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Education for Kids
Old 02-21-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Education for Kids

We are spending about 30% of our budget on college expenses for the kids. This is something we want to do. Once they are graduated we will be retired (at age 50).

Another approach would be to have them work and go to school at the same time. Or take student loans.

They are getting good grades and are respectfully of us and others. The know this is a blessing not an entitlement. So I am ok with this arrangement for now.

What are your thoughts/opinions about funding college for your children?
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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We have saved enough to cover tuition at a local state university, bachelors degree only. That runs 10k per year around here, so 80k for two kids. 80k wont break my retirement plans. Oldest starts next year. Room and board will cost about the same as it costs me now to support them (10k per year per kid). I am asking them to work during the summers for their spending money (cell phones, snacks,clothes, etc.). Hopefully they will successfully launch around the time I retire. Please God.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:54 PM   #3
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We semi-ERed and arranged our finances so the kids can get some financial aid and tuition breaks and we pick up 100% of the rest.

They just have to get good grades and do extra curricular activities to help get a job when they graduate. We think paying for college in STEM majors is a good long term investment. We are okay paying for grad school the same way, too, if they decide on that.

We told our kids we'd pay for state schools in majors with a good return on our investment -

They also have newish cars so they won't have any debt when they graduate and won't have to buy a new car for some time.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:08 PM   #4
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We're planning on funding bachelor degrees at a Cal-state or UC school. If they go private - they need to get financial aid. Current plan is to have $120k/kid. Oldest is 5.5 years away from college, younger is 7.5 years away. Our retirement plans include savings goals for the college funds for another 8 years. I plan to retire in 2.5 years.

My parents funded my undergraduate degree including (poverty level) living expenses. (I had part time jobs, though). I was able to graduate without debt - and that was HUGE. I'd like to offer the same to my kids.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:09 PM   #5
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We will help as much as we can but not for private schools, state school tuition only (unless they get massive scholarship dollars ). We will expect them to work summers and part -time during the school year just like we did. We are 6 years away yet so things could change, but this is our current thinking.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:17 PM   #6
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Always felt it was our obligation to underwrite the college costs as long as they were serious and career oriented. We we're able to do it and they ended up going tuition free, so limited to living expenses. Allowed us to let them do JYA in London and Paris! I think it's obscene what some of the costs have become though, and how the costs begat more loan availability that seems to have begotten higher costs. Some of the stories I've read of the loan burden that students graduate with make no sense to me.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
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My grandparents paid for my college (undergraduate) as well as my siblings'. That was the best thing that ever happened to me since I was able to go to a great engineering school. It set me on a path that worked out well for me.

Since we're able to, we're paying for the college bound kids undergraduate educations. The oldest is long since out of school and doing well for herself. The youngest is currently in college. We have the money for him to finish set aside so it's not included in our budgeting process.

I feel very good that our kids will be launched into the world of work without any debt hanging over their heads. It also helps that they are "good kids" (but aren't they all ;-) ) and have/had reasonable majors.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:38 PM   #8
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My daughter received 2 years free at a local juco, then has moved on to state u this year. I am paying this year and ex is paying next year. If she screws up and doesn't get out in 4 years then she gets to figure out how to take out a student loan and pay for it.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:46 PM   #9
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Paid for both my kids. DD was in and out in 4 years and is happily employed in her field. DS transferred to a major engineering school. He had to retake a lot of credits that did not transfer into the engineering dept. I will pay the first 5 years. He will take out loans for the rest. If he gets his degree and I have the money I may help him with the loans, but I haven't told him that. I may also help DD with a Masters program if she decides to go back. -- I'm really a softie.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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We paid list price for private elite university, probably one of the most expensive one's in the US. Kid graduated early with an engineering degree and saved us some bucks. Spouse wants us to buy kid a car, too.

Since the kid started college, the portfolio has followed the stock market up big time, so it seems the expense was not something to ever worry about.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #11
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Boy.....a lot of nice parents telling their stories today......I'm one of them. I've paid the way for two older kids and saved enough for my youngest to attend the private college of his choice as well. And, set up 529 accounts that will pay over half of grandkids college.....I'm lucky, they are all good kids ,got good grades and have a nice life following school.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:31 PM   #12
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Paid for DS's engineering degree from a top 5 school. I have always believed in education.
Nothing I say should be considered medical,psychiatric,legal,financial,electrical,or plumbing advice. I know nothing about anything.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
I have the money I may help him with the loans, but I haven't told him that..
With DD she decided she wanted to go to graduate school. She worked and took out loans. When she got her graduate degree in record time, we surprised her by paying off her loans.

Of course, that trick only works with the first child...

(unsurprisingly, we observed that her level of motivation was definitely higher when she was paying the bill)
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:25 PM   #14
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NO Loans! I think student loans are out of the question. For extra money, I told my kids that after the first year they had to work. 10 to 15 hours a week is a good number, and is what I did. Also, told them I would fund a state university in a major that created not just a knowledgeable person, but also an employable one. I gave them very little for extra spending money, and then only for the first year. After that any extra spending was paid by their part time job.

You learn a lot while you are in college, and one of them is about your relationship with money. I think it affects how you will relate to money all your life. Working teaches the value of money and enforces frugality. Loans teach you to spend now, and worry about paying later.

At first they balked about how little extra spending they would get, but later embraced it. My son now tries to take very little out of his college savings fund, and lives very frugally, knowing that after he graduates, whatever is left is his nest egg. And I think his grades are better because he is working and spending less.

Spending takes more time away from studies than working does IMO.

I don't think this is very extreme. My father died just before I was to go to college, and there were no savings. I got a BA and MA and never took a dime from home. A mix of working, scholarships, and very very low spending. After college when I got a full time job, these habits made it much easier for me to save for a house and retirement than others who had learned different lessons in college.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #15
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We saved enough to cover most of their education at the local state university. If they went elsewhere, or wanted to stay in the dorms, they had to fund that. They both got scholarships at our local university and didn't need our savings, so each semester, we gave them what we had saved for tuition. No school loans for either. My daughter married a med student who was supported all through his med school and residency by a rural town near here. So he also had zero loans, since he agreed to practice there for four years. They are still there after 7 years.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:05 AM   #16
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These are great stories, thank you for sharing!
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