Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-26-2008, 08:32 PM   #21
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Htown Harry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,516
Kudos, SC521, for getting serious about saving early. Looking back and putting myself in your spot, I'd recommend you set up a spreadsheet to calculate a relatively steady or slowly increasing 529 contribution rate from now through when your youngest graduates. If you can manage savings and a rate of return that can keep the balance positive while covering public college expenses during the draw-down years, you'll be fine. You (or your kids, if you choose to have them share in the extra expense) will be in good shape to handle a somewhat higher private college bill with manageable out-of-pocket additions or a modest amount of borrowing.

With the exception of actual travel expenses that are somewhat lower (no car on campus, infrequent bus trips or shared rides home), these in-state costs for the University of Texas have been accurate for my daughter's freshman year: FINANCIAL AID: 2007-2008 Undergraduate Cost of Attendance (COA)

Not usually listed anywhere, but relevant for the year before college are a surprising number of start-up expenses. A couple of rounds of the SAT, a prep course, several application fees, a few campus tours, housing deposits, a laptop, dorm gear, etc. can really add up. (We chose to pay for many of these. DD worked and paid for prom, her senior trip and all of the other "special" expenses of graduating seniors. She's also responsible for her own out-of-pocket expenses while away at school.)

I'd be careful about counting on the tax breaks available to parents, particularly if your taxable income approaches $100k+. The available credits and deductions all have caps or phase-out ranges that have changed regularly over the past few years. Even at their best, their value is not much different from the inherent uncertainty in estimating future tuition costs. In my opinion, except for 529 or Coverdell withdrawals being tax-free it's not worth the effort to include tax effects in your projections.
__________________

__________________
Htown Harry is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-26-2008, 09:49 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Quote:
The other school I look at is Stanford, where my sister went, which is $46,586!! Apparently most Stanford students get aid and most graduate with very small loans.
Standford seems very arrogant to me. Only one out of the five students who had a GPA of 3.9 or higher with a SAT score of 2200 from my daughter's high school was admitted. They were also all national merit and AP scholars. Stanford does not offer merit scholarship. They only provides financial aid.

Quote:
So if you'll indulge me, what is your number for the average annual amount of money you actually had to fork over to your child's university while they were pursuing a bachelor's degree full time at a 4 year school? I want to include tuition, room & board, books, and fees. I want to exclude any savings you got on your taxes (like the Hope and LLC credits). I also want to exclude thinks like plane tickets, pizza, beer, pocket money, etc.
My daughter's cost of college after scholarship is about $5K per year. The cost includes tuition, room & board, books, and fees. We use her 529 plan to pay the $5K. No plane tickets since the university is only 15 miles away. No beer money since she is not party person. Pocket money is about $1000 a year.
Quote:
Also the name of the school would be helpful as well, and whether you think private education is worth it or not would be good. I've attended two private universities and one public university; I would say the quality of the private schools was better, but not four to five times as good.
She goes to Univ of MN - a public university. I went to the same university for the same major (electrical engineering) as that of my daughter. The university is highly respected in engineering though it does not carry the same weight as does MIT, CalTech, Michigan, Illinois, Berkeley or Standford. The question whether a prestigious school is worth it's price is highly debatable or contentious. I am not aware that there is a strong correlation between the school attended and salary earned. If you are looking at it from a return-on-investment perspective, spending more money to attend an expensive school may not be prudent. However, if you are looking at it from a standpoint of personal satisfaction or pride, it may be worthwhile especially if you can afford it. Another positive aspect of attending some of these prestigious institutions is networking which is indispensable in certain fields such as business, law, finance and medicine. In short, if you are just interested in getting a good education in engineering or liberal arts, a high-priced school may not worth it. If you are pursuing a career in Wall Street, management, law or medicine, choose a prestigious school. Not all prestigious schools are expensive. Some may offer fellowships, scholarships or aids to make the cost of attendance affordable.
__________________

__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:00 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 2,155
2 children, one at UT Austin, the other at Texas A&M.

+17K Tuition and fee
+15K Room and board
+05K Books and supplies (high for the 1st year because of laptops cost)
+05K Allowance (3.5 or better GPA)
-10K Scholarships
------------------
+32K Net cost

I have the prepaid Texas Tomorrow funds for both of them, bought 10 years ago. So my out of pocket this year is 15K (32 - 17).


