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Old 10-13-2016, 05:56 AM   #61
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I definitely consider myself a feminist but I agree that the daughter's life goals should be a consideration in the choice of college. Let's look at it another way: if she wants to have the option of being a full-time mother, will an expensive education lock her into loans that make that impossible for her unless she marries someone with megabucks? My DS was adamant about marrying someone who shared his intention of having the wife stay home FT with children. My biggest fear was that he'd find Ms. Right and she'd have $80K in student loans. Instead, DDIL had gotten a 2-year business college degree and worked maintaining inventory a a car dealership till our granddaughter was born. Apparently she had some student loans but they were manageable. Contrast that with a coworker at a previous job whose wife had an MD degree, big student loans, and had decided she wanted to stay home with the kids.

Unless you have an infinite supply of money, comparing the cost of the education vs. potential income is important, both for males and females.
I had a co-worker who put his valedictorian daughter though college, med. school, and in her 2nd year of residency decided that it was too much pressure being a brain surgeon.

Last I heard she was going to mortician school.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:33 AM   #62
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Here is the problem I have with the "I worked myself through college and so should they" argument. Cost of attendance has gone up far more than minimum wage most unskilled kids can get these days.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/gregschoofs...O0x#.ekME0QPg6

One chart shows when I graduated in late 70's I could earn enough during summer to pay for tuition (not living costs) at three big public universities. Today one could earn less than 30% of that cost.

I have told my kids that I expect them to work to contribute to college expenses but I don't see how working can make up the gap if parents don't contribute substantially or build substantial debt.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:24 AM   #63
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Here is the problem I have with the "I worked myself through college and so should they" argument. Cost of attendance has gone up far more than minimum wage most unskilled kids can get these days.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/gregschoofs...O0x#.ekME0QPg6

One chart shows when I graduated in late 70's I could earn enough during summer to pay for tuition (not living costs) at three big public universities. Today one could earn less than 30% of that cost.

I have told my kids that I expect them to work to contribute to college expenses but I don't see how working can make up the gap if parents don't contribute substantially or build substantial debt.
In 1970 you didn't have the abundant scholarships etc available today. A friend's kid started college this year. After state scholarship contribution (HOPE scholarship), her out of pocket cost of tuition is $333 per semester when taking 15 credit hours. At minimum wage, that would take 46 hours of work to pay for, or 92 hours of minimum wage work to cover all tuition for the year. At 20 hours per week in the summer, she'd need to work 5 weeks to cover a year's tuition.

Yes, the cost has gone up, but the equation has largely changed from one of "cost=payment" to "cost = payment + scholarships + grants + loans" and scholarships and grants are a lot easier to come by today.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:32 AM   #64
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My deal with my boys is that I will pay tuition, books, and traditional dorm room & board costs for four years of college at a state school. They can receive the education without loans.

If they wish to upgrade and live in suite style dorms, and all their spending/entertainment funds are their responsibility.

I will finance their education as long as they make satisfactory progress. I will not fund their "lifestyle" decisions beyond the basics.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:46 AM   #65
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Surprised no one has mentioned the option of living at home and commuting to a nearby college. Granted, there needs to be a college within reasonable commuting distance, but that's not a problem in areas with higher populations.

It is the main reason I graduated with no debt. Also, the food was better (I tested this assumption by eating a couple times from the college chow line). And in case anybody is wondering if living at home cramped my style, no doubt it did to the degree that was good for me ;^> I managed to have a part-time job, a social life on campus and plenty of dates.

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Old 10-13-2016, 08:26 AM   #66
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I'm aligned with most on college funding and it worked well. Three DD, each was told I have $25K for their BS. If it took more money we would have to work it together. If it took less it was their money after the BS.

Two went to military academies and spent their college money on cars and travel. The third said she didn't want to waste the money when she wasn't sure of her direction so she enlisted at 17. She's taking night classes and will receive half the fund for an AS.

The big take-away is that they spent money differently when it was seen as theirs. BTW, I told them they don't have to go to college and then the money is mine for a sports car.

