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Not Helping with money for college kids- are we the only ones?

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I would never judge parents' decisions about this, but I'm so old that when I went to college it was affordable and everyone went. (Well, ykwim.) My parents paid for me and to my knowledge, all my friends' parents paid their way too. 

 

Today college tuition costs so much more, that I can see how it would be hard for parents to pick up the entire check for that, especially if they have many children. There are many college options and I know if ours didn't get the scholarships they got, we'd all be working hard to get them through with as little debt as possible. 

 

And I don't mean to overlook the jobs that don't require college degrees. Some folks do fine w/ no degree, associates, trade school, apprenticeships, etc. 

 

#PersonalDecision

#NoJudgment

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While I may be yet another shining example of a person who paid her way through her degrees with scholarships/grants, small loans and her own funding, I knew that when I was pregnant with my son that this was not what I wanted for him.  My husband's family culture was different.  His parents (note that his father was a university professor) paid for tuition and room/board but required their children to work in the summer for spending money.  Tuition was free at the state university where my father in law taught but my in laws did not expect their children to attend that school.  Rather, the family sought what was the best fit for each child and his or her interests. 

 

I opened my son's college savings account with money given to us when he was born.  Of course I did not assume that college was the way for him to go.  But I figured that I could wisely invest his money (all of those small checks given at birthdays or Christmas--small checks that add up in the big picture) and then let him join the conversation when he was older.

 

My son received generous merit aid so, with his savings and ours, he did not need to borrow money. I knew this was a major gift but I don't think he quite realized the depth of this until he began working.  Most of his colleagues had loan repayments in their budget.  Our son was able to save, opening a 401-K at age 22.

 

Our family culture includes assisting and advising family members (when asked). We have the good fortune to assist though.

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Obviously, as an adult, I'm paying my own way through college solely with loans.  I'm OK with this for *me*, but I am also being a parent and homeschooling at the same time which is like another full-time job on top of the 30-40hrs a week I'm putting in for class & homework.  As such, my standards have been lowered to be happy to pass.  I can't imagine a fresh-outta-high-schooler taking on that stress and doing well.  Waaaay too much.  There is a girl in one of my classes who is some sort of science major.  She goes to work around 10pm, comes home around 6am, sleeps for bit, goes to class, does homework, goes back to bed around 6pm and that is her life.  Nothing else.  She admits that unless her friends can come to her in the middle of homework sessions or something, she never has the time to go to them.  No social activities, no church.  In a class of only 4 students, it easy to see when she is worked to the bone, her brain isn't on top of things, etc.  I know that's a rather extreme example, but it seriously breaks my heart.  I would sell my house and give the (significant) profits to DS before he was forced to do that or quit school.  As it stands now, I'm in college to get a job that will make me happy and help pay for DS's college (and his future life) as much as possible.

 

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My parents did not save for, or contribute to, my college education, despite having the means to do so. Our EFC was full pay, and while I did receive some substantial merit scholarship money, it wasn't enough to cover the full cost of my education. So, I had no real choice but to join the military at age 17. After I got off active duty (and during my time in the reserves), I was considered an independent student for financial aid purposes. To be clear, I only joined the military for the financial incentive and to emancipate myself from my parents for financial aid purposes.

 

I attended a university that guaranteed to meet my financial need, but much of that was in the form of loans. I also worked nearly full-time throughout college to pay for my living expenses. Despite all that, I still managed to graduate magna cum laude and attended law school a few years later. I graduated from law school 185K in debt, which made it impossible for me to work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney or for the FBI -- the reason I went to law school in the first place. My law school did have a loan repayment plan for people who went into low paying professions, but it was not enough for me to cover all the debt I had incurred from undergrad + law school. So, I instead was forced to work for a large corporate law firm, which ultimately led to crippling mental health issues (see the current thread on the chat board re law school). And, despite my VA loan entitlement and high income, it took me several years before I could qualify for a home loan because of my high debt-to-income ratio (so I paid a crap ton more in taxes for years without the home loan write off). The debt also made it impossible for me to have children until I was in my late 30s. Thankfully, my fertility was still intact. 

 

So, yeah, I will help my kids as much as I possibly can. Thankfully, my kids are Canadian (on my husband's side). so we have the Canadian university system as a backup plan. But, I would never put my kids in the position that I was put in, being forced to make financial decisions, that had lifelong repercussions, at such a young age. It took years of therapy for me to get over the resentment that I felt about my parents not paying for school while there was a Porsche and a Jag parked in the garage. Just....no. 

Edited by SeaConquest
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DH went the military route and I went on merit scholarships with working to fill the gaps. Before this board opened my eyes, I thought the kids could all do something similar (merit + work + college savings plans we've contributed (& Christmas/ birthday money) to since birth). I even told DH the kids were on their own other than the money we've already saved for them. He's never committed to that. I didn't want them to think they could just feel entitled to go to anywhere and we'd pick up the tab for their partying. (Many kids in our town do this - with $70,000 in debt for the parents per kid. These are kids who just assume they will get a car when they turn 16 and another one when they crash the first one.) My kids are obviously not being raised to be entitled rich kids, so of course they won't believe we'd foot the $$$$ bill/loans for just anywhere.

 

Dd#1 is going for merit money and Dd#2 will likely live at home and go local (state college) to save $ if they have a major and classes she can stomach.

 

I probably wouldn't have realized how out of touch my understanding of college costs were until next year. With help of this board, I'm better equipped for Dd#1's college apps next year. (Yipes! Next year already!)

Edited by RootAnn
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I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread. I'm not sure why one poster found it annoying. It has provided an enlightening discussion.

 

I cannot adequately articulate the admiration I feel for those of you who did this on your own, even many years ago when it was "easier" (though certainly not easy). My hat is off to you who persevered on your own. Your tenacity is inspiring. The varied stories have certainly made me more appreciative of my college education being fully funded by my parents.

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The varied stories have certainly made me more appreciative of my college education being fully funded by my parents.

 

And me for having grown up in a country that, despite all its horrific shortcomings, made education a priority and offered free university education to qualified students.

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I do not understand the rationale behind being able to assist but refusing to do so. 

 

This.  We are able and so we do.  Our kids know that they are expected to support themselves after college graduation (or thereabouts).

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I would never judge parents' decisions about this, but I'm so old that when I went to college it was affordable and everyone went. (Well, ykwim.) My parents paid for me and to my knowledge, all my friends' parents paid their way too. 

