How did you/your child pay for college?

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sunnyday
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How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by sunnyday » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:48 am

I'm curious how many bogleheads and their children paid (or plan to pay) for their children's education. How much was your children's education? Did you apply for and receive financial aid? If so, how much did it cover? Did you set up a 529? Scholarships? Was there a gap and if so, how did you cover it?
Last edited by sunnyday on Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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in_reality
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by in_reality » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:16 am

I will pay 100% through graduate school via a 529, IRA if necessary, and will switch over bonds (in taxable) to not be reinvested for that time to generate a little cash while he's in school.

My child has autism (high functioning - hyperlexic actually and was reading in two languages at age three) and I really feel bad that his differences cause him to struggle socially so much. I can probably pick out the success of a single stock better than I can predict his future meaning I really really don't know what will happen but have to do my best to give him a chance in life.

awval999
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by awval999 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:23 am

I paid for college via student loans, scholarships, teaching assistant-ship, and grants. I ended with $118,000 of student loans (graduate and professional school). I would say the total cost of attendance for my post-secondary education was $200,000.

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Sheepdog
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:46 am

We paid our 2 sons way through college. No financial aid was available for either one. My wife and I planned from the day they were born that we would provide their education for whatever that would be. We never thought otherwise. Maybe that was our generation. We never discussed with our boys what they had to pay, but both earned money through the summers during middle school, high school and college which they could use for whatever they wished (personal expenses, entertainment, Christmas presents, dating, etc.). We did tell them that they were expected to earn money as much as they could every summer and not sit at home doing nothing. They never hesitated in doing so. Our second son obtained a co-op opportunity with a company after his university freshman year at which he would go to school a semester, work a semester, and so on until he received his degree in 5 years. He used whatever co-op employment money he had remaining after expenses (auto, food,apartment rental at the city of employment), which was not much, to assist with expenses.
They ended school with no debt....neither did we....but our retirement savings balance was not very high. After the second son's graduation, only 5 years before my retirement, is when our annual saving really ramped up. :!: We did well.
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interplanetjanet
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by interplanetjanet » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:32 am

I plan on arranging things so that my children will qualify for need-based financial aid (their other parent and I share custody, and he is in grad school with a very low income). That, plus a redirection of the child support payments I've been making that will end once they graduate high school, should cover things without a need for them to take out loans provided they maintain a reasonable GPA.

I've been very successful in life without a college degree, but I recognize that it may make things easier for them and that my own career and life track was unusual.

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JPH
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by JPH » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:37 am

In the 1960s and '70s I worked at a carwash, as a bartender, in parks maintenance. I also had grants, scholarships, teaching and research assistantships in grad school. Plus some help from my parents and small student loans. My kids went to a local university, lived at home, and worked. Both of them graduated with no debt.
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MathWizard
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by MathWizard » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:42 am

Me: 1/2 scholarship+ 1/2 need based aid + summer jobs for BS
Teaching & Research jobs + loan for PhD

Kids: (still in college) I pay 1/2 they get scholarships/loans and summer jobs
for the rest 1 freshman 1 senior

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Hexdump
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by Hexdump » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:13 am

On the day after he was born, (1983) we bought 10,000 of some bond and I don't remember which one.
At some point before he started college the bonds were called and the $$$ were put into a Texas 529 fund which funded most of his undergrad degree.
The rest of his undergrad and grad degrees were via student loans (40,000) which he is now paying back.
He was fortunate in that one of his profs offered him a job right out of school which got him off of my payroll. :D

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leonidas
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by leonidas » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:19 am

For my kids, Army ROTC - well eventually..they are only 13 and 6 but I already told them that college is on them. As for me, I worked part time and went to SUNY Binghamton which at the time was dirt cheap since it was a state school.
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pennstater2005
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:21 am

I worked a full time job while going to college. I took out student loans, got some scholarships, and paid for some with cash because I worked full time as well. I hope to pay for some of my kids college.
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songman52
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by songman52 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:53 am

