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

My parents covered my 4 years at a private college (which was not actually outrageously priced) in full.
Originally Posted by newcurly
Aren't you the poster that went to Davidson? They're to nearly $50,000 a year!! Mom really wants me to go there, and I nearly fainted when I added up the tuition...


Anyways, my parents aren't paying for my college. They really can't handle it with the student loans they still have, so it's on me. They said they would pay for textbooks, food, clothing, and other small things, but that's all they can afford. I'm expected to get a job starting this summer and save til I'm in college. I'm also expected to work during college if/when possible. I'm majoring in something practical, and I should be getting some scholarships when the time comes, especially since I'm a girl planning to go into engineering. I will almost certainly have to have some loans though....
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I plan to help out where I can, but in no way do I feel obligated to pay for college. $30,000 - 100,000 is not pocket change especially considering that there might still be younger kids at home.

Also, (and, I admit, this may sound a tad bit selfish), I don't plan to be old & crippled and still coming in to work each day. To that end, I'm actively planning for my retirement. I'm going to have a set amount that I put aside for each kid for college and anything that they need above that is going to have to be made up with scholarships/grants, work-study or a part-time job, and loans.

As an aside, there are people that speculate that college tuition is going to be the next bubble that bursts. I wonder just what the cost of a college degree is going to amount to for my future kids.

Last edited by CurlyCurlies; 05-31-2011 at 07:04 AM.
Yes, I do plan to pay for as much of it as I can and that is a huge motivator for me to advance my career as quickly as possible as I would like one or two more children.

I do think there is some merit to the idea that kids should contribute to their education and I think I would encourage them to have summer/ part-time jobs where feasible (not at the expense of other experiences they would like to have) and help out with their books, spending money etc. as much as they can. However I would not want their schoolwork or other opportunities to suffer due to them HAVING to work or working a lot of hours. I want them to have the full college experience which includes volunteering, travel, joining groups etc. I also hope my kids are able to get good enough marks to get scholarships so they can pay all or some of their tuition. For myself, my parents never had to pay the full amount because I always had scholarships, awards and earned some of my own money. Besides it costing me less, there are obvious advantages to them in having scholarships so I would certainly encourage that if I believe they're capable.

However, I think that where parents are able to support their college student kids financially and still meet their other obligations, there is no reason they shouldn't do so. I personally see it as part of my parental responsibility and part of my obligation to my kids - and I WANT to do it because them going to college is something I see as very, very important and one of the best ways to demonstrate the importance is to put the money up.

For myself, my parents contributing financially to my education NEVER made me feel entitled or take it for granted - because they were putting their trust in me I took that seriously and did not want to disappoint them.

Another thing to consider is that contributing financially extends the parent-child relationship - if you're paying, you should be able to see their grades and set limits on them not spending $ on irresponsible things. If they are self-sufficient, they're an adult and it is difficult or impossible to comment on their lives. I don't think 18 is old enough to be fully independent these days in the vast majority of cases.

Of course, I realize that the choice to pay for your kids' college is a privilege many people do not have and I am speaking only of those who can afford it.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I agree with all of this, if I ever have kids. But it would have to be a public college or similarly priced(private school with aid, etc). I don't believe in those insanely high tuition schools. I guess because I know I'll most likely never be rolling in dough like that. I also would not want them to be in debt after college just for undergrad degree. Not worth it.

Last edited by Josephine; 05-31-2011 at 08:12 AM.
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
When I was in school it was about 4-5k a year and the first year I had a scholarship that is available to every resident in my state. If you maintain a 3.0 gpa, tuition is free, just gotta pay for books and housing (if you dont live at home). I didn't maintain the gpa but it was still affordable and I took some loans along with my parents help. Now the tuition has gone up to about 9k a year and the scholarship benefits have just recently gone down which has been a big deal. Nonresident tuition is almost triple the price(basically like paying for private school). I have no idea how people afford that even if they are making lots of money. There was no such thing as dream school for me. It's wherever was affordable.
I'm only seventeen so obviously I don't have kids about to go to college ( or at all for that matter) but I do have a valid opinion on this.