But on the original topic of guilt, I have stayed semi-employed to build a cushion if they need help.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:42 AM   #67
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There is a bit of a trick that worked for us. Our DD was a solid 2nd decile student with solid test scores and the usual HS type resume of activities and all that. She knew the general areas of interest. So she (and I) reduced the 3000 colleges by quality of program in her interests, then ranked by quality of student. Each school publishes the test scores and GPA of their most recent class intake. She then picked those schools with good reputations whose student body was slightly on average below her standing. And also picked schools that were clearly trying to break out of regional status to a national status so would offer more scholarship to a student from out of region. Worked a treat. Her graduate education was handled by grants based on undergrad experience and quality.

Our DS was in the first decile, nearly perfect test scores and a very much more significant resume. He was applying at Ivy and equivalent, but also was applying to ROTC scholarships as well. He went to a top of the tree program, was cash positive upon graduation, spent four years and is at a well known institution in Cambridge, MA doing grad work, on someone else's nickle.

My point, which is perhaps lost, is that you match the student to the program. It is not about what do you want, it is about what is the best deal you can get at least cost to the family.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:52 AM   #68
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I was more than happy to pay for college as it was a good time swap. They would have to work 5 times more hours than me to earn the same amount.

In other words for our family the combined total amount of our life we have to work is less. Maybe they will pay the college of their kids so in the end everyone pays for college using their higher salaries.

So far the costs have been reasonable as the first child lived at home (by her choice) while attending a state school. The second did some community college and is now attending a private school that fit him better.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:15 AM   #69
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This thread reminded me of...

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Old 10-13-2016, 10:19 AM   #70
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...... If parents can easily afford it, they still shouldn't pay for all college costs.
......
Yep, probably would have prevented my cousin from partying at College, as he never appreciated the free ride he had where he failed to graduate

Or at least his parents would have wasted less money.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:19 AM   #71
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My deal with my boys is that I will pay tuition, books, and traditional dorm room & board costs for four years of college at a state school. They can receive the education without loans.

If they wish to upgrade and live in suite style dorms, and all their spending/entertainment funds are their responsibility.

I will finance their education as long as they make satisfactory progress. I will not fund their "lifestyle" decisions beyond the basics.
Ditto. We researched the average in-state cost of tuition, fees, room & board for 4 years. That was their budget. Any and all expenses beyond that were their responsibility. We didn't dictate what school, what major, etc. But there were some requirements related to GPA and other things.

They both chose good in-state schools that fit within the budget and they both worked full-time during summers to have spending money throughout the year. They picked majors that led to internships and multiple job offers.

We never saved money for their college, but I worked until the youngest was about half-way through. We were in our peak earning years and were able to pay out of regular cash flow. We only had one year of overlap which helped.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:23 AM   #72
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Surprised no one has mentioned the option of living at home and commuting to a nearby college. Granted, there needs to be a college within reasonable commuting distance, but that's not a problem in areas with higher populations.

It is the main reason I graduated with no debt. Also, the food was better (I tested this assumption by eating a couple times from the college chow line). And in case anybody is wondering if living at home cramped my style, no doubt it did to the degree that was good for me ;^> I managed to have a part-time job, a social life on campus and plenty of dates.

Amethyst
Ditto.
My parents fed me and kept the roof over my head.
I worked a part-time job and paid my own way though a local College.
Knowing I would pay made me careful of my choices, even checked into the Military option but didn't do it.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:03 AM   #73
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My younger son and I visited a state school this summer and found that they had built a lot of "suite" style dorm buildings. The room fees were twice that of the traditional style (but older) dorms (the ones with the rest room and showers down the hall, roommate, community lounge, no cooking facilities in room, though many have MW and small fridge). I was shocked at the price difference that was basically a lifestyle issue.

