How much are you helping your kids through college?

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

Post by vinhodoporto »

We’re paying undergrad tuition and room and board. We’re providing a used car and keep them on our phone plan and insurance.

If they go to grad school they’ll need to figure out a plan to pay for it. We will probably still help some but it won’t be a blank check.

We can afford it and would rather have them focus on studies, internships, activities during undergrad than working a low wage job. They’re pretty driven / self-motivated so I don’t think artificial skin in the game would be helpful. If they weren’t or if they started performing poorly my opinion would change.

I worked in high school and put myself through college and definitely missed out on some opportunities as a result. Skin in the the game or working isn’t all positive.
chris319
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by chris319 »

Speaking of work ethic ...

My brother supported my SIL while she got her M.A. degree in anthropology. I don't know how you turn a Master's in anthro into a paycheck but whatever. Upon graduation SIL got an entry-level job as a "church lady" at her local church. A job like that sure as heck doesn't require an M.A. degree and sure as heck doesn't pay an M.A. salary. She did that for 10 years and decided she was finished with work and "retired" at age 55, ineligible for Medicare and ineligible for soc sec retirement benefits. They have no kids to raise. My brother was laid off about a year into the pandemic at age 64 and now must support the both of them with no employment and no employer-provided medical insurance. They are getting by on brother's investments. I hope that lasts until my brother starts collecting soc sec at age 70 which he has decided to do.

When SIL becomes eligible for soc sec I'm sure her benefit will be quite low due to her meager wage history. Maybe it'll buy dog food for their dogs. She considers herself "retired" but I consider her an unemployed parasite who is mooching off my brother. My brother spent some bucks building her a dream kitchen where now all she has to do is pursue her hobby of cooking in their house on the S.F. peninsula which is now worth about $3.5 M. I hope my brother's investments cover the property tax and insurance on that $3.5 M home.

I haven't said anything to my brother about this situation because he hasn't asked me, but don't think I haven't noticed and have planned my estate accordingly.

But boy, that M.A. diploma sure looks nice in its frame. Too bad it's useless.

Sorry for any topic drift.
Financial decisions based on emotion often turn out to be bad decisions.
hmw
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by hmw »

My child is only 11. But I plan to pay for his college tuition and living expenses since my parents and my wife's parents did the same for us. I have a high income so this committment will not make a huge impact on my overall financial well being.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by RickBoglehead »

The realities of the cost of college make the "I paid my way through college" a ridiculous argument for today's youth. Our oldest worked for years in high school at Target and a movie theatre. When he went to college, he ended up getting a summer job at a retailer in an internship program, and he continued 2 days a week with them through college (and some years after). We paid 100% of his room and board, he covered the play money.

Younger son never worked in high school, so we required he work in college. He worked in a university office filing 10 hours a week, then the next year doing IT stuff 10 hours a week, then because of his summer internships and a coop didn't need to work again during school. We covered the same for him, all 4 years.

He went on to grad school (1 year) which we paid. Older son got into an evening program and his work paid a very large percentage, we paid the rest even though he didn't ask.

Now, we are funding college for 2(+?) grandchildren with funds left over, waiting to see if 2 is the magic number, or younger son is going to increase that.

We also required access to grades each semester, non-negotiable, via school's portal. Don't like it, don't take our money. And we had a minimum GPA, I don't recall it exactly, I believe it was a B- average. My son's employer required a B or better to reimburse.
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CletusCaddy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by CletusCaddy »

chris319 wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:55 pm Speaking of work ethic ...

My brother supported my SIL while she got her M.A. degree in anthropology. I don't know how you turn a Master's in anthro into a paycheck but whatever. Upon graduation SIL got an entry-level job as a "church lady" at her local church. A job like that sure as heck doesn't require an M.A. degree and sure as heck doesn't pay an M.A. salary. She did that for 10 years and decided she was finished with work and "retired" at age 55, ineligible for Medicare and ineligible for soc sec retirement benefits. They have no kids to raise. My brother was laid off about a year into the pandemic at age 64 and now must support the both of them with no employment and no employer-provided medical insurance. They are getting by on brother's investments. I hope that lasts until my brother starts collecting soc sec at age 70 which he has decided to do.

When SIL becomes eligible for soc sec I'm sure her benefit will be quite low due to her meager wage history. Maybe it'll buy dog food for their dogs. She considers herself "retired" but I consider her an unemployed parasite who is mooching off my brother. My brother spent some bucks building her a dream kitchen where now all she has to do is pursue her hobby of cooking in their house on the S.F. peninsula which is now worth about $3.5 M. I hope my brother's investments cover the property tax and insurance on that $3.5 M home.