Yes, REW, they do talk to each other. Neither one of them is interested in football ;-)
__________________
Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:01 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam View Post
2 children, one at UT Austin, the other at Texas A&M.
Do they speak to each other?
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:17 PM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
Standford seems very arrogant to me. Only one out of the five students who had a GPA of 3.9 or higher with a SAT score of 2200 from my daughter's high school was admitted. They were also all national merit and AP scholars. Stanford does not offer merit scholarship. They only provides financial aid.
Well, they can afford to be choosy, for sure. The year I graduated from high school, they only accepted something like 12% of their applicants. Most of those applicants are, of course, highly qualified folks, so it really doesn't make sense to offer merit scholarships -- they're uniformly talented folks.

2Cor521
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:43 PM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Well, they can afford to be choosy, for sure. The year I graduated from high school, they only accepted something like 12% of their applicants. Most of those applicants are, of course, highly qualified folks, so it really doesn't make sense to offer merit scholarships -- they're uniformly talented folks.

2Cor521
More power to them. Harvard's acceptance is similar -- 10%, but the cost of attending is vary attractive. Cost is zero if income is less than $60K/year or 10% of yearly household income for those who make more.
__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 10:54 PM   #27
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8
My elder son graduated from UT Austin last year. Total cost including tuition, off-campus apartment rent, food allowance, fraternity dues: $86,472.

Son #2 graduates from Northwestern University this spring. Total cost including tuition, rent, food allowance, travel home 2x a year to Austin, plus one yearly visit to Evanston for his mother and me: $168,972
__________________
beldar3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2008, 11:57 PM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 188
My daughter graduated summa cum laude from a public university in Tennessee last spring. She had a full scholarship (tuition and books), so the cost to me was less than $10k per year for housing, food, car, etc. I got off lucky. Now she's been accepted to several law schools with tuition alone ranging from $13k to $40k per year (plus everything else). I think she's going to attend one of the pricier ones with a partial scholarship beginning this fall. Even so, I believe I have a duty to help within reason. She's earned it. My folks helped me through undergrad school (but not grad or law), and I agree with earlier posters who believe there is an obligation to help with one's own kids if possible.
__________________
playaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 12:29 AM   #29
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 831
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
........whether you think private education is worth it or not would be good........

Private not worth the double or triple or more cost of public universities in "most" cases.

For "most" kids and "most" degrees, it is the mere fact of a college degree that is the important thing. Where they got it is of minor or no importance. Oh yes, there is always the student who wants to be hired by the big name law firm or the hoity-toity PR firm or Wall Street house, and they may be able to parlay the expensive Harvard or Yale degree straight to a six-figure starting salary at the rare employer who demands the prestige-name colleges on the degrees.

But for "most" people in the real everyday world and "most" starting jobs, you may as well save your tuition money. Advise your students to work their b*tts off once they get their jobs, learn their employer's business inside-out, and they will rise to the top like cream as sure as the sun rises in the East. They will soon demonstrate to themselves the "name" of the college on their degree meant nothing compared to their own personal drive and hustle.
__________________
Dreams Worth Dreaming are Dreams Worth Planning For. I Spent a Career Planning for Early Retirement.
RetireeRobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 01:24 AM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
The deal I made with both kids was I would pay a portion of your college (tuition, fees, and books and a portion of their living expenses) BUT they had to have a part time job to contribute to their education and car expenses.

My youngest is almost done. I have averaged $15,000/year for him. He works two jobs part time and fills in the rest. He has a roomate who helps share expenses. He is an "in state" student so his tuition is not so bad.

