How much are you helping your kids through college?

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Planner01
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How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Planner01 »

How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
sailaway
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by sailaway »

What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
marcopolo
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by marcopolo »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
All of that, and then some.
But, as mentioned above. Not sure how that helps you decide what to do.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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Planner01
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Planner01 »

sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

How is this different than asking on opinions on the least favorite vacation or car? You want to learn from others on what is reasonable even though taste defer.
KlangFool
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by KlangFool »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer in high school,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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runner3081
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by runner3081 »

-Tuition and Books for 2 years @ Community College - living @ home.
-Tuition and books for 2 years @ local major university - living @ home

If she wants to go away, then she is on the hook for room + board.
johnubc
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by johnubc »

I paid for half of undergraduate tuition. Room, board, books - tuition - to some great state schools (UVA, VTech, JMU). Them having skin in the game was an awesome teaching experience for them. They saw some of their classmates who had no skin in the game doing a Victory Lap year.

I also split the cost of a reasonable car with them - 50-50. I do not regret this decision one bit. They were able to use some of their savings, offset with scholarships (Rotary, Golf club, etc) and with on campus jobs. They graduated, not only debt free, but also with money in their investment accounts.
cashheavy18
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by cashheavy18 »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:50 am
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Klangfool,

I’m not the OP, but found your question interesting and am curious what your response is if the answer in our situation is yes to both A & B?
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Stinky
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Stinky »

Four year’s tuition, room and board at a state school. Plus gave them a first car.

That’s what my parents did for me, so it’s the least I could do for them. Coming out of college debt free was HUGE for them.
Retired life insurance company financial officer who sincerely believes that ”It’s a GREAT day to be alive!”
KlangFool
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by KlangFool »

cashheavy18 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:57 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:50 am
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Klangfool,

I’m not the OP, but found your question interesting and am curious what your response is if the answer in our situation is yes to both A & B?
If someone is not willing to let their kids worked in high school, why should they expect their kids to work in college?

KlangFool
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

My background: I first paid my own way through community college with full and part time jobs. Worked as a tech for 3 years and started night courses towards 4 year engineering degree.

Quit my job and went full time for my Bachelors. Learned that almost no community college courses transfer. One English. That's it. I took loans along the way and this was pre-Reagan so college cost was about $8k a year at an expensive private northeastern engineering college. I did take a summer course here and there. Ran out of money and went on co-op for 8 months. Came back and had just enough to graduate.

Parents would have helped with the money, but I'm very independent minded and always have been. Of course, back then, 4 years of private college pretty nearly equaled one year of salary right out of college. I had about $10k in loans to pay.

Older son started mediocre engineering college. He took stafford loans, I paid the rest. I had told him from the start that if he did really well and got into a better college, I'd support him. He did and went on to the college I graduated from. Of course when you transfer in, there is zero merit aid offered. He did the staffords yearly and I paid the rest. Total through finishing graduation (with honors) was around $300k. Much less than I anticipated. Job as a structural engineer started around $75k a year. So kids graduating these days make far less than we did when I graduated.

I do not buy a car or pay for vacations. He now can afford whatever he wants. I expect in another year or 2, he'll be making 6 figures. He still lives with us, which is fine. He's a car guy (like me) so has a project car and an STi commuter car. He pays his bills.

My other son is not college material and bombed after trying a year of community college. Found a welding school and went for 8 months, finishing. He'll be starting a welding job in a shop soon that's union with benefits. He still is driving one of my cars and we're paying a lot of his expenses until he gets some money coming in.
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KlangFool
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

My son and my daughter graduated from the college over the last few years. So, we have plenty of first hand observation of recent college students.

1) Many college students have no basic common sense on how to shop for daily grocery.

2) Many college students have zero working experience.

3) Many college students do not know basic budgeting.

So, you heard stories like the kid run out of money before end of the month and have to survive on macaroni and cheese for the rest of the month.

In summary, if you believe that your kid should work during college, why not start them on some jobs in high school? If you did not do that, why you and them expect them to work in college?

Ditto on budgeting, grocery shopping, cooking, and all other basic living stuff.