I haven't said anything to my brother about this situation because he hasn't asked me, but don't think I haven't noticed and have planned my estate accordingly.

But boy, that M.A. diploma sure looks nice in its frame. Too bad it's useless.

Sorry for any topic drift.
If I was sitting on a $3.5M asset, I wouldn’t bother working either. Property tax is probably <$10k on that place if bought decades ago.

Alas, the equity in my SF Peninsula house is only $700k. Back to the salt mines I go!
LuckyInLife
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by LuckyInLife »

I am divorced, and my ex-husband and I split all college expenses 50/50. We paid for everything at a private university for our daughter, who graduated May 2022. She also got a car along the way, after her very old high school car died. She did get some merit scholarships to lower the price a bit. She did not work during the school year, but did paid work or internships in the summer and accepted an offer from her junior summer internship. She will stay on her dad's platinum health plan until she turns 26. Our son is a junior at a private university and we pay everything for him, but he does get a small athletic scholarship. He is unable to work during the school year, because his sport adds so much time, even during the off-season. My parents paid everything for me and all my siblings and we all have advanced degrees and good careers.
2Scoops
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by 2Scoops »

My parent's didn't pay for my schooling except for books and on-campus dining plan (minimal) the first year. After that I worked 25+ hours a week. I graduated with a bunch of student loans. There were a lot of pros and cons to this arrangement. On some level it probably helped instill some accountability in me but I'm not certain. I also had times in school where I wasn't sure how I was going to eat, borrowed money from a friend, and really didn't balance work, school, studies and social life that well. Not working those 25 hours would have allowed more times for studying, building relationships, joining campus organizations, etc.

My parents also didn't teach me anything about disciplined money management so I wasn't exactly set up for success. I'm intent on changing that pattern going forward. Graduated with a few credit cards that I had to use to make ends meet. They were quickly paid off once I got my first job.

We have 9 years left to figure out what our approach will be for our child. We're preparing to pay 4 years to an in-state school (lots of great options) but might have some GPA requirements and potentially a less intrusive part time job for additional funds. It may ultimately come down to what they are studying and how they would otherwise spend their free time. If it's volunteering and being really active in the campus community then I lean to not worrying about them working at the dining hall.

I think the decision will be pretty simple as he continues to mature over the next handful of years and we see where his interests and studies go. I'm open to pretty much all options at this point but want to give more support than I received.
chris319
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by chris319 »

If I was sitting on a $3.5M asset, I wouldn’t bother working either. Property tax is probably <$10k on that place if bought decades ago.
The house is paid for. With $3.5 M in home equity my brother could get a reverse mortgage if he had to. I know nothing about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages except that Tom Selleck tells me I should have one with all the false sincerity he can muster :happy
Financial decisions based on emotion often turn out to be bad decisions.
CletusCaddy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by CletusCaddy »

chris319 wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:22 pm
If I was sitting on a $3.5M asset, I wouldn’t bother working either. Property tax is probably <$10k on that place if bought decades ago.
The house is paid for. With $3.5 M in home equity my brother could get a reverse mortgage if he had to. I know nothing about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages except that Tom Selleck tells me I should have one with all the false sincerity he can muster :happy
All I’m saying is your SIL is acting more rationally than you’re giving her credit for!
rationalactor
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by rationalactor »

Have out enough aside in 529s to put our kids through expensive private colleges if that is what makes the most sense for them. Have not budgeted for graduate school though might help with that out of cash flow if needed when the time comes.
nfs
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by nfs »

Watty wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:04 pm
nfs wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 11:08 am ....
- $30k per kid toward college (#4 is not interested in going and we aren't certain how we will handle this in the long run, but still waiting for any educational opportunities of interest as they work on launching)
.....
One thing that has not been mentioned in this thread is that when you are willing and able to pay for some college expenses then paying for their vocational training should be an option for some kids if that would be a better fit for them.
Agree! With 4 very different kids we are really hoping #4 might eventually decide to choose a trade since we known he is really into hands on projects. So far this hasn't been appealing, but we are hoping that as his friends start graduating and working (and some are finishing military service) that he might find a non-university based educational path we can support him on. Only time will tell I suppose! We are keeping a very open mind about how we might use our funds for him to support his transition into adulthood.
retired recently
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by retired recently »

We paid for everything for DD and are doing the same for DS. DS did and internship last summer and a co op this semester. We pay very little for him other than gas and clothes (which he does not buy often). I plan to pay his limit for a Roth while he works during college as we paid a bit more for daughter.
SpaghettiLegs
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by SpaghettiLegs »

Interesting thread!

