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Old 04-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #61
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Our older son was at a state university 2002-2006. Tuition, room and board was around $13,000 for the first year, increased around $1000 each year for a total of $58,000 for the 4 years.

DH's parents had set up a granchildren's college fund in a 529 that supplied around $5,000 each year. He also had a $2000/year scholarship from the state for a high GPA. We covered the rest with Stafford loans (his name but our debt) savings and cash from income. When he graduated we paid the loans for a couple of years and then paid them off early when DH retired.

The other son was in college 2005-2009. He did one semester at the same state university as his brother but didn't like it and transferred to a nearby state university and commuted from home. Tuition, fees and books was approximately $9000 - $10,000 a year but we also covered his car expenses (gas, insurance, parking, repairs and maintenance) and meals associated with his school schedule. We paid for all this with the grandparents college 529 of $5000/year and the rest from income and savings.

So both sons have 4 year degrees and no student loan debt. The grandparents 529 is now covering 5 other grandchildren and they are receiving quite a bit more than $5000/year due to the funds increasing over time. Three of the grandkids are in Colorado and college at a state university there is much less expensive than in Ohio.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
The problem with those averages is that not everyone will get the discounts. Those discounts come largely from financial aid. Since financial aid ignores retirement accounts, maybe people here who have "everything" in retirement accounts, could get the discount. But the financial aid formulas expect the parent to drop about 6% of your non-retirement assets annually. So if you have two kids, not at college at the same time, after they're done, the formulas have you with about half the assets you started with, not to mention a good chunk of your paycheck. The bottom line for the discounts is "if you have the money, you won't get the discount". And I presume that most people on this board "have the money".

And for all of the discussion about a couple thousand here and there with taxes, that's peanuts compared to the discounts (many thousands per semester) you can get with the "right" FAFSA inputs. One thing is for sure: UGMA is a super dumb idea if you're going to try for financial aid. You save $12 is taxes and then your financial aid discount is cut by $1,200, hehe.
I guess I don't get the criticism that the problem with averages is that no everyone gets them...

Isn't that the nature of an average, there are extreme outliers on each side? Some students get nothing, some students get more than they need. On average, students pay less than the sticker price. The sticker price is all the media ever reports on, so we get tons of college about stories of people with tons of student loan debt, because they choose from the outliers, not the average.

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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I am with you on this. I have true apples to apples comparison, and college costs swamp the inflation rate in competition personally for me anyways. I paid $30 a credit hour in mid 80s. Now this year it is $290 a credit hour. I got the privilege of paying full rack rate then, and get an encore opportunity with DD this year. This is not including all the newly created "fees" over the years which almost entails everything up to a "breathing campus oxygen air fee".
My anecdote is different. I got 1 $1000 scholarship before going to school, but once you get in, departments and the school have scholarships you can apply for every year. With the internet added on, there's more scholarships then ever to go around. Once I became a grad student and got a TA/RAship, my school decided to fully pay my tuition.

My wife went to a small private college, which had a sticker price that was over twice as much as my public university. However, neither her, nor any of her 3 roommates, paid anything close to that. They all had tons of financial aid/scholarships (and they had very different family financial backgrounds). She paid less for me than college her first year. Then she transferred to the same state university as me and got a nice scholarship for transferring (literally, there's money set aside to provide scholarships for transfer students), and was still paying less than me.

Then you can look at my brothers, who did nothing special in high school from a grades, testing, or extra-curricular standpoint, but because their birth father was hispanic (and they've long since disowned him), they could mark "minority" on their application and get $20k scholarships. They lost them, because they're lacking wisdom, but that's another story.

Long story short, we hear all about how much college costs, but financial aid is more plentiful then ever, especially if you are willing to consider several different colleges, especially different types. Check out 2 small private schools along with the major state schools, and so on.

All the articles about people leaving with $150k in student loans, probably didn't try to find a decent deal at college and also probably spent all 4 years in student housing. Both of those are bad ideas when off-campus housing is less than half the price of university-provided housing.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studbucket

I guess I don't get the criticism that the problem with averages is that no everyone gets them...

Isn't that the nature of an average, there are extreme outliers on each side? Some students get nothing, some students get more than they need. On average, students pay less than the sticker price. The sticker price is all the media ever reports on, so we get tons of college about stories of people with tons of student loan debt, because they choose from the outliers, not the average.

My anecdote is different. I got 1 $1000 scholarship before going to school, but once you get in, departments and the school have scholarships you can apply for every year. With the internet added on, there's more scholarships then ever to go around. Once I became a grad student and got a TA/RAship, my school decided to fully pay my tuition.

My wife went to a small private college, which had a sticker price that was over twice as much as my public university. However, neither her, nor any of her 3 roommates, paid anything close to that. They all had tons of financial aid/scholarships (and they had very different family financial backgrounds). She paid less for me than college her first year. Then she transferred to the same state university as me and got a nice scholarship for transferring (literally, there's money set aside to provide scholarships for transfer students), and was still paying less than me.

Then you can look at my brothers, who did nothing special in high school from a grades, testing, or extra-curricular standpoint, but because their birth father was hispanic (and they've long since disowned him), they could mark "minority" on their application and get $20k scholarships. They lost them, because they're lacking wisdom, but that's another story.

Long story short, we hear all about how much college costs, but financial aid is more plentiful then ever, especially if you are willing to consider several different colleges, especially different types. Check out 2 small private schools along with the major state schools, and so on.

All the articles about people leaving with $150k in student loans, probably didn't try to find a decent deal at college and also probably spent all 4 years in student housing. Both of those are bad ideas when off-campus housing is less than half the price of university-provided housing.
Without question people make poor choices and do not look for value or spend their money on spring break. But finding scholarships isn't directly related to the inflation rate of colleges. Receiving scholarships and having low income to qualify for financial aid may get around the problem of the inflation for some, but it is still there. I am not even saying that the increased cost is undeserved as in our state, the level of funding in terms of percentage of state revenues has declined significantly over the years, so there would be some need for revenue other ways. I love the trick some mediocre private schools do in my area on the unsuspecting or naive. Offer $15,000 scholarships to kids and they go there based solely on the ego of receiving the scholarship, but in reality the state school is still cheaper with no financial aide and a better reputation to boot. Or take advantage of kids who won't let go of their athletic dream and are offered an "athletic scholarship" to some nowhere private school and then dump them on the college JV team until they graduate or transfer. When in reality they would have been better served by no scholarship and saved money by going to the state university with the better education, also. Once again these are just examples based on individuals and is certainly not meant to be a reflection on colleges everywhere or for everyone.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:48 AM   #64
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We have about $25K in a 529 for DD's education (about 14 years away), but we are adding more to it each month. I hope to be able to pay for 4 years of state school. Who knows what kind of student DD will be though.

I'm amazed how fast the time goes with children. I imagine 14 years will be here before I know it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #65
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My parents paid for my college education in full. I didn't appreciate it while I was in school and I must admit I probably didn't apply myself as hard as I could have. That being said, I have had a successful life financially. For my 3 kids, I paid for 50% of the cost for tuition, room and board, books and other living expenses and they paid for the other 50% either with summer job earnings, and student loans. This approach, I believe, where they had "skin" in the game made each of them more accountable for their own educational success and all 3 have successfully transitioned to an independent life after college without any boomerang issues. I love my kids but I want them to be independent of DW and I.
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