The four grandkids each have a 529 set up by me. We make sure the kids know what is in there so their parents are a bit more motivated to contribute than blow their tax refunds; but we are not holding our breath. The kids will have a small education nest egg from us but they will also have to find other funding. We contribute $2000/child/year.
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 07:55 AM   #31
Recycles dryer sheets
Tandemlovers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Our daughter attends the University of Iowa as an out of state student. She qualified for an academic scholarship of approximately 3k per year, adjusted for inflation. Tuition has run us approximately 23k per year so far (she will complete her sophomore year in May). The 23k includes room, board and books.
Fortunately, she is a serious, no frills student, studying computer science, having very little time for the party scene. She works full time during Xmas breaks and summer. Last year she earned a whopping 6K for her efforts ($9/hour). All of it goes to help pay for her tuition and fund her Roth IRA.
Next fall, we'll be adding daughter number two, who will attend an in-state university (Wisconsin) at a cost of approximately 18k per year.
By 2010, we'll be adding final daughter #3 to the mix. Hopefully #1 will have graduated and will be on her way to independence.
__________________
Tandemlovers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 09:02 AM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Quote:
For "most" kids and "most" degrees, it is the mere fact of a college degree that is the important thing. Where they got it is of minor or no importance.
Agreed. Over the years, my observations have been that colleagues with engineering degrees from prestigious universities (e.g., Standford, MIT) have NOT been able to command a higher salary or advance any quicker than those with degrees from lesser-known or unknown engineering institutions (e.g., South Dakota State U). However, this is not true for MBA graduates. Those from top 10 business schools tend to command a much higher starting salary and advance quickly into higher management.
__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 09:13 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
So, would those of you say that class ranking is more important than the actual university?
I would think certain degrees might generate more interest from recruiters, or if you know where you'd like to work, attending a potential employers alma mater can't hurt. But the only real advantages I can see from prestigious universities is the contacts you make with other successful people. That and if you graduated from Harvard, I would think if nothing else, it would get you in the door for an interview with most companies.
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 09:21 AM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
Agreed. Over the years, my observations have been that colleagues with engineering degrees from prestigious universities (e.g., Standford, MIT) have NOT been able to command a higher salary or advance any quicker than those with degrees from lesser-known or unknown engineering institutions (e.g., South Dakota State U). However, this is not true for MBA graduates. Those from top 10 business schools tend to command a much higher starting salary and advance quickly into higher management.
I don't completely agree with that. My company will only do college hires from a very few select colleges, Stanford being one of them. After that, it does not matter. In my group, we've hired a couple guys without college degrees (but great work experience, and they were among the best hires I was involved with), and others like me from places like U of Nebraska.

25 years ago I found that my degree from U of N didn't open as many doors as I'd have liked. Where I did get hired, I'm pretty sure I had the same salary as other new college hires, and it wasn't a hindrance in any other way. But I didn't get into the company I really wanted to, at the time.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 10:52 AM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,402
Thanks to all who have replied so far.

If I can put on my "whiney hat" for a minute, I guess I'd like to end up in a situation where I have neither undersaved nor oversaved. I don't expect to have saved exactly the right amount or within $100, but it'd be nice to be within $10K or so. Unfortunately, the dispersion on costs is simply too wide for my desire to be reality -- between various college sticker prices, scholarships, loans, grants, aid, travel, tax benefits, extras, inflation, investment returns, student work study, their mother's contributions (ha!), pocket money, pizza, and beer, it seems like the cost can easily vary between $5K and $50K a year.

To meander on my own thread a bit...

The additional complication in my own case is that if I use the $12K per year figure that I currently do, my projected FIRE date is about 9 years away, which would be when my oldest would be about done with college and my second would be about to start, and my third probably wouldn't know where she wants to go yet (she'd be a sophomore or junior by then, I guess).

I'd want to be equal/fair to the three of them, so it doesn't seem fair to say to the eldest that he can go wherever he wants and then put the youngest on a budget (because I'd be retired on a fixed income by then).

To put some perspective on that coin, the difference between, say, an average public university (@$10K/yr) and an average to good private university (@$25k/yr) is about equal to 1.5 years of living expenses for me. 3 kids x 4 years each x 1.5 = 18 years of living expenses. So in effect that money could go to either private schools for them or nearly 2 decades of my expenses. I'm not making any decisions or value judgments, just saying it's a big impact.

My parents are also well off and old, so there's some likelihood of an inheritance. It could also vary between $0 and...well, a lot. And I know the first thing they would want that money to go towards would be extending the deal they gave me (go anywhere you can get into, we'll pay the bills) to my kids. Even if I didn't see eye-to-eye with them on their perspective that the best colleges are worth the price, I'd have a hard time not honoring their wishes since it was them who earned the money.