Background - I grew up not well off with a single mom. She told me if I didn’t get a scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to go to college and I suppose my HS guidance counselor was otherwise occupied, so I didn’t learn about options for financial aid. I got the Navy to pay for college and again several years later for medical school. My wife’s parents paid for all their kids’ education, college and grad school.

Kid #1 just graduated college - out of state in UC system. He is scary responsible, worked reasonably hard in high school and played sports year round, so I didn’t feel that any life lessons need to be taught about getting a job. I paid for college out of pocket, contributing to 529 for both kids as I plan on rolling Kid#1’s 529 into Kid#2’s. I gave him a monthly allowance that covered rent and food and if he budgeted well, would have a little left over for sundries. Freshman year he asked to join a fraternity. My wife and I both argued against it and he made a decent argument for it. We allowed it but told him he had to pay for it himself, so he got a job. He also worked part time internship his last almost 2 years of college, now working a well paid job at the same company.

Kid #2 (and last) will get the same deal. I don’t think there is a uniform answer to OP’s questions. It depends, of course, on financial means, trust in your child, etc.
spth
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by spth »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:58 pm
cashheavy18 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:57 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:50 pm
Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:47 pm
sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:40 pm What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

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

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

Please answer the following question for us.

During summer,

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

Or,

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

KlangFool
Klangfool,

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

KlangFool
Take this argument to its logical conclusion. My parents did make me get a job at age 10 cutting grass and picking up rocks in farm fields. I’m sure I helped with chores before that. I did go to preschool which was fun.
M22RPCV
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by M22RPCV »

Applied for scholarships to pay for tuition and worked to pay for my rent and living expenses.
stoptothink
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by stoptothink »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:23 pm The realities of the cost of college make the "I paid my way through college" a ridiculous argument for today's youth.
As I have noted countless times on this board over the years, in most of the country this is absolutely true, but it isn't the case where I live. Full-time in-state tuition + fees at the two universities that are within bike-riding distance of my home are ~$6,000/yr and ~$6,200/yr for '23, and there are even cheaper 4yr options in my state (not counting the local CC). Possibly not ideal to live at home, but it may be worth it to a lot of families if it saves them $10k+/yr per child. I know several young adults who have graduated from these two universities having paid every penny on their own in the last few years, including my younger sister and a handful of cousins. My wife also graduated from one of these schools in '20, but cost was less of a concern because she was already earning 6-figures herself and she had my support as well (and she lived at home, obviously).

Another reason why responses in this thread will vary greatly; it's possible that someone who lives near me could pay <$30k for an undergrad degree without even getting any aid, while cost for someone in a different state who does not have the option to live at home may have to pay 5x that (or more). And then there are those who would never consider allowing their children to attend a public university in Utah (I might have said the same thing when I was graduating from UCLA in '03), but that's another discussion...
London
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by London »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:23 pm The realities of the cost of college make the "I paid my way through college" a ridiculous argument for today's youth.
As I have noted countless times on this board over the years, in most of the country this is absolutely true, but it isn't the case where I live. Full-time in-state tuition + fees at the two universities that are within bike-riding distance of my home are ~$6,000/yr and ~$6,200/yr for '23, and there are even cheaper 4yr options in my state (not counting the local CC). Possibly not ideal to live at home, but it may be worth it to a lot of families if it saves them $10k+/yr per child. I know several young adults who have graduated from these two universities having paid every penny on their own in the last few years, including my younger sister and a handful of cousins. My wife also graduated from one of these schools in '20, but cost was less of a concern because she was already earning 6-figures herself and she had my support as well (and she lived at home, obviously).

Another reason why responses in this thread will vary greatly; it's possible that someone who lives near me could pay <$30k for an undergrad degree without even getting any aid, while cost for someone in a different state who does not have the option to live at home may have to pay 5x that (or more). And then there are those who would never consider allowing their children to attend a public university in Utah (I might have said the same thing when I was graduating from UCLA in '03), but that's another discussion...
I do agree with you. Everyone on here says college is so expensive but there are cheap options. It may not be some idyllic liberal arts school in New England but a degree is obtainable while working to pay for it.
GAAP
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by GAAP »

We paid for my daughter's undergraduate degree, including housing, use of a vehicle, and a reasonable allowance for expenses. She paid for graduate school.

