How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:20 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:My next-to-go-to-college is my son who is a junior in HS now. He burns the candle at both ends as a high school student. His only course that isn't IB (International Baccalaureate) or AP is an honors physics course, but he is studying AP Physics-B and AP Physics-C independently and will be taking the test. He already has 2 AP grades of 5 as a sophomore, including in AP Computer Science, a course he didn't even take. He will be finishing the equivalent of the first two years of college calculus this year, and next year all of his classes will be IB or AP. On Saturdays, he goes to a class in the Columbia Science Honors Program. He is attacking his subjects, and is pumped up from the learning. I fully expect that he will approach college the same way. I mention this not to brag (well, only partially to brag), but to ask the question, where in all of this would he have time for a job? As it is, he seldom gets time to see his girlfriend and other friends, which I think is an important part of growing up.


Almost identical story to my daughter when she was in HS. In college unlike HS she isn't doing a varsity sport or a leadership role in debate (officer).
She works in her internship by choice (her costs are covered). I guess she likes it likes the money and is able to swing it.
She spends plenty of time with her BF, goes skiing/boarding etc.
It's also probably a school cultural thing - most of the students at her college have work-study or relevant paid internships.
If you went to a college where internships and work were not common, it would probably be tougher.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Calm Man » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:26 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I paid all of my oldest child's undergraduate tuition (at Boston College, as it happens, which was at the time not an unnoticed expense and to which my ex wife contributed little). When my daughter went on to graduate school, she told me that she wanted to do it on her own. She has asked for one loan, $2000, forgiven at the next "gifting opportunity." I slip her cash at times to have her take a trip or have a dinner she couldn't otherwise afford, but she is finishing up her PhD and teaching at a nearby college and is justifiably proud.

My next-to-go-to-college is my son who is a junior in HS now. He burns the candle at both ends as a high school student. His only course that isn't IB (International Baccalaureate) or AP is an honors physics course, but he is studying AP Physics-B and AP Physics-C independently and will be taking the test. He already has 2 AP grades of 5 as a sophomore, including in AP Computer Science, a course he didn't even take. He will be finishing the equivalent of the first two years of college calculus this year, and next year all of his classes will be IB or AP. On Saturdays, he goes to a class in the Columbia Science Honors Program. He is attacking his subjects, and is pumped up from the learning. I fully expect that he will approach college the same way. I mention this not to brag (well, only partially to brag), but to ask the question, where in all of this would he have time for a job? As it is, he seldom gets time to see his girlfriend and other friends, which I think is an important part of growing up.

My father paid for my undergraduate degree, and although I worked during the summer, his view was that you're only young once, and going to school is hard work. The thought that, to prove some Puritanical uber-Boglehead-ish point, I would make my son flip burgers for minimum wage rather than have him learn and rest is, IMO, stupid. I have empathy for those families that are stretched financially, and appreciate that you have to make the best of the cards you're dealt. My argument is not with them. I believe, however, that to cross your arms and refuse to write a check when you can do so without depriving your family is wrong on many levels.

Your father did well by you and you are doing well by your son. My daughter asks me how she can ever pay me back for having her get out of a private college and medical school debt free without having to work. I tell her that if she has children (and I emphasize that I don't care if she does and its ok not to) she can pay me back by doing the same for her kid(s) and asking them to do the same for theirs. Your message supports my theory: there is no time for the kids and if they could work they would earn peanuts anyway. You again show how people who can afford it are happy to and people who can't, instead of just saying they cant (which is no shame at all) create straw arguments.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby livesoft » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:29 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I mention this not to brag (well, only partially to brag), but to ask the question, where in all of this would he have time for a job? As it is, he seldom gets time to see his girlfriend and other friends, which I think is an important part of growing up.

OK, I did all that, plus had a 40+ hour a week job in high school and had a girlfriend who drove me to school every day. So I know your son is sandbagging and should have time for a 40+ hour a week job. I think I can get sscritic to vouch for me.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby JamesSFO » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:32 pm

stoptothink wrote:
finley wrote:However, there is NO harm and MUCH benefit to the child if it is fully funded and they take college serious.


The entire point of this thread is that the study suggests your statement isn't correct, that kids who have their education fully funded are less likely to take college seriously. A more interesting dynamic is whether you'd be willing to sacrifice your own financial well-being to do so. In the real world, outside of Bogelheads.org, the proportion of parents who can fully fund their child's education without very significantly compromising their own financial situation and future is quite small.


Except that the study has several pretty painfully obvious flaws AND also shows parental funding helps improve graduation rates. So net net, the study is a good jumping off point for discussing the topic but probably not determinative of specific outcomes.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:35 pm

livesoft wrote:OK, I did all that, plus had a 40+ hour a week job in high school and had a girlfriend who drove me to school every day. So I know your son is sandbagging and should have time for a 40+ hour a week job. I think I can get sscritic to vouch for me.

It doesn't matter what livesoft says and whether it is true or not, I will always vouch for him. :)
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:38 pm

livesoft wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:I mention this not to brag (well, only partially to brag), but to ask the question, where in all of this would he have time for a job? As it is, he seldom gets time to see his girlfriend and other friends, which I think is an important part of growing up.

OK, I did all that, plus had a 40+ hour a week job in high school and had a girlfriend who drove me to school every day. So I know your son is sandbagging and should have time for a 40+ hour a week job. I think I can get sscritic to vouch for me.

