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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 02:16 PM   #21
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Re: College costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Army Guy
sometimes I think parents are going too far with "paying for the education" and not far enough in "motivating" the children to "do it for themselves (at least somewhat)".
And sometimes it is the same parents who are not planning to help with college tuition who are also failing to motivate their children........

DW and I are both first generation college grads and grad school grads. *We know in great detail what it means to get through college unaided. *We both missed a lot of undergrad school, from a recreational as well as an academic aspect, by needing to work many hours a week at our jobs. *We thought that when our son decided to co-op, that was a good compromise between working long hours and "the college experience." *We were able to help and were glad to help with the bills and he responded with good grades in a challenging engineering program, good recommendations from his co-op employers and lots and lots of thanks for us helping him get through debt free. *

Generally, college is expensive these days. *Most folks need to start saving early if they're going to help the kids. *If you wait until yours is old enough that you can determine if they are going to be able to make it on their own, you've waited way too long to start saving. *So, I start funding the grandkid's ESA's at birth. *BTW, ESA's can be transferred from one kid to another, used to fund elementary, highschool or even trade school and even education related hardward, such as a laptop.

So, Old Army Guy, in extreme cases I suppose it's possible for parents, grandparents or other relatives to tell kids that they are "fully funded" for college too early or too often. *We never do that. *But the savings does start while there is time to do so and unknown to the kiddies. *That way, it isn't painful at all and you've got lots of options when the time comes.

BTW, congrats on your fine sounding crew. They've done well and I'm sure your influence is a big part of their success.

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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 02:23 PM   #22
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 02:39 PM   #23
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Re: College costs

I did something similar to get through college. My grades weren't good enough (3.0 average) and I didn't takle the SAT so I enlisted in the Army. Went to night school with tuition assistance from the Army for two years. I then got a scholarship to go full time courtesy of uncle suga and left college with zero debt and a 3.5 GPA. At the time that was by far my proudest moment knowing that I did a large majority of it by myself. No parental funding just hard work and sacrifice. I want to instill at least some of that drive and determination in my son. Our plan is to pay for half and he finds out how fund the other half through scholarships, grants, part time jobs, etc. He'll also have to maintain at least a 3.0 to maintain the gravy train.
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 02:49 PM   #24
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Re: College costs

*And I suppose comparing parents without the knowledge or means to help with parents who readily have the knowledge and means to help is a little bit of an apples to oranges thing. *Like you, I had parents who couldn't help and I found a way to do it myself. *And my respect for my folks is high and I hold no grudge that I had to do it myself.

Yet, since the means is there for my kid's generation and my grandkids' generation to receive assistance, is it wrong to give it? *I think not.

I'm still close friends with several guys I went to school with. *All of them were sent to school with significant support from parents or other relatives. *At school they frequently went to football games on Saturday afternoons while I worked, studied in the evening while I worked, participated in extraciricular activities while I worked, etc. *Today, they all have had good careers, are men of integrity and we're still good friends. *I don't think it would have hurt anything for me to have been able to attend a few games, spend a little more time in the library, etc. like they did. *They seem fine despite it. And I suppose that's how I look at my kids and grandkids. *If they're motivated, hard workers, have common sense and all that, what's the harm if I help them at least enough that they can participate in a full, rounded college life?

Besides, I get a kick out of it!!

This whole discussion of making sure your kids are tough reminds me of the Johnny Cash tune "A Boy Named Sue!"* *
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 03:08 PM   #25
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Re: College costs

1) When I went to college, my parents paid for mostly everything. I had some savings and some income, so I paid for what I could - some of the tuition for a couple of years, books, my own "pocket money", but the bulk of the money came from my parents. I chose to commute from home for two years to save on room and board. It wasn't because my parents asked me to or because there wasn't the money available. I was just old enough to realize how many thousands of dollars were involved and I did my part to reduce that. I also realized that I had better be sure to graduate in four years because a fifth year would cost a lot of money.

So don't wait until college to teach your childer the value of a dollar - do it before then.

2) While doing my retire-early spreadsheets, I realized that I was saving some money in one pot (retirement) and more money in another pot (daughter's college). I was planning to save college money into aggressive stock funds for now, and then shift them into less risky investments as college time gets closer.

I've dumped that plan. How am I supposed to know how to time my shift out of stocks? I can't, so I'm not going to try. Instead, I'm saving all of my money into retirment accounts and when college time comes (13 years from now), I'll just stop saving for retirement and use that income to pay for college. Besides, I might be nearing retirement when my daughter enters college (hopefully!). I'm considering allowing my daughter to get some low-cost student loans and then gifting her some money to pay them off over time. Or, since some kids work their way through college... well, why can't I pick up a part-time job bussing tables to pay for her college? That's not so bad, because I don't have to go to classes and do homework. So, yeah, that's my plan - I'm going to work my daughter's way through college.
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 03:14 PM   #26
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 03:37 PM   #27
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Re: College costs

Gumby,

Well put.

You should remember as well that many would have considered the opportunity to attend the Naval Academy a real honor and a fortunate situation.

My son wanted to attend the Air Force Academy and had the grades and test scores to be a competitive applicant.* Sadly, he had major surgery to correct Arnold Chiari 1 malformation when he was 14 leaving him with a scar running from the crown of his head to his upper back.* Obviously, he was disqualified.

So, he became a Purdue Boilermaker, participated in their co-op program where he worked for Sun Chemical alternating semesters and went on with his life.* And yep, DW and I paid his tuition, room and board.

We just had no urge to name him Sue.* We'd already been there and done that.

