Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

DawnM

Grandparents paying for college, but with stipulations

Recommended Posts

I am here in AZ with my parents and they decided to tell us now, after 2 kids are already in college and set for next year, that they would like to pay for my kids' college, but ONLY if they go to the colleges of my parents' choice (AKA: The religious choice colleges)  Right now, both are in secular schools.  One is at a private school and one is at a public college.

I am NOT complaining, I promise, it is a generous offer, but I am a bit frustrated.  Most of my paycheck has gone to pay for college for the boys and if they had told us this 3 years ago, we would have planned accordingly and I would have been fine telling the boys they go to the colleges my parents chose or they pay for their own, but now it just seems like it is too late and too much scrambling around to switch colleges.

When I get back I will present the offer to my boys, but I will not tell them they have to change or pay, I don't think it is fair to them.  

What would YOU do?  Just getting some perspective.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not have a lot of trust that there wouldn’t be more conditions added later, or excuses looked for not to pay later on.  

I also would wonder about associated costs that might be much higher, and would those be paid, or only tuition (or what).  

I just would not have a lot of trust.  

I think it’s something that could be easy to say but harder to follow through on.

I would also be angry/frustrated they waited so long when many decisions about where to attend school were being made years ago, on many sides and not just the financial side.  

If they have had a change in their situation I would understand that.  Otherwise it would seem very flighty to me.  

I think if you have a better relationship with them and they aren’t generally manipulative with things, and there is some explanation of how they weren’t aware of this before and then realized and are very committed to it — then I think it is very gracious and I hope it works out.  

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, DawnM said:

I am here in AZ with my parents and they decided to tell us now, after 2 kids are already in college and set for next year, that they would like to pay for my kids' college, but ONLY if they go to the colleges of my parents' choice (AKA: The religious choice colleges)  Right now, both are in secular schools.  One is at a private school and one is at a public college.

I am NOT complaining, I promise, it is a generous offer, but I am a bit frustrated.  Most of my paycheck has gone to pay for college for the boys and if they had told us this 3 years ago, we would have planned accordingly and I would have been fine telling the boys they go to the colleges my parents chose or they pay for their own, but now it just seems like it is too late and too much scrambling around to switch colleges.

When I get back I will present the offer to my boys, but I will not tell them they have to change or pay, I don't think it is fair to them.  

What would YOU do?  Just getting some perspective.

Nope.  No strings attached school.  

I have some personal philosophies regarding "paying for school" that I won't discuss here because my ideas tend to freak out or offend people.  They worked out well for DD23 so I can't say I will change them, but they are probably counter to your basic concept.

However, I remember a discussion once when my oldest graduated high school.  My aunt and uncle, big proponents of parents paying for college, were out for my oldest's high school graduation, which also served as a sort of family reunion.  They had paid for their own kids college, both of whom went to expensive schools, got degrees they never used and honestly.....just didn't provide a great example of ROI.   The morning before my aunt and uncle left, we all went to breakfast.  DD23 complained about DH and I not paying ANYTHING for school.  And my aunt, maybe out of experience, said to my kid " Your mom is right.  This way there are NO strings attached and you can get the degree YOU want. "

 

Don't have the kids switch schools.  If you are paying and you are paying what you can afford and this sets your kids on the path they want to be on, then do NOT alter than just because someone else wants to offer cash for puppet strings.  This isn't about a luxury gift, it's about your kids and their education and path in adult life.  Tell your parents thank you very much for their generosity, but the college students are already too far along to make changes and the ones not there yet, they are already on the path to specific colleges and can't accept funds for schools that don't get them where they want to go.  

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No way. I would have turned them down immediately and not mentioned it to my kids. If they would have made the offer years ago, I would have let the kids make the decision (although I know what most of them would say already). This late in the game? When the ground rules are already in play? Not even worth considering.

What kind of power play are they going for? Ugh! Not my type of people, that's for sure.