I guess I forgot to mention extra-curriculars (ice hockey, club leaderships, internships, etc.). Regardless, he probably IS sandbagging, and I'll take it up with him if I can find him :D
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:03 pm

Calm Man wrote:Your father did well by you and you are doing well by your son. My daughter asks me how she can ever pay me back for having her get out of a private college and medical school debt free without having to work. I tell her that if she has children (and I emphasize that I don't care if she does and its ok not to) she can pay me back by doing the same for her kid(s) and asking them to do the same for theirs. Your message supports my theory: there is no time for the kids and if they could work they would earn peanuts anyway. You again show how people who can afford it are happy to and people who can't, instead of just saying they cant (which is no shame at all) create straw arguments.

Gosh, I hope that you're right about the straw arguments being artifacts of a family that can't afford to provide more for their children's education. It's a generous way to view it, and perhaps I have been wrong about some of the people I've seen (not necessarily Bogleheads, btw) who seem to place the education of their children lower down the ladder than some other expenses.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby stoptothink » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:31 pm

JamesSFO wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
finley wrote:However, there is NO harm and MUCH benefit to the child if it is fully funded and they take college serious.


The entire point of this thread is that the study suggests your statement isn't correct, that kids who have their education fully funded are less likely to take college seriously. A more interesting dynamic is whether you'd be willing to sacrifice your own financial well-being to do so. In the real world, outside of Bogelheads.org, the proportion of parents who can fully fund their child's education without very significantly compromising their own financial situation and future is quite small.


Except that the study has several pretty painfully obvious flaws AND also shows parental funding helps improve graduation rates. So net net, the study is a good jumping off point for discussing the topic but probably not determinative of specific outcomes.


I was responding to "there is NO harm and MUCH benefit to the child if it is fully funded." That is certainly not an absolute and objective statement as it was framed.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Calm Man » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:41 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Calm Man wrote:Your father did well by you and you are doing well by your son. My daughter asks me how she can ever pay me back for having her get out of a private college and medical school debt free without having to work. I tell her that if she has children (and I emphasize that I don't care if she does and its ok not to) she can pay me back by doing the same for her kid(s) and asking them to do the same for theirs. Your message supports my theory: there is no time for the kids and if they could work they would earn peanuts anyway. You again show how people who can afford it are happy to and people who can't, instead of just saying they cant (which is no shame at all) create straw arguments.

Gosh, I hope that you're right about the straw arguments being artifacts of a family that can't afford to provide more for their children's education. It's a generous way to view it, and perhaps I have been wrong about some of the people I've seen (not necessarily Bogleheads, btw) who seem to place the education of their children lower down the ladder than some other expenses.


Tomato, there is nothing wrong with parents wanting to spend on a vacation or car for themselves instead of their kid's colleges. They just maybe should have rethought their priorities before becoming parents. Kids can't control who they have for parents though. Don't worry. I am right (for the most part at least).;
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:57 pm

Kids that can't handle a part-time job or paid internship _and_ perform at a high level in college shouldn't work, _if_ they have the option not to.
Kids that can should seriously consider it.
That seems a pretty simple guideline to reconcile the debate here.

If a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship, the advantages can be very significant.
If a student simply has to work as part of their financial arrangement, it will have pluses and minuses - hopefully tilted to the plus side.
Real world work experience while pursuing higher education isn't the end of the world.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:31 pm

MnD wrote:Kids that can't handle a part-time job or paid internship _and_ perform at a high level in college shouldn't work, _if_ they have the option not to.
Kids that can should seriously consider it.
That seems a pretty simple guideline to reconcile the debate here.

If a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship, the advantages can be very significant.
If a student simply has to work as part of their financial arrangement, it will have pluses and minuses - hopefully tilted to the plus side.
Real world work experience while pursuing higher education isn't the end of the world.

Is this your experience with your children? At one point you seemed to say that they had worked in college and moved on to graduate degrees. The next thing I saw was that one was still in high school. Are these just platitudes you picked up somewhere? Could you share your real world experiences? I shared mine.

My children didn't work. I don't see that they suffered because of it. It may be true that "If a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship, the advantages can be very significant," but then it might also be true that if a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship it will make no difference whatsoever, no difference in graduate school admission, no difference in graduate school graduation, no difference in professional employment, and no difference in how long it takes to reach two commas. In short, it may be that managing school and working will make absolutely no difference in your life.* You seem to be implying that my children didn't work because they couldn't handle it. They didn't work because their college was paid for and they didn't need to. Livesoft worked and it worked out for him; my children didn't work and it worked out for them. Scientific conclusion: whether you work or not is irrelevant. There must be some other factor that livesoft and my children shared, but it wasn't work during high school and college.

What evidence do you have from your children's lives to support the very significant advantages you claim for their working in college?

* When my son was in high school he messed around and his grades weren't that good. When he got to college, his grades got a lot better, in contrast to what I had read in the press about all these kids with good high school grades suddenly discovering that college was a lot harder. At the end of the year (or maybe it was mid-year), I asked him about it. He told me that his college grades mattered in his life, while his high school ones didn't. I don't know if that is true; maybe his college grades didn't really matter either, but it was his choice to make himself what he wanted to be. A job in college had nothing to do with whether a child can make something of herself.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby kenyan » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:48 am

Kids are very young now, and our thinking has been to pay for 4 years of tuition/fees/room/board, undergraduate only. That's the deal my wife and I received. However, I am toying with an idea to share the cost a little, since we don't know how responsible (academically and fiscally) our children will be. Offer to pay for 3 years of college (or perhaps 75% of the first four years). Then, assuming Junior has been responsible, pay for 50% of his/her student loan as a graduation surprise. I suppose if he/she worked to pay if off, some other financial boon would be given.

