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Selling home for son's college education?

Posted by aaaaaaaa (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 9, 10 at 8:50

Hi All,
My son will be going off to college in next two years. He is now in Junior High.
The way things are going on now a days (in general) I am concerned if I will have enough funds to put him through the college.
I am planning to put my home in the market next spring and raise some funds for the cause.

Question is -- is this a bad idea? Is it safe to still own a home while my son goes to college and borrow loan on the house? This way I have to pay both the college loan as well as the mortgage plus the interest. That I cannot afford.

I was not sure if this is the right forum to post this--but still related to selling the house.

Any suggestion/advice is welcome related to the concern.

Thank you in advance.
Anna


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

A better idea might be for him to get student loans, which he would start paying off when he graduates from college.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Its hard to give advice to strangers on the internet about serious subjects like this, especially without knowing the whole picture.

If you sell your house, where are you going to live? won't you have to pay rent at a rate similar to your mortgage?

Where are you going to live when you retire? you won't have a paid off house to live in when your active income stops.

I was happy that my parents helped with college. I would definately not be happy if we had to sell the house and move into an apartment for this to happen.

my suggestion is cut back on your expenses, have him apply for all the loan programs out there, and go to a state school, or if that is too much, the first two years at a community college, followed by a state school.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

If the only way to afford college is by selling the house,you'd likely be eligible for financial Aid..Go to a FAFSA site and run the #'s of your EFC


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Since you asked....

Are you nuts????? It is admirable that you want to pay for your son's college education, but if you don't have the money, you don't have the money.

First, your son should be looking into financial aid options. There are a nearly infinite number of programs.

Second, if he can't get enough in scholarships/grants, there are student loan programs.

Third, if he still can't free up enough cash, then he'll either need to go part time and work or look at community colleges.

One of the most important parts of going to college is learning to become a productive, independent and responsible member of society. You don't start that journey with decisions that force your mom into debt or out of her home.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Higher education is the next bubble to pop.

4-yr degrees are all but useless now--ask the millions of college-educated people on the unemployment rolls.

Selling your house in return for something that doesn't provide measurable gain is risky at best and most likely ridiculous.

Community colleges are a fantastic bargain, and credits transfer easily to state schools. A little effort put forth for applying for as many scholarships as possible also yields measurable results.

Or, you can go my route and join the military--I used tuition assistance while I was active duty to complete my BS, then used the GI Bill to get my master's.

IMO, the best gift you can give your kids is planning (and saving) for your own retirement and eldercare. Don't blow your wad on spending upwards of $40k on a bet that your 17 year old has already figured out what they want to be when they grow up and that what they want to be pays well enough to offset the cost of the required education.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I agree with other posts, not to sell your house for college or get a loan on the house to pay for it.
Do you not have inexpensive colleges he can attend for at least two years?
Is your son aware you do not have the necessary funds and he still wants to spend lots of money for college?
I live in CA, we have inexpensive public colleges here, don't other states have this option also?


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

4-yr degrees are all but useless now--ask the millions of college-educated people on the unemployment rolls.

Could be the dumbest statement i've read in YEARS!!!..It is a PROVEN fact those with college educations out earn those that don't by significant amounts..Also unemployment for those with college degrees is significantly lower then that of those without college education..

I guess the education you got hasn't worked? if you don't know this


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Some actual FACTS

Unemployment Rate by Education Level
In 1992, the BLS began tracking unemployment rates by education level. Highlighted below are the unemployment rates for the following four groups classified by education attained: 1. Less than a high school diploma 2. A high school diploma but no college 3. Some college or an Associate degree 4. Bachelor's degree or higher. All groups consist of individuals 25 years old or higher.

Education Level Achieved October 2010 Month/Month
(Points) Year/Year
(Points)
Less than
High School 15.3% -0.1 -0.2
High School Grad
No College 10.1% +0.1 -1.1
Some College
or Associate Degree 8.5% -0.6 -0.5
Bachelor's Degree
or Higher 4.7% +0.3 0.0

Unemployment for someone with just a HS diploma is 10.1% and a college grad is 4.7% and this is October 2010 data...Seems like a college education is a good thing,don't ya think????


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

qdwag--you're always able to find offense when that's all you're looking for, eh?

My apologies that you didn't find my thoughtful response to the OP helpful. Fortunately, you're not the OP.

Education is valuable--if you choose the right education and don't bury yourself in debt to obtain it.

Listening/reading skills and comprehension are even more valuable. There were 5 lines of helpful text after the line of mine that you quoted.

I think someone needs either a hug or to get laid.

:)


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

No,your response was that education was a waste, and it simply isn't..Forget the rest of the drivel you followed up with..Though i will agree NOT to take on significant debt to get an education,but i will also state get the BEST education you can afford.There is a significant difference between CC degrees and top flight flagship state schools or private schools..


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

revamp: "4-yr degrees are all but useless now--ask the millions of college-educated people on the unemployment rolls."

revamp, I do agree with you to a large extent. However, the problem is that there are not enough jobs...period. In addition, of the avaialble jobs, most firms are trying to hire three employess in one, in order to coantain costs...which in turn makes many of those available for the jobs unqualified.

