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Old 02-26-2014, 07:42 PM   #21
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DW and I paid for daughter and son to go to attend college of their choice. Three year diff in age, so only one overlap year, TG. Not scary huge tuition, big enough, but we wanted our kids to graduate debt-free. DD (the oldest) did go to an obscenely expensive school her first year, but she hated it and xferred to another school that threw money at her. I will share one experience: that expensive school she attended freshman year she applied to "early decision", essentially saying to the school "I really really really want to go here!" Well, she was accepted and granted a big fat 0 dollars in aid. Did the early decision application have an impact on the lack of financial aid offers? I suspect so, but I'll never be sure.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:35 PM   #22
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We live in Canada so tuition up here is quite a bit more affordable vs. the U.S.
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the average tuition at the University of Calgary is $5K/year, I think they should be okay.
Wow $5k/year seems really low. I checked my alma mater (university of waterloo) and tuition is 7k a term (so 14k per year). I think this is about the same as a UC school tuition.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:51 PM   #23
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My two daughters received academic "scholarships" at a private college that brought the costs down to about $25k per year total (tuition, room, board, books.)

We started early with savings bonds then 529 and Coverdell. Wasn't enough to cover but definitely helped.

Both worked part time jobs to cover "other expenses" like entertainment, eating out, drinking, weekend trips, gas money, etc.

In short, we were blessed, they were lucky, we paid. :-)
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:06 AM   #24
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We paid cash for:

DD1- $14k/yr public university w/token scholarship
DD2- $32k/yr public university w/token scholarship
DS- $52k/yr private university minus 20k/yr merit scholarship

This is money we had saved over the years and set aside for this purpose. Each of the DDs worked about 10 hrs/wk for spending money during the last 2-3 years of college. DS is in his freshman year and will be expected to get a PT job later also.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:22 AM   #25
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Early 2000s timeframe. We provided our daughter with $10,000 per year as long as she was enrolled full-time. It was her choice as to where she went and how she applied the money. She had options to attend state schools or some expensive private schools, and had some partial scholarship offers both academic and athletic.

She chose to go to a state school in Washington, so the $10,000 covered tuition, room and board (eventually apartment rental rather than dorm room.) She also waited tables for spending money. Got her bachelors degree with no student loan debt.

Since her high school graduation coincided with paying off our mortgage, the cash simply came from earnings rather than the investments we'd set aside for college.

She did eventually chose an expensive prestige school for graduate school, so she accumulated some student loan debt for that year. Not a bad decision on her part, as that school got her set up for what has turned into a lucrative career. We also contributed $10,000 for that year.

She had a pretty good idea of my opinions on debt, and seemed to make pretty sound decisions. Still, ten years later that one year of debt has dwindled but is still in her life.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:52 AM   #26
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My parents paid my tuition fees and books plus about 1/2 of my living expenses of a shared, ghetto neighborhood apartment. (cheap rent). I lived on raman and quesadillas. I had a part time job that paid the other half of my frugal living.

I plan to offer similar to my kids. With the same caveats my dad had:
- 4 year public school. (Mind you in CA public schools include UCSD, Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Poly... so some seriously academic choices, although I went to SDSU - which was not top tier - but my engineering degree was just as valid.)
- books/tuition/fees/legitimate school expenses - 100% paid by me.
- Living - barely subsidence covered by me. No bandwidth for car, partying, eating out in restaurants. Kid can get a job (which cuts into partying time) and ride a bike, bus, or low cost motorcycle (which is what I had) on their own dime.
- Degree has to be something that will result in a job.

Lots of people don't agree with that last one. My dad insisted on it for me - crushing my dreams of being a poli sci major. So glad he did... since that would have meant grad school at minimum, and likely lower income for my adult life. Instead I graduated in a field I'm good at, with income potential from day one of graduating.

My boys already know the rules. Their plan (which is likely to change since they're only 11 and 13) is to go to the same campus and share a cheap apartment. I'm not discouraging this plan.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:43 AM   #27
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Both my kids are in college now. State schools. I'm paying about $28,000 per year for both of them together. I expected to pay more but, they both have partial scholarships, live off campus in shared apts and cook for themselves. Room and board on campus can really be expensive (+- $12,000 by itself) I think it is good for them to learn how to cook and maintain their own place early in life.

In 2 years (hopefully) they will both be graduates! They are on their own if they want to go for graduate degrees...for the most part. I have my eye on a nice class C motorhome! I have a cabover camper now, great for weekends or longer in good weather - but cabin fever sets in pretty quick if it's raining out.....need more room!

Must add that they are taking college seriously both have 3.6 or better GPAs.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:31 PM   #28
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Wow $5k/year seems really low. I checked my alma mater (university of waterloo) and tuition is 7k a term (so 14k per year). I think this is about the same as a UC school tuition.
Just checked the U of C's website to confirm what I thought and I was slightly off. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the cost for a full semester (5 courses) is $3,285.14. So, $6,570.28 for a full year. Of that total though, $1,184 is "General Fees" and covers such things as dental, healthcare and other fees that students can choose to opt out of. So, my number of $5K for pure tuition wasn't too far off .

I think Canadian students are complaining quite a bit about how fast tuition is rising year after year but the cost is nothing compared to the States. When I graduated in 1995, tuition was $500 per semester for a full course load!
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:51 PM   #29
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I skipped the kids and opted for early retirement...

My father gave me free rent in one of his duplexes when I went to college. He paid for everything, including utilities. I maintained the place. I paid for my own community college and the 4-year college (UW) when I attended each class. When I dropped a class, it was my dime. I also took out some Student Loans of about $7500. I continued going to school because I did not want to have to start paying the loans back.