We'll see; I have many years to ponder, and I haven't discussed it with the wife yet.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:21 am

It may be true that "If a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship, the advantages can be very significant," but then it might also be true that if a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship it will make no difference whatsoever, no difference in graduate school admission, no difference in graduate school graduation, no difference in professional employment, and no difference in how long it takes to reach two commas.


Of course it may not matter. This is about playing the odds. A good internship is often valuable near as I can tell from 25 years of watching various kids, my friends way back when, their kids more recently, my one that has finished college and many of the kids we hire. "Advantage can be very significant" was the statement, no one said it was a guarantee or that it was an absolute requirement.

* When my son was in high school he messed around and his grades weren't that good. When he got to college, his grades got a lot better, in contrast to what I had read in the press about all these kids with good high school grades suddenly discovering that college was a lot harder.


That was me as well. I told my parents and teachers I would study when it mattered; high school did not matter. As a parent I understand why that response was not very reassuring to them. :) But I use myself to make parents of screw up kids feel a little better; a screw up as a teenage does not mean they will end up a loser.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby happymob » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:23 pm

kenyan wrote:Kids are very young now, and our thinking has been to pay for 4 years of tuition/fees/room/board, undergraduate only. That's the deal my wife and I received. However, I am toying with an idea to share the cost a little, since we don't know how responsible (academically and fiscally) our children will be. Offer to pay for 3 years of college (or perhaps 75% of the first four years). Then, assuming Junior has been responsible, pay for 50% of his/her student loan as a graduation surprise. I suppose if he/she worked to pay if off, some other financial boon would be given.

We'll see; I have many years to ponder, and I haven't discussed it with the wife yet.

I would go with 75% of 4 years over paying for the first 3. Backloading "scholarships" is also not a terrible idea (you get more as you demonstrate responsibility).
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:08 pm

sscritic wrote:
MnD wrote:Kids that can't handle a part-time job or paid internship _and_ perform at a high level in college shouldn't work, _if_ they have the option not to.
Kids that can should seriously consider it.
That seems a pretty simple guideline to reconcile the debate here.

If a student can manage school and a paid relevant internship, the advantages can be very significant.
If a student simply has to work as part of their financial arrangement, it will have pluses and minuses - hopefully tilted to the plus side.
Real world work experience while pursuing higher education isn't the end of the world.

Are these just platitudes you picked up somewhere? Could you share your real world experiences?


By working in a relevant position with a firm during the last three years of four while earning my undergraduate degree, I feel I got at least double the educational benefits of my non-working peers. In school I learned the theory and concepts along with laboratory and some practical applications, at my job I learned both engineering hydrology project field work in the summers and office project work during the school year. I worked on probably 20 different projects over 3 years in two different states. Once I established a good reputation at this firm I always had a part-time job, full-time summer job and full time hours if I wanted them during fall and spring school breaks. By my senior year I was leading engineering field crews. I received a perfect grade (the highest grade in a large class) on my senior project, which was a project I was doing at work and being paid for (predictive modeling of catastrophic logging road failures based on environmental and construction characteristics). I knew by my junior year or earlier that my my chosen field was one I wanted to work in and make a career of, because i was already working in it.

Upon graduation I negotiated a raise with my functional supervisor and an increase in hours with multiple project managers so was working full time in my field at a fairly advanced level the next morning after my graduation. It was not my dream job, but it allowed me to conduct a national search while being employed full time, and I did land my dream job about 18 months after graduation, at a time when many of my peers were having trouble landing any type of professional job with unemployment at 7.5%. I have no doubt I would would not been offered my dream job had I not had the extensive and relevant work experience.

At graduation I had no debt, a positive net worth, had co-authored several professional publications, had purchased a reliable used vehicle for cash, was functionally and financially independent (I had not lived at home since the summer after my freshman year). In fact I purchased a small home about 12 months after graduation. 30 years later I do not do use too much of what I learned in school, but I still do use many of the skills I learned in my internship, both at work and in my personal life.

Fast-forward a generation and my daughter has worked while attending college from day one, and was hired in a relevant good-paying year-round technical internship in February of her freshman year. Her prior experience in her menial job prior to getting the internship was cited as a plus by her internship employer and probably key to her landing the job. She had already demonstrated she could work and go to school and succeed. She does not have to work as her costs are covered by me so by mid-year of her 2nd year she has a net worth now approaching 5 figures, checking, savings, credit card, taxable brokerage account and Roth accounts all in her name. She is eligible to participate in her employers retirement savings plan next month. She currently has a 3.95 GPA in her engineering program and is in the college honors program. She is currently applying for more challenging year-round internships with local high-tech employers, further leveraging her prior work experience and fairly high pay level given her age and academic status. My son is in private high school and has landed one of the very few paying jobs for students that the school offers - so he seems to be following the same path as well.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby mojave » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:29 pm

I'm not a parent of a college-aged kid, but I did graduate college 6 years ago and I think my situation was really good though at the time I hated it. I did not acrue a penny of credit card debt. Keep in mind that I was already money-conscious at this time - for example I was one of only a few friends that did not own a car because I didn't care for the expense, had been working since 16 and over breaks, etc.