Myself, I worked part-time and received help from the VA under the War Orphans Act. I went to a state school which was relatively inexpensive at that time. I went straight into a Master's program since the VA support for part-time enrollment was almost equal to my take-home salary as a young teacher, plus the school district I was in then paid extra for advanced degrees.
My own children were eligible for Pell grants and some state grants, plus they work/worked part-time. See, sometimes a teacher's salary has unexpected benefits, being that your children might be eligible for need-based aid! :)

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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by canga » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:23 am

My undergrad was paid for by a combination of parents, part time job, scholarships, and student loans. My graduate degree was paid half by employer and half through cash flow by full time employment. No children yet but I think I would encourage them to go to a state school for undergrad unless the university would have a specific program they could not find elsewhere.

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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:17 am

Received an athletic scholarship for undergrad. Saved portions of my housing stipend during undergrad, went a long way towards paying for my MS while the difference was paid for by working. PhD, research grants and 3yrs of indentured servitude. Very proud to say I completed almost 10yrs of college education without having taken out a penny in loans.

Not a popular statement here, but I have no intentions whatsoever of helping out my (future) children with college expenses. At the very least it is well down my list of financial priorities. We (my fiancee and I) have a little set aside in a 529 for my 2yr old soon-to-be stepdaughter, but we slowed down contributions to increase retirement savings.

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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by tacster » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:23 am

I paid for my own college education with a combination of veteran's benefits, part time jobs, grants, loans, and a co-op (final two years). Nothing from parents. It worked out fine.
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Ged
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by Ged » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:40 am

My parents paid for my undergraduate college education. I helped out some with summer jobs and by living at home the first couple of years. For graduate school I had full boat fellowships.

For my children - my oldest son was mostly free because he attended the same school where my wife was a faculty member.

My younger son was paid for by us through graduate school.

scrabbler1
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by scrabbler1 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:42 am

My total college bills (tuition, room and board at the dorm) were covered 1/3 by college financial aid, 1/3 from my parents, and 1/3 by me. Of the 1/3 paid for by me, about 57% was covered by student loans and the rest by my personal savings and earnings from various odd jobs in the summer and during the school year. Those earnings also covered other expenses such as books and off-the-meal-plan food and entertainment and travel expenses. My grandmother, who passed away a few months before I began college in 1981, had been putting some money away for me and her 3 other grandsons so the account in trust for me became mine.

I actually ended with a decent amount remaining in an old custodian account (I nearly forgot about it) after I graduated and began working which I used to pay down about 60% of the outstanding high-interest student loan before the 6-month free grace period expired, lowering my monthly payment considerably and enabling me to pay off the rest of it 18 months later.
Last edited by scrabbler1 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

12thman
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Re: How did you/you child pay for college?

Post by 12thman » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:47 am

I make barely enough to fully fund my wife's and my Roths, so I am not saving for my kids college fund. When the time comes I will try and help them to an extent with college but I will expect them to pay for a majority college on their own. I think that my kids will study harder and have more motivation to do well if they are the ones getting stuck with the tuition bill. I was also considering letting them struggle through college and then paying off a majority of their debt.

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frugaltype
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by frugaltype » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:35 pm

Copied from what I posted in another thread - and I will add that education was very valued in my family. Each generation since immigration had more education. Perhaps that was why back then tossing kids out on the street in terms of education was never even considered.

My parents, along with scholarship money, paid my way through undergrad school. Trying to roll my mind back to what things cost then, I probably pulled in 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost via the merit-based scholarships. The idea was I was to study as hard as I could, which pretty much took all of my time. I don't think I could have gotten anywhere near as good grades if I'd "lost" 10-20 hours a week to a job. Grad school was paid through fellowships.

