Have a starting budget - a little less worried :)

My S15 took advantage of a sizable NMF scholarship and is a happy freshman at OU. Other than getting the cash-on-hand in order by August for a year abroad, I’m pretty sure he is set.

But I’ve been more worried about my D18, who is just as bright and as good a standardized test-taker as her brother, but is less likely to accept the big scholarships far away IF she should happen to qualify. However… I think we have a starting budget.

Current 529 + projected deposits between now & graduation + limited GI bill benefits transferred from her dad + shifting over the money currently paid for piano/voice lessons & semi-pro children’s choir fees + conservative potential summer work earnings of her own… divided over 4 years = ballpark current COA at the state school campus she is most likely to attend if she goes to one of our non-flagships (music, math, linguistics & education interests) - before ANY scholarships or grants or loans.

It’s not a large budget, and I’m sure costs will continue to rise. But with some merit, and maybe some institutional aid - she may have some choices when graduation rolls around.

Just had to put this out there - it’s a big deal for me, as a single parent with median income, tiny assets and extremely limited support from the NCP. I get sad, and a little paranoid, reading all the money threads coming out this time of year. Figuring this out the other day now helps me not to panic - maybe I can’t give her the world, but I can position her to achieve.

tl/dr - My kid can go to college :slight_smile:

Make sure your D knows her fiscal limits and help her in selecting some workable options.

@“Erin’s Dad” That’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Having a number to plan from would be no use if the kid wasn’t clued in. I have absorbed one or two things in since first perusing CC :wink:

Good job having the money talk early @cmb1828 ! Planning ahead is key to having choices in the spring of senior year. Some folks have to plan academically, some financially and some have to do both to make sure it all works out, but it can be done. I wish you and your D18 all the best.


I am in a similar position (single parent, limited assets, not expecting help from NCP), but am three years behind you. D17 will likely attend a school far away, on a NM or other full-tuition scholarship. S20 will be more likely to want to be near home. I think my planned budget will provide for her, and get him to our state flagship, with no loans for any of us. Fingers crossed that it works out as planned!

How wonderful! Similar circumstances here (both kids in college/done now) and planning for the financial reality and possibilities is so important. I look forward to hearing about your D’s process!

Kudos for figuring out the money situation so early in the college process! I guess that’s a benefit of this being the second round (I learned a lot in my first go-around). I found having the money constraint helped, rather than hurt, the whole process. We eliminated a lot of schools upfront just by running the NPC and saying “uh, no - that’s ridiculous. we can’t afford that.”

Who knows, maybe once she sees how her brother is doing, she may want to go after the big money as well. Good luck with your daughter!

Good for you looking at this and figuring things out!