My parents mostly covered tuition. They used some of my investments (from family when I was born and stuff like that) to do this and also pulled out about $6k in loans so I had some responsibility. They covered tuition, room & board my first two years (in the dorms) up to a certain amount and anything past that was my responsibilty.

All spending money was my own savings. Laundry I had to pay for myself too.

I paid for all of my books - I highly suggest you do this too because nothing will knock financial sense into a kid's head like buying their own books. I bought a $100 math book that our class opened ONCE and the school would not buy it back because a newer version had come out. My argument? "But that's a week's worth of work!!!" :happy

When I moved into apartments, my parents said they would give me the same amount as they did for the dorms and food then. I ended up having to cover a good portion of groceries.

It was a struggle but I did it - I graduated with $6k of debt. Granted I went to a n in-state school that isn't one of the top ones. The economy was fine when I was there.

I will probably do the same things my parents did.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby mojave » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:36 pm

Also wanted to add:

I tried finding work while in school but couldn't get anything the first few years. I finally ended up writing for a newspaper that I think paid $12 for each published article lol. It covered a night out to the bars (quarter beers!) and made me a sort of celebrity, people would come up to me and talk to me about my articles. It was good for the experience, the pay sucked. I also did a paid internship which was like rolling in dough.

My roommate's parents bought her a BMW and even paid for the gas. When I graduated my gift was a $2k 96 Toyota Corolla with 18k miles. :beer
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:53 pm

happymob wrote:I would go with 75% of 4 years over paying for the first 3. Backloading "scholarships" is also not a terrible idea (you get more as you demonstrate responsibility).


The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.

I vote for not attaching strings to tuition payments. For a number of reasons, I went to college at age 16, in the late 60s, a time of "free love" and other diversions. In my first semester, IIRC I got 2 C's and had to drop the rest of my courses. When it came time to pay the next semester's tuition, my father didn't scold me and he did not attach any strings. My father was a product of his times and upbringing; it was difficult for him to be verbal about his feelings. But, even as a callow youth, I understood that writing that check was an act of unconditional love and trust. I decided that I would never again disrespect my father and myself the way that I had the previous semester. I would up graduating with a 3.9 GPA and got into the graduate school of my choice.

Would I have reacted differently if my father had entered into a "contract" about his expectations, my demonstrated responsibility, and his financial support? There's no way of knowing, but for us, his way of doing it was something that formed a lifelong understanding of how deeply he loved me, even at a time when I hadn't behaved as well as I might have.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby serbeer » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:57 pm

I think this short article does very good job answering the OPs question:
http://www.fa-mag.com/news/skin-in-the- ... html?print
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby at ease » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:05 pm

....nothing....just earn any spending money.....my folks paid for mine by saving for it and telling me it was a requirement that i go, and finish in 4 years; i had to earn any spending money i wanted/needed.....it was nice not working long hours in college or finishing with debts....
...so, we did the same, paid all private school through 12th grade, and all undergrad by saving for it...when grad school came up, we tried to pay for it but son wanted to do it his way....so he did through loans....after graduation and 3 years of working and paying on his loans, we visited again about helping...he was ready to listen so we offered to pay off 2/3 of the remainging debt if he paid 1/3....he was ok with that and all loans were paid off recently; we were fortunate to have the income to help and we only had one to save for, as did my folks....the real issue for me is "debt", i don't care for it much and have tried to pass that concept on to my family....i have learned that freedom-from-debt is a nice feeling and allows one more options when life's hard times/decisions come up...just my way of looking at this.....
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:20 pm

Rodc wrote:Her much younger brothers we'll have to wait and see. But we are planning to be in a position (and we are close to there through savings earmarked for college) to provide the same deal to them: full tuition, room and board, and books to state U. If they want to go private or out of state they will need to cover the difference, preferably though earning scholarships.

I personally think having kids have some skin in the game is a good thing in principle, especially for kids with marginal dedication to their studies. But we can easily do more harm than good if they come out of school with massive debts if we have the means to reasonably pay for college.


IF you have the money to pay for college, let them get loans anyway, let them make the first 3-6 payments after they graduate, then pay the loans off for them.

They will appreciate you a LOT more that way than if you just pay for college as they go.

:)
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:46 pm

HomerJ wrote:IF you have the money to pay for college, let them get loans anyway, let them make the first 3-6 payments after they graduate, then pay the loans off for them. They will appreciate you a LOT more that way than if you just pay for college as they go.


Good luck to them finding student loans they can take out in their name if they don't have demonstrated need (Cost-EFC=Need).
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:59 pm

It constantly amazes me how many think a prospective student is able to "just take loans out in their name" when financial aid (loans) are based off the students resources including their parents income. A student today can get a loan in their name, but interest accrues from day one of the loan - is that what folks have in mind - to pay more almost double upon graduation in the name of purported sacrifice? :oops: Lenders are in it for one reason only - to make money and they don't care where they get it from, just that they get every cent owed to them.

I took out loans for grad school - my experience then was to pay an upfront 6% origination fee for the risk of underwriting a guaranteed federal loan :oops: . That's right, borrow $10K - the loan starts out at $10.6K I'm not sure if they still have that usurious practice today, but back then it sure felt like a rip-off.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:18 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:It constantly amazes me how many think a prospective student is able to "just take loans out in their name" when financial aid (loans) are based off the students resources including their parents income. A student today can get a loan in their name, but interest accrues from day one of the loan - is that what folks have in mind - to pay more almost double upon graduation in the name of purported sacrifice?


