Help me to understand something...

<p>I've seen threads here about parents refusing to pay for their child's college and the child is in a panic. Idk if its just me or not but I honestly don't think its a big deal. My parents told me back in middle school they weren't paying for my college and told me for years on how I could get money for college. I've come out just fine.</p>

<p>Now I'm not sure if some of these parents are refusing to pay for things outside of tuition like housing and food..then yeh there would be a big panic I suppose. IS this the case? </p>

<p>I'm not trying to be funny or anything but I would like to know IS this is the case most times...</p>

<p>Dont wanna be mean but....why do u care?</p>

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My parents told me back in middle school they weren't paying for my college and told me for years on how I could get money for college. I've come out just fine.

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<p>Amber, perhaps you would like to share how you have fully funded your college education without any help from your parents. Many students post this questions annually and perhaps some could benefit from your experience.</p>

<p>Also, if you choose to post information, please include your costs for attending college as there is a huge difference in cost between attending a community college part time while living at home and attending a four year private residential college.</p>

<p>And remember too...housing and food costs for some college locations can well exceed $12000 a year.</p>

<p>You were fortunate your parents told you that early so you could adjust your expectations. Many of these parents don't until crunch time comes during senior year. In the meantime kids have gotten their expectations up about their $50,000/year dream school. Yes, details about how you did it would help: commuting and living at home or big debts? If big debts are you done with school now and facing paying them off yet?</p>

<p>And yes, most of these parents aren't contributing to housing and food for staying on campus as well as tuition not paying for tuition.</p>

<p>And some parents apparently won't even fill out the FAFSA, making even a community college a burden to kids who -- let's be honest -- don't usually earn enough from their little summer jobs and part-time employment to cover community college costs, books, meals, and housing if they can't live at home anymore.</p>

<p>There's also apparently this culture -- I think it might be an American thing -- that parents shouldn't talk about their finances with their children. I don't get it myself, but it seems shockingly prevalent considering how many kids literally have no idea how much their parents make until mid-July, long after the FAFSA priority deadline dates at most colleges. I'm sure there's a good reason for this behavior, but I've always felt that even if you view money as some kind of taboo subject that you should at least mention if you're going to help pay for college and if so how much. Keeping that a secret while the kid scurries around racking up acceptances at NYU and High Point seems callous and childish.</p>

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My parents told me back in middle school they weren't paying for my college and told me for years on how I could get money for college.

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<p>It would be very enlightening for us to know what strategies your parents told you to pursue for obtaining the money for a college education. It would also be enlightening to know where you lived in middle and high school if some of those strategies depended on jobs that are not available nationally. It would also be enlightening to know both * where * and * when * you went to college. If you graduated from college more than 10 years ago, some of your strategies just might not be enough now.</p>

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Now I'm not sure if some of these parents are refusing to pay for things outside of tuition like housing and food..then yeh there would be a big panic I suppose. IS this the case?

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<p>As thumper1 pointed out, housing and food costs can easily be as much as $12K at some places. For an in-state SUNY student who wants to live on campus, the room&board will easily be $10K or $12K (or more) while current in-state tuition is only a bit more than $6K.</p>

<p>And yes, many of the students posting in a panic about their parents not paying are talking about parents who will not pay a dime towards * any * college expense and often will not fill out the FAFSA either. Those students really are being held over the proverbial barrel by the parents: Without the parents' information on the FAFSA, the student cannot take out any federal Stafford loans---loans that are in the student's name and put no obligation on the parents at all. And without the Staffords, it is extremely difficult for a student with no parental support and little or no income to actually afford even a local CC, let alone a four year school to which one can't commute from home.</p>

<p>*Now I'm not sure if some of these parents are refusing to pay for things outside of tuition like housing and food..then yeh there would be a big panic I suppose. IS this the case? *</p>

<p>If they weren't paying for tuition, why would they pay for room and board?
Reasoning could be, once you are an adult/18, you are on your own.
On your own- doesn't get rent and meals included.
;)</p>

<p>Okay I wasn't trying to be funny at all. I was just curious. I'm only 22 and I don't know everything lol...</p>

<p>My dad told me to apply for scholarships and told me that just only academics wouldn't help me get into college My dad is the type of person who doesn't see no as an option. We are all from Mississippi but don't live there now. He himself basically grew up in the "hood" but he kept straight As and he was into music. Academic Scholarships paid for his college right along with him being in his college's band. </p>

<p>I hope people aren't mad at me for making this thread...</p>

<p>But since everyone asked what I did...I never planned well as much as my parents wanted me to or pushed me to. My parents thing was they were never going to pay for the tuition or books. They could have easily paid for it but was I going to waste their money or actually work for something I paid for...</p>