 

Today college tuition costs so much more, that I can see how it would be hard for parents to pick up the entire check for that, especially if they have many children. There are many college options and I know if ours didn't get the scholarships they got, we'd all be working hard to get them through with as little debt as possible. 

 

And I don't mean to overlook the jobs that don't require college degrees. Some folks do fine w/ no degree, associates, trade school, apprenticeships, etc. 

 

#PersonalDecision

#NoJudgment

 

My parents paid all of my undergraduate degree.  My husband's parents paid $0 (but they paid for his sister's......don't get me started!)

 

But we both made it.  

 

It IS harder today, but some are still doing it.

 

I have gone back to work, partly to pay for my kids' colleges.  But it still may be hard.

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The only thing I have to contribute is that anyone making a decision based on their own experience which may have been years ago, should at a minimum research exactly what the costs and consequences are right now.  Things have changed so much since many of us were college aged, not just the cost of college but the ratios of college costs to working income (meaning how much you have to work to cover costs).  Changed SO MUCH.  I'm not going to judge anyone, but I hope everyone does their research on this subject before deciding on principle alone.

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The only thing I have to contribute is that anyone making a decision based on their own experience which may have been years ago, should at a minimum research exactly what the costs and consequences are right now.  Things have changed so much since many of us were college aged, not just the cost of college but the ratios of college costs to working income (meaning how much you have to work to cover costs).  Changed SO MUCH.  I'm not going to judge anyone, but I hope everyone does their research on this subject before deciding on principle alone.

 

This is exactly what we discovered.

 

college cost changes:

Between the present-day time of DSs and the time of me putting myself through college while living on my own and working part time, wages have doubled ($4.5/hour for me, $9/hour for DSs), but the local state university tuition has increased over ten-fold ($900/year on average for me, now the same school is $11,800/year).

 

college financial aid changes:

Meanwhile, the percent of that tuition that is covered by merit- and need-based aid awarded by the school has gone down, as have the overall number of scholarships. That makes it more difficult for a student trying to self-fund college to cover all the costs. Loans are a possibility, but that comes at the cost of high impact on other life choices in the first 5-10 years after college. (side note: This is where having an experienced parent helping with research on financial aid and alternatives/out of the box ways of funding college can be very helpful.)

 

job market changes:

The job market itself has also dramatically changed. So many more entry-level jobs require a Bachelor's degree of some kind. And many professional jobs that used to only require a Bachelor's now require an advanced degree. All of which makes it harder to for a student all on their own to get the degree(s) needed for landing a job that makes a livable wage.

 

overall socio-economic changes:

The economic dynamics of our country have shifted over the past several decades as well, with the divide between rich and poor increasing, and much of the middle class sliding closer to the poor end these days, making it harder to pay for the higher education without help of some kind.

 

 

I also believe that it's important to make these kinds of "baton-passing" decisions based on each individual child. Some of us have unexpectedly found we are in the situation of having a child who has extra need of support (due to innate level of academic ability (or lack thereof), LDs, health issues, mental health, fragile temperament, etc.) -- which has required a little longer of running alongside the bike when the training wheels come off, in order for the child to succeed and launch.

 

And don't forget how circumstances can overnight change our best-laid plans for our high school/college students, as many WTM boardies have shared -- a crippling car accident, a tick bite and Lyme disease, mental health crisis, etc.

 

It really is a whole new world compared to when many of us were fresh out of high school and starting college, and really does need to be researched and decided upon in a student-by-student fashion.

 

BEST of luck to all as you plan and work towards successfully launching of each of your uniquely individual children! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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The only thing I have to contribute is that anyone making a decision based on their own experience which may have been years ago, should at a minimum research exactly what the costs and consequences are right now.  Things have changed so much since many of us were college aged, not just the cost of college but the ratios of college costs to working income (meaning how much you have to work to cover costs).  Changed SO MUCH.  I'm not going to judge anyone, but I hope everyone does their research on this subject before deciding on principle alone.

 

Consequences. 

 

I don't believe that not paying for my kids college will ruin their lives, which is very much the feeling that comes across when we use phrases like "what are the consequences" and "crush their dreams" and so on.

 

I am WELL aware of the costs.  Sure, I graduated college 17.5 yrs ago, DD was 4. I received some financial aid outside my merit scholarship based on the fact that having a DD made me an independent student.  But that doesn't make me unaware.  I have a spouse that graduated in 2012, I have a DD who is IN school. 

 

And honestly, I actually DON'T believe that things have "changed SO MUCH."  Have they changed some, sure.  SO MUCH?  I don't really think so.  Maybe my opinion is skewed based on the fact that tuition where and when I graduated was STILL $5k MORE than the tuition at the school my DD21 is attending right now. 

 

 

 

We are in the category of wouldn't pay even if we could.  DD21 does still qualify for some pell grants, and there's no way we would cover her tuition (or room and board) even if we wanted to.   Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

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 Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

 

No, I don't think the consequences to the student are all that different, but if you can't pay, you can't pay. 

 

I think the consequences to the relationship might be different between can't pay vs won't pay. My parents were not able to help enough to keep me from working too many hours, but they helped as they could, and that help made the difference between making it out and not. I was more than fine with that. Had they been jetting off on vacations and buying designer clothes, but refusing to give me monetary help for college, I do think I would have resented that. I wouldn't have hated them, but yeah, I think it would have affected how I thought about them. Even if parents aren't living extravagantly, I personally have problems with someone who could help, but simply chooses not to because they are "done" supporting their child at 18. 

 

If you're hovering in the low-income area, getting a Pell grant can make a huge difference.  If you live at home and have access to a university with reasonable tuition, a Pell grant can be what tips it over into being feasible. Likewise, parents providing groceries, gas money, or the use of a car can make it work, even if they don't pay full tuition and so on. 

 

I lived in the dorm about an hour away, with small Pell grants and some help from home. It wasn't cheaper for me to stay home, because I didn't have a car and no way to get to local university. 

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We are in the category of wouldn't pay even if we could. ....   Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

 

Not in terms of outcome for the student, but probably in terms of family dynamic and values.

 

Knowing parents do all they can to help, but simply don't have the financial means, creates a very different dynamic from knowing one's parents could help but don't want to.

 

Some families find it important that the kids develop the confidence  that parents have their back no matter what. I am grateful that I always had the feeling I could, if I ever found myself in a crisis, rely on my parents. I never needed their financial help, but knowing I had this safety net gave me a lot of security and confidence to face life. Nothing catastrophically bad could happen, because I knew I could rely on my family's help.