Also the limit (first year) on those unsubsidized federal loans that don't require a cosigner is $5500.
Compare that to the total annual cost of attendance at State U or private college.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby LuckBeALady » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:54 pm

Our son was not responsible in high school, skated through with a 3.2 and only took 2 AP classes in 4 years. However, he was accepted to some moderately elite small colleges due to a high SAT score and athletic talent. Our income is just high enough to qualify for absolutely no financial aid, but not high enough to write a 55k check every year for 4 years.

We gave him a choice: go to High Class U and shoulder 25% of the 220k pricetag for 4 years, or go to Branch of State U and we pay all 80k as long as he stays on the Dean's list. He chose to graduate debt-free.

He's in year 3, playing varsity basketball, and has a 3.8 so far. We couldn't be prouder. We have been able to provide a car as well. He works a few hours a week for his spending money.

If he had been putting forth any effort in high school, things may have been different. But it seems that his choice is working out very well for him. He's thinking of earning a dual graduate degree in law and political science, and I suspect we will continue to help him substantially for a few more years.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby jtundra » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:56 pm

We have one child only. She is three year old now. Our plan is to invest in her eduction as early as possible so she could get good schoolarship/fellowship for college and graduate school like how her mother did :happy. She is attending a very good private preschool now. Our backup plan is to pay for the fixed cost of her college and she has to earn some fun/travel funds herself.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Rodc » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:23 pm

jtundra wrote:We have one child only. She is three year old now. Our plan is to invest in her eduction as early as possible so she could get good schoolarship/fellowship for college and graduate school like how her mother did :happy. She is attending a very good private preschool now. Our backup plan is to pay for the fixed cost of her college and she has to earn some fun/travel funds herself.


I hope that works out. Odds are it won't because that requires two things at the same time: natural talent very near the top of the range, and dedication. It is a little like hoping your 3 year old makes the basketball team on a scholarship. You might hope to influence the dedication, but you kind of get the natural talent you get. I'm 5'8" and slow; no matter how dedicated I was never going to make the basketball team, for example. :) So this is more a hope than an plan. But you have a back up plan so all is good.

Studies show that for kids with collage educated parents, preschool does not help. It does help kids who come from families that are less well educated. Unless you have very good private schools and lousy public schools, and a talented hard working daughter, the money spent on private schools (if you are thinking of going that route) likely will not matter much in how well she develops; the money might be better saved to pay for grad school (or spent on fabulous educational vacations around the world). Unfortunately I have seen families spend a fortune on private school, only to find they have nice average kids that were no farther ahead than if they went to the decent local public schools.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:45 pm

jtundra wrote:We have one child only. She is three year old now. Our plan is to invest in her eduction as early as possible so she could get good schoolarship/fellowship for college and graduate school like how her mother did :happy. She is attending a very good private preschool now. Our backup plan is to pay for the fixed cost of her college and she has to earn some fun/travel funds herself.

In addition to Rodc's points, you will quite possibly have too many assets for a good scholarship. My son, regardless of his talents, will probably at mostget a $2500 National Merit Scholarship and nothing else.

I am a proponent of private school if you can afford it. However, sometimes I'm reminded of some of my kids' hockey teammates. Their families are desperately getting them the best equipment, lessons, etc, all of which can cost more than $10,000 a year, in the hopes that the kid will get a hockey scholarship. I love youth hockey, but if a scholarship is the motivation, perhaps you should invest the money and spend the time studying.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby LuckBeALady » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:00 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote: Their families are desperately getting them the best equipment, lessons, etc, all of which can cost more than $10,000 a year, in the hopes that the kid will get a hockey scholarship. I love youth hockey, but if a scholarship is the motivation, perhaps you should invest the money and spend the time studying.



Indeed. My son's basketball team contains many of the state's top AAU players and McDonald's All Stars. None of them have sports scholarships.

I shudder to think of the money spent on team fees, travel, hotels, equipment- for what amounts to a hobby.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby pennstater2005 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:10 pm

I worked 40 hours a week doing landscaping/excavating while going to college. It was tough but I got it done and sometimes I think it made me work and study harder. My parents couldn't afford to put me through school although they helped by buying books when able. I never once expected or even thought my parents would pay for my college. I do, however, plan on paying for at least some of my sons college. I hope to be able to do more for him than my parents could for me and I also hope someday he can do more for his kids(if he has any) than I may do for him.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby JStephens » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:04 pm

MnD wrote: I also wonder about students that haven't worked a day in their lives other than perhaps a few menial summer jobs. Entering the professional workforce must be quite a shock.

It wasn't that bad for me. The biggest thing was dealing with people twice your age on a social level more often, which I hadn't really experience before. I had a much cheaper education when I went to school (2004-2008) than most of your children. I believe it had ended up doubling from start to finish though.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Professor Emeritus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:38 pm

Ok I am a Professor Emeritus. I'm writing this post in a break from reading exams. I see it it from the faculty side and
have two daughters. One daughter is an attorney and the other will finish her Public health PhD
dissertation as soon as she stops cooing at our first grandchild. (the bris was a week ago) :-)
I won a competitive merit scholarship that paid my in state tuition. My parents paid for room and board, since they thought it was cheaper than feeding me at home.
I paid for everything else and worked all through school. I paid for law school entirely.
We paid for room board and books and they both had tuition scholarships as part of my job. Both were academic stars and captained their respective athletic teams.
My kids worked very very hard and were very grateful for the support we gave them. Both are married, employed, professionally qualified and well adjusted.

