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Old 10-11-2016, 12:27 PM   #21
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I probably shouldn't post this because I know it will upset some, but...
It shouldn't - sound advice.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:40 PM   #22
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Did you tell your senior-in-HS DD (and your other kids) that you would pay for whatever college they wanted before you recently informed her that she won't? Would you have kept working the past three years to do so had you realized you would be short otherwise? It seems a little late in the game to me to be changing your course on this--has she already sent in applications etc.?

I'm sure she'll get through it and you will too. There will be campus jobs even at the art and design school. See where she gets in and take it from there.
I tend to agree. It's a bit late in the game, when she is looking at private colleges costing 60,000 + to tell her that you are going to limit your contribution to $20,000 per year. It seems that you didn't manage her expectations. I would be very concerned about letting my child graduate with too much debt. It tends to place them behind the 8 ball from the get go. I think 10,000 to 15,000 is manageable but much more and they can be easily overwelmed. You indicated that you planned for $20,000 per year per child. What was your assumption about how the rest of the tuition/room/board was to be paid? Too late now but if it were me I would have worked a few years longer to be able to support more of the tab, versus take an early retirement at age 50.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #23
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We paid half of our 3 kids college to state universities.
And my kids are the first generation in my family to go to college (at least 6 gens back).
All graduated with honors and no debt - they all worked to pay their half of costs.
Upon graduating all 3 echoed that employers were impressed that the worked while going to school. Two of them are making low 6 figures and the other is doing well making about $60k.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:54 PM   #24
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I probably shouldn't post this because I know it will upset some, but...

Be very careful when you plan to follow the Community College route. I know all systems are not alike, but I am a University professor who has taught in 3 different states over the years and my views obviously reflect what I have seen in those states (FL, MS, OH).

CC transfers into science and engineering programs often struggle to catch up with their peers who have been in University for their first two years. Courses taken to satisfy general ed. requirements are a good idea; foundational courses for a major (calculus, physics, chemistry etc.) should be avoided. Be especially careful to make sure any sequence is completed at a single college. Never take Physics I at CC and expect to pick up Physics II at a University, etc.
I am sure those are good points to consider and CC success probably does vary by individual school. The CC our kids went to had at least some instructors who also taught at U.C. Berkeley, which we found interesting since the courses at the CC were quite a bit less per credit and the class sizes smaller.

Most of the community colleges in California have publicly available stats on their transfer rates as do the 4 years on students transferring in. Almost twenty percent of the undergraduates at U.C. Berkeley, which U.S. News rated #3 in global university rankings, are transfer students from California community colleges:

"Transfer students succeed at Berkeley,” says Amy Jarich, assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions. “Six members of our own admissions team graduated as transfer students from Cal.”
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:24 PM   #25
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Be very careful when you plan to follow the Community College route.

CC transfers into science and engineering programs often struggle to catch up with their peers who have been in University for their first two years. Courses taken to satisfy general ed. requirements are a good idea; foundational courses for a major (calculus, physics, chemistry etc.) should be avoided. Be especially careful to make sure any sequence is completed at a single college. Never take Physics I at CC and expect to pick up Physics II at a University, etc.
This is a very good point and jives with what I was told by an admissions director at one N.C. university. As an example, if it's a business related major (marketing, accounting, finance, etc.) a kid will probably be fine with attending a lot of courses at a CC, but if it's a more serious science field you need to make a careful due diligence.

To OP, thanks for sharing an honest concern re ER and helping kids. The latter is kind of keeping me working. Not sure for how long though.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:26 PM   #26
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I like the idea of contributing "up to" a maximum amount...and it would have a caveat. What would that be, you ask? Well, you need to seek a degree that is *actually* useful and can be used to seek gainful employment. And no, they can't use this article to substantiate a $45K/year gender studies degree...

The top 10 undergraduate institutes that produce the most Nobel Prize winners — Quartz

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This chart of Nobel Prize winners shows liberal-arts degrees aren’t worthless
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:27 PM   #27
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For those of you advocating that the student borrow any shortfall in funds, be aware that the amount a student is guaranteed to qualify for in loans may be only a drop in the bucket compared to the needed funds. Unless things have changed in the last couple of years, guaranteed student loans are $5K for the first two years of college, then I think $7500/yr for two years. If the DD in the OP's post needs to come up with 17K in her freshman year of college, she'll need to earn $12K in a part-time job. That would be very difficult.