 

I could imagine that parents refusing to help even when they could might not create this feeling of security. I could imagine that a young adult might develop resentments when his parents make him struggle on purpose while they watch from a financially comfortable position.

Edited by regentrude
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Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

 

Yes, the consequences are different. I tested gifted at a young age, and skipped kinder because of it. My parents had a decade+ of notice that college was on the horizon, yet they still chose to spend their money on luxuries in lieu of prudent planning for my education.

 

I got good grades and the largest merit scholarship that USC offered (as well as an ROTC scholarship, which covered 80% of tuition). What more was I to do? From my perspective, I did my part. Did they do theirs? Seriously, it never occurred to them to save something for my education? Really? I resented them for putting me in such a predicament at 17 years old. My life would have been vastly different had they done their part.

 

And I am not even talking about meeting their EFC; just making up the difference between my scholarships and the cost of attendance. I'm sorry that they tied up their income in real estate and luxury items, but what was I to do at 17?

 

It was not at all the same scenario as parents who simply didn't have the funds, and it impacted our relationship for a long time.

Edited by SeaConquest
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We are in the category of wouldn't pay even if we could. DD21 does still qualify for some pell grants, and there's no way we would cover her tuition (or room and board) even if we wanted to. Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay. I am wondering how that is. Are the "consequences" really all that different?

My husband is still annoyed 24 years later with his parents because they could pay but choose not too. They paid for his elder siblings but he has to get scholarships because he was smart enough to qualify for the less selective scholarships. So he felt penalized for being “smart†and having good grades.

 

My FIL was earning $52k annual at a time the public university that is walking distance away cost <$8k all in. My husband is the youngest so no one else to pay for. My husband also joined the military (non-combat) because it was a stable income and not because he wanted to. He got out when he could and we have always stayed as far away as possible from his parents. When your child (general) relocate to another country mainly to be away from you, that is telling.

 

When I entered college in 1991, my same age friend qualified for need based scholarship as her family is on welfare and govt subsidized housing. So she graduated without debt and whatever she earned from her first pay check onwards could be used to help out her widowed mom (her dad passed while she was in college).

Another friend had the money from his parents to pay and took out an interest free loan from the bank. He put the money in fixed deposits and so graduated debt free and some bank interest.

 

Another friend doesn’t get any money from his parents who could afford it and also could not qualify for any need based aid. He took out student loans and was hit hard when he was unemployed during the economy downturn. He is an industrious person but no jobs mean no jobs. People also cut down on tutoring during a recession so he couldn’t even earn enough tutoring to pay loans. So while I could relax debt free during the recession and survive on lower paying jobs, my same age friend was struggling due to no fault of his own. It is not his fault he isn’t “good enough†for a full ride scholarship and he wasn’t able to get a govt. job.

 

We could afford at the moment about $30k/year/child for college. If we withhold that amount, our kids would be hunting for work instead of studying and resting. My area doesn’t have many jobs left for college age kids because many SAHM rejoined the workforce during the recent recession. It would be hard for them to earn that amount other than earning by tutoring high school kids for many hours. My neighbor’s 16 year old daughter can’t get a job even though she is looking and even babysitting jobs are hard to come by. She wants to earn money but she isn’t earning much. Her parents can afford to pay the approximately $33k per year for state university and they intend to when the time comes. Their family income is way over the limit for the middle class grants by the state universities.

 

ETA:

What my in-laws said over the years had signaled that FIL has the notion that his nephews and nieces that are smart but did not get merit based scholarships are lazy and should not be helped by his (FIL) siblings. So it wasn’t a case of favoritism but a weird case of if you are smart you are on your own even if the parents could easily afford full pay.

Edited by Arcadia
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We are in the category of wouldn't pay even if we could. DD21 does still qualify for some pell grants, and there's no way we would cover her tuition (or room and board) even if we wanted to. Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay. I am wondering how that is. Are the "consequences" really all that different?

They can be. Suppose your child didn't get that Pell grant - that's either more working hours or more loans (assuming she isn't maxed out on direct loan eligibility already).

 

Depending on how much the school helps students in financial need, there may be other money that a student with parents who can't pay would get, but students with parents who won't pay would not be eligible for.

 

For students whose parents can't-but-won't pay (or where the financial aid formulas are out of whack with reality and can't-but-college-thinks-they-can), there are options, but depending on in-state costs where you live and the student's ability to earn scholarships, the educational opportunities (without leading to unreasonable financial strain) are narrower.

 

I watched the receptionist at our dance studio spiral down and fail trying to work and go to school. Her roommate left her stuck paying 100% of the rent and the work hours needed to make that up and avoid eviction plus the school hours needed to keep full time to maintain financial aid eventually led to so much lack of sleep that she was fired from her job. There is a reason why kids from low income families are much less likely to finish college.

Edited by JanetC
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No, I don't think the consequences to the student are all that different, but if you can't pay, you can't pay. 

 

I think the consequences to the relationship might be different between can't pay vs won't pay. My parents were not able to help enough to keep me from working too many hours, but they helped as they could, and that help made the difference between making it out and not. I was more than fine with that. Had they been jetting off on vacations and buying designer clothes, but refusing to give me monetary help for college, I do think I would have resented that. I wouldn't have hated them, but yeah, I think it would have affected how I thought about them. Even if parents aren't living extravagantly, I personally have problems with someone who could help, but simply chooses not to because they are "done" supporting their child at 18. 

 

If you're hovering in the low-income area, getting a Pell grant can make a huge difference.  If you live at home and have access to a university with reasonable tuition, a Pell grant can be what tips it over into being feasible. Likewise, parents providing groceries, gas money, or the use of a car can make it work, even if they don't pay full tuition and so on. 

 

I lived in the dorm about an hour away, with small Pell grants and some help from home. It wasn't cheaper for me to stay home, because I didn't have a car and no way to get to local university. 

 

I am curious why you feel like not paying for college means "done supporting their child at 18."

 

I have said it earlier in the thread, I am not some heartless kick the child out at 18, don't let the butt hit you on the way out kind of parent.  We don't pay for college but that doesn't mean the kid is cut off.  She's responsible for her own gas, but if she comes to us and says "hey can you give me some gas money this week?" Sure, here's my gas card (I use a gas station reloadable gift card to pay for gas) just fill it up and don't forget to give it back before you head home.  When she needed extra money to cover a class over the summer because her scholarship couldn't, our WHOLE family pooled their resources to help out.  Because we ALL help each other out.  Over the summer her savings that she had set aside from her pell grant that she uses to cover rent ran out, of COURSE we gave her money to get her through.