We would have paid for my son's education, but he chose the military route and got both degrees via the GI bill.

My parents basically would reimburse books and tuition at the local schools, anything beyond that was on us.

The big difference is that we could afford to pay for the kids and didn't want them to start out in bad debt. My parents didn't have that kind of money, even though college was a lot cheaper for us (I still remember when the community college started charging $5/unit).
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ― Bruce Lee
8301
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by 8301 »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:23 pm The realities of the cost of college make the "I paid my way through college" a ridiculous argument for today's youth.
As I have noted countless times on this board over the years, in most of the country this is absolutely true, but it isn't the case where I live. Full-time in-state tuition + fees at the two universities that are within bike-riding distance of my home are ~$6,000/yr and ~$6,200/yr for '23, and there are even cheaper 4yr options in my state (not counting the local CC).
Your case is mostly irrelevant for many aspiring college students these days. I was 100% on my own through a fellowship followed by a series of RAships throughout my graduate student years. I was able to afford a car and even saved some money. Even married students were able to lead a normal life on a student TA or RA stipends and some having babies. Unfortunately those days are long gone. Wages from jobs available to most of the college students fell behind the inflation greatly. I was lucky and feel sorry for the young generation of students. Don't forget that junior colleges were even free then.
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SmileyFace
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by SmileyFace »

My parents had little money - I worked my way through college and graduated with a lot of debt.
I wanted my kids to have a different experience - they worked hard through school and were raised with good work ethic. We rewarded them by paying full college (including a masters degree for one). They each got a car to. They both work hard and I don't believe them struggling financially or going into debt the way I did would have someone made them better people.
stoptothink
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by stoptothink »

8301 wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 9:29 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:07 pm
RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:23 pm The realities of the cost of college make the "I paid my way through college" a ridiculous argument for today's youth.
As I have noted countless times on this board over the years, in most of the country this is absolutely true, but it isn't the case where I live. Full-time in-state tuition + fees at the two universities that are within bike-riding distance of my home are ~$6,000/yr and ~$6,200/yr for '23, and there are even cheaper 4yr options in my state (not counting the local CC).
Your case is mostly irrelevant for many aspiring college students these days. I was 100% on my own through a fellowship followed by a series of RAships throughout my graduate student years. I was able to afford a car and even saved some money. Even married students were able to lead a normal life on a student TA or RA stipends and some having babies. Unfortunately those days are long gone. Wages from jobs available to most of the college students fell behind the inflation greatly. I was lucky and feel sorry for the young generation of students. Don't forget that junior colleges were even free then.
Median cost of tuition + fees for 4yr public universities in the U.S. is a few dollars over $10k/yr, and considerably cheaper in a handful of states - all easily verifiable with a two-second search. This is relevant for a lot more students than people seem to be willing to admit and the only thing that matters is the situation you are in. Someone talking about the $200k they need to save for their child's undergrad education is irrelevant to me, which is why I share my own situation (making it clear it is my situation). Not all of us live on the west coast or in the northeast - there are quite a few students in Utah, Wyoming, Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, etc. - so while those days may be long gone to you, they aren't necessarily for a lot of other people. Instead of making generalizations (like "it's impossible for young adults to pay for it themselves these days"), I prefer to point out that everybody's situation is different...it depends.
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greg24
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by greg24 »

We are in Year 2 for our oldest, and we've paid 100% so far. It didn't stop them from working hard to get scholarships to reduce our costs. They've worked full time Summer jobs since they were 15, building a nice bank account for them to live off of. They work at school, and the job helps give them more structure during the week.

Our experience is similar to the dozen or so kids in our extended family's "next generation". They've all been given pretty much 100% financial college support from their parents, yet all of them have striven to work hard and achieve everything can. By the time they're going off to college, they're already formed into hard-working, frugal creatures. They aren't going to coast simply because the opportunity is there.

YMMV. :sharebeer
Last edited by greg24 on Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
mark_in_denver
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by mark_in_denver »

chris319 wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:55 pm Speaking of work ethic ...

