Plan for making child pay for part of college

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
ThatGuy
Posts: 986
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by ThatGuy »

BlueCable wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:16 am Just to be clear, federal loans do not require a cosigner and are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. A family member has around $200k of these loans and no cosigner.
That's not possible. Take a look at this government site to see that the maximum total is $138,500; and that's only if they are an independent student attending graduate or professional school. The undergad limit is $31,000.

Student Aid
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
Pacman
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:50 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Pacman »

bigred77 wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:01 am I was in undergrad about a decade ago now but one thing I really didn't understand until I got out of school is how valuable internships in your field are. I worked every summer doing manual labor type jobs for 2 months for the highest wage I could find but I truly believe most students would be far better off working an unpaid internship (paid is better of course but take what you can get) in their field instead. It's just such a leg up over students who don't have any relevant experience.

I made 10-12 bucks an hour clearing overgrown fields and worked 35-40 hours a week. Probably less than $5000 gross for the summer. I would advise my own kids to really sell out looking for a summer internship. If they fail, I'd still advise them to look for an unpaid role and borrow the extra 5k. Especially the summer before senior year.
+1. In just one internship over the summer in my field (accounting), I probably made more than my girlfriend did working through college all 4 years. And even if it was unpaid, it still would have been more valuable. If I had been working minimum wage jobs throughout the school year, I am 100% certain that I wouldn't of kept up my GPA and wouldn't even have qualified to get my starting job. I was fortunate that I only had to work over the summers, and not during the school year.
ThatGuy
Posts: 986
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by ThatGuy »

I encourage all parents of prospective college goers to look at the student budgets posted on their state flagship websites. For instance, for UC Berkeley, tuition and fees combined are $14,068. Room & board is another $15,716 if you live on campus.

In a previous post I noted that public colleges are ridiculously cheap if you don't buy your kid a condo and a BMW.
ThatGuy wrote:UC Berkeley costs $13,432 in tuition and fees. That's an absolute steal for the name brandness (I know it's not a word). The University of Michigan costs $15,602 for upper division tuition & fees. Georgia Tech is $12,204.

That's just really, really cheap for the education reputation you get. What costs real money is the room & board, but it should be no surprise that rent and food is expensive, particularly in a place like Berkeley.

It's a persistent myth that college is expensive. Sure, you can spend a ton of money at Harvard. Or you can get a prestige name for much less; all it takes is a modicum of research into whatever field your child is interested in.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
BlueCable
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:20 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by BlueCable »

ThatGuy wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:41 am
BlueCable wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:16 am Just to be clear, federal loans do not require a cosigner and are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. A family member has around $200k of these loans and no cosigner.
That's not possible. Take a look at this government site to see that the maximum total is $138,500; and that's only if they are an independent student attending graduate or professional school. The undergad limit is $31,000.

Student Aid
These were for medical school, which have a higher limit. The balance may have also grown during residency as well. But yes, you are right that undergraduate loans have lower limits. I did not know that.

Also -- note that all graduate students are considered independent according to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loan ... d#how-much.
JBTX
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by JBTX »

MrKnight wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:42 am
JBTX wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 pm
While there is obviously value in kids / young adults gaining work experience and working their way up, the flip side is they are working a slightly above minimum wage job (and taking on debt ) which takes time away from their expensive college studies and experience.
You would think that's the case, that working takes away time from studying, but surveys have shown that to be untrue. In fact, those who don't work may even study less.

Surveys indicate that college students that don't work tends to use the surplus time for leisure activity and socializing rather than studying.
That could be, but I am always skeptical of studies if I don't know he methodology. It could be that kids who have their college paid for include some disinterested kids who may not have gone to college if the money wasn't there. Those kids who worked and paid for college were probably motivated to make it work since they have so much invested. The disinterested kids may not have even gone to college if the money wasnt there.

I am not sure such studies necessarily indicate how any given individual will perform under the two scenarios.

In my case I didn't pay for my college but was very motivated. Same with my brother. My wife on the other hand paid for (and borrowed) for hers. If the kid can get a meaningful job related to his future career then that may be useful. I am just more skeptical about flipping burgers for minimum wage. There may be a motivational aspect of this crappy minimum wage job will motivate me to want to do buckle down and work harder and not drink beer. Or maybe it overloads the schedule and academics suffer. I'm sure it depends on the individual.
Quickfoot
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Quickfoot »

People in college need to be either working or interning, degrees don't get jobs skills and work experience do. Should they be flipping burgers? Probably not but if they want to get a job when they graduate they absolutely NEED to be working in their eventual field in some capacity.

We have 3 really good state universities, 8K a year for tuition, if you want to stay in the dorms that'll basically run another 8K. By allowing our kids to stay at home during college we are essentially already paying for half their degree. We won't require they work but I'm also not giving college age children spending money so if they want more than room and board they'll need a job at least part time.

I'm doing 45 credits a year (year round program), working full time in a senior technology position with overtime, a full time dad and husband, and a marathon runner and still have a 3.9 GPA and haven't entirely sacrificed my family or personal life. It is entirely possible for a college age person without children or a spouse to work part time and get good grades, people just don't want to put in the effort.
stoptothink
Posts: 8497
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stoptothink »

JBTX wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:17 am
MrKnight wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:42 am
JBTX wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 pm
While there is obviously value in kids / young adults gaining work experience and working their way up, the flip side is they are working a slightly above minimum wage job (and taking on debt ) which takes time away from their expensive college studies and experience.
You would think that's the case, that working takes away time from studying, but surveys have shown that to be untrue. In fact, those who don't work may even study less.

Surveys indicate that college students that don't work tends to use the surplus time for leisure activity and socializing rather than studying.
That could be, but I am always skeptical of studies if I don't know he methodology. It could be that kids who have their college paid for include some disinterested kids who may not have gone to college if the money wasn't there. Those kids who worked and paid for college were probably motivated to make it work since they have so much invested. The disinterested kids may not have even gone to college if the money wasnt there.

I am not sure such studies necessarily indicate how any given individual will perform under the two scenarios.

In my case I didn't pay for my college but was very motivated. Same with my brother. My wife on the other hand paid for (and borrowed) for hers. If the kid can get a meaningful job related to his future career then that may be useful. I am just more skeptical about flipping burgers for minimum wage. There may be a motivational aspect of this crappy minimum wage job will motivate me to want to do buckle down and work harder and not drink beer. Or maybe it overloads the schedule and academics suffer. I'm sure it depends on the individual.
We could talk about anecdotes all day (I already offered mine, and that of my wife), but I think the reality is that most 18-22yr olds struggle with motivation and work ethic, regardless of the situation. They often are also a bit overwhelmed by all their newfound freedom. Studies have also shown that older individuals who go back to school after a long layoff generally fair better academically then their younger peers, and these individuals are almost always working simultaneously (and have the disadvantage of having been away from academia for an extended period). In my wife's case, she dropped out at 19 (she was on academic probation) and she wasn't even working, she returned to school a decade later at 29 (with a full-time job and 2 children) and is now a 4.0 student. It really is up to the individual, but you will be amazed what you can accomplish when you have to.
JBTX
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by JBTX »

stoptothink wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:46 am
JBTX wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:17 am
MrKnight wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:42 am
JBTX wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 pm
While there is obviously value in kids / young adults gaining work experience and working their way up, the flip side is they are working a slightly above minimum wage job (and taking on debt ) which takes time away from their expensive college studies and experience.
You would think that's the case, that working takes away time from studying, but surveys have shown that to be untrue. In fact, those who don't work may even study less.

