the boys. I think those standards went a little lax in both families for the youngest. ;) I have no idea what we will do. Things change so quickly.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We told our kids to stay east of the Mississippi, but even then we relented and middle son applied to two west of it.  We jokingly told him we'd drop him off at the river and he could take a cab afterward.

 

Otherwise, we told them we wanted them to go to a 4 year school and helped them find schools that were a good fit and affordable to us.  They have federal student loans as their contribution.  There was certainly no limit on what major they chose.  That was totally up to them - as was the school choice once the financial package was deemed affordable on our end.  We don't even care if they end up using their degree or not, but we do want them to have jobs afterward (not a problem so far and I don't foresee one in the future since youngest already has standing offers).

 

Essentially, my mom and dad went to and loved their 4 year college experience - speaking fondly of it to this day.  Hubby and I did/do too.  We wanted our kids to have the same.  They've also loved theirs, so no regrets.  Hubby's parents regretted not being able to do so... FIL just shared that with hubby this past visit... kinda sad to hear an 89 year old with regrets, but things were different in his day.

 

Not everyone needs or wants college, but in our family line... we enjoy it.

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We didn't stipulate "what" we would pay for. There are limits on how much we can pay, so they do need a plan that ends in a degree within that budget. What the degree is and where it is from are decisions that the person getting the degree makes, not us. 

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Our family joke -- as a teen, my son would sleep through ANYTHING. The loudest alarms out there wouldn't disturb him. Waking him up was quite an achievement. I despaired of him ever being able to hold a job, and dh and I always said that we wouldn't pay tuition for any semester where he signed up for a 8:00 a.m. class.

 

Well, he attended college on a full-ride scholarship, so we didn't pay for anything. But he did have to take one 8:00 a.m. class, and he only slept through it once! :tongue_smilie: He now has a great job/career and somehow he does get himself out of bed.........

 

But we still joke about our refusal to pay tuition if he were taking an 8:00 a.m. class!

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We bought the prepaid state plan for 2 years community college plus two years university for our three kids. If they want more than that, or to go out of state, then likely it'll be on them to come up with the difference via scholarships or working or...?. But at least we have provided a choice for a debt free college education for them. No restrictions on what they can study, but they are pretty practical kids anyway.

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We pay for our kids to get their associate's degree locally, and we have some money saved up to help towards their bachelor's. Where they transfer to and what they major in is completely up to them, but we do provide lots of guidance along the way in assessing possibilities. I'm fine with kids getting a liberal arts degree if they really love the subject matter, and I wouldn't discourage that. Mine has served me well. 

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Funds are tight. But we always said we'd pay instate tuition and room. And so far we have.

 

Any degree. I spent two of my degrees (BS chem and JD) were because that's what my dad wanted me to do. I did OK because I'm smart. I was OK in careers related to both because I refuse to do something badly. But I was never happy with what I was doing and resented not going into the field I wanted (physical therapy). My father made it clear that PT was quite useless and stupid in his opinion. I wish I'd understood student loans back then and had had a backbone to leave home.

 

In our house your education is not finished without at least a BA, but you can get whatever subject you want and you figure out how to chart your future.

 

DS just finished a BA in history and is charting a course toward a PhD. He is figuring how to get it paid for. DD just finished her first year of school. She's changing majors and still trying to figure out what she wants to do. It's all good.

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yes 

 

1)  cost  - equivalent of in-state tuition at State U - already expensive

2)  degree being sought - his choice in the end,  but if it was a "lesser degree" then I would make him do 2 years at the CC

 

I shared all this with DS

 

 

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I thought of a limitation I would impose on the college funding- if we were helping with housing costs, we would not pay for any of our kids to cohabit with a S.O. Obviously we cannot stop an adult offspring from living in sin, but we aren't going to help subsidize it either. 