My brother supported my SIL while she got her M.A. degree in anthropology. I don't know how you turn a Master's in anthro into a paycheck but whatever. Upon graduation SIL got an entry-level job as a "church lady" at her local church. A job like that sure as heck doesn't require an M.A. degree and sure as heck doesn't pay an M.A. salary. She did that for 10 years and decided she was finished with work and "retired" at age 55, ineligible for Medicare and ineligible for soc sec retirement benefits. They have no kids to raise. My brother was laid off about a year into the pandemic at age 64 and now must support the both of them with no employment and no employer-provided medical insurance. They are getting by on brother's investments. I hope that lasts until my brother starts collecting soc sec at age 70 which he has decided to do.

When SIL becomes eligible for soc sec I'm sure her benefit will be quite low due to her meager wage history. Maybe it'll buy dog food for their dogs. She considers herself "retired" but I consider her an unemployed parasite who is mooching off my brother. My brother spent some bucks building her a dream kitchen where now all she has to do is pursue her hobby of cooking in their house on the S.F. peninsula which is now worth about $3.5 M. I hope my brother's investments cover the property tax and insurance on that $3.5 M home.

I haven't said anything to my brother about this situation because he hasn't asked me, but don't think I haven't noticed and have planned my estate accordingly.

But boy, that M.A. diploma sure looks nice in its frame. Too bad it's useless.

Sorry for any topic drift.
Sounds like some relatives I know.

My wife and I both intentionally focused on stem fields in college.
Our bachelor's diplomas are probably long lost.
Dregob
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Dregob »

Stinky wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:58 pm Four year’s tuition, room and board at a state school. Plus gave them a first car.

That’s what my parents did for me, so it’s the least I could do for them. Coming out of college debt free was HUGE for them.
We did the same more or less. They both worked during school and summers for extra cash.
They both graduated wtih no debt, got good jobs and are on their own.
We helped them with an understanding that our "empty nest" would remain empty after college barring a major life incident.
joelly
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by joelly »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:37 pm How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
My parents left me in charge of their household expenses and maintenance and a younger sibling when I was 16. That was happening till I was 23. The first month they left me in charge, I ran out of money before its time for my parents to send money for the household. I called my Mom and she told me to go ask the neighbors cause she can’t make money grows on the tree. So I did. The lesson I learned was budgeting money and time. None of those can ever replenished.

My parents paid for school, college and grad school. I graduated loan free. I worked in college for books and pocket money.

No they didn’t put down payment on our first home. They will for a boy though.

For my daughter, I hope to give her the gift of education. I saved up for her via 529 plan. Also, we plan to teach her basic budgeting, buying groceries, etc. About her getting a job if she wants to when she’s in high school, yes for sure. Hubby had been working since he was 14.

I hope this helps.
stoptothink
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by stoptothink »

mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:03 am
chris319 wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 2:55 pm Speaking of work ethic ...

My brother supported my SIL while she got her M.A. degree in anthropology. I don't know how you turn a Master's in anthro into a paycheck but whatever. Upon graduation SIL got an entry-level job as a "church lady" at her local church. A job like that sure as heck doesn't require an M.A. degree and sure as heck doesn't pay an M.A. salary. She did that for 10 years and decided she was finished with work and "retired" at age 55, ineligible for Medicare and ineligible for soc sec retirement benefits. They have no kids to raise. My brother was laid off about a year into the pandemic at age 64 and now must support the both of them with no employment and no employer-provided medical insurance. They are getting by on brother's investments. I hope that lasts until my brother starts collecting soc sec at age 70 which he has decided to do.

When SIL becomes eligible for soc sec I'm sure her benefit will be quite low due to her meager wage history. Maybe it'll buy dog food for their dogs. She considers herself "retired" but I consider her an unemployed parasite who is mooching off my brother. My brother spent some bucks building her a dream kitchen where now all she has to do is pursue her hobby of cooking in their house on the S.F. peninsula which is now worth about $3.5 M. I hope my brother's investments cover the property tax and insurance on that $3.5 M home.

I haven't said anything to my brother about this situation because he hasn't asked me, but don't think I haven't noticed and have planned my estate accordingly.

But boy, that M.A. diploma sure looks nice in its frame. Too bad it's useless.

Sorry for any topic drift.
Sounds like some relatives I know.

My wife and I both intentionally focused on stem fields in college.
Our bachelor's diplomas are probably long lost.
Deleted...was going to continue the off-topic rant, but decided against it.
Last edited by stoptothink on Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
westie
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by westie »

paid for my 3 kids, My parents sent me $65 a month for food and rent when I was in college, I paid for tuition, books and incidentals. Worked out fine.
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KSOC
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by KSOC »

We told our kids at 15 we'll pay room and board, they had to pay tuition. Emphasis was on achieving superior grades in high school to win more grants and scholarships. State school about 3.5 hours away.