For those jobs that DO exist, a college degree today is akin to what a HS diploma was up to the 70'or early 80's. Pretty much a must if one wants to have decent job opportunities.

That said, a four year degree bears no where near as much weight as it once did...it is today's version of the 70's HS diploma. Most businesses now look for those with graduate degrees, and those with graduate degree's (especially MBA's) are considered first before those with a mere four year degree.

In addition, the school attended also weighs heavily in getting ones foot in the door.For example, an NYU grad will trump a state four year college grad any day...even if the NYU candidates grades are not quite as good.

Last but not least, unless one majors in finance/business and does well enough to enter that sector, it will take a very long time to pay back all those student loans...as earning potential in most other professions these days (including medicine due to managed care, malpractice premiums, etc) )just does not cut it.

That said, IMO, one should choose a major that has the best potential of high return in earnings, and be prepared to obtain a graduate degree, or else earning potential will be limited indeed.

That said, aaaaaaaa, don't sell your home...as in the end, the payback is far less than assured. Your son should make the best of what is available to him in terms of loans and wise choices in the course of study..and hope for the best.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

OMG... this is the funnest thread we've had in quite a while!!!

I agree with everyone (including the opposing arguments!)

I'll add a bit of distinction;
a) ACTUAL EDUCATION = valuable.
b) 4 years attendance at an institution functionally serving as an extension of high school to get a rubber-stamped diploma = LESS than worthless.

An *Actual Education* can be acquired many ways... only ONE of which is at an accredited university/college campus (and, arguably, the least functional and most over-priced of ways.)

QOTE OF THE DAY;
I think someone needs either a hug or to get laid.

... but I say; WHY NOT BOTH?!?!???

Good times!
Dave


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

agree with option B


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Something that hasn't been pointed out. If your son is in Jr High now and going to college in 2 years he must be some kind of uber genius. If that's the case then he should be rolling in scholarships by the time actual enrollment come around.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I think s/he meant a junior in high school.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

For awhile, at least a generation, it seemed that most kids (and their parents) assumed that sixteen meant an automatic car, graduation meant a spring break in Florida or the summer in Holland, followed by an all-expense paid ride at an out of state university (preferably where the surf is up) and going Greek.

After graduation, a fifty thousand dollar wedding for a two year marriage.

I was a single mom for awhile and even with a good job, life was dicey. I had the same desires as the OP.....that my kids would have all the education they needed or wanted but I also knew that with two of them a year apart......what I could contribute wasn't going to be enough to more than give them a shove in the right direction.

They never expected, nor asked for more and they worked when they were in high school for the frills their friends had handed to them on a silver platter.

First of all there are other career preparations than college. I went six years, but if I had it to do again, I'd have apprenticed as a plumber or electrician.

aaaaaaaaaa now is the time to talk to your kid's counselors. High schools have advanced classes where a child can get a jump-start on their credits before they even graduate. Summers are for earning money to help pay their own tuition. They need to apply for every scholarship they can find and they should be actively looking themselves.

The military is an excellent option for help with tuition. It essentially paid for my first husband's master's degree. Those few years growing up in a disciplined environment doesn't hurt, either.

Your son's schooling should be a joint effort with him as an active participant. If he is sincere, he'll be preparing for it right now, like you are. If he isn't doing this already then it should be a head's up that he's not ready for this type of investment. If he can attend a local, low cost school for the first year or two.... just providing him with room and board and helping with his fees and books would be a help.

Good luck to you and your son.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

There is nothing wrong with working full time to pay for going to school part time. It's how I did it. Yes, it took longer, but my parents were unable to give me any funds towards a higher education. In many ways, that "gift" of having to work for it was much more educational than some of the classes I attended. I learned many lessons that the priviledged tuition and apartment paid partiers probably didn't learn until they were in their thirties....if ever.

Education is a priviledge, not a right. And, if you have to endanger your own shelter and basic income to give somone that priviledge, then it should be a no brainer that it's not doable as a "gift" from you. Have your son get a job now and bank as much as he can. Help him excell academically or in some other school endeavor that will be usefull in getting him a scholarship. Investigate grants and loans. Do all of this, but do NOT sell your house!


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Before you do anything, look at the qualifications for student grants and loans. Talk to the HS counselor. Your son may be eligible for more scholarships and aid if you do NOT have enough cash or income to pay for school.

How are your son's grades? Unless he has a clear career path that requires a specific degree and needs to get a running start in university, enrolling in a community college can be a great idea. There are even some fields he could pursue with only an Associate's Degree. He might find an employer who would help fund further education, and as an independent young adult with little income, he might qualify for more scholarships or other aid.

MY turn on the soapbox: Too many kids are putting themselves and their parents in hock just to get the BA that too many businesses *require* to fill dead-end jobs that most HS grads could do. It's a crazy mindset, and it's been very, very profitable to academe, both legitimate schools and the for-profits that victimize students and defraud the government (us).


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Good points have been made by other posters regarding the riskiness of selling a house in order to pay for college. This question can't be answered completely without knowing the full financial picture of the family.