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My parents made it clear early on that they wouldn't pay for anything, but I could live at home for free while going to the university in our city. It was a good school, and offered pretty much any program one could want in an undergrad. I was able to pay for tuition and books with a small scholarship and part-time jobs throughout the 4 years, no student loans needed. Tuition was much cheaper back then, though. My dc would have a tougher time just affording tuition now.

 

For out dc, dh and I have a certain amount in saving for each child. There are 2 universities and a college in our city, which they could attend and not need any loans. Financing out-of-town universities would be possible if the child had paid co-ops throughout their program. This would mean they'd have to choose a program that offered co-ops, though.

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You are so lucky with great state schools. I could not send DS to state school in good conscience *for his particular majors* as he would have exhausted the classes he could take there, in high school. If he wanted business or STEM it would be a different conversation. On the other hand, I don't think any school is worth 60K/year or whatever it is now. It's quite the quandary. ETA that we will look into Canadian schools as well.

 

Believe me, we're very thankful for good state schools too. DS's 4-year is in the top 20 for his major, and the program DD is planning is one of the few with that focus in the U.S. We're happy that they can commute and keep costs down.

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Creative writing and film (along with comparative literature) is what my DS seems to be going for, yet I have to say that the only use of my pol sci degree was ... law school ;)

 

 

And that's what she wants to do after undergrad...and then politics... and then become president. ;-) 

 

I was an English major and history minor. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but as I was finishing up I asked my (future) mil on the phone and asked what on earth I should do and she said "Go to library school". And so I did! 

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We pay in state tuition and books. The boys take out the federal loan which combined with their scholarships pays room and board and sometimes reduces our tuition burden. We originally said only eight semesters, but middle ds's passion is in a niche environmental science degree in which the major takes 90 credits to complete plus research so with Gen Ed and the complexity of the research is night unto impossible to do in eight semesters. So we will pay for an extra. Eldest ds is in a five year program so when he graduates he has his bachelor's and master's. The gradu ate coursework is at the undergraduate rate and his VH Chola r ship is good for that fifth year. That is such a big savings that we agreed to continue help in year five.

 

Youngest is a senior this fall so we are not unsure of what program he will land in, so hard to say if we will be paying for only the eight traditional semesters or something else.

 

We see education as important just because so have not limited their majors, but have also had many discussions about the practicalities of job searches post graduation so they would have a good plan in place.

 

Eldest ds is majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis and journalism internship. He is also JAVA and C# certified so plans on tech writing for his bread and butter while writing novels and journalistic articles as his passion. He could get a good job with benefits now as a tech writer. The IT world does not have enough of them.

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We pay in state tuition and books. The boys take out the federal loan which combined with their scholarships pays room and board and sometimes reduces our tuition burden. We originally said only eight semesters, but middle ds's passion is in a niche environmental science degree in which the major takes 90 credits to complete plus research so with Gen Ed and the complexity of the research is night unto impossible to do in eight semesters. So we will pay for an extra. Eldest ds is in a five year program so when he graduates he has his bachelor's and master's. The gradu ate coursework is at the undergraduate rate and his VH Chola r ship is good for that fifth year. That is such a big savings that we agreed to continue help in year five.

 

Youngest is a senior this fall so we are not unsure of what program he will land in, so hard to say if we will be paying for only the eight traditional semesters or something else.

 

We see education as important just because so have not limited their majors, but have also had many discussions about the practicalities of job searches post graduation so they would have a good plan in place.

 

Eldest ds is majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis and journalism internship. He is also JAVA and C# certified so plans on tech writing for his bread and butter while writing novels and journalistic articles as his passion. He could get a good job with benefits now as a tech writer. The IT world does not have enough of them.

I think this is a brilliant compromise between the tech and humanities worlds. Love this.

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We gave our rising HS senior a specific dollar amount/year for four years.  It is enough for her to go to several in-state schools and, with some merit or athletic money, plenty of OOS schools.  It looks like, barring a career-ending injury, she will come in well under budget, so we are considering whether to hold her unspent college budget in escrow, so to speak, and offer it to her at the end of her four years.  If we do, it will be with the stipulation that she can use it for graduate school (OT school, PT, maybe) or, eventually, towards a down payment on a house.  