 

 

Not paying for college doesn't have to mean cutting the kid off and being "done" at the age of 18.  Just providing some support to a child at 18/19/29 doesn't have to mean paying for college.

Edited by happysmileylady

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We are in the category of wouldn't pay even if we could.  DD21 does still qualify for some pell grants, and there's no way we would cover her tuition (or room and board) even if we wanted to.   Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

 

DH's parents always spent whatever extra money they had after the bills were paid. They traveled a lot and his mom readily admits she bought whatever she saw that she wanted. They always carried some credit card debt. When it came time for him to go to college he got no help from them. I think he's always resented, at least a little bit, that they could have saved a little to help him (and his sister) through college but chose not to. SIL also harbors some resentment. So, yeah . . . the difference in consequences is the potential harm it can do to the relationship.

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Not in terms of outcome for the student, but probably in terms of family dynamic and values.

 

Knowing parents do all they can to help, but simply don't have the financial means, creates a very different dynamic from knowing one's parents could help but don't want to.

 

Some families find it important that the kids develop the confidence  that parents have their back no matter what. I am grateful that I always had the feeling I could, if I ever found myself in a crisis, rely on my parents. I never needed their financial help, but knowing I had this safety net gave me a lot of security and confidence to face life. Nothing catastrophically bad could happen, because I knew I could rely on my family's help.

 

I could imagine that parents refusing to help even when they could might not create this feeling of security. I could imagine that a young adult might develop resentments when his parents make him struggle on purpose while they watch from a financially comfortable position.

 

Why does not paying for college=don't have a kid's back?  Again, not paying for college doesn't equal never giving a kid another dime ever, never giving any help, it just doesn't have to be all or nothing. 

 

My kid ABSOLUTELY can rely on us....AND KNOWS IT.  How?  Because of everything else I have mentioned.  Because when her car dies, DH drives up there and fixes it in the parking lot of her apartment complex.  Because when he couldn't fix it, my parents loaned her one of their spares.  Because we cover all her medical costs.  Because......when she HAS a problem, she calls us and we help.  Nothing catastrophically bad could happen because she can rely on us. 

 

Not having college tuition paid for is not something I would put in the same category as "catastrophically bad."

 

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Regarding price changes:  in 1986, my tuition was just under 10k.  At the same school in 2017, tuition is 52k.  According to a random inflation calculator on the internet, 10k in 1986 would be 22k in 2017.  (Neither figure includes room and board, though those costs seem much more stable over time.)  Of course there are alternatives at far lower price points, but I think this illustrates the increase in cost since the time I was in college.

 

My parents paid a little, I had a full-tuition combination merit/need scholarship, a Pell grant, federal student loan, and work-study.  If my parents couldn't or wouldn't meet even that small EFC, I don't know how I would have done it - they were as clueless as I was.

 

There is a reason why kids from low income families are much less likely to finish college.

 

This.

 

I would add that non-financial support can be just as important as financial support; see e.g. 8's post about researching low-cost, high-quality opportunities for her kids).  Navigating the world of college costs can be daunting even to a parent, let alone an 18 y.o., and for those families who won't meet their EFC (for any reason whatsoever), I suggest getting a jump on learning about this topic as early as possible.

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My husband is still annoyed 24 years later with his parents because they could pay but choose not too. They paid for his elder siblings but he has to get scholarships because he was smart enough to qualify for the less selective scholarships. So he felt penalized for being “smart†and having good grades.

 

My FIL was earning $52k annual at a time the public university that is walking distance away cost <$8k all in. My husband is the youngest so no one else to pay for. My husband also joined the military (non-combat) because it was a stable income and not because he wanted to. He got out when he could and we have always stayed as far away as possible from his parents. When your child (general) relocate to another country mainly to be away from you, that is telling.

 

When I entered college in 1991, my same age friend qualified for need based scholarship as her family is on welfare and govt subsidized housing. So she graduated without debt and whatever she earned from her first pay check onwards could be used to help out her widowed mom (her dad passed while she was in college).

Another friend had the money from his parents to pay and took out an interest free loan from the bank. He put the money in fixed deposits and so graduated debt free and some bank interest.

 

Another friend doesn’t get any money from his parents who could afford it and also could not qualify for any need based aid. He took out student loans and was hit hard when he was unemployed during the economy downturn. He is an industrious person but no jobs mean no jobs. People also cut down on tutoring during a recession so he couldn’t even earn enough tutoring to pay loans. So while I could relax debt free during the recession and survive on lower paying jobs, my same age friend was struggling due to no fault of his own. It is not his fault he isn’t “good enough†for a full ride scholarship and he wasn’t able to get a govt. job.

 

We could afford at the moment about $30k/year/child for college. If we withhold that amount, our kids would be hunting for work instead of studying and resting. My area doesn’t have many jobs left for college age kids because many SAHM rejoined the workforce during the recent recession. It would be hard for them to earn that amount other than earning by tutoring high school kids for many hours. My neighbor’s 16 year old daughter can’t get a job even though she is looking and even babysitting jobs are hard to come by. She wants to earn money but she isn’t earning much. Her parents can afford to pay the approximately $33k per year for state university and they intend to when the time comes. Their family income is way over the limit for the middle class grants by the state universities.

The bolded......just wrong.  That, to me is an issue with parents treating their kids fairly, not an issue with paying for college vs not. 

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I am curious why you feel like not paying for college means "done supporting their child at 18."

 

I have said it earlier in the thread, I am not some heartless kick the child out at 18, don't let the butt hit you on the way out kind of parent. We don't pay for college but that doesn't mean the kid is cut off. She's responsible for her own gas, but if she comes to us and says "hey can you give me some gas money this week?" Sure, here's my gas card (I use a gas station reloadable gift card to pay for gas) just fill it up and don't forget to give it back before you head home. When she needed extra money to cover a class over the summer because her scholarship couldn't, our WHOLE family pooled their resources to help out. Because we ALL help each other out. Over the summer her savings that she had set aside from her pell grant that she uses to cover rent ran out, of COURSE we gave her money to get her through.