Surveys indicate that college students that don't work tends to use the surplus time for leisure activity and socializing rather than studying.
That could be, but I am always skeptical of studies if I don't know he methodology. It could be that kids who have their college paid for include some disinterested kids who may not have gone to college if the money wasn't there. Those kids who worked and paid for college were probably motivated to make it work since they have so much invested. The disinterested kids may not have even gone to college if the money wasnt there.

I am not sure such studies necessarily indicate how any given individual will perform under the two scenarios.

In my case I didn't pay for my college but was very motivated. Same with my brother. My wife on the other hand paid for (and borrowed) for hers. If the kid can get a meaningful job related to his future career then that may be useful. I am just more skeptical about flipping burgers for minimum wage. There may be a motivational aspect of this crappy minimum wage job will motivate me to want to do buckle down and work harder and not drink beer. Or maybe it overloads the schedule and academics suffer. I'm sure it depends on the individual.
We could talk about anecdotes all day (I already offered mine, and that of my wife), but I think the reality is that most 18-22yr olds struggle with motivation and work ethic, regardless of the situation. They often are also a bit overwhelmed by all their newfound freedom. Studies have also shown that older individuals who go back to school after a long layoff generally fair better academically then their younger peers, and these individuals are almost always working simultaneously (and have the disadvantage of having been away from academia for an extended period). In my wife's case, she dropped out at 19 (she was on academic probation) and she wasn't even working, she returned to school a decade later at 29 (with a full-time job and 2 children) and is now a 4.0 student. It really is up to the individual, but you will be amazed what you can accomplish when you have to.
In terms of older students doing better is that because they work, or is it because of maturity? I don't know if you can take that and conclude that an 18 year freshman will do better in school because he has a part time job at McDonalds.
Frank Grimes
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:54 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Frank Grimes »

I have 16 years until my firstborn enters college, so who knows what could happen between then and now with the market and/or college costs. But as it stands now, I intend and am on track to pay for 100% of our state's flagship public school. If they want spending money, Greek orgs, etc that can come from their own part time jobs I suppose. Hopefully they don't insist on mom and dads private alma mater, whose cost has far outpaced its return at this point IMO.

I think it'll be a parenting decision as to whether requiring some semblance of skin in the game will be necessary. If my kids (hopefully) have a good head on their shoulders at that point and understand the value of hard work and effort, allowing them to graduate with no student debt is a gift I'll gladly give.
JBTX
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by JBTX »

Quickfoot wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:39 am People in college need to be either working or interning, degrees don't get jobs skills and work experience do. Should they be flipping burgers? Probably not but if they want to get a job when they graduate they absolutely NEED to be working in their eventual field in some capacity.

We have 3 really good state universities, 8K a year for tuition, if you want to stay in the dorms that'll basically run another 8K. By allowing our kids to stay at home during college we are essentially already paying for half their degree. We won't require they work but I'm also not giving college age children spending money so if they want more than room and board they'll need a job at least part time.

I'm doing 45 credits a year (year round program), working full time in a senior technology position with overtime, a full time dad and husband, and a marathon runner and still have a 3.9 GPA and haven't entirely sacrificed my family or personal life. It is entirely possible for a college age person without children or a spouse to work part time and get good grades, people just don't want to put in the effort.
I generally agree with what you are saying here. Kids can stay at home and go locally to school, even a community college. I did one year of community college built up a bunch of transferable credits and then went to state school and ended up going to a private grad school later. A buddy of mine did the same thing and eventually became an MD. Two others did 2 years of community college and became DO's.

Of course it is possible to have time to get good grades and have part time job. The question is will the 18 year old optimize his/her time. The conventional wisdom here seems to be that having a part time job will focus the kid better and cause him to more optimally allocate academic time. Maybe.
stoptothink
Posts: 8497
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stoptothink »

JBTX wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:01 pm
stoptothink wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:46 am
JBTX wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:17 am
MrKnight wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:42 am
JBTX wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:08 pm
While there is obviously value in kids / young adults gaining work experience and working their way up, the flip side is they are working a slightly above minimum wage job (and taking on debt ) which takes time away from their expensive college studies and experience.
You would think that's the case, that working takes away time from studying, but surveys have shown that to be untrue. In fact, those who don't work may even study less.

Surveys indicate that college students that don't work tends to use the surplus time for leisure activity and socializing rather than studying.
That could be, but I am always skeptical of studies if I don't know he methodology. It could be that kids who have their college paid for include some disinterested kids who may not have gone to college if the money wasn't there. Those kids who worked and paid for college were probably motivated to make it work since they have so much invested. The disinterested kids may not have even gone to college if the money wasnt there.

I am not sure such studies necessarily indicate how any given individual will perform under the two scenarios.

In my case I didn't pay for my college but was very motivated. Same with my brother. My wife on the other hand paid for (and borrowed) for hers. If the kid can get a meaningful job related to his future career then that may be useful. I am just more skeptical about flipping burgers for minimum wage. There may be a motivational aspect of this crappy minimum wage job will motivate me to want to do buckle down and work harder and not drink beer. Or maybe it overloads the schedule and academics suffer. I'm sure it depends on the individual.
We could talk about anecdotes all day (I already offered mine, and that of my wife), but I think the reality is that most 18-22yr olds struggle with motivation and work ethic, regardless of the situation. They often are also a bit overwhelmed by all their newfound freedom. Studies have also shown that older individuals who go back to school after a long layoff generally fair better academically then their younger peers, and these individuals are almost always working simultaneously (and have the disadvantage of having been away from academia for an extended period). In my wife's case, she dropped out at 19 (she was on academic probation) and she wasn't even working, she returned to school a decade later at 29 (with a full-time job and 2 children) and is now a 4.0 student. It really is up to the individual, but you will be amazed what you can accomplish when you have to.
In terms of older students doing better is that because they work, or is it because of maturity? I don't know if you can take that and conclude that an 18 year freshman will do better in school because he has a part time job at McDonalds.
It is obviously because of maturity, but how does that change anything? The reason I had the maturity to double major and graduate magna cum laude, be a scholarship athlete, and work part-time had nothing to do with age (I began college at 16), it was because I didn't really have a choice (I actually had to help my mother financially, not the other way around). A 30yr old does not have any more hours in the day than does an 18yr old. Why can't an 18yr old have enough maturity to handle academics and working at the same time (it simply isn't about lack of time)? IMO, the answer to that is probably because they don't have to.

