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    Slightly OT: Paying for College

    I know that we will all be coming from different backgrounds, financial status, and schools of thought on this, but I'd love to have a discussion about paying for college.

    As the momma of a big family, it weighs on my mind. I went to a small private college, funded through scholarships, grants, and work-study. My oldest daughter will graduate in December from the local state college without any loans - she worked at UPS, which paid for her school.

    Now, I'm looking at helping 5 students get through college without having to sell one of them.

    I'd love to hear your plans and ideas ..... since I'm not aware of homeschool guidance counselors.
    Plans for 2020-21

    Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

    DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
    DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
    DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
    DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
    DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
    DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

    #2
    Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

    *I'm still laughing at the notion of Homeschool Guidance Counselors! Could this be a new career for one of us?*

    I'm glad you brought this up. First, I am not sure I want to send my kids to college. The few exceptions (Hillsdale, Thomas Aquinas, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Rice...) are waaay to expensive for me to send all 3. I'd have to choose my favorite kid and send him/her while the rest of them toil away to help subsidize it. *weary laugh*

    So far, we've come up with this handy list of rules. I'm sure they'll change as our kids get older:

    1. No going to college to "find" yourself. You're right here. You need at least a general idea of what you want to do before you blow tons of cash to contemplate the
    meaning of pudding skin or to write deep, meaningful haikus about dryer lint.
    2. We will not pay for future lawyers. (I just offended half of my husband's family!) Kind of a joke...but not really.
    3. We have a great community college very close by. Get your general credits out of the way at a low price, then transfer to the expensive college for specialization.
    4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trade schools and/or apprenticeships. Lord knows the world is in need of plumbers, electricians and mechanics...and these jobs
    can offer more flexibility than the traditional nine-to-five.
    5. There is also nothing wrong with being a housewife/mama. I so wish my guidance counselor would have told girls the truth - we cannot "have it all" and that something
    always suffers (something about serving two masters...). I wish I'd married sooner and started my family before I hit 30 (and I was still 'young' by NYC standards!) and
    I wish I'd studied something of substance rather than chasing a fancy title and all that comes with it.
    The hubs and I have talked about furnishing money toward helping the kids establish a home if they want to marry young or still helping with education in that instance.

    Of course, we're total novices when it comes to this. What do mamas of kids who are close to graduation and/or are already out of the house have to say? Thanks again, Dianna! <3
    Mary

    DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
    DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
    DD8 - SC level 2

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

      Well, I can offer you our stories for what they are worth. My oldest is a senior at a state university and will graduate with maybe $3-4k in loans if that. My second is a junior and will graduate with no loans. My third is a freshman and is looking at taking on about $15,000 in loans.
      We created college savings accounts for the older kids through our state 529 plan. Each of the four oldest has had/will have about $7,000 available from this. We started the younger kids later and with less money so they may not have as much, but we figure with fewer kids in the house and *hopefully* higher salary, we should be able to help them more from our regular budget.
      My oldest applied to a private Catholic university (Benedictine College) and a state school. She decided the private school cost too much for the degree she wanted. She earned a substantial scholarship from the state university that covered 3/4 tuition for 4 years and 1/4 housing for 2 years. After two years she moved out of the dorms and saved a ton of money. Between the $7k savings, us paying $2,000 per year that we got refunded in tax credit (American Opportunity Credit), and moving out she is so far debt free. We do help her with a car, insurance, and help with groceries. She chose to do a dual major in graphic design and illustration which is supposed to take 5 years and her scholarship is only 4 years. She worked hard to get the time down to 4 1/2 years and is saving money to help cover tuition that last semester and will probably only need to get a loan for $3-4k that last semester.
      My next earned the top competitive scholarship to our state engineering university. The $7K savings and the $2,000 per year AOC money was enough to cover his bills until he moved out of the dorms and now he actually breaks about even with his scholarship "refund" after paying tuition and fees covering his rent and groceries. He will graduate with money in the bank due to summer jobs.
      My third chose a different route. He really wanted to go to a great private Catholic college- University of Dallas. He is a National Merit Finalist and earned free tuition, but their R&B is around $15,000 a year!!! He also earned a department scholarship and a KofC scholarship which brought his yearly bill down to about $8,000. He also had a few one time scholarships to help his first year. He managed to cover his first year with those scholarships, half of his $7k and AOC. He will tap out the 529 savings his third semester and will need to start taking loans. He is also choosing to do a semester in Rome which will add about $6k to his bill. He is working a full time summer job, getting a lab assistant position on campus and looking for more scholarship money but he will still probably graduate with about $15,000 in loans. He could have gone to our state school and actually earned money with all the scholarship offers he had, but he greatly valued the UD education and it is turning out to be a great fit for him and worth the money.
      My fourth is still in high school but I anticipate him going to the state engineering school like his brother. He might not earn quite as high of a scholarship, but will be able to hold his own.
      My fifth is not as academic and I don't anticipate her earning quite the scholarships that the older ones did. She will probably stay local if she goes to college at all.