KlangFool
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ekid
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by ekid »

cashheavy18 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:57 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:50 am
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Klangfool,

I’m not the OP, but found your question interesting and am curious what your response is if the answer in our situation is yes to both A & B?
It cannot logically be both. Either they work, or play.
sailaway
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by sailaway »

ekid wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:09 pm
cashheavy18 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:57 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:50 am
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Klangfool,

I’m not the OP, but found your question interesting and am curious what your response is if the answer in our situation is yes to both A & B?
It cannot logically be both. Either they work, or play.
Non sense. They can go to a resort for a week or two and work the rest of the summer.
mnsportsgeek
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by mnsportsgeek »

The gift of being debt free with a college degree is one of the best gifts you can give your kid IMO. I can't imagine being able to afford to do that and choosing not to personally for the purpose of "teaching a lesson." The lesson should be taught over the first 18 years of parenting.

That's my take on tuition. I don't have a strong opinion on cars, vacation, wedding etc. I think at that point you are entering the territory of spoiling your kid if you help with ALL of it, but it all depends the circumstance.
Last edited by mnsportsgeek on Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Boglenaut
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Boglenaut »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
We told our kids we will pay the equivalent of total cost of 4 years' attendance (tuition/housing/fees/books/laptop) at our state's flagship state university. Our expectations is they stay on schedule and make a serious effort to get and retain scholarships. Our daughter is now a freshman engineering student and got about 20K total scholarships, so we pay the rest. So far, great grades and on schedule. She had been offered much more in scholarships from a lesser university, but this was a better school and still within budget. Our son is still in high school, but maintaining really good grades so he'll get the same deal.

We do match Roth IRAs from part time jobs. They normally don't hit the limit though.

Daughter has use of one of our cars when she is home, but has to pay the increased car/umbrella insurance and gas. It is still a good deal. Son has a learner's permit, but has no interest in driving yet. Most likely, kids will get our reliable used car when they finish so they have time to save for one once they get a professional job.

They have to pay for their own phones/iPads (generally) and any vacations.

I absolutely will not pay for any weddings. They will be on their own saving for a house if they want one. The expectation is they will be otherwise self-supporting once they have a professional degree.
Last edited by Boglenaut on Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ColoradoRick
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by ColoradoRick »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
For me, my dad and I had a reverse argument. He wanted to pay for college and I wanted to pay my own way (lived at home). Compromise he bought me a 3 yr old car and paid auto insurance and I paid all my tuition, books, expenses. Learned value of a buck.

For our kids they worked last 2 yrs of high school to pay their car loans and insurance. Back in those days kids wanted to drive. As far as college expenses we told them we'd do what we could, but couldn't guarantee them a full ride. My wife became aware of and was hired into a great job. So she was able to pay all their college expenses. Only in their mid-20's did it dawn on them they had no student loans and almost all their friends did.

Side note - we said we'd pay their college expenses but they had to promise not to get and use a credit card. In the only instance I've caught of them lying they both got a charge card and had $1500 balances at graduation. Since I gave both kids auto loans at half market rate, they both asked for that to pay off their student loans. Due to circumstances I (we) said no; you are on your own......both are very good with money. YMMV
cashheavy18
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by cashheavy18 »

ekid wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:09 pm
cashheavy18 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:57 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:50 am
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

This is the same as someone else asking for opinions on what kind of vacation or car to get.
Planner01,

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

A) You paid for your kid's high school summer camp aka resort camp.

Or,

B) Your kid worked somewhere to earn money for their college education.

KlangFool
Klangfool,

I’m not the OP, but found your question interesting and am curious what your response is if the answer in our situation is yes to both A & B?
It cannot logically be both. Either they work, or play.
They go to camp for 2-3 weeks and work for the rest (as well as the entire school year). They have an excellent work ethic, I have zero problem paying for a “resort” camp.
Conch55
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Conch55 »

We paid tuition (via 529 type of plan), room and board for 4 years. Two kids. We helped one of them with rent during grad school. The only stipulation was they attend a state school where our prepay plan worked. We had provided a car when they were still in high school so that's what they took to college. Once graduated we helped both purchase a new car. Both entered the workforce dept free. Spouse and I paid our own way but things were much more affordable back in the day. We don't regret our decision.
goblue100
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by goblue100 »

My .02 is if you are going to have kids and you have the means and the desire to do so, help them as much as you can without hurting yourself. If your child interprets that as a 4 or 8 year full ride at the most expensive school in the country then I would say it is your fault for raising an entitled brat. My child had reasonable expectations and I was happy to provide it.

