How to get child's skin in the game for college?

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willthrill81
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:31 pm

I got my B.S. in 2003, my M.B.A. in 2004, and my Ph.D. in 2009. My wife got her B.S. in 2009 as well. We paid for 100% of the cost out of our own pocket, financing as little as possible with student loans. When we both graduated, our combined student loans were about $30k, which we paid off in four years and could have done much faster had we really wanted to.

I'm now a professor, and tuition, fees, and books are about $8k a year at my university for resident students. It's not top tier, but our alumni robustly do fine for themselves.

Frankly, I think there's an issue at stake here at least as big as one pays for how much of your child's education: (1) will she graduate, and (2) will her degree actually be useful to her (good ROI). Remember that a large proportion of incoming freshmen never graduate; "...at 4-year institutions with open admissions policies, 32 percent of students completed a bachelor's degree within 6 years." That's horrific. I attribute this to many factors, not the least of which is that many incoming freshmen simply aren't 'college material'. I don't say that derogatory at all as I have a lot of family I would place into this category; it's just reality. High school students are told all the time to go to college and never told about the potential downfalls (see below for examples).

There are far too many students majoring in areas that will have little to no real value to them in their careers. I won't name names, but we all know what many of these areas are. Those majoring in areas like engineering, business, technology, and medicine tend to put their education to good financial use. I know there's more to an education than how much money you'll make with it, but 90% or more of college students are there to try to make more money, for better or worse.

Of our two nephews and two nieces who all went to college, one quit in her senior year (no diploma) and had about $30k in loans. Three got degrees that they no longer use in any way in their careers and aren't making much; one of these took seven years to get a B.S. in geography (also $30k in loans) and is now working for the USPS as a mail carrier. Going to college didn't benefit any of them and actually cost two of them a lot of money and time.

I think that one potential solution to both of the above problems is for students to not go straight into college at age 18 and get a degree by 22. Whether before they begin their studies or before they declare their major, I think that many young people need to step back a bit, perhaps for a year or two, and really figure out what they want to do with their lives. When they're slugging through the trenches, it's easy to focus on the trees and ignore the forest. This 'break' might involve doing an internship in an area they're interested in, some low budget travel, or just working at a local job.

Often I have recommended that my students take a professional whom they admire in their desired profession to lunch to ask them about their career (e.g. how did they get there, what do they love about it, what do they hate about it, what advice they would give someone considering it). Many have told me that this was one of the single most beneficial activities they ever did in college. It gives them an idea of what the profession is like 'in the real world' and helps them to start networking without even realizing that that's what they're doing.

If your daughter truly understands what she wants to do, she will be intrinsically motivated to do the best job she can. At that point, if you have the money to pay for her expenses, I don't think you'll mind one bit.

My two cents. Worth every penny.
Last edited by willthrill81 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

ramsfan
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by ramsfan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm

Khanmots wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:00 am
Not sure I have any actionable advice, but I think there's some lessons to be learned from my experiences as the kid going through college.

Approach my parents took was that if I'd contribute my scholarships and what I earned from working towards school, and room and board expenses. They'd cover what was left.

Worked out well from a financial aspect; the first 3 years they covered roughly $1000 a year (scholarships helped a lot, and I attended a good state uni). Didn't work out so well from a me getting an education aspect. I wound up flunking out for various reasons, primarily due to burning myself out on the wrong-for-me major. Looking back, some of my mistakes the first go-round were trying to work while I was in school combined with trying to push myself too hard to finish what's really a 5-yr degree in 4 (chemical engineering). Combined with a major that the further I got the more I dreaded... I should have switched schools (almost impossible to change engineering majors at the first one) and majors after the first 1-2 years, but tried to push through.

Anyways, my parents stuck with me, let me move in, and helped pull me out of my depression (I was a wreck and had given up on doing anything with my life as I was provably a failure and the only future I could see was to work dead-end jobs to barely get by). They convinced me to apply for the local uni, move back in with them to save money, and continued to cover the costs I couldn't despite the loss of my scholarships and me cutting back how much I worked (pretty much to summers only). After switching majors into the correct-for-me one, (and making sure I didn't overload myself again), I graduated 4 years later cum laude with an comp sci engineering degree and am now 10-15 years into a successful career where I enjoy what I do.
Great story for parents of soon-to-be college students to read. Thank you for sharing!

