How did you/your child pay for college?

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

Post by DaleMaley » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:17 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.
My entire 4 years at U of Illinois was $10,000. The summer before my senior year I think I made $7 per hour. 3 months x 4 weeks x 40 hrs = 480 hrs. So 480 hrs x $7/hr = $3360. The $10K averaged over 4 years was $2500 per year..........but my senior year was probably closer to $3K with the way prices were increasing.
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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 8:19 pm

stoptothink wrote:
interplanetjanet wrote: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.
She sounds like a lovely woman. However, I was drawing parallels with my post, not conclusions - you are arguing a point I have not raised.

I have no doubt in my mind that some parents see their children as a burden at best and deal with them as an obligation to be discharged. I am speaking only to my personal experience and the experience of a number of good friends of mine. I do not draw a bright line between an ability and willingness to contribute to college and caring - but a seeming desire to "get rid" of the children in a way that makes it unlikely for them to be a part of the parents' life in the future is probably a symptom.

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

Post by lindisfarne » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:48 pm

Retread wrote: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.
Bruce
$30,000 was a lot of money in the early 1960s. My parents paid less than half of that for a house in a major metropolitan area at that time. Most people in the early 1960s didn't consider $30,000 affordable.

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

Post by siamond » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:43 pm

We moved to the US 15 years ago, so no US college experience for me or my wife. We come from a country where education is very cheap.

We cannot stand the idea of drowning our kids in debt before they even enter working life. So our 3 boys will have their college fees fully covered for 4 years (masters -if any- will be up to them though). Two of them attend college right now, one got a nice merit scholarship, this helps, the other has sky high tuition fees, this hurts. I do ask that they help as they can, working in the summer, avoiding expensive meal plans, delaying getting a car & insurance, etc. They get it, if only because they know their little brother is next. This is all funded by 529 plans we opened 10 years ago, which consumed a good chunk of my stock options.

This is definitely hurting our plans of early retirement, but well, we can afford it, we have no idea what life will bring to them, so we want them up to a good start, debt free. I don't necessarily plan to be that generous for their inheritance though, here the priority will be for us to enjoy our 'golden' years.

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

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:05 pm

I attended a local senior CUNY - one of the most inexpensive colleges then and still today, a bargain at about $6K per year. The downside is it's a commuter school only - no dorms to be had at all, and local apartments are prohibitively expensive at a rate of at least twice what a dorm might run you. I used a combination of state grants, parents helped, and I worked part-time during school and full time during summers. I don't regret that, coming out of school with no debt was helpful.

Grad school was paid by loans and working. No company paid ride there.

I started a 529 plan a month after my child was born. I don't want my children to have to be burdened with debt if I can avoid it. Given the new economic landscape which I hope will improve over time, these kids today have "plenty of skin" in the game.

The collegiate system has become one big money grab and it's a shame it had to get to this level. (btw, my alma mater called me earlier today asking for a donation, after having just taken out a $60 million dollar loan for a new dormitory :greedy :oops: ).
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mitchapalooza
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by mitchapalooza » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:42 pm

I joined the military for the GI Bill. After the military, I was also able to qualify for "independent student" status that provided more "need-based" financial aid. I basically used financial aid (grants and subsidized Federal loans) for tuition/fees and the GI Bill for housing and living expenses. I also worked several part time and full time jobs and internships throughout for additional living expenses. I attended community college for one year and a good state school the remaining three years, which also helped keep costs down a little. I had no family assistance.

For my children, I plan to pay full tuition/room & board for four years at a state school, primarily with 529 accounts. However, they will be required to have summer jobs and internships throughout, starting in high school, to provide their own spending money. I have also considered having them cover some part of their tuition, etc. just so they have some skin in the game but I have a few years to work that out. It's important to me to provide them with an undergraduate college education but I hope I can do it and still foster motivation/drive to work hard. Admittedly, I'm a little concerned about finding that balance.

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

Post by Ketawa » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:48 pm

I paid for my undergraduate degree with a five year commitment to do whatever and live wherever the Coast Guard told me. Then, I paid for my graduate degree by promising them four more years of my life.