First child - Graduated with honors in 4 years. Debt $10k.
Second child - Graduated with honors in 3 years (extra college credits in HS) Debt $1k.

We told them they got part of their inheritance upfront.
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. | Nobody told me there'd be days like these.
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RobLyons
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by RobLyons »

My parents helped me with my first 2 cars
I worked since age 13 and put myself through college

My car will be handed down to my oldest at a discounted price. We will help youngest with a vehicle.
We currently have $0 for the kids college but will help as we can
Right now focus is on them doing well in school, earning scholarships and going to community college / state college
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
an_asker
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by an_asker »

sailaway wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:40 pm What difference does it make what someone else is doing? How is this a actionable?

These threads always come down to what individuals can afford and how much stock they hold in the phrase "skin in the game."
+1!
Old Guy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Old Guy »

One child. Paid for private school k-12. Paid for summer camps. Paid for an expensive college plus bought him a car. He used some of his earned summer money for expenses. Paying for tuition for in-state grad school so he can do a career change.

Why not? We have the money. He's not wasteful. We have no business to give him. Why make him wait until we're dead to inherit? Education is our gift to him.

My parents, who earned a lot less than my wife and I did, sent three children to college paying almost all the expenses. That figured into my thoughts about paying for our son.
MMiroir
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by MMiroir »

So we have three kids, and are funding 100% of their undergrad. Our original deal was that we would fund anything up to the in-state rate at our in-state flagship. If they wanted to go someplace more expensive, they would have to fund that with scholarships or borrowing. The exception that if they managed to get into HYPS levels type schools, we would consider funding that based on their major and career intentions.

Our kids are focused high achievers getting degrees in remunerative fields, so there was no need to condition tuition on maintaining a certain level of grades, although I can see the benefit for other kids. We have seen some other kid's college careers go sideways, and perhaps some additional discipline and/or guidance from their parents might have avoided that.

The two oldest ones managed to get paid internships for 2 of their 3 summers, and they saved their earnings to pay for room and board and to chip in to the tuition cost. The two oldest will graduate into jobs that pay well into the six figures, so the decision has paid off so far.

Note that we hit our net worth target for retirement about a decade early, and are in a field that we can continue working virtually as long as we want to, so paying the extra cost for tuition was considered discretionary spending. If our net worth or long term career prospects were significantly lower, we might have had them pursue more scholarship opportunities or shoulder some debt. We know numerous families of high achieving kids who followed the money to free tuition colleges like Alabama, and I am confident that they will do well in life, just as if our kids had taken that path. What I not confident in is taking on debt for undergraduate college. It can set young graduates back for years.
daheld
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by daheld »

Stinky wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:58 pm Four year’s tuition, room and board at a state school. Plus gave them a first car.

That’s what my parents did for me, so it’s the least I could do for them. Coming out of college debt free was HUGE for them.
Same plan here. We have a four year old and don't plan for any more kids. My parents made a very average living, but managed to buy first cars for both my brother and I, and send us to a local four year university while we lived at home. My wife and I earn quite a lot more than my parents did, and we should be able to afford do to the same for our son.

I cannot overstate how much of a leg up it was for me to come out of school debt free. My wife's parents did the same for she and her brother.

We plan/hope to do our best in instilling a deep appreciation of hard work in our son, but also want to provide for him the same advantages we were given. I worked on a family construction crew in the summers during high school and college, and the lessons I learned swinging a hammer in 100 degree heat for 10 hours a day were important.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

daheld wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:33 am I worked on a family construction crew in the summers during high school and college, and the lessons I learned swinging a hammer in 100 degree heat for 10 hours a day were important.
Back in the days of toll booths, I often took the easy shot of saying to the kids, “man, it’s got to be lousy to have to smell bus and auto exhaust all day long.”
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Point
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Point »

OP,

If something is free, what’s the value?

If you’re not willing to work for something, why should I give it to you?

If you haven’t had to change your lifestyle/habits to get something you want, why should you have it?

That’s my perspective.

My kids contributed to acquiring their education in several ways: AP classes, dual enrollment while in HS, presidential grants to lower cost, work.

They completed their undergrad degree in three years and went on to complete masters degrees which they paid for themselves.