As a faculty member I've seen all kinds. We get the hardscrabble kids from the coal country
and the rich smart but lazy kids who could not get into the IVY league even as a legacy.
But we don't fool ourselves. What we work with is what the parents send us.
We teach them and sometimes, just sometimes inspire them. They all have potential and we endlessly hope they reach it.
But we all know that their real success largely depends on their parents.
Thank you all very much.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby lightheir » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:07 pm

stoptothink wrote:
lovenox11 wrote:
crowd79 wrote:None. I fully believe kids need to be taught financial responsibility at a young age, and should work and save while in their high school years and during summer breaks as well as paying your way thru college with part-time work. Studies show kids that pay their own way through school take their education more seriously (since it's their money and loans) and are more financially disciplined through life. They can also attend school in their own hometown for a yr or two (to get in their liberal studies credits in) after high school and live at home for "free" before transferring to another college. This is how I did it...


It's impossible to save up $100k to pay for college as a high school student. A lot of comments here come from people who went to college back in the day when a year at state school was $2k. Those days are long gone. Therefore there is not much motivation to work your butt of in high school to save up that 5-7k that will make absolutely no impact on the actual cost of education.


You are right, it is impossible for a high school kid to save $100k, that is why you bust your tail to set yourself up for scholarships and then work while in college as well. This topic has been discussed ad nauseum and it always gets heated. I graduated high school in '99, completed my PhD in '11; finished without any debt whatsoever and never received a penny from my single mother. Even though all of my undergrad was paid for (athletic scholarship), I worked as much as the NCAA limits allowed so that I had money to pay for grad school, then worked full-time through 6yrs of grad school. My step-sister, currently a freshman at Arizona State and on a partial track scholarship is doing the same thing; she works along with a full-time academic load and track. There is also the option of knocking all of your GEs out at a much cheaper community college. Having to factor in expenses when choosing your college path is a reality today, and is an experience that will pay dividends the rest of your life.

I am the 2nd of 7, 5 of us have graduated from college in the past decade (with a 6th just beginning), none of us received a penny from my mother and I am pretty certain we all finished with little or no debt. I fight back and forth in my own head about whether or not I will help my (future) kids with their college education costs, I will certainly be in a different financial situation than my mother was, but the idea that it is impossible for a kid to do it on their own these days does not factor into my internal argument. There are 5, going on 6, examples in my own family that show it is possible.


While I applaud your hard-working nature, I (and you) can say with fair certainty that a vanishingly few % of people will be able to achieve it, even amongst high performers. It's simply not realistic. Back in the day (which wasn't too long ago) I had academics and extracurriculars strong enough to be in the top percentage of college applicants even at the most elite universities, but they don't award money necessarily by that criteria. Yes, I could have gotten a full ride to a 'lesser' school, but at what cost?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby stoptothink » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:56 pm

LuckBeALady wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote: Their families are desperately getting them the best equipment, lessons, etc, all of which can cost more than $10,000 a year, in the hopes that the kid will get a hockey scholarship. I love youth hockey, but if a scholarship is the motivation, perhaps you should invest the money and spend the time studying.



Indeed. My son's basketball team contains many of the state's top AAU players and McDonald's All Stars. None of them have sports scholarships.

I shudder to think of the money spent on team fees, travel, hotels, equipment- for what amounts to a hobby.


I don't think there are any "McDonald's All-Stars" on your son's team. McDonald's All-Americans are the top-24 prep basketball players in the country, there isn't a single player in the history of the game which didn't receive dozens of athletic scholarship offers.

I worked for 4yrs at probably the most renowned athletic training facility in the country (Athletes Performance in Los Angeles) and I can not tell you how many parents would offer us insane sums of money to train their pre-pubescent children alongside the professional athletes which comprised our entire client base. Getting an athletic scholarship is 95% inherent athletic ability. If you want to give your kid a shot at earning an athletic scholarship, marry an athlete. In almost every respect my mother made horrible mating decisions, but she did give us a leg up in one respect as she had a thing for athletes. My sperm donor was a D1 football player who was also a multi-time cadet(wrestling) national champion and her current husband was a collegiate sprinter. 3 of us 5 (my blood siblings) got full athletic scholarships and my step-sister is currently on a partial track scholarship.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby epilnk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:25 am

Professor Emeritus wrote: But we don't fool ourselves. What we work with is what the parents send us.
We teach them and sometimes, just sometimes inspire them. They all have potential and we endlessly hope they reach it.
But we all know that their real success largely depends on their parents.

+1
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Jerilynn » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:13 am

livesoft wrote:Frankly, I paid for almost all my private college expenses by working and some grants. I expect my kids to do the same.



+1

Fortunately, both my offspring will get a full/partial scholarship. What ever else they need they can get just as Mr. Livesoft did.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby happymob » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:02 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
happymob wrote:I would go with 75% of 4 years over paying for the first 3. Backloading "scholarships" is also not a terrible idea (you get more as you demonstrate responsibility).


The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.