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

Post by MnD » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:12 pm

I'm 4th generation of parents providing for undergraduate college.
"The rule" since the early 1900's is that you move out after high school. If you go away to college some distance away, parents will provide for college as needed, otherwise you are out and on your own financially. The idea is a bit of 'carrot and stick" to encourage higher education and to expand kids horizons, independence and confidence beyond their home and home-town colleges.
Worked out pretty well - Among my direct descendants, siblings and my kids we haven't had a "failure to launch" yet. :mrgreen:

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

Post by Tom_T » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:02 pm

I will pay for most of it. In 1980, my part-time job covered a good part of my tuition. In 2013, that's impossible. I can demand that the kids chip in any way they can, but I can't demand that they pay the whole freight, because they can't.

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

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:00 pm

I did my undergrad and graduate school programs in the 1980s. My undergrad university was a very well respected public university. My freight was paid through scholarships, grants, loans, my income from working summers and during semesters and a little help from family.

My graduate degree, from a private university, was paid in part by my employer and the other half, by me.

I did not graduate from either program with any substantive amount of debt.

Life was good then. I am not sure what has driven the price of education at a rate higher than inflation, but I can speculate.

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

Post by kidsgone » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:23 pm

My college costs were $1100/yr room/board/tuition, Midwest private school, in the late 60's. Spouse spent 9 months at a Voc Tech school for a LV Nursing certificate, lived at home, attended back in the 70's when tuition was free for those < 21; when married and a few years later went to the local college for an RN degree, 2 yr school but got 1/2 waived and/or tested out due to work experience, cost was $1400 for the 12 month schooling. Son went to a military college in the 90's at no cost to us or to him except for the > 5 yr work commitment; he paid for his own grad school, at the top rated business school, ~$60k/yr in the 90's. Daughter went to a state school, late 90's, we paid RBT costs of $6000/yr.

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

Post by blevine » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:57 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I attended a local senior CUNY - one of the most inexpensive colleges then and still today, a bargain at about $6K per year. The downside is it's a commuter school only - no dorms to be had at all, and local apartments are prohibitively expensive at a rate of at least twice what a dorm might run you. I used a combination of state grants, parents helped, and I worked part-time during school and full time during summers. I don't regret that, coming out of school with no debt was helpful.

Grad school was paid by loans and working. No company paid ride there.

I started a 529 plan a month after my child was born. I don't want my children to have to be burdened with debt if I can avoid it. Given the new economic landscape which I hope will improve over time, these kids today have "plenty of skin" in the game.

The collegiate system has become one big money grab and it's a shame it had to get to this level. (btw, my alma mater called me earlier today asking for a donation, after having just taken out a $60 million dollar loan for a new dormitory :greedy :oops: ).
Which CUNY is spending $60M on a new dorm. My son is applying to CUNY schools amongst others.

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

Post by SSN688 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:09 pm

In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.

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

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:29 pm

My father did not graduate HS. The thought of paying for his kids to go to college never crossed his mind. That, and they didn't have any money to do it.

My wife was one of 10 kids raised on a farm. Seven went to college. Do you think her parents could afford any of them? No.

It is crazy for me to think about paying 100% of my kids' education. Really? Where is the sense of hard work? Is it just completely entitlement?

We will significantly contribute to our sons' education. But 100%? Not a chance. They will have to earn it.

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

Post by AustenNut » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:10 pm

I went to an out-of-state public school from 1998-2002. Cost for tuition, room & board was about $17k/year. I had merit scholarships that paid about half and parents paid for the other half, though they were willing to pay all costs regardless of financial aid, but for undergrad only. First graduate school was a full-ride, the second one I paid for out-of-pocket. My spouse paid for his postsecondary education through the military, loans, and out-of-pocket costs.

If we have children we plan to cover the amount for an in-state public university (as our financial circumstances are far different from those of my parents). Anything more than that they will need to get via scholarships or loans.

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

Post by lightheir » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:26 pm

SSN688 wrote:In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.
Did you have to pay the eqwuivalent of $25k in today's dollars per year to cover college? Closer to $40k including room and board?