      My thought is that if they do not have the test scores/grades to get good scholarships, they maybe should not be looking at university. They would probably do better with community college or trade school. University should be for top students (at least in our family we view it that way). If you are looking at having to pay full price for university, maybe your child is not quite university material- at least not yet. Get a two year degree first and go from there. For us, in general, private school is NOT worth the cost. I mean, my son earned FREE tuition and still has a $15,000 a year bill! Tuition would have been $35,000 a year. NO WAY!!! He had to think long and hard about choosing that school even though he got free tuition because of the high R&B cost.

      Oh- and there very much do exist homeschool college counselors. They call themselves "college consultants" and can be quite pricey- although they promise to save you a ton of money in scholarships. I don't know. My kids got scholarships just fine. A friend spent a bunch on a college consultant who had her daughter apply to tons of schools and spend lots of time on scholarship applications. She ended up applying at the last minute to a local university and got automatic scholarships from them better than anything the college consultant helped her find. My friend is not using said college consultant for her younger kids. That said, I know of others who greatly value the help they got from their college consultants. You just need to find a good one who is not too expensive. We are doing it without a consultant, but others value their "inside knowledge". Ask around for recommendations if you are considering hiring a consultant.
      Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
      DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
      DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
      DS, 21, chemistry major
      DS, 18, Physics major
      DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
      DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
      DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

        Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
        *I'm still laughing at the notion of Homeschool Guidance Counselors! Could this be a new career for one of us?*

        I'm glad you brought this up. First, I am not sure I want to send my kids to college. The few exceptions (Hillsdale, Thomas Aquinas, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Rice...) are waaay to expensive for me to send all 3. I'd have to choose my favorite kid and send him/her while the rest of them toil away to help subsidize it. *weary laugh*

        So far, we've come up with this handy list of rules. I'm sure they'll change as our kids get older:

        1. No going to college to "find" yourself. You're right here. You need at least a general idea of what you want to do before you blow tons of cash to contemplate the
        meaning of pudding skin or to write deep, meaningful haikus about dryer lint.
        2. We will not pay for future lawyers. (I just offended half of my husband's family!) Kind of a joke...but not really.
        3. We have a great community college very close by. Get your general credits out of the way at a low price, then transfer to the expensive college for specialization.
        4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trade schools and/or apprenticeships. Lord knows the world is in need of plumbers, electricians and mechanics...and these jobs
        can offer more flexibility than the traditional nine-to-five.
        5. There is also nothing wrong with being a housewife/mama. I so wish my guidance counselor would have told girls the truth - we cannot "have it all" and that something
        always suffers (something about serving two masters...). I wish I'd married sooner and started my family before I hit 30 (and I was still 'young' by NYC standards!) and
        I wish I'd studied something of substance rather than chasing a fancy title and all that comes with it.
        The hubs and I have talked about furnishing money toward helping the kids establish a home if they want to marry young or still helping with education in that instance.

        Of course, we're total novices when it comes to this. What do mamas of kids who are close to graduation and/or are already out of the house have to say? Thanks again, Dianna! <3
        Me posting was a solution to the nagging anxiety I'm beginning to feel about all of my wee ones getting older. Abigail will graduate in December ---and I couldn't be any prouder of her. She is such a smart cookie -- but had a hard time in high school - farting around and getting crappy grades, etc. College has been MUCH better for her. She's done it all on her own --- working part time at UPS (nights!), and then full time school. Phew. She's running circles around me. I had it easy in college.

        I want to flesh out some of these points, because they are excellent ---

        1)Finding yourself --- WHAT IS THIS? In other words, was I just crazy lucky to decide, "Hmph. I think I'll go to nursing school"? I don't understand the folks who mill about, not knowing what they want to do. Would I have chosen nursing, if I had to do it all over again? Probably --- it came easily to me, I'm good at it, it's a noble profession and it pays the bills. BUT -- it no longer defines me, as it did 15 years or so ago.