Financial aid calculations have a concept of "protected" vs "unprotected" assets. In general it's a bad idea to move an asset from protected to unprotected status, which is what you'd be doing by selling your house and taking the proceeds in cash.

There are 2 financial aid formulas, FAFSA and Profile (not including college-specific ones that the top schools use). FAFSA does not ask for your home equity and does not count it as an asset; Profile schools do, but they use that number in a variety of ways to determine the parents' ability to pay for college. Some Profile colleges cap home equity at 110% of income, for example.

If you were to sell your house and have (just to throw a number out there) $200,000 in cash in your checking account after settlement, that would add a net of $11,200 to the amount your family would be expected to pay. The FAFSA formula takes all of your cash and investment assets (after a certain protected amount) and multiplies that by 5.6%, and adds that number to the estimated family contribution.

Take some time to understand how financial aid really works before you make the move of selling your house. There is need-based aid available from the federal government (as calculated by the FAFSA formula) and institutional aid (Profile form), along with very good opportunities for merit aid if your son is among the top 25% of candidates at any given college.

Here is a link that might be useful: Financial aid forum on College Confidential


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Selling your home to finance your child's college education should not be a consideration as you still need a place to live and perhaps even want that place paid for before you retire.

I, too, am a single mother with college age children. Both of them qualify for some financial aid, earn scholarship monies, and work part-time to support themselves. My monthly contribution to the youngest is $100.00 - she earns the rest or goes without (on-campus jobs are great). And while that may seem harsh, I believe that giving - as in handing out money for which no work is required - is a detrimental lesson to teach any child at any age. My children never even were given an allowance - they could earn money by doing extra chores like washing walls, cleaning the fridge or oven - household work beyond the required daily chores, and they learned that money is earned not given - this is an excellent thing. She has no car because SHE cannot afford to pay for it and the accompanying costs like insurance, maintainance, and repairs, but she deals well with public transportation.

As has been suggested, explore your financial aid opportunities - you'll find an abundance of them. Check out the College Board website for school profiles. When you do this, check the financial aid statistics. You will find that there are many, many schools that give full aid to students determined to have need. Additionally, check into a number of the private liberal arts colleges that offer full financial aid to students whose families have an income of less that 65 or 75K per year - there are an abundance of them, even big names like Harvard and Stanford offer such programs as well as a number of the smaller schools.

Most importantly, ensure that your child keeps his grade point average as high as possible. Students who pass AP (Advanced Placement) exams with a score of 4 or 5 are exempted from some college class thus saving money. Scoring highly on PSAT, SAT, and ACT exams can also lead to scholarship opportunities based on academic merit.

My last suggestion is to have your child begin now to research scholarship opportunities. Apply for as many as possible - a good essay and timely application make a significant difference in receving or not. My experience has taught me that it is easier to get ten 500 dollar scholaships than it is to win one 5000 dollar one, so don't discount the "little" scholarships - this money adds up quickly. When you do earn a scholarship that comes to you, make sure the money is put in a special account; other scholarships are sent directly to the college.

As has been stated, speak to the school counselors; they always know about various scholarships that are not common knowledge and will be one of your best resources. That you are looking into this now is excellent; your child has plenty of time to find the necessary funds from a variety of sources. As has also been stated, working while attending school is an extremely education in itself that cannot be acquired in a classroom.

Please don't sell your home as there are literally thousands upon thousands of financial aid and scholarship opportunities of which your child can take advantage.

Here is a link that might be useful: College Board information


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

IS the OP checking this thread?
What was decided?


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Do NOT sell your house for your kids education, EVER!

Many posters have made excellent suggestions.
I'm going to give you an invaluable one that was not mentioned:

1)The reality in life is that you get a job based on WHO you know, not what you know.
2)Timing.
3)Luck.
4)Education.

In THAT order.

Lesson number one is to teach him to SCHMOOZE. Once he masters the game of rubbing elbows/networking, the piece of paper that he will get from college will be a bonus to getting a good job...and it does not have to be from an Ivy league school, unless you send him there to meet the kids of Senators to SMOOZE, so they can help him with his useless degree, after college...Ok, in some cases the HR person is impressed by someone getting a degree from Harvard, etc., but only IF nobody from the "inside" applies, or the job leaves a lot to be desired so it opens up frequently. Once in a while you have a skill that is very rare so you can get a job on your own merit i.e. a degree in Rocket Science. LOL.

Having done HR, I'm giving you insider information. Nobody wants to tell you the dirty little secret about hiring. HR has to play the politics of the company, even if it means posting a job (already filled by a friend of the CEO, director, etc) as an equal oppty employer- a LIE! Enough on that topic.

College is what YOU make of it. I'm not a fan of TOP RATED Colleges. They are just packaged pretty, and people are brainwashed. Pardon my opinion, but here it goes:

Community colleges are great TEACHING institutions, because the professors are there to teach, while the professors at the universities are busy RESEARCHING/PUBLISHING. The universities have to compete for "standings". The more they publish, the higher on the scale they move up. It's great for business. This is one of the ways universities get their high ratings ;)

The irony is that many times you cannot find professors at the universities(too busy publishing), and many of your classes are on videos.LOL.