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

Post by steve roy » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:59 pm

We paid for the kids' education, but it was community colleges and then state universities. No loans. Older son dropped out and went to work. He's doing fine but I wasn't happy with his decision about departing college. For some reason he's not concerned with my unhappiness, says it's his life and he will do what he wants with it.

The nerve.

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

Post by SSN688 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:36 am

lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.
Did you have to pay the eqwuivalent of $25k in today's dollars per year to cover college? Closer to $40k including room and board?
No. I went to a less expensive state university as undergrad - the education is as good as you make it. For grad school, I attended a larger university with the scholarships, and a contract in a dissertation area of specific interest to the military. Lived like a pauper for 12 years including a couple years in a converted chicken coup. You don't have to go to MIT or Stanford as an undergrad with a sense of entitlement. It can be done, as described by others in this thread.

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

Post by lightheir » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:15 pm

SSN688 wrote:
lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.
Did you have to pay the eqwuivalent of $25k in today's dollars per year to cover college? Closer to $40k including room and board?
No. I went to a less expensive state university as undergrad - the education is as good as you make it. For grad school, I attended a larger university with the scholarships, and a contract in a dissertation area of specific interest to the military. Lived like a pauper for 12 years including a couple years in a converted chicken coup. You don't have to go to MIT or Stanford as an undergrad with a sense of entitlement. It can be done, as described by others in this thread.
Doable, but I suspect you'd find it multiple fold more difficult to go to even a 'cheap' state college today compared to when you did it. Like almost undoable-hard.

The main routes I can think of are ones with military commitment on the back end to cover expenses, if you're trying to go through all debt free without parental help.

Also, I seriously question the value of any college degree that can be obtained while working 40 hours per week in addition. Yes, it's a paper degree, so if that's all you want/need, that's fine, but if you actually intend to substantively change your thinking and abilities and experience, I'm not sure how you're going to pull that off while working that much.

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

Post by jackholloway » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:05 pm

Bacchus01 wrote: [...]
It is crazy for me to think about paying 100% of my kids' education. Really? Where is the sense of hard work? Is it just completely entitlement?

We will significantly contribute to our sons' education. But 100%? Not a chance. They will have to earn it.
If my daughter does not have a sense of hard work after taking her classes, she needs to take harder classes or work harder on the material.

A degree at a top tier university can be phoned in, but I would likely figure it out.

SSN688
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by SSN688 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:39 pm

lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:
lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.
Did you have to pay the eqwuivalent of $25k in today's dollars per year to cover college? Closer to $40k including room and board?
No. I went to a less expensive state university as undergrad - the education is as good as you make it. For grad school, I attended a larger university with the scholarships, and a contract in a dissertation area of specific interest to the military. Lived like a pauper for 12 years including a couple years in a converted chicken coup. You don't have to go to MIT or Stanford as an undergrad with a sense of entitlement. It can be done, as described by others in this thread.
Doable, but I suspect you'd find it multiple fold more difficult to go to even a 'cheap' state college today compared to when you did it. Like almost undoable-hard.

The main routes I can think of are ones with military commitment on the back end to cover expenses, if you're trying to go through all debt free without parental help.

Also, I seriously question the value of any college degree that can be obtained while working 40 hours per week in addition. Yes, it's a paper degree, so if that's all you want/need, that's fine, but if you actually intend to substantively change your thinking and abilities and experience, I'm not sure how you're going to pull that off while working that much.
40 hrs/wk in HS is "doable" and certainly in college if the outside work is directly related to the degree field, like electrical engineering. I guess that "paper degree" was okay. It was a PhD from the No 2 university in the country in my chosen field (Optical Physics) and over a 25 year career, resulted in 2 books and over 30 peer-reviewed APS publications. Just luck, I guess.

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

Post by ychuck46 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:46 pm

In the late 70s I paid for my college education myself. Worked a few years in CO, got residency, and put myself through Univ of CO while working full-time at night.

For my daughter, our only child, I paid 100% of her education. First two years she decided to go to Community College (thanks!), and then a NY State school where we lived had one of the best programs in the country for her major. While it still cost $, it was not a huge expense because of the way she got her degree.

Bottom line, both my education and my daughter's were paid 100% by yours truly.