If you don't have to, nobody wants to put their children in a difficult situation, but it doesn't hurt to make it clear that there are expectations that they will work hard.
remomnyc
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by remomnyc »

Our current plan is to pay 100% for top tier (as determined by us) or our state schools (including room and board if more than 1 hour away). For anything else, we will pay up to the equivalent state costs and kids have to make up the difference with scholarships or loans. Any left over money in their 529 accounts will be paid out to them 5 years after they complete their education if they are self-sufficient.
SimonJester
Posts: 2185
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:39 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by SimonJester »

Edie wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:17 am We will not pay for room and board, we're already paying that at home. If they want to live on campus, or away from home, that's on them, and we will not help. Additionally, if they decide not to go to school, we're not subsidizing room and board anymore, and they start paying rent (although much less than if they moved out, unless they got roommates, and probably still less than that, since we basically just allocate them their expenses, which are low since we have a "small" mortgage).
I dont get this, so do you want your kids to goto college and be successful in life? Why then do you set them up for a huge amount of student loans or having to work through college thus not being able to put 100% into what you are paying for? Room and board now exceed the yearly tuition at some colleges.

Ok so living at home, but now go get a job and pay me rent? When do they study for classes?

Look at the numbers, working a minimum wage job at 24 hours per week they are earning $174 per week before taxes. So we are talking under $700 per month, from which they have to pay for car insurance, gas, rent, food, cell phone, miscellaneous.

I understand no one here wants their kids to party through school Animal House style, nor do they want their kids to take 8 years for that undergraduate degree. Why not just lay down those rules vs the I want you to have skin in the game method?

Ive told my kids here is the total amount we have saved for your college. Now go look at College costs and decide what you want to do.

My rule is as long as your are in school getting passing grades, you get a roof over your head and food in your belly...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Quickfoot
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Quickfoot »

JBTX wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:10 pm I generally agree with what you are saying here. Kids can stay at home and go locally to school, even a community college. I did one year of community college built up a bunch of transferable credits and then went to state school and ended up going to a private grad school later. A buddy of mine did the same thing and eventually became an MD. Two others did 2 years of community college and became DO's.

Of course it is possible to have time to get good grades and have part time job. The question is will the 18 year old optimize his/her time. The conventional wisdom here seems to be that having a part time job will focus the kid better and cause him to more optimally allocate academic time. Maybe.
My daughter is likely to do dual credit classes in junior high and take community college classes in high school for much the same reason. I'd go a step further and say if a person lacks the maturity to handle working part time and getting good grades in college they lack the maturity to go to college at all and should grow up a bit more before attending. College is NOT supposed to be an experience or party time; it is education to prepare a person for their career and to be good members of society. If people don't take it seriously they should quit and let people who will take it seriously have their spot and financial aid. College isn't for everyone, and that's OK.
Quickfoot
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Quickfoot »

SimonJester wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:51 pm
I dont get this, so do you want your kids to goto college and be successful in life? Why then do you set them up for a huge amount of student loans or having to work through college thus not being able to put 100% into what you are paying for? Room and board now exceed the yearly tuition at some colleges.
12-18 credits a semester and working even full time simply isn't that hard if you take it seriously. A child that wants to go to college but says working part time will keep them from being successful probably lacks the commitment to do well in college whether or not they are working.

It isn't a parent's job to provide for post high school education, it is their future they should own responsibility for it. College doesn't have to be a huge amount of student loans, community college and state universities are quite affordable especially when staying at home. What has made college expensive is the idea that parents will pay for it so go anywhere you want and pay insane tuition and that college should be a "fun" experience (which it isn't intended and shouldn't necessarily be). College is occupational training, not summer camp and students need to seek out the most cost effective education for the career they intend to have.

If a child has been raised to be financially literate, understands the burden of debt and the gift of reducing student loans by staying at home they are less likely to be imprudent and more likely to avoid unnecessarily expensive colleges or programs.
SundayMorning
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:04 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by SundayMorning »

“Skin in the Game” one family’s blessing….YMMV

Posting this as a real life example in hopes that it may benefit the (OP) and others on their journey of getting their children through College. Both from the financial aspect and developmentally as they move into the realm of adulting during today’s challenges.

My son graduated last spring with an Accounting degree and minor in Finance. Although he attended a $40K+ year private University, he graduated in 3 years paying about $18k total out of his pocket and an additional $5K to $6K total from the highly localized bank of Mom and Dad. By his 2nd “real job” paycheck, he paid off his last student loan of $3k. At 22 years old he is debt free, funding a Roth IRA, funding to the match in the TSP and to the match in a 401K. There is also a Pension if he sticks there long enough to vest. Additionally, he is beefing up his Emergency Fund.

This is how he did it:
1. In High School he maintained excellent grades. Took/passed 3 AP exams that provided credits that the University accepted towards his undergraduate degree.

2. Chose an excellent nearby University, which in hindsight could not have been a better fit for him.

3. Received an academic scholarship award by the University. $12,500 per year based on class rank and GPA from High School.

4. Worked a summer job after High School and before entering college. (Moving & Storage Company. $11/hr and hard physical work – good life
experience)

5. 1st Semester of Freshman Year: Did some light work study jobs in the University’s accounting office. Low hours and low wages. Focused on classes and volunteering. The University has a social engagement transcript and minimum requirements to graduate. Various volunteer opportunities through the University and some he brought to the University continued from his High School activities, allowed him to fulfill more than the minimum. Further, he was able to engage others in his dorm and get them involved / help them on their way to fulfill their engagement requirements. All the while, building his leadership experience .

6. 2nd Semester of Freshman Year: Volunteered with United Way to provide tax return prep to qualified families/individuals needing assistance. He completed training and passed a test to participate in this volunteer program.

Became a Resident Advisor with Resident Life at the University. (Room and Board is now provided)

By taking more than the minimum credit hours and the AP credits from High School, he is on pace to graduate early.

Completes an internship (accounting related) accepted for credits at school as well as $16/hr. Promptly pays off some of his unsubsidized Federal Loans.

7. 2nd year: Applied for several scholarships / grants offered at the school. Some are just filling out forms and writing essays on provided questions or topics. Wins a $5k grant for an essay on Business Ethics. Filled out another form on club sports and Intermural sports: chosen to receive a $1,000 scholarship/grant.

Became a team manager for one of the University sports teams. (Only responsibility was to pick up mesh bags of dirty uniforms after practice, run them to the school laundry, load them into the machines, pick them up when done, and deliver back to the locker rooms before the next practice. $3K credit on the school billing each of the 2nd and 3rd year. ( :moneybag KA-Ching!)

Completes an internship (accounting related) not for credits at school, but paid $18/hr. Promptly pays off some of his unsubsidized Federal Loans.

8. Works a summer job, again physical work – car wash. Minimum wage + good tips. Pays off old loans / only has the new loans remaining for the upcoming year.