(My mom tried to make conditions for my wedding. I politely told her that it was my wedding that DH & I were paying for so she didn't get a say in it. Everytime she's tried to put her conditions on something, I've been able to decline because I could. Thankfully.)

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Money always comes with strings. That's my two cents. 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say NOPE and NO WAY.

(preface: I am a Bible believing CHristian who was also raised in Catholic Schools.  While I am no longer Catholic I do highly value religious education and the love and care that comes at these types of schools and colleges...)

BUT someone who is going to be that controlling from the get-go is going to be controlling in other ways too, and there is no telling where it will end.  I cannot even imagine my in=laws or parents being able to afford helping for college but then stipulating where the kids would go. NONE of my parent sets (we have three, two religious and one secular set) and NONE of them would ever have pulled this type of control stunt on us.

It's one thing to say "It's for college only" (aka it's not for a convertible or a vacation or a condo in Costa Rica)

BUT to say "It's for only this type of college" is very controlling. Save your sanity.  Steer clear.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to be fair, they just hadn't discussed it until now and just decided how they would like to use the money.  They weren't *trying* to throw it at me to be controlling, they were trying to help, and they believe strongly in religious colleges.  

Once they commit to something, they don't pull the rug out, so I am not worried about that aspect, BUT, I do worry that they will become incapacitated or die before the kids are through!  They are in their late 80s.

And, honestly, I think this money is coming to me when they die, so it is kind of my money they are spending ultimately.  🤣

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

And, honestly, I think this money is coming to me when they die, so it is kind of my money they are spending ultimately.  🤣

Now, I"m confused.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't take it. You almost always lose when you transfer anyway. Sometimes you have to, but I wouldn't for this.

I'm in a situation where one of mine could use some college money for the second half of a four-year degree, but I'm wary of getting money from the relatives that have offered for similar reasons. I'm OK for this academic year, so I think we'll just take it one year at a time and turn them down. She's a commuter student at a state school, so it's not bad if there has to be a loan for her senior year.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, gstharr said:

Now, I"m confused.

 

It will most likely be my inheritance when they pass away is what I am saying.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, G5052 said:

I wouldn't take it. You almost always lose when you transfer anyway. Sometimes you have to, but I wouldn't for this.

I'm in a situation where one of mine could use some college money for the second half of a four-year degree, but I'm wary of getting money from the relatives that have offered for similar reasons. I'm OK for this academic year, so I think we'll just take it one year at a time and turn them down. She's a commuter student at a state school, so it's not bad if there has to be a loan for her senior year.  

 

We may need to borrow some for our son as well (the one at private school).  He knows he owes back about 10k per year anyway as we only pay a certain amount, but we aren't sure we will have the cash this coming year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

Let them pay for grad school. Or weddings or down payments.  Just not college mid-stream. 

 

They are late 80s and not in great health, I honestly don't think they will be around for grad school or weddings down the road.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you told your parents what you've told us?  Do they understand that your dc's plans are already set for the fall and that they'd likely lose already-earned credit in a transfer?  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, klmama said:

Have you told your parents what you've told us?  Do they understand that your dc's plans are already set for the fall and that they'd likely lose already-earned credit in a transfer?  

 

This.  Do they understand that changing college isn’t like changing a high school?  Do they understand all the hoops you have to jump through to get into college and the stress?  And the loss of credits?  And how the college has to be a good fit?  Essays and transcripts and letters of recommendation, blah blah blah...

I tried to explain to my 77 yo FIL that a college needs to be a good fit and he totally wasn’t buying it.  “You go to college to get an education.  Who cares if it’s big or small or a “good fit”?”  He seemed to think I was some sort of namby pamby snowflake for even suggesting it.  Sigh.  

So, good luck explaining the stress and nuances of switching colleges mid-way, but you can try.  I’m not sure that people in their 80s understand the educational world of today, but maybe they’ll get it.  Or maybe they’ll think you’re all just lazy for not wanting to jump through a few hoops to apply.  Who knows?  Depends on the older person.  Some are flexible and some are very rigid.  