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:16 pm

OP, since there seem to be specific reasons for believing that your daughter wil not flourish at college, have you discussed those with her with an eye either to helping her address them before matriculating or pursuing the posssibility of her deferring college until she is ready to flourish there? It isn’t clear to me, at least, that the underlying immaturity you describe will be resolved simply by, say, making her take on debt or work extra hours to help pay for her own education. My career has been in higher education, and I’ve seen many students fail to flourish because they weren’t ready for higher education; if I believed that my daughter was not mature enough to handle college, I would not hesitate to recommend that she wait so she didn’t forego all the benefits that accrue from doing well in college.

If your ultimate concern is that your daughter is not ready for college, I would recommend having the hard discussion with her about possibly deferring her matriculation. If, however, I’ve mis-interpreted what you have written about her, I would ask: If she is ready, why distract her or encumber her with unnecessary accountability regimes? (Is readiness for college as opposed to presence or lack of accountbility the crucial issue here? If there are signficant readiness problems, nether of the two forms of accountability you discuss would address them directly — so, in that case I would recommend addressing the specific issues directly instead of approaching them indirectly through the general concept of accountability....)
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ncbill
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by ncbill » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:31 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:30 pm
luckybamboo wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:22 pm
ThriftyPhD wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:20 pm
Your daughter did well enough in high school that the university thinks she's worth accepting. She's optimistic about her future. That's about all you can expect, and I'm sure many parents wish they had that situation. What 'results' do you expect from a high school student other than graduate high school and get into college?
I am a firm believer that just graduating high school and getting into college isn't enough. Developing good work ethics is extremely important to succeed in life. Even if you don't have perfect grades but putting your best and working well with others are keys to be successful.

I can't go into too much detail about what I mean. But to summarize it, if she fails a test, she makes a plan and does nothing about it and fails again. She will not turn in assignments on time and get a late grade and miss it again. These are just a couple of examples but this behavior is in all aspects of her life, things that a 18 year old should have mastered by now.
We don't beat her up about grades but expect her to put it in the best effort that she could. Whenever she has failed after studying hard, I don't reprimand her but not studying hard and then expecting results is just not acceptable.
Want to know how to pay for it - 4 letters: R-O-T-C!! Nothing wrong with joining the service, this country needs optimistic leaders. Then she and you/hubby will have plenty of skin in the game and you'll have your financing.
Be aware most services are reducing 4-year scholarships in favor of 2-3 year scholarships.

My current high school senior is pursuing that route since they want to attend an out-of-state school.

That school has awarded them a scholarship (~50% off total) but only for the first year, in anticipation that they will be awarded a 3-year ROTC scholarship.

If that doesn't happen they'll have to compete for a 3-year after they arrive on campus and join ROTC.

And if they don't get that...then they'll be joining the National Guard for the federal & state tuition assistance provided, in order to bring down the cost as close as possible to the cost of in-state public schools which I committed to covering.
Last edited by ncbill on Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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market timer
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by market timer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm

Around 20 years ago, my parents told me that they'd give me $8000/year for four years of college. The rest was up to me. I'll probably do something similar for my kids.

986racer
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by 986racer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:50 pm

Luckybamboo...

I feel like you wrote the post that I'm likely to be making in about a year. Your concerns and stories about your daughter mirror mine to such an extent that I was almost certain that it was my wife writing the OP.

I'm going to make a few assumptions in my response.
  1. The desire to have "skin in the game" is not for financial reason but instead to inspire more responsibility in your daughter.
  2. The year that would be paid by your daughter would be the first year. It doesn't make much sense for it to be the last year because if she were to get through three years and show that she would graduate in four, then most of the concerns regarding responsibility would be gone by then.
Someone in my extended family approached college almost the exact same way as your husband has. The concern was that a disconcerting amount of people who drop out of school do it in the first year. So, the idea was that the student pays for the first year (either via saved money or loans) and the family then pays the remaining three. This way the student is on the hook if he/she parties too much and drops out of school.