Chisue said it best:
MY turn on the soapbox: Too many kids are putting themselves and their parents in hock just to get the BA that too many businesses *require* to fill dead-end jobs that most HS grads could do. It's a crazy mindset, and it's been very, very profitable to academe, both legitimate schools and the for-profits that victimize students and defraud the government (us).

Having said all that, I would be very careful how I would proceed with financing college. Try to take advantage of every FREE grant, scholarship, or financing available. Remember: keep NETWORKING in mind, first. Then try to figure out the cheapest way for him to get that "piece of paper".


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Wow, notto, what a depressing perspective. Somehow, I don't think my son could have gotten his current job without his degree in Chemical Engineering. Education is FIRST (presumably, not just a "piece of paper")


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Ok,my turn at the soapbox.The post by notto is ridiculous..

"Community colleges are great TEACHING institutions, because the professors are there to teach, while the professors at the universities are busy RESEARCHING/PUBLISHING."

^^^ridiculous^^^
From Chisue
MY turn on the soapbox: Too many kids are putting themselves and their parents in hock just to get the BA that too many businesses *require* to fill dead-end jobs that most HS grads could do..

^^^ i agree 100%,but the culprit here is third rate state schools,community colleges and online universities(the bigggest scam there is)


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

"Community colleges are great TEACHING institutions,"

Completely agree - unfortunately, they are mostly teaching stuff that should have been learned in high school. They are much more efficient at using the resources they are given though.

Nobody who goes to Harvard is saying "Darn, I wish I went to a community college so I could get a decent job."


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Community colleges are the senior high schools of a generation ago..Today,they provide "cheap" education for those who can't afford college otherwise...Try getting a decent job with a degree from most CC's,you'll likely land a job that didn't require more then a HS diploma in the 80's


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

qdwag, in Canada, community colleges are not "senior high schools of a generation ago". Maybe (as I commonly find) things are different in the US?

Community colleges in Ontario provide an education for skilled trades & vocational training, and are certainly more specific than what I took in high school 35 years ago. One of my sons took a 2-year Library Technician course at a community college, and promptly got a decent job after he graduated.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Community colleges don't issue Bachelor degrees, only AA degrees. A good way to save costs on college is to go to a community college for 2 years and transfer to a 4 year college/university for the last two years. You will get the same degree that students who spent for years at that college or university receive.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

^^^^^..too simplistic, as you didn't experience the college atmosphere,and the rate of those simply graduating from CC's is not good,and the # of those who move on to a 4 yr school is dismal


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Posted by terriks (My Page) on Tue, Nov 30, 10 at 17:50

Community colleges don't issue Bachelor degrees, only AA degrees. A good way to save costs on college is to go to a community college for 2 years and transfer to a 4 year college/university for the last two years. You will get the same degree that students who spent for years at that college or university receive.
*******************************************
That's exactly What I meant. You can get a couple semesters out of the local CC. Take basic/standard courses Like English, Math, Science... You will get more attention from your professors in CC. Then transfer to a University. In my area many of the professors teach at the CC and the local University, using the same text books and TESTS. CCs are not as exciting as universities, but your loans will be smaller.

For others who disliked my REALITY post, sorry to rain on your parade, but it's a known fact that NETWORKING gets you jobs. College degree counts, but only once someone gets you into the place. Education IS important, but don't be naive about job prospects. HR DELETES emailed resumes without reading them, unless someone is pointed out to them. Just an FYI.

qdwag,
If it makes you feel better, you go right ahead and believe what you want.


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facts of CC's

Officials representing hundreds of two-year colleges across the U.S. signed a "call to action," pledging to boost student-completion rates 50% over the next decade. Currently only 40% of community-college students complete their programs.

Many students arrive ill-prepared for their course work. About 60% of community-college students take remedial courses, which award no credit, says Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.


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agree

notto, i do agree with you about contacts,with the caveat that if you have a contact and a lousy degree,you'll lose to the contact with the better degree..CC degrees are barely worth the paper they are rubber stamped on


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

^^^^^..too simplistic, as you didn't experience the college atmosphere,and the rate of those simply graduating from CC's is not good,and the # of those who move on to a 4 yr school is dismal

So would you suggest that someone who can't afford a 4 year college from the start just not bother getting and education at all? Kind of simplistic dontcha think?


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

FA is available for many in need..AND college is not for everyone,no matter what HS grads are told..


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

When investing money in anything, one has to do homework. In this case getting the desired education for the best rate of return. It all depends if you want to work on Wall Street, or be a nurse. A nurse can make a lot of money just by going to a local CC and transferring to a university. There is no need for taking out loans for Harvard ;)
Eventually you don't walk around with the college diploma where you graduated from, on your forehead-that goes for MAJORITY OF JOBS.

There are CCs in a given state that cooperate with their sister universities. This means that MOST of the courses transfer. One can sit down with a counselor and go over the curriculum to see what transfers AHEAD of time.

I say have a major in mind, then check out the best way to get there, based on your needs.
College is what YOU make of it. Study hard, and master your art.

I know plenty of people who have gone to middle of the road colleges, are extremely smart and succesful. I also know Ivy league graduates who aren't doing so well...