 

 

Not paying for college doesn't have to mean cutting the kid off and being "done" at the age of 18. Just providing some support to a child at 18/19/29 doesn't have to mean paying for college.

Then you are paying some for college. It might not be a lot but paying some to cover a class still counts. I don't know why it is so important for you to deny it.

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DH's parents always spent whatever extra money they had after the bills were paid. They traveled a lot and his mom readily admits she bought whatever she saw that she wanted. They always carried some credit card debt. When it came time for him to go to college he got no help from them. I think he's always resented, at least a little bit, that they could have saved a little to help him (and his sister) through college but chose not to. SIL also harbors some resentment. So, yeah . . . the difference in consequences is the potential harm it can do to the relationship.

 

So, what about if parents, instead of spending everything they have on buying whatever they wanted.......the parents are saving for retirement?  I think someone else said earlier in the thread, there are no loans for retirement.  Or what if they are saving in anticipation of perhaps paying extraordinary costs later in life in support of a special needs individual.  Does that make a difference?

 

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Then you are paying some for college. It might not be a lot but paying some to cover a class still counts. I don't know why it is so important for you to deny it.

 

It's not important to deny anything.  Honestly, it never occured to me that anyone would consider coming up with a couple thousand to cover a class and giving a kid gas money and groceries on occasion counted as "paying for some college."

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So, what about if parents, instead of spending everything they have on buying whatever they wanted.......the parents are saving for retirement?  I think someone else said earlier in the thread, there are no loans for retirement.  Or what if they are saving in anticipation of perhaps paying extraordinary costs later in life in support of a special needs individual.  Does that make a difference?

 

Having to save the funds for retirement or to pay for care of a special needs sibling or for medical cost would mean parents can't pay for college because they need the money for these expenses and there is not enough to responsibly fund both.

 

We were talking about parents who can fund college, but refuse to do so.

This means they have enough money for retirement, medical living expenses and college, and for some reason do not want to pay for college.

Edited by regentrude
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It's not important to deny anything. Honestly, it never occured to me that anyone would consider coming up with a couple thousand to cover a class and giving a kid gas money and groceries on occasion counted as "paying for some college."

I count it. It's all that I can do. And my kids appreciate it.

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They can be. Suppose your child didn't get that Pell grant - that's either more working hours or more loans (assuming she isn't maxed out on direct loan eligibility already).

 

 

No my DD has a full tuition scholarship.  She gets about $2k (maybe $2300?  Not sure exactly.)  Because her scholarship covers her tuition and fees (though not books) she gets that back as a refund, which she then puts in the local credit union and uses that to pay her rent each month.  She works about 15 to 25 hours (more in the summer) to cover groceries, gas, etc. 

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Having to save the funds for retirement or to pay for care of a special needs sibling or for medical cost would mean parents can't pay for college because they need the money for these expenses and there is not enough to responsibly fund both.

 

We were talking about parents who can fund college, but refuse to do so.

This means they have enough money for retirement, medical living expenses and college, and for some reason do not want to pay for college.

 

 

I count it. It's all that I can do. And my kids appreciate it.

Huh.

 

Well, there you go.  lol

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No my DD has a full tuition scholarship. She gets about $2k (maybe $2300? Not sure exactly.) Because her scholarship covers her tuition and fees (though not books) she gets that back as a refund, which she then puts in the local credit union and uses that to pay her rent each month. She works about 15 to 25 hours (more in the summer) to cover groceries, gas, etc.

If your Dd did not have a full tuition scholarship and did not qualify for a Pell grant, would she be able to attend college? If so, how would she pay her tuition bill?

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 I didn't want them to think they could just feel entitled to go to anywhere and we'd pick up the tab for their partying.

I think kids' attitude towards money is "caught" from their parents. If you have worked hard and have been frugal, your kids will think this approach is normal.

 

Kids who have been given stuff -- cars, insurance paid for, tuition covered by merit aid and/or parental monies, camps, expensive opportunities -- don't necessarily assume that they are entitled to having the parents pick up the tab. They may feel grateful for the lack of loans and the many opportunities they have had, especially when they talk with others who are saddled with horrific debt and unsupportive parents.

 

My kids are far more frugal than we are -- which I have yet to understand but am very grateful for!

 

YMMV obviously, but paying for things doesn't necessarily produce entitled kids!

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If your Dd did not have a full tuition scholarship and did not qualify for a Pell grant, would she be able to attend college? If so, how would she pay her tuition bill?

 

We spent her middle school years hunting down scholarships and grants.  She wrote essays.  She filled out online forms.  She created social media accounts for the sole purpose of submitting for scholarships.

 

She received the one she has prior to entering high school.  So, she did not spend high school looking for scholarships.  What would have happened in those four years had she continued to look?  I dunno.  What DID happen during that time was that we had 2 of the 3 additional kids, DH finished school, went through a few job changes, including a period of unemployment due to being laid off.  So, a lot can happen in four years.

 

She might have gone part time.  She might have gone to a community college to try to transfer later.  She might have taken a year off and worked full time at the cake shop or somewhere else.  She might have taken some additional cake decorating classes and found a cake decorating job, she did enjoy that.  She might have contacted the NWS office she had an internship with her senior year to see if they had anything available to get her foot in the door.  For a time, DH and I both worked at a company that had tuition reimbursement, so maybe she would have found a job there. 

 

 

But to me, asking "what would she have done" is kind of like asking.......what would I have done if hadn't gotten pregnant at 17 with her. 

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Some families find it important that the kids develop the confidence that parents have their back no matter what. I am grateful that I always had the feeling I could, if I ever found myself in a crisis, rely on my parents. I never needed their financial help, but knowing I had this safety net gave me a lot of security and confidence to face life. Nothing catastrophically bad could happen, because I knew I could rely on my family's help.

This is the perspective from which we plan to help our adult kids. We love you. We have your back. You do your part, and if you need help, we'll do what we can.

 

We started saving for college when each child was born. We didn't know at the time there would be 7 children. We had no idea until a few years ago how much the cost of college had gone up. So an amount we thought would be generous is not nearly enough cover our EFC, but we'll do what we can.

 

That being said, I don't feel we OWE them any help with college costs. We've provided a nice lifestyle. We pay for medical expenses, braces, homeschooling materials and courses, extra curricular activities, an inexpensive annual family vacation, etc. We're not perfect, but we've tried to be responsible by saving, putting money in retirement account, etc.