But I’d start there and see what their reaction is.

Edited by Garga
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were you, I would state clearly that I do not desire to "force" the children to transfer to religious colleges by dangling cash in front of them and that if the grandparents wished to, they are welcome to pay off the college fees of the current college choices. Just because your parents value a religious school does not make your sons obliged to conform to those beliefs, does it? This is a form of controlling even if it is done so with "altruistic" intentions (ask me how I know!). They are essentially feeling entitled to have a controlling say in the college educations of kids who are not their own because they can pay for it if their grandkids followed their directions. I have family members who want such control even after their death, by putting such stipulations in their will!

If they decide not to pay for the current colleges, you will get a bigger inheritance as you state! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What a very generous and kind offer! However, tying the money to a particular college just doesn't work for for many reasons, so if you want to withdraw your offer, we understand, and no hard feelings. But, if you would still like to make a general contribution towards grandkids' college fund without any restrictions about where/how the funds are spent, then here's how to do so in the way that works best tax-wise for both of us _________________."

  • Like 14
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not going to argue with them or tell them they should fund a school choice they don’t support.  It’s ok, really, if the kids want it, they can change, if not, we will just keep paying.

 

it really is their choice to spend as they want if it is their money.   I understand why they want to do it this way.  I know they mean well.   I just wish they had thought of this or decided 2 or 3 years ago, that is most of my beef.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DawnM said:

I am not going to argue with them or tell them they should fund a school choice they don’t support.  It’s ok, really, if the kids want it, they can change, if not, we will just keep paying.

 

it really is their choice to spend as they want if it is their money.   I understand why they want to do it this way.  I know they mean well.   I just wish they had thought of this or decided 2 or 3 years ago, that is most of my beef.

Isn't one of your sons a senior? And the other just finished transferring? (I'm sorry if I've got the details wrong but unless they're freshmen willing to do a gap year, my advice still holds).

It's the middle of June, they won't be able to enroll anywhere but an open enrollment CC or local university for this fall. Do your parents understand the timeline? Would they be more flexible about the college choice if they realized that your sons picked their schools based on affordability long before they made their offer? I like Lori's suggestion.

I'm sure they mean well, but they probably don't understand the logistical nightmare of transferring to their preferred school at this point. I think it's worth explaining the situation to see if they'll be more flexible.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would forward the message to my kids in the interest of transparency. Like you, I would not make them switch or pay more than they've already been paying. I would also be very honest and forthcoming about why I don't think it's a great idea. 

And yes, very good point about them possibly dying or becoming incapacitated before the boys are done. Unless they put the money in some type of trust, someone could transfer for a year and then be left hanging. I would absolutely point out to my kids that there's no telling what might happen a year or two down the road if they do choose to accept. I would talk a lot about how freedom and making your own choices can be just as valuable as money, bc that's the way I feel. 

If they put the money in a trust and one of them always wanted to go to one of those schools anyway, it might not be a terrible idea. It sounds like you're confident that your parents will follow through as they can, but a trust or such is the only way to do that. Or some kind of 529, and they trust you to not use it for secular school. You might ask an accountant about options. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, my larger concern would be about paying for long term nursing care if their health isn't good and keeping options open for higher quality end of life if funds aren't infinitely high.  Nursing care burns through money rather quickly.  

Are your kids taking out loans or paying for any of their own tuition anyway?  I can't imagine my own kids wanting to switch  if they were happy in their current setting.  I would tell them in the interest of transparency.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Actually, my larger concern would be about paying for long term nursing care if their health isn't good and keeping options open for higher quality end of life if funds aren't infinitely high.  Nursing care burns through money rather quickly.  

 

I agree with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Actually, my larger concern would be about paying for long term nursing care if their health isn't good and keeping options open for higher quality end of life if funds aren't infinitely high.  Nursing care burns through money rather quickly.  