There are dumb people graduating from ALL types of schools. The same "piece of paper" may mean a lot of different things. Again, it's what YOU make of it.

Many blue collar workers make more money than white collar workers. We can argue this one to death.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Very very bad idea. Especially in these times. Going to college is an option that your son is privileged to save up for himself, or get financial aid, or work his way through. Believe me, it builds character. Whereas, having a place to live and enough money to live on with dignity in your old age is not an option, it is a necessity. Otherwise, you may end up being dependent on that son, and he's not going to like it. He will by then have a family of his own to support.

Financial guru Dave Ramsey has things to say about this in his books, radio show, and TV show. Here's his website. If you scroll to the bottom of the page it will have some topics to select from.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Ramsey's website


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I wonder what happened to the OP.


"He is now in Junior High."

How can you interpret that to mean he is a Junior in High School? Perhaps you are reading into what you want.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

"How can you interpret that to mean he is a Junior in High School? Perhaps you are reading into what you want. "

Because the OP also said "My son will be going off to college in next two years. "


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

OP is right here. My son is in Junior in High School. I am reading all the responses--appreciate each and every one of them.

Right now, I live in a 3 bed/ 2.1/2 bathroom, total 1940 sq foot home in a very good location in North Jersey. Good schools, less population during the weekends, easy access to all major highways. However, I felt (until now--still debating) I could do better if I move to much cheaper home--which is near impossible in NJ. So, I am planning to move to NC, where I could construct my custom designed small home for retirement. Or something on those lines.

Now, why am I funding my son for college? Yes, he will be applying for available scholarships, also getting feedbacks and advice from school student counselor. I am trying to help him out with less financial burden on him as a student. And more focus on this education. He has been good kid so far with straight A and good record. He may even taking up internship starting next summer.
It is just that I do not want any high interest student loan burden on anyone of us, and that could be achieved with few adjustments in our lifestyle-- and I don't see any sacrifices with these adjustments and I only see the brighter side of it.
With this current home, even if I keep the home and continue to live here--- as taxes increases, as the prices of everything keep going higher and higher(I am only talking about maintenance--like gas, electricity,utility--I am not talking about other living expenses---like groceries etc--that is completely another story) --I may not be able to afford to live here in the near future anyway.

Thanks
Anna


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I believe that the general rule that investment planners will give you is to fund your retirement first, then IF you can afford to fund your children's college you can do so. Your son can always get loans for college, but you cannot borrow money to fund your retirement. In other words, don't sacrifice your financial future to pay for your son's education.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

terriks, your last sentence sums up what we can ALL agree on for this thread!


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I agree with terriks, fund your retirement first.

If you son is a straight A student and has ACT/SAT test scores to match, he can get a full tuition scholarships at many 2nd or 3rd tier universities, and at a limited number of top-tier universities. This is merit aid, not need-based; if you also have a low EFC, you will get need-based aid as well. If your son is a National Merit finalist, he will be eligible for a full ride at a number of colleges.

Just for some random examples:

Clemson gives full tuition + room + board to Clemson scholars (ACT of 34+, 4.0+ GPA, interview required)

Auburn gives National Merit Finalists, National Achievement Finalists, and National Hispanic Scholars a National Scholars Presidential Scholarship: tuition for four years, currently valued at $31,600 ($7,900 per year) for residents and $87,664 ($21,916 per year) for non-residents; $4,000 enrichment experience stipend available for one semester after the second year; On-campus housing allowance for four years, currently valued at $18,200 ($4,550 per year)

University of Delaware - Eugene S. Dupont Scholarship, full ride for 4 years, plus $2,500 for study abroad. You must be invited to scholar's weekend (top 100 applicants) and then based on interviews, they offer the ride to approximately 20 kids with the yield being approximately 12 DuPont scholars per year.

SUNY Stony Brook full ride Presidential scholarship (tuition/fees/room/board) for four years.

With some detective work, you can find a college that matches your son's interests and where his grades and test scores put him in the top 75% of all applicants. If you focus on finding the right fit both academically and financially, there's no need to take out large loans to fund his college years. There are around 4000 colleges in the US. If he's a straight A student, he's going to find a great fit somewhere.

Enjoy the journey.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to merit aid scholarships


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Amen, terriks.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Take care of your own retirement. If your DS has to get college loans, you can always help him pay them off!

Be aware that not all HS grades of "A" are equal. Has he taken an SAT and scored well? Where are last year's graduates from his HS attending college now?

I cringe when our DS's former HS trumpets that something like 98% of its graduates go to college. Really? Which colleges? Do they GRADUATE? In what fields do they earn degrees? Which students earn a BS in four years?

Then we have the Chicago Public School system in which DIL is a junior high math teacher. Standards are so low you couldn't trip over them.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Good points by all those who said don't sell your house!

I would also point out that companies are not looking for college degrees so much as they are looking for SKILLS.

That's what I was told by a HR person, for what it's worth.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I live in South Jersey; originally from Union County. I know a lot of people from NJ that jumped on the NC & Tennessee band wagon & are miserable because they did not expect to have other charges. Yes; taxes here are high; but you get taxed on other things in other states. Our friends went to Tenn; they could barely afford clothes for their kids because of taxes. There are 2 days out of the year where the clothing tax is lowered.

