Post # 17
@teaadntoast: Very interesting twist. DH and I have already started a college savings though we are not pregnant yet. We come from two different schools of thought and have discussed this situation.
His parents paid 100% of tuition and room/board. Mine paid 0%. He graduated from undergrad and medical school with ZERO debt. I completed two bachelors degrees (long story) and ended up almost $50,000 in debt.
His academic performance put mine to shame. My DH had said that his parents sacrificed so much to put all three of their children through college that he worked extra hard. Mind you……he was no moron to start out. BUT—his parents did say they would only pay for state university (Rutgers) and if they chose to attend another school, they would have to pay for any difference in tuition. It was also an unspoken rule that they would all maintain at 3.0 average at the very least.
The guidelines used by his parents are similar to the ones we have decided upon for our child. But we will not make it common knowledge that there are funds available for college.
Post # 18
I think my parents had a good way of doing it.
They said to each of us kids “We have $x for your education – if you go to college you can use that money” (and it wasn’t enough to cover everything). So they left it up to us to figure out the best use of that money. If we wanted everything paid for we needed to get scholarship, if we wanted to go out of state or more than 4 years, we’d have to take out a loan for the remainder.
I went in-state, had a scholarship, worked as a Resident Assistant (housing and food paid for), and had a job. I double majored and could have graduated a semester earlier – I have no student loan debt. I worked my ass off. However, my little bro will have some debt as he chose not to work and he will be going 6 years.
Personally I think this is the best way to do it because it doesn’t tell them what they have to do but if they waste the money then they end up paying for the rest.
Post # 19
I will probably follow what my parents did: they paid for 100% of everything (tuition, room and board, weekly spending allowance), but the minute I fell below a 3.0 they stopped paying. I was able to choose any school in the country to go to but had to maintain good grades. While I took advantage of their offer, in hindsight, I should have picked a more academically focused and challenging school. I probably would have fared better now. My DH on the other hand didn’t have options or money for school. He got a full ride for undergrad, lived at home and worked full-time. For his J.D., he took out loans, lived at home and worked full-time (he had to be a part-time evening student to work full time). He is much better off now having worked hard to get where he is. He certainly lead a full life, but understood and valued his education and didn’t make stupid mistakes. I don’t want my children to want for anything education related, but I also want them to value their studies and understand that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Post # 20
“we would have a hard time paying for a kid to get a degree in art/music/english/something that is essentially useless toward a career.”
@MissIntent: Wow, that is harsh. I’ve worked for 11 years at various art and architecture related non-profits, have always supported myself, and I majored *gasp* in Art History. It can be done. I know a ton of English majors who teach, write, work in journalism, etc. Or they take the critical thinking and writing skills they learned and apply it to another field–the English degree (art degree, music degree) doesn’t doom you if you are smart and ambitious, which is kind of a requirement to excel in any field.
Post # 21
My parents paid for me to go to community college, but on the condition that I got honor roll each semester. I think that was totally fair of them, and would put teh same restrictions on my kids if I were to have them
Post # 22
We would pay what we could towards our kids’ education, but there would be academic standards to be met. We aren’t paying for our kids to goof off at school. But…we certainly wouldn’t limit their major. I find that’s sometimes why kids resent their parents – b/c they aren’t supportive in what they want to do in life. Though it might be harder for them to find a career in art or music, it’s possible…and I’m not going to be the one to deprive them of that.
Post # 23
My strings for payinf for college is, you must maintain a good GPA. Depending on how they did in school, that will determine what I expect their GPA to be. I won’t expect them to have A’s if they struggle to learn in general. I’m not going to tell them what degree to get. I’ll give advice, but a degree is a degree, so I’ll let them go to an accredited college or university. Although I would love my kids to do pro sports, or dancing, or what not, if they can’t get a Bachelor’s in it, I probably won’t pay for it… we’ll see what happens, it all depends on the situation.
