(Closed) Do you plan to pay for your child(ren)’s college? (Do you have a college fund?)

posted 9 years ago in Parenting
  • poll:

    I (will) have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for most or all of my college.

    I (will) have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for some but not most of my college.

    I (will) have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for none of my college education.

    I do/will NOT have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for most or all of my college.

    I do/will NOT have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for some of my college.

    I do/will NOT have a college fund for my child and my parents paid for none of my college education.

    Other? Please post :)

  • Post # 47
    Member
    13906 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    My parents paid for tuition for me and my siblings at private colleges, plus are contributing for the vast majority of my wedding after my sisters.  I am fortunate enough that they saved well so I was ahead of the curve.  At 24, I have never been unemployed and have a very well paying job and am putting myself through grad school.

    My parents did well by me by providing for my education, which they recognized as a necessity.  I couldn’t imagine not supporting my child in the same way. 

    Post # 48
    Member
    1303 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I will pay for any schooling (college, grad/law/medicine, money while doing a PhD, whatever)  It’s my personal philosophy that ones does not build legacies by starting from the ground up every generation.  So if it’s within my means I will do it for sure and include any weddings, houses if I can.

    ETA: my mom didn’t pay for my education (she didn’t have the means to) and I swim in my student loans every month, lol.

    Post # 49
    Member
    686 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    My mom didn’t pay or offer to pay for a cent of my post-secondary education, and had a lot to do with my not being able to pursue law school, etc and becoming a paralegal/ being $20,000 in debt. It’s totally fine with me because (a) she isn’t obliged to pay for my education and (b) I should’ve been saving myself but like a PP I wasn’t really raised to do that sort of thing so it wasn’t a natural thing for me. FI’s family paid for his trade school in it’s entirety.

    However, Fiance and I plan on paying for at least a portion of our future kidlets’ school as we realize how hard it is to struggle with massive student debt at a young age, and don’t want our kids to have to make the same kinds of life-changing compromises I did just because the money isn’t there.

    Post # 50
    Member
    1116 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    My husband and I had some assistance from our families for college, but footed most of the bills ourselves.  My parents paid the interest on my undergrad loans, so when I graduated, I’d only have to pay the principal.  I worked in the summers to pay my living expenses.  Hubby lived at home during school, so his family helped out with living expenses.  He worked full time while going to school and has no debt.  We both fully believe that we worked a lot harder in school because we knew we were the ones paying for it at the end of the day.

    For our kids, I’d like to be able to match whatever they get in scholarship money, and then they are responsible for the rest through loans or their own savings, but that will depend on our financial situation down the road.  We certainly save for the future, but we won’t be designating any specific college funds, or promising any amounts.  Part of this is because I’d like my children to feel equally comfortable pursuing a skilled trade as traditional higher ed.

    Post # 52
    Member
    383 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    My parents started off saving money for me to go to college…through the years they were faced with financial hardships that caused them to have to spend it. I was blessed enough to have a full academic scholarship for 4 years so they didnt have to spend a dime.

    I will have a college fund for my children but I will still push them to get scholarships to college. I will instead gift them that money as a downpayment on a house or to pay for their wedding or whatever they want to use it for, once they graduate college.

    Post # 53
    Member
    2631 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    We aren’t setting up a college fund, but that’s not to say we won’t help in some way.  Both my DH and I put ourselves through college.  Well, technically, he/we are putting him through college right now.  He put himself through his two year tech program the first time around.  Looking back, we both felt putting ourselves through school was the best thing possible for us.

    With that said, my parents did help out by paying my health and car insurance.  Other than that though, tuition, books, fees, rent, etc I paid all on my own.  It was the best decision, so I will use that for our future kids.

    However….DH and I have discussed that if we come into a lot of money, or we can afford it, we would set up a fund that the kids can either use for grad school or a downpayment on a house….but undergrad they are on their own as far as paying for school goes.

    Post # 54
    Member
    1794 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I paid my own way through college and I think that was a great experience that made me really value my degree. I plan to help my children with some of the college expenses. But I’m not going to pay most or all of the costs. 

    Post # 55
    Member
    3979 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I wasn’t sure if I fell into the “other” category but I chose the first one. We plan on paying for our childrens college. So long as they are living at home or in a dorm or apartment focusing on school. Once they stop focusing on school, they pay for themselves. My granparents got something called the Texas Tomorrow Fund when I was born which locked in tuition rates of that year and paid for tuition. My parents paid my student fees until I moved in with Mr. Hedgie at which time I took those over. If we can find a similar program wherever we are living when we have kids, I want to do the same thing. It made affording college so much easier and certainly took alot of stress and headache away.

    Post # 56
    Member
    6009 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    View original reply
    @Mrs Hedgehog:  Most states have those plans now; they’re called 529 plans, in most places.  🙂

    Post # 57
    Member
    1675 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    In my family we’ve done things a little bit different.  My grandparents actually paid for my college tuition in full.  Before my grandfather died, he made sure that money was put away so that all of his grandkids could attend whatever colleges they wanted to.  Yes, he was well-to-do, and I sincerely appreciate the fact that he put his money towards our education.  Because my parents never had to spend a cent on my college tuition, they have also stated that they would like to pay for my kids’ college tuition to keep the tradition going.  I guess this means that I will eventually be responsible for my grandkids’ college tuition down the road. 

