Are you plannning to pay for your children's post-secondary tutitions?

My parents helped by paying for my flights back and forth between Alaska (home) and Montana (college). I paid for college with loans.

My husband was entirely on his own for his college expenses - both undergraduate and his culinary arts degree, and we have over $140K in student loan debt. We currently pay more to our loans than our rent every month.

But hey - we chose it. We don't regret it. We could see where the economy was going (I graduated in 2006, him in 2007 and his culinary school in 2009), and chose to stick with it. Neither of us had families that could help more than they did, but we went to college anyway. I have a degree in psychology - just an undergraduate degree, and I use it every single day - there's not a day that goes by that I don't work with people, and I use the hell out of what I learned in college.

I know people from the full range - from "my parents paid everything" to scraping by on whatever financial aid they can get, and appreciation for post-secondary education did not seem tied to source of income.
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Last edited by ducky; 05-28-2011 at 07:32 PM.
I wish.
We are middle income (my dh works for the state of CA and has been furloughed for the last few years- gets to work but not get paid) and won't receive any financial aid. My son who's actually very smart, has decided that he no longer needs to do homework.. so his 3.7 gpa is now like 2.5-2.7 which is unacceptable.
He's most likely looking at the military unless he can get an athletic scholarship (likely). I'm hoping he'll take the scholarship option first and then join the military after college.

My daughter most likely will receive a softball scholarship if she stays on course. She's a left handed power hitter. Both kids have been in with professional coaches for years so they're past rec play. So we prayer sports will pay off.
My daughter is also very smart and a perfectionist. Her gpa has only dropped below 4.0 once. She had a 89.6% .4% from an A. Oh well.
If I ever have a child I plan to help pay for their education. If they want extras - spending money, an apartment off campus, clothes, etc. then they will get a job and help pay for it.

I thought it was good for me to work while in school. But not to the point where your stressing about how to eat. The jobs on campus usually aren't hard and it helps build time management skills.
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I want to pay for everything, tuition, rent, flights home, and what not. I'm just not gonna put up with drinking or wasting money. Going out sometime is alright but I know tons of people who's parents pay everything for them and these fools go out 4 days a week and drink all of the time. As long the good grades, responsibily, and effort are there I will pay. I'm just not going to put up with crap which I'm sure I won't have to lols.

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If we'd had kids we would've paid their way through undergrad with the expectation of them finishing in four years and with the expectation that they would get campus work study if possible or a part time job off campus if not.

We started a savings account for future college needs but after I hit 42 we quit putting money in it. I used it to pay for a semester of my PhD work.


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I envision myself as a scholarship provider of sorts: as long as my kids have set a realistic education goal and maintain good marks, good effort and a serious attitude towards education, I am prepared to fund their education 100%. I also expect them to work towards and apply for scholarships, and live at home if it is feasible (we have at least 2 very good universities in our city). With regards to part-time/summer jobs - I would encourage them first and foremost to find experiences that tie in to their field of study/career path, and think about the $$ second.

In any case, we're in Canada, and as of right now, undergrad tuition is about $5000/year. As far as I can tell its much more affordable than the US. Its a mystery to me how anyone affords an undergrad education there.


As far as I can tell its much more affordable than the US. Its a mystery to me how anyone affords an undergrad education there.
Originally Posted by mad scientist
Yeah, we had a thread a couple months ago about how people just love to lower their taxes by reducing funding for schools.

At my public university, undergrad was something like $17,000 year when you included all the mandatory fees. Once you start looking at private schools, costs are waaay higher.

In any case, we're in Canada, and as of right now, undergrad tuition is about $5000/year. As far as I can tell its much more affordable than the US. Its a mystery to me how anyone affords an undergrad education there.
Originally Posted by mad scientist;1676332I
WOW! 5K a year is amazing! I'm in CA and schools are crazy expensive in the University of CA system and a little more affordable, overall in the Cal State system... but 5K is good. I could pay for both kids out of pocket.

Hmm, maybe it's time to move?
I have 4 children. There's no way I can just outright pay $100,000 per child for a 4 year college education. They're all going to have to be creative, take loans, get scholarships, be frugal, work, be careful about choice of school, use our small savings wisely...and hope for the best.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what philosophy my parents are using, too. I chose a smaller state school branch campus for my first two years (it was originally going to be a community college, but somewhere along the line, my mom talked me out of that), which allowed me to get a pretty nice amount in scholarships and loans. I also got an outside scholarship, so all of my expenses are currently covered. It really helps that I'm living at home.

However, once I transfer out to a bigger school, there will definitely be gaps. My parents want to help as much as possible when they can, but there's no way they could ever pay for my entire education. And I'm fine with that. It'd be great not to have loans to deal with once I graduate, but I've come to accept it as a reality, now. It's my education and I feel like I should have a part in paying for it.