When I asked about how the mechanics of how this works, it became apparent that the student didn't really have "skin in the game". Basically there is no way that a student is getting a loan on her own to pay for a full year of college as Stafford loans top out at 5500 in freshman year. That leaves the student anywhere from 20-60K short, which means that the parent is co-signing the loan. So, if the student dropped out and didn't have the work ethic to complete school, the parent was going to be stuck with the loan.

I've thought about it more and the only way I could get the mechanics to work would be to implement the following (my oldest is a high school junior, so this is still theoretical for me)
  • Daughter gets the max stafford loan
  • Daughter takes 5 classes each semester (10 classes per year)
  • For each A, 10% of the loan is paid back by me (so straight A average is 100% of loan). Each B is 5% paid back (so straight B gets 50% of the loan paid back).
The idea is that I'm never fronting any money or cosigning anything and that DD is incentivized to do well... To allow room for mistakes, the percentages could be increased (something like 15% for each A and 7.5% for each B)

Now, with that being said, I'm also conflicted with the ideas that other have brought up. Ideas such that tying payments to GPA is not a good idea and that the loans are essentially meaningless to a student anyhow. I recall that when I was a student that I would get loans and it didn't feel like a real obligation because the payments didn't start until 6 months after graduation. I just looked at it as a way to get more money for food, rent, beer, etc.

I'm also not sure that any of this would make a difference. I have three daughters, one of which I'm concerned about and why I'm even considering the "incentivizing" program, and another two that don't really need the extra "motivation". I feel that their behaviors are pretty ingrained by now and trying to tie money to it probably won't really change anything.

I'm now leaning more towards the idea that others have brought up about making sure that DD understands the sacrifices that were made to pay for the schooling and the expectations required of those sacrifices. I know that those considerations had a huge impact on me when I was in college.

If that doesn't work, then it may time for a discussion with my DD about whether a gap year or CC may be a better path.

Pigeon
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Pigeon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:54 pm

I've got one in college now and one going next year I also think the "skin in the game" concept is silly. .

Our deal is that we pay for 4 years at a public institution or the equivalent amount. We expect the kids to get summer jobs or internships, which will give them a little spending money. I don't want my kids to have to work to much during the year, I want them to focus on school. They will have the next 40 or so years to work, this is a different time. My older one has a job on campus a few hours a week, but it's not too taxing and is related to her extracurricular passion, orchestra.

I wouldn't set an arbitrary GPA. I think that just discourages kids from trying to take challenging courses that might stretch them. Some majors are much more difficult than others. My kid is also involved in some serious extra curricular activities that are very meaningful to her and I think are an excellent experience. I would withdraw support for them living at school if they weren't taking it seriously and trying hard. It's not unusual for a kid to have a rough semester, especially their freshman year.

Also, your kid will have to take many classes in subjects that don't interest them. There may be classes required for their major that they don't like. General education courses can be deadly.

Both of our parents paid for college for all their kids. Coming out debt free is by far and away the best gift they gave us. We didn't take it for granted and I have every confidence my kids appreciate it for what it is and won't blow it.

Khanmots
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Khanmots » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:04 pm

ramsfan wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm
Great story for parents of soon-to-be college students to read. Thank you for sharing!
Not exactly the most fun story to tell, but thought there were some good lessons in it that should be heard. Your feedback that it was useful means a lot. Thanks!

focusedonwhatmatters
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by focusedonwhatmatters » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:17 pm

After paying for private school from preschool on, my deal with my kids is this: as long as they maintain a 3.0 or better, I will pay the full amount up front, with them paying me back 50% no sooner than 10 years after they graduate. My reasoning for the deferred repayment schedule is so that they concentrate on their studies and extracurriculars while in school (instead of working), and have plenty of time to establish a stable career before paying me back. My interest rate is 0%. Any scholarships they earn come straight off their half. I hope this arrangement encourages them to have skin in the game and incentifies them to apply for merit scholarships. So far, my college senior will owe me $0.

Edited to add: the 3.0 requirement is a rather low bar for my kids, as they have never received a B in their lives. It's largely symbolic, simply to say that grades matter. They achieve far more than is required because those habits of the mind were established long ago.

spammagnet
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by spammagnet » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:28 pm

I haven't read the whole thread and, while we provided our 2 kids a full ride at a state university, a former colleague had an interesting approach to this topic. Their daughter was expected to take out loans for college without a co-signature with the agreement that the parents would pay the loans in full upon graduation.