Call me rude, but refusing to help fund your child's education when you have the means to do so is outrageously cruel. The mindset that its a good learning experience to pay for your own education is ignorant and ludicrous to me.

My mother is in between a rock and a hard place: middle class. Because she recently earned her nursing license and worked her butt off last year, my EFC is higher than my cost of attendance. So no need-based scholarships, no grants, no low/no interest loans. Just loans. Writing a 23k check is out of the question. My parents will help all they can, but they're not gonna be able to pay in full.

Loans will suck, but I'm willing to get them even if my mom is dreading it. She's gonna be dipping into her retirement to help me go to school. That's what I'm grateful for.

I didn't have a college fund, but I sure as hail will have one for my children. I don't want them stressing over debt and work (oh and did I mention my mother is forbidding me to get a job my first year?) While they're in school. Their grades will suffer, and besides their well-being that's the top priority.

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Another thing that I just thought of is that if I were paying for the whole of my child's college education, I would feel like I had some say in what that education should look like. In other words, I would want to steer my son/daughter into the most lucrative position possible so that I could feel that I made a worthwhile investment and I don't know that I would be okay with imposing my will on their lives like that. What if they want to be a dance or theatre major? What if they chose a pre-med track and got nothing but Cs and Ds in most of their classes? What if they graduate from college and end up still sleeping in their old bedroom and working a min. wage job? I would honestly feel like they wasted my money.

I believe that as young adults, they should be free to choose their own destinies and they should also be free to fail. I think this is why I'm more comfortable with just giving my future kids a set amount (they don't even have to use to go to college if they don't want to) and letting them work for or pay off the rest at a later date. From there on out, I would just act as an advisor.

Last edited by CurlyCurlies; 05-31-2011 at 09:54 AM.
Another thing that I just thought of is that if I were paying for the whole of my child's college education, I would feel like I had some say in what that education should look like. In other words, I would want to steer my son/daughter into the most lucrative position possible so that I could feel that I made a worthwhile investment and I don't know that I would be okay with imposing my will on their lives like that. What if they want to be a dance or theatre major? What if they chose a pre-med track and got nothing but Cs and Ds in most of their classes?

I believe that as young adults, they should be free to choose their own destinies and they should also be free to fail. I think this is why I more comfortable with just giving my future kids a set amount (they don't even have to use to go to college if they don't want to) and letting them work for the rest. From there on out, I would just act as an advisor.
Originally Posted by CurlyCurlies
I agree. My plan is to set aside a fixed amount for my child(ren) to have access to at 18. Should they choose to go to college, they can use it for that. If not, they can use it to start a business, as a down payment on a home, travel the world, etc. The only stipulation will be that, when it's gone, it's gone and mom and dad will not give additional financial support beyond that, except, of course, in an emergency scenario.
Another thing that I just thought of is that if I were paying for the whole of my child's college education, I would feel like I had some say in what that education should look like. In other words, I would want to steer my son/daughter into the most lucrative position possible so that I could feel that I made a worthwhile investment and I don't know that I would be okay with imposing my will on their lives like that. What if they want to be a dance or theatre major? What if they chose a pre-med track and got nothing but Cs and Ds in most of their classes? What if they graduate from college and end up still sleeping in their old bedroom and working a min. wage job? I would honestly feel like they wasted my money.

I believe that as young adults, they should be free to choose their own destinies and they should also be free to fail. I think this is why I'm more comfortable with just giving my future kids a set amount (they don't even have to use to go to college if they don't want to) and letting them work for or pay off the rest at a later date. From there on out, I would just act as an advisor.
Originally Posted by CurlyCurlies
Wouldn't it be more of a waste of money to have them do something that YOU wanted them to do and they have no interest in?

I can assure you, had my mother forbade me from doing my theatre degree and made me do say, engineering or nursing instead (you know something with an end career), it would have caused a huge strain on our relationship and I would have NOT used the degree at all.