Too many variables. I guess I'll just take it as it comes and know that if I make good decisions that my kids will probably be able to get a very good college education.

2Cor521
__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 10:58 AM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
2cor...have you approached your parents about funding their own 529 for your kids? If they are worth "a lot" it might be a good way to pass on assets to their grandkids. Worst case scenario that I can see is tax deferred growth if they had to take it back.
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 11:04 AM   #37
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by beldar3 View Post
My elder son graduated from UT Austin last year. Total cost including tuition, off-campus apartment rent, food allowance, fraternity dues: $86,472.

Son #2 graduates from Northwestern University this spring. Total cost including tuition, rent, food allowance, travel home 2x a year to Austin, plus one yearly visit to Evanston for his mother and me: $168,972
beldar and sam, just curious as to your dealings with U.T.? Of all the schools my daughter applied to, no one treated us with less interest than U.T. did. They never offered a penny, and in fact, the only info we received from them was regarding housing and how we had to procure it before the deadline. We received the letter in the mail the day before the deadline!!
From everyone I've talked to they felt as if U.T. could care less about your student (especially in their freshman year) as they are more of a "publishing university" and students were merely a necessary evil.
Both my kids wanted to go there until we visited. Of course I was thrilled as I've spent my share of time on 6th Street and have to wonder how any of those kids find time to study.
Just wondering if you both were happy with the university?
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
beldar and sam, just curious as to your dealings with U.T.? Of all the schools my daughter applied to, no one treated us with less interest than U.T. did. They never offered a penny, and in fact, the only info we received from them was regarding housing and how we had to procure it before the deadline. We received the letter in the mail the day before the deadline!!
From everyone I've talked to they felt as if U.T. could care less about your student (especially in their freshman year) as they are more of a "publishing university" and students were merely a necessary evil.
Both my kids wanted to go there until we visited. Of course I was thrilled as I've spent my share of time on 6th Street and have to wonder how any of those kids find time to study.
Just wondering if you both were happy with the university?
Ditto here. My daughter applied. She got some notice that her app was incomplete. She couldn't log back in. She contacted them, and was given another login or her password reset. That still didn't work. I don't even know where it sits now, but she was pretty frustrated by it.

She has said she doesn't really want to go to school in Texas. Until last year she was top 10% in her class so we told her to pick one as a guarantee, but she just slipped to 10.x% so she didn't make it. She's already got early action (non-binding) acceptance into James Madison so she's got one that she likes for sure, so I'm not pushing her to get the UT app straightened out.

From what I hear and know, once you are in it's a good school and a lot of fun. Austin is a great town in many ways. I certainly appreciate how the co-eds brighten the town lake running trail!
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 11:23 AM   #39
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
2cor...have you approached your parents about funding their own 529 for your kids? If they are worth "a lot" it might be a good way to pass on assets to their grandkids. Worst case scenario that I can see is tax deferred growth if they had to take it back.
That's a good suggestion. If your parents want a say, they should be willing to step up directly.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I don't completely agree with that. My company will only do college hires from a very few select colleges, Stanford being one of them. After that, it does not matter. In my group, we've hired a couple guys without college degrees (but great work experience, and they were among the best hires I was involved with), and others like me from places like U of Nebraska.

25 years ago I found that my degree from U of N didn't open as many doors as I'd have liked. Where I did get hired, I'm pretty sure I had the same salary as other new college hires, and it wasn't a hindrance in any other way. But I didn't get into the company I really wanted to, at the time.
Good point - a recent grad from a brand-name school does have a better chance to getting recruited by megacorps.
__________________

__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
College costs - saving money in little ways Leonidas FIRE and Money 19 08-20-2007 07:15 AM
Questions re: college costs, life insurance TuckerKatt FIRE and Money 11 06-19-2007 01:16 PM
College costs Arif Other topics 40 09-20-2006 04:36 PM
College Costs While ER'd Papi FIRE and Money 29 04-14-2006 09:16 PM
Retired college costs bongo2 Other topics 25 08-01-2005 09:29 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.