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

Post by MP173 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:09 pm

Myself: graduated in 1977. Two years at a local junior college. Two years at a private college. Combination of athletic scholarship, savings from summer work, and parents contribution. The juco cost next to nothing (athletic). I graduated with $600.00 total college debt.

Oldest son: Graduated 2008. I set up a UGTM trust when he was 2 weeks old and made monthly contributions, increasing by $10 per month every 6 months or so. Then invested in mutual funds and got lucky in 2000 (when he was 4 years from college) by moving from an 90% equity allocation to 30%/70%. His education was fully funded with reserve which he still has a small amount.

Youngest son: I set up UGTM trust but didn't fund it nearly as aggressively. He started college this year. Full NCAA athletic scholarship.

Wife: Graduated in early 90s. She attended college for 9 years part time while raising her family. She then went to work for the university.

Her two children - graduated in 2007/2008. She was able to use benefit of working for the university to receive tuition discount. She was divorced with little support from the father and she scrimped, saved, and put them thru with only $5000 debt each, which she later paid off for them. Quite a story on her behalf.

Ed

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

Post by lightheir » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:41 pm

SSN688 wrote:
lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:
lightheir wrote:
SSN688 wrote:In high school, worked 30+ hrs/wk in stock room and 20 hrs/weekend as parking lot attendant in LA. Saved enough for room and board, car, and lower division college years (engineering and physics). Upper division and grad school paid for through academic scholarships and work as part-time engineer. No loans. No help. No sympathy for today's whiners.
Did you have to pay the eqwuivalent of $25k in today's dollars per year to cover college? Closer to $40k including room and board?
No. I went to a less expensive state university as undergrad - the education is as good as you make it. For grad school, I attended a larger university with the scholarships, and a contract in a dissertation area of specific interest to the military. Lived like a pauper for 12 years including a couple years in a converted chicken coup. You don't have to go to MIT or Stanford as an undergrad with a sense of entitlement. It can be done, as described by others in this thread.
Doable, but I suspect you'd find it multiple fold more difficult to go to even a 'cheap' state college today compared to when you did it. Like almost undoable-hard.

The main routes I can think of are ones with military commitment on the back end to cover expenses, if you're trying to go through all debt free without parental help.

Also, I seriously question the value of any college degree that can be obtained while working 40 hours per week in addition. Yes, it's a paper degree, so if that's all you want/need, that's fine, but if you actually intend to substantively change your thinking and abilities and experience, I'm not sure how you're going to pull that off while working that much.
40 hrs/wk in HS is "doable" and certainly in college if the outside work is directly related to the degree field, like electrical engineering. I guess that "paper degree" was okay. It was a PhD from the No 2 university in the country in my chosen field (Optical Physics) and over a 25 year career, resulted in 2 books and over 30 peer-reviewed APS publications. Just luck, I guess.
Can you actually someone to hire you for 40 hours per week in electrical engineering as a new undergrad nowadays?

I could understand for masters/phd, particularly if you have experience, but we're talking about COLLEGE here, not advanced degrees. (I fully had my advanced degrees covered as well debt-free but that's a completely different issue than having the undergrad experience paid for.)

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

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:46 pm

I get the feeling that the OP's question was how you paid for your child's college rather than your own. But since we're all chiming in with our own stories anyway...

My parents had enough money saved to pay for one year of tuition at the (too-expensive, private) school I decided to go to. I had to work part-time while attending to pay for food, housing, etc.

After that, I was on my own. Worked full-time for awhile and saved up. Took a semester at a state school. Wound up moving to a different state.

Worked some more, full-time. Saved up some more. Took classes part-time at a community college. Got my Associates degree, "with highest honors".

Armed with the degree, I was able to make more money at work. Worked some more. Saved up some more. Took classes part-time at another state school. Got my Bachelor's degree, summa cum laude.

So, with the exception of that first year, I paid for college the old-fashioned way: Out of my own dang pocket. Zero student loans.

The funny thing is that, when my parents were footing the bill, I had a B average. For every single semester thereafter, when I was paying the bill, I maintained an unbroken 4.0. Having "skin in the game" certainly seemed to help in my case.
Stay on target...