<p>I didn't realize something was different until I told my friend who's in college as well that I was paying tuition. She was like "damn what makes you want to go?". </p>

<p>When I graduated from high school(In Texas) we moved to Washington (my dad is in the military). My plan was to always attend community college b/c I knew it was cheaper and the first two years is always the same at almost any college from what I've seen. I did AmeriCorps for a year to get their education award then I started at a community college. </p>

<p>I know some people knock on community colleges but there are some really good ones where I live and they have a good relationship with the universities here. I had small class sizes and it was a good adjustment. To pay for it I used my ed. award, a scholarship and a school grant(which I don't know how I got) b/c my parents EFC was always over COA. </p>

<p>I then transferred to University of Washington-Tacoma(tuition is the same as Seattle campus). I wasn't always too worried about what college I went to which may not always be good. But I was always looking at prices and the validity of their programs. I suppose since my parents told me early on it just made me more conscientious. I received so much mail from Cornell in my sophomore year. I really had no idea what Cornell was...(i know right). I checked out the website, the price and said nevermind. Maybe if I was a resident I wouldn't care as much. </p>

<p>Anyhow when I got to the University of Washington I paid for tuition through a loan but it was tuition only. Other than that I commuted from home. I had a job on the military base as a flex position and it paid well. I used that money toward books, gas, food, and going out. If I wanted to save on gas I would take the bus. I live about 45mins to 1 hour from my school. I know what I'm doing isn't ideal for some of the CC students but its workable. And I know I came out with some loans but they are very minimal compared to 50k a year. </p>

<p>As for those people who's parents won't give them their tax information for FAFSA...I honestly don't know.</p>

<p>Amber, you had a goal in mind...getting your bachelors degree, and you found a way to achieve it at a much lower cost than what most students have. PLUS you realized the value of graduating with minimal debt, and were willing to commute and do the CC route too. Congratulations and best of luck to you...your plan is one that works if money is tight.</p>

<p>Thanks thumper. I don't want to lead anyone on but I'm still not done with college yet though. It will still be a challenge to see what I'll be doing to pay for 1-2 more years since I've changed my major to one that will actually make me money and be a lot more interesting.</p>

<p>I think the "panic" is because some parents don't tell their kids that they won't pay (or won't pay much) until it's too late for the student to make other choices....and the student has been "strung along" during the entire senior year not being told the truth.</p>

<p>Imagine having a handful of acceptances in the spring of senior year and then the parents say, "Uh...we're not paying." </p>

<p>That is not the time to tell kids these things. For a child who has been allowed to apply to many schools - including "sleep away" schools - when the parents have known all along that they aren't paying - neglecting to tell the child in a timely manner is just cruel. </p>

<p>You were "lucky" (in a way) that your parents told you early, so you didn't have unworkable expectations. You knew that you could commute from home (with parents providing food and shelter) and still get a good education. </p>

<p>Many kids from my generation did that because their parents couldn't afford to send their kids away to school nor pay for tuition. Many took out loans for tuition and paid for other costs with part-time jobs as you did.</p>

<p>That is still largely possible for students in states where in state tuition is still rather lowish and the students live close enough to commute to such a school.</p>

<p>Like Gardna I do not understand the culture of children not knowing what their parents make. This creates false beliefs/expectations about college affordability and general financial ignorance as well. Furthermore - it contributes to students inability to reconcile their own career plans with the income that they need to support the lifestyle they want for themselves.</p>

<p>OP - you were lucky your parents let you in on their expectations early on. You were also lucky that they have always lived near a college you could commute to.</p>

<p>I suspect that at least some of those parents who refuse to fill out the FAFSA for their kids have been doing "creative" things with their taxes for years...... perhaps even forgetting to file????</p>

<p>amber,</p>

<p>You're also lucky in that your parents have continued to support you while you live at home---i.e. they are paying for your rent, your food, etc. And even though you don't think of it as "rent" because your living at home doesn't directly increase the cost of their rent/mortgage payment, it is still something that some (not all) of the students who are panicking about how to pay for college with no parent support do not have.</p>

<p>You also write: "Anyhow when I got to the University of Washington I paid for tuition through a loan but it was tuition only." This seems to imply that you also have parents who have been willing to fill out the FAFSA so that you can get those loans. So while your parents are not providing financial support in the sense of paying $$ to the school, they are providing you with financial support in the sense of making it possible for you to obtain the loans you need and not worry about day-to-day costs of room and board. </p>

<p>There are students whose parents won't even fill out the FAFSA. These are the students that are in real pickles and do receive sympathy as well as long, careful advice---often involving the suggestions of going to a CC and living at home.</p>