To me that's a much bigger waste of money than my 'waste' theatre degree which has given me invaluable skills that I use every day and am fiercely proud of.
Another thing that I just thought of is that if I were paying for the whole of my child's college education, I would feel like I had some say in what that education should look like. In other words, I would want to steer my son/daughter into the most lucrative position possible so that I could feel that I made a worthwhile investment and I don't know that I would be okay with imposing my will on their lives like that. What if they want to be a dance or theatre major? What if they chose a pre-med track and got nothing but Cs and Ds in most of their classes? What if they graduate from college and end up still sleeping in their old bedroom and working a min. wage job? I would honestly feel like they wasted my money.

I believe that as young adults, they should be free to choose their own destinies and they should also be free to fail. I think this is why I'm more comfortable with just giving my future kids a set amount (they don't even have to use to go to college if they don't want to) and letting them work for or pay off the rest at a later date. From there on out, I would just act as an advisor.
Originally Posted by CurlyCurlies
Wouldn't it be more of a waste of money to have them do something that YOU wanted them to do and they have no interest in?

I can assure you, had my mother forbade me from doing my theatre degree and made me do say, engineering or nursing instead (you know something with an end career), it would have caused a huge strain on our relationship and I would have NOT used the degree at all.

To me that's a much bigger waste of money than my 'waste' theatre degree which has given me invaluable skills that I use every day and am fiercely proud of.
Originally Posted by Nej
I agree. A good education has its own rewards and you never know where it will lead. I studied music and then went to law school, which I didn't envision at the time. The music degree has so many rewards - not only does it set me apart from other law students in a really good way (it's a winner at interviews) but I still work in music and it provides a counterbalance to some of the negative and stressful things about law. And because I enjoyed my studies and was good at them, I got good marks, which I needed to get into law school and I am still asked for undergrad marks all the time in law. I think the best thing you can do in college is get good marks and you are most likely to do that if you love and are invested in what you study, whatever that may be. The college experience is also a very rounding experience regardless of what your degree is in. I think most degrees can be turned into opportunity if you a) have good marks b) go to a decent school and c) have a positive attitude, interesting experiences etc. There are very few degrees that will GUARANTEE lucrative careers and instant paths to success and no one should expect that of a college education - that is not what it is for, and not why I personally value it for myself or my children.
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Wouldn't it be more of a waste of money to have them do something that YOU wanted them to do and they have no interest in?
This is exactly why I said that I wouldn't be okay with imposing my will on children's future. It's also the reason why I wouldn't be footing the entire bill for their post-secondary education. I want them to have some measure of control over how their live's turn out without any undo interference from me and I wouldn't be able to do that if I'm on the hook for 100 grand.

Last edited by CurlyCurlies; 05-31-2011 at 12:15 PM.
Another thing that I just thought of is that if I were paying for the whole of my child's college education, I would feel like I had some say in what that education should look like. In other words, I would want to steer my son/daughter into the most lucrative position possible so that I could feel that I made a worthwhile investment and I don't know that I would be okay with imposing my will on their lives like that. What if they want to be a dance or theatre major? What if they chose a pre-med track and got nothing but Cs and Ds in most of their classes? What if they graduate from college and end up still sleeping in their old bedroom and working a min. wage job? I would honestly feel like they wasted my money.

I believe that as young adults, they should be free to choose their own destinies and they should also be free to fail. I think this is why I'm more comfortable with just giving my future kids a set amount (they don't even have to use to go to college if they don't want to) and letting them work for or pay off the rest at a later date. From there on out, I would just act as an advisor.
Originally Posted by CurlyCurlies
Wouldn't it be more of a waste of money to have them do something that YOU wanted them to do and they have no interest in?

I can assure you, had my mother forbade me from doing my theatre degree and made me do say, engineering or nursing instead (you know something with an end career), it would have caused a huge strain on our relationship and I would have NOT used the degree at all.