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

Post by MattE » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:51 pm

I'm probably close to the age of most everyone else in this topic's children (or younger, in some cases), so for what it's worth:

I attended Penn State from '06 - '10, with my tuition + room & board varying from ~$20K my freshman year to ~$25K my senior year. My family provided nothing towards my education other than a new computer and basic school supplies at the start of my freshman year and I moved out at the start of my sophomore year; at one point my freshman year I was actually lending my parents money, but that's another story entirely.

My freshman year tuition was fully paid by an AFROTC scholarship that I voluntarily terminated at the end of the year (this, I feel, is an under-reported aspect of ROTC scholarships - they generally give you a year before your military commitment becomes binding, and if you leave prior to that deadline, there's no payback provisions). Room & board for that year was paid by a combination of student loans, small local scholarships I'd won my senior year of HS, and the small monthly stipend I received as an ROTC scholarship cadet.

Every year after that, the entirety of my expenses was paid through scholarships, need-based grants, loans, and cash-on-hand - roughly a 43/43/14 split between the scholarships\grants, loans, and cash. I was lucky enough my sophomore year to receive an inheritance from my grandfather of about $30K that'd been tied up in court since I was a toddler; I sunk most of that into paying existing student loans off and used the rest to purchase a cheap used car (2001 Saturn that I still drive now, 160K and runs like a champ), pay my tuition balance every semester, and pay part of my non-room & board expenses. I avoided working during the school year to focus on school itself, and supplemented my summer earnings (full-time at positions ranging from $7.50 - $12\hr) by donating blood plasma ($200+ per month tax free for the liquid gold in my veins). I planned everything out such that I started my job after graduation just as my savings ran dry, and graduated with about $23K in student loan debt of the tolerable non-private kind.

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

Post by reggiesimpson » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:56 pm

529s. Then i realized i would have cash left over and will give it to my children for our grandchildrens college expenses.

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

Post by supton » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:52 pm

Me: Borrowed, Stafford loans IIRC, and some scholarship/grant help, graduated in '99 with $20k in debt, plus another $4k in credit card debt, no help from parents. Wife: graduated half year later, her parents paid half though, same $20k (she went out of state). I forget but I think it took nearly 10 years to pay off. Wife was able to do her masters online, and for rather little out of pocket.

At the moment we don't have plans to pay for the kids college educations. I would like to, but I want my kids to "own" the education, and I think they will better feel the responsibility if they believe they have to pay for it. Sure, I hope for scholarships and the like; but at the moment, the way tuition is rising, even if I got all my debts out of the way there is no way I could really manage those costs. My kids will have to make decisions about how to defray those costs (GI Bill, local schools, working while doing school, etc).

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

Post by Flashes1 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:58 pm

My parents told us kids they'd pay everything at State U for 4 years; everything past that was on us. He said in return, we had to pay for our kids' educations. I will honor my promise. My kids will have their educations paid for although I do worry at times because my wife went to very prestigious/expensive schools and would like our kids do the same. But I think I've convinced her that anything above State U expenses should be on them.

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

Post by Taz » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:52 am

Me @ private school: Tuition & books (NROTC); Room (loans) + Board (worked @sorority)
Spouse (small school): Parents + small scholarship + work (meals) + $20k in loans (in 1985)

Current kid: State Tuition (prepaid FL); Room & board ($3k Bright Futures + 529); books ($1k National Merit); spending money (summer job). Grad school will be on his dime unless he combines it as 3 + 2
Next one: Hopefully same, although as a prospective female engineer I expect add'l scholarship money

If your child is a very good student and is willing to attend out-of-state schools, we found that they will give in-state rates.
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mediahound
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by mediahound » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:03 pm

I believe it's important for the student to have a sense of ownership in their own education so recommend they pay for at least 1/3 of college themselves.

If they are paying for part of it, they will be less likely to waste their college years by partying all the time, etc.

