college tuition

finedreamsAugust 27, 2008

I looked up various public universities in different states and average tuition and fees without cost of living is at least 11K per 2 semesters (I do not count books that are very expensive and school supplies). So it is at least about 1000 a month. So you are telling me that a young high school graduate, who lives completely on his/her own) has minimum extra 1000 a month (after paying for actual living) to pay for their schooling? So what jobs pay extra 1000 per month to high school graduates?

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Why are you beating a dead horse???

The cost of living across the country varies so widely and some kids can live at home and go to a University while others live in dorms, apartments or shared house. It's ridiculous to compare one to another. What a waste of time.

BTW, I'm a process server. I can make an extra $250 a week by taking in three serves that can be done on my schedule. (before, after or in between classes) There are lots of odd jobs that can be done to earn a couple hundred dollars a week if someone is motivated, inspired, or creative enough.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:08PM
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finedreams, I actually find this topic fascinating.

As I've become aware, this board has some rather unique situations compared to most stepfamilies so what I am going to say probably really doesn't have much to do with anyone here.

There have been a few studies published within the last few years with results tracking stepfamilies. In every single study children from current unions fared better on every angle.

Children living with their father as CP were provided more financial help than a father as NCP. Children with Mom as CP and a stepfather involved did not fare well either in financial categories and emotional stability (i.e. criminal activities.)

In all studies, children of divorce fared better financially and emotionally when both or at least one parent remained single.

It is certainly interesting reading all of that and then coming to forums where non-custodial stepmoms are claiming their stepchildren are/were spoiled when Dad was asked to contribute to college. Or the many other stereotypes of stepkids.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:29PM
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You know which thing you said here that I find interesting is that children with mom and stepdad did not fare well in financial or emotional stability.

Why is that? And why is it that stepmoms still bear the brunt of social condemnation?

I really don't even know what a spoiled child is? If someone would care to enlighten me on that I would happy to hear it.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Colleen, I found it really interesting as well.

I think stepmoms still are 'condemned' because most stepmoms are non-custodial, where the stepchild in these situations are less likely to receive financial and emotional support from Dad and are more likely to be in the position of having a stepfather at home.

It is harder for stepkids to blame their biological parents, it is easier to blame the step.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Ima, if you dont find the thread interesting, dont read it. Last I checked, no one made you the sheriff of Gardenweb. I wouldnt want my DD to be a process server. As careful as one tries to be, I woudl be concerned of danger.

I think college costs should be covered in CS agreeemtns, and not some namby pamby stuff. If not unlimited costs, then some ascertainable standard (as in costs up to local in-state 4 year college).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 7:33PM
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It is a provision of my divorce/support orders that I have the right to petition for college expenses as long as I do so before my daughter turns 18 and you better believe I plan to. She will graduate HS at 17 and as soon as we have a college plan we will be in court. Unfortunately same situation with orthodontic expenses. He is aware of the costs has taken her to appt's and "can start making payments soon" (two years ago) he is full of good intentions, not so full of follow through.

A little off subject, but wanted to speak to step moms being condemned. My husbands ex condemned me because she thinks he cheated with me-did not happen but can't convince her and won't waste time trying. She spoke alot of untruth and name calling infront of her son. I was condemned by her overactive imagination and lack of self confidence.
My daughters first step mom walked in to first grade parent teacher conference and introduced herself as "the wicked stepmom" I was horrified. We didn't have that kind of relationship and I was so embarassed that the first grade teacher probably thought we hated each other.

I probably am guilty of not condemning, but discounting my childrens stepmoms because they weren't yet mothers themselves. I noticed once they had children of their own they gained credibility in my mind. I'm not proud of that, but it is an honest observation.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:37PM
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kkny--the reason that college costs aren't covered in marital settlement agreements is because in most states there is no requirement to support a child who is no longer a minor. Sometimes parents who have enough money can agree to pay some college costs but that is negotiated.
Lots of college kids work during college and during summer and pay their own way. I paid every nickel of my 4 year degree and also my advanced degrees. I even worked at Christmas time. Didn't end up with student loans. Both of my kids went to college and did not end up with student loans.
Those are really scary--I have seen people with $250,000 worth of student loans who were 48 years old and still paying them off. Compared to that--process serving is not scary.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:37PM
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Marge -- I dont agree with your logic.

In states where college tuitition can be mandated, there is less need to cover is CS agreements. Mom can go back to court. Still a need, but less if you can go back to court. There is no requirement to provide for a child in your estate in my state, but that it is my agreement. In states where it isnt possible to go back to court for tuition, absent agreement in CS, there is more need to cover in CS.

I agree, 250K of college loans is SCARY. Which is why Dad should help, assuming he has or can get a job, and why it should be addressed in CS agreement.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:52PM
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"Last I checked, no one made you the sheriff of Gardenweb"

Oh, are YOU the Sheriff??? Last I checked, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I just gave mine on this thread. If you don't like it or agree with it, DON'T READ IT!

Let's see, if being a process server is too scary for the future rulers of the free world... hmmmm there's lots of OTHER things they can do to make $250 a week. I made some extra money by typing for others that didn't know how to type. I type 75+ wpm so I'd proof read and type reports. (of course I think all students should do their own work, but lets face it, there are the ones that are willing to pay to save time, maybe they have too many parties to go to) What about recycling beer cans from the many college parties? There's dog walking, mowing lawns, washing cars, house cleaning, running errands that can be done around one's schedule usually. Then there's babysitting and house sitting that might allow a student time to study.

College costs SHOULD be covered in CS agreements if it's agreed on at the time of divorce. However, if you divorce when the child is 7 or 8, ten years later, you may not be in the financial position to fund college that you were in at the time of divorce. Likewise, a parent that was not in the position to agree to pay for college at the time of divorce may do well later on and become able to fund college when the kids reach that age. I guarantee you that a father that has an ex wife that badgers him over money constantly and/or makes it difficult for him to see his children and/or alienates his children from him, is not likely going to be willing to fork over extra money for college when it's not in an agreement. It's not fair to the children if he does that, but I can see where the mother could create a situation where that would happen. I served a guy several times over the last few years. He knows me and when I pull up, he takes the papers and is very friendly. She was constantly taking him to court for modification of support (increases) because she was angry at him. I don't know how many times she actually got an increase but she sure kept him in court a lot. She worked sporadically but relied on the support she got as her primary income. He hired me to serve her a few months ago. His youngest was going to turn 18 and graduated high school and he petitioned the court to make an order to stop his child support as soon as the child turned 18. He knew the process takes time to get into court and he did not want his wages garnished beyond his son's birthday. He had complained to me a couple of times that he doesn't even get to see his kids anymore, she made it difficult for him. He felt like a wallet and was just tired of it. He was a very friendly guy that was quiet and seemed broken. I'll bet that if she hadn't sucked the life out of him, he'd have had a different attitude. I haven't had any new jobs since he hired me from either of them and I don't know if he would help his kids out if they came to him as adults. Maybe. But he didn't want their mother to get another penny out of him because she really made his life hell for at least the three years I served for them. So, yeah it is great to have it in your CS agreement but even so, if dad goes bankrupt before the child is college age, the courts are likely to modify it and let him off the hook. If there is no agreement, it is not so wise for a mother to make dad's life miserable because the ones that may eventually pay for her mistake is the kids. It shouldn't be that way, but it does happen.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Ima, I dont begrudge what anyone has to say, but I do beleive in anyone's right to express their opinion. You are constantly bringing up when you percieve people going "off topic", even if they really arent, and if they are so what. You are the one who is always trying to shut down people's opinions if they dont agree with you.

I think CS should cover college costs. Most people have an idea of the Xs earning potential at the time of divorce. I agree if Dad goes bankrupt, unlikely that CS will be paid, but most reasonablly well off Dads will try to pay tuition before they file BK. And with the 2005 BK act, my understanding is it more difficult to file BK.

As to Mom getting money, if it is for tuition, it can be paid directly to school. I think it is hard to differentiate Dad feeling like a wallet and Dad not living up to his responsiblitilies. How many Dads would rather not pay and just blame it on the mom who is only trying to look after the kids?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 9:04PM
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"You are constantly bringing up when you percieve people going "off topic", even if they really arent, and if they are so what. You are the one who is always trying to shut down people's opinions if they dont agree with you."

Perhaps you are confusing threads. I don't think I have said anything of that nature on this thread, I just gave my opinion.

"I think CS should cover college costs. Most people have an idea of the Xs earning potential at the time of divorce. I agree if Dad goes bankrupt, unlikely that CS will be paid, but most reasonablly well off Dads will try to pay tuition before they file BK. And with the 2005 BK act, my understanding is it more difficult to file BK."