To me that's a much bigger waste of money than my 'waste' theatre degree which has given me invaluable skills that I use every day and am fiercely proud of.
Originally Posted by Nej
I agree. A good education has its own rewards and you never know where it will lead. I studied music and then went to law school, which I didn't envision at the time. The music degree has so many rewards - not only does it set me apart from other law students in a really good way (it's a winner at interviews) but I still work in music and it provides a counterbalance to some of the negative and stressful things about law. And because I enjoyed my studies and was good at them, I got good marks, which I needed to get into law school and I am still asked for undergrad marks all the time in law. I think the best thing you can do in college is get good marks and you are most likely to do that if you love and are invested in what you study, whatever that may be. The college experience is also a very rounding experience regardless of what your degree is in. I think most degrees can be turned into opportunity if you a) have good marks b) go to a decent school and c) have a positive attitude, interesting experiences etc. There are very few degrees that will GUARANTEE lucrative careers and instant paths to success and no one should expect that of a college education - that is not what it is for, and not why I personally value it for myself or my children.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I agree! I'm actually toying with the idea of opening my own business which caters to the Corporate Community teaching skills in presentations, public speaking, and workplace fitness ... something to do and investigate while I try again to get into grad school next year. You never know what direction life will take you and the most successful people I know are those who followed their passion and worked hard at it.


I am very comfortable speaking in front of people and my classes in text analysis, voice, and speech have given me the AMAZING advantage of being a very good public speaker and presenter which is a skill that MANY people are lacking. I'm currently working in an office job and this skill is what makes me stand out and impresses people. I'm constantly being told how articulate and poised I am .. I credit this all to my useless theatre degree.

Last edited by Nej; 05-31-2011 at 12:20 PM.
My husband and I have told the kids that we'll pay for 4 years of college. If they stay on track, they'll graduate with no debts. But then they'll be on their own. Any post graduate degree will be on their dime. So far one daughter has graduated (on time with a double major and is now living independently) and our second is a junior at PSU (on track to grad. on time with a degree in 2nd ed, Chemistry, 3.7 GPA). Our son will start at UMASS Amherst in the fall. All three are extremely responsible and truly appreciative. I think if parents can afford it - without risking their retirement - helping their kids with college expenses is worthwhile. BUT the kids have to do their part by getting good grades and graduating on time.
Originally Posted by 2poodles
Wow, ur kids sound great! I'm n college, about to be a jr. I could have gotten scholarships but didn't apply because of some crazy situations. I came n with pell grants and sub and unsub loans. My mom can't help me pay for anything. If I had a parent who could pay for my college I would probably have worked harder my freshman yr. I'm a new mother and my fiance and I have started saving up for our daughter already and she's barely a month old. I want to be involved and help her get thru college financially and emotionally. When you have to think about how dorms and books are going to get paid for it takes away from ur college experience. I'm 20 and when I got to college at 18 I was on my own bcuz my mom and I had a falling out, plus she doesn't know anything about school foreal. I had advice from my sisters but I still ended up with 2 creditcards I'm still paying off.18 doesn't equal grown these days.


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We plan to help out both our children by paying for a 4-year college education. Anything beyond that will be up to them.
If I had a kid, I would plan to help them in any way I can. Ideally this would mean having money available to pay for an undergraduate degree. After all, part of me getting myself well established is so that I can pay it forward and help my hypothetical offspring. I would encourage my kid to study what they're interested in. Forcing someone to study something they're uninterested in is a recipe for disaster and resentment.

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Last edited by curlyarca; 05-31-2011 at 03:24 PM. Reason: I'd also hope my kid could earn some sort of scholarship. I think it would help keep them focused.
My husband and I have told the kids that we'll pay for 4 years of college. If they stay on track, they'll graduate with no debts. But then they'll be on their own. Any post graduate degree will be on their dime. So far one daughter has graduated (on time with a double major and is now living independently) and our second is a junior at PSU (on track to grad. on time with a degree in 2nd ed, Chemistry, 3.7 GPA). Our son will start at UMASS Amherst in the fall. All three are extremely responsible and truly appreciative. I think if parents can afford it - without risking their retirement - helping their kids with college expenses is worthwhile. BUT the kids have to do their part by getting good grades and graduating on time.
Originally Posted by 2poodles
Wow, ur kids sound great! I'm n college, about to be a jr. I could have gotten scholarships but didn't apply because of some crazy situations. I came n with pell grants and sub and unsub loans. My mom can't help me pay for anything. If I had a parent who could pay for my college I would probably have worked harder my freshman yr. I'm a new mother and my fiance and I have started saving up for our daughter already and she's barely a month old. I want to be involved and help her get thru college financially and emotionally. When you have to think about how dorms and books are going to get paid for it takes away from ur college experience. I'm 20 and when I got to college at 18 I was on my own bcuz my mom and I had a falling out, plus she doesn't know anything about school foreal. I had advice from my sisters but I still ended up with 2 creditcards I'm still paying off.18 doesn't equal grown these days.