    In DH’s family, his parents were divorced, and his mom did not contribute a cent to his college tuition.  His dad contributed what he could for a while, but then stopped due to a nasty falling out.  DH was almost kicked out of school for not paying his tuition bills on time despite the fact that he was on the dean’s list.  I have to say, every time I look at his mother I feel a little bit sick over the fact that she placed zero value on his education and didn’t bother to pitch in at all, even when DH was desperate and about to get kicked out of school.  FWIW, DH made it through college (with a lot of credit card debt due to the lack of financial support from his parents) and now he is an architect at a good firm.

    Post # 58
    Member
    2201 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We plan to have a savings account for our kids – I have a universal life insurance policy that I can add to the cash value, which I’m thinking of using for the college savings. That way it doesn’t have to be reported on the FAFSA forms.

    My parents had a set amount set aside for my sibling and myself (funded, unfortunately by an inheritance). It was specifically for college – you didn’t go to college, you didn’t get the money. And you could go to whatever school you wanted, but when the money was gone, you had to fund the rest. And if you had money leftover, then you got that after you graduated (think of it as a reward for frugal living and applying for scholarships).

    DH’s parents didn’t pay for his school and he wasn’t as gung-ho about creating a college fund. So we’ll probably do something similar to what I had – you have a set amount, use it wisely.

    Post # 59
    Member
    44 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I am extremely lucky that my parents started saving when I was born and paid for all of my college, as well as that of my siblings. They valued education over everything else, so not going to college wasn’t an option, and they certainly would not have given us the money to use as we wished– it was college or nothing. The stipulation was that it paid for 4 years after high school– so if we took 5 or more years to graduate, or took a year off, we were on our own for the rest, and for grad school. H was pretty much the same way, so we were both able to start out as adults with zero debt, something I am so thankful for and don’t remember to tell my parents that enough. 

    We have talked about it and we both fully plan to pay for our children’s college education as well. I agree with Aubergold:

    ones does not build legacies by starting from the ground up every generation.  So if it’s within my means I will do it for sure and include any weddings, houses if I can. (Though I wouldn’t pay for their houses, I guess if it was within our means I’d give them a loan with clear terms). 

    The other side of parents paying for college is you get more of a say in what the kid does- annoying as a kid, but it was one hell of a threat as a college kid! Threaten to not pay for school if I go to some crazy spring break? OK, home to NJ it is!

    Post # 60
    Member
    950 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    My parents started a “college fund” for me when I was little; not when I was born, but not long after that.  I put that in quotations because, when I was 13, my parents let me know that they were saving money for my future, but that I would have to choose: would they pay for college or a wedding?  They promised to pay it all, no matter where I wanted to go to college, or no matter how extravagant I wanted the wedding, but that they would only pay one or the other.  Within a year, I told them I wanted them to pay for college…at 14 I was SURE that I wanted to go to college, but I had no idea if I would get married (while I dreamed of finding “Mr. Right”, I didn’t dream of my perfect wedding until the Hubs asked me to marry him).

    So, my parents paid for all of my undergrad (after the scholarships I earned)…after I got my first job, I offered to take over the loan payments, but they wouldn’t hear of it.  “A promise is a promise,” my dad said.  The Hubs’ parents paid for his undergrad (after his scholarships) as well, so we got a HUGE financial break when we graduated: NO STUDENT LOANS at all!  It was one of the best gifts our parents could have given us.  While we both paid for grad school (& thoroughly appreciate the value of money), again after scholarships, we have lived a life of virtual financial independence/freedom.  We fully intend to give this same gift to our son (and any other children we have in the future).  We’ve already started his 529 fund (he’s just about to turn 9 months), & both sets of grandparents are contributing to it.  We fully expect to be able to pay (either outright or through loans) for our children’s education…whether we pay for/help out with the wedding is yet to be decided, since we paid for our own wedding in full.

    Post # 61
    Member
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I don’t know…I definitely don’t like the idea of my future children going into debt for their education. My parents did “Florida pre-paid” when I was just a baby, and I think they paid like 5 or 6k (they also did this for my sister). 

    Now, it has really helped me a lot. It pays most of my tuition, so I have never had to take out loans. Which is a HUGE blessing. But there is no guarantee that the children will use it…for instance, I had to go to a public Florida University to get it. My sister really wants to go to culinary school- Florida pre paid won’t touch that. 

    But, I also earned a total of like $16,000 in scholarships (including bright futures). So I have about 4k a year that is deposited in my bank account, which strictly pays rent. If it wasn’t for my scholarships, I’d probably have to take out loans.

    I’m not sure if we’ll set up a college fund, but if they choose to go to somewhere we can afford, I would love to help them. I only hope that we are in a situation to help them as much as possible when that time comes.

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