While I retired at 50 when they were one and three years old, I've got half the money saved in a 529 plan, the other half is represented by an inheritance of Series EE Savings Bonds where the interest can be tax-exempt if used for qualifying educational expenses. That's my plan.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:52 PM   #74
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And in case anybody is wondering if living at home cramped my style, no doubt it did to the degree that was good for me ;^> I managed to have a part-time job, a social life on campus and plenty of dates.
This reminds me of talking to a woman at work, by then in her mid 30's who said of her arrival at college "I was every parent's worst nightmare. In the first week I started smoking, got drunk, and got laid".
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:23 PM   #75
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For us, no matter what college the kids chose, it was going to cost 30 to 35K/yr each. We looked at state schools, all the way up to the prestigious colleges. The state schools were in the 30K/yr range with almost no scholarships available unless you could claim some type of minority status, and the prestigious schools were 60K+ but with their scholarships, it would bring the cost down to about 35K. Other child went the community college route for the first two years which saved big bucks. We funded this totally out of cash flow while working and I am thankful those days are behind us. The plan for us was to keep working at least until college costs were paid.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:29 PM   #76
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All families are different. In my case, by staying at work a few more years, I could more easily bear the costs of college late in my career than my kids would have by taking loans and struggling to repay during their early career. This was the right decision for us, but it may not be for you.

Second, outside of a few (and I mean a VERY FEW) well known schools, there is no appreciable difference in employable or even quality of education between well run public and well run private colleges. Each college has some great teachers and some duds. Even those top few. For employment, almost everywhere will treat any degree as equivalent. The few rare exceptions are academia, law and some graduate schools. If you want to be on top of one of those worlds, then that handful of top top schools may be for you.

Discussions of majors and future jobs are useful in a general way, but not in detail. A big part of the college experience is finding fields that interest the student, and neither parent nor student may even be aware of many majors or degrees that now exist. Don't be so eager to lock you child into a lucrative career track as an accountant when they might find some job not even invented yet more to their liking.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:45 PM   #77
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Don't be so eager to lock you child into a lucrative career track as an accountant when they might find some job not even invented yet more to their liking.
Case in point is me. I started out as a police officer in 1973 with an AA in Criminal Justice and earned the BS along the way part time. What I ended up doing was computer forensics, a job that didn't exist until the very late 1980's and early 1990's. I started in it ~1993 and at that time there were five people in the entire state of MD, even at the federal level, doing that kind of work.

Even then it was virtually unheard of outside of law enforcement and we had to expend a great deal of effort to educate the rest of the police department about what we did and could do for them.

It was a great job that I enjoyed, something seemingly right out of a Robert Heinlein novel at the time. Now lots of schools offer degrees in the topic.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:52 PM   #78
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My deal with my boys is that I will pay tuition, books, and traditional dorm room & board costs for four years of college at a state school. They can receive the education without loans.

If they wish to upgrade and live in suite style dorms, and all their spending/entertainment funds are their responsibility.

I will finance their education as long as they make satisfactory progress. I will not fund their "lifestyle" decisions beyond the basics.
This is our take. And it's the deal my dad gave me. I had to show him my grades at the end of each semester... if they slipped he could cut off the flow of money towards my tuition/fees/books/living expenses.

He agreed to pay for dorms (not the apartment style ones, though) or the equivalent amount towards my off campus housing. I was very good at finding cheap rent and roommates - so I took that option. The amount he gave me per month was directly correlated to the inexpensive dorm option.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:04 PM   #79
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He agreed to pay for dorms (not the apartment style ones, though) or the equivalent amount towards my off campus housing. I was very good at finding cheap rent and roommates - so I took that option. The amount he gave me per month was directly correlated to the inexpensive dorm option.

Did you get this option for your first year?

This is what we'll do for DS, but we've told him the first year he needs to live in the dorm.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:47 PM   #80
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I got grants and loans and scholarships and worked to pay my way through undergrad at a top private college. My parents contributed a bit, but couldn't really afford much. Their financial situation helped my aid package. An employer paid for my graduate degree. Loans were not a problem for me because I was in a high-paying field.


My wife's parents basically paid for her undergrad degree and she paid for part of her grad degree. I think she might have had some student loan.


We told our kids we would pay for their undergrad education at the best school they could get into. They both got accepted at small, highly competitive colleges. Both worked summers for extra spending money. We spent a total of $560K for the two of them (yes, I kept track). Our financial situation was such that they would have received no need based aid whatsoever (and their schools don't give non-need grants), so loans and working would not have really covered it. I have zero regrets about what we did.


They both graduated with good jobs. They and we are happy they aren't burdened with loans. We have told them they are on their own for graduate school, but we will probably help some. Ironically, some of their friends who received need-based aid didn't really get motivated to get good jobs and many are working in minimum wage jobs.
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