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Yes. I remember the day my mother cosigned my loans. I turned to her and asked, "how am I going to repay this?" she told me that we would cross that bridge when we get there. I wish she hadn't let me take out loans. This may seem like a totally selfish argument but back home you get 10 years to finish loan repayment. This includes the three years one spends in uni. Sure 10 years is a long time until one realises that the interest rate is 16.5% pa. At the end of the day I will end up paying three times what I borrowed and repayment are due wether or not you have a job. I do not see myself putting my child in that situation. I am genuinely thankful that my mother dis her best to make sure I got a degree because without it I would be a miserable lump of coal, it's just unfortunate that the system is designed to leach off uni grads.

I think every generation works so that they kids will have the opportunities they never had and if I can pay for my child to go to college, I will gladly do so.
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Last edited by kayb; 05-29-2011 at 02:42 AM.
I'm 19 and my parents fully believe that the parent should pay for the child's college education.

I respect that you want your children to have a good sense of responsibility and that's admirable, but do you realize how much college costs? What if they have their heart set on an out of state college? What if they can't get a scholarship or a sufficient loan?

I have friends whose parents pay for their college tuition, I have friends who have to do it all by themselves. And I can tell you honestly, the friends that have to pay by themselves have a hard time. I know you're probably thinking that's good and that it's a good learning experience, but if they had any help offered to them by their parents they would take it.

If they need to pay for college themselves that includes tuition, room and board, paying for their meal plans or buying their own groceries. So of course they'll need a job. But the job prospects for college students doesn't earn them six figure incomes so a lot of people I know end up working two jobs to pay for school. Some end up going to school part time because that's all they can afford or worse, drop out because they find it's not as easy as they thought to pay for school on their own, a lot of responsibility learned there. And adding the fact that the availability of jobs can be somewhat slim can make it tougher. I've got friends back stateside who can't get jobs and it's not because they're lazy or incompetent, it's because there aren't that many jobs out there.

I really feel sorry for my peers with parents who won't or cannot help them pay for college. I have a lot of respect for them for being able to balance a work life and school on their own at a young age, but I know if they just had some help it would make their lives easier. Think about it like this; you just graduated high school, you're still technically a teenager, you're not trusted to drink legally yet, you can't buy a gun, but you're supposed to be responsible enough and old enough to do everything by yourself? Coming from a younger person I feel like as soon as we step off that stage we're still inexperienced, all these things are thrown at us and we're just expected to juggle them and get perfect scores from the judges. And no, I don't think high school, at least in my opinion, prepares you completely for everything in life.

I know you didn't imply this, but why does helping your child pay for college not teach them responsibility and appreciation? Yes, my parents pay for college and I greatly appreciate how hard they worked to help me. I am really thankful that they are there to help and I don't even want to imagine how hard life would be if they didn't help me pay for college. The only rule is I'm not allowed to get married, pregnant, I can't get serious with a boy at all. I can respect that rule because I think having a boyfriend or getting pregnant while I'm in college would distract me from my education.

I agree with some of the other posters that say they should have summer jobs/internships to get a sense of responsibility. And if they're just doing things like screwing around, drinking, drugs, partying, skipping class, letting grades drop, then cut them off, because they obviously aren't putting college as a number one priority or respecting your help. But I think kids need help with college, plain and simple. If you don't believe me just ask one of my friends who had to drop out because they couldn't pay for college on their own. This is long enough already I know, and this is going to sound flippant, but I don't understand why people have children if they don't want to help them or cannot afford to help them with college, but that's just me. If I have children I'm only going to have as much as can take care of. I'm going to do what my parents taught me, which is the second they're born start saving for their college fund and supporting them when they do go to college.
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When we were babies, my parents started college funds for us. By the time I graduated from high school, I had enough money in it to pay for a 4 year degree from a state school. I lived at home while going to college and worked part time for spending money. I also applied for and received merit scholarships along the way to help with expenses.

I paid for my Masters and would not have expected my parents to pay for me to go to grad school.
Originally Posted by gekko422
Pretty much.
Hey, my folks were 1 fer 2, so not too bad...lol
I always joke w/ hubby that the little one will get a scholarship to A&M [big in our fam] & we will be able to use what we've saved for college for retirement, cuz god knows we'll need it!
The deal with my parents, who were financially capable of paying for college without endangering their own quality of life, was that they would pay for tuition, books, travel (to and from school), and BASIC living expenses. Meaning we agreed ahead of time on what reasonable living expenses were and that was what I got, period. If I wanted to be able to go out or shop or, basically eve have any fun, I had to have a part time job, which I did for almost all of college.

The reasoning was that my focus needed to be on school, and me stressing over debt or work while in school would be counterproductive. If work became distracting to schoolwork, I wasn't going to risk losing the roof over my head or the food on my plate of I took time off. School was always the number on priority. Everything else was secondary.