* I decided I should provide some context to my statement. Do I think I everyone at an expensive school is an entitled brat? No. If you have the means to provide that for your child and want to provide it, more power to you. For me to provide that for my child would have meant hardship for our family. I think for a child to EXPECT that under those circumstances is what leads to my entitled brat statement.
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Hillview
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Hillview »

our kids have robust 529 plans that should cover just about everything. If a car in college makes sense we would provide that. We will pay for their travel home, etc. We expect them to have jobs over the summer. First goes this fall!
hoofaman
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by hoofaman »

My parents house was near a state college, so I just lived at home and drove to Uni. They also covered tuition, but that was 25 years ago and it was less than $4,000 a year. Now tuition at the same school is 14k/year

I'm planning to cover tuition and all standard living expenses, as long as the kids continue taking full course loads and on track to graduate at some date in the future. Have about 100k per kid in 529 and plenty more in other accounts if needed, happy to help them get started as long as they are goal oriented. If they are just attending to school as something to do then the situation changes
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CAsage
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by CAsage »

My single Mom provided at-home room and board. I was expected to chip in when I was working (she was really broke). The CA Governor paid my tuition first at community college, then UCLA via Cal Grant (again, poor). My dad paid for all my expensive textbooks, and I graduated debt free. First employer paid for Masters. That support enabled me to succeed and not everyone is that lucky. Much harder today.
When my young children asked for toys/treats, there were always far more "asks" before we gave them reasonable allowances and "asks" became "own money" - consumer consciousness grew with their cash. When they got part time or summer jobs, all entertainment or eating out with friends was "own money".
We paid 100% of college educational expenses - housing, tuition, books, meal allowance. Any travel or entertainment is (again) "own money" and they are expected to work and budget accordingly. We have neither commented nor stepped in when that debit card bounced.
As far as cars go - it's been my experience that when given cars, young people don't appreciate them and/or trash them. Then want the next cars, so we are kind of on the fence about that. Future down payment on house, cars, wedding will depend on their maturity.
Last edited by CAsage on Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HomeStretch
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by HomeStretch »

How much (or not) you help your kids financially with smaller expenses (i.e., mobile phone plan, streaming subscription, insurance) and/or with larger expenses (i.e., college, first car, Roth IRA funding, wedding, first home, grandkids education, extended family vacations) depends on your finances, your kids and your attitude towards providing such help.

My spouse and I came from meager backgrounds. We likely have over-saved for retirement. We prefer to give with a warm hand to our kids who are grounded and financially responsible in order to give them a more stable start. Most importantly, we will be a financial safety net should they need it and our home is always their home rent-free if they need it. The latter was really important for our young 20-somethings when the pandemic hit. Eventually they will inherit our estate.

But whatever anyone else does by comparison shouldn’t matter to you. Search the forum for past similar threads. There are very different opinions on this subject and IIRC most threads were locked eventually.
Jimsad
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Jimsad »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
We do all the above and will do more if needed
Our parents did same for us
We would rather have them focus on studying and get better grades in college and school rather than work if we can help it
We have the means to do so and one of the reasons we both are still working full time even though probably FI is to have that extra cushion to support our kids as needed
Last edited by Jimsad on Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by livesoft »

Our kids had everything paid for by their parents which was no hardship at all. Their parents gave them 10+ year-old cars as hand-me-downs. They both have professional degrees and great jobs and do not seem to be spoiled.

One parent had everything paid for by their parent. The other parent had only room & board for 3 years of college from their parents.
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windaar
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by windaar »

My parents paid my tuition, room, & board for 4 years of college but any college spending money I had to earn with summer jobs. It will be the same deal for my kids.
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MarkRoulo
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by MarkRoulo »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

How is this different than asking on opinions on the least favorite vacation or car? You want to learn from others on what is reasonable even though taste defer.
I will answer your question, but it is important to be clear that my wife and I did what we though was reasonable for OUR financial situation and for OUR child. If our child had turned out differently, then we might well have made different choices about financing college.