I don't disagree with you but if dad is making $300K a year at divorce (with young kids) and over the next 10+ years, he loses his job and/or becomes disabled and is making $100k when kids get to college age, he may not be able to afford what he could if he had continued making $300k, not to mention inflation and/or poor economy can affect his ability to contribute. It's one thing to have a college fund set up that is protected and can't be touched but then again, if it's tied to the market, a bad economy can affect the value.

"As to Mom getting money, if it is for tuition, it can be paid directly to school. I think it is hard to differentiate Dad feeling like a wallet and Dad not living up to his responsiblitilies. How many Dads would rather not pay and just blame it on the mom who is only trying to look after the kids?"

And I was not talking about mom getting the money... There are some parents that are looking out for the kid's interest and it seems that is what you are doing. Then, there are some moms that just want to get back at dad by attacking his wallet every chance they get. (and you have given that impression too when you talk about adding to your list of things dad has to pay because a SM on GW says something that irritates you) I believe that a lot of guys (especially ones that were married) that have kids are willing to pay support and take responsibility. But, I also believe they don't want to feel like they are nothing more than a check writer. I believe that they are willing to pay what is reasonable and it would irritate me if I paid child support for my child and the other parent was not working and using the money to drink, smoke, buy gifts for SO, party, etc. and sent my child to me in torn or ill fitting clothes. Or didn't send the child to me at all. Studies have shown that when father's have regular visitation, they are more likely to pay their support. There is a wide range of different types of fathers so I don't intend to generalize but when a mom constantly badgers the dad and when he feels his only value is paying for things (ie. she makes it difficult for him to see his kids, she leaves him out of decisions, she alienates the kids by berating him for whatever, etc.) then he is less likely to want to pay for anything after he HAS to. And I'm sure at times, that would mean a kid would not get dad to pay toward college, a wedding, a house, a car, whatever... just because of things the mother did. Mother's that treat the father's of their children that way are doing their kids a disservice in the long run sometimes. That was my point, it wasn't necessarily about him paying for college only. (and I find it significant that although there are more custodial mothers in the world than fathers, more non custodial mothers (percentage wise) are deadbeats and don't pay support at all. Perhaps it's that women view men as the providers so they don't feel they need to provide for the kids when dad has them... but I have yet to hear of many mom's that paid their support in full, on time)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:38AM
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Ima, I didnt say on this thread, I said you are constantly telling people they are going off topic, but only when they dont agree with you.

As to hypotheticals with Dad becoming disabled, college fund going down invalue, etc etc. --- just becuase things can go bad doesnt mean college funding shouldnt be in settlment. Not planning for the future is never a good idea.

You've yet to hear of NCP moms who pay on time -- well according to statistics many do. Statistically less % than dads, but again, since NCP moms are not that common (byt the stats I have seen, not you take a poll) -- it could just be so uncommon it means the mom more likely has some real issus.

In the little vignette you were providing, I think you did say something about Dad not wanting the X to get any more moeny. In any event, hearing one side of a story is unlikely to give the full picture. Dads who complain that they are veiwed as a wallet, etc -- well children are expensive, we all know that. And college isnt cheap. I suspect in many cases there are two sides to the story.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:42AM
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iamommy I am not talking about cost of living but tuition only that is around 10K anywhere you go (public school). I am not talking about state differences because there are very little difference when it comes to tuition. This is not a dead horse topic iamommy, when your children will attend public or private university and live on their own not with you then you will see that no matter how many hours they work and how hard they try they do not have extra 11K to pay for tuition. And if your Dh would tell you that they need to be able to pay their own tuition (and not take a loan) then it won't be a dead horse topic for you. It might be irrelevant for you but very much relevant to those of us whose kids are in universitities. step or bio

And you are welcome to not respond to a thread that has no intrest for you. No pressure.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:23AM
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I think when dads or moms or both pay or help to pay for education it is nothing to do with divorce, CS, etc it is somehting to do with wanting to help your children to have proper education because it is important. Who cares CP or NCP SM or no SM.

Also when parents pay or help to pay for education they do not do it for their exspouses but do it for their children. And putting your children first espcailly in such important value like education is somehting parents should be doing.

I don't understand how people can allow their bitterness toward exes to effect their children's education. Unless of course they don't value education, which happens too.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:37AM
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3 comments, addressing points that have been made on this thread (& I'll try to keep em brief b/c I've got to go real soon.... so I'll probably write more later to add/clarify):

-as to why kids from divorced families very often fare worse financially (though NOT always b/c I'm sure it also happens in especially wealthy families where there is some overcompensation): b/c every single G-D nickel and dime is usually fought over between the divorced bio-parents. Add to that a step-parent who may be consciously or unconsciously trying to divert funds away from kid and unto self and you only escalate the fighting.

-as to why SM more often 'condemned' than SF, generally speaking (and these are just *generalizations*): usually BM retains custody, which means SM usually noncustodial, which means even less bond with the kid on any remotely 'maternal' level. Women tend to feel (or to even WANT to feel, which imho is not smart) dependent on their husbands financially, whereas traditionally men want to feel more like 'good providers'. Hence competition will more likely arise in an SM's mind, with the kids, over who "Daddy" should be "taking care of" (in a way that doesn;t tend to arise as much b/n SF ans SK's). But ----fascinatingly--- very often these same SM's will BITTERLY RESENT if a man has to (short term or long term) prevail or rely upon her for any financial support and will insist on protecting her own interests and those of her own blood offspring (all the while likely to bitterly resent a man who may do the same for himself and his own blood offspring). In short: too many women simply have the expectation that "what's mine is mine and what's his and his kids' is mine too". Again, these are generalizations, but more often than not, men approach it differently (though certainly there are 'deadbeat' and 'freeloading' men out there, as well as men who don't deserve such insulting distinctions but nonetheless are thought of that way b/c they may temporarily have to be a SAHD, which is not nearly as often denigrated when a woman does it.)

-finally, as to sometimes a parent may not value education: I think that can very often develop ---like many other beliefs and convictions--- not before but AFTER a given circumstance arises, and in response to or defense of own's own position or desires. For example the developemnt of a "tough love" ideology and wholehearted belief in the Horatio Alger myth once one becomes a step-parent (along with continued belief in the traditional husband-provider/ wife-dependent role system), or a sudden burst of religious zeal based on the giddy and over-literal interpretation of the Biblical idea that "the wife comes first", etc. etc.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:06AM
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You make assumptions here, that a person has the option of having someone else to pay for their education.
I lost my father when I was 9, my mother when I was 12, and lived in foster care after. Who should have paid my education, if not me? There was no other option. If I wanted an education, I had to find my own way to afford it.
My children, have no other option. I left their father when YDD was 6 weeks old...I got my first CS check, when she was 13, and he made them inconsistantly only until she was 17. I will never the $50,000 some odd he already owes me, and he will not pay for anything now that they are adults.
I could choose to give them money, but instead, I selfishly use it to pay for chemo & radiation treatments that aren't covered by my insurance. Should I neglect the medical treatments that are hopefully saving my life, so that YDD doesn't have to break a sweat to get an education? Should she lay down & die because no one is paying her educational expenses?
Many people have lives that do not provide an option of having someone else pay for their education or living expenses. That does not mean they should not get an education, it simply means they have to work to find a way to get it. Many times, that means going to community college for general education courses, getting grants, scholarships, loans, living on the cheap, and learning to love top ramen! lol. It seems you have either a very narrow perspective, live an extremely sheltered life, or you have some issues that perhaps should be addressed professionally.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Given that scenario, your daughters should have qualified for A LOT of financial aid. There are some colleges that guarantee to meet the entire financial need of all accepted students. It sounds like their EFC would be very low, and they do take into account extraordinary medical expenses.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Dogdog, I agree with alot of what you're saying about hard work and learning to luv Ramen, etc. ----and I have LIVED it (and still do) without even feeling bitterness about having had to. If I became a parent (step or bio) I would absolutely insist that my kids work for much of what they want and learn the value of a dollar and the value of 'breaking a sweat', all of that which you mentioned. Because yeah, I may or may not even HAVE much money to even give them on a silver platter in the first place...

But I wouldn't be instilling the above values in order to set up a pattern of the kids feeling like it was an unpardonable sin to EVER need help, or like they damn well better not ask or expect anything from me ever again. (Not saying that's your attitude, but just making what I feel is an all-important distinction on this subject.) If I was able to I would be like my parents: more likely to give them more to *reward* their hard work and independent spirit. A balance, based on the idea of "the harder you work, the more you earn" or "the parent helps those who help themselves". If they don't want to work, then they shouldn't expect. However if they ARE willing to work, then they deserve to be helped when needed.