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

Post by dewey » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:16 pm

My first wife and I paid for the college education of both daughters (Univ. of Wisconsin and Univ. of Minnesota). I was a professor and my wife was a social worker so we were not wealthy. We hadn't saved enough when they were growing up so it meant intensified saving as college years approached. I taught extra classes and all summers, worked on grants as extra income, etc. anything to help make up the shortfall. Then we gave them each a good used car as a graduation gift. So, they started off with no college debt and a way to get to work! They always knew how fortunate they were since so many of their friends borrowed and/or worked their way through school.
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beachplum
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by beachplum » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:26 pm

Why do these discussions always turn into a boosting contest and that somehow one is a better person because of how they financed their education.I don't believe there is necessarily a correlation between a child helping to pay for college and how well they do in school or life for that matter. there is so much more to that then whether a parent foots the entire college bill or not. For example, my husband and his sister and one of my brothers had their entire undergrad educations paid for by parents and or grandparents. they are 3 of the hardest working people I know and never led an entitled life. They did not goof off because they didn't contribute, instead they worked very hard to get into med school and Ph.d programs.

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

Post by Sam I Am » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:04 pm

beachplum wrote:Why do these discussions always turn into a boosting contest and that somehow one is a better person because of how they financed their education.I don't believe there is necessarily a correlation between a child helping to pay for college and how well they do in school or life for that matter. there is so much more to that then whether a parent foots the entire college bill or not. For example, my husband and his sister and one of my brothers had their entire undergrad educations paid for by parents and or grandparents. they are 3 of the hardest working people I know and never led an entitled life. They did not goof off because they didn't contribute, instead they worked very hard to get into med school and Ph.d programs.
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THY4373
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by THY4373 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:25 pm

Parents paid fully for undergrad and grad wherever I wanted to go. My dad's parents did the same for him (mom does not have a post high school degree). He paid it forward and so will I for my son. Undergrad and grad wherever he wants to go (as long as he gets passing grades and does it in the expected time frame). Wife had to pay her own way, parents didn't have a lot of money and didn't see "a whole lot of value" in educating a daughter past high school.

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

Post by gloomydog » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:45 pm

  • BA in 2002, cheaper country, 100% paid by parents. (I could have gone to my dream American universities but they were too expensive). Mediocre grades.
  • MS Finance in American college in 2005, paid for by an equal combination of scholarship, parental help, and working as an intern at a company oft mentioned here. :D. I think having to work and finding out the value of money made me work harder here - I ended up with pretty good grades.
My parents gave me a lump sum of money (~40K USD) upon my graduation in 2002 and told me I could do whatever I wanted with it.
One sibling had stellar grades and had her BA paid for 100% via scholarship - she got about 55K to invest and used it for a career change to medicine recently.
Another sibling had the same parental sponsored BA, but didn't touch her 40K yet.

Basically my parents decided to try and give us an easier start in life, and we're all very grateful to them. If/When my husband and I have kids, we intend to do the same for our kids...save aggressively so they can be unburdened with insidious student loans. Depending on how well we do, maybe they can't attend the private college of their dreams, but they will be able to attend a good state college without loans.

-------------------
Are you asking this question mostly for philosophical reasons (ie, should you pay for your child's college? Will it make him/her a better student if they had to contribute?) I really think having to contribute builds character.

Or, are you asking to try and figure out what the general consensus is? Almost all my friends now graduated debt free or very close to debt free even though we were part of the high tuition generation. Among the USA peers in my social circle, I definitely received the least parental help. A few are still semi or mostly supported by parents despite all having professional jobs. It doesn't end with college!

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

Post by ram » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Me - All education paid by parents.

Daughter-Flagship State school. Approx 25% merit scholarships, 5% job (babysitting in summer, tutoring), parental funding 70%. Hopes to finish BS in 3.5 yrs later this year. Had plenty of AP credits from high school. Anticipated out of pocket cost for undergrad education will be about 60 K. Hopes to start med school in July 2014. The big bills will start at that time.

Son- Private well known school. Merit scholarship for full tuition (42k /yr), national merit scholarship (2k/yr), job as tutor (1-2 k/yr), parental funding (16-17 k/yr).

Both kids are doing reasonably well despite not contributing much from their own job earnings. Both considered working vs studying and both decided that they would get more bang for the effort by studying and chasing scholarships.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by interplanetjanet » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:29 am

gloomydog wrote:Or, are you asking to try and figure out what the general consensus is? Almost all my friends now graduated debt free or very close to debt free even though we were part of the high tuition generation. Among the USA peers in my social circle, I definitely received the least parental help. A few are still semi or mostly supported by parents despite all having professional jobs. It doesn't end with college!
I guess I move in the wrong social circles. I don't mean to sidetrack the discussion here, but doesn't that cross a line into encouraging dependancy and enabling a lifestyle that they cannot support on their own?