So, with that out of the way, we:
  • Paid for first (budget) car
  • Budgeted for about four years room/board/tuition at a (non-local) University of California campus
Child spent the first two years at the local community college and lived at home, but we were still willing to spend the same amount of money so this opened up some choices for the next two years at a 4-year college to get a bachelors degree. Child did apply to, and get accepted at, some out-of-state private schools but chose to go the in-state route at UC Santa Barabara (so we still have budgeted money left over).

My son is quite clear that California is not affordable and needs to leave and as part of his selecting a 4-year college I made it clear that since UCSB was cheaper than all the other options we would be willing to spend some of his budgeted college money to "help him launch" if he went in-state with the lower tuition.

I think that allowing a child to graduate debt free is a pretty good gift. My parents did this for me and my father's parents did it for him.

My child is (suprisingly!) responsible and neither my wife or I were worried that he would take his college education lightly just because he wasn't paying for it. We *did* get a preview because he was taking classes at our local community college (not the one he went to for two years) in high school and was taking his classes there seriously. Again, if my child had turned out differently we might have done things differently.

Current plan (subject to change!) is that he is going to go get a masters degree. The masters comes with a stipend, but not enough of one to live on. We'll be paying enough to make up the difference.
JeffAL
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by JeffAL »

I worked during high school and college. Aside from modest monetary gifts from my parents and me living at their house, I put myself through college. In hindsight, with the working and money stress, I think my college experience suffered. Money concerns warped my college decision making. That said I now have a successful career. Is my current success the result of or unrelated to my college experience? I don’t know but I wish I wasn’t constantly worried about money during college. I will help my children with college as much as I can.
MarkBarb
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by MarkBarb »

My parents paid for college with minimal living expenses and loaned me money to buy a used car. For our children, we paid for all of their college expenses and paid for all of their living expenses. We got them cars in high school which they drove while in college. Our college cost cap was in-state public universities only. If they had wanted to do something more expensive, they would have had to pay the difference.
CletusCaddy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by CletusCaddy »

I'd say there is relatively little correlation between college students who worked because they needed the money and eventual success as an independent adult.

On the other hand, there is likely a high correlation between college students who worked and reduced time available for studying.
WhiteMaxima
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

I help them through every stages. I will give away my saving during my lifetime. Help them like Roth, 529 savings.
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StevieG72
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by StevieG72 »

So my kiddo is enjoying her first year at UVA. She is living the opposite of my upbringing, she wants for very few things. She was gifted a late model, safe car with low miles as soon as she got he drivers license. Tuition is paid by dad, spending money is furnished by mom and dad. ( minimal since she lives on campus and has a meal plan) Clothes are furnished by mom. Kid wants to go to California this summer with a close friend, didn't think twice, GO! Great opportunity and a solid family that I trust to protect my child. Mom and dad split the costs (we are divorced btw)

She wanted to go on a spring break trip, she had to pay for that one. Spilled tea on her new Macbook, she had to pay for that as well. Broke her phone by not being careful and not using an appropriate case, had to use that busted up phone for 5 months. ( she got a new phone for xmas from dad / nothing else.) She has a pt job and makes minimal income when not in school. The job is probably not nearly as important as the mentoring from her boss who is a great leader.

I can easily afford these expenditures and my daughter is a well behaved, respectful, and appreciative kid. Unfortunately all is not unicorns and butterflies for my daughter as she has had some significant health issues and has had more surgeries & procedures in the last 4 years than I have had in 50!

I plan on paying full freight of her undergraduate degree, after that I will have to reevaluate the situation. She is on a premed track of which dad is not paying 100%. She understands that she will incur some debt and should focus on paying it off once employed.