        2) You'll have to elaborate on this ..... because my oldest is planning on law school. It sounds all glamorous, but there's a big part of me that's dying --- thinking about 60 hour work weeks. I even Googled "conservative law schools". (they do exist! And mostly in the South) I want my kids to make a positive difference in people's lives --- and somehow, I don't see lawyers doing that.
        (please, no offense meant to any attorneys here. )

        3) YES -- have you seen the AP/CLEP/Dual Credit discussion in this forum? Lots of good info there.

        4) I TOTALLY agree with this -- I went to a high school with an attached vo/tech school --- once you were a sophomore, you could start taking classes in business administration, health careers (basically teaching you how to be a nurses' aide), carpentry, auto mechanics, welding, machine shop, etc.
        But --- here's my question --- if you don't have a parent or family member in a trade, how do you know you have an interest? Meaning -- my husband won't be introducing carpentry, plumbing, etc to our boys. Do kids ever say, "Hey! I think I want to be an electrician" without ever any exposure?

        5) See #2 -- I've been talking to attorney friends (some on the forum, even) about what kind of law is conducive to family life. That's one fantastic thing about nursing .... I could work as much or as little as I want. I don't miss out on job opportunities because I'm only part time. I'm able to go to work, then come home and leave work at work.
        I totally agree with you that something always suffers ---- scales are never perfectly balanced. I've made it very clear to my children that I would much prefer to be home with them --- but I also adjust my schedule to minimize my time away from them at work. I get up early, get in, and get my work done, then head home without dilly dallying. They know that they are my priority. There will always be time for me to work --- someone will always be sick, but my kids won't always be little.


        10 years ago -- if you would have asked me about college for my children, I would have said, unequivicolly, they would ALL be going. As I've learned more about their personalities, and lived with an entreprenuerial husband, I'm beginning to understand that it's not for everyone. Teaching my children in a classical model has also given me great pause ---- I'm no longer just trying to fit them into pegs. (Makes me think of David Wright's talk and the Tiny Boxes song)

        BUT -- I have to admit, I'm easily swayed by the 'college experience' bit, and nostalgia. I was looking at the HLS website today, and the college counselor wrote about a trip to Furman. A few clicks in, and I was in love with South Carolina. <3 My heart strings are pulled by Southern campuses, in a big way. I just have to be honest with myself that seeing the Lyceum every day(at Ole Miss) doesn't justify an enormous loan.


        Oooh --- I do love the idea of putting money toward a house. I've even mentioned to my husband that I want us to buy some sort of small house for rental property near U of L --- rent it out to students now, have it for our children for on campus (or close) living later.

        And seriously, just knowing that I'm not the only one who frets about this makes it a wee bit more palatable.
        Plans for 2020-21

        Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

        DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
        DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
        DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
        DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
        DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
        DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

          Originally posted by momgineer View Post
          Well, I can offer you our stories for what they are worth. My oldest is a senior at a state university and will graduate with maybe $3-4k in loans if that. My second is a junior and will graduate with no loans. My third is a freshman and is looking at taking on about $15,000 in loans.
          We created college savings accounts for the older kids through our state 529 plan. Each of the four oldest has had/will have about $7,000 available from this. We started the younger kids later and with less money so they may not have as much, but we figure with fewer kids in the house and *hopefully* higher salary, we should be able to help them more from our regular budget.
          My oldest applied to a private Catholic university (Benedictine College) and a state school. She decided the private school cost too much for the degree she wanted. She earned a substantial scholarship from the state university that covered 3/4 tuition for 4 years and 1/4 housing for 2 years. After two years she moved out of the dorms and saved a ton of money. Between the $7k savings, us paying $2,000 per year that we got refunded in tax credit (American Opportunity Credit), and moving out she is so far debt free. We do help her with a car, insurance, and help with groceries. She chose to do a dual major in graphic design and illustration which is supposed to take 5 years and her scholarship is only 4 years. She worked hard to get the time down to 4 1/2 years and is saving money to help cover tuition that last semester and will probably only need to get a loan for $3-4k that last semester.
          My next earned the top competitive scholarship to our state engineering university. The $7K savings and the $2,000 per year AOC money was enough to cover his bills until he moved out of the dorms and now he actually breaks about even with his scholarship "refund" after paying tuition and fees covering his rent and groceries. He will graduate with money in the bank due to summer jobs.
          My third chose a different route. He really wanted to go to a great private Catholic college- University of Dallas. He is a National Merit Finalist and earned free tuition, but their R&B is around $15,000 a year!!! He also earned a department scholarship and a KofC scholarship which brought his yearly bill down to about $8,000. He also had a few one time scholarships to help his first year. He managed to cover his first year with those scholarships, half of his $7k and AOC. He will tap out the 529 savings his third semester and will need to start taking loans. He is also choosing to do a semester in Rome which will add about $6k to his bill. He is working a full time summer job, getting a lab assistant position on campus and looking for more scholarship money but he will still probably graduate with about $15,000 in loans. He could have gone to our state school and actually earned money with all the scholarship offers he had, but he greatly valued the UD education and it is turning out to be a great fit for him and worth the money.
          My fourth is still in high school but I anticipate him going to the state engineering school like his brother. He might not earn quite as high of a scholarship, but will be able to hold his own.
          My fifth is not as academic and I don't anticipate her earning quite the scholarships that the older ones did. She will probably stay local if she goes to college at all.