But this still doesn't address the worthwile point you made about the fact that sometimes there is simply no choice because there is literally NO EXTRA MONEY to help the kids out. Which raises many questions in itself. First question is "no extra money AFTER what?" Depending on what the parents' values are, this could be that there is no extra money after making sure there is enough bread in the breadbox to last through next week, or it could mean there is no extra money left after deciding on having another baby and bringing in another mouth to feed when already-existing kids go without things they need, or no extra money because one parent (step or bio) wants to quit their job and stay at home, or it could mean there is no extra money left after mom & dad decided they each needed brand new matching Escalades and a completely re-vamped 'spa-style' bathroom suite with infinity edge tub. And yes, in my book, there are definite differences inherent in these scenarios.

Which leads to the next question: should it make a difference to the kids whether the parents CAN or CANNOT afford to help them out? Well, the next time you encounter someone, ANYONE, for whom a larger pile of money did not make a difference in their lives, ask them why not and what they plan on doing with the money and if you can take it off their hands. The point I'm trying to make is that many step-parents use that argument ("what about when there's no extra money to begin with?") as if to suggest that it shouldn't make a difference per the kids and their needs whether there is extra money or not, that the kids should pretend there isn't. And yet these step-parents don't pretend the extra money isn't there, they don't choose to eat Ramen just because, they don't feel like they should have to work full-time and pretend they can't afford to be SAHM or pretend they can't afford a new car or new tub or whatever. So the message they're sending is somewhat hypocritical. This is not to say that I think a child should automatically be indulged if the parents have means, in direct proportion to those means, or that the parents have an obligation to give something to a child every time they buy for themselves. Not at all! But the key word here is "indulgence", which I would define as a brand-new car for a teenager, or every hot new expensive brand-new gadget or designer label purse or frivolous piece of pricey bling or acrylic nails and monthly all-over highlights on a 14-year-old girl. A child's education I don't see as an "indulgence", especially when they have worked hard and are willing to contribute something to it for themselves. If a parent can afford to help (not pay for ALL of it, but HELP), then in my opinion it's self-indulgent and hypocritical not to. If they can't afford to help, they can't afford to help and that's that. But the two scenarios ARE very different and no one can pretend they don't make a difference in people's lives. The last time I checked, one of the main things parents work hard for is to be able to provide things for their families (which include the children they chose to bring into this world) of real value, to give them a good headstart into adulthood and the kinds of advantages that lead to success because they want them to have the widest possible range of opportunities to develop themselves, thrive and be happy and productive people with options and peace-of-mind. In my book: education falls under that criteria but brand-new cars and acrylic mails do not. And yet, amazingly, often the latter gets paid for without batting an eyelash while the more important expenses are shirked. Talk about screwy priorities.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:15PM
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DS's girlfriend works as a Barista at Starbucks full time and brings home approx 1800-2000 a month, now granted she has been with the company since High School (3.5 yrs) , but she is going to college carrying 16 credits this semester and working FT.

She has a merit scholarship, though her parents do pay what costs it doen't cover. But she could do it on her own if she had to.

I worked full time as a bartender while carry 21 credits one semester and 16 the rest for nursing school. I paid my own way and supported a 3 yr old kid with no CS. Now that was 21 yr.s a go, but I did it. I had my small student loan paid off within one yr of graduation.

It can be done. I too do not understand why you are trying so badly to make OP look bad or discredit what she says? I thought this was a "support" forum, not a "attack" forum.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 2:22PM
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Yes, it can be done. And many have done it. So that means this conversation is about something else doesn't it.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to even have parents, let alone stepparents.

OP has headed for the hills long ago.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:06PM
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"Talk about screwy priorities."

Serenity, I agree wholeheartedly with just about everything you say, however in our situation, SD is 9. My kids are 18, 19 & 21. My 21 year old is planning to join the military and does not want to go to college right now. My 19 year old is in college and 18 year old just graduated HS and wants to start college next semester. None of my kids have fathers that will help pay for college, they have been deadbeats. My son qualifies for some financial aid and works part time and my husband & I pay for what he can't. Regardless of how he's doing in school, when he gets paid and wastes his paycheck on having a good time with his friends and then wants me to buy his books & supplies, I am irritated by that. My husband is irritated by that. Not because he is a step parent, but because we work hard and feel if we are going to 'help' him, he should be helping himself. That I agree with you on. His father should also help out but all he has done so far is paid his child support arrears on time each month. Perhaps he expects me to use that as 'his' contribution, even though it's to reimburse me for supporting him myself all the years he was growing up.

When it comes to my step daughter, I will feel the exact same way. If she isn't working and contributing to her own education, why should we? Now, I don't expect her to get a job if she can get good enough grades to get scholarships because that would be contributing through her own hard work. My point is, it should not be a free ride. That goes for my kids as well as my step. How I feel about it has nothing to do with her being a step. And by the way, her mom CHOOSES to be unemployed at 36 years old. She's 36 and has NEVER held a job, has no career and isn't paying her child support. It's doubtful that in ten years, she will be in a position to pay ANYTHING toward college and it will fall on us. In the meantime, BM fills her daughter's head with lies about me and her father, telling her that her father took her away from her and that we are preventing her from living there and I can see a difference in my stepdaughter's relationship with her dad. Instead of telling her daughter the that she loves her and wants the best for her and that it's better right now for her to live with dad (which would be better than telling her that she finds it more convenient to have dad keep her so she can have more free time with BF and SD would be an inconvenience, which seems more like the truth) but she lies about DH to alleviate her own guilt and creating a conflict with SD toward her dad and me.

Perhaps in a few years, BM's situation will change and she'll end up with SD living with her. If things don't work out with this BF, BM will almost certainly move back to her mom's and want to resume 50/50 with SD and/or SD will choose to live with mom and probably will since BM has already convinced SD that she is the victim of DH and me and SD already wants to live with BM. If BM continues to encourage a rift between SD and us, it only makes it that much harder for us to feel good about being the sole contributors to SD's education, that is especially true if SD were to become resentful and hateful toward us because of things her mom tells her. I don't know many parents that are going to take out the checkbook after the kid gets in your face, says mean & nasty things or does malicious things to you, and say "how much money do you need?" I guess some might, but it don't see that. If I acted that way toward my dad as a young adult, my dad would have told me to go jump in the lake and figure out how I was going to pay for whatever on my own.

Of course we want what's best for all the kids, but my husband has a bit of a problem with my son being disrespectful and then expecting us to take money away from the household budget to pay for things he needs for school when he's using his own money to have fun with friends. We are not 'wealthy' and we work hard like most families out there. I don't blame my husband for feeling that way... my son is not disrespectful to me but he is toward my husband. My SD is sometimes the same way toward me and of course that is going to play into how we feel about shelling out OUR money. (and even if we keep separate finances, unless we have a lot of extra money to give toward our own kids, it's really money that is needed for our joint expenses) Because my husband came into the marriage with so much more debt than me, he keeps $100 from each bi monthly paycheck and the rest goes into our bill paying (joint) account. We write out the bills and I put in what is needed to meet all our debts (separate & joint). Then, I usually have quite a bit more money in my personal account and I purchase groceries, supplies, entertainment, clothes, and anything else needed. If we kept our finances completely separate, his income would barely cover his separate debt and very little of our joint debt. So, at this time I am supporting the household more than he is. In 9 years when his daughter gets done with HS, he may be out of debt and he may have more spendable income. It would be unfair of him to treat his income as separate at that point after years of me supporting the family while he pays off his debt. We've agreed that we discuss all expenditures first, regardless of whose account it comes out of. It's quite obvious that it's more likely that when his daughter is college aged, we will be in a better position to help her than now when my kids are. I may resent it by then, if she and her mom EXPECT it after her mom is trying so hard to turn SD against us and if SD goes along with her mom's ploy. It may not have anything to do with our ability to pay. The help my kids get now is going to be limited because of the debt my husband has, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. It's not fair but life's not fair. We'll help as much as we can as long as the child is helping themselves.