 

As for the original question, we have not yet put explicit restrictions on college money, but I would find it difficult to support a major that would not substantially enhance the graduate's employability.  That hasn't been an issue so far, but I do have one more coming up after this one.  His intense passion right now is designing baseball equipment, which sounds like some sort of engineering to me, so I think we're probably on solid ground with him as well.

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We have not put any stipulations on what we would do but I think one is developing. We have affordable state universities (flagship is much more expensive). I think we are beginning to be of the opinion that if they want to go somewhere other than the affordable regional universities, or the local commutable Christian U, they will have to convince us it is worth it. If they want to go the flagship that could cost double, depending on scholarships, they are going to have to explain why it is worth it.

 

I do not think all schools are the same but we are coming to be of the mind that if we are going to pay more than we would at the handful of least expensive schools (there are probably 5 or 6 to choose from) then there is going to have to be a good reason. I'm open to being convinced that another school is better for a particular major, or location, or other opportunities. I just think there has to be a reason why one of the more affordable schools won't work before we start paying more.

 

I realize that is very fuzzy and up in the air but that is kind of how we parent teenagers. We don't have a lot of hard and fast rules but rather react to individual situations.

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I am kind of steering DD to schools where she is likely to get good merit aid. Fortunately, we have some really good programs in-state in her interest areas, including one of the top in the USA (although it's more a grad school than an undergrad, and it may turn out that she has better research opportunities at other schools). She has a few others that interest her where she would need scholarships, and a couple that are reaches for everyone.

 

Realistically, we have a cap on what we can pay. I would strongly prefer her to go somewhere that what merit aid we get plus what we can pay equals graduating without debt, since she's heading into a less than super-lucrative direction.

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We will pay the costs of attending a state school - if they want to go private, they need to pay the difference.  However, we want them to take on some financial responsibility, as well.  We ask them to take out student loans to cover the cost of tuition.  At the end of each semester, we repay the loan for every class with a grade of C or better.  Anything less will be their responsibility. 

 

 

 

 

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We told our kids we'd pay for their undergraduate degree, within a financial range that we felt comfortable paying.  And although we never really said "complete it in four years," that was everyone's understanding, unless there were some unusual circumstances. 

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Some related thought but not directly to the question - Some people have questioned what they should do with money they saved if the kids then got scholarships and didn't need it.

 

My dad had saved for our college. He then said any scholarships we received, he would put that money toward a car for us. Therefore by working hard and getting scholarships, I could buy a car.

 

For me, college was paid up front. One of my siblings decided not to be serious about school. His deal was then changed to he had to pay upfront for school. For any classes he passed, he would be fully refunded.

 

 

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We didn't make stipulations about what they could study or where they could go. But we did vocalize a plan that we would pay for instate tuition. And then we moved overseas and all of our plans pretty much imploded and were replaced with new plans. Some of which went according to the new plan, and some some of which did not. Some of which I feel OK about, and some of which I do not.

 

To be honest, nothing turned out the way I had envisioned it when they (meaning the oldest two) were high school juniors. 

 

 

And I think that if my kids got great scholarships and I somehow had earmarked-for-college money left over, I'm pretty darn sure that would keep it for myself, lol.

 

Edited by Penguin
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We are full pay also, but have great state schools. Our kids have to have a plan of how to support themselves. They can study whatever they want, but our finances are limited. We want to give them the best head start we can, and stress they should take advantage of that opportunity to help themselves.