          My thought is that if they do not have the test scores/grades to get good scholarships, they maybe should not be looking at university. They would probably do better with community college or trade school. University should be for top students (at least in our family we view it that way). If you are looking at having to pay full price for university, maybe your child is not quite university material- at least not yet. Get a two year degree first and go from there. For us, in general, private school is NOT worth the cost. I mean, my son earned FREE tuition and still has a $15,000 a year bill! Tuition would have been $35,000 a year. NO WAY!!! He had to think long and hard about choosing that school even though he got free tuition because of the high R&B cost.

          Oh- and there very much do exist homeschool college counselors. They call themselves "college consultants" and can be quite pricey- although they promise to save you a ton of money in scholarships. I don't know. My kids got scholarships just fine. A friend spent a bunch on a college consultant who had her daughter apply to tons of schools and spend lots of time on scholarship applications. She ended up applying at the last minute to a local university and got automatic scholarships from them better than anything the college consultant helped her find. My friend is not using said college consultant for her younger kids. That said, I know of others who greatly value the help they got from their college consultants. You just need to find a good one who is not too expensive. We are doing it without a consultant, but others value their "inside knowledge". Ask around for recommendations if you are considering hiring a consultant.
          Your stories are always worthwhile to me! Seems like we've had a little bit of this discussion in a PM or two.

          I don't think those loan amounts are unreasonable at all. I always choke at the people on Dave Ramsey, who have more in student loans than what they make in a year. Eeek.

          Filing away a note to myself to look at a 529. If I understand correctly, they are only for your state's schools, correct? Heck -- if I just started one, it would help with SOMEBODY along the way, surely.

          I think your point about community college vs university is a good one. A few questions ---- how do you know if a community college is good? We have a community college in the city (and where we live, we could actually travel a bit farther to a different, smaller one in a small city) -- my oldest daughter often complained about how simplistic the classes were, and couldn't wait to get to the university. She started at the community college for 2 reasons --- a) cost, and b) to flesh out what she wanted to pursue.

          Consultants ..... I'm pretty picky and hard to work with, so I think I'll be forging out on my own. I'm already listening to an audiobook about scholarships, etc.
          Plans for 2020-21

          Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

          DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
          DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
          DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
          DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
          DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
          DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

            A 529 is simply a savings plan that builds tax free and can be used at any university. Two of mine are using theirs at state schools and one is using his at private Catholic school. Our state gives an extra tax break for contributing to a 529 on our state taxes, but they can be used at any university. Some states also offer a pre paid tuition to their own schools, but that is quite different than a 529.

            Community college- I hear yah! Ours is hit and miss. Most classes are pathetic but a few are quality- especially the calculus since they coordinate with our engineering university to accept credits. But, I can't exactly say the four year university classes were much better. Sad. My daughter's honors college classes were mostly good, but the few regular gen eds she took were much lower quality than her Kolbe high school classes. Now my son's University of Dallas classes have all been outstanding and truely college level. My daughter took an online US Gov class with a two year college to transfer for a gen ed she needed. The class was terrible! Not liberal indoctrination- that was not too big an issue. It was just a pathetic class. Read a chapter of dumb textbook, post one "discussion" comment, take a few quizzes and a couple tests and boom an easy A. Still can't figure out what she paid $400 for. There was no teaching. In hind sight she should have tried to CLEP out of it. Total waste of money.
            Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
            DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
            DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
            DS, 21, chemistry major
            DS, 18, Physics major
            DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
            DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
            DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

              Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
              Your stories are always worthwhile to me! Seems like we've had a little bit of this discussion in a PM or two.

              I don't think those loan amounts are unreasonable at all. I always choke at the people on Dave Ramsey, who have more in student loans than what they make in a year. Eeek.

              Filing away a note to myself to look at a 529. If I understand correctly, they are only for your state's schools, correct? Heck -- if I just started one, it would help with SOMEBODY along the way, surely.