I still am not entirely convinced of the value of a college education for many workers, but I accept that statistics are probably not on my side.

I have made it clear to my children that if they are truly in need, they will always have a home to come back to...but it would be on my terms, and I don't think it's sustainable in the long term. I left to seek my fortune at 18, consider it to be one of the best decisions I ever made, and have difficulty with the idea of an extended dependent childhood. Off topic, I know. I had virtually no time as an adult when I was not a custodial parent, and frankly I'm looking forward to it no matter how much I love my children.

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

Post by stoptothink » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:41 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
gloomydog wrote:Or, are you asking to try and figure out what the general consensus is? Almost all my friends now graduated debt free or very close to debt free even though we were part of the high tuition generation. Among the USA peers in my social circle, I definitely received the least parental help. A few are still semi or mostly supported by parents despite all having professional jobs. It doesn't end with college!
I guess I move in the wrong social circles. I don't mean to sidetrack the discussion here, but doesn't that cross a line into encouraging dependancy and enabling a lifestyle that they cannot support on their own?
Going to have to agree. I guess I run in the wrong circles as well. Other than my sister and a few others who received full scholarships, I don't think I am close to a single person who completed college without debt. All 4 of my roommates have 5-figures in school debt, not a single one of my pretty large circle of friends had mom & dad cover all (or even a significant portion of) college costs, and I am a complete anomaly at my work because I have no education debt. My education finished last year, I am definitely part of the high tuition generation. From my personal experiences, these threads are not in any way representative of the general population; not that most parents do not want to assist their children with the cost of school, but that (unlike Bogleheads) they do not have the resources to.

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

Post by simpsonlang » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:44 am

When I got out of high school my parents offered to pay for Technical School or College. I refused (I love my parents and didn't want to add this burden to them). Besides it was their money not mine so I joined the Marines, paid into the GI Bill, and once I got out paid my way through a VoTech School. I've never regretted it and plan to encourage my kids along the same path. My parents are happy as well since I did far better financially than most would with a college degree.

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

Post by SnapShots » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:16 am

We paid college tuition and helped with living expenses for two undergraduate degrees. However, the children were required to help.

One child went to a private university for an undergrad degree and finished in 4 years. The other went to a public university for 2 years and played around. We made him leave school, his hometown, get a job and grow up. After two-years of working he went back to school and graduated with two degrees.

Both children ended up going out-of-state universities. One obtaining two undergrad degree, the other a graduate degree. We had them work for a year to become residents of that state, so they would qualify for instate tuition.

Both children borrowed money or worked to help pay for their educations. The child who obtained a graduate degree and borrowed tuition money and we provided money for living expenses.

Unless you have the money, I see no reason to pay out-of-state tuition. It's good for kids to work a while before going to school.
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by m_squared » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:55 am

I started college in 1986. When I started, each three credit class cost about $150. By the time I graduated in 1992, each three credit class cost about $500. I'm pretty sure that increase was faster than the overall inflation rate though I did not think about it at the time. I went part time and mostly paid my own way via part time work (during the first year, before my dad retired, he paid for some of my classes). I had enough credits to graduate five years later in 1991 but I held off taking one required course for a year because job prospects for a new grad were so dismal that year and I thought it would be better to be a "new graduate" when I hit the professional market for an entry level position. My part time job held me over until I graduated but when I finally got an offer for an entry level position in 1992, I had to move to accept the offer. I got the offer in June but was told that the hiring freeze would be lifted in August so that was when I could expect to start. I had to work a ton of hours during that summer to get money to relocate. Everything worked out for me. I was able to begin my career with no debt though I felt like I took "the long way".

As for my kids, I set up a 529 for my older child when he was an infant. So far, we are on track to have most of what he will need for a four year public school by the time he is ready. If we are a little short, we can come up with it as he goes. With my younger child, we were a little late getting started but we have started and we will have the mortgage paid off by the time she is ready. We may have to come up with some of the money as she attends but I think we will be in a good position to do that.

