How can I pay for my child's college degree?

An education is expensive. How do you plan on paying for college? Do you expect your children to work while in college or pay off student loans on their own?

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9  Answers

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My husband and I have set aside a little bit of money in an Education fund when we can since the kids were young and that helps gradually build up a fund plus the earnings compound over several years. We believe it is important to HELP fund college because we feel it is very important that our children get a good education - that will make a big difference in their future. However, we also believe that the child needs to pay some as well so that they have put some effort into the funding and appreciate it more. We currently have one in College and one about to start. We have told them that we will pay for half and they need to pay the rest whether that is through jobs or student loans. Both of our children have chosen to go into engineering programs with co-op work terms. Engineering can have a pretty heavy load so can be difficult to work during school but they are able to earn money in the co-op work terms in-between school semesters.

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I think parents should try to HELP with college expenses, if they can, but the student should definitely know that college is a cost THEY are incurring. There are many loans and grants out there, and yes - the student should plan on paying back THEIR debt. (I guess the way this question is phrased puts my back up. It assumes parents are responsible for paying for their child's costs when they are adults!) Again, yes - most students can (and should) be able to manage a job while in college, if not during the first year, then in the following years. Students have years to pay off their college debt, while parents have less time to be funding their retirement (by this time, that's where the parents' focus should be).

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2,319 9

In the UK, we have student loans which full-time University/higher education students MUST apply for when joining their course. Every student, whether from a rich or poor family must get the student loan. There is a long repayment term and the money is removed at source (as with tax) from their salaries once they're working for a living. If graduates are able, and they wish to, they may pay off their loans earlier - indeed some pay them off very swiftly if they've been fortunate enough to secure highly paid employment when their studies are finished.

We used to have a student grant system here in the UK. However it was means-tested. So students from less affluent families were given far more. There was a recommended amount which was a "full grant" which the poorer students got and other students got a percentage of this depending on their parents' financial circumstances. The recommendation was that all students SHOULD have the full amount and therefore, for those from the "better off" families, their lower grant be "topped up" by parents in order that they got the same amount as the other students.

Of course this didn't work! Wealthier people are often less inclined to sponsor other people financially - even their own children - that's exactly how they remain wealthy!!

So the current system of student loans is far better - it makes higher education a level playing field for everyone, regardless of family background/wealth etc....

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Help them, don't fully carry them... they are not kids anymore.. reason.. some people never finish.. but do better a different way in life anyways..

I think you should let them know that you are willing to pay for books and supplies, or tuition if they pay for books and supplies.. I think it should be a bit of a partnership....

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It is their education, they should own it. That way, imho, they make better decisions regarding the career they want and how long it will take to get the needed education for it. Our five children paid for their own educations while we helped pay for their rent, carried them on our insurance, paid for cell phones on our plan, those kinds of things. They all worked at least 30 hours a week while taking a 14-18 credit load. Also, stayed very involved in their religion, hosting children's classes, running the campus club and attending regular worship/fellowship meetings. They learned to effectively balance their education, with work, friends and their spiritual community. Prepared them for the multi-tasking of parenthood, that's for sure!!! The savings we had was NOT applied to a specific account for them so when they applied for loans/financial aid packages it did not jeopardize/impact that process. It was used for their living expenses. We made sure they didn't go hungry and had computers! Many of their friends went on the parents dime. Those friends wasted years partying, changed majors often, and some even dropped out after four years without any degree (and bitterness and estrangement from parents). Our kids said they were glad they paid for their education themselves. Kept them very focused and they didn't waste time in college, playing. On their summer "breaks" they traveled around the world with SED projects. After college, their choice as to whether go straight into a career or "play" for awhile. They earned the right for those kinds of decisions. They earned it in the truest sense of the word. You know, you make MUCH better decisions on the kind of "playing" you engage in when you are 21 and 22 with a degree that you paid for yourself in your pocket as opposed to 18, playing with mommy and daddy's money. You rarely make ignorant mistakes that you pay for for the rest of your life (ie: drinking and driving, running up credit card bill, stupid drunk "pranks", engaging in risky sexual habits, etc,..).

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with pall grants and government loans.

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already through college, got pall grants.

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I believe the best way to plan for the future is to start at birth. Instead of buying "things" parents should start saving for their child's future and decide when they are responsible enough to warrant receiving the gift.

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