This journey didn’t start in their senior year in HS.
bloom2708
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by bloom2708 »

One in grad school, one a sophomore in college, one in high school yet.

Each get got a used car (still in my name) to drive. Each car was about $7k.

We saved enough to cover reasonable college tuition and all the fees, room & board, food, etc. The first two have made good decisions and got scholarships. They did not go to a $50k/year school.

We have helped them each start a Roth IRA with some matching funds. Helped them start a taxable account. They work during summers off from school.

I guess we are not choosing the "tough love" path. A freshman in college can borrow $5,500 the first year. Anything past that requires parents (or someone) to co-sign. Pretty tough for a kid to make enough to pay their way and succeed at college.

If you have the means, help them start out with some money smarts and not a huge pile of student loan debt. If you can't, do what you can.
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rob
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by rob »

Lots of success above and that's great but one of the hardest topics I've dealt with is when a kid is marginal and failing core subjects but not enough to bomb out completely... Burning money at a high rate when it's objectively pretty clear that they will not get through (short of an effort they are not prepared to put in). If you have "throw away" money great but the college will keep adjusting their timetable and just extend projected graduation (if I were unkind, I'd call it a revenue stream).

Have a plan and make sure your spouse is on the exact same page and then figure out if you're really prepared to execute that plan... your kid is anything but objective and its a tough situation. There are worse things than paying for an expensive education... and that's paying a good slice of it with nothing.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
Johny Fever
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Johny Fever »

We helped pay for all 6 of our kids...differing amount due to scholarship levels and such. Two were on full rides for athletics, two had some scholarship help for either athletics or academics. We also paid for grad schools, med school and PA school. Our deal was work when ya can, if ya can and just get it done. We didn't have many talks about grade points or specific data points. Football kids had enough direction from coaches and same with our gymnast daughter. Academic kids knew what it took to keep the scholarship. All worked in the summer either on the farm, waitressing, whatever they could get. Summer Nanny, coaching..you name it...it was just an expectation that you work, you study, you grind, you win. Maybe we were lucky as hell but the kids saw us work, grind and achieve.
Now we are trying to fully fund our grandkids educational needs. Not 100% sure what they will need but they will have at least 200K towards it.

And full disclosure I am not sure college will even be thought, maybe trade schools. Two of my sons have MBAs and one is in HVAC and one is a GC in new home and remodeling. Both will tell you they could have skipped a lot of college but are glad they went. So..I dont know...I have an MBA and I turned wrenches for a living....it worked out ok...

I am not sure there is even close to a one size fits all reply here...but I sure wish ya the best of luck and enjoy your kids while ya can...life moves fast.
Globetrttr
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Globetrttr »

Interesting topic, given new Secure Act 2.0 changes regarding 529 accounts being eligible for rollovers to Roth IRA accounts for unused funds.

My experience (2001-05):
- 4.5 years at a large state university located in Athens, GA. Some of you may have heard of it.
- Parents paid tuition, books, room, food. I stayed in campus dorms for 3 semesters and squalid student apartments with a roommate the rest of the time. I had my own very old - but functional - car, a bike and a bus pass.
- One semester was a study abroad where I took a student loan for the costs exceeding the usual costs listed above for the in-state school. FWIW, this was one of the best decisions you can make as a student, to study or intern abroad for min. 6 months. (I paid the loan off within 2-3 years after graduation.)
- worked full time in retail during breaks. Parents insisted to focus on school vs. looking for work during college and I agree today that this was good reasoning back then.

I would like to follow a similar path for our kids, but they're so little now that we have no idea how higher education will come into play later in life in terms of athletic or academic scholarships, pursuing military careers, trade schools, etc., each of which would earn our support if they were fully committed to personal growth and becoming successful.

However, Mrs. and I pretty well agree that we won't sacrifice our retirement for anything significantly more expensive than in-state universities for undergrad, and we will keep our kids away from student loans for undergrad degrees in any way we can (yes, we have 529 accounts for them).
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked. - W. Buffett
psteinx
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by psteinx »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:37 pm How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
We are in a position to help generously.

Yes, the oldest two got a (new) car/CUV in college, and we gifted it to them post-college. Youngest still in HS with used car - haven't figured out the future there.

For the first year or two, my wife continued the allowance they'd been getting ($50/month?), but stopped it thereafter. We did provide for their meals, paid their direct education-related expenses, and I think paid for gas, at least for the one who was further from home (we wanted to encourage visits home).