I've been kind of surprised to see other threads here where parents say their kids are on their own for college costs. No one in my middle class environment did that back then.

stan1
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:32 pm

I was fortunate enough to graduate from one of the nation's best engineering schools back when in state fee was $640/semester and room/board was about $3500/year (1985-1989). I earned about $2000 per year by working during Christmas and summer breaks. I lived in a rent controlled apartment for 1 year (2 bedroom, $450/month rent split between 3 people). I am grateful I had this opportunity for a world class education at an affordable cost -- and unfortunately it no longer exists as fee/tuition is now $6400/semester and room/board in the dorms is closer to $14K/year.

Skiffy
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Skiffy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:54 pm

We paid for the kid's college (in-state tuition) by paying off our mortgage early, and then the house payment became our college savings. They had to work and pay for spending $$, gas for their cars, entertainment etc. R & B in the dorms cost more than our mortgage payment, and this was several years ago. I think costs have gone thru the roof since then.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by tylerdurden » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:28 pm

My undergrad was paid with academic scholarships and by my parents. We had some student loans since my parents were at a relatively low income at the time, but they also paid those off and I was very fortunate that I started my career with 0 debt. Of course, in my family, college was a requirement. :)
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thewizzer
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by thewizzer » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:45 pm

Army National Guard paid for tuition. Scholarship my freshman year paid for free room in the dorms (I had to pick up the 'board' portion of room and board). Became a Resident Assistant the following years in order to get room and board covered in the dorms. Made it out with my bachelors degree and about 3k worth of student loans, which I paid off in the first 6 months of employment.

My guard unit got deployed to Iraq about 6 months after my enlistment was up. I considered it lucky timing on my part.

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OAG
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by OAG » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:33 pm

This going to be a bit unorthodox.

I was smarter than everyone I knew at the time and dropped out of HS in the first month of 9th grade in 1957. Fortunately I was able to enlist in the Army at 17 (1958). Was able to get a GED at 19 and started working at college studies. Long story short and after the Army rewarded me with a Warrant Officer appointment in the RVN and some more "night" schooling I finally at 35 years of age graduated with a BS in Business (BBA).

However my 4 kids did a lot better and a lot earlier: 1 son went to USNA and is a retiree (CPT 06) after 30 years of service, 2 daughters graduated from UVA Nursing School, one is a Nurse Practitioner, other son UNF (University of North Florida) and is now a CPA. We all graduated with $0 debt.
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nisiprius
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:42 pm

We saved money, and paid for our kids' tuition. 529 plans did not exist yet, we just saved. By the time the kids were seniors, we thought we had about 2/3 of what they needed for a private school and we figured we could swing the rest somehow. As it happened, one of them went to a first-rate state university in another state, and what we'd saved just about covered out-of-state tuition; the other went to State U and had enough college money left over to buy a car. Since it was an UGMA account we felt the money belonged to the kid and actually it was a sensible car.

I am still ticked off at the unreasonable pressure the school put us through to apply for aid. No, we are not rich, but common sense said we could afford to do it and would not be likely to receive outright aid. And everyone at the school was like "O no, you don't know that, you HAVE to apply." We went to a sleazy session given by some kind of sleazy advisor on dishonest ways to hide assets ("In the next part of the talk, we will show you how to make your house disappear.") We struggled through the miserable FAF and the miserable FAFSA and it came back EXACTLY as common sense suggested: they thought our "expected family contribution" was about $40,000 per kid, in years when college costs were less than that. If we'd had six or seven kids, then, sure, yes, we could have gotten some aid. I am still steamed about that.

Several years out of college each of our kids, independently, came to us and said they had seen their friends struggling to pay college loans and suddenly appreciated how helpful it was to have been able to graduate from college without debt. I think it's a nice thing to do for your kids if you can, in fact, afford it.
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likegarden
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by likegarden » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:17 pm

We are retired now, but in my and my wife's family every kid went to college. My 10 year old grandson understands that he also will go to college and his family will pay for it. My parents-in-law paid all (State school) college expenses for their 3 kids. I got my college education (MSME equivalent) plus a monthly allowance paid for by a central European country, except for a $3k student loan. My wife had no educational debt.