              I think your point about community college vs university is a good one. A few questions ---- how do you know if a community college is good? We have a community college in the city (and where we live, we could actually travel a bit farther to a different, smaller one in a small city) -- my oldest daughter often complained about how simplistic the classes were, and couldn't wait to get to the university. She started at the community college for 2 reasons --- a) cost, and b) to flesh out what she wanted to pursue.

              Consultants ..... I'm pretty picky and hard to work with, so I think I'll be forging out on my own. I'm already listening to an audiobook about scholarships, etc.
              Dave Ramsey - I think one (or maybe more than one) of my husband's nephew's have A LOT of student loan debt. It is really sad, but one in particular got sucked into sports at a private school. They keep you too busy to graduate in the 4 years that the scholarship lasts. Even one year at a private school is crazy and no one pays much for sports mgt major. I do use my credit card for some stuff (not very Dave Ramsey), but am all in on the no debt bit. My parents paid for my brother and sister and I on an engineer's salary, but with the increase in tuition I don't think that will be an option for us. Still, we should be able to help some.

              529's- basically there are two kinds...prepaid plans and ones that are more investment accounts. Each state has their own, but you can shop around to other states plans. You should check your own state plan first because many like Michigan allow you to deduct contributions off your state income taxes. I don't know if Kentucky has income tax. Those investment type accounts allow you to use your money anywhere or roll it over to a sibling or grandchild (or yourself) if your student gets a scholarship or use it for books. It just has to be educational expenses. It is still the owners' money (grandparents can open one) and your child is the beneficiary. Prepaid 529 plans are offered in Michigan and many other states (but I don't know if all states have one). Those plans allow you to buy tuition at current prices at a sort of state wide aggregate rate, but to me they have some drawbacks. If your child wants to go out of state they would get some money back, but it would be a very poor rate of return on having your money locked up. Also, if your child goes to a less expensive school in the state you don't do as well either. In Michigan unless you know your child is going to go to Michigan or Michigan Stare it isn't a good investment. Also, I believe some states have defaulted on their prepaid tuition plans in the past.

              Community college- I have always been a bit of a snob, I guess. I never considered community college to be the kids I wanted to hang with, but times have changed and I am looking seriously at trying to get her CLEP/AP credit and see what it would take to knock out the first two years there in less than two before transferring. I think whether a CC is "good" depends on whether they have an agreement with a school you want to transfer to and if you have CLEP credits how liberal they are with their acceptances. I still have dreams of Hillsdale for my daughter, but it will be a wait and see on scholarships. It isn't worth debt. **Mommy** visualizes accounting major with a minor in classical languages in her future. I think my backup plan is the local university where my husband graduated in computer engineering and where I got my masters. Their scholarships start at 23 ACT (not for a lot of money) and move up to full scholarship with a 31, but since she scored a 23 when she took it after one practice test last year in 7th grade I think she should be able to improve from that. She has almost finished algebra 1 now ;-). I figure every bit of scholarship money helps out the next kid. If she goes there, my mom has offered to let her move in with them (my parents live a mile away). I understand room and board rates with Grammy and Grandpa are pretty reasonable *and* it comes without little brothers . She is pretty frugal so she might actually take them up on it.

              So much beyond just teaching to think about when you start homeschooling! The one thing to remember on the scholarship front is that you must have your student sit for the PSAT on the one day the fall of 11th grade when it counts for national merit. They might not make it, but you can't go back in time and get a do over.

              Dorinda
              Dorinda

              For 2019-2020
              DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
              DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
              DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
              DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                I have only 2 to send to college, yet I'll still share. They are both university bound for sure. I agree that many more people should use community college instead of going into huge debt if they don't know what they want to do. University is too expensive to go to anymore just for experience or to find out what you want to study, unless someone is just flat out rich. There is nothing wrong with living at home and getting gen eds out of the way at community college or local state university, working part time and then transferring for the last 2 years if they need to.

                We started 529s when our children were born and put as much as we could into them when they were really little and we didn't have any activities to pay for. Now that there are bills for curriculum, piano, violin, etc. no money has going into those accounts in 8 years from us, although my in-laws continue to put a little in every year. The thing to remember about 529s is that they can ONLY be used for education, but they can be passed on to any family member. So if one child gets a full ride scholarship, the 529 can be used by another child. My parents have also put money away for each of their grandchildren that can be used for anything, so if they need it for education it is there, but if not, then they will be able to use it toward a house.