You might consider South Jersey; it's much cheaper down here; you get a lot more house for your money. We're down past Deptford now- was in Burlington County which is a good place to move.

As far as helping him with college- I would not do it. I think it's great that you want to help but at what price to you in the long run? There are a lot of kids that go to college the 1st year that bomb- what will you do then?


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I would also point out that companies are not looking for college degrees so much as they are looking for SKILLS.

That's what I was told by a HR person, for what it's worth.

^^^^^, that is ridiculous...^^^^....How do you acquire those "skills"??? By attending college,that's how...Now unless the HR person you spoke with is the HR person for a plumbing company,college opens doors that HS grad only kids don't get a foot in


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I am a training Captain at B6, on recruiting days I run the panel interviews, and I will not hire you without a degree. The smartest thing your kid could do is speak with an Air Guard recruiter. The Air Guard is a regular 7-3:30 job, except you wear the uniform, and they pay quite nicely.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Lots of advice!! I think many rush into College to soon after high school and have no clue on what they want to do with their life! Nothing wrong with take a year or two off to find them-self--and finding out what they don't want to do! Going the Community college route makes a lot of sense! I'm a RN and went that way. Now my employer will foot the bill for the rest of my education! Military is another good route to go--I did nearly 15 yrs in the Canadian military and had blast! Best of luck


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Another option to save on college costs, available in my state at least, is similar to advanced placement courses--except the student actually takes courses at the local college FREE and these courses serve for both high school and college credit. I believe they have to achieve a minimum grade though to get all credits.

I would not sell only to finance his school. I would have to have some other good reasons that meet my personal financial security goals.
I agree with the points about the invaluable lessons and character earned by putting in some effort to finance one's own education. There are some cultures, though, that have already ingrained those values by the end of high school, and believe in family sacrifice to help the student achieve more for the family.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I think that you have good reasons to sell and downsize regardless of your son's college plans. I agree about funding your retirement before funding his college and having him seek merit based scholarships.

I also agree with several on the community college possibility as well. I have two sons in community college now for different situations.

One son is living in the dorm and it is very much like a 4 year school in terms of atmosphere (yes there are community colleges with dorms). However the total cost is about 1/3 the cost of the state university that he can transfer 100% of his credits to and has guaranteed admission with good grades. It just didn't make sense to spend 3 times as much for credits at the 4 year school when these will transfer just fine.

The other son is in community college because he graduated high school a few year's yearly and is younger than most college students. Going to community college lets him live at home while at a younger age. He will also transfer when he gets a little older. I've seen his course week and materials and we've talked about his classes and they seem very much to be of the level of typical college classes.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Wow, I'm glad I read this whole thread. Lots of great advice!

I agree that you really need to have a solid retirement first and foremost (but maybe you already have this). However, I honestly think I would sell my house to put my sons through college. I was raised by parents who built a new house for our family to live in every 4 years or so, so selling a home might not seem as monumental to me as it does to some. It is just the norm to me and a really good way to make a substantial profit if you know what you're doing and the timing is right.

I definitely agree with what you and others said about applying for scholarships and working a summer job. I also agree that getting a job is often about who you know, not which college you attended. The ability to interview well is also invaluable.

Someone mentioned that so many kids drop out of college after the first year, and I definitely believe this is true, so be careful about the decision to sell your home JUST to send him to college. Hopefully you can have some extra money for retirement from the sale as well? It sounds like your son is an excellent student, so hopefully he will continue that throughout college, but there are no guarantees.

It’s a difficult decision. I don’t know what you should do, but I wouldn’t rule the sale out completely. For instance, if my only viable options were to sell my house or have my kids join the military just to pay for college, I would sell the house. However, if they chose to join the military for numerous personal reasons, I would fully support them and be proud of them - I just never want them to feel as though they HAVE to. One last piece of advice is to make sure your son wants to go to college. Of course, we all want our kids to go to college and be successful, but some kids feel forced into it and do poorly because of it. A doctor I know recently had a house built, and he is convinced that the contractor, plumber and electrician make more per year than he does based on their hourly rates….just throwing that out there :) The doctor may be exaggerating, but you have to take into consideration the $80,000 or more in student loan debt many docs have, which is obviously what you are trying to save your son from. Good luck with your tough decisions ahead.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

"^^^^^, that is ridiculous...^^^^....How do you acquire those "skills"??? By attending college,that's how...Now unless the HR person you spoke with is the HR person for a plumbing company,college opens doors that HS grad only kids don't get a foot in"

I think that statement is very misleading. as someone in the workforce with a college education, I'll tell you, college students are just as uneducated as those without a college degree. There are many college educations out there that don't invlove giving the student any skills, career preperation etc.

I fully believe most people now should go to college, but I would argue the vast majority of them are not obtaining any skills, and are not any more prepared for the working world, and the working world is perfectly ready to open the doors to the title of administrative assistant for all the philosophy majors out there


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

"I'll tell you, college students are just as uneducated as those without a college degree."

Then what were they doing for four years, if not getting an education?