I moved and don't know the outcome but they had the means to pay in full and reasonable expectation that the daughter would be successful. They're also the type of folks who would not expect the daughter to pay if failure to graduate was due to means beyond her control, such as serious medical disability, etc.

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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:58 pm

Folks,

This is probably not the answer that you want to hear.

During high school's summer break, my kids worked minimum wage jobs at a restaurant. They get to meet all those folks that did not finish college for one reason or another. They get to know the reality of life. They get to know how tough life could be if you need to survive on a minimum wage job. I do not need to motivate my kids on their need to finish college and find a decent paying job. They had met first hand all those folks that choose the other path.

KlangFool

luckybamboo
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by luckybamboo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:12 pm

986racer wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:50 pm
Luckybamboo...

I feel like you wrote the post that I'm likely to be making in about a year. Your concerns and stories about your daughter mirror mine to such an extent that I was almost certain that it was my wife writing the OP.

I'm going to make a few assumptions in my response.
  1. The desire to have "skin in the game" is not for financial reason but instead to inspire more responsibility in your daughter.
  2. The year that would be paid by your daughter would be the first year. It doesn't make much sense for it to be the last year because if she were to get through three years and show that she would graduate in four, then most of the concerns regarding responsibility would be gone by then.
Thanks a lot for understanding our intent and I think the idea of first year is great as well. We will consider the strategy that you are thinking of. And yes, she is the one who needs this approach whereas DS (who is 15) is very motivated for his education will not need that kind of rules.
That being said, I feel DD possesses some unique skills that will take her very far in life - like very high emotional intelligence and creativity. She is also the one who isn't afraid of failures and can pick up herself very well after failures and move on which DS could never do easily.
I feel that we as parents need to encourage their strengths and help them overcome weaknesses. But at the end of the day, they are independent humans and will tackle life in their own way.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 pm

I wouldn’t encourage them to take a heavy load like 5 courses freshman year, it could be a recipe for burning out. In fact, I said to them to party some, but don’t forget to study. So my kid compromised and took 3 courses plus 1 or 2 unit lab course, plus a research class for Credit and no credit.

Gnirk
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Gnirk » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:00 am

Nothing wrong with expecting your DD to have skin in the game. Both my daughters were expected to contribute to their personal expenses by working during school breaks, and at times part-time while taking classes. They did very well in school, and With their father and I each paying 40%, and the DDs covering the rest, they graduated with no debt, and enough savings to cover their living expenses for a few months after graduation.

We are helping our granddaughter who is attending a private University out of state. She carries a 4.0 while working 20 plus hours a week. She’ll graduate with a major in computational data science and a minor in biochemistry. We help with room and board, she covers the rest through a large scholarship, grants, and her earnings.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:30 am

Khanmots wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:04 pm
ramsfan wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm
Great story for parents of soon-to-be college students to read. Thank you for sharing!
Not exactly the most fun story to tell, but thought there were some good lessons in it that should be heard. Your feedback that it was useful means a lot. Thanks!
It was very useful. The love and faith your parents had created a more resilient and successful human than if they had folded their arms and insisted that you had failed your “skin in the game” test.

My first year of college was a mess. I attended early (long story, but I was 15 when Uni started) and I really wasn’t ready. I finished the first year with few credits, many dropped courses, and crappy grades in the ones I didn’t drop. My father looked at me, told me he knew that I could do better, and wrote the check for the next year. The love in that check was palpable, and I got A’s from then on, feeling that I wasn’t going to put him in that position again.

The transactional flavor of parenting (x% off for an A, but that means kid will never take Yale’s Math 230) is alien to me, even with my one “slow to mature” kid. Kids mostly grow into your true expectations, not the received wisdom that spills out of a parent’s mouth. .

Atilla
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Atilla » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:06 am

Tell the kid to get a job for any spending money. Parents pay for tuition, room & board but spendy money comes out of the kid's hide.
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ramsfan
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by ramsfan » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am

After reading this very interesting thread, and contemplating my own college experience, I am warming up to one idea that came up from a few posters. That is if parents can afford it, they pay for non-tuition costs, the student is responsible for tuition. If a kid has a good scholarship at a state school, good for them, and this could be an incentive to remain eligible for the scholarship, apply for additional scholarships during undergrad (which at some schools are plentiful), apply for scholarships outside of the college, etc... I know every kid is different, but this is a simple program on the surface...