                My children are very aware of the cost of college and it is something that influences their decisions, so they have started to earn college credits with CLEP, AP, and Dual Enrollment. They are motivated to graduate debt free.
                Kristin - Administrator for Vita Beata (discussion classes for MP users)
                DD19; AFROTC and Aerospace Engineering Major
                DD16; Rising Senior!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                  Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                  The one thing to remember on the scholarship front is that you must have your student sit for the PSAT on the one day the fall of 11th grade when it counts for national merit. They might not make it, but you can't go back in time and get a do over.

                  Dorinda
                  I cannot emphasize how important this is! I took the SAT in the 8th grade as part of the application process for the Indiana Academy. I got a respectable score and was told that instead of taking it again later on, I could use that same score for college. My guidance counselor just said I might want to take the ACT, as well, as that was the test some schools were beginning to look at, but otherwise said that sitting for the PSAT junior year would be pointless.

                  She never told me that my score would not count for national merit. She never told me how important it would be to sit for the PSAT in order to be eligible for academic scholarships or that, based on my 8th grade score, how likely it would be to earn National Merit Finalist status - or how much that would help with academic scholarships. I'm still banging my head over that 25 years later!



                  Going back to the 529 accounts, we started one in New York City when our oldest was born. Now, because we no longer live in NY, we're no longer able to contribute to it. Or something - I'm going to have to ask my husband when he gets home. Anyway, after we moved, something funny happened and we're limited in how we can either use or contribute to it. Can anyone speak to this? I ask because someone earlier (was it momgineer?) talked about looking at other states' 529 plans - I'd like to know how that might work.
                  Mary

                  DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
                  DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
                  DD8 - SC level 2

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                    #10
                    Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                    Different states have different rules. I think anybody can contribute to a Missouri 529 but only Missouri tax payers can deducted it on their state taxes. The money can be used at any qualifying university (any real university, public or private, secular or religious) whether you continue to live in state or not. All it is is a savings account that builds tax free. You still pay federal tax on money you deposite (but not state tax) but all earnings are tax free if spent on educational expenses (including room and board).
                    Re: PSAT take it sophomore year for practice and again junior year for "real". So far one of my three made NMF but he also had a perfect 1600 SAT so he is a particularly good test taker. It is really hard to score high enough for NMF and I don't anticipate any of my younger kids getting it (maybe the 9 yr old might come close). But it's free (it really cheap) so you might as well.
                    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                    DD, 25, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                    DS, 23, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                    DS, 21, chemistry major
                    DS, 18, Physics major
                    DD, 15, dyslexic, 10th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                    DS, 12, super squirmy, possible dysgraphia, MP 7A
                    DD, 6 , K- finally one who seems to like drawing and writing- first one since my oldest!

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                      #11
                      Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                      Hi All. I find this an interesting thread as we are in the throes of our middle child's senior year and having just been through the college decision process. I have a lot of stuff rolling around in my mind that I would like to share. I hope I can keep this precise and avoid rambling. I should also add that we have a sophomore in college as well.

                      I feel that when considering college one of the first questions families/students should ask themselves is what is your purpose for going to college? Is it the means to a job, or do you have other, altruistic goals in mind. So many people view college as just that-the next step to getting a job. As our home school became more and more classical, and as I truly learned what education is and what it means to be educated, my views on college changed as well. College can be the next step to getting a good job, but it is also a place to learn, grow, be challenged, and become an educated, contributing member of society. There is something to be said about studying that which is good, true, and beautiful for its own sake. This to me has more value than simply going to school to get a job. So yes, if you just want to get a job, you can Clep out of classes, attend community college in high school and get on the fast track to graduating early. But if your goal is to educate yourself for the joy of educating yourself, I say enjoy the journey. Don't be in such a rush to take college classes early just to get them out of the way. Our children have not taken any college classes in high school. At first this was due to financial considerations, but then it became purposeful. I felt there were still so many good things to study in high school (thanks MP) that they didn't need to jump ahead yet. Many of my friends' children take college classes their junior and senior years so I sometimes feel like we are "behind." I have to keep reminding myself of our own family goals.