Any college graduate I know is far better educated than someone who never went past high school.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

>>i do agree with you about contacts,with the caveat that if you have a contact and a lousy degree,you'll lose to the contact with the better degree..CC degrees are barely worth the paper they are rubber stamped on>>

Actually, that's not always true. I worked for one of the big consulting companies (now some 80K employees worldwide), and they have updated their hiring process/interview critera twice in the last 20 yrs. Both times, the people who successfully rose to the top, although all were college graduates, did NOT automatically come from the 'better' colleges.

A more reliable indication was found to be participation in extra-curricular activities, including volunteer work. The academic ranking of the institution had very little bearing on those who made it to the partner (owner) level.

>>Any college graduate I know is far better educated than someone who never went past high school.>>

As a blanket statement, that's impossible for me to accept as an automatic fact. I have seen many college graduates enter the workforce and show that they have relatively poor writing skills for effective communication in the business world. I can often trump their knowledge of history, global politics and economics.

I have done a fair amount of successful mentoring in the past four decades, and at no time has any of these people said, "Well, since you're only a high school graduate, you don't seem to know enough to mentor me."

Getting back OT, I agree with just about everyone that selling one's house to finance a college education is short-sighted and extremely risky. There are certain occupations where a 'name' institution will indeed make a difference - and this is especially true for post-grad degrees. But there are many others where a degree simply gets that all-important foot in the door, which can lead to other opportunities that ALLOW one to develop and take advantage of networking.

The real question is, what does the son want to do? Whether it's his passion or not, he might well have to pay attention to his potential for future earnings, since his help might be needed to support an elderly relative in the future.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

for the four years they were drinking, partying and having fun. if you define education as a checkbox that someone basically showed up and passed a class, I guess you can say they're highly educated.

If you are looking for someone who has marketable skills, a good head on their shoulders and the skills to navagate the real world, a college education guarantees none of those things

I've met some pretty stupid college graduates and some pretty smart people who weren't.

I'm not saying skip college, but if you don't choose the right major, do well, and work towards a career path, you're likely to just end up with a fancy piece of paper that qualifies you for very little.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I just had to reply to the "Tenn-NC" bandwagon. That poster from southern NJ knew of people that complained about sales tax when moving to Tenn from NJ? That goes along with some people will complain about anything. "They can't afford clothing because of the sales tax..."

As someone who moved from NY to NC, the taxes are just one way that things are cheaper down here. I was looking at my auto insurance bill - $600 annual for comp/coll/lia on 2 cars. I don't believe that is possible in NJ. Yes - you will pay property tax on your car which seems strange if you aren't used to it. So there is another $200. Still far less than car insurance in NJ or NY.

Electric rates.

It is not uncommon for people to move to NC and pay less for a mortgage with taxes/insurance then they paid in property taxes alone in NJ. Now that is probably not true if coming from South NJ as much as the north.

Sales tax is 7% in NJ and upto 9.75% in Tenn and 8.25% in NC. Considering that Tenn has no income tax, I'll take that sales tax anyday. In NC we have income tax and rates are middle of the road. We are actually taxed (overall) on the high side compared with other states but not NJ. That being said, there are so many ways that the COL is lower here.

So back to OP. Move to NC - Usually the adjustments for COL on FA are less than realistic. ie - you do better if you live in a lower COL area.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Clothing tax? Are you serious?

It's nice living in a state with no income tax. ;)


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

clg7067,

You think it is odd to have sales tax on clothing?


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

It's odd to me!
I am happy that PA does not tax clothing.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Every state applies sales tax a little differently. It does seem to me that not taxing clothing is a little unusual. Not taxing food - makes more sense. I suppose what is going on in PA is trying to get cross border traffic at shopping malls. Because not taxing the 90% of clothing expenditures that are 100% optional is a really poor fiscal policy. (I say that because obviously we need to wear clothes but could get adequate clothing for 10% of what we actually spend).

Taxing consumption (particularly discretionary consumption) is the wisest tax policy. I'm happy I live in a state that taxes clothing because the other option is overtaxing income or property or not having enough money for state government.


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Sales tax

Interesting - I had to check. Exempting clothing is a peculiar NY area thing. States with cross border shopping I suppose or some concern about being cold....

I prefer the tax policy of the rest of the country.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I'm from PA, and I remember the odd guidelines for what was/wasn't taxable when it came to clothing. One in particular: mens' belts = not taxable b/c they were considered a "necessity" item; womens' belts = taxable b/c they were considered an "accessory". I'm not sure if those types of guidelines have changed over the years that I've been away or not....


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Or you can move to Kansas...we tax EVERYTHING!


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I've never heard of a state that collects sales tax not taxing clothing. I live in a State with no sales tax, but with a fairly high income and property tax. It's also one of only two states where you are not allowed to pump your own gas, and our gas prices are not higher than neighboring states.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

I've never heard of a state that collects sales tax not taxing clothing.

Connecticut, Vermont, Mass. and NY have exemption limits. (Scroll down to table.) In Canada, btw, children's clothing is exempted from the Provincial portion of the HST in Ontario. Otherwise, the Harmonized Sales Tax (love that name, eh!) of 13% applies to most everything in Ontario.