Please point out the flaws in this approach.....

jerryk68
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by jerryk68 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:33 am

I was very immature when I graduated high school and it was the military that straightened me out. I graduated college at age 25 and I learned a lot from that experience. I believe that education is key to a successful career and there are different ways to get that education. Some struggle, some don’t but getting the degree is the goal. Maturity is key.

My son struggled his first year of college and I threatened to yank him out after completing just 12 of 30 credits. That threat was sufficient to turn him around. What he needed was structure. He had to much time on his hands. First time away from home and he had all those parties to attend. His sophomore year he took a campus job and his grades improved significantly and he graduated but he needed to attend some classes in the summer. He graduated with no debt because I wanted him to graduate debt free. Yea, it cost me a little more but to me it was worth it.

My daughter was honors throughout college and graduated in three years. She took summer courses and attended a semester-at-sea during one summer touring the coast of Europe. She got 12 credits (all A’s) that summer and got to tour Europe. No threats and no skin in the game. I was happy that she graduated debt free. She insisted on getting her master’s on her dime but I ended up gifting her student loan balances because I believe in education.

Keep in mind that everyone matures at a different level and at different ages. Skin in the games means nothing unless the maturity level is high enough to realize what's involved. As a parent be flexible and keep your eye on the goal line.

basspond
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by basspond » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:44 am

Unless you have been talking with your daughter about college finances along the way, 17 is a bit late to be laying the ground rules now. But since you are here whatever is decided make both parties agree what will be required of each. The point is the longer you wait the more a family decision feels like a business contract. Good luck.

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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by KlangFool » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:57 am

ramsfan wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am
After reading this very interesting thread, and contemplating my own college experience, I am warming up to one idea that came up from a few posters. That is if parents can afford it, they pay for non-tuition costs, the student is responsible for tuition. If a kid has a good scholarship at a state school, good for them, and this could be an incentive to remain eligible for the scholarship, apply for additional scholarships during undergrad (which at some schools are plentiful), apply for scholarships outside of the college, etc... I know every kid is different, but this is a simple program on the surface...

Please point out the flaws in this approach.....
ramsfan,

Why start at college? Send them to work during summer while they are in high school. It will be a good practice for them. If you do not start earlier, how do you know that they can handle a job at all during college?

KlangFool

boglebrain
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by boglebrain » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:24 am

I did a PhD and was a TA for a number of undergrad classes. I can tell you that grades are not entirely correlated with effort and having “it together.” There were students that phoned it in and got As and Bs. Grades are mostly determined by exams. There were also students who worked so hard and barely got Cs. Some students had been taking college classes while in high school and others had only finished algebra 2. So while grades sometimes reflect effort a lot of the differences in performance reflects the cumulative preparation you have had. I really dislike your idea of tying funding to her GPA with the assumption that if she is lower than 3.2 then it wasn’t worth it or she didn’t work hard. The metric you care about is she learning, trying, working and hopefully also is she becoming a good person/etc. Grades are not the best measure of that.

Dottie57
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:38 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:06 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:39 am
msk wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:04 am
I find all this skin in the game for college education rather sad. IF you can afford paying 100%. You were happy to support her 100% for the past 17 years; why baulk at the final year in college? At college it becomes clearer as to what turns her on, hopefully not drugs. She will pay full attention to those subjects... IF you can afford it, just pay. All IMHO of course.

PS I have paid 100% for all my 4 kids, even though I have been blessed with a bunch that each could easily have received full scholarships (top of their high school classes, etc.). I specifically dissuaded them from applying for scholarships so as not to deprive some other, financially challenged, kids. You can often "guarantee" loans for practically anyone. Just talk to your local bank manager. As far as I experienced it (for a construction contract), the process is straightforward. You deposit cash in a CD, say, $20k, maturing at the end of the loan period, i.e. the "guarantee" period. Your kid takes a $20k loan from the bank. She pays all the instalments as agreed between the bank and herself, you cash your CD. She lets her loan default, the bank cashes your CD and recovers their outstandings.