If his daughter chooses to follow her mom's path of being lazy and doesn't want to contribute to her own life, then us paying for college isn't going to make her succeed. She has to want to succeed first. Right now, getting her to do her school work is almost a battle. Her mom will tell her it's not important. Her mom was doing her work for the first three years she was in school so she fell behind. For at least a year, I have worked with her to try to help her learn to love learning. She's in the fourth grade and her handwriting looks like a 2nd grader. She simply refuses to work on cursive because she says it's too hard and she likes to print. When she's printing, she will intermingle capital letters in the middle of the word so it is like tHiS. She thinks that is 'cool' and mom tells her how important it is to be cool. Smart kids are 'nerds'. Popular kids have all the fun and it's not popular to study all the time or get straight A's. That is the attitude we are working against and mom is winning. It doesn't matter what college costs when you have a parent that is teaching her kid that education is unimportant. Her goal has always been to get a great tan and a guy that can support her. So, I also would add in that every kid is different and the values that the parents have may conflict and the kids will sometimes choose the path of the parent that does not value education when the other one does.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:13PM
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There goes my freaking inheritance too:)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:16PM
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The amount of money I am willing to contribute toward college has NOTHING to do with whether or not my kids are "respectful." They work during the summer and in work-study jobs, and get as many grants, scholarships, and loans as they can, and I pay the rest. I am happy to pay (although I would be a lot happier if their father were splitting the cost) - all they have to do is work hard at their courses.

And most of my kids don't use cursive either - including the ones with near 4.0 averages.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:00PM
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All your children are respectful so that is non falsifiable and non justifiable. So?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:04PM
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What IMA said ...all of it..In the same boat here...BM feels no responsibility to contribute anything..All on DH s shoulders....And Serenity, yeah, I d rather if my parents had extra money to buy that Escalade and Infinity pool....He busted his butt for 50 years and broke his body down to support us, I wouldnt dream of asking for help, I d want him to enjoy himself.....I also want my DH to enjoy his hot tub after 35 years of driving in the heat, the snow, an hour each way, getting up at 4.30 AM, working 6/7 days a week, his health is shot...He paid, will pay college, after that, he s taught them to fish, he doesnt need to give them fish....When is it supposed to be dads turn...Maybe the kids will get the luxuries they want dad to pay for right now AFTER a lifetime of hard work.......Work they did, just the way dad waited til they were grown to get something for himself....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:12PM
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"And most of my kids don't use cursive either - including the ones with near 4.0 averages."

What's your point? The second half of third grade, her teacher required all of her work to be done in cursive. She didn't feel like it so she didn't do it and lost points.

As adults, we can choose to use cursive or not, just like I can choose to use my calculator instead of figuring out the problem on paper. It doesn't mean that it would have been okay to ignore the teacher and not do my math because I didn't like it and I would be able to use a calculator... DUH!!! Isn't what kids are supposed to learn in school about more than just doing what they like? I mean if we could have skipped over subjects that we didn't like and would probably never use as adults.. heck I wouldn't really have needed to take history or some science or algebra. I didn't like those subjects all that much but I did what was expected of me to graduate. The lessons I learned in school that weren't part of the curriculum:

- There are things in life you do because you HAVE to, not because you WANT to. (as in taking least favorite subjects that have no use to me as an adult)

- There are always going to be people you don't like but you have to get along with. (as in teachers I didn't like or other students) What does it teach a kid when the parents change their class or school because they don't like the teacher?

- Attendance and punctuality are important skills to have for the rest of your life.

and dotz, I'd rather my dad take a vacation, buy an RV and travel and enjoy his life than spend it on my college or anything else. He's worked hard all his life to provide for me and he deserves to have whatever he wants to enjoy his life. Maybe he could have paid for me to go to college but I chose to be a single mother and didn't get serious about my education until I was in my mid 20's and living with my exBF. The window of opportunity doesn't stay open forever and I knew that. I had to choose to send myself to school and make MY life better for my kids. While I don't have a wall full of diploma's, I am not uneducated. My life is better because I did something to make it better and it's something I'm proud of. There are some people with the finest education that don't appreciate what they have been given. I don't think anyone that ever worked their ass off for something would not appreciate what they end up with. The ones that don't appreciate it are the ones that didn't have to work for it. (I'm not saying that all that didn't have to work for it, don't appreciate it)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:48PM
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IMA, we are in accord with letting parents spend their money, and I hope you didnt think somehow I was implying you werent educated, no way.......I m having a hard time with the We re family, so I should give you what you want , cradle to grave, because, its EXTRA money...Neither myself or DH would ever with hold help for SS s or DH in an emergency situation....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 5:26PM
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I don't think my kids were ever required to write their essays/tests etc. in cursive. I was told by one of their teachers that, on average, people can print faster than they can write in cursive. No, I didn't think learning to be good little factory workers was the point of school anymore, though it certainly was the point of compulsory education originally. A skilled teacher can make any subject enjoyable.

The main lesson I would want my kids to learn in school is a love of learning for its own sake. I think there was only one teacher in elementary school whom any of my kids absolutely could not stand, and I am still kicking myself for not having insisted upon taking her out of that class. Some teachers are just plain bad, and some teachers are a really bad fit for certain children.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:22PM
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oh dotz, I didn't think you were implying that. I stated that I'm not uneducated because while I don't hold any degrees (didn't attend ivy league either) I did attend 'some college' and I did what most people should do, take responsibility for their own life. I educated myself as much as I could and/or wanted at the time. I was working on a degree in human services while I was also working for human services with a goal of becoming a counselor. When I realized that I would make about three dollars an hour less to start with my BA than I was making with nothing, I decided to rethink that goal. lol, eventually, I might have made more in human services but it's a field where it's notorious for the stress and I was having health problems at the time. Yes, I know some will also point out that it doesn't pay well, and to that I say... there are some things in life that you do because they are what feels right. I enjoy helping people and my life is not about making money at any cost, including selling out. I worked in social services because I truly believed in what I was doing and that I was helping others. It paid enough to keep my kids fed and sometimes, I had to work a second job but I enjoyed what I did. When I no longer enjoyed it (due to bureacratic BS) plus the stress and health problems, I left. I chose to work as a process server so I could go back to finish my Paralegal training and it was my goal to go to law school when my kids were grown. I think I would have made an excellent lawyer if I had gone through law school when I was younger but now that I am old enough to see it from a different angle, I am satisfied with running my company. I nixed the idea of going back to school to be a paralegal two years ago when my company took off. I enjoy the freedom I have and I don't care to be a CEO of a large corporation or drive a BMW. I no longer think I would enjoy being an attorney, although I know I'd be a good one if I ever go that route. My point is that I am going to ENJOY what I do. You only get to go around once and when it's over, you have to be able to say you enjoyed the ride... otherwise, you die with bitterness and regret.

To me, raising kids is about teaching them to be self reliant. It's a disservice to kids when parents don't teach them that. When parents instill that they are owed something as adult children, it's usually one parent telling them that they are entitled to something from the other parent. lol, my mom tells me that she has nothing so sorry.... but I'm entitled to inherit from my dad. Some kids buy into that and go along with it or think that way on their own. Me? I think my dad has worked hard and it's HIS. I'd much rather see him enjoy it while he's alive. If he sold off every last thing to spend the rest of his life sailing around the world because that's what he's always wanted to do.. more power to him. It's his so enjoy!!! I'm going to enjoy what I worked for and my kids can work hard so someday, they will be able to enjoy what THEY work for.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 7:43PM
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"To me, raising kids is about teaching them to be self reliant. It's a disservice to kids when parents don't teach them that."

Yes! And their future spouses, bosses and children!

I was married to a mamma's boy and my sister is married to a mamma's boy. Almost every one of my friends is married to mamma's boys. I WILL not raise a mamma's boy! I will love, encourage and praise him. I will help him and try to provide every opportunity I can for him to succeed. But I will not do the work for him. At 9, he gets up, fixes his cereal, rinses his bowl out and puts it in the sink, brushes his teeth, takes his vitamins, puts his deodorant on (yes he stinks very bad even at 9), gets dressed and makes his bed every morning before school. He puts his dirty clothes in the hamper after a shower and makes sure he's left the bathroom tidy. We're not Nazis and we don't ask him to take care of us. All we ask is that he take care of himself and his room to the best of his ability. If he can still do these things when he's 25, he's got almost every man I know beat!

THAT is my goal for my child. And college is a piece of that bigger picture. It's something I can't make him do or stand over him all the time and make sure it's done right.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Somebody who comes from a poor family with a single mother with medical issues and no father should qualify for financial aid, asbolutelly, most definitelly. Which makes me to believe that they do not pay tuition in full because it is paid by financial aid, at least partially. So if they do not pay tuition in full then it prooves my point: it is not doable. So once again it is entirelly different story compare to paying 11K out of the pocket. Getting financial aid cannot be compared to paying tuition by yourself because no 18-year-old kids live on their own and make 11K extra to pay tuition. that's what i was talking about all along.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:10AM
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Also...there are some very demanding programs and demanding schools that only allow that many hours of work. If you are in a medical school you will not work 50 hours in a factory right? My nephew is in engineering program that is so demanding, classes are so difficult. One of my DD's friends is architecture major, when i saw what he is doing and how many hours he needs to work on his projects, i mean he can barely function. DD's program is not as demanding and allows her enough time to work to pay cost of living (not tuition of course). But some people actually are in very demanding schools that do not allow 100 hours of work.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:25AM
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self-reliance is very important if it is of course takes your kids somewhere. if self-reliance means that they are going to be dragging their feet with no degree until they are 30, then who needs this kind of self-reliance.