 

I don't feel my children have the right to come back and analyze our income vs. all of our decisions and be resentful that our choices didn't enable us to give them more money for college. I don't feel they have a right say, "I got a scholarship here, but I'm really smart so you pay for me to go there." Or, "If we hadn't taken those family vacations, I wouldn't have had to go start at community college instead of the state university." It comes across to me as entitled, and if one of them has that attitude, I don't think I'm going to be to happy about it.

 

I honestly believe that any help we give them after high school graduation is a gift. We want to help and plan to help them. But I absolutely don't judge parents who decide hey I've done my part and now I want to buy a new car and go on vacation. If they've done their part up until the children were age 18, then I don't feel they are obligated to pay for college.

 

Our parents did help us out a little while we were in college. We were thankful for whatever they gave and didn't feel they owed us anything.

Edited by Jazzy
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We spent her middle school years hunting down scholarships and grants. She wrote essays. She filled out online forms. She created social media accounts for the sole purpose of submitting for scholarships.

 

She received the one she has prior to entering high school. So, she did not spend high school looking for scholarships. What would have happened in those four years had she continued to look? I dunno. What DID happen during that time was that we had 2 of the 3 additional kids, DH finished school, went through a few job changes, including a period of unemployment due to being laid off. So, a lot can happen in four years.

 

She might have gone part time. She might have gone to a community college to try to transfer later. She might have taken a year off and worked full time at the cake shop or somewhere else. She might have taken some additional cake decorating classes and found a cake decorating job, she did enjoy that. She might have contacted the NWS office she had an internship with her senior year to see if they had anything available to get her foot in the door. For a time, DH and I both worked at a company that had tuition reimbursement, so maybe she would have found a job there.

 

 

But to me, asking "what would she have done" is kind of like asking.......what would I have done if hadn't gotten pregnant at 17 with her.

Your post reads like you can't afford to be full pay for college expenses. The fact that she is Pell eligible leads to that conclusion as well. I am not sure how that fits with the discussion of parents who can afford to help and deliberately opt not to.

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I count it. It's all that I can do. And my kids appreciate it.

Yep. That is the level of support we can offer. "A couple of thousand" is an amount I definitely consider helping my dc and they appreciate it.

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I am curious why you feel like not paying for college means "done supporting their child at 18."

 

I have said it earlier in the thread, I am not some heartless kick the child out at 18, don't let the butt hit you on the way out kind of parent.  We don't pay for college but that doesn't mean the kid is cut off.  She's responsible for her own gas, but if she comes to us and says "hey can you give me some gas money this week?" Sure, here's my gas card (I use a gas station reloadable gift card to pay for gas) just fill it up and don't forget to give it back before you head home.  When she needed extra money to cover a class over the summer because her scholarship couldn't, our WHOLE family pooled their resources to help out.  Because we ALL help each other out.  Over the summer her savings that she had set aside from her pell grant that she uses to cover rent ran out, of COURSE we gave her money to get her through.

 

 

Not paying for college doesn't have to mean cutting the kid off and being "done" at the age of 18.  Just providing some support to a child at 18/19/29 doesn't have to mean paying for college.

 

 

 

Then you are paying some for college. It might not be a lot but paying some to cover a class still counts. I don't know why it is so important for you to deny it.

 

 

It's not important to deny anything.  Honestly, it never occured to me that anyone would consider coming up with a couple thousand to cover a class and giving a kid gas money and groceries on occasion counted as "paying for some college."

 

A couple of thousand dollars, plus occasional help with gas money, groceries, and rent, is HUGE. For many kids, it's the difference between staying in college versus dropping out.  

 

Like Jean, I am a little puzzled as to your responses. You don't want to be perceived as not helping your dd, and make sure to point out that you do indeed give her monetary help, but you insist that's not "paying for some college." What else is it? You paid for a class. You pay for some gas money so she can get to class. You pay for some groceries so she can survive and get to class. You paid for a shortage in rent so she has a place to live.  

 

Do you have an amount or a percentage that you consider to be paying for college, or paying for some college?  

 

I also don't see how giving her all the needed information isn't "messing with the FASFA." I mean, that's the hard part, lol. If I have all the info in front of me, I can enter it in less than 5 minutes. If she's getting enough money to set aside to pay her rent, that's not what I would consider a "bit" of a Pell grant, either. 

 

Giving the monetary support that you do seems to me a far cry from the OP, who states that they give zero dollars to college. 

 

You are helping her with college. That's great. Own it.  :coolgleamA:

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Of COURSE we are helping our child. 

 

It's just that as I said, it didn't occur to me that paying for some gas when she's low on cash and helping to cover a class over the summer would be considered "paying for college."

 

Eta: to me, "paying for college" means paying tuition. 

 

 

Edited by happysmileylady

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Of COURSE we are helping our child.

 

It's just that as I said, the paying for some gas when she's low on cash and helping to cover a class over the summer would be considered "paying for college."

The topic is "helping with money for college kids ". I bet that more people are like us -helping in various ways to alleviate the financial burden- than in the position of being able to completely fund all college costs. Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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Why does not paying for college=don't have a kid's back?  Again, not paying for college doesn't equal never giving a kid another dime ever, never giving any help, it just doesn't have to be all or nothing. 

 

My kid ABSOLUTELY can rely on us....AND KNOWS IT.  How?  Because of everything else I have mentioned.  Because when her car dies, DH drives up there and fixes it in the parking lot of her apartment complex.  Because when he couldn't fix it, my parents loaned her one of their spares.  Because we cover all her medical costs.  Because......when she HAS a problem, she calls us and we help.  Nothing catastrophically bad could happen because she can rely on us. 

 

Not having college tuition paid for is not something I would put in the same category as "catastrophically bad."

 

 

You're not the only one who feels that way. If parents have the funds and decide to use it to assist their kids with college tuition, fantastic. But I don't believe that it's a parent's OBLIGATION to do so nor do I feel it's "catastrophic" for adults to be responsible for their own post-secondary education. A resourceful individual will figure out some way to do it if he/she truly wants it badly enough.

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I have appreciated my parents' view of college expenses over the years --

 

Early 1950's -- My father (class of '55) paid for ALL his own expenses -- tuition plus other expenses at a private college. He lived at home, but he covered all his own expenses by working at a radio station. He was a talented guy so he earned significantly more than the minimum wage, but his earnings fully funded his tuition + fees at a PRIVATE college.