9. 3rd year completes another internship / same place as prior year – paid $20 hr. / no college credits. Graduates in May 2017 with some additional credits completed towards his Masters / all within 3 years.


10. June 2017: Starts a career job using / related to his field of study. Plans to finish Masters and take the CPA exams. After 1 year of employment; employer will reimburse the tuition /costs towards the master’s degree and the CPA exams.

Obviously we are proud of our son, he did these things listed above and more along the way.

(OP) We had every intention of at least paying for the college costs beyond the limited Federal Loans he took on in his name. However, what was initially supposed to be “skin in the game” – our son took it upon himself as a challenge / badge of honor to limit the costs and pay the remainder himself.

All the while, he maintained a 3.7 GPA, enjoyed college social life; and then landed a good career job.
Hard work and determination from a Millennial!! Can you imagine? :shock:

…remains to be seen on how it will go with our daughter. She is off to a decent start with her 1st summer job.

Edit: Forgot to add: Check into CLEP exams and whether your kid's schools accept them if passed. My son studied some non-major subjects over Holidays and the summer. Took and passed 3 exams that allowed him to test out of those 3 (a History course, Sociology or Psychology, and an Economics course). He paid $125 or so per test; saved thousands in tuition / helped him finish in 3 years.
Last edited by SundayMorning on Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
not4me
Posts: 895
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 3:08 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by not4me »

OP, haven't had time to read all this, so it may be redundant....I'd recommend some flexibility until the school is selected (or at least a short list of candidates). I think others have brought up the 'side items', some of this will definitely depend on which school. This is particularly true for transportation, social life considerations, etc. Learned recently that my friends sophomore son was HAVING to move off campus as dorms were full & only freshmen would have dorm rooms (but all freshmen MUST). I'd try to make sure they knew there were some non-negotiables -- that is, items that had to be funded for safety, etc. Would you want incentives for performance? 1st year grades impacting 2nd year? These may be appropriate for some kids & not others...hopefully 1st kid will set useful example
MindBogler
Posts: 1031
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:05 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by MindBogler »

KlangFool wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:04 pm OP,

What is the question? You just need to tell this to your children and make sure that you can hold your ground. It is your money. You get to choose how to spend it.

KlangFool
This. I also think young kids having some skin in the game is a valuable life lesson.
User avatar
celia
Posts: 11534
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by celia »

remomnyc wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:34 pm Any left over money in their 529 accounts will be paid out to them 5 years after they complete their education if they are self-sufficient.
In that case, it will then be taxed, thus defeating the point of putting the money in the plan.

Withdrawals are only tax-free up to the amount of Qualified Higher Education Expenses incurred during the same year as the withdrawal.
User avatar
gasdoc
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:26 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by gasdoc »

I think this whole thread would be more useful if there were more data, and less anecdotes and generalities. We worked closely with our DD during her high school years, helping her to narrow down her college choices to a short list. We made it clear to her that the list had to be acceptable to all of us if we were to help pay for the education. She visited the schools and further narrowed her list. Eventually it came down to two schools, both of which had our blessing, and she chose one. With merit scholarship money, they ended up costing roughly the same (as if they all both used the same formula). If she were to choose a major that I believed was easier (aka less time consuming), I would have expected her to work some during the school year. She chose a major and pre-professional tract that will require much of her available time. We don't mind if she decides to play a club sport or join a sorority with what little free time she has available. If she chooses to over-socialize/party, her grades will show it, and we will re-approach our decisions. I think all of this needs to be individualized to the particular young adult and the course he/she has chosen to pursue. My 2 cents.

gasdoc
Bfwolf
Posts: 2051
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Bfwolf »

OP, can you tell us what state you are in? I think that will help tailor the discussion.
User avatar
KSOC
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:53 pm
Location: Central Pennsylvania

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by KSOC »

2 daughters. Told them before entering HS, study hard, take extra credits, nail those SATs. You go in state, we'll pay room and board, you pay tuition. Do your best to get scholarships & grants. One daughter had $10,000 in loans (4 years of tuition), the other got more grants & ended up with $1000 (3 years). They both went main campus big time school. Wife and I had decent income at the time (it was still tight - for two years they were there at the same time!) but like another poster said I just couldn't let them get buried so early in life. I'd do it all over again.
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
runner3081
Posts: 3675
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by runner3081 »

Quickfoot wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:11 pm
SimonJester wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:51 pm
I dont get this, so do you want your kids to goto college and be successful in life? Why then do you set them up for a huge amount of student loans or having to work through college thus not being able to put 100% into what you are paying for? Room and board now exceed the yearly tuition at some colleges.
12-18 credits a semester and working even full time simply isn't that hard if you take it seriously. A child that wants to go to college but says working part time will keep them from being successful probably lacks the commitment to do well in college whether or not they are working.
Completely agree, when did working during college become too hard and a burden? Kids these days...
User avatar
celia
Posts: 11534
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by celia »

caseynshan wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:54 pm I'm interested in making my child pay for part of college, for various reasons....
I don't really want to debate reasons.. really looking for ideas/hints on viability....
Set aside financial issues for a moment. Isn't the point of college to further one's overall education and help start a career?

What if your kids had different career goals than one another? Suppose they decided by the middle of high school that:
one wanted to be a doctor,
one wanted to be an elementary teacher,
one wanted to be a minister, and
one wanted to have a military career.
These are all noble goals, in my opinion, and I would want to help each child reach their goal. (Obviously, most kids aren't sure what they will be at this age and it is likely.your kids will all be different ages, so how things will unfold will not be known when the first child reaches college age. So that's a different issue.)

I listed the careers in descending order of how much the student and parents would be expected to pay. Obviously the parents will not be expected to pay the same amount for undergrad for each child although you may want to pay the same for each. (Even if all the children chose the same career, financial aid would likely be able to cover more for the younger children since the parents are older and have shorter remaining working years for the later children.)

Here is how I see the italicized part, assuming you want to help each child reach his/her goal.
The future doctor should go to the best school he/she can get into in order to get into med school. (Grad school will be largely loans that the student will be responsible for.)
The future elementary teacher should go to a state school as they know and can provide exactly what the requirements are for teaching in that state. A year of grad school to get the credential will probably be required.
The future minister can go anywhere for undergrad and a wide exposure to people and life would be recommended. His/her? grad school would likely be in a specialized post-baccalaureate program sponsored by his church.
The future military career officer can go to a military academy and graduate as an officer. Not only will this be the least expensive option (financially speaking), but there will be a guaranteed job and post-baccalaureate training provided.

Note that the cost of each of these careers to society will be in the reverse order than the student-parent cost. It costs the federal government at least $250,000 to educate a student at the US military academies (military "hardware" is partly included--planes-subs, tanks). The minister's post-grad costs may be covered partly or completely by churches. The teacher's education is subsidized by the state as the full education cost is more than what the student pays. And society doesn't pay much for the doctor's training unless she goes to a state school.