Post # 24
Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I’m hoping that my kids won’t need “strings attached” in order to do well in school. It seems kind of like a threat to me, and I plan to raise them to be as self-motivated as possible so that they want to do well for themselves, and not just so mom and dad will continue to fund their education. My parents never set down any rules about how well I had to do in college for them to pay for it, but I worked hard because I wanted to do well for myself, as well as to make them proud, and graduated with a 3.7 gpa. I also plan on helping them to support themselves after they graduate, whether that means helping pay for their rent, getting them a car if they need one, etc.
I do admit, however, that I will have a hard time using their college money for something else if they decide they don’t want to go to college and want to do vocational training or start their own business or something. College is a necessity in my book, whether they major in theater or economics.
Post # 25
Tricky question. I do think every kid is different and you don’t want to be judge and jury of their future but at the same time I don’t want my kids to feel entitled. So applying for scholarships and not screwing around in college is a must. As for deiciding on majors I think I would encourage interships and getting in contact with people about jobs while they’re still in high school to try and help encourage a good choice in a major.
Post # 26
Ah, see. That’s where I start backing away. I’ll pay $45,000.00 a year for a degree in Underwater Basketweaving if it’s what my son or daughter is passionate about, but I probably wouldn’t help with rent or a car post graduation unless it was an absolute necessity.
That said, I’m sure it would depend on the kid. My feelings probably too influenced by my ex and his behavior. Mom and dad paid his way through school, then helped with rent, then bought groceries, then…. As a consequence he never learned to live within his means or to save.
Post # 27
For me it was unspoken. I had to get the grades for my parents to subsidize my out-of-state tuition. If I didn’t pull my weight I would be required to move home, go to community college, and then re-apply to a local college. I never wanted to do that so I made the grade year after year.
I believe I will do something like this for my child. My Fiance may have another opinion as he “paid” for everything himself (he had excellent grades and was basically paid to go to college by the state). And he worked jobs for spending money. I have a feeling we’ll do some kind of compromise between the way I went to college and the way he did.
Now, when I went to grad school I was on my own. My parents told me they would pay for 4 years — after that, it’s all me!
Post # 28
I will want them to get student loans and basically pay their own way through. Money is never enough to even run a household smoothly, let alone pay for post-sec education with the fees increasing constantly. I do want them to get higher education and I will wholeheartedly focus on building their interest in order to receive this. If they are smart enough, they will vie for scholarships and/or bursaries.
My parents did not provide money for my education and this allowed me to set goals and priorities and work hard all on my own. I had a job and was schooling at the same time. They didn’t provide it because they were/are quite poor so I would not even expect them to, however both my brother and I have become really good money and time managers because of this.
We found this to have made us far more efficient and in-tune with ‘reality’ of the world than if we would have had all the financial help. Sure we did have thoughts in the back of our head all the time about collecting so much debt, but it was the way we looked at it. I.e. we wanted to make sure we can remove that debt asap when we are done and/or during school. And that is what we worked towards.
I guess it’s really all in the thinking. If you have your head in the right place, you can overcome any difficulty. That is what I would like my children to learn.
Post # 29
Well, I guess I”m thinking of my situation–my parents paid for my rent after college because I went straight to grad school. I worked part time thruout to pay for my living expenses, but I couldn’t have managed to live in my own apartment without their help with rent. Could I have lived at home? I suppose I could have, but it would have meant an hour and a half commute on public transportation, with night classes. My parents were willing to help me out, knowing that doing so would make things easier on me. Once I got a full time job, they stopped paying my rent.
As for a car, if my child got a job in a city where a car was needed (aka, not NYC, lol), I would definitely be willing to purchase him or her one if it was necessary in order to get to interviews, jobs, etc. Not saying I would get a Lexus or anything, but a good solid car. I might say that they’re reponsible for paying for insurance though (and obviously for gas). maybe I’m biased, because my parents were super supportive of me throughout college and grad school (always depositing a little extra money in my account, etc).
Post # 30
Yeah, I think I would probably end up doing the same under similar circumstances.
Not really the point, but this thread has made me think about all those little things you can’t control with kids. You can try really, really hard to instill certain values (work ethic, self sufficiency, etc.), but at the end of the day some of it’s going to come down to personality and ambition and a whole bunch of other things over which parents don’t really have much influence.
Post # 31
So true. And so frightening.