Are your kids taking out loans or paying for any of their own tuition anyway?  I can't imagine my own kids wanting to switch  if they were happy in their current setting.  I would tell them in the interest of transparency.  

 

15 minutes ago, JennyD said:

 

I agree with this.

 

Thanks, but they have already paid into a care facility and are covered for that.  It is a graduated plan where they currently live.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Isn't one of your sons a senior? And the other just finished transferring? (I'm sorry if I've got the details wrong but unless they're freshmen willing to do a gap year, my advice still holds).

It's the middle of June, they won't be able to enroll anywhere but an open enrollment CC or local university for this fall. Do your parents understand the timeline? Would they be more flexible about the college choice if they realized that your sons picked their schools based on affordability long before they made their offer? I like Lori's suggestion.

I'm sure they mean well, but they probably don't understand the logistical nightmare of transferring to their preferred school at this point. I think it's worth explaining the situation to see if they'll be more flexible.

 

No, a Junior and a Sophomore next year.

My parents want my kids at a religious college, so there is no flexibility there.  I know my parents, it isn't worth arguing.  Yes, they do understand and even commented that they are willing to pay for additional time they may need.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, katilac said:

If they put the money in a trust and one of them always wanted to go to one of those schools anyway, it might not be a terrible idea. It sounds like you're confident that your parents will follow through as they can, but a trust or such is the only way to do that. Or some kind of 529, and they trust you to not use it for secular school. You might ask an accountant about options. 

 

Honestly, very few trusts benefit the beneficiaries as much as the institution managing it. 529's are a different matter.

In kind of a reverse to OP's situation I know someone who offered to pay for their nieces and nephews, provided that none of them went to his alma mater, lol.

I think I would have to say "Thanks, the offer is so kind, but no thanks" to this particular offer unless the current situation is truly a financial burden. Lost work years have financial value, too. I don't think it would be inappropriate for the kids to drop g'ma and g'pa a note talking about what they are doing and what their plans are, then leave it at that unless one or the other plans on graduate school that could be completed at a religious university.

 

Edited by MamaSprout
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stipulations = NO

Tax Implications = ?

Financial Aid Implications = ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just say thanks, but no thanks.  I wouldn't even bother telling the kids.   It's too late, and regardless of what they say, they do not understand how it works. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I think your plan to tell them that it’s an option is about the most you can do currently. It is hard to switch right now, as they might not even be able to get the classes they would need. But if they wanted to do the legwork and try to figure it out to see if it could work, that would be up to them I think. Since it will be your inheritance later on hopefully that helps you later even though things are hard now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! A hundred times, yes. Not a fun situation to be in when it all falls into your lap. (Actually, it's devastating. Prepare now. If they pay for your DC's college and then something happens to them within the next seven years, the government probably isn't going to help you/them.)

On 6/18/2019 at 5:21 PM, FuzzyCatz said:

Actually, my larger concern would be about paying for long term nursing care if their health isn't good and keeping options open for higher quality end of life if funds aren't infinitely high.  Nursing care burns through money rather quickly.


By the way, I had rich uncles pay for part of my college. It had stipulations. Not fun. It taught me a fine lesson, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

Just say thanks, but no thanks.  I wouldn't even bother telling the kids.   It's too late, and regardless of what they say, they do not understand how it works. 

One of them just completed freshman year and the youngest hasn't even started, so I wouldn't say it was too late. Some students would be fine with skipping one or two semesters if it meant attending a certain college. I'm not in favor of the arrangement, but not bc it's too late. And I would tell the kids, including all potential drawbacks of course, because presumably the grandparents and grandkids do talk sometimes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, katilac said:

One of them just completed freshman year and the youngest hasn't even started, so I wouldn't say it was too late. Some students would be fine with skipping one or two semesters if it meant attending a certain college. I'm not in favor of the arrangement, but not bc it's too late. And I would tell the kids, including all potential drawbacks of course, because presumably the grandparents and grandkids do talk sometimes!