This example is meant to show where parent costs fit into the picture. Your children's career choices may not be this stark. But looking back on our children's college goals, this is similar to our experience. We did not have an overall plan for paying for college when we started (since we were still paying K-12 tuition for younger kids), but just supported each student the best we could at the time. We knew, though, that we would at least continue paying the same amount per child as we previously were for parochial school. And we had always told them they needed to do their best so they could earn scholarships (which they all did).

Edit to add: In all cases, our kids were responsible for paying for school supplies and anything not billed by the college. This was to encourage them to buy used textbooks where possible, instead of paying for all brand new books each semester, then throwing them away. Since they went to parochial schools where we had to buy the books, they were already familiar with the ways we used to buy from/sell to other students.
Last edited by celia on Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
caseynshan
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by caseynshan »

Bfwolf wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm OP, can you tell us what state you are in? I think that will help tailor the discussion.
Colorado, but both kids are looking primarily out of state.
I did underestimate in-state tuition somewhat... (i realized i was merging 3 schools, but one has no campus housing so that estimate excluded housing)
Probably closer to 20k for starting point..

I'm not really looking for specifics on how to fund or how much it costs at this point... but what mechanisms parents used to pay for college when they can pay a decent portion, but do want student to have some 'skin in the game'.. (and i've heard some good ideas...)

I'm not looking to debate whether parents should pay everything/nothing.. etc..
Topic Author
caseynshan
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by caseynshan »

celia wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:28 pm
caseynshan wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:54 pm I'm interested in making my child pay for part of college, for various reasons....
I don't really want to debate reasons.. really looking for ideas/hints on viability....
Set aside financial issues for a moment. Isn't the point of college to further one's overall education and help start a career?

What if your kids had different career goals than one another? Suppose they decided by the middle of high school that:
one wanted to be a doctor,
one wanted to be an elementary teacher,
one wanted to be a minister, and
one wanted to have a military career.
These are all noble goals, in my opinion, and I would want to help each child reach their goal. (Obviously, most kids aren't sure what they will be at this age and it is likely.your kids will all be different ages, so how things will unfold will not be known when the first child reaches college age. So that's a different issue.)

I listed the careers in descending order of how much the student and parents would be expected to pay. Obviously the parents will not be expected to pay the same amount for undergrad for each child although you may want to pay the same for each. (Even if all the children chose the same career, financial aid would likely be able to cover more for the younger children since the parents are older and have shorter remaining working years for the later children.)

Here is how I see the italicized part, assuming you want to help each child reach his/her goal.
The future doctor should go to the best school he/she can get into in order to get into med school. (Grad school will be largely loans that the student will be responsible for.)
The future elementary teacher should go to a state school as they know and can provide exactly what the requirements are for teaching in that state. A year of grad school to get the credential will probably be required.
The future minister can go anywhere for undergrad and a wide exposure to people and life would be recommended. His/her? grad school would likely be in a specialized post-baccalaureate program sponsored by his church.
The future military career officer can go to a military academy and graduate as an officer. Not only will this be the least expensive option (financially speaking), but there will be a guaranteed job and post-baccalaureate training provided.

Note that the cost of each of these careers to society will be in the reverse order than the student-parent cost. It costs the federal government at least $250,000 to educate a student at the US military academies (military "hardware" is partly included--planes-subs, tanks). The minister's post-grad costs may be covered partly or completely by churches. The teacher's education is subsidized by the state as the full education cost is more than what the student pays. And society doesn't pay much for the doctor's training unless she goes to a state school.

This example is meant to show where parent costs fit into the picture. Your children's career choices may not be this stark. But looking back on our children's college goals, this is similar to our experience. We did not have an overall plan for paying for college when we started, but just supported each student the best we could at the time.
Good points, assuming students don't change their mind about major/career multiple times in college.. (Which I did)
User avatar
Edie
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Edie »

SimonJester wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:51 pm
Edie wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:17 am We will not pay for room and board, we're already paying that at home. If they want to live on campus, or away from home, that's on them, and we will not help. Additionally, if they decide not to go to school, we're not subsidizing room and board anymore, and they start paying rent (although much less than if they moved out, unless they got roommates, and probably still less than that, since we basically just allocate them their expenses, which are low since we have a "small" mortgage).
I dont get this, so do you want your kids to goto college and be successful in life? Why then do you set them up for a huge amount of student loans or having to work through college thus not being able to put 100% into what you are paying for? Room and board now exceed the yearly tuition at some colleges.
I want my kids to go to college. I do not want and will not pay for them to live on campus. We live 30 seconds from the community college by car, and that's due to waiting on traffic to turn out of our street and onto the campus. We live 15 minutes by car from the state school.

Ok so living at home, but now go get a job and pay me rent? When do they study for classes?
There is no rent requirement if they go to school. If they choose to not go to school, they pay rent.

Look at the numbers, working a minimum wage job at 24 hours per week they are earning $174 per week before taxes. $240, minimum wage is $10 here So we are talking under $700 just over $1000 per month, from which they have to pay for
car insurance NOPE, car insurance is paid for (it's our car, which we allow them to drive, and they have licenses for our convenience, not theirs.) The second one pays for his own insurance because he decided to buy himself a car, and we cannot insure a car we do not own (by terms of our insurance company). That's his choice.
, gas YEP, they pay for their own gas, but again, the school is right there, not a lot of gas being used
, rent ONLY if they choose not to go to school, and we're charging second child a grand total of $300 a month, and he makes a minimum of $2k a month (I have guided him through his taxes).
, food NOPE, already paid for, they're living at home
, cell phone YEP, cell phone is $30 a month
, miscellaneous YEP, they've already been paying for miscellaneous out of birthday money, etc, for all of junior high/high school .

I understand no one here wants their kids to party through school Animal House style, nor do they want their kids to take 8 years for that undergraduate degree. Why not just lay down those rules vs the I want you to have skin in the game method?

Ive told my kids here is the total amount we have saved for your college. Now go look at College costs and decide what you want to do.
Different circumstances. We had zero saved for college, as I was a SAHM until 10 years ago when I left an abusive marriage. I put myself through college and graduated in 2011 three months before my oldest started high school. Re-married later that year and gained second oldest referenced above. We're cash-flowing college with the help of small student loans for each child. Cash flowing is pretty easy when you've been spending that same amount to pay off your own student loan debt and it's now gone (28k in 4 years). Don't even notice the difference! :shock:

My rule is as long as your are in school getting passing grades, you get a roof over your head and food in your belly...
Sounds like you and I have the same rule, except I refuse to pay for a second roof. The one we have now is just fine.
Bfwolf
Posts: 2051
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Bfwolf »

caseynshan wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:41 pm
Bfwolf wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm OP, can you tell us what state you are in? I think that will help tailor the discussion.
Colorado, but both kids are looking primarily out of state.
I did underestimate in-state tuition somewhat... (i realized i was merging 3 schools, but one has no campus housing so that estimate excluded housing)
Probably closer to 20k for starting point..