I vote for not attaching strings to tuition payments. For a number of reasons, I went to college at age 16, in the late 60s, a time of "free love" and other diversions. In my first semester, IIRC I got 2 C's and had to drop the rest of my courses. When it came time to pay the next semester's tuition, my father didn't scold me and he did not attach any strings. My father was a product of his times and upbringing; it was difficult for him to be verbal about his feelings. But, even as a callow youth, I understood that writing that check was an act of unconditional love and trust. I decided that I would never again disrespect my father and myself the way that I had the previous semester. I would up graduating with a 3.9 GPA and got into the graduate school of my choice.

Would I have reacted differently if my father had entered into a "contract" about his expectations, my demonstrated responsibility, and his financial support? There's no way of knowing, but for us, his way of doing it was something that formed a lifelong understanding of how deeply he loved me, even at a time when I hadn't behaved as well as I might have.

And that is the fundamental problem - different people react to the same set of incentives in very different ways. We can't expect 18-year-old high school graduate to be the same (even within the same household with the same upbringing).
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:32 am

happymob wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
happymob wrote:I would go with 75% of 4 years over paying for the first 3. Backloading "scholarships" is also not a terrible idea (you get more as you demonstrate responsibility).


The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.

I vote for not attaching strings to tuition payments. For a number of reasons, I went to college at age 16, in the late 60s, a time of "free love" and other diversions. In my first semester, IIRC I got 2 C's and had to drop the rest of my courses. When it came time to pay the next semester's tuition, my father didn't scold me and he did not attach any strings. My father was a product of his times and upbringing; it was difficult for him to be verbal about his feelings. But, even as a callow youth, I understood that writing that check was an act of unconditional love and trust. I decided that I would never again disrespect my father and myself the way that I had the previous semester. I would up graduating with a 3.9 GPA and got into the graduate school of my choice.

Would I have reacted differently if my father had entered into a "contract" about his expectations, my demonstrated responsibility, and his financial support? There's no way of knowing, but for us, his way of doing it was something that formed a lifelong understanding of how deeply he loved me, even at a time when I hadn't behaved as well as I might have.

And that is the fundamental problem - different people react to the same set of incentives in very different ways. We can't expect 18-year-old high school graduate to be the same (even within the same household with the same upbringing).


Heh, exactly... My first year at college, I discovered beer and women... Plus high school was ridiculously easy for me, so I wasn't prepared for how much studying I really needed to do at an engineering college. I came very close to flunking out...

My father didn't give me a check showing his unconditional love and trust... :) :) He got me a job at his chemical plant (he was the plant manager), working the assembly line, night-shift... I worked hard from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am, and I think I had Monday and Tuesday off, so I was working weekends too. Every cent I made I gave to him to pay for school... Zero parties that summer, can't even remember seeing any of my friends. He also made a simple contract with me.... "Flunk again, and you're on your own".

I got a 3.8 that next semester, and a 4.0 in the spring.

So tough love worked for me.... But different people (even siblings raised in the same environment) do react differently.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:47 am

My father worked in a sweatshop (yes, a real one!) where the weekly pay was determined by each piece you produced - a nickel per piece and we are not talking about the 30's here - the 80's. Think about that one. One summer he took me to work with him - it was hotter than hades in there, they had a fan that just blew the hot air around - men were working with their shirts off, the sweat dripping. That place offered zero benefits, people today take for granted what they have. I do not, I know the sacrifices my folks made for us kids - and I'm paying it forward.

Today, those sweatshops are no more, their homes have suddenly become hip and turned into loft apartments that sell for millions. Education is the way out, it always has been whether it was by the street or in an academic institution.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby MnD » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:02 am

With the system we used, I didn't have any expectations - it was up to her.
I committed to $25K/yr plus inflation raises. Using an estimate of $10K from from work and $5.5K she should could gotten in federal unsecured loans, that put a cap of ~$40K/yr plus the "wild card", merit aid offers from individual schools if any. She applied to 10 schools, was accepted to 8 and net costs ranged from zero to $60K. One of her top three favorites was under the $25K amount which meant no requirement to work and no debt/loans. At the end she also concluded she didn't want to go into debt for an undergrad degree so she went with that one.
She ended up working, so is banking and investing most of her work income and having fun with the difference.

She did not go to her top pick which was $58K net cost offer despite her best efforts on a lengthy separate application process for a merit aid scholarship from the school that she struck out on. Oh well - I think a lesson learned is that just because someone offers to sell you something that's "exclusive" at an enormous cost to you and your family doesn't mean that it's the best use of funds.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:15 am

Paying or not paying may have other side effects. Of course, the actual result is completely dependent on the individual.

My older brother was the only one of us who did not get a full ride from my father. When I last visited my father, he spoke of how he felt that working in college had lead to one of my brother's personality disorders, one that still persists 50 years later.

Oh, you want to know the disorder? An irrational hatred of rich people.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:19 am

A relative of mine got accepted to Cornell for electrical engineering. The only problem was Cornell would not give him any merit/grants and their cost would have litterally taken all the assets of his family. Instead, he joined Navy ROTC, got a free ride at another well-respected engineering school, put his 6 years in and is now working a respectable job.

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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:50 am

sscritic wrote:Oh, you want to know the disorder? An irrational hatred of rich people.


Heh, you sure that's irrational?

I too, hated the rich kids who had everything paid for by their parents... They didn't earn it themselves...

Just like today I hate CEOs who are rich even when they run their companies into the ground.