In respect to our son we did not get financial aid, paid everything from savings and a $50k inheritance. To make it easier for us financially he went his first two years to an engineering science program at a local community college, then the next 3 years to an engineering program at a local private college. He now has a BSME, never needed to go into student loans.

It looks like universities jacked up the price of education with the understanding, that for most families it can only be paid via student loans.
Last edited by likegarden on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by livesoft » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:19 pm

My parents said they would only provide room & board for me when I went to college. Little did I know that they meant exactly that. I had to pay for bus fare to college and had to beg my mom to drive me to the bus station. My dad wanted me to take a taxi. I only had just enough money from the destination bus station for a taxi to the dorm. Needless to say, I didn't go home very much because it cost too much money. I stayed over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Did you know they turn the heat off in the dorms over Christmas since no one is supposed to be there?

I paid for college by working full-time in high school and half-time while taking classes. I also worked full-time in the summers and took some courses during the summer. I was able to "skip" freshman year because of AP credits. I had a small loan the first semester, got some "dean's scholarships" for good grades. I bought used books and sold them when I was done with them. I ate ramen noodles and chicken pot pies on the weekends. I ate expired snacks thrown out by the vending machine guys. I graduated in 3 years, so I saved an entire year's tuition, books, fees, etc.

For my kids, we just lived below our means, saved half our income since forever, and had kids late in life. Now we just pay for college monthly online. We saved a little bit in 529 plans, but those plans never did make any money. Kids will graduate with no debt without ever having "skin in the game".
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bertie wooster
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by bertie wooster » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:35 pm

livesoft wrote:My parents said they would only provide room & board for me when I went to college. Little did I know that they meant exactly that. I had to pay for bus fare to college and had to beg my mom to drive me to the bus station. My dad wanted me to take a taxi. I only had just enough money from the destination bus station for a taxi to the dorm. Needless to say, I didn't go home very much because it cost too much money. I stayed over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Did you know they turn the heat off in the dorms over Christmas since no one is supposed to be there?
Wow. Just wow. Did your parents like you?

Sam I Am
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Sam I Am » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:47 pm

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:20 pm

1 - Small inheritance; parents helped as they could second year; merit scholarship; need-based grant; work-study; grader pay; other earnings; borrowed thousands.

2 - Research assistant pay; departmental support - including paying itself a late fee when it missed a deadline; other earnings; borrowed thousands.

[Paid everything off.]

3 - Small inheritance; fellowship; instructor pay; other earnings; departmental support; drew from investments.

PJW

CarlZ993
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by CarlZ993 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:31 pm

Me = GI Bill, some savings of my Army pay, & part-time work. No debt but no money left either after getting my degree.

Step-sons = No college paid by me or their mother. They both screwed around in HS so much that college wasn't a viable option for them. They went into the Army right out of HS. Eventually, they attended school on their own dime (& Uncle Sam's) but neither completed their degree.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by lindisfarne » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:22 pm

I worked 30 hours/week when classes were in session, more during short holidays, & 60-70 hours/week in the summers. I got financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, work study). My parents did not contribute (they couldn't really afford to; I probably saved a few hundred annually by stopping by my grandparents' pantry. It just wasn't part of our family culture to expect parents to pay, although education was solidly supported. I always knew I should go to college, but that I needed to get scholarships & work to do that. I came from a family that cultivated a solid work ethic.). Graduated in 4 years. I did have to forgo participating in some activities, given my work schedule, but since I knew my schedule was full, I generally used my time wisely. My debt was equivalent to today's average student's loans, but at 8% & 8.25% interest (that was the government subsidized rate, plus 3-4% origination fee; compare that to today's 3.4% subsidized rate plus 1% origination fee). I paid them off in 3 years by living without a car and sharing housing with 4-6 others at a time. Graduate school was fully funded; stipends small but do-able - the private undergrad education was really instrumental in making me competitive.