I'm not really looking for specifics on how to fund or how much it costs at this point... but what mechanisms parents used to pay for college when they can pay a decent portion, but do want student to have some 'skin in the game'.. (and i've heard some good ideas...)

I'm not looking to debate whether parents should pay everything/nothing.. etc..
Your are trying to incent them to take costs into consideration when selecting their college, which I applaud. I do have some questions about your suggested approach so far:

1) CU-Boulder has costs that will approach $30K per year while CU-Denver would probably be under $20K. By being willing to pay up to the first $20K, you are incenting your children to choose CU-Denver over CU-Boulder. Or any other public Colorado school over CU-Boulder since CU-Boulder is the most expensive I presume. Is this what you want? Would you be happy if your kids chose one of these non-flagship schools over the flagship school to save $10K a year? If no, I'd suggest rethinking your starting point to be the cost of attendance at CU-Boulder.

2) Is there a reason why you want to provide any financial assistance above your baseline? The actual cost difference between CU-Boulder and Harvard is $40K/year. But if you pay for half that difference, you're only "charging" your kids for $20K/year while you take on the rest. You're distorting price incentives by reducing the impact to your kid by 50%. If your kid sees $25K/year of add'l value in Harvard over CU-Boulder, she will pick Harvard even though the actual cost difference is $40K/year.

I think a couple of other key questions for your incentive system are:

1) Rewards/punishments for grades, selecting the right major, getting relevant internships. I think a reasonable parent might be willing to pay less for bad grades, or selecting a low ROI major, or not getting work experience. Though presumably the student would feel the effects of poor behavior here in terms of getting a crappier job, so maybe it's not necessary.

2) What if your child doesn't graduate in 4 years? Are you willing to pay for a 5th?
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11320
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by TomatoTomahto »

msk wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:25 am My experience: I have put 4 kids through college (2 should graduate in 2018) and hundreds of corporate-sponsored scholars. The 100th PhD has graduated just recently from the program I initiated 30 years ago. Approach was identical: the kids can apply to the world's "best" colleges and all their costs will be met on a "modest" basis, 12 months p.a. regardless as to whether they take summer courses or not. Any money they can make in addition, any college bursaries they win, any parental gifts that the corporate scholars get, are all theirs to retain as play money. Observation? The vast majority have done extremely well in subsequent careers, and the failures were actually identifiable up front. The failures were so-so students that the corporation had been arm-twisted by Board Members to give scholarships to. Briefly, it all depends on the kids. IMHO there is rarely any reason to be stingy on your kids if they already have the right attitude towards life. Indeed if they are not made of the right stuff it may be desirable to get them to have some skin in the game, but again, IMHO, shopping for college on the basis of costs may not be the optimal approach. A quick check of Fortune 500 CEOs and board members can quickly illustrate how few CC graduates are in there. If you can afford it, I'd propose that you pay enough to cover academic fees+room&board at the cheapest dorm on campus. Beyond that you can ask them to earn or take loans, for entertainment, phones, text books, etc. And , if you can afford it, pay off the loans when they graduate, without telling them in advance. Speaking as someone who had nil support from my parents after my first year at college. He simply did not have any money to contribute. Luckily, pauper level scholarships, Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship kept me going to PhD level. Pauper-level stipend is good enough to instil value-for-money awareness in any youngster, without adding anxieties.
As I suspected, this post sank to the bottom of the pool without so much as a ripple. That's unfortunate. For those who can afford it, this is how you grow successful kids. If the students have developmental issues, you can tailor specific lessons. Those special cases aside, usually kids do well with this "natural and obvious skin in the game: their future" approach.

We have a deal with our rising college senior: he pays for trips and such that are outside of normal college needs. Other monies earned are his to invest or spend. His spending is reasonable, and he has probably $70k in Vanguard from internships, TA salary, etc. He has a job offer for next year after graduation, with a sign on bonus that will cover his post-graduation travel and costs for his first "adult" apartment.

Often, kids live up to, or down to, your expectations. What you say your expectations are isn't as important as what you really expect from them. It has worked well for us, and him.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Runner01
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:14 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Runner01 »

A quick check of Fortune 500 CEOs and board members can quickly illustrate how few CC graduates are in there.
How would you even know? My transcript from Penn State makes zero mention of the fact that I attended a community college for the first two years.
Last edited by Runner01 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
runner3081
Posts: 3675
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by runner3081 »

Runner01 wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:41 pm A quick check of Fortune 500 CEOs and board members can quickly illustrate how few CC graduates are in there.
How would you even know? My transcript from Penn State makes zero mention of the fact that I attended a community college for the first two years.
[/quote]

Same here :)
User avatar
William4u
Posts: 1401
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by William4u »

runner3081 wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:09 pm This is our plan.

Fund 100% of tuition and books at a local community college for 2 years.

Fund 100% of tuition and books at a university for years 3-4.

If our daughter wants to start in a 4-year university, we would only pay the cost of a CC for the first 2 years. If she wants to live in a dorm or somewhere other than home for any of the 4 years, she would be responsible for shelter/food costs.
You might want to encourage dorm living. Students who live in dorms study more and are more involved in meaningful extra curriculars vs their off campus counterparts. The dorm students skip class less too.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20920
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Watty »

Part of why there are so many different stories is that in addition to parents situations being very different every kid is different. Every college is different too.

The posts of stories where students were able to great under pressure are fantastic but when you get into it the nitty gritty of getting a kid through college I would be cautious about trying to come up with some hard and fast rules that might not work well in your situation.

Very few colleges have a 90% six year graduation rate.

http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/

And many colleges in Colorado where the OP is at have less than a 70% six year graduation rate, and some have much lot lower graduation rates. (See partway down the page)

http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/ ... ublic_four

Someone's kids will be in the percent of kids that do not graduate. A third of the students that do graduate will be in the bottom third of their class.

Some kids may need a kick in the butt and a taste of the school of hard knocks, and others will need some TLC and encouragement, some may need a bit of both.

Your means may limit what you can pay and you should be upfront with your kids so they can plan accordingly but within your means it you want to remain a bit flexible instead of trying to come up with hard and fast rules.

There are some questions that come up here that really don't have one good answer like, "Should I pay off the mortgage?", "Should I use a Roth or traditional IRA?", and "How much of college costs should I pay?". The answer is some variation of "It depends".
msk
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by msk »

Yet more anecdotes. I have contacts with a huge number of nephews and nieces, all aged < 50. Only two are currently CEOs. They were both problem students, financed entirely by their parents. Both dropped out half way through their post-secondary education. Parents forced them to take menial jobs, simply by cutting off stipends/pocket money, which made them focus a bit more on education. One managed to graduate at some unheard-of college in Florida, the other managed (how is still a mystery to me) to become a CPA without ever completing college. EQ (Emotional Quotient) is indeed a better predictor of CEOs than IQ or academic excellence. We think we know much more about life in our old age than we actually do...
ks289
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by ks289 »

There are non-randomized studies (surveys) out there showing that a majority of college students work part time, and that working less an 20 hours a week is associated with a higher GPA than not working at all. On the other hand, working more than 20 hours was associated with lower GPA and graduation rates.

http://www.byu.edu/hr/sites/default/fil ... oyment.pdf

It is very tempting to conclude that working part time is beneficial and focuses students to perform better, but it is certainly just as plausible that well organized and motivated students seek out employment over other pursuits (clubs, sports, partying, etc) for their free time. Those well organized and motivated students might do just as well doing something else or perhaps even better if they had more study time.

