Going in debt at a young age..

momcat2000July 1, 2006

my 20yo nephew. Honor role student in high school.

he is a 2nd year pharmacy student who married another 20yo with a 2 yo child. His new wife makes about $25,000 a year. My sister in law is vivid so my nephew has cut all ties with the family.

His grades dropped after he got married and he was dropped from the program.

He was accepted into another program out of state, so they are going to move there so he can finish his final 4 years (pharmacy is a 6 year program)

To not pay out of state tuition, they are buying a house. He is also paying for his remaining 4 years of college.

All paid for with student loans!

Oh, and she's pregnant again...

My husband is a pharmasist, and although he was also on the honor role in high school, he said pharmacy school was tough enough without a wife and 2 kids to worry about.

Someone tell me something that will make me feel better about all this.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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He's certainly bitten off a mouthful...

But that's the kind of situation that can really pull out the best in some people. Hopefully, your nephew will prove to be one of those people, and that his wife can see the long-term value in his finishing school and will prove to be a valuable team-mate. I'm not sure what two years of pharma school is worth in the job market, but a six-year pharma degree is a valuable commodity worth sacrificing for.

I'm assuming there's absolutely no way to stay in his current program? Begging and academic probation? And would they really need to buy a house to get in-state tuition at the other school?

If there's one piece of advice I would give them, it's that there's NO SHAME in living like a poor college student. To make friends with the poor married grad students instead of the wife's friends from work (too much disposable income, lifestyle issues) or nephew's single classmates (too immature). That might help them stay the course long enough to make it through. If he can get that degree, he'll be able to pay off those loans.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 9:39PM
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Is the 2 year old his?

Nothing wrong with college loans, IMHO. In fact I was having this conversation with DW today. My position is that even though we could cover DD's college expenses when she gets to that age, I think she should take some loans for the experience. I graduated with quite a bit of debt and it teaches you a lot really quickly, on a subject that's not covered in college.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:47AM
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I know I may not be in the majority, but it seems that when you tell a 20 year old that they can't do something - especially when they are in love and a child and another is one the way, they do the exact opposite.

I think your sister in law should reconsider and give them some support and help. If he's trying to get it together and go back to school, then he's trying to do the right thing by his schooling which is critical and to his girlfriend/wife/child. Who likes ultimatium's?

Since it appears she's expecting his child, his mother expects him to desert this woman and leave her to take care of this new baby by herself? He does have responsibilities now, and he appears to want to accept them. Support and a positive attitude from his mother/father and entire family would help insure he finishes school and gets back on track. If he doesn't have this support, he may find it easier to just quit school and get a job to support his family.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 8:58AM
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her first child is not his, this is the first marrage for both.
He could of stayed at his present school and try to enter the program again next spring after he had brought up his grades, or gone for a 4 year degree in a related field.
It't not that my sister in law doesn't want to help them, he is the one who has cut off all ties.
they didn't "have to get married", she became pregnant after they eloped during spring break.
It's my understanding, that renting a home or apt does not qualify for in state residency.
and geesh, if he can't keep his grades up single, this, i don't want to call it a situation because after all, it is a marrage, i can't see where this is going to help.
i'm all for student loans, they give such good opportunities for students who couldn't afford college without them.
BUT, to pay for a home, living expences and children? i don't think this is what student loans were ment for. and , if had not gotten married, his parents would of continued to pay for college. now, he won't take any money for tuition from his parents, he wants to do it on his own, which is very noble but so unnecesary.
i used to babysit at married student housing and it was very nice apts, but then he wouldn't qualify for out of state tuition. they are certainly not making it easier on themselves.
sweeby, thank you for your advice. i just don't know what to say to my sister in law when i see her. this is just tearing her apart.
my parents did the married student house route when they were in college, but dad had is college paid for by the GI bill and mom had just graduated so she was bringing in a decient paycheck... and no kids.
I hope they make it through the long run, but it seems like they want everything NOW and are not showing much patience in putting off tomorrow what you can have today.
My sister in law had a nice wedding planned for june, why did they have to elope in march? she wasn't pregnant at the time, so why couldn't they have waited? it would of done alot toward family relationships and we could of have gotten to know his new wife better.
Chiefneil and Caroleoh, he's got a long road to go, i hope he (they) has the patience and strength to tough it out. if he (they) gits through all this, hopefully, he can patch it up with his parents, if anything, i think his parents are more worried than upset.
Thanks for the responses, mom

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:04AM
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He may end up in the school of hard knocks. It's not what you would want for anyone, but there are alot of us who went to that school and did okay. Who knows-- he may have to quit school for the time being, go to work full time, and finish his degree later. There are alot of colleges and universities that offer degree programs at night. I've got a stepson out in Utah who walked into almost the same situation. Halfway thru college, he met someone, and they got married (she WAS pregnant when they got married). In the last six years, he's held down a full time job during the day, a part time job on the weekends, now has 4 kids (the first pregnancy was twins), and will be getting his degree in accounting next summer.