There won't be many loans available to a college student without a cosigner, and it doesn't sound like the parents are willing to do that in this case.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:49 PM   #28
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Just to note, most private colleges will offer grants and scholarships that make the cost equivalent to going to an out of state public university (public universities offer little to no scholarships to the majority of students). So don't necessarily write off any private schools your daughter might be interested in attending.

The FAFSA is definitely needed for any aid from most schools (some require another questionnaire too, can't recall the name of it). We received many notices wanting it in January, made difficult because we didn't have our numbers together until the end of the month or early February.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:03 PM   #29
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I'm following this thread with interest. We've budgeted about $30k/kid/year for college in their 529's. We will not be offering more than that.

I've been consistent in my message to them about college:
- You will be going to college.
- College is a place to get skills you can use in the workforce - not a place to pursue a non-monetizable passion. If you want to study art - then be prepared to get a teaching credential or something else to monetize your art knowledge in the workforce.
- Grades slip... money is cut off for future semesters.
- We live in a state with awesome public universities... that's what we budgeted for. But they are highly competitive to get into so they need to do well in HS.
- Community college is a good option to start out.

Only private schools we'll consider funding are ones that provide enough financial aid to bring the cost down to a UC equivalent.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:41 PM   #30
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.......... Courses taken to satisfy general ed. requirements are a good idea; foundational courses for a major (calculus, physics, chemistry etc.) should be avoided. ..........!
This may be true generally, but in my experience (one data point) Calculus was taught in community college with strong emphasis on learning and success. In the four year college, it was used as a flunk out course. My particular prof was a Chinese guy that barely spoke English and appeared to resent having to teach such a basic course. YMMV.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:32 PM   #31
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We paid half of our 3 kids college to state universities.
And my kids are the first generation in my family to go to college (at least 6 gens back).
All graduated with honors and no debt - they all worked to pay their half of costs.
Upon graduating all 3 echoed that employers were impressed that the worked while going to school. Two of them are making low 6 figures and the other is doing well making about $60k.
+2

DW and I did this with our son and daughter, however, our daughter attended a private college. They busted their tails, their friends thought we were ogres. They graduated, no debt, and were hired right out of school.

Their spouses are loaded with debt, and if it wasn't for my insistance they have some "skin" in the game, they wouldn't have been able to qualify to buy a house.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:54 PM   #32
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The Cost of College bears no relation to the Cost of anything in the Real World.
Yep. I realize this is off topic, but I compare what our kids got (at the same school) as DW and I and realize our kids came up short for a much higher price. When I started Univ., tuition was significantly less than $400 per year. Working at $2/hour, that was 200 hours (5 weeks) work (yeah, yeah, taxes, etc. etc.) I stayed at home, but DW stayed in a housing unit which cost $1/day (no food with that.)

My point, college/univ. costs have spiraled out of control without any noticeable improvement in likelihood of becoming employed afterward. End of rant and, as always, YMMV.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:23 PM   #33
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I went away to college in 1968, and my sister was a senior in the same big city university. My stay at home mother had gone to work to put us through college without the thoughts of student loans. She certainly didn't want her little boy to go to Vietnam as a foot soldier.

I still keep in touch with many of my old fraternity brothers. Even in a large state university, most of them have been unexpectedly successful in business and life.
I still believe student loans are a product of the Devil and to be avoided if at all possible.

Our daughter started at my college part time while she was working fast food, at a flower shop and anywhere she could get a job. She married a guy in the Navy, and continued college on scholarships part time while working. We were especially proud to see her graduate with a 3.75 GPA in Accounting--at 25 years old. And she's always had jobs and does very well for herself.

My grand niece just had to go to Manhattan to acting school. Her deadbeat father somehow borrowed enough for 1 semester, and her 529 is insufficient to keep her there long @ $42K tuition plus living expenses in Greenwich Village. We're afraid the money won't be there for her to complete her specialized. high risk acting profession. And we don't want her to be hurt. She could have ridden her bicycle to a state university 4 blocks from home--and it has a great theater program.

My whole goal with college was to get in, get out in 4 years and get on life--with no loans. And thankfully, I pulled it off. It helped having common sense, being realistic and cheap in state tuition.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:50 PM   #34
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Did you opt for the surgery or just dress the part?