I find it rather sad that people put other people down for simply wanting to share some responsibility with their ADULT child.

Many 18 yearolds are far from being adults. And brains don't mature until ages 24-26.
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Ostentatious
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Ostentatious » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:42 am

Pay for dd and let her graduate without a college loan. Seems like you can afford it. There is no need asking for any skin in the game. Her skin in the game is to get good grades.

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teen persuasion
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by teen persuasion » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:21 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 pm
I wouldn’t encourage them to take a heavy load like 5 courses freshman year, it could be a recipe for burning out. In fact, I said to them to party some, but don’t forget to study. So my kid compromised and took 3 courses plus 1 or 2 unit lab course, plus a research class for Credit and no credit.
Five classes wasn't a heavy load when i went to college, it was the standard expected semester schedule. If I didn't take 5 courses every semester, I couldn't graduate on time. My schedule was considered heavier than most because so many of my courses were 4 credit hours each instead of the usual 3 credit hour courses, and others required an additional lab credit hour, so I generally carried 18+ credit hours vs the standard 15. Then there was the requirement to get 4 PE courses in before graduation (they generally were supposed to be added on top of your 5 academic courses, not instead of).

If you can afford to cover the costs of 6 or more years of tuition, great plan, I definitely would have had less stress spreading out the major courses. Timing prerequisites might have been tricky, though, going off the tightly scheduled department plan (most courses were only offered once per year, not per semester, and some only once every few years). Of course, you run the risk of dropping below even half time status if you have too few classes, which messes with eligibility for aid, tax credits, loan repayment deferment.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:27 pm

teen persuasion wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:21 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 pm
I wouldn’t encourage them to take a heavy load like 5 courses freshman year, it could be a recipe for burning out. In fact, I said to them to party some, but don’t forget to study. So my kid compromised and took 3 courses plus 1 or 2 unit lab course, plus a research class for Credit and no credit.
Five classes wasn't a heavy load when i went to college, it was the standard expected semester schedule. If I didn't take 5 courses every semester, I couldn't graduate on time. My schedule was considered heavier than most because so many of my courses were 4 credit hours each instead of the usual 3 credit hour courses, and others required an additional lab credit hour, so I generally carried 18+ credit hours vs the standard 15. Then there was the requirement to get 4 PE courses in before graduation (they generally were supposed to be added on top of your 5 academic courses, not instead of).

If you can afford to cover the costs of 6 or more years of tuition, great plan, I definitely would have had less stress spreading out the major courses. Timing prerequisites might have been tricky, though, going off the tightly scheduled department plan (most courses were only offered once per year, not per semester, and some only once every few years). Of course, you run the risk of dropping below even half time status if you have too few classes, which messes with eligibility for aid, tax credits, loan repayment deferment.
I took 19-20 units, more than 5 courses in engineering back in the late 70s to early 80s because I had to, I switched major from accounting to engineering, my Pell Grant was only for 4 years, but I kept 3.8 GPAs in engineering. That said, I wanted my kids to enjoy college, not just studying like I did. I was a real nerd then, plus I truly enjoyed reading engineering books. Go figure.

However, one of my kids only took one term with 18 units, and she could graduate less than 4 years, but she chose not to. I don’t think it was necesssary to take 5 classes, she also had strict sequence that she had to follow. She also spent every summers doing either internship or study abroad. This is a kid who finished freshman year with above 3.7 or 3.80 in Computer Science at a top 15 CS schools. There is no need to stress a kid out.

The other kid, her high school was known to be tough, college was a piece of cake, lots of partying, but still didn’t affect her grades. She too could graduate early, but chose not too, and got a second major instead. In fact, she grew by leaps and bounds socially after her freshman year. She went from a shy kid to a very confident person. She always has very high emotional intelligence. There is more to college than just studying.

All the females in my intermediate family, read my brother’s kids, did very well academically, but they did lots of partying too. It’s the male ones that were/are having problem with adjusting to college.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:00 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:57 pm
LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:44 pm
I suspect that how a child is raised and the experiences she has during the first 18 years of life will probably a stronger force of her having a "skin in the game' of her own future than whatever type of college plan you concoct.
+1,000.