For state schools: many states have dramatically decreased the percent of the cost of education that is subsidized. If you went to a state school, think about what minimum wage was when you were there, and how many hours a person would have had to work to cover tuition/fees (not dorm/food). Then, look at what tuition is now & what minimum wage is in the area, and calculate how many hours a person now has to work to cover tuition/fees. In many cases, the number of hours needed is much much higher now, compared to just 20 years ago.
Last edited by lindisfarne on Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

stan1
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:37 pm

It would be more interesting if people specified a year (or at least a decade) in your post.

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Steelersfan
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Steelersfan » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:32 am

Parents paid (with some modest scholarship help) for undergrad. Graduate school for one of us totally paid by government fellowship (no longer available).

We paid for tuition and room and board for our kid's undergraduate school. They paid for graduate school, with their own financial resources and student loans that they are still paying off.

Grand-kids (who are years away from college) will benefit from 529 plan contributions from parents and grandparents. Don't know yet if that will fully cover their total college expenses.

I hope so.

We're a lucky family.

Grandparents in the 1960's. Kids in the 1990's. Grand-kids in the 2020's.

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frugaltype
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by frugaltype » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:59 am

bertie wooster wrote:
livesoft wrote:My parents said they would only provide room & board for me when I went to college. Little did I know that they meant exactly that. I had to pay for bus fare to college and had to beg my mom to drive me to the bus station. My dad wanted me to take a taxi. I only had just enough money from the destination bus station for a taxi to the dorm. Needless to say, I didn't go home very much because it cost too much money. I stayed over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Did you know they turn the heat off in the dorms over Christmas since no one is supposed to be there?
Wow. Just wow. Did your parents like you?
i am really beginning to think, reading this thread and a similar one, that some parents don't like their kids. Or something else unknown to me is going on.

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interplanetjanet
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by interplanetjanet » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:28 am

frugaltype wrote:i am really beginning to think, reading this thread and a similar one, that some parents don't like their kids. Or something else unknown to me is going on.
I'd think that would be pretty obvious, just reading the news - a lot of parents see children as a burden at best. I left home when I was 18 and never looked back, it sounds like livesoft probably took a similar path. I don't really expect to hear from my family again.

One positive thing that comes out of it is that children in that kind of situation are motivated to get self-reliant, as they know that the only person they can really depend on to be there is themself. I am trying not to pass on the same sort of message to my own children, though.
Last edited by interplanetjanet on Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Carl53
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Carl53 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:28 am

frugaltype wrote: i am really beginning to think, reading this thread and a similar one, that some parents don't like their kids. Or something else unknown to me is going on.
I don't think that's the case at all, just a different time. The fact that kids had an opportunity to go at all to college has evolved to an all expenses paid good time for some. I think it depends on the kid and at least in our case it is sometimes difficult to decide the best course of action.

While I had a grandfather willing to pay for my college (early 70s), I remember seeing those figures come in for a top engineering school. In my mind, it was a fortune and I could not burden him with that. That said he paid for my first quarter at the local school. In my mind I paid him back by hard labor and hundreds of dollars of supplies that I purchased for a major improvement to his property. The rest of it was paid for by working at the local grocery. HS and freshman years I probably averaged 25-30 hours/week. By my senior year (5 1/2 yrs after I first started), I was only working 8 hours/week as my hourly pay had more than tripled and I was putting a lot of time into school. I lived and ate at home, dated and went out little, no time for that and my parents picked up my car insurance which I did not appreciate at the time. I had 2 vehicles much of the time that I purchased with my earnings, including one brand new one. I considered myself to be most fortunate after hearing a multitude of recollections of life during the Depression.

After I married, my spouse went back to college. Three years of undergrad and a masters degree later it only cost us for the gas, one new higher gas mileage car for the 60 mile trip to school as she was adept at getting several little scholarships that paid everything. Also due to her GPA she was allowed to take the first quarter of the masters program and double count it towards her last undergrad classes while working for a professor getting the tuition covered. Oh it also cost the lost salary too, which I originally was a little miffed about.