DD will be done wiht BA at age 22 and hopefully will be on her way to have a career (chance is she will pursue further education but who knows) Of course we could refuse to help DD with tuition, make her fully self-relaint. She would not be able to pay this kind of tuition ever, so her reliance would take her nowhere or maybe she would start saving money living at home and take a long way and graduate at age 30 and start career then. So what is this self-reliance about, who does it benefit?

as about free ride I don't see anyone who is getting free ride but what i see is plenty of people saying their kids pay full university tuition by themselves while living alone and getting not a penny help (no loans), hhhmmm. My point all along is that of course kids should work and contribute, that is why DD pays her own cost of living, complains and nags how other students don't work as much blah blah blah, but she has no option, but she CANNOT pay tuition no matter how many hours she works and no one can.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:39AM
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Fine, My cousin worked her way thru Med School by teaching Anatomy at a Jesuit University..Her dad also DR, could have afforded to pay her way thru, choose not to..Self reliance, yes IMA.....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Of course most people work through college as does my DD as well. Nobody supplemnts her rent or food and she lives very far away from both me and X, but she cannot pay tuition (and no one can). especially not in medical school ...That's my point. People take loans and get aid IF they are poor though. DD would not get an aid and very little loan.

BTW my nephew applied for a loan in his freshman year and all he was awarded was 2000 a year, no aid of course. Just a loan. He was shocked to learn how little he could get, only my brother works, my SIL does not. And yet such a little sum, my brother make a decent salary. To get a loan or especially financial aid one has to be really poor, below povery level. Not everyone is that poor. So if a child happened to be born to parents who make OK money, child does not qualify for much loan and no aid.

So if parents make OK money but refuse to help with tuition, children are pretty much doomed because they cannot get much loan due to parents not being poor and yet don't have 11K to pay tuition. So it is almost easier to have deadbeat father or any other misfortunes.

As about self-relaince yes if chilren achieve anything, if not, then what is this self-relaince about? DD is self-reliant, living on her own right after high school, renting an aprtment, and supporting herself (and no she does not pay tuition, dad does). And she does OK in college. If one calls children self-reliant, but they show no achievements then what is the point?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:22AM
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An article I read recently on college costs, suggested that the first two years could be done at a community college with transferring to University for last two years. It would save a significant amount of money from tuition costs and the diploma would be from the University.

Fine, if you are implying that my son qualifies for financial aid because I was a single mother with health issues and no father.... that would be true if he were in college several years ago when I had health issues and was a single mother. He paid his own tuition and books for his first two semesters because he graduated HS the summer before I got married and when he applied for aid in the fall, they used my husbands income for the year before we got married. He was denied aid. The only reason he qualifies for some aid this semester is because I am self employed and was able to show a loss in my business because I purchased a new SUV and expensive office equipment last year and was able to deduct more expenses. Next year, I won't be able to deduct as much so it's more likely he won't qualify for any aid next year. He was extremely grateful that he had help with his tuition this year and knows he will have to save for the future because he is expected to.

and I live within driving distance to Sac State, UC Davis so he could transfer and live at home.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:35AM
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Finedreams, I think that if in your opinion the only way a person can show they have "achieved" anything in life is by producing a college degree, then your thinking is a little skewed. Yes, a college degree is useful if you want to go into a field that requires it, but not everyone wants that; and by the same token not having a degree does not necessarily "doom" a person to a grinding existence.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:44PM
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no college degree is not the only one way to "achieve", there are other ways getting ahead without college degree such as vocational training or getting into business or being creative etc. Not learning anything and not moving ahead in anything and devoting one's life to working in dairy queen, with no porspects, yes you are correct I do not consider it "achievement",no matter how self-relaint that person is.

iamommy didn't your son attend community college (at lest that's what you said?)it is very inexpensive. Yes most people of any age can afford that without taking a loan. And then your kids still live at home, it makes a huge difference.

yes community college is an option however it makes no sense for some students. DD will have BA in 3 years instead
of 4, there is no point for her to go to community college, there is nothing offered at a community college that she coudl take.

And yes your DS paid his own tuition, but doesn't he live at home? Huge differnce. If DD would still live at home and would not have to fully support herself she would maybe save for tuition. So no one is fully self-reliant at tis age. Some kids live on their own but get help with tuition and some pay their own tuition but still live at home. so one one cannot do it by himself/herself nowadays with the price of everything. So all these stories only prove my point.

No one's kids fully are on their own,they do get some help with soemthing no matter how many different stories people tell including the one when person slept 2 hours a day while in college. I slept 6 hours today and feel sick because I need 7-8. lolSo maybe some people are supermen but most of us are just normal humans.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:23PM
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"not moving ahead in anything and devoting one's life to working in dairy queen,"

What if someone that works at Dairy Queen LOVES what they do? What if they are happy and they are satisfied with their life? Everyone may have a different definition of success or 'achievement' and some people value personal happiness over financial gain or power. Some people value living in a big house with a fancy car and powerful job. Some people value time with family while others place more importance on what they can buy for their family. It's judgmental to put someone down because YOU don't think they have 'achieved' anything. Maybe they are happy with their life. I've known people that seem to have it all and still, don't seem to have achieved personal happiness. One can sit in their big house with the appearance of 'success' and be more miserable than the poorest person you think is a loser because they work at Dairy Queen. It's all relative to ones values and goals.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 2:38PM
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100% of my siblings, cousins,aunts and uncles have graduated college. I atribute part of that to parents and grandparnts encouraging college, including financial support. I would tell my DD that it is more likely that she will obtain BA or BS if she starts in 4 year school. I dont think BA or BS is only route to acheivement, but it drastically improves odds.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 2:41PM
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I think its a horrible form of snobism to look down on someone for the job they do. I agree with ima, if someone is happy, paying their own way in life, and being productive, I dont care what their job is; they deserve my respect

People on assistance who dont absolutely have to be, or people who *itch and moan about what they dont have, or expect others to pay for it, make my hair hurt.

Most of my family and my friends have college degrees, but I wouldnt think less of them if they didnt, provided their attitude and work ethic were correct.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 3:44PM
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I am not looking down on any jobs, I used to clean houses, so? I never said college degree is a must, there are plenty of other pathways. there are plethy of skilled worker professions that do not require college degree but require skills and learning such as plumbing, carpentry, hairdressers etc all is fine but it requires some form of schooling as well.

But one cannot support themselves working in Dairy Queen or cleaning toilets unless he/she goes into management in those fields. i used to clean houses, wait tables, work retail etc. Would I be able to survive and raise a child on those salaries? no. As a temporary job, yes, life time job, no. None of these jobs can support anyone for a life time. Those are usually minimum wages because they don't require any skills. I mean of course one can work those jobs but they do not provide even neccesities. this is not a snobbism but just a common sense. It would be rather painful for me to watch my kid devoting her life to activities that cannot even provide neccesities for her. It does not mean self-reliance but just carelessness and lack of common sense or maybe laiziness.

Of course I am not talking about people who cannot learn skills due to disability. This is entirelly different situation.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 4:08PM
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I really doubt that many people WANT to spend their lives flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant, unless they are planning on owning the franchise. It has nothing to do with whether or not the job is worthwhile, but working in fast food in general is miserable - the hours are erratic, the work is hard, the benefits are crummy or non-existent, and you don't get a lot of respect or appreciation from your boss or from the customers.

Community college is not necessarily the best route to a degree. If a child's grades/SAT scores are high enough to get into a top college, there is generally more aid available to freshman than to transfer students. That is even more true for top students who are shooting for merit scholarships at schools that aren't quite ivy league.

It is possible to qualify for aid without actually being literally below the poverty level. (The poverty level for a family of 5 is only $24,800, and that wouldn't even pay the mortgage & taxes on my 900 square foot house). My kids have always qualified for various sorts of federal and state aid (these are not dependent on the NCP's income, but are dependent on my income, including child support, and the child's income). They have also received varying amounts of aid from the colleges.