KlangFool
+1001
Since many people toss their (mostly not applicable) anecdotal experience into these threads, I will add mine:

The only skin I had in the game for my college and graduate education was my experience of working a couple of summer jobs during high school and getting a glimpse of how my life would be without further education. Combined with my upbringing, that was more than enough. I finished with a few thousand in student loans, which was significant but not huge in those days. That was quickly paid off--again due to nothing other than my upbringing.

People, including kids, are very heterogeneous so YMMV. But trying to push a square peg into a round hole due to the popular maxim of "skin in the game" may prove not only unnecessary but futile or even counter-productive. Good luck, OP!

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TinkerPDX
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by TinkerPDX » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:07 pm

You could loan the balance directly yourselves. Then there’s some skin in the game, but no bad, non-dischargeable debt for her if things don’t work out.

We’re 15 years off but I sill think about it a lot. I paid (/borrowed) for all of my college. Skin in the game may be valuable, but we will likely pay 100% for our kids. There are other ways to make sure they understand the value of it and take it seriously, and there’s a lot of good in graduating debt-free if possible.

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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm

market timer wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm
Around 20 years ago, my parents told me that they'd give me $8000/year for four years of college. The rest was up to me. I'll probably do something similar for my kids.
Adjusted for inflation, no? Otherwise $32k might buy them 1/2 a semesters payment if your lucky.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

StealthRabbit
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by StealthRabbit » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:22 pm

"skin-in-the-game" + college expenses grows a stiff response / personal child-rearing and entitlement syndrome and responses for a wide variety of situations (each family and child is different)...

Your Priorities are expected to be different. (YMMV)

but...$0.02 - (I am very partial to exposing 'responsibility' to kids early in life, kids will SHINE when 'expected' to take control. (age 18 was WAY late in our house, farm / 4H / family business / eldercare responsibilities had come 10+ yrs earlier)

Simplest is for the 'away' student to pay 100% for everything, and 'nice' parent :| to pay off the 'deferred' loans. AFTER student graduates. Parent gets the benefit of EARNING better returns on investments during the college yrs... kid gets the benefit of real life! "Hey Babe... Congrats... you are on your own! "

By footing the bill...
1) Student chooses WISELY during school for course work, housing, expenses cuz they are getting NOTHING from home. (including NO cars, fuel, clothes, food, 'care-boxes', books...)
2) Student gets in and OUT of school as soon as they can!) debt incentive (and into working a productive career)
3) Student holds college and profs and self to a higher std, as the student is INVESTED in the time and expense ("skin-in-the-game" for the quality of EDU) This served my kids and their classmates / schools well... When my kids got stuck with a crummy EDU course / prof, they pursued a higher std (for all). They have NEVER said... "Oh well, I'm not paying for this"
4) Student gets to sign their SOLO "John Henry" on the line for the loan (very valuable experience for future desires and commitments)

Our kids paid 100% for their college (no harm done)
They had various asset equity sources (Got loans, had Roths since age 12 and each had built their own homes by college) and they had high paying / high risk jobs. (Alaska Fishing and Wildland firefighting ~$30k - $40k in 6 weeks of summer)

Good luck,
You will do fine
consider your kids, consider their schools, consider your future (as a family),
help them grow into the person they can best be to serve others (employers / schools / friends / the needy)

Bacchus01
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:22 pm

15 is not a heavy load. It's an average load.

I went 4 semesters above 20 credits each semester.

The babying that goes on. Geesh.

lazydavid
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by lazydavid » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:24 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm
market timer wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm
Around 20 years ago, my parents told me that they'd give me $8000/year for four years of college. The rest was up to me. I'll probably do something similar for my kids.
Adjusted for inflation, no? Otherwise $32k might buy them 1/2 a semesters payment if your lucky.
$32k would pay for a full semester--including room, board, and all fees--at an Ivy or similarly expensive private school, with no financial aid. It's an entire year at many top public universities (in-state rates)--I just looked yesterday, and it would cost me $33k/yr to send my son to UIUC (a top engineering school), all in with no aid.

What school were you thinking of that costs $128,000 per year? According to Business Insider, the most expensive school in the nation is Harvey Mudd College, which costs $69,717 per year, all in.