<p>But you are correct that some of the students posting "what to do? my parents won't pay?" do come across as having a sense of entitlement to go to expensive $50K private college that won't provide any need-based aid (or insufficient aid) and has no merit based aid. Those students are routinely told by parents on this forum that they need to wise up, face facts, and start seriously looking at CC or in-state colleges that are close enough to commute to and reasonable enough to finance with Stafford loans, an appropriate part time job and living at home to minimize non-tuition expenses for college.</p>

<p>Well I filled out the FAFSA myself...my parents just handed me their tax return although this last go around since everything was so different my mom had to correct a few things herself..</p>

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Well I filled out the FAFSA myself...my parents just handed me their tax return although this last go around since everything was so different my mom had to correct a few things herself.

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<p>Handing you the filled in tax form is * exactly * the kind of help some kids can't get from the parents. That's the main part of the help that's actually needed from the parents, along with some other basic financial information about assets and current money in the bank that some parents, for reasons that make no sense to me, will not give their own kids while at the same time telling the kids to figure out how to pay for college on their own.</p>

<p>You're also lucky to have two parents who are still married to each other. A lot of kids have non-custodial parents. While that won't mess up their FAFSA, if they are enrolled in a CSS Profile college that requires non-custodial parent information, it causes another whole big set of headaches.</p>

<p>"Like Gardna I do not understand the culture of children not knowing what their parents make. This creates false beliefs/expectations about college affordability and general financial ignorance as well. Furthermore - it contributes to students inability to reconcile their own career plans with the income that they need to support the lifestyle they want for themselves."</p>

<p>Knowing parents' income doesn't mean students know what their parents can afford or how much the parents are willing to pay for college. </p>

<p>Given that need-based aid exists, students may falsely assume that whatever college they apply to will make up the difference between what their parents can pay and the cost of college.</p>

<p>^ ... to the OP ... by letting you commute from home your parents are picking up a BIG part of a typical college bill ... for my oldest room and board to be at school is about $11k/yr ... so even given your very well-thought out and mature plan for college if you had to come up with an additional $44,000 for room and board that might raise your anxiety level quite a bit.</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>Well, they're not really "picking up a big part" of the financial bill. They are minimizing/elimininating what would be a big part of a college bill if she were to go away to school. The parents - in such a case - are just absorbing the much smaller costs of having a child live at home.</p>

<p>Rarely would it ever cost a parent $11k per year to have a child live at home. My parents - at one time - had 3 kids living at home and commuting to college. It didn't cost them the equivalent of 3 students' room and board expenses. It really just cost them (some) food and additional utilities. The reason I say "some" food is because college kids don't typically eat all of their meals at home.</p>

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Knowing parents' income doesn't mean students know what their parents can afford or how much the parents are willing to pay for college.

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<p>That's true, but it seems like a lot of parents don't tell their kids anything until sometime around mid-July, when they offhandedly mention that, oh, by the way, we're bankrupt, the power's been shut off, and a loan shark is coming to cut off our legs. I don't really object to the idea of parents not sharing their financial information with their children -- although I can't really understand why -- but I do think that if you're not planning to pay for college you should probably mention that before the child starts applying to colleges, and not wait until after the tuition deposit has been paid to NYU and the child has already replaced their entire wardrobe with colorful college regalia. It just seems so unnecessarily stressful.</p>

<p>Anyway, I think the OP gets the point now, right? The issue isn't so much, "My parents told me ahead of time that they couldn't pay, ahead of time so I had to make suitable arrangements," but "My parents and I came up with college plans based on resources that don't exist, and now I'm stressed out and freaked because I have to make alternative plans at least two months after I should have already finished all of this."</p>

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Rarely would it ever cost a parent $11k per year to have a child live at home.

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<p>You'll usually find that living on-campus inflates college expenses quite a bit, compared to living at home with parents or (get this) even living in an apartment near the college. The cynical part of me suspects that the latter issue is why some colleges require students who aren't commuting from home to live on-campus the first year.</p>

<p>I don't really object to the idea of parents not sharing their financial information with their children -- although I can't really understand why -</p>

<p>I know why some parents don't like sharing such info.... Because kids can have a very naive idea of how much it costs to run a household or how much parents have to save for retirement, etc.</p>

<p>Some kids hear things like...we have $200k saved or we earn $10k per month and think...gee, I should be able to get that new car I want and if mom and dad say no, they're just being cheap. </p>

<p>My dad never earned a lot of money, but he was good at investing so he has a lot of assets. He never told us how much they had when we were growing up because we would have become annoying nags expecting our parents to buy us expensive stuff all the time. My parents knew that they would need that money in "their old age." Which is now...dad just turned 90 last week!</p>