One child went to college on the seven year plan. Initially on a full scholarship, then with minimal help after that as they chose to party rather than study. Eventually the child finished strong, but with 40k debt after seeing that their friends were all getting good jobs and moving on with their lives. The other child was primarily underwritten by us through undergrad and finished with no debt for which we are often thanked for. This child had extensive AP credits and seemed to learn from the older one as to the value of being dedicated to their studies.
Last edited by Carl53 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by DaleMaley » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:42 am

I worked summer's at my uncle's plumbing shop to pay my way through college. Back in the late 1970s, I could earn enough in one summer to pay for the upcoming year of college........but by my senior year..college costs were rising so fast, I just barely made enough to cover my senior year.

While in college, I saw many kids party and flunk out, while their parents picked up the full tab. I decided my 2 kids would pay 1/2 of their college through Stafford unsubsidized loans, so they would have some skin in the game. I opened Uniform Gift to Minors accounts and invested in Vanguards S&P 500 index fund. They have both now graduated and are paying back their student loans. It worked out that I paid about 1/2 and they paid about 1/2.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by stoptothink » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:40 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
frugaltype wrote:i am really beginning to think, reading this thread and a similar one, that some parents don't like their kids. Or something else unknown to me is going on.
I'd think that would be pretty obvious, just reading the news - a lot of parents see children as a burden at best. I left home when I was 18 and never looked back, it sounds like livesoft probably took a similar path. I don't really expect to hear from my family again.

One positive thing that comes out of it is that children in that kind of situation are motivated to get self-reliant, as they know that the only person they can really depend on to be there is themself. I am trying not to pass on the same sort of message to my own children, though.
Because they only paid his room and board? That is a whole lot more than my mother was able to contribute. She has devoted her entire life to her 5 birth and 2 step children, because she was not able to financially contribute to their college education says nothing. For most parents it is a major struggle to help at all with college expenses (these responses are not the norm, Bogleheads are not the norm), it doesn't mean you hate your children.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:06 am

My wife and I paid our way through college and a couple of graduate degrees with scholarships and working. Our kids are doing the same but they have the advantage of living at home. We don't hate our kids or consider them a burden. We do expect them to act like adults and to be responsible for themselves whatever they are doing. They all have money saved for college but would rather continue working than spend their savings.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by EternalOptimist » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:09 am

We paid for my daughter's private college (~$35,000/year), she paid for grad school (had a small scholarship). We felt comfortable with that.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Tortoise » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:02 pm

I had old GI Bill after 4 years in US Air Force. Lived with parents while attending junior college for 2 years and then state U for 2 years to earn BSME. I worked in tutorial centers to earn spending money. This was in early 80's. Career job then paid for MSME from local state U attending evening classes. I incurred no debts from college.

Wife had merit scholarship to Boston U for lower division, and then attended state U to get BS Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (dual degrees). She then got master's degree through work, the same as I did. She had around $15k debt after her bachelor's degrees. We paid those off right after we were married.

We have $170k saved in 529s for our son. This should be enough to get him through 4 years at state U. We have additional funds in i-bonds if necessary. I-bonds will probably be used for graduate school. He will be expected to help with grad school costs.

I was thankful to have no debt when I started my career. We want the same for our son.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Malkielino » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:29 pm

I lived in a fraternity... cheapest room & board by far.. parents helped me in the first year, after that very little help from my parents. I worked 10-20 hours a week and all summer. In the end I felt my college experience wasn't so great... although I got a full fellowship to grad school based on grades, undergrad research, GREs, etc. I was very focused and wished I had had more time to take a broader range of classes and get more involved in the intellectual activity outside the classroom.

If I had lived at home, I could have done so. By living in the fraternity, I did have more of a social life, but far from `Animal House' debauchery.

We paid most of our older daughter's tuition & expenses, she graduated in 2006. The exception was one year where she lived with her boyfriend, when we didn't pay expenses.