Overall, I think I was fortunate to have a job with flexible hours that helped me get through but I don't think that scenario will work for my children because costs have gone up so much. The one thing that I wish I had done differently is I wish I had taken a personal finance class as an elective in college and learned about how to save for retirement and the importance of starting early. I really knew absolutely nothing about these topics until I read a book about them in my late 20's and immediately started saving. I may end up working a little longer to make up for those early missed years.

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

Post by jackholloway » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:07 pm

mediahound wrote:I believe it's important for the student to have a sense of ownership in their own education so recommend they pay for at least 1/3 of college themselves.

If they are paying for part of it, they will be less likely to waste their college years by partying all the time, etc.
I have not seen many kids actually waste their college years, and I recruit for my company at local universities. Some do, but it is rare.

There is value in those pricey schools, and constraining the problem by demanding that an early-career student come up with a third may rule out useful options. Needs must, of course, so if your offspring has to come up with a third, then that is your situation. That said, if you have a choice, beware of over constraining the solution set.

My alma mater used to be pricey, and is now one of the most expensive technical schools in the country. I got great value out of that degree over the one I would have gotten at the state school I considered as an alternative. Based on engineers I know who graduated from it in the last five years, the quality and value is still there, but ye cats does it cost. My parents paid for the whole thing, including taking out student loans at usurious rates that totaled roughly my first year's salary. That debt free start was a fantastic boost, and I am grateful for it.

Had I had to come up with a third of the tuition on my own, I would not have been able to attend without serious changes. My friends who ROTCed were nonplussed at their gulf war deployments. That was the deal, and they served honorably, but it sure put a crimp in their careers. Skipping two years of college to work would have put me out of step, or would have cost me a fair amount over a lifetime.

My parents did ask me to do work study in my field at the school, and essentially gave me a choice between summer research at school or summer classes. I did a mix of both - business law was atypical for a science student, useful to me later, and came out of that. It was never about "skin in the game", though. It was directed towards the best launch.

I hope to do the same for my daughter, and I seem on track. We all get luck good and bad, so I hope for continued good fortune so that she does not have to make that difficult choice.

Let me be clear, though - this is purest good fortune. I know people who work harder than I do who make less because their skill set is not as valued, and smarter people who did not develop in-demand skills. I lucked into a role that fit my skill set and that was lucrative.

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

Post by Paul78 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:51 pm

40k scholarship

16k gift from my parents (4k a year)

3k loan from my parents (paid if of a couple of months after I started working)

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

Post by LowER » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:16 pm

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

Post by livesoft » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:36 pm

LowER wrote:Anyone have any ideas?
My spouse had her entire private university undergrad paid for by her parents. She had a car in college, too. She worked part-time during college, but really didn't have to. So she didn't have any "skin in the game" as mentioned in this thread. And she has always worked since except a few days around the births of her children.

She also firmly believes in paying all the college expenses of those children no matter where they go to school. As I already mentioned, our daughter is getting a complete parental ride at a private university. It appears that she will graduate with top grades after 3.5 years and no skin in the game.

I will just say that every person and family is different and what they decide when the kid is 4 years old and what happens when the kid gets accepted to a top-20 elite university may be quite different. For example, if LowER's child gets accepted to Harvard, but no financial aid is forthcoming, will LowER pay for it or only pay for the state school costs that were mentioned in LowER's post? I think I know the answer to that question. :)
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by LowER » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:10 pm

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

Post by livesoft » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:19 pm

In case anyone gets the wrong idea: my children did not and will not apply to any Ivy League universities, so they won't be attending them either.
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chuck h
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Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

Post by chuck h » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:43 pm

For my education, my parents paid for me at a small private college in the 60's. I used the GI Bill in the 70's to obtains a masters degree.

My 2 boys went to ivy schools in the 90's where I paid most of the costs and they took out maximum loans. They paid for their graduate degrees.

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

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:35 am

I won a tuition merit scholarship (1968) to our excellent state u. Parents paid room and board. I had jobs related to career aspirations all through college. Borrowed money and worked through law school.

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