 

Late 1970's through early 1980's -- My brother and I had our education (at two of the most expensive colleges in the country at the time) fully funded by my parents. Tuition plus room and board was the equivalent of approximately half a public school teacher's salary. (My mother was a public school teacher at the time, and while salaries vary widely across the country, her salary was over twice the tuition plus room and board cost of two of the most expensive colleges in the country.) My parents fully funded our education because my mother's public school salary (minus taxes, etc.) more than covered ALL our college expenses. My parents lived on my dad's salary and used my mother's salary to pay for our college. (My brother and I are spaced such that only one of us was in college at a time.)

 

Circa 2010 -- the public school teacher salaries listed in our local newspaper are approximately 2/3 of my kids' tuition plus room and board at a (expensive) private college. In other words, in the years around 2010 a public school teacher who contributed 100% of pre-tax income to funding a kid's private college education would not be able to actually fully fund it.  My husband and I would have needed to save literally one million dollars to fully fund sending our kids to top private schools. (Right now that number is even higher!) (BTW, thankfully our kids received outrageously generous merit aid and one of our kids attended a tuition-free school. We have paid "very little" for our four kids' education -- and even that "very little" has more digits than I want to think about!)

 

If you are in the fortunate position of having enough money to be able to contribute towards your kids' college expenses, please consider this timeline. My father fully funded his education through work. My education was easily fully funded by one public school teacher's post-tax salary -- no savings were involved. And right now one public school teacher's salary would not remotely cover private school tuition room and board (for the more expensive private colleges). (My parents still do not grasp how the finances have changed and are still appalled that one of our kids turned down U. Chicago for financial reasons!)

 

 

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So, what about if parents, instead of spending everything they have on buying whatever they wanted.......the parents are saving for retirement? I think someone else said earlier in the thread, there are no loans for retirement. Or what if they are saving in anticipation of perhaps paying extraordinary costs later in life in support of a special needs individual. Does that make a difference?

 

Of course it does. Doing what you can to help does not mean screwing over either yourself or your other obligations. What you described doing sounds perfectly normal to me, and like your kids would absolutely know they were cared about and that you support their endeavors.

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Some people have said it's different if you can pay but choose not to, vs can't pay.  I am wondering how that is.  Are the "consequences" really all that different?

 

As others have mentioned. the consequences are phenomenally different.  Kids whose parents can't pay still respect them, even more if they help out via advice or "any way they can." They might get mad at how unfair life is, but they don't target that at their parents.

 

Kids whose parents won't pay/help (could, but refuse - and those kids are able to/want to go to college) usually harbor really intense resentment.  That resentment can linger on for a lifetime.  I've seen kids cut their parents out of their lives (sometimes entirely) over such things.  It might not happen at the end of high school/start of college, but as soon as they realize what could have been vs what is...

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As someone who had 0 help from my parents from 17 on, I totally disagree.

 

You only have a bad relationship if you get angry about not getting money from your parents because you think it's OWED to you. If you wanted to be independent it would never come up in conversation. Life would go on and you would still have the same attitude you'd always had towards your parents.

 

Yes, I'm still helping out in old age and helped with Grandma's care too. I'm not in any way angry but I also never had an expectation that they would help.

 

I'm also not giving that expectation to my children even though I'm going to really try to help out as much as I can. I don't know the future though and I'm not going to give them that expectation to begin with.

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As someone who had 0 help from my parents from 17 on, I totally disagree.

 

You only have a bad relationship if you get angry about not getting money from your parents because you think it's OWED to you. If you wanted to be independent it would never come up in conversation. Life would go on and you would still have the same attitude you'd always had towards your parents.

 

Yes, I'm still helping out in old age and helped with Grandma's care too. I'm not in any way angry but I also never had an expectation that they would help.

 

I'm also not giving that expectation to my children even though I'm going to really try to help out as much as I can. I don't know the future though and I'm not going to give them that expectation to begin with.

There are always outliers.

 

I know that my mother's decision to buy my irresponsible younger sister new sports cars, herself motorcycles and beamers, all while I struggled to come up with laundry money and worked 25 hrs a week damaged our relationship immensely.

 

My relationship with my dad, who offered me an old beater so I could come home on the weekends, his car repair services, free laundry, and bags of oranges and avocados from his backyard is far better. It still makes me cry thinking back on that time. I was so, so, so angry with her.

 

I never, ever felt entitled to my mom's money. I felt entitled to be a priority in her life. I didn't ask to be born. She chose to show me in a million ways that my sister and her boyfriend were priorities while I was not. I worked my ass off to get into that school. I took out loans and had credit card debt because her credit was shot. She's still apologizing all these years later and trying to buy my respect. I pass the phone and the money to my kids. I don't want it or need it now. What matters is that she chose not to be there when I needed her.

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I do not understand the rationale behind being able to assist but refusing to do so. In my experience, carrying staggering college cost is not a prerequisite to becoming a financially responsible adult, as all the financially responsible people show who have grown up in countries that value education and offer free college, DH and myself included.

 

 

And me.  I had no tuition fees and a government stipend at university.  I have not asked for money from my parents from age 18 onwards and I have been lucky enough not to have to rely on government income support programmes.  I am back working full time now I no longer home educate, and will do so until my late sixties at least, in order to reduce my future dependence on my sons.

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For all the posters claiming that students who don't qualify for need-based financial aid have only the options of massive debt or not going to college, this is false.

 

The military offers money for college through both ROTC (where the student attends college first and completes the military obligation after graduation) and the GI Bill (where the individual enlists first and attends college either while serving or after).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Both my US-citizen children are ineligible for the US army due to medical conditions.

 

We have a deal with our kids. They can borrow what they need out of our savings and investments, but when they graduate they must move back in rent free and work until the debt is repaid. That works here because while we could help one or two or maybe three, we wouldn't have the money to help all of them and still save for retirement. We're giving them interest free loans but staying solvent for the next round of expenses. Also this doesn't penalize the ones who take the merit scholarships at lower tier state schools to save money.

 

This would depend where you live.  If you live somewhere remote with few job opportunities, then after a few years of minimum wage jobs to pay off the loan, they would be applying for graduate jobs alongside fresh graduates, which (I read) puts young people at a disadvantage.  In your situation, I might insist on a repayment programme with the option of living away to get a better job, rather than insisting on their coming home.

 

Totally agree.

 

Majoring in something solely because it leads to a career that earns a particular salary can seriously backfire.

 

On one of the university tours that we took with Calvin, they very much discouraged students from taking 'practical' degrees that they had little interest in.  It just lead to low grades and high drop out, in their experience.