It CAN be done. Not easy, and you can wish all you want that your kids would take the benefit of your experience, but the best you can do is offer them guidance and hope they take it. When they don't, be there to support them the best you can, and if they fall, it's a life lesson to be learned from. NOTHING happens by chance. :-)

Oh-- and as for cutting off ties, my stepson (actually his wife) did the same thing with us, because of a disagreement between them and my wife, so I know how helpless that feels. Sooner or later, the bridges will mend. :-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:47AM
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thanks bill, that is wise advice. i was thinking a good way to "salvage" the two years he has already would be to switch to a related major that he could finish in two years. unfortunally, pharmacy is offered as a "package" any night summer school or day summer school is available after you make it into the program and then flunk a class (ask my husband) then, you can take it a second time (organic chemistry in itself can wipe out at least 25% of the class, my husband said it looked like old home week when he took it for the second time during summer school)
Why are these kids making it so hard on themselves?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:36PM
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I think that as long as he remains committed to suceeding, he will, and it will pay off after he graduates. If he doesn't do well in school, the debt will be a moot point whether it exists or not. That's up to him.

But - I have to say this. How many 20 year olds do you know that own their own home?

I agree with what someone said about situations like this bringing out the best in people. I also agree that he needs support. The alternatives he has to his situations don't seem all that appealing. (ie, not giving school a second chance, not buying a home and paying out of state tuition, not supporting his wife and baby on the way)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 6:42PM
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I would concentrate on what I think is erroneous information about the in-state tuition thing. If ONLY homeowners were qualified for in-state tuition rates that would eliminate all kids whose families rent. And that surely can't be true, anywhere, in these days where efforts to recruit an economically diverse student population is very important.

Now, it may be true that a certain period of residency is necessary, but I doubt it's more than a calendar year, so they could rent during that time, establish residency, and then be in-state from that point on. Perhap something your SIL could offer to do is pay the difference for the short period necessary to achieve residency. This a concrete, time limited sort of thing, and might be acceptable even to a proud, (scared), willful, determined young family that feels pressure to prove themselves in the face of family consternation over their choices. And if it means that a year must pass (While nephew works, instead of going to school, or only takes part-time classes to prove he's serious about continuing on), at age 20, that's no big loss. College was, in my personal experience, somewhat wasted on youngters - maybe it ought to be reserved for the late 20's!

Just, my two cents...


    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 9:26PM
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I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with this situation. Granted, these days getting married at 20 is not common, but it isn't crazy either. This all depends on what kind of young man he is and whether he will be able to handle his plateful.

He seems to be taking it all in stride. After all, just because most 20-year olds these days are spoiled babies, it doesn't mean they all are. I would lighten up and support him.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 11:38AM
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I don't know what state they are moving to, but if he is self-supporting (or married to a resident) even if renting, he would be considered "in state" after one year in NC. Renting does NOT preclude "residency"--unless mommy and daddy are covering the rent. He should really look at the residency requirements.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 4:21PM
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mjsee, that residency requirement does sound a little fishy to me too.
The father of her first child now doesn't want his son to live out of state. So, they either stay instate or he's going for custody. Will court costs be another expence?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:41AM
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No, court/attorney costs will not be 'another' expense'- they will be a HUGE expense and the custody situation will be an ongoing down-the-drain ebb in their lives.

I hope this is their wakeup call to stay in-state and try for readmission next spring.

My stomach turns over every time I read a post on this thread and think about this situation. All these expenses, this debt, and with kids, their expenses will only escalate.

No wonder his mom is beside herself!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Boy - that sounds like a very difficult and complicated situation. Maybe they can make this work but it seems like the odds are against overcoming a growing list of obstacles - especially if he continues to make decisions like refusing parental assistance when it's offered.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 11:59PM
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I agree that it's a complicated situation and the nephew hasn't really investigated many things well. He's totally wrong about the residnecy requirements. I've never heard of a university requiring home ownership.
He's young and has never had to hire a lawyer. He doesn't understand it will take tens of thousands of dollars to contest custody. He also doesn't have children of his own, so maybe he doesn't realize what a huge deal it is to move a young child away from their father. Even if he could win, he shouldn't, IMO.
Pharma is a difficult program to be sure. Maybe having a family to support will motivate him. I know a few couples of went to med school or Top 5 MBA programs when married with kids. It's very hard, but not impossible.
I don't think his age is really the problem, it's his lack of world experience. Hopefully, someone will intervene just to give him the facts and resources he needs, without judgement. It's perfectly natural for him to want to be independent of his parents, esp. now that he's married and a atep-father. I think it's odd when people that age still rely on family assistance. Of course, at 19, I was paying for my own school, working full-time, renting an apartment and paying all my own bills. My parents wanted to pay for everything, but I wouldn't have it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 6:22PM
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I'm only now stumbling onto this thread. How are your nephew and his wife doing? Has he made up with your sister?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:34PM
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