I also had some VA money to attend. Not the GI Bill, but a program that gave me $150 per month for each $75 I put in ($225 total per month). I had a job working as a bartender and waiter in a restaurant.

Never underestimate the benefits of having the kids foot some of their own college. If they take a loan out, that is good, make sure you do not co-sign or your retirement may be affected.
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How did you pay (or how are you paying) for college for children?
Old 02-27-2014, 03:46 PM   #30
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How did you pay (or how are you paying) for college for children?

Had saved money in a tax deferred account, but ended just paying for it with my wife's paycheck while living off of mine. Didn't invest any new money for five years, but had the tax deferred account left over which had much more money and earned interest. Fortunately he had scholarships based on his talent.

Preferred a private college with excellent vocal training, and total cost was about $36k a year, with room and board.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:41 PM   #31
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We are in our peek earning years now. So, DD is not getting any aids. She is a sophomore in a UC school now costing close to $30K / yr.

DS is about to go in UC also. Already received one acceptance; still waiting for others UCs. He just filled out FAFSA last night. Looks like he will not get any aids. We just filed out FAFSA for the formality.

We put $200/month for each of them since they were born. Later years we put $400. So, they both have enough in their UTMA accounts for 4 year UC.

Graduate schools? Well, they will have to help themselves.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:03 PM   #32
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I just want to commend all of you who have made it possible for your children to complete a college education. You are exceptional parents... congratulations.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:39 PM   #33
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Our goal was to pay for our kids college and give them the gift of graduating without any debt. We also sacrificed so that we would not have any debt either. We were fortunate to see a good 9 or so years ahead of time that odds of getting financial grants would be slim, so we cranked up the savings/investing towards that goal.

We were aided by the timing of the 1990s bull market; our oldest entered college in 2003 so in 1999 we started moving money to cash to cover at least the first 2 years. It was tough to do that at the time with all of the market hoopla but we were fortunate to realize that a lot could happen in 4 years.

Our youngest is now in college and we will be able to comfortably pay his remaining bill. The gap between him and his older siblings gave us time to build the college fund back up. All told we will spend $300K-$350K for our kids college education. We regret that one child did not finish. He was not disciplined enough to handle college at the time, but he was the only one to receive a large scholarship so the financial damage was not as bad as it could have been. He's now talking about going back to get his degree (he would be entering as a junior somewhere), but now at his age (27) he will have to figure out how to fund it.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:51 PM   #34
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I paid my own way through undergraduate college with help from the G.I. Bill (Viet Nam era veteran) getting $222/month. Got my Engineering degree and an MBA on my own as parents were poor.

Both daughters went to community college for two years and then a state college. I paid some, they had jobs. We funded an apartment for them for the last two college years.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:05 PM   #35
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I think Canadian students are complaining quite a bit about how fast tuition is rising year after year but the cost is nothing compared to the States. When I graduated in 1995, tuition was $500 per semester for a full course load!
I was paying ~2k for tuition in 95. I guess waterloo is more expensive than other schools (must be to pay for the hideous buildings).

I also notice they charge different tuition now depending on major. Arts is 1/2 of engineering, accounting is a little more (9k per term).
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:17 AM   #36
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Got three kids and not paying for their advanced schooling. My parents each paid their own way and I did too. Most of my relatives as well. It's simply the independent work ethic we were raised with.

I just don't buy into this belief that parents should pay for their kids college years.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:48 AM   #37
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Three kids.

Oldest went to community college for a semester, living in the dorm (yes, some CCs have dorms) at our expense. After that, he decided that higher education was not for him so did not continue. At the time he went, DH had just retired and I was semi-retired earning enough money to cover the expenses out of cash flow.

Second oldest graduated high school young and started CC at 16 so lived at home. He is on what I call the 6 year plan to graduate college, partly due to changing majors and partly due to ADHD and dysgraphia and needing a lighter course load. He transferred to a state university last spring. It is within driving distance so he is still living at home. He will mostly move up there in the fall. We have also paid for this as above. I'm working less hours now (extremely part-time, negligible income) so before this spring started we set aside part of our portfolio in cash/near cash to cover the higher expenses until kids get out of school. He knows that graduate school will be on him if he were to go in that direction.

Our youngest graduated high school in December (we homeschooled high school) and is now full-time at the CC. She does not want to attend an academic university and is taken a career oriented course of study that will result most likely in a certificate (alternatively, she could go an extra semester and get an associate's degree. She hasn't decided yet whether to do that). She is living at home and we are paying for her school as above.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:54 AM   #38
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Paid cash from savings, schools chosen were in line with our ability to pay. Community colleges to start, the finished at larger, public universities. Younger son stopped after a couple of years and then went back on his own while working and his employer paid for his tuition.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:37 AM   #39
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Kid's university participates in a monthly tuition payment program, so it just becomes another no-interest credit card bill in our online bill pay out of our checking account. That along with a monthly allowance covers things.

Two more payments left for the oldest, but youngest starts next year. At least both were not in college at the same time.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:52 AM   #40
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Two daughters three years apart. Deal was I would pay first three years and they would take Stafford loan for last year and any grad school. Tuition and fees were reasonable. Housing, cars, insurance were not. Food plans are front loaded so you pay 2/3 for first semester, 1/3 second. Rented them an apartment their last few years. At the end I had 60k debt which took years to pay off. Both got great jobs before graduation.
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