However, if the parents earn $100k and have only one child, the child is not likely to qualify for any need-based financial aid. The problem arises when the CP earns too little to pay for college, and the NCP is the one with a three figure income.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 4:15PM
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I dont think it is a matter of looking down on someone, I think it is parents wanting a child to have a better life. When my DD was 8 she came to work with me and sat in my office. Later she told me -- your job isnt so hard, all you do is play on the computer and talk on the phone [kk note -- it is work for the most part on computer and talk to clients and coworkers]. But what I told her is yes, my job is easier than construction in 10 degrees, waitressing carrying a heavy platter etc., but that the only way most people get my type job is with a good education.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 5:03PM
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lol, my job for the most part is on the computer and talking to clients. I also go to several courts for filing and get to know the clerks. I also drive in my very comfy car and a great deal of the serves I do are simple, where the person is at work and takes the papers or is home and knows I'm coming to bring them papers (I have even called and told them I am coming over and what time is best for them) and then there are a few that won't open the door and in four years, I've been threatened only a couple of times. (none that I've taken seriously) To be honest, my job is relatively easy, but I don't exactly have to answer to a supervisor. I have deadlines but getting jobs done quick and in plenty of time, my clients are happy and I have built a good reputation. I have some education, but not what you (kkny) would call a 'good education'. Some of the skills that I have, that make me successful:

1. I'm honest. If I don't think I can do a job, I'll tell them. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. If they still want me to try, I will. When I have someone that needs to be served but is not cooperating, I will give them my honest opinion. My job is to deliver papers to notify them of an action being taken against them. I will tell them that they have a right to proper notice and the more time they have to prepare. It's not going away. I've had many people I served, thank me. Very few have made negative comments.

2. I treat others the way I want to be treated. I'm kind, friendly and as I mentioned, I'm honest.

3. I'm a hard worker. No matter what job I am doing, I do the best job I can. My dad once told me that if you have a job scrubbing toilets, be the best toilet scrubber you can. My dad has worked in construction, a welder, traveling salesman, limo driver, truck driver, and real estate agent. He now owns the business my grandfather started nearly 50 years ago. He also owned a similar business back in the 80's. No matter what, he's always been a hard worker and no job is beneath him. His philosophy is 'as long as it's an honest days work, you should be proud.' His brother chose college and is an engineer. My dad didn't. They chose their own paths and as long as they are happy with the lives they've lived, they are successful.

4. I love what I do. I wake up every morning with a smile. I rarely dread my day... (once in a while, I dread 'parts' of my day because I have to plan things around my SD's schedule and sometimes her mom changes it on me and that puts pressure on me) but I rarely have a bad day. I don't have to commute. I don't have to pay parking. Every day is something different and I never know what is going to be like. (I love adventure) I get to meet all sorts of people. It's wonderful. I love driving through the mountains and to get a chance to drive to Lake Tahoe for the day and to get paid to do it, that's what I call an EASY job.

TOS & KKNY & FD, it's the path that each person WANTS to take to make their way in the world that matters. It is looking down on someone to criticize them working at fast food by choice. If they are there by choice, who is to say they CANNOT make enough to live? What if they are frugal and content to live without luxuries like cell phones, new cars, big house, fancy electronics, etc. What if they are married and it's a second income? What if they have a trust fund and work there for fun or to socialize? Who is anyone to say that working in fast food is miserable and the hours are erratic or they don't get respect or appreciation. Perhaps that is one person's experience. That would be like me saying that everyone would enjoy what I do as much as I. Some people LOVE working grave yard shift, I would hate it. Some people enjoy being told what to do every minute of the day.. I don't. I once knew a doctor's wife that worked at Target because she wanted to. She didn't need the job. The benefits were nothing. She liked meeting people and chatting with customers and was an awesome cashier. She had several kids that were grown and just wanted to do something in her spare time. At the time, I thought she was crazy to work there if she didn't have to. Now, I've realized that she enjoyed it and that is more important than what I or anyone else thought.

kkny, my kids used to tell me the same thing about my working at social services. All I did was answer phones and sit at a desk on the computer. No, I did a lot more but there was also stress from management and it was a political atmosphere. (and I got that job with less education than I have now)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:10PM
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Ima, I am glad for your success, but as careful as you are, it would be hard to convince me that your job doesnt have a potential for danger. But your right, some people without a college degree can build up a businees, just like some people can graduate college or medical school without financial help from parents. But I think the odds are better with a college degree.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:16PM
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Imamommy, I just want to say that you sound like an extremely strong, indepenent woman...something this world needs more of. I agree with many of your points in your last post, people should have a choice and not looked down upon for their choices is something that is very close to my heart.

With that said, I do think if my child chooses to go to college that I want to help. I don't want her surviving on 2-3 hours of sleep a night just to pay for college on her own. I want her to get a good education if she wants too.

I'm well aware that going to college or even a "nice" college on a free ride from Mom and Dad isn't the golden key to get you anywhere in life. I think that by raising my child to see all the opportunities she has that she will far surpass me in lifetime achievements on her own.

The point I think finedreams is making is being vastly misunderstood. There is a major difference between making it on your own and what that actually means, rather than receiving help from somewhere but not specifying and still claiming they are making it on their own.

Imamommy, I think you definitely made it on your own...I don't know your history at all but your post just glaringly says it to me. I made it on my own as well, and yes, I am proud of myself and it made me who I am today. Would I want my child to go through what I did? NO.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:37PM
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"it would be hard to convince me that your job doesnt have a potential for danger."

there is potential for danger every day. When you get in your car to drive to the store, there's a potential for danger. When you turn on the TV and hear about another workplace or school shooting, there was a potential for danger. Why would my job be so much more dangerous than yours? You never know when a co-worker is going to come to work with a gun... it's happened all across the country. At least when I go to work, I am prepared and if there appears a potential for danger, I don't go alone.

The point I am trying to make is that there are different perceptions in EVERYTHING. I agree that education is important. I don't necessarily believe the only way to be educated is in college. Some of the other opinions expressed have implied that one way (college) is better than others. They are entitled to their opinion but it's narrow thinking in my opinion. I think college can be the best option for some but it's not for everyone and nobody should be put down for choosing a different path. And who should pay for college is a personal decision based on many factors...

-is the child a good student? will he/she even succeed in college? There's no point in expecting someone to go to college if they aren't going to study, go to class and/or succeed.

-does the parent have the ability to pay/help? and for how many kids? Some parents have one child and others have many. Some are spaced out and aren't in college at the same time while others (like mine) are all college age at the same time.

-does the parent's values play a role? Some parents want to teach their children to do for themselves. (I'm on that team. I will give a little help but they are expected to be primary for their own path)

-what are the goals of the child? Lots of kids go to college because their parents 'expect' them to. People should be allowed to choose their own careers but I am sure there are people that went to college to please their parents but did nothing with the degree and when they 'grew up', they went off to do what THEY wanted. I think that's a waste of money and time for the child. I'm sure all the parents will insist that their kids are doing what they want but in my experience, kids will tell parents what they want to hear a lot of the time.

The original post seems to be about the cost of tuition. I gave a suggestion that would significantly save money for the first two years and it was poo-poo'd. Oh well, if THEY want to spend their money (or their ex's money) by demanding only the best, that's their choice. I've mentioned it before, I deal with many attorney's and some are better than others. Some very good attorney's have come out of unheard of schools while some attorney's that went to Harvard are not all that great. They may have a 'better' (presumed) education from Harvard but that doesn't mean they can be the best in the courtroom. A doctor can have the 'best' education but a terrible bedside manner. A good doctor or lawyer is more than just where they went to school.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:38PM
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yes nivea that's what I meant. people say their kids are self-reliant and make it on their own. And yet still live in parents' home, don't have to shop for groceries, worry about electricity bill being paid etc. this is not make it on their own. or they live wiht boyfriends who pay bills. this is not to be on your own. or they got all kind of aid. this is not the same as paying for school yourself. or they do not even attend 4 year school but attend somehting else much cheaper.

so people claim what really is not the case. none of these "self-reliant" children attend college (4-year, not community) full time and pay tuition on their own while living alone and fully supporting themselves, rent, food, car etc. None. No matter what they say, none.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 9:48PM
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"TOS & KKNY & FD, it's the path that each person WANTS to take to make their way in the world that matters."

Not really. If parents/parent/NCP/ etc refuse to help because children should be self-reliant then it is not the pathway children choose. We had an option to not help DD with tuition, so instead of finishing college degree in 3 years she would finish it maybe in 10 or maybe would not finish at all (no loans because we make enough, so what is her option then?) Would it make us feel proud how self-reliant is our kid? I don't think so. I just don't agree with this logic.

and frankly there are very few jobs out there that do not require education. There are fewer and fewer jobs that don't require graduate degree let alone bachelor. In our state economy is so bad that even the least skilled jobs aren't there anymore. People barely make ends meet, foreclosure is a daily routine, bankruptsy sky rocketing and yet supposedly there are plenty of ways to survive. I prefer to see the real picture.