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market timer
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by market timer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:35 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm
market timer wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm
Around 20 years ago, my parents told me that they'd give me $8000/year for four years of college. The rest was up to me. I'll probably do something similar for my kids.
Adjusted for inflation, no? Otherwise $32k might buy them 1/2 a semesters payment if your lucky.
Yeah, $8K would be a bit low in 13-17 years when I'll have to pay. I see UC-Berkeley in-state is now $36K/year. That seems like a reasonable total. I'd probably make an exception and pay full freight for the very top colleges (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Caltech), but not for expensive private schools at the level of Duke or lower.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:04 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:24 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:51 pm
market timer wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm
Around 20 years ago, my parents told me that they'd give me $8000/year for four years of college. The rest was up to me. I'll probably do something similar for my kids.
Adjusted for inflation, no? Otherwise $32k might buy them 1/2 a semesters payment if your lucky.
$32k would pay for a full semester--including room, board, and all fees--at an Ivy or similarly expensive private school, with no financial aid. It's an entire year at many top public universities (in-state rates)--I just looked yesterday, and it would cost me $33k/yr to send my son to UIUC (a top engineering school), all in with no aid.

What school were you thinking of that costs $128,000 per year? According to Business Insider, the most expensive school in the nation is Harvey Mudd College, which costs $69,717 per year, all in.
Inflation at 5% for 13-17 years, cost of annual tuition will be close to $90k for top schools. All-in annual tuition to Stanford (tuition, room and board, books,fees) close to $70k. So, $280k today becomes close to $500k in 14 years.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

finite_difference
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by finite_difference » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:04 pm

luckybamboo wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:12 pm
finite_difference wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:58 pm
Think about what your parents did for you.

Think about what you would want your daughter to do for her kids.

Think about how you are different from, and the same as, your daughter.

That may help in your decision.
My parents did a lot for me and I was fortunate enough to reciprocate the gesture by performing extremely well in school and be successful in workplace as well.

I want to do the same for her but my daughter has a very different personality than me. I am intrinsically motivated while she needs external pressure to stay on track. She has great intentions but can't regulate her impulses.
So if you hadn’t been as exceptional as you are, then your parents wouldn’t have helped? If you had been more like your daughter?

What would you want her to do for her (future) kids/your grandkids?

“Not being able to regulate impulses” — isn’t that called being human or something? Especially for an 18 year old? I would say she is normal and you are abnormal in this sense ;)

There was a good post about ADD/ADHD earlier, which is something worth looking into. Either the medication helps or doesn’t help, but it’s easy to find out. It can be like night and day — kind of like wearing glasses for the first time.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

halfnine
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by halfnine » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:46 pm

luckybamboo wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:21 am
.....This conflict has arises because of me and my husband having different experiences growing up. My parents took care of my entire education and my husband's parents had him take loans for his education. My husband feels that the experience of fending for himself was the biggest growth experience he had. I feel that undergrad education is parent's responsibility and post-grad is child's......
These discussions always seem to show a confirmation bias based on the individual's experience. Those who paid for college themselves want to believe they grew immeasurably from the experience. And those whose parents paid for them want to believe that there is more than one road to Dublin.

I am not sure what we will do. Most likely we will fund a good portion of it but in return they will put in 700 hours of work a year. If they don't want to work during the school year they will have to put it all in over the summer working two jobs if necessary.

Atilla
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Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Post by Atilla » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:18 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:57 am
ramsfan wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am
After reading this very interesting thread, and contemplating my own college experience, I am warming up to one idea that came up from a few posters. That is if parents can afford it, they pay for non-tuition costs, the student is responsible for tuition. If a kid has a good scholarship at a state school, good for them, and this could be an incentive to remain eligible for the scholarship, apply for additional scholarships during undergrad (which at some schools are plentiful), apply for scholarships outside of the college, etc... I know every kid is different, but this is a simple program on the surface...

Please point out the flaws in this approach.....
ramsfan,

Why start at college? Send them to work during summer while they are in high school. It will be a good practice for them. If you do not start earlier, how do you know that they can handle a job at all during college?

KlangFool
It was explained to our boy that his drivers license at 16 required a job to go with it so he could pay for gas. He has had a job ever since and is officially "employable" now at 20 years old. He has an office job at a law firm when he isn't in class.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

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