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Originally Posted by B-Nessa11
Thanks - I think my kids are pretty great, too! And while we've paid their tuition and room/board/books, they are responsible for any extras - including clothes, gasoline, fun money, etc. They've all had part time jobs since they were 16 - and the girls continued working while in college. I'm assuming our youngest will also pick up a part time job while in college.

I do think it's important that parents not jeopardize their retirement, however. I would HATE to become dependent on my children. I know some people who couldn't afford to send their kids to private or even state colleges, but they could send them to community colleges - or give the kids the equivalent amount of money toward whatever school the kid wanted to go to and then the kid could get a loan/grant/scholarship to cover the difference.
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My husband and I have told the kids that we'll pay for 4 years of college. If they stay on track, they'll graduate with no debts. But then they'll be on their own. Any post graduate degree will be on their dime. So far one daughter has graduated (on time with a double major and is now living independently) and our second is a junior at PSU (on track to grad. on time with a degree in 2nd ed, Chemistry, 3.7 GPA). Our son will start at UMASS Amherst in the fall. All three are extremely responsible and truly appreciative. I think if parents can afford it - without risking their retirement - helping their kids with college expenses is worthwhile. BUT the kids have to do their part by getting good grades and graduating on time.
Originally Posted by 2poodles
Wow, ur kids sound great! I'm n college, about to be a jr. I could have gotten scholarships but didn't apply because of some crazy situations. I came n with pell grants and sub and unsub loans. My mom can't help me pay for anything. If I had a parent who could pay for my college I would probably have worked harder my freshman yr. I'm a new mother and my fiance and I have started saving up for our daughter already and she's barely a month old. I want to be involved and help her get thru college financially and emotionally. When you have to think about how dorms and books are going to get paid for it takes away from ur college experience. I'm 20 and when I got to college at 18 I was on my own bcuz my mom and I had a falling out, plus she doesn't know anything about school foreal. I had advice from my sisters but I still ended up with 2 creditcards I'm still paying off.18 doesn't equal grown these days.


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Originally Posted by B-Nessa11
Thanks - I think my kids are pretty great, too! And while we've paid their tuition and room/board/books, they are responsible for any extras - including clothes, gasoline, fun money, etc. They've all had part time jobs since they were 16 - and the girls continued working while in college. I'm assuming our youngest will also pick up a part time job while in college.

I do think it's important that parents not jeopardize their retirement, however. I would HATE to become dependent on my children. I know some people who couldn't afford to send their kids to private or even state colleges, but they could send them to community colleges - or give the kids the equivalent amount of money toward whatever school the kid wanted to go to and then the kid could get a loan/grant/scholarship to cover the difference.
Originally Posted by 2poodles
I agree with that cuz u know I'm not going to spend my retirement for their college. If my mom had retirement money I wouldn't want her to spend it on me! Retire mom! Lol

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My parents offered to pay for my college, but I was able to pay for it myself through scholarships and pretty smart investments, same with my brothers (I prefered they keep their money for retirement).

I don't think that parents are obligated or their kids are entitled to it. Its a gift. Many students really appreciate that their parents don't have to do this for them, but there are some that don't go to class, party all the time, ring up credit card debt. I think its important for parents to teach their kids about finances before they get to college, but a lot of them just go crazy and don't understand how much these decisions will affect them for the rest of their lives.

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