Great information in this thread!

When I taught at university more than 40 years ago, the literacy rate was appalling. I can only imagine now.

notto is dead on.

The college debt bubble is about to burst. (Maybe Bernanke can secretly lend the universities the needed billions trillions.)


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

Going back on-topic, an excerpt from the WSJournal:

Scoring Unlisted Jobs
WSJournal December 19, 2010

"Job boards are irresistible because they seemingly put everything within easy reach. Unfortunately, the majority of job hunters are competing for the same small pool of jobs and getting turned down.

More than 80% of job openings are actually unlisted, says Steven Rothberg, founder of job website CollegeRecruiter.com in Minneapolis. This can be a good opportunity for outside candidates with research and networking skills since most companies will try to promote from within or rely on employee referrals."


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

The "value" of a college education is way overrated. But not if you are part of the great education industry which needs evermore fodder for its factories.

FWIW, I taught one year more than forty years ago (yikes!) at a four- year college and was severely upbraided for not passing all my students as that didn't fill seats, but instead hurt our "reputation".


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

The "value" of a college education is way overrated

Ridiculous statement..Try and get a decent paying job without one...your personal experience of 1 year of teaching college students 40 years ago is completely irrelevant.. Good/reputable schools don't want their graduates to be unprepared for jobs, as THAT would be harmful to their reputations,so passing unqualified students is NOT in their best interest..

If you want to say third rate schools/for-profit schools do as you suggest,perhaps it may be true


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

>>The "value" of a college education is way overrated >>

Sorry, I have to agree with qdwag here. Is a degree overrated? Sure. Is it a requirement 90% of the time to get into a white-collar job? Yes, it is.

I was a career executive asst. for over thirty years. When I worked at a large consulting company's regional office, for five out of the seven years I was there I was ranked among the top three EAs. I loved what I did and was very, very good at it.

BUT - I don't have a college degree. Had I stayed where I was, it wouldn't have been a problem. But I moved on to other companies, and six years later when the economy started to slow down and salaries dropped, I was at a huge disadvantage in the search for a new job. At least 50% of the Admin/Exec Asst postings would not even consider anyone without a four-year degree.

It didn't matter that I had a great resume with excellent references and high-level technical skills. Without a degree, a lot of companies no longer will accept the 'equivalent work experience' criteria.

I was good enough at what I did that my old consulting boss has asked me three times in the last ten years to come back and be his EA again. Unfortunately, he moved down to a local office that is 40 miles from where I currently live, so it just wasn't feasible commute-wise to do.

So I'm a prime example that networking makes a difference, but if you want to stay employed in a competitive job market, you will find a degree useful for getting your foot in the door.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

If you want to have an office job and you have the ability to complete a 4 year degree then I agree that just having the piece of paper is helpful (although I think that if you have a degree from X University it matters not if you spent your first 2 years at Y Community College and then transferred to X for the last 2 years).

But, in my opinion, the vast majority of people are not suited by interest or ability to obtain a 4 year degree and the expectation that everyone obtain such a degree ends up with 4 year schools becoming schools with very low standards for the degree. Colleges are full of people who should not be there in the first place and they colleges have to lower their standards in courses so that people don't flunk out. So you end up having people spending 4 years at college for a degree that is enormously expensive but really hasn't provided much of an education.

Part of the reason you end up with all these people in college is that schools and, well, everyone is on the mantra that everyone must go to college and failing to obtain a college degree means you are a failure.

This is not good for anyone -- except the financial health of colleges. There are plenty of things that people can do that actually earn a living that don't really require a college degree and is not unskilled labor.

I was recently looking at some of the Associates Degrees in Applied Science from a variety of community colleges. There were many types of training: Auto repair, Dental Assistant, Veterinary Assistant, Culinary Arts, Restaurant management, Construction, Pharmacy technician, and so on. Many people in these fields do earn a living just fine and bear in mind that many kids would be better off choosing such a field even in capable of attending 4 year college if they are just not academically inclined.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

your personal experience of 1 year of teaching college students 40 years ago is completely irrelevant.

That's why I linked to one of many articles illustrating the uselessness of general arts college degrees with statistics, as anecdotal evidence is generally dismissed as irrelevant. Though in our personal lives I'd bet it's the thing we rely on the most--though that's only anecdotal!

I'm always fascinated by looking at the Forbes list of the wealthiest persons in the world. Count the college dropouts, like Bill Gates.

From my law school class (I dropped out) perhaps the most successful grads practiced for a year, then opened up a trendy restaurant and other businesses that are still thriving 40 years later. Another went into politics and is the most powerful federal Cabinet Minister. Another is a software whiz.

When 20% of the population had college degrees, a degree meant something. With "education for all", general degrees are meaningless. Though they do nourish a robust trade in custom essays/theses etc. I will write you college essay for cash!

To the OP: Putting yourself in penury for the sake of a college degree for junior is a big mistake.


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RE: Selling home for son's college education?

To the OP: Putting yourself in penury for the sake of a college degree for junior is a big mistake.

My first thought when I saw the title of the OP was "are you out of your effin mind?"


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