I personally believe that most students should aim to work limited hours close to campus in a position that helps their academic pursuits (summer research grant, paid internship, teaching assistant, etc), since the value of all jobs is not necessarily equal. I also would say that some students are not well suited to trying to balance work and school, and it is very unclear that one can develop that ability in this way.

--
With regard to living at home, choosing community college, or choosing less expensive college, I am not sure I would leave that decision to my kids and put a limit on my financial support. I think local options vary (we've got some decent public and private and community options close by), but there are more expensive world class institutions just a bit further which I would be hopeful my kids could attend also.

For these reasons, I will not have a predetermined plan for my kids with regard to financial support and working during school.
User avatar
teen persuasion
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by teen persuasion »

celia wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:28 pm (Even if all the children chose the same career, financial aid would likely be able to cover more for the younger children since the parents are older and have shorter remaining working years for the later children.)
We are finding the opposite is true - we easily qualified for auto EFC = 0 for the oldest 2 kids, have had to work hard to keep EFC close to zero for the next 2 kids (still in college now), but preliminary projections for DS5 in a few years are not so rosy. The largest difference is in family size. For the older kids we were a family of 7 (and the older kids are still included in FAFSA family size for a few years after graduation, until military/24/gradschool). Youngest will appear to be an only child, and I've gone from SAHM to earning part-time income in addition to DH's income (we have ramped up retirement contributions to compensate for past missed savings).

The other difference is in qualifying for either auto EFC=0 or Simplified Needs Test - when the oldest started college, we qualified both because we could file 1040A and were eligible for reduced lunch (based on family size relative to income). Reduced family size means we are no longer eligible for reduced lunches, but also no longer eligible to file 1040A due to changes like having a HSA (which didn't exist when the FAFSA rules were created). So even if we meet the AGI thresholds, we can no longer make use of the Simplified Needs Test (and asset protection amounts have shrunk, rather than increased due to inflation adjustments), or the Auto EFC=0 (threshold was retroactively dropped from $32k to $23k a few years back, and has only been inflation adjusted to $25k to date).
Sophia1884
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Sophia1884 »

Just as a note, regardless of how the planning goes, it would be beneficial to discuss how colleges operate financially, where they make their profits, the difference between "for-profit" and not, how financing/loans work. It would be very beneficial to meet/attend talks about financing college, what students with loans have to do to make it all work. Yes, there are talks by the HS advisors about college, and tuition, and whatever else...but that's not the same as looking at/listening to someone talk about how difficult it is to fund college/pay back loans.

I was able to receive a full ride to a state school. I took it in stride, did everything I did in HS academically-studied late into the night, was overly involved, finished fine, had a job lined up. I assumed that's how it always went. Looking back, I definitely took it all for granted...I knew nothing of loans and it never occurred to me that people pay to be at school. It didn't dawn on me how difficult it must be until my senior year where I met a classmate who was having to work 40 hr weeks to go to school without debt. His final GPA was under 3, and he was not able to find a job to match his degree. So the question needs asking....what is debt worth?

Fast forward 5/10 yrs, I've worked, traveled, experienced life...all because I had no debts to worry about it. My life would be very different had I needed to keep that first job to pay off those loans. I work hard and am persistent so it would have happened eventually...but at 18...you're just so...inexperienced about the facts of life.
41Fin
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by 41Fin »

My mother had her schooling paid for by her parents.

My schooling was paid for by my mother with the conditions that I finish in four years and that I pay for my kids schooling when the time comes. I didn't have "skin in the game" but I was motivated to finish because I didn't want to pay for a fifth year out of my own pocket. I worked at a chicken shack one year and a grocery store the rest to have spending money. As someone said upstream I would have been better off using that time to get an internship but I was young and dumb.

I plan on paying for my daughters(10 month old) college in full and already have a 529 set up for her that gets a % of my paycheck.

I'll be in the bogglehead forum in the sky by then but hopefully she passes it on to her kids as well.
stan1
Posts: 9187
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stan1 »

I'd focus on expectations. Do your kids have jobs while in high school? If you expect them to work through college better get them used to balancing priorities between work and school now. If you can't or don't want to pay for out of state or private school tuition I'd make that very clear to them that in state choices cost much less. I would not in any way encourage a young adult to rack up $50-150K in debt for an undergraduate degree. Help them understand student loan debt is a life sentence that will take them decades to climb out of. Don't encourage it.
Sophia1884
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Sophia1884 »

William4u wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:49 pm
runner3081 wrote: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:09 pm This is our plan.

Fund 100% of tuition and books at a local community college for 2 years.

Fund 100% of tuition and books at a university for years 3-4.

If our daughter wants to start in a 4-year university, we would only pay the cost of a CC for the first 2 years. If she wants to live in a dorm or somewhere other than home for any of the 4 years, she would be responsible for shelter/food costs.
You might want to encourage dorm living. Students who live in dorms study more and are more involved in meaningful extra curriculars vs their off campus counterparts. The dorm students skip class less too.
Another point to make is that when a student lives at home, they are spending more time driving while potentially in a hurry and tired, late at night, early in the am, with bad weather. The risks are always there, but your exposure to them increases as you perform the activity more often.
harvestbook
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:12 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by harvestbook »

We currently have $54K committed with one year to go before enrollment. Our "skin in the game" is that amount is capped and any money left over, she gets to keep. her skin in the game is making realistic, practical college choices. She's become a lot more focused about schools in a reasonable price range--right now seems targeting UNC with a $25k year cost). I'll be able to chip in and help out in the later years if needed, but some of her "reach schools" are only affordable with scholarships. So she has incentive to do well now as well as aggressively pursue scholarships, with loans as a possibility.

I don't see up to $50K in loans as being unreasonable for a degree, but I find it important to show that $200K or so can be a lifelong, choice-crippling anchor around the neck. As I put it, "You can either get out with debt, or get out with a down payment on a house."