                      After considering why to go to college, then one must address the financial aspect and ask, "What is the value I am getting for my money?" In the long run are you going to be satisfied with what you paid for? And here is where I will begin to tell a bit of our family's story. Christian education is a high priority for our family even continuing into college. There is a local, highly recommended university in our area. Based on ACT scores, both of our older two children received great scholarships and could have lived at home and attended college for virtually nothing. But, the university is not only extremely liberal but actually hostile toward Christian ideas. So we had to ask ourselves, "Is this really what we want for our children, and is it really a 'good deal'"? My husband and I both felt this would have been a waste of time and what little money we would have had to pay. Then how do you pay for a Christian college education? We had no idea. We lost our businesses seven years ago, have been in a rebuilding process, and have no savings to put towards college. Our son fell in love with Spring Arbor University near Jackson, MI, and we basically told him it was a money game. We would see how the scholarships/financial aid would size up and go from there. We prayed and prayed that God would provide, and all the while I was battling in my mind why we were going to fight and struggle so hard to pay for this expensive school when he could attend the other for virtually nothing. I had to keep reminding myself of our end goal-true education. To make a long story short, God provided in amazing ways, and our son is now finishing his second year at SAU. He will have some debt coming out of his 4 years, but it will be nominal. And so we come to child number two who has her heart set on Hillsdale. Needless to say, it is going to be quite a stretch for us financially. We look at the numbers on the paper, and we say to ourselves, "There is no way." But we are plowing ahead, remembering the lessons we learned from our son's experience and trusting that the Lord will provide. We choose to look with eyes of faith, rather than with eyes of sight. My husband and I will have to work hard to make this happen, and our daughter will have to work hard to make this happen, and she, too, will have some debt coming out of school. But again, it is in the boundaries that my husband feels is acceptable. For us, the struggle is worth it. We are willing to sacrifice for we know this is the path for our family. And what about child number three who is a sophomore in high school? Her story is still unraveling...

                      I hope our story will be an encouragement to those who desire Christian college education for their families. It can be attainable even when it seems impossible. So many options/combinations of online studies, community colleges, and universities are available to students these days. They can really tailor an education that works for them. However you decide to do (or not to do) higher education for your families, it is your journey. Enjoy the ride!

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                        #12
                        Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                        Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
                        I cannot emphasize how important this is! I took the SAT in the 8th grade as part of the application process for the Indiana Academy. I got a respectable score and was told that instead of taking it again later on, I could use that same score for college. My guidance counselor just said I might want to take the ACT, as well, as that was the test some schools were beginning to look at, but otherwise said that sitting for the PSAT junior year would be pointless.

                        She never told me that my score would not count for national merit. She never told me how important it would be to sit for the PSAT in order to be eligible for academic scholarships or that, based on my 8th grade score, how likely it would be to earn National Merit Finalist status



                        Going back to the 529 accounts, we started one in New York City when our oldest was born. Now, because we no longer live in NY, we're no longer able to contribute to it. Or something - I'm going to have to ask my husband when he gets home. Anyway, after we moved, something funny happened and we're limited in how we can either use or contribute to it. Can anyone speak to this? I ask because someone earlier (was it momgineer?) talked about looking at other states' 529 plans - I'd like to know how that might work.

                        I hope your guidance counselor got some guidance or a new job.

                        http://www.savingforcollege.com/529_...ils&plan_id=37
                        I am not a financial expert, but I can't see any reason why you can't continue to contribute to the New York plan. You won't get the tax deduction, but Texas doesn't have state income tax so there is no benefit there to opening a Texas account. You are eligible for one rollover per year, but it looks like you would owe New York income tax on the amount deducted on prior year state taxes.

                        I noticed it said you could link to a unpromise account. Has anyone ever bothered with that?
                        Dorinda

                        For 2019-2020
                        DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
                        DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
                        DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
                        DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

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                          #13
                          Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                          Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                          I think your point about community college vs university is a good one. A few questions ---- how do you know if a community college is good? We have a community college in the city (and where we live, we could actually travel a bit farther to a different, smaller one in a small city) -- my oldest daughter often complained about how simplistic the classes were, and couldn't wait to get to the university. She started at the community college for 2 reasons --- a) cost, and b) to flesh out what she wanted to pursue.
                          I would look into the CC system in your state. In my state there is an agreement between the CC system and the University system where if you maintain a certain GPA you are guaranteed admission to one of the Universities. The GPA varies with the university, but my brother in law just graduated from UVA with an engineering degree after spending his first 2 years at CC. I know it saved a lot of money to go that route.