 

My niece has a degree in English but had a popular vlog from her teens.  She now manages the social media presence for a major charity.  My other niece has a degree in biochemistry and now is an account manager for an internet provider.  Both have good degrees from good universities in subjects that interested them.  

 

The US situation may vary, but it's worth looking into.

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I have appreciated my parents' view of college expenses over the years --

 

Early 1950's -- My father (class of '55) paid for ALL his own expenses -- tuition plus other expenses at a private college. He lived at home, but he covered all his own expenses by working at a radio station. He was a talented guy so he earned significantly more than the minimum wage, but his earnings fully funded his tuition + fees at a PRIVATE college.

 

Late 1970's through early 1980's -- My brother and I had our education (at two of the most expensive colleges in the country at the time) fully funded by my parents. Tuition plus room and board was the equivalent of approximately half a public school teacher's salary. (My mother was a public school teacher at the time, and while salaries vary widely across the country, her salary was over twice the tuition plus room and board cost of two of the most expensive colleges in the country.) My parents fully funded our education because my mother's public school salary (minus taxes, etc.) more than covered ALL our college expenses. My parents lived on my dad's salary and used my mother's salary to pay for our college. (My brother and I are spaced such that only one of us was in college at a time.)

 

Circa 2010 -- the public school teacher salaries listed in our local newspaper are approximately 2/3 of my kids' tuition plus room and board at a (expensive) private college. In other words, in the years around 2010 a public school teacher who contributed 100% of pre-tax income to funding a kid's private college education would not be able to actually fully fund it.  My husband and I would have needed to save literally one million dollars to fully fund sending our kids to top private schools. (Right now that number is even higher!) (BTW, thankfully our kids received outrageously generous merit aid and one of our kids attended a tuition-free school. We have paid "very little" for our four kids' education -- and even that "very little" has more digits than I want to think about!)

 

If you are in the fortunate position of having enough money to be able to contribute towards your kids' college expenses, please consider this timeline. My father fully funded his education through work. My education was easily fully funded by one public school teacher's post-tax salary -- no savings were involved. And right now one public school teacher's salary would not remotely cover private school tuition room and board (for the more expensive private colleges). (My parents still do not grasp how the finances have changed and are still appalled that one of our kids turned down U. Chicago for financial reasons!)

 

This is similar to my experience:

 

My dad went to private school and paid for it.  It was under $3,000 for tuition, room, and board.  He only went 3 years because he was able to count his senior year and the first year of med school as one year (some special thing back then if you qualified.)  He lived at home with his parents during med school for 4 years and med school (Oregon State in Portland) was under $1000/year.  

 

My parents paid my tuition and room and board at the same private college my dad went to.  I got quite a few scholarships, but it was still $10K per year for tuition, room, board.  I don't know what "sticker price" was as I didn't pay attention.  

 

That school is now $50K+ for room, board, and tuition.  My kids aren't going.  And yes they could get scholarships, etc....but they would have to be significant.  

Edited by DawnM
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I thnk there are multiple very different issues. My parents didn't give a cent after I turned 18. I never resented that fact, but their decision didn't impact my ability to attend college or pursue my goals. I was able to work part-time during the school yr and full-time during the summer and pay of my expenses. That was doable when I was 18. (Even paying for my own health insurance. If parents are not providing their 18 yr olds with health insurance today, over 1/2 of their federal student loan would be required just to pay for their insurance. Between health insurance and books, they would be lucky if they still had $2000 dollars left.)

 

Fast-forward to today. Kids whose parents have very high expected parental contributions cannot bridge that gap with part-time work, full time work, or even 100% of a yr's salary post-college graduation even if they attend their cheapest in-state flagship and cannot commute to the campus. A low dollar amt cost of living on campus, paying for tuition, room, board, and books is $20,000. (And that is low. My kids' current college in-state costs for tuition, room, board, books (no insurance, no travel or personal expenses is around $26,000.) That student is eligible for $5,500 in loans. Without any parental support, even working and saving, there is no way for a student to fill in that gap.

 

We cannot even come close to meeting our expecte parental contribution. If we cannot afford it and look at those $$ amts as insurmountable, there is no way a teenager can make a dent in the amt independently. It is just not realistic.

 

So where does that leave our kids? With very few options. They can earn large enough scholarships that they can afford to go away to those colleges or they can live at home and commute bc we can pay for tuition. Living at home and commuting is a workable option for my kids that graduate with typical high school level accomplishments. My kids who graduated significantly beyond high school level would have been poorly served by 4 yr local options. Both of them would have surpassed course offerings in their major freshman yr.

 

Thankfully my kids have been able to earn enough scholarship $$ to attend universities that fit their needs better. Those better options meant opening doors to grad level classes, better research opportunities, better academic programs. They could have attended the local universities, but it would have made us incredibly depressed that they had to bc they would have spent all their time finishing gen eds and not being able to take appropriate in major courses. No joy in the fact they our inability to pay what colleges expect us to pay means our kids have very few options.

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I have not read everything, but we fall into the category that we are not helping at all.  We really don't financially have the money to do so, but because we make so little, it does help them when it comes to financial aid.  I paid my way through school and have a BA.  DH's parents had money and Dh wasted it, eventually flunking out because he wasn't burned out (long story) and never went back and he's so smart that it's sad to see that he could have done a lot better for himself.  Our dd started at CC at 16 and will have her Associates at 19 in December.  She plans to do online schooling, which is a LOT cheaper than B&M Univeristy and she lives at home.  DS almost 18, plans to get his Comptia A+ certifications and also start online schooling towards a bachelors.  There are lots of other options besides going to a University and having to pay a much larger amount. Just by DS doing the Comptia certs he saves from having to take 2 classes and won't need to take any dual credit, which also saves.  My dc have worked since they were very young and have saved, saved, saved.  They also have UTMA accounts that FIL started and will have a large sum of money at 21.  Not enough to pay for their entire schooling, but to help a little bit.  DH and I don't believe college is for everyone and we've not "pushed" it, I've helped guide them along the way though according to what they want to do.  DS 16 is talking military and shouldn't have a problem getting in, so we're preparing for that. 

College is just too expensive these days to waste thousands of dollars.  My friend already took out loans to help her daughter last year and her daughter just told her on Saturday that she doesn't want to continue. I do think when they are more financially responsible for college, some take it more seriously.

 

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