saving for college

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

So, we met with our financial guy not too long ago and asked questions about saving for college for our kids (daughter 5, son 5 mos). We just got his prospectus and in order to pay for 4 years of college for the two kids, at a public college, we need to set aside almost $1,000.00 a month! I find this completely outrageous. We can barely set aside anything for just plain savings.
I am looking for some information on what you mommies are doing to save for college for your kids. What kinds of accounts, how much? How are you keeping it equal?
I also have the complication (and benefit) that my daughter will be eligible for Chapter 35 education benefits through the VA from her bio dad. For those of you unfamiliar, she will have her tuition paid for, in addition to receiving a monthly check (a couple of years ago it was about $600 a month.) So I need to make sure that not only do the kids both get their schooling paid for, my daughter will probably have a nice little nest egg for after college, whereas my son will probably have some debt and/or no money left when he gets out. I just cannot figure this out! Do I open an education account in her name to transfer to him once she's done? Do I open an account for each to be used as needed? Do I set aside money in a general fund and say each kid gets $X.xx when they graduate? PLEASE HELP, I am driving myself crazy!

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Angie - posted on 08/22/2010

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Honestly, I don't save money for my children's college education. Our best investment in our children's educations is making sure they work hard in school and are well rounded so that they will qualify for scholarships and grants. We put at least half of any monetary gifts they receive in their money markets. Since our oldest will be starting college in a year and it looks like college will be about $60K a year. Since most college programs now last 5 years and not 4, we’re looking at $300K. We've also encouraged our son to take as many college classes as he can comfortably take while he's in high school - they are free. He will have 8 classes completed when he graduates – it saves him about $3K in tuition and books. He has been blessed to get excellent summer jobs and should have about $10K in his money market when he starts college. Keep in mind that the more a college costs, the more financial aid they have to give. My husband and I put ourselves through college with minimal help from our parents our children will be expected to do the same. In hindsight, I’m glad that I did it myself. I appreciate my education because I worked for it and it wasn’t handed to me. Don’t look at the big picture; take it in baby steps….

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