I still had to be wary with my money and since I managed all of "my" money myself, I was absolutely getting real experience with budgeting and money management.

I was (and am) extremely fortunate to have parents that were willing and able to support me the way they were. I am well aware that this is not the standard.

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we regularly contribute to their college funds. we don't think that we'll be able to pay the full undergrad for either of them, unless they plan to live off campus at home, which we won't mind. we don't believe that our parenting and assistance ends when they turn 18.

if they choose to stay on campus or get an apartment, they'll have to budget to help pay their way in addition to what we've saved for them.

we don't mind saving for them. it is our pleasure. yet, as important as we know an advanced education is, we would not sacrifice our retirement, nest egg, or emergency savings to put them through school. if it came to that, they'd have to get student loans and/or work to pay their own way. we know two people who depleted their retirement and took a second out on their mortgage for their kids' education. and the disappointing thing is that one's child didn't use her degree and ended up choosing regular jobs that barely required a high school diploma. and the other became a high-paid professional who does not share his wealth with his retirement-aged parents who have to work if they want to eat and have shelter in their mid-60s.

contributing to their education is important to us, but not at the expense of our comfort and livelihood in our old age. they'll be much younger and healthier and with a fresher state of mind than we'll likely be. so if push came to shove, the rightful burden would be on them to carry their own financial weight.
Originally Posted by rainshower
All of this.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

Yes, if we are able to do it, we will. We will also explore ways to bridge the gaps if we can't cover all of it, whether that means scholarships and/or the military.
I envision myself as a scholarship provider of sorts: as long as my kids have set a realistic education goal and maintain good marks, good effort and a serious attitude towards education, I am prepared to fund their education 100%. I also expect them to work towards and apply for scholarships, and live at home if it is feasible (we have at least 2 very good universities in our city). With regards to part-time/summer jobs - I would encourage them first and foremost to find experiences that tie in to their field of study/career path, and think about the $$ second.

In any case, we're in Canada, and as of right now, undergrad tuition is about $5000/year. As far as I can tell its much more affordable than the US. Its a mystery to me how anyone affords an undergrad education there.
Originally Posted by mad scientist
Yeah, we're lucky with undergrad tuition here, but our professional school tuition is much higher, and climbing. Medicine / law / dentistry etc. can run you $10 - 20K a year or more, depending on the school. But at least if you can manage undergrad without debt that is something.
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Yeah, we're lucky with undergrad tuition here, but our professional school tuition is much higher, and climbing. Medicine / law / dentistry etc. can run you $10 - 20K a year or more, depending on the school.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Professional school here runs $30,000 a year at public schools. Grad school, while expensive, is a little easier to handle financially because you can usually teach at the university in exchange for some or all of your tuition.
We do not plan to pay for Dia's tuition. With all of DaNa's college debt, we could not pay for it without incurring loans ourselves, and we both have terminal degrees. If we thought that was something we should do, however, we would be willing to incur the loans. We don't. We believe supporting Dia through other avenues, both now and into adulthood, is what we should do in our family, so that's what we currently do and will continue as long as it is financially feasible.

This topic has been discussed here before a couple of times and I've written out my rationale. I respect all of the "should do..." and "shouldn't have children if..." arguments, but obviously respectfully disagree . I do agree with not claiming your child for tax purposes if you are not supporting them in school, which I've also spoken to previously.

Regardless of what parents plan to do, I think it's important to have frank conversations with children about their plans, and their children's aspirations, from as early as they can understand. And, the conversations and plans should be shared with increasing detail and documentation the older and closer children get to high school graduation. If you are a child/teenager who isn't having those kinds of conversations, I'd encourage you to start the dialogue yourself as soon as possible. Even if your parents pay for school, or in my case, full-ride scholarships awarded for undergrad, master's and PhD, it can still be challenging to navigate school and adult choices and responsibilities.
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I plan to support my children as much as possible. However, I do expect them to apply for scholarships, work internships, be active in community, and maintain a high gpa as a full time student. Doing this is very hard to do while working a job abd worrying about tuition. I never want my children to feel the way I did while in college. I contemplated dropping out every semester. I paid on tuition instead of eating and buying books. I managed to graduate summa *** laude by doing a lot 24-48 hour days (yes, those don't exist! I know right!)

Education is a commitment. If I can ease one aspect of my future children's lives, I will do my best to do so.

Helping financially is more than just money. It's also preparing them in advance and informing them of their options for financial support and aid.



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I plan on contributing to my children's college education. If I can manage to pay for it all then that would be ideal. Majerle has had a college fund since she was 1.

I am willing to help my children financially for the rest of their lives. I guess I get the philosophy from my parents. We don't want our children to struggle and if you can help, it's just something you do without really thinking about it.

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