                          I will say that I took intro level classes at both CC and a state university when I was in college and noticed very little difference between the two as far as education goes. The main difference was probably the size of the class. My university intro level classes were 100+ students in giant lecture halls, often taught by a TA, where in community college they maxed out at around 30. That could be a good fit for a student who needs a little more one on one attention and more access to the professor for assistance and feedback. Even at the private Christian college I attended some of the introductory classes were 50+ students. In my state the community colleges have agreements with the state universities and I was even able to earn some credits at community college while I was in university so that I could graduate in 3 years. As long as I was sure the credits would transfer I saw very little difference between the two.
                          ~Michelle

                          DD 12 (MP 7)
                          DS 9 (Gap Year)
                          DS 4 - Preschool
                          DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

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                            #14
                            Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                            Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                            I hope your guidance counselor got some guidance or a new job.
                            To give you some perspective, she was my dad's English teacher...and Dad swears she was old then! *weary laugh*

                            Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                            http://www.savingforcollege.com/529_...ils&plan_id=37
                            I am not a financial expert, but I can't see any reason why you can't continue to contribute to the New York plan. You won't get the tax deduction, but Texas doesn't have state income tax so there is no benefit there to opening a Texas account. You are eligible for one rollover per year, but it looks like you would owe New York income tax on the amount deducted on prior year state taxes.

                            I noticed it said you could link to a unpromise account. Has anyone ever bothered with that?
                            I don't know anything about UPromise - I've heard of it, but have never looked into it further. Dh is out of town this week - when he returns, I'm going to ask him about the 529. We have other investments that we'd use for college and he's in charge of all of that (thank God, because I don't like dealing with money...unless I'm at the bookstore or the MP website and I want to spend it!)


                            I liked Runner Girl's thoughts about college. I'm not in any hurry to have my kids take CC courses in high school - the MP program is rich and varied, so I don't see any reason *at this point early in my career as a homeschooling mother* to rush that. I reserve the right to change my mind, though. *LOL*

                            As for CC, I like the idea of knocking out general ed credits before going on to a more expensive school, but only if they'll transfer. I really only want my kids to go to college if they want a true liberal arts education (think: Hillsdale, Thomas Aquinas), if they want to serve at a higher level in the church (seminary) or if they need it to pursue a career (medicine, engineering, whatever). In the first case, my idea about CC will likely not work. In the next case, there are only so many places they can go but the church will help subsidize. In the last case, I'd still want them to be VERY selective about where they apply. I don't want them spending oodles of dollars on a mediocre education from a big name place. I also don't just want them going to college because they feel they have to.

                            We are fortunate to have a fantastic place in Texas that teaches traditional skills - everything from animal husbandry to spinning/weaving to cheesemaking to blacksmithing to woodworking...and even if my kids do pursue higher education, dh and I will still likely have them take a course or two at this place. (Courses range from one-day to several weeks long.) I took the cheesemaking and spinning courses and they were phenomenal - what lovely skills to have in life! Also, we have talked with a good friend who owns his own plumbing business - he said if any of our kids (or any kid who's serious about this) showed an interest, he'd take him/her on as an apprentice in a heartbeat. Same with our electrician friend (who owns his own business - this likely wouldn't happen at a larger company). These trades are in need of younger people carrying on their traditions and, though they can offer a very good living and flexibility, people look down upon them. Well, that is, until their toilets overflow on Thanksgiving. *LOL!*

                            My husband and I were both so disappointed by our college experiences. I, because I had to go to the lowly, no-name college nearby and work nearly full-time to help pay for it (I graduated with only $900 in debt, though!) and he, because he went to a quasi-Ivy League school and couldn't get over kids asking if spelling would count on papers and such. (I ran into this when I got to my quasi-Ivy League place on the east coast for grad school - both expensive AND disappointing! What a letdown!) If my kids do go, I want it to be the enriching experience we thought ours would be. Of course, then I harken back to Mr. Wright's talk about education being lifelong and not needing to be confined within the walls of a home or school...and his list of awesome careers for homeschool kids.

                            Maybe my kids just won't grow up and I won't have to worry about this. Is it rational to hope they stay this age forever? )
                            Mary

                            DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
                            DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
                            DD8 - SC level 2

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                              #15
                              Re: Slightly OT: Paying for College

                              We too are trying to figure out how on earth we will pay for our children's college educations should they choose to go, but I find the current conversation a little troubling. All of us are sacrificing so much to give our children their current MP education and it seems counter-intuitive to then say that it's better to go to a lesser-quality but affordable school to get general education credits "out of the way". General ed is supposed to form the foundation of the college experience of higher/deeper knowledge, so to take sub-par GE courses so you can focus your money on the "real stuff" just seems to go against everything we profess about education. I hope this doesn't come across harshly...it's just something I feel strongly about, even though I left three years of liberal arts with $15-20k of debt and have struggled to pay it ever since.
                              Jennifer
                              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                              DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
                              DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
                              DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
                              DS11: SC 4
                              DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
                              DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
                              DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

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