I do agree that it is possible to overdo support for a child's education and wind up decreasing their personal drive and ambition.* *
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 03:47 PM   #28
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Re: College costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by slepyhed
1)Instead, I'm saving all of my money into retirment accounts and when college time comes (13 years from now), I'll just stop saving for retirement and use that income to pay for college.
FWIW, that's what we did and it worked for us.* Your milage may vary.*

Now,we are using ESA's for the grandkids. You might want to at least Google up some info and see what you think.

Good luck!
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 03:59 PM   #29
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Re: College costs

I think that there is no reason that every artist and musician should go to college. I think that way too many useless college degrees are earned every year. I certainly don't want to pay a payroll tax for the rest of my life to ensure that more useless degrees can be earned.
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 04:08 PM   #30
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 04:17 PM   #31
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 04:41 PM   #32
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Re: College costs

Spouse & I have our 25th reunions over the next two years.

How were the crowds? Were you able to stay within an hour of ground zero? Were you able to do everything you wanted to do?
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 04:51 PM   #33
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 05:04 PM   #34
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Thanks! That geography is all pretty fresh in my mind from July's trip. The crowds don't sound too bad, especially with the shuttle buses. I hope our classes make the same smart decisions and don't try to do it on Homecoming.

Next year I think I'm going to load up on Kona & macadamia nuts and see if we have any old shipmates still living on Porter Road...
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 05:34 PM   #35
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Re: College costs

My two cents on college. Started saving for as soon as I left the hospital (after birth) ha ha . Got in a panic as the price kept going up way faster than inflation. Had enough (thank you stock market) to pay all the basics and did. Kid worked all the way through college and paid fair share of expenses. Made clear that four years was it. Out of state tuition was a killer though.

However, the opportunities, especially today, to one with a solid degree from a good university are boundless.

Worth every cent of it.
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #36
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Re: College costs

I figured on $120,000/year when I started planning....if the kids went to private schools...and they did....but it turned out to be more like $35,000-$40,000/year (younger son now a college junior; older son 3rd year law). Older son is paying for most of law school (@ nearly $60,000/year), with a small inheritance, scholarship, and loans....and a little help from his dad. Guess it's paying off, though....he's made $2500+/week over the summer and already accepted a job for next year at $140,000+..... The younger son is an engineer, so he'll probably do okay too.....
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 07:20 PM   #37
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Re: College costs

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I figured on $120,000/year when I started planning....if the kids went to private schools...and they did....but it turned out to be more like $35,000-$40,000/year (younger son now a college junior; older son 3rd year law).* Older son is paying* for most of law school (@ nearly $60,000/year), with a small inheritance, scholarship, and loans....and a little help from his dad.* *Guess it's paying off, though....he's made $2500+/week over the summer and already accepted a job for next year at $140,000+.....* The younger son is an engineer, so he'll probably do okay too.....
One significant issue that some reading this may not be aware of is how high student loans are in many cases dramatically influencing recent graduates' careers (especially law and medical school graduates).* The problem is this:* you go to law school, rack up $100,000K to $150,000 in loans, and then you feel compelled to get a corporate law job at BigLaw, selling your soul to do mergers and aquisitions and working 12 hours a day, instead of playing Atticus Finch, all because you've got to pay your student loans.*

I personally feel that you shouldn't be taking on massive student loans unless you have a clear understanding of what it will mean to pay them back.* As a result, I'm not particularly teary-eyed when most people wring their hands about this problem.* It is nonetheless unfortunate for society and for the individuals involved.

Related to this, has anybody seen the recent articles in various publications (in the past 5 days or so) discussing how luxurious undergrad housing is becoming?* A lot of kids are living in truly fancy apartments that hardly qualify as "dorms" anymore.* Colleges feel the need to provide this level of luxury in order to compete with other colleges for the best students.* It's sort of crazy.

I guess the craziest thing is that I'm only 30 and yet I'm already sounding like a curmudgeon.* Soon I'll be starting all my sentences with the phrase, "Well, in my day..."
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 07:55 PM   #38
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Re: College costs

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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
One significant issue that some reading this may not be aware of is how high student loans are in many cases dramatically influencing recent graduates' careers (especially law and medical school graduates). The problem is this: you go to law school, rack up $100,000K to $150,000 in loans, and then you feel compelled to get a corporate law job at BigLaw, selling your soul to do mergers and aquisitions and working 12 hours a day, instead of playing Atticus Finch, all because you've got to pay your student loans.
Your observation is accurate. Throw in another 4 years of residency at low salary for the medical side, and you are in debt til age 40, losing those valuable early compounding years. I was 40 when I invested my first dollar for retirement other than a small IRA. Fortunately I made up some ground through discipline and high compensation but you can never really catch up to what $25-50k at age 35 would have done (like $7mm at age 55, or $19 mm at age 65).

No complaining, really, since it's been and is a good ride for me. But you nailed the real cost of education.
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Re: College costs
Old 09-19-2006, 09:33 PM   #39
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Re: College costs

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Don't forget Texas' excellent flagship schools - Univ Texas and Texas A&M.
Both are schools that the football teams can be proud of
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Re: College costs
Old 09-20-2006, 04:06 PM   #40
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Re: College costs

Ways to pay for college:

1. Parent (or student) works at University= free tuition
2. Full tuition scholarship (i.e., get those AP courses in HS and get top grades, test scores, and be a sports or extracurricular hero/heroine)
3. Go to a small liberal arts college on a merit scholarship.
4. If you're poor, get lots of financial aid. Not loans, very bad idea for kids to graduate stuck with lots of debt, IMHO.
5. Go to a cheap junior college for two years, then transfer to University for last two years (save big bucks on tuition).
6. Work, take classes, work, take classes, work, take classes.* Many have earned their BA the hard way. It can still be done
7. Put it all on a line of credit.* Very bad idea, IMHO.

I went to college and grad school with no help from parents by using #1, 2, 4, 5, and 6.
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