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Not really. We used what I call the "pile approach." Here is the designated pile of money for your education. If you choose to go where you receive scholarships, the remainder of your pile can be applied to grad school. If there is still some in the pile (or grad school is not pursued), then it could be used for a car, downpayment on a house, travel, etc. Something we deemed reasonable. Turned out to be a moot point as ds is spending the entire pile on undergrad. I would never put limitations on choice of major. That's just not my M.O. While our "pile" was sufficient to cover any undergraduate institution (btw, some of us DO think paying $60,000+ per year is worth it), that approach can be used for any amount of money as the starting point for anyone's conversation. Whether it's $500 or $500,000, the "pile" is the financial stipulation.

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We moved to this area specifically because there's a CC and a University within a 5-20 minute drive.  The stipulation is that they have to go to those 2 schools and live at home.  If they want to go to a different school then they have to pay the difference (the other state school (other side of the state) is about $4000 more + room/board).  Luckily I've got very practical kids who understand our limitations.  Now there is an option they don't know about.  If we move out to the country (thus saving about $800 or more on housing per month) we might be willing to get them an apartment to share on campus the last couple years. I can see DD definitely wanting to do that but DS might have to be convinced, after all he'd have to buy his own food and help out with the utility bills.... why spend his $$ when he can live at home and eat for free.

 

As for what they study... no that's their decision and if anything I've probably been too supportive of DD's interest in theater and Global Studies (she basically wants to either do costume makeup or teach children in Africa).  There's no money in either of those for most people, so we fully expect to financially support her until she finds a husband/wife who will do it.  We'd do the same for DS but he's much more financially motivated.  He wants to make good money AND save the planet, so he's interested in Engineering and getting into a career in Alternative Energy.

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Not really. We used what I call the "pile approach." Here is the designated pile of money for your education. If you choose to go where you receive scholarships, the remainder of your pile can be applied to grad school. If there is still some in the pile (or grad school is not pursued), then it could be used for a car, downpayment on a house, travel, etc. Something we deemed reasonable. Turned out to be a moot point as ds is spending the entire pile on undergrad. I would never put limitations on choice of major. That's just not my M.O. While our "pile" was sufficient to cover any undergraduate institution (btw, some of us DO think paying $60,000+ per year is worth it), that approach can be used for any amount of money as the starting point for anyone's conversation. Whether it's $500 or $500,000, the "pile" is the financial stipulation.

 

This was our approach.  We are debt-averse, so it's always been a matter of what we could pay for.  As he looked at far off and more expensive schools, we looked at scholarships and creative ways to reduce costs and increase income, but the bottom line of what we had in our "pile" didn't change.  He ended up being very happy in a less expensive state school and has a full tuition (plus a little more) scholarship.  The pile is going to room and board right now, but there will be some left for grad school if he keeps his scholarship.

 

Edited by Joules
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I will add that my firm line is no loans. No way for DH and me.

 

And I seem to have convinced them that they should avoid starting their lives with student loans unless the loans would be toward a profession with a solid ROI. So far so good on that front.

Edited by Penguin
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We also used the "pile" approach and we determined the value of the pile based on the price of our local city school - CUNY. We factored in tuition, books, a little extra for study abroad and a summer/winter class or two. We also added transportation costs, as we pay for their Metro Cards during college. We made it clear that we won't borrow and discouraged them from borrowing as well.

 

Our oldest used it towards attending a more expensive local lac and she made up the difference with scholarships and a small loan for her final year, as she didn't work. She did borrow for grad school but we stayed out of it. Our second went to CUNY and was able to save and travel as she worked a lot. Our next two intend to go to CUNY as well but our pile is a little bigger as the tuition has increased a little.

Edited by Liza Q
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I didn't have specific requirements, but my kids have always known that I won't pay for things that don't make sense to me. Which means that it would be less about the specific school and degree, than on how the kid pitches it to me.  Art degree for an aimless kid who likes to paint and doesn't have a life plan?  No.  Art degree for a kid who wants to draw story boards for movie productions and such, and has a plan for how to parlay that degree into an industry job?  Yes.  And I won't pay for anything immoral, or subsidize an immoral lifestyle. 

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