Kids in college need housing - we paid for it. Ultimately, that was 2 years on-campus for both, and the remainder off-campus. Generally, the latter was as cheap or cheaper, except one year D went into an overpriced (IMO) apartment, mainly because that's where the girl she wanted to room with already was (from the prior year). Also, that was D's 4th year - while *that* apartment was pricey, the one the year before (3rd year) was pretty cheap.

Kids worked every summer during college (though during 2020, COVID summer, one was only lightly employed). Kids had jobs lined up for graduation. Practical degrees two (Comp Sci. and Geological Engineering, though the GeoEng's post-college job is really a ~Civil Engineering job.)

Not sure if we'll help with a down payment - haven't come to that bridge yet.

We paid car insurance until shortly after they graduated college, then it's on them.

Post college, oldest spent part of the summer at home, then moved to the West Coast for a job. Middle just graduated in December, has local job, will likely be living at home through ~summer 2023, then likely move out into a house with some friends.
MP173
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by MP173 »

The story of my education and my sons' are adequately told in above (in bits and pieces) with no need to rehash.

Both graduated debt free and are very grateful for that. Both graduated from in state public schools, one an off main campus site.
There was enough funding left over (UGTM accounts) for them to have some "start up $$$". One used his wisely, the other didnt, but the one who didnt is a serious investor now and regrets past indiscretions (it wasnt a huge amount).

Currently I am secretly funding 529 for grandkids. Not a huge amount, but should be a help down the road.

Ed
TheOscarGuy
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by TheOscarGuy »

Planner01 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:37 pm How much are your helping your kids to start life, through college and life in general? Will they get a car (new/used)? Will they get money to spend in college? Will they get money to vacation while in college? Will they get an apartment to live while in college? Will they get a down payment for their first house? Will they get car insurance paid for?

Please give me a glimpse of where you started and if you had help yourself as this many times influences how much you are willing to do for your kids.
We will pay 100% for kids education unless it’s medical school 😀
We will buy a vehicle when appropriate.
Our education was paid for by scholarships.
Rudedog
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by Rudedog »

Daughter # 1--we paid all except $ 20k--she borrowed on student loan. Four year degree at private school. Now a chemist/scientist.
Daughter # 2--we paid 100%, she borrowed nothing. Eight years of college, advanced degree, now a registered dietician.
Daughter # 3--we paid 100% for four years at public college. Then we paid 90% of one year of grad school, masters in biotechnology. Works in the field of women's fertility.

We helped with car (very used cars), rent, meals, when needed.

We were glad we could help them, also glad they did not graduate with crippling debt.
daheld
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by daheld »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:49 am
daheld wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:33 am I worked on a family construction crew in the summers during high school and college, and the lessons I learned swinging a hammer in 100 degree heat for 10 hours a day were important.
Back in the days of toll booths, I often took the easy shot of saying to the kids, “man, it’s got to be lousy to have to smell bus and auto exhaust all day long.”
My dad took a somewhat similar approach. He worked for about 30 years as a concrete finisher. Hard, punishing, manual labor. My parents and my uncle jointly owned a small rental company, buying small homes in need of a bit of repair, doing all of it themselves, and renting them out. Two summers in a row, we also built two brand new duplexes in a new development. My uncle was a school teacher but had been a home builder before finishing his teaching degree, and typically built a home each summer for a client.

Anyway, my dad took the following approach: he wanted me to learn to work, but did not want me to do concrete, mostly because the money was decent enough that to a high school kid it seemed like a lot. He did not want me to have the mindset that I could just do concrete for a living (not that there's a thing wrong with it--there isn't--he just preferred I not do manual labor if I didn't have to). So, the compromise was that I could work in the summers with my uncle (and my dad, who would join us a lot of days after finishing a pour and on every Saturday we worked), building duplexes, re-roofing their existing rentals, etc.

I am partial, but I think this was a good approach. It allowed me to learn how to work, to appreciate real work, and to get some basic money management skills. My parents actually didn't allow me to work during the school year, but I got plenty of work in the summers. It's a roadmap I intend to try to follow with our son. :sharebeer
MDfan
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Re: How much are you helping your kids through college?

Post by MDfan »

I had very little help myself and worked nearly 30 hours a week all through college And out goal was to make sure all 3 of our kids got out of college with no debt. We paid for tuition and living expenses for all 3. All 3 of them worked during college to have some spending $.
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