I have no problem with the guy who starts his own business and makes millions... The guys who come along later, and join the existing company? They don't really deserve the immense amounts of money they make.

My opinion of course... Probably irrational.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:48 am

While this thread is "how much do you expect your kids to pay for college?" there is some aspect of "how much are you willing to pay for your kid's college?" running through the thread. Which brings us to what are you buying?

If you say you want your child to go to your state school, which state are you talking about? If it is not California, Virginia, Michigan, or North Carolina, you are not getting one of the top public schools. Even if you have the right state, you need the right university within the right state. I know, rankings, smankings, but still, according to US News & World Report, you want your child at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia (Charlottesville), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), or University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

If you are willing to step up and pay for a private school, your choices are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and University of Chicago.

Even if your child is going to be a dropout, you want to pick a good school to drop out of. Here is a list of successful dropouts; of the six who are not in the entertainment industry, all went to top schools.
http://www.time.com/time/specials/packa ... 80,00.html

Harvard: Bill Gates, Buckminster Fuller, Mark Zuckerberg
Stanford: Tiger Woods
Reed*: Steve Jobs
University of Wisconsin, Madison: Frank Lloyd Wright

* While Reed is not ranked by US News & World report, it is well known as the number 1 school for Freaks and Geeks, with the emphasis on Freaks. And I say that even though my uncle was a professor there.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:58 am

The local state colleges by me cost $120K for 4 years - that's right, a state college costs $120K for a resident! :oops: My neighbors are sending their kids out of state for the same cost to public schools that have better reputations! That's what I'm aiming for. Short of winning the lottery or getting a big promotion (another lottery) - a state school it will be.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby HomerJ » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:20 am

sscritic wrote:While this thread is "how much do you expect your kids to pay for college?" there is some aspect of "how much are you willing to pay for your kid's college?" running through the thread. Which brings us to what are you buying?

If you say you want your child to go to your state school, which state are you talking about? If it is not California, Virginia, Michigan, or North Carolina, you are not getting one of the top public schools. Even if you have the right state, you need the right university within the right state. I know, rankings, smankings, but still, according to US News & World Report, you want your child at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia (Charlottesville), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), or University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

If you are willing to step up and pay for a private school, your choices are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and University of Chicago.


I don't believe schools matter much at all... My wife and I both graduated from public state schools that are not in your list of "top" public schools... We both are in the top 20% of the country in salary, and together, in the top 10% of households...

I place very little value on expensive "top-ranked" education. I got accepted to MIT, but no scholarship so couldn't afford to go... Went to a state engineering school... It's all about the person, not the school. I'm wealthier than 99% of all the people who have EVER lived on this planet, I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:23 am

As I was told earlier, it's all about the odds. I agree that it is mostly about the individual. In fact, it may be admission as much as attendance. You got into MIT; that was your marker. Oh, and don't forget your parents and the gene pool.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby sscritic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:28 am

HomerJ wrote: I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.

I always like to hear from people who love their work and get as far away from it as they can as soon as they have the chance. That may not be you (if you so choose), but doesn't the juxtaposition of "love" and "leave" make you sit up and take notice?

Hmm, I wonder if I could say that about my my ex-wife?
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby stoptothink » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:36 am

HomerJ wrote:
sscritic wrote:While this thread is "how much do you expect your kids to pay for college?" there is some aspect of "how much are you willing to pay for your kid's college?" running through the thread. Which brings us to what are you buying?

If you say you want your child to go to your state school, which state are you talking about? If it is not California, Virginia, Michigan, or North Carolina, you are not getting one of the top public schools. Even if you have the right state, you need the right university within the right state. I know, rankings, smankings, but still, according to US News & World Report, you want your child at UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia (Charlottesville), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), or University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

If you are willing to step up and pay for a private school, your choices are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and University of Chicago.


I don't believe schools matter much at all... My wife and I both graduated from public state schools that are not in your list of "top" public schools... We both are in the top 20% of the country in salary, and together, in the top 10% of households...

I place very little value on expensive "top-ranked" education. I got accepted to MIT, but no scholarship so couldn't afford to go... Went to a state engineering school... It's all about the person, not the school. I'm wealthier than 99% of all the people who have EVER lived on this planet, I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.


For undergrad, especially if you are going to go onto graduate school, I agree 100%. Even then, I was accepted into Cornell for grad school, but chose the public school which was considerably cheaper. In fact I met one of my current roomates at a Cornell orientation visit. We were from the same area so started chatting, both ended up choosing the local public over Cornell and became friends. I am still a young'in, so we'll see if my decision pays off long-term.
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Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

Postby jon-nyc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:04 pm

HomerJ wrote:I don't believe schools matter much at all... My wife and I both graduated from public state schools that are not in your list of "top" public schools... We both are in the top 20% of the country in salary, and together, in the top 10% of households...

I place very little value on expensive "top-ranked" education. I got accepted to MIT, but no scholarship so couldn't afford to go... Went to a state engineering school... It's all about the person, not the school. I'm wealthier than 99% of all the people who have EVER lived on this planet, I love my work, and I'm on track to retire early at 55 if I so choose.


My grandfather smoked 3 packs a day of Pall Mall straights and lived to be 102. WHo says smoking is dangerous?

Ok, forgive me for being flip, but as Bogleheads we should appreciate the difference between statistics and anecdotes.

(says Jon, who went to state school and is retiring this year at 44)
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