In contrast my daughters roommate is faced with a sink or swim scenario. Her parents sold their home and moved out of state when she went to school. They sold a car she shared with her twin sister the summer before college. She is expected to work while in school and during the summer. I am told she is expected to find a place to stay over the summer etc. I actually kind of admire the fire these parents are lighting under this kid!
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
TLC1957
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by TLC1957 »

Wife & I married for 44 years we have 2 daughters, 31 &35, 1 married, 1 in serious relationship. We retired when we were both 58, me after 36 years in corporate America, wife nursing who stayed home for 10 years with the kids and went back to work. We have an excellent relationship with both kids and have traveled together since they were 5. They both live within 1 hour of us. No grandkids yet! We own our home and financially owe nothing to anyone!

Here is what we did have done for our daughters to date. My mom and dad did #1 for me.

1. Four year’s tuition, room and board at a state school. Plus gave them a first used car.
2. Gave each $100k to buy a house.
3. Give both $20k for Christmas each year since we have retired. Our recommendation was to put the $$ in the bank, but did not mandate it.
4. Paid $25k for a wedding.

You can not take it with you so why not enjoy helping your kids when you are still around!
Gnirk
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Gnirk »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
My ex-husband, I and our two daughters, who worked part-time, paid for their college educations and good state universities. My ex and I gave them enough each month during the school year to cover about 75% of all expenses, and they earned the rest by working part-time during school, fulltime during breaks and summers. I made up a weekly, very detailed budget for them. They were responsible for paying ALL of their bills and espenses except health insurance. Believe me, there wasn't any fat in the budget. We also told them they had four years of this parental support, so they needed to plan to get their degrees within four years. They did. The youngest daughter even graduated with $$$ in a savings account. (she was very frugal).

They paid for their own (used) cars from savings while working in high school.
They paid for their own car insurance.
I kept them on my health plan.
There was no vacation $$ included in their budgets.
They both had apartments with room-mates from their sophomore through senior years.
They lived with me during summer breaks, and earned their own spending money.
They have both thanked us.
Later in life, I disclaimed a portion of an inheritance so they could each make a larger downpayment on their small condos in a high cost of living area.
This worked for us.
Normchad
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Normchad »

We basically paid for everything during college. We also had a fully funded 529 plan that they didn’t use because they were in scholarship. So we gave all that to them when they graduated.

They pay their own car insurance. They lay the family cell phone bill. When the family goes on vacation, we’re still,picking up the tab there.

Haven’t thought to much about the rest. In the back of my mind, I know they’ll eventually get all the money. And so if I can give it them now, when it might make a bigger difference in their lives, I’m. Very open to that. So I might give them a house down payment someday, I don’t know.
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calmaniac
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by calmaniac »

Gave them the same as what my partner and I got from our respective parents and my father got from his parents: full support for tuition and living expenses.

YMMV
≈64yo. AA 75/25: 30% TSM, 19% value (VFVA/AVUV), 18% Int'l LC, 8% emerging, 25% GFund/VBTLX. Fed pensions now ≈60% of expenses. Taking SS @age 70--> pension+SS ≈100% of expenses. What me worry?
Kaizen Soze
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Kaizen Soze »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:58 am If someone is not willing to let their kids worked in high school, why should they expect their kids to work in college?

KlangFool
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:08 pm In summary, if you believe that your kid should work during college, why not start them on some jobs in high school? If you did not do that, why you and them expect them to work in college?

Ditto on budgeting, grocery shopping, cooking, and all other basic living stuff.

KlangFool
By that logic, if you expect your kid to work in high school, why not start them on some jobs in middle school? And if you expect your kid to work in middle school, why not start them on some jobs in elementary school?

Nothing is wrong with expecting your kid to start working in college if they didn’t work in high school. Gotta start somewhere.
gavinsiu
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by gavinsiu »

I think it would be ok to help your kids through college. I worked over 20 hours a week during my college years, but college cost is so high these days I don't see how you would be able to do that. My wife is a college professor and she indicated that student who work too much often had trouble with their grades. My wife ran into debt issue when she was getting a master because her stipend did not pay enough. Her parents would have helped, but she wanted to be independant. It took some years to get out of the debt.

I think our worry is that our kids will become entitled and become slackers. This is where your parenting skill will have to come in since every kids is different. Some automatically want to work hard, some will try to sneak by. For my kids, when I give them stuff I basically require them to take good care of it. I think I would also like for them to try to get by on their own but learn to ask us for help. My kids are still young, so I will have to see if we are successful.
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scorcher31
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by scorcher31 »

I worked a little bit in high-school for spending money, but my parents paid my car insurance, phone, meal plan and 4 year college room and tuition. When I went to med school I paid for everything.