Good luck.
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.
stoptothink
Posts: 8497
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stoptothink »

harvestbook wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:48 am As I put it, "You can either get out with debt, or get out with a down payment on a house."
That'a pretty poignant way to put it and that statement could be used for a lot of either high-cost events (especially weddings). However you decide to handle the financial aspect of your children's education, IMO it is imperative that they are involved in the discussion and clearly understand the costs and the consequences.
ddurrett896
Posts: 1384
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by ddurrett896 »

I'm believe everyone needs to have skin in the game - nothing is free! I was raised with my parents matching everything I did, so i had 50% in the game. Worked out great.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23149
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

How America Pays for College 2017 ---> https://www.salliemae.com/research/how- ... r-college/

Quite informative!
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
stoptothink
Posts: 8497
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stoptothink »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 am How America Pays for College 2017 ---> https://www.salliemae.com/research/how- ... r-college/

Quite informative!
It's amazing how Bogleheads is not representative of the nation as a whole. According to this report, student income covers 11% of the aggregate costs, while parental cashflow covers 23%. If you were to just read this board you would think that 95% is covered by 529/parental cashflow and that very few students have any income.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23149
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:16 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 am How America Pays for College 2017 ---> https://www.salliemae.com/research/how- ... r-college/

Quite informative!
It's amazing how Bogleheads is not representative of the nation as a whole. According to this report, student income covers 11% of the aggregate costs, while parental cashflow covers 23%. If you were to just read this board you would think that 95% is covered by 529/parental cashflow and that very few students have any income.
Not so amazing when you consider that Bogleheads are not representative of the nation when it comes to savings rates, amounts saved, portfolios, actually having an IPS and wearing $5,000 watches. :)
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
stoptothink
Posts: 8497
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by stoptothink »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:20 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:16 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 am How America Pays for College 2017 ---> https://www.salliemae.com/research/how- ... r-college/

Quite informative!
It's amazing how Bogleheads is not representative of the nation as a whole. According to this report, student income covers 11% of the aggregate costs, while parental cashflow covers 23%. If you were to just read this board you would think that 95% is covered by 529/parental cashflow and that very few students have any income.
Not so amazing when you consider that Bogleheads are not representative of the nation when it comes to savings rates, amounts saved, portfolios, actually having an IPS and wearing $5,000 watches. :)
They also aren't representative of the nation as a whole when it comes to income, which IMO is the largest factor when it comes to these discussions. For a very large segment of the population, contributing to the cost of their children's education simply isn't possible; here, the idea of that is sometimes likened to child abuse (yes, I had a poster on this board suggest that our plans to not contribute financially to the college education of our children was literally child abuse).
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23149
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:12 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:20 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:16 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 am How America Pays for College 2017 ---> https://www.salliemae.com/research/how- ... r-college/

Quite informative!
It's amazing how Bogleheads is not representative of the nation as a whole. According to this report, student income covers 11% of the aggregate costs, while parental cashflow covers 23%. If you were to just read this board you would think that 95% is covered by 529/parental cashflow and that very few students have any income.
Not so amazing when you consider that Bogleheads are not representative of the nation when it comes to savings rates, amounts saved, portfolios, actually having an IPS and wearing $5,000 watches. :)
They also aren't representative of the nation as a whole when it comes to income, which IMO is the largest factor when it comes to these discussions. For a very large segment of the population, contributing to the cost of their children's education simply isn't possible; here, the idea of that is sometimes likened to child abuse (yes, I had a poster on this board suggest that our plans to not contribute financially to the college education of our children was literally child abuse).
You do what your means permit you. However, if you have the means but your priorities do not include financing partial/full cost of schooling, then that is on you. I'm not talking about saving for Harvard, it could be Local U which also offers a 4 year degree but at a significant cost savings. Some choose cars over saving for retirement, some choose watches over saving for retirement, some choose vacations over saving for retirement - like I said, all a matter of priorities. Then they wake up one day and wonder how they are going to finance retirement. Same for schooling.
My folks paid for my undergrad - I attended a low, low cost 4 year senior college. We sacrificed plenty. Today, that same school is still a bargain. My grad school - I paid for - with mainly loans in my name only, lock stock and barrel.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
mnnice
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by mnnice »

ThatGuy wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:54 am I encourage all parents of prospective college goers to look at the student budgets posted on their state flagship websites. For instance, for UC Berkeley, tuition and fees combined are $14,068. Room & board is another $15,716 if you live on campus.

In a previous post I noted that public colleges are ridiculously cheap if you don't buy your kid a condo and a BMW.
Sounds like lots to me. We spent 33k last year on all all expenses for 4 people (2 adults, 1 high school kids, and 1 middle schooler). We ate like kings, went on vacation, andbought a saxophone for someone that decided they didn't like band.

I have told our kids that they need to work all summer and 10-15 hours per week during the school year. Unless things radically change in the next in the next 2 years I expect a funding mix at state schools to be 33% Pell Grant, 33% kid earned, and the remaining 529 and parental support.
User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3625
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Watty wrote: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:09 am This may be getting off topic, the original poster said that he or she was willing to to pay 100% of a non-flagship state University and then possibly some more in addition to that. That is fantastic and a lot more than most students get.

When we were going through this one of the most important things was to have frank talks with the kids about what you are willing and able to pay early on and I think that was what the OP was trying to do so they were on the right track.

That is a lot different than all the "skin in the game" talk.


That said,
... skin in the game...
You need to think through just what that means these days.

For most working during the school year often means some minimum wage job but the catch is that often to get to work they need a car to get to work and the expenses of having a car will eat up a lot of their wages.

At least around here even minimum wage summer jobs are real hard to find now compared to when I was in college. Most employers would rather hire high school students that can work year round. A summer job may also require having a car.

Another problem is that ideally the students will be able to find a able to find a job as a summer intern to get work experience but that it will often require living at some place away from home and the living expenses will often use up most of their wages. In some situation working as an intern may cost more than any income it brings in. The intern jobs that pay a lot are very rare and hard to get.

Realistically "skin in the game" means taking on student loans and way too many 20 years olds are clueless about what it means to graduate from a state university a lot of student debt. They may see that they are likely to get a starting salary of $XX,XXX and that is so much more money than they have ever dealt with that taking on the debt does not seem like a big deal since they expect to be rich with that much money. We get posts here all the time from posters that are still dealing with student loans well into their 30's and beyond.

Part of my paying for my kids college at a state university was that my parents were able pay for my college at a state university. I have made it clear to my son that part of my paying for his college is that I expect for him to "pass it on" and do the same and pay for a state college for any kids he has, at least as much as he is able to. If he graduated with a lot of student loans that would impact his ability to save up to pay for his kids college.

There are limits as to what you can reasonably afford to pay for your kids college and some people may be in a situation where they cannot afford to pay anything but that is a lot different than just holding back so they would have "skin in the game".

My son did have a part time job in high school in part to get work experience and also when he was working that was less free time when he might get into trouble. (I was a teenager once. :D )
I haven't read the entire thread, but this is an excellent post!

IMO "skin in the game" includes the student's four years of sweat equity and career planning with the knowledge that he will have to live (and earn a living) with how he is equipped when the bell tolls. This realization probably doesn't hit most kids during their freshman year and it may not hit some kids at all. I am confident that it hit mine. YMMV.
Post Reply