And honestly for many people unskilled jobs do not bring any intellectual or emotional satisfication. People are just plain miserable. There is more to life than paying a bill. Many people need intellectual or creative or emotional stimulation in their job. I know that DD would be deeply depressed having a life time of jobs with no intellectual stimulation. Yes she manages now while still in college, but for life? I had plenty of unskilled jobs and some of them made me so depressed, i felt my life was over. I don't know anyone who chooses to flip hamburgers because it is their life calling. Let's get real.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:08PM
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"unskilled jobs do not bring any intellectual or emotional satisfication. People are just plain miserable"

That's just YOUR opinion. YOU might be miserable in that kind of job. If someone in an unskilled job is complaining that they hate what they do, I would tell them to get training in what you want to do. It doesn't mean they have to go to college and get a degree, it may mean they can apprentice with an electrician or plumber. They might join the military. There is more to life than paying bills and it's up to each person to decide what fulfills them and give them intellectual/emotional satisfaction or stimulation like you say.

"I don't know anyone who chooses to flip hamburgers because it is their life calling. Let's get real."

Yet, plenty of people aspire to be chefs and cooks because they are inspired by making food. There's nothing wrong with food service. Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone would regard flipping burgers as miserable but it's okay to be a chef. What about cooks in hospitals, prisons, or even a taco truck?

Does it only matter if there more money? Does more money give you intellectual or emotional satisfaction? I think a burger flipper can certainly be creatively stimulated if they enjoy what they do. I'm sorry but you just sound so darn snobbish to say the things you have said.

It's great that your daughter has a father that pays her tuition to go to a four year college and that she's doing so well. If she didn't have a father in her life and you couldn't pay for her tuition, I guess she would live at home and go to a college closer to home, possibly a community college. Nobody says kids have to be self reliant and pay all their tuition and living costs on their own. That may not be realistic, although many live with roommate situation and have a lower cost of living than living on their own. But to say that a parent should pay tuition so a child can live in their own apartment is ridiculous. If I live near at least two Universities that my son can transfer to and he can do his first two years at a community college to save enough money to pay his own tuition while living at home, he is really paying for his own education. Yes, I am paying his living expenses, just like I always have so it's not costing me anything extra. He is responsible for his education, not me. I will help him as long as he is getting good grades and helping himself. There is probably a wide range of situations in all the families out there and every set of parents has the right to decide what they want to do in their families.

The reason I said you are beating a dead horse is because the subject of college costs and who should pay and help has been debated over and over on GW. Nobody is ever going to completely agree because some people want their kids to grow up with different values and/or goals than others. We can all choose how to raise our own kids and none of us has the right to pass judgment on how someone else does things with their kids.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:11AM
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Flipping burgers is far removed from being a chef, and to compare the two is an insult to chefs everywhere. That is like saying I am a published writer because I post on gardenweb. I suspect ima is being purposely obtuse just for the sake of argument. The fact that working in fast food flipping burgers is miserable is hardly just my opinion or that of finedreams - it is also the opinion of everyone I have ever known who worked in fast food. It was neither finedreams nor I who came up with the expression, "Do you want to end up flipping burgers for the rest of your life?"

Unless you happen to live in California it is unlikely that anyone would "live near two universities." I live in a state that has one of, if the the most, institutes of higher learning per square mile of any state - but most of them are private. None of the state universities are within commuting distance.

Living at home doesn't necessarily save much, in any, money. Commuting to college often requires that the student have a vehicle, and the cost of buying and maintaining a vehicle and the cost of gas would often negate any cost savings of living at home - and you can get a student loan for room and board.

I realize that ima happily walked 6 miles each way to school, uphill both ways, but it is over 12 miles from my house to the nearest four year college of any sort. Public transportation is almost non-existent in this area. And no, I am not going to give up my job or my five minute commute in order to buy a more expensive house in an area with better public transportation.

The point is that almost no 18-22 year old student can earn enough to pay the entire Cost of Attendance at ANY four year college or university in the United States. The Cost of Attendance includes the tuition, fees, housing (if not living at home), meals, transportation, books, and personal expenses. In every single case I have read about on this board, the "self-reliant" students are only paying some of these expenses.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:16AM
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"unskilled jobs do not bring any intellectual or emotional satisfication. People are just plain miserable "

Fine, I think that is untrue. I know people who are perfectly content at a fast food job, for years on end. They like the interaction with customers, they like the flexibility of hours, and they like not having to think about their job after they leave to go home. Different strokes...

"The reason I said you are beating a dead horse is because the subject of college costs and who should pay and help has been debated over and over on GW."

Ima, I reckon we could say that about just about any topic that has come up, from moms who dont call, to child support, to adult kids who are nasty.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:07AM
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X was saving money in a college fund to help with tuition so it is not like money falls from the sky, he worked hard for what he has, no, no hamburger flipping. She is 20, so we had 20 years, not like we have just learned that she will go to college. We knew it 20 years ago. Or maybe even before she was born. If he would not be able to do it then we would still pull our finances to help her, and then loans and such.

there might be people who enjoy hamburger flipping but we are not discussing these hypothetical people here, right? i do not know any of them IRL.

I agree with kathline, topic about BM not picking SD on time or not paying CS is as thoroughly discussed here as college and who pays for it.

Agree about chefs, TOS, my mother is the one, she is actually a restaurant manager now, used to be a head chef, but she continues combining her managment duties with chef responsibilities. Obviously lisenced etc. It cannot be even compared to fast food. She does hire people though who previously worked in fast food, but only to be helpers etc. Not chefs, chefs have to have education, training, lisence etc. can't learn any of that in McDonalds.

agree with TOS, ima is saying it all on purpose comparing unskilled low paid fast food job to fullfilling careers. Just to keep arguing about common sense stuff.

The only colleges in a commuting distance are the ones where my daughter would have nothing to do. It would be a waste of time for her. She goes to school to get education not just diploma. She worked hard in school and got IB diploma for a reason.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:03PM
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my point is that a chef can get satisfaction as well as a fast food burger flipper that enjoys what he does. No, they are not the same but yes, they can both be satisfied. Maybe one cannot afford culinary school so he works in 'unskilled' cooking jobs but he may enjoy cooking just as much.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:09PM
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I have never met anyone IRL who wants to make hamburger flipping their life's work. Even if for some strange reason they did want to spend forty hours a week for the next fifty years doing so, very few fast food places offer full-time, benefited employment to people who work the grill, nor do they pay well enough, no matter how frugal you are, to support yourself, much less a family.

ima is right about one thing - not everyone has the same goals for their children. There are those who ascribe to the "it was good enough for me, it should be good enough for my children (and especially for stepchildren), and then there are those who want their children to have a better life than they have.

(I am assuming we are not talking about people with severe developmental delays)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:38PM
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The thing that strikes me when people like TOS and finedreams say they want their children to "have a better life" is that the subtext here is really "I want my children to have more material rewards". I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here because all I wanted for my DD when she was growing up was that she learn to be a functioning independent adult and that she be happy in what she does. Personally I think that to be content is a greater achievement than a college degree if the college degree doesn't bring contentment. I know many people who have college degrees and have never used them in their employment, having gone into totally different fields. I know other people who had had high-paying jobs and then left them for lower paying jobs that brought them more contentment- the doctor who became a lawn mowing contractor, for instance.
I've always thought the burger flippers, and the toilet cleaners, and the street sweepers and garbage collectors and all the other people who do those "lowly" jobs contribute as much to society as do doctors and lawyers and programmers and such. If no-one wanted to do these jobs the place would end up in a heckova state.
If parents want to help their children to attend college and can afford to do so, good on them. If they chose to spend the money they earn doing other things, that's their perogative. Their children won't have the _same_ life they might have had if they had wanted to attend college and had a helping hand, but it's not a foregone conclusion that they will have a _worse_ life.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:49PM
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no coleen, as I said before I want my kid to have intellectual, emotional and creative satisfication from her career and want her to be happy. that's what she wants and that's what i and her father support. I don't make that much money and she won't either.

yes jobs that require no skills might be OK for somebody (don't know who would that be) but this is not life my DD wants for herself and I support that. I completely understand that others might be OK wiht whatever but I am not talking about whoever but about my kid and every single person who has no significant disability.