We have saved a lot in 529's for our younger daughter, who might enroll in 2016. About $200K. But she is now if a successful ballet dancer, at age 15, in a professional company already. Obviously not a financial masterstroke. I rue (a little) the 529, but my view is that eventually she can go back to college and use those funds, if ballet performance doesn't work out. Or the funds can pass to the next generation, if there ever is one.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by leo383 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:10 pm

DaleMaley wrote:I worked summer's at my uncle's plumbing shop to pay my way through college. Back in the late 1970s, I could earn enough in one summer to pay for the upcoming year of college........but by my senior year..college costs were rising so fast, I just barely made enough to cover my senior year.
It amazes me that an entire generation was able to do this fairly easily.

By the time I was in college in the 80s, just a few kids I knew who had great summer jobs could come close to paying for the tuition for the year.

My dad put himself through Duke in the late 50s-early 60s with money he made working in the summers. Impossible these days.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:14 pm

leo383 wrote:It amazes me that an entire generation was able to do this fairly easily.

By the time I was in college in the 80s, just a few kids I knew who had great summer jobs could come close to paying for the tuition for the year.
I was in college in the early 1980s. I went to a private university that was not inexpensive. My summer job after my college freshman year was minimum wage performing enemas, pre-op shaving, cleaning up the fresh dead, and other duties of a nurse's aide. I'll let you decide if that was a great job.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by rec7 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:14 pm

leo383 wrote:
DaleMaley wrote:I worked summer's at my uncle's plumbing shop to pay my way through college. Back in the late 1970s, I could earn enough in one summer to pay for the upcoming year of college........but by my senior year..college costs were rising so fast, I just barely made enough to cover my senior year.
It amazes me that an entire generation was able to do this fairly easily.

By the time I was in college in the 80s, just a few kids I knew who had great summer jobs could come close to paying for the tuition for the year.

My dad put himself through Duke in the late 50s-early 60s with money he made working in the summers. Impossible these days.
Around here a kid is lucky to be able to afford a community college with summer money. That is a long way from Duke.

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Retread » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:04 pm

Back when the Ivy League was affordable, I spent seven years in two Ivy League universities graduating with a degree in finance in 1960 and a law degree in 1963 and the total tab including everything was $30,000 paid by my father. In turn, I paid for my son's two degrees in the 1990's at a total cost of about $100,000. From what I read in my alumni publications, my education would easily cost in excess of half a million today.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by Tycoon » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:42 pm

I commuted to college for my undergrad degree so room and board were free (for me at least). My parents paid tuition and I paid for books, transportation, beer, and everything else. I worked 20 to 40 hours a week and on a good week brought home a little over 200 dollars. My employer paid for my graduate degree.

As for my children, we'll pay for their undergrad degrees no matter the cost as long as they major in something marketable.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by jackpistachio » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:03 pm

Myself Undergrad: Full ride academic + Pell grants + research assistant + less expensive private university. Continued in school through summers. No debt.
Myself Grad: Stipend + research. Everything was paid for.
Wife: Worked at university - most tuition was paid for. Small student loan from before consolidated a few years after our marriage. That was 9 years ago. Final payment in 8 months. Could have paid off at anytime, but its at 1.25%.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by hq38sq43 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:23 pm

For me, scholarship, loans, and part-time work for college; full time work and evening classes for law school (Chief Justice Warren Burger did it, why not me?). For DW, support from parents for first two college years, then from me through college and grad school. For son, savings from paper route, living at home, and tuition paid by parents. For daughter, part-time work and help from parents for college; for grad school, work and loans. Not easy, but we did it.

Best wishes,
Harry at Bradenton

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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by hq38sq43 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:29 pm

For me, scholarship, loans, and part-time work for college; full time work and evening classes for law school (Chief Justice Warren Burger did it, why not me?). For DW, support from parents for first two college years, then from me through college and grad school. For son, savings from paper route, living at home, and tuition paid by parents for college. For daughter, part-time work and support from parents for college; work and loans for grad school. Not easy, but we did it.

Best wishes,
Harry at Bradenton

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