I think they are both already in college.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, katilac said:

One of them just completed freshman year and the youngest hasn't even started, so I wouldn't say it was too late. Some students would be fine with skipping one or two semesters if it meant attending a certain college. I'm not in favor of the arrangement, but not bc it's too late. And I would tell the kids, including all potential drawbacks of course, because presumably the grandparents and grandkids do talk sometimes!

Yes, it's too late- classes have been picked, living arrangements made, financial aid completed, scholarships awarded.  Switching now would mean changing all of those plans that have just been completed.  I know it's POSSIBLE they could switch now, but it's not advisable.  We are advising High School Juniors to be looking and scouting scholarships and programs, and we tell kids they need to decide by December of Sr. year- dorms open in early spring, classes picked in March or April.  It is possible to start right now, but it puts you behind all of those who already chose their schools.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

Yes, it's too late- classes have been picked, living arrangements made, financial aid completed, scholarships awarded.  Switching now would mean changing all of those plans that have just been completed.  I know it's POSSIBLE they could switch now, but it's not advisable.  We are advising High School Juniors to be looking and scouting scholarships and programs, and we tell kids they need to decide by December of Sr. year- dorms open in early spring, classes picked in March or April.  It is possible to start right now, but it puts you behind all of those who already chose their schools.

I know that some colleges do early deposits on housing, but I  would be very interested to hear what schools require course registration in Mar-Apr when decision day nationwide is May 1.  

As for deciding where they are going by Dec senior year, that only works if decisions are back that early.  I've had kids waiting on decisions in March and April.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For currently enrolled students, classes open on April 1 for fall semester at my local school.  Freshman do have to wait until a few weeks later.  For spring classes, the usually start enrolling in October. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On June 18, 2019 at 8:33 AM, DawnM said:

It will most likely be my inheritance when they pass away is what I am saying.  

It sounds like the most practical thing to do is just leave the kids where they are, and then when you inherit the money, you can reimburse yourself for your contributions and maybe pay some of their loans as well. So their education still gets paid for, but at the colleges they chose and without the disruption of transferring.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The religious schools we have looked at don’t have anything near what our child is interested in studying. To attend a religious school a grandparent would pay for would mean our child wouldn’t be studying what he has wanted to for years now. That right there would be main consideration. 

I would let the children know about the offer. But I would sit down and look at what it would take to transfer. As has already been said, housing and classes have already been picked for the fall. How much would it cost to change now? I don’t think most older people today realize what college and the job markets are like today. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

Yes, it's too late- classes have been picked, living arrangements made, financial aid completed, scholarships awarded.  Switching now would mean changing all of those plans that have just been completed.  I know it's POSSIBLE they could switch now, but it's not advisable.   

I don't think it's advisable, either, but not because it's 'too late.' It's not. Rising juniors transfer all the time, the next is a rising sophomore, so that would seem to leave a rising freshman. It will be too late for the fall semester at many schools, but likely not all, and to some students it would be worth it to sit out fall and transfer in spring. It's not what I would do, but 'too late' is not a reason to not tell the kids about the offer. It's their decision.

 The grandparents have said they would fund any extra time needed, and presumably they will fund sticker price (as you can't assume anyone will get a scholarship). Everything else is workable if you WANT to change schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have told both of the college age kids.  One said he will keep it in mind in case his current program doesn't work out (he is pre-engineering right now and if he doesn't make it in or doesn't like his state school......)

Oldest would need to change his major completely or go really far away.  Not happening.

So, thanks for the advice.  I am good now.

PS:  I have also now told my 15 year old, but I had to add that the grandparents may not even be around or lucid by then.  But I assured him we would do the same for him we did for the others (X dollar amount and you pay the difference if you go elsewhere) if this offer isn't around or he doesn't want to take it.

Edited by DawnM
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...