BTW DD will never have high paid job, not the field she is going to choose, but she would pursue something that will give her intellectual stimulation that she craves. I agree with TOS that other parents might have different ideas about what is important, but it does not mean I have to value the same thing.

and yes coleen I always want my child to do what makes her happy because I know who she is and what she is capable of. flipping hamburgers or cleaning toliets might be OK for now but it would never make her happy. If it makes others happy it is fine with me. :) But they aren't my kids, right?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:09PM
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haha TOS that's too funny

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:11PM
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It is easy to say that financial security is not important if you already have it. It is certainly true that I do not want my children to be poor. What parent would want that for their children?

If you do not go to college or trade school, your options are limited. I want my children to have options.

No one has said that the people who work in lower level jobs in service industries are not contributing to society - but they are certainly not rewarded as well as professionals, even though they often work a great deal harder and under adverse conditions. Very few people "want" to do those jobs - they are forced to do them due to lack of education, lack of English language skills, etc. I don't want my children to have to take a job like that.

My father desparately wanted to attend college, but was forced to drop out of high school in order to help support his younger siblings (back in the 1920's). Although he took college courses at a later date, life (the Great Depression, having to help support his mother, marriage, children, physical disability) got in the way of his goal of completing college. I can state unequivocally that he believed he had a worse life because he did not attend college.

Some people have a great life IN SPITE OF being denied opportunities. That is not the same as as having a great life BECAUSE they were denied opportunities. Having options is virtually always better than not having options, and without post-high school education, you do not have nearly as many options.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:29PM
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Jiminy crickets! Most assuredly there are people who enjoy working in fast food--just like there are those who enjoy other "lowly" work. I just happen to know three right off the bat--the floor guy at the hospital where I work (always smiling, always happy, it's always a "great day") and the wife of a friend who works at the local McFastfood. She loves it. Originally she went back to work for the full-time benefits (since her husband is a small business owner) but has found that she really enjoys doing it. The guy who bought the house I used to own works for the city--collects trash, et cetera, loves his job. Feels like he contributes to the good of everybody. He has a house, a wife, kids, grandkids... Who's to say he's unfulfilled?

Oh, and there are certainly benefits available for full-time employees in fast food. Almost all of the local ones offer them.

Good grief, you can be happy doing ANY job. Not every one is going to be your dream job, but we all need to eat and pay for a place to live. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. You get to decide--isn't that GREAT?

...but to suggest that people doing "lowly" jobs are across the board dissatisfied or unhappy with their lives is downright insulting.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 8:56AM
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It is easy to look from a position of wealth and make these claims.

Does the floor guy at the hospital have to support a family on his earnings? Does your friend at McDonalds? Are you claiming that she works full-time at McDonald's as a grill cook? I don't think so. How long has the guy you mentioned worked for the city? What is the "etc.?" What is he going to do when they lay him off because the city council decides to hire contractors to pick up the trash?

I KNOW what it was like working for another fast-food chain - my child was paid only slightly more than minimum wage, yet was responsible for running the place for hours - sometimes as the only employee there, including sometimes having to close alone. There were no benefits, the hours changed erratically, the franchise owner generally kept the tips from the tip jar himself, several times a week the franchise owner called and asked the child to work with only a couple of hours notice. Another child who worked in a small restaurant was put to work on the grill at 15, in violation of the child labor laws. My oldest worked at the same retail store for about five years, was responsible for reconciling the cash to the penny at the end of the day and taking the money to the bank, yet was paid not much above minimum wage. No, I don't want to see my children working in jobs like that for their entire lives.

I think it is VERY rare for people "flipping burgers," or working for home cleaning companies (as opposed to actually owning the company), or working in retail at Walmart, etc. to be satisfied with their jobs, much less with their pay. Barbara Ehrenreich certainly didn't find a lot of low paid happy campers while researching her book, "Nickel and Dimed."

It doesn't even matter if there are a very small minority of people who are fulfilled by their job flipping burgers - it is not possible to live on the salary, much less have a family. Would you want to condemn your children to a life of poverty?

I want my children to be able to have a career that is fulfilling and also to be able to support their children by themselves if necessary.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:41AM
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Parents are not obligated to pay for college in this country. It is not mandatory. I know several people who had to pay for their own college tuition and they came from intact upper middle-class families. These people got college loans and paid them off after school.

2 years of community college, 2 years at local state college is not so expensive.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:08AM
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This thread got me to thinking, I have always thought of the most successful people I know are the ones that are content/happy with themselves. They are not necessarily the ones that have the most prestigious or highest paying jobs.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:10AM
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Just another thought on personal happiness....

A few years, I watched a documentary on skid row and homeless people. They interviewed several homeless people and while most were dealing with mental health or substance issues, there was a guy that CHOSE to leave his seemingly perfect life for the life of a 'bum'. He had a family, a career, a home in the 'burbs' and had a degree from a top college. He said he was much happier with his life on the street than he'd ever been. It changed the way I look at the homeless because I would never have thought anyone would CHOOSE that life.

Like someone said... different strokes.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:06PM
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"Are you claiming that she works full-time at McDonald's as a grill cook? I don't think so."

Yes, I am. She's full time as a crew member. She does a little of everything--whatever needs done.

The guy working for the city does a LOT of other jobs. They don't just collect trash, they work with the street department doing repairs, they do groundskeeping at the city buildings, they set up and tear down for public events, they decorate the city at the holidays, and I'm sure other jobs that I don't know about. His wife works full time at a local nursing home as a CNA. They don't have money, but they have a boisterous, interesting family.

The floor guy at the hospital has a wife and kids. She works too, although I don't know where.

Good grief, what's so damn hard to believe about someone being happy without a lot of money? Personal fulfillment comes in many different forms--and sometimes that's just doing one's job well, no matter what it is.

I know plenty of unhappy people with lots of money and lots of education too.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I dont tell my DD to put $$$ first. I dont, but I suspect her Dad and his SO do.

I DO want her to, with or without a spouse, be able to provide her share of family income, such that she and children always have good medical insurance, that family lives in area that is safe and has good public schools, that she has a safe and reliable car to drive if needed, or safe and reliable public transportation. I hope she and husband (yes, becuase read on, I certainly hope she is married if she has children) are able to allow at least one parent to work part time, or be SAHP, with small children.

These may sound like simple goals to a high school student, but we, the adult women of the world, know they arent. I think the best way to improve the odds of her meeting those goals is with a college degree. Not the only way, but the most likely. Like I said, I dont play the long shots.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 1:33PM
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No, I DO NOT BELIEVE that someone can be happy if they do not have enough money to feed themselves and their children, or to provide their children with safe housing. If they can be happy while their children are going hungry or living in unsafe conditions, then there is something seriously wrong with them.

It is not possible to support a family on a minimum wage job.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:11AM
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NONE are minimum wage jobs, thanks...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Vivian, I am glad your family is doing OK. And btw, where I live high school grads working in the public sector do much better than those that don't. I value the work municipal employees do, but given the tax increases our town is having, there will be layoffs. But again, law of averages. Many high school grads will have trouble supporting a family. Wasnt there a thread awhile back re health care being unaffordable? Yes, municpal emplyee get great benefits where I live, but not evry HS grad can get those jobs. Again, I dont play long shots.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Do any of them earn enough to support themselves and their children at a basic level as specified by this calculator:

They certainly wouldn't in my state, and I think that calculator uses amounts that are too low, especially for food and transportation.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:50PM
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We have very low cost of living here. It's the midwest, rural. $70K buys a livable house--not fancy, but livable.

No, it's not LA or New York (I've been there and done that), but it is home and a good place to raise kids.

None of those people are of my family, KKNY. They are friends.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:03PM
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Vivian, OK, I am glad your friends are doing well. End of the day, I think most people's security is better with a college degree. People here can find all the exceptions to the rules, with people who dont need a college degree or who dont need help getting it. I dont play long shots.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Im sorry but I have to put my 2 cents in here... I have a 19 year old daughter who is in college with a 4.0 GPA My ex and I told my daughter from the 7th grade (we were still married at that point) that it was her job to go to school amd make good grades for a scholarship and we would take care of the rest... She was captain of the varsity cheerleading squad she also was competitive for 7 years till she got hurt... We bought our daughter a new car when she was 17 (we could afford it at the time) when we divorced 2 years ago I gave up my new truck so that she could keep hers. I promised her... My ex and I sacrifice alot so that she has a good education which all of her tuition is paid for. I pay for her car and insurance and her dad pays for her rent and she works part time for her food and gas... She said to me the other day dont worry mom I know what you and dad have done for me and when I get out of medical school I will repay the favor... I said just pay for you car..LOL I have great kids... Im blessed

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:12PM
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