My wife's parents took out loans for her and gave her the bill when she graduated. They essentially paid nothing.

We save 500 a month in a 529 for our only child. We will probably pay all expenses for 4 year college or equivalent. If for any reason there is anything left in 529 our child will get it.
Pdxnative
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Pdxnative »

We paid for pretty much everything included in COA because we both feel that funding a college education to the extent possible is part of our parental responsibility. They knew this from an early age. Our kids were good students and we supported their academic interests before college and worked with them on finding schools that were a good fit for their academic interests and professional goals.

We bought a third car for use during HS. This was as much for our convenience as theirs, and also to develop driving skills and responsibility. We funded insurance through the end of college. We discouraged working during HS because academic and athletic pursuits would have made this very difficult—we felt the opportunity cost was high. We provided a modest allowance but if they had wanted to spend a lot they’d have had to work.

The kids were frugal, disciplined, and responsible before, during, and after college. Work in college was focused more on professional development than earnings. In looking at other families, we haven’t seen the “skin in the game” approach work out much differently than the funded approach.

One of us had college paid by parents and one didn’t. Neither of us see any difference in terms of virtue or character development. All we know is that the one who didn’t get parental help 40 years ago would not be able to get through college today as easily as back then.
Doctor Rhythm
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

My parents had the means to provide full financial support for me and my sib throughout college and post-graduate education, and that’s what they did. This meant tuition (minus scholarships), room-and-board in the dormitory, educational expenses, and modest spending money. I didn’t need a car, but would have access to our family’s (really terrible) old one.

There was no pro versus con debate about this; it was just the expectation, just like there was no debate about going to college. If it was within your ability, it was expected.
Last edited by Doctor Rhythm on Sat Jan 21, 2023 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
arf1410
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by arf1410 »

We were prepared to pay 100% tuition/fees/room/board for the flagship in state institution. When the child choose an out of state school, with a full in cost ~ 2X in the instate, we covered ~80%, with the agreement the child would work to earn ~ 10%, and borrow ~10%. With some miner sacrifices, we could have covered much/all of the 20% kid share, but I specifically wanted him to have some investment in the process.

Here's another perspective, for curiosity as much as usefulness... but the question would be, what % of your annual income are you spending on your kid's college. Our contribution (total for 4 years undergrad) was about 80% of our gross annual income.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I paid for my kids college. I considered it a parental duty.
DSBH
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by DSBH »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:37 am Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
As undergrad, I went to school in the morning and worked in the evening 360+ days/year for near minimum wage, shared a small apartment with 3 others. DW worked as a waitress in the evening while going to school in the morning. We wanted to give DD a better financial start.
How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get car insurance paid for?
UTMA since birth, all college expenses - including pocket money but no vacation money - and used car+insurance as she agreed to go to the local university while staying at home, even though she was admitted to a couple more prestigious ($$$$) universities from out of town. We encouraged her to work during summer, but she elected instead to attend summer school, and graduated when she was 20 1/2.
Will they get a down payment for their first house?
No, but a couple months ago after DD/SIL came up with the 20% down payment we financed their house purchase using an IRS approved AFR interest rate, so they avoid paying 6+% in the market even though they can afford that. FWIW we don't automatically gift, but could chip in once they do the hard work first.
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JackoC
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by JackoC »

CletusCaddy wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:48 pm I'd say there is relatively little correlation between college students who worked because they needed the money and eventual success as an independent adult.

On the other hand, there is likely a high correlation between college students who worked and reduced time available for studying.
Yeah work by students depends a lot on need and what trade offs are necessary/desirable against academics. It's going to be like most things, the people who insist students should have paid work are going to have a mental model of paid work vs. goofing around. Which is probably accurate in a lot of cases but not necessarily. My own college undergrad was pretty extreme, but it was impossible to work during academic terms, the academic workload was nuts. In grad school the workload was more normal and I worked part time during academic terms. My kids probably *could* have worked during academic terms in college but by and large didn't, worked in summer.