Neither, it was a hands on interaction experience.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:52 PM   #35
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[QUOTE=Mulligan;1789926]Neither, it was a hands on interaction experience.

Then probably went straight over to Trumps house and engaged in "locker room talk".
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:58 PM   #36
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I don't feel that I OWE my children a college education- and I certainly don't owe them a private college education- we have saved a chunk of money in 529s that will probably cover 80% of a STATE school. For the rest they will have to get a job. If they get scholarships they can keep the difference. My dad got no help with his degree and my husband got no help with his 2 year degree, and I paid for my graduate degree with summer jobs and graduated debt free. Tell your daughter the truth- you cannot pay for her 60K first choice. You can help with her state college but she will have to chip in. Her resume will be impressive to future employers. I could work an extra year to be sure the college funds are fully funded, but I'd rather spend time with my kids.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:22 PM   #37
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I don't feel that I OWE my children a college education- and I certainly don't owe them a private college education- we have saved a chunk of money in 529s that will probably cover 80% of a STATE school. For the rest they will have to get a job. If they get scholarships they can keep the difference. My dad got no help with his degree and my husband got no help with his 2 year degree, and I paid for my graduate degree with summer jobs and graduated debt free. Tell your daughter the truth- you cannot pay for her 60K first choice. You can help with her state college but she will have to chip in. Her resume will be impressive to future employers. I could work an extra year to be sure the college funds are fully funded, but I'd rather spend time with my kids.


I agree that you do not 'owe' a child college.... but most parents want to help out their child... no problem there...

But, you do remind me of a guy I knew many many years ago... he was on a bowling team... he was blue collar and had been in the navy... he said that when his son graduated from HS he asked him if he wanted to go to college.... son said yes... dad said 'good luck with that'....

I thought that was a bit cruel... but his thinking was that there were many opportunities on how to get a college education (this was in the 80s).... and one was to join the military... his son did join... I never knew what happened as I stopped bowling at that location and moved on...

But even today there are many options that people do not take.... and the military is one of them...
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:39 PM   #38
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But even today there are many options that people do not take.... and the military is one of them...
A niece (actually a family friend but we consider her one) is taking that route. She's active Navy and is in Bahrain now. She hates being away from family but I'm sure the experience will be good for her long term.

Around here military service is highly regarded as millions of people have bootstrapped themselves out of poverty going that route. Even if they don't go to college they get skills and knowledge that often transfer to civilian life.

Not always though. I knew a friend of mine worked on Marine jet aircraft on his tour in Vietnam but I didn't know what he did. When he got out he was lamenting the difficulty he was having finding a job. I said "well, you worked on airplanes, how about applying at one of the airlines?" He said "Walt, Eastern Airlines just doesn't have much need for ejection seat mechanics".
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:53 PM   #39
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I agree that you do not 'owe' a child college.... but most parents want to help out their child... no problem there...

But, you do remind me of a guy I knew many many years ago... he was on a bowling team... he was blue collar and had been in the navy... he said that when his son graduated from HS he asked him if he wanted to go to college.... son said yes... dad said 'good luck with that'....

I thought that was a bit cruel... but his thinking was that there were many opportunities on how to get a college education (this was in the 80s).... and one was to join the military... his son did join... I never knew what happened as I stopped bowling at that location and moved on...

But even today there are many options that people do not take.... and the military is one of them...
Pretty much exactly how it worked with me and my dad.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:54 PM   #40
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While I agree that parents do not "owe" the kids a college education, DH and I believe that there is no better way to help them become adults who will be able to take care of themselves and any future family they may want.

We started saving for college from the day each daughter was born, and that helped us to be able to fully fund a four-year degree for them both. The oldest went to a private school, with an academic scholarship that brought the cost of attendance down to about equal to an in-state public university. D2 went to an in-state public university with no scholarships. All total, we spent about $270K on tuition/room/board. (The big public universities in PA are expensive, even for state residents.)

The girls worked summers and during school to cover books and social life. It would have been very, very difficult for them to fund a significant percentage of the total cost of attendance with part-time jobs. DH and I were happy to be in a position to take that burden from them.

We had both girls out of college by 2014. I ER'd in 2015. I would have kept working if we still had tuition bills.
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