Most of the parent part is about parents' financial resources, 'skin in the game', OK I guess but I think the view about that is usually a function of means to some degree. It wasn't a financial challenge for us to pay everything for our kids' college, and they're our kids not some random people, so we did. Their work money was for them. It worked out OK. I didn't like idea of cars in college because of distraction from academics (like work) and safety for non-fully formed brains. We got them each a used car after college, lent them cars for the duration of summer jobs in some cases.
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Petrocelli
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Petrocelli »

I paid for everything. Tuition, room, and board. My parents did the same for me.
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K72
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by K72 »

Neither DW nor I had any help from parents with college expenses, first car, or first home. It isn't that they didn't want to, but they had no means. For our two kids, we paid all 4 years of college (tuition, housing, meals, books), gave them $ as graduation presents toward their first car, subsidised their Roth for four years, and gifted them down payments for their first home. Never a second thought or discussion.
All we want are the facts...
BernardShakey
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by BernardShakey »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:47 am
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:40 am What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
It is actionable because I have a teenager and I want to see what others see as reasonable since husband and I disagree on what we should provide. We came from different backgrounds and has different experience, yet the one who had the harder time and sacrifice learned more discipline and ended up with more wealth.

How is this different than asking on opinions on the least favorite vacation or car? You want to learn from others on what is reasonable even though taste defer.
I'm paying full freight for both kids but only because I can do it and still cover retirement. Luckily, I only have two kids :D Paying for undergraduate and graduate / professional school. Tuition, books, food, housing, general life expenses, and a nice safe used car with insurance.

Things are so much different now than when I was in school. Very few students had big loans for school back then. Tuition was cheap and so was housing. All four years of my public undergrad (all expenses) cost well less than a single year does now. And today, depending on what you're going into, an undergraduate degree might just be a starting point education-wise. It's completely different world now.

My view is that affording your kids great educations where they can then go into the world and earn a living without any debt is a great gift. I also look at it this way --- what else would I do with the money? Buy a rapidly depreciating new BMW ?

As long as one's retirement funding is in good shape, education for the kids seems like the next best use of the remaining money.
An important key to investing is having a well-calibrated sense of your future regret.
JayDee37
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by JayDee37 »

Reasonable people can and do have very different approaches to this issue, and emotions can run high since it involves people's beliefs about what makes a good parent, how to best foster children's healthy transition into adulthood, and balancing important financial needs like college and retirement. It is especially challenging when spouses (or the divorced parents of a child) have different opinions.

My own opinion is that this is a parental responsibility IF the parents can afford it without compromising their own financial futures. If paying for college (or weddings, down payments, etc) would lead to financial problems for the parents, they shouldn't. College age kids have their entire working lives ahead of them to pay down loans and plan for retirement. Parents of college age children only have a decade or two to accomplish these things.

When I was applying to colleges my parents made it clear that they would support me to go to the school of my choice, but that I would need to contribute by working and taking out student loans if necessary. Which is what happened. I got some decent merit/financial aid, worked part time throughout undergrad, took loans each year, and my parents also took out some modest loans and took some home equity out of a little vacation cabin they had. They did not jeopardize their own financial well-being or retirement plans, however. They continued to contribute to retirement accounts, use debt responsibly, etc.

My oldest daughter just started college this year. Her dad and I are divorced, and as part of our divorce settlement we each agreed to pay half of the cost of in-state public college for 4 years, including room, board, tuition, fees, basic living expenses, books, etc. I agreed to this because I knew I could afford it; I had all of this money saved in a 529 and brokerage account by the time she matriculated this past Fall. If she had wanted to go to a more expensive school (private or out-or-state), I would have provided what I had agreed to provide, and she and/or her dad (who makes about 4 times as much as I do) would have had to figure out the rest. I will not jeopardize my own financial well-being or retirement. She will be on her own for any graduate/professional school (as I was). If I have money available for wedding/down payment assistance I will be delighted to help, but if it will jeopardize my own financial health and future I will regretfully decline. I consider it a gift to my kids that they won't have to worry about supporting me as I age. I think that is worth quite a bit.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? | ~Mary Oliver
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