Help me to understand something...

<p>Ah, that makes a lot of sense, then. I guess it really is a cultural thing then. I spent much of my childhood living with my parents in Sierra Leone, and over there teenage-aged children have a major role in helping to run the household. Not knowing how much money it costs to run the household is like an American kid reaching adulthood without knowing how much it costs to fuel a car or where they can buy food.</p>

<p>But I digress; that's still not much of a reason to not tell your kid, "Sorry, I can't afford to pay for you to go to college," or "I can only pay X amount of money per year for your college, so you have to stick to that price range unless you get other financial assistance."</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>Oh I agree! I think parents need to be "upfront and honest" about how much they can spend for college and they need to do so well before senior year (before a young person gets his heart set on an unaffordable school).</p>

<p>I think some parents avoid the subject because....</p>

<p>1) They're embarrassed that they can't afford as much as they "should" be able to afford.</p>

<p>2) They're afraid that if they say too high of a number, their child will only apply to schools that cost that much and won't look for scholarship opportunities.</p>

<p>3) They're just weird about money. LOL</p>

<p>But, getting back to children knowing about the family budget and how much things cost...</p>

<p>I think it was easier when families only had a small number of regular expenses...mortgage/rent, electric, phone, food, gasoline, insurance. Now, people can have long lists of regular expenses....cable/satellite, cell phones, various credit cards, internet, gym memberships, private school tuition, larger health co-payments/deduction, etc, in addition to the previously mentioned ones. It's hard for a kid to wrap his head around 15+ regular expenses each month.</p>

<p>Those reasons all make sense (especially the bit about avoiding scholarship opportunities), and I hadn't thought about from that perspective before. I can definitely see the logic behind not going into all of that. Now that I think about it, there's always the issue of parents whose income comes primarily from some kind of business or investment; that can fluctuate pretty dramatically from year to year, as I've seen on this very board, and a college that was affordable freshman year might skyrocket into unaffordability (that should really be an English word!) because of a rough year or a general economic recession.</p>

<p>
[quote]
"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."

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Did I miss something? The OP...Amber2010 DID have a plan and has implemented it. She is not freaking out, is she?</p>

<p>I wish other posters would read the plan Amber laid out. Her plan saved considerable money on her college education and her goal of getting a bachelors degree is therefore attainable even without getting significant monetary help from her parents. Good for her!!!</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>

<p>I think what Gardna means is that the OP now understand why OTHER kids freak out. Those kids often learn wayyy too late that their parents can't/won't pay. Gardna isn't saying that the OP ever freaked out.</p>

<p>Yeah, I was trying to answer the question from the OP, about her confusion why the other kids who posted here freak out. The ones that freak out are the ones who didn't have parents who acted as the OP's parents did, and who mistakenly or deliberately created higher than reasonable expectations.</p>

<p>She had a brilliant plan, and one that I kind of wish more people would at least keep on the backburner if plan A falls through.</p>

<p>Agreed...I even suggested that another poster (whose parents won't pay for college) read Amber2010's plan.</p>

<p>so are you saying your paying for school tuition, room, board, books etc, That is great how did you do it?</p>

<p>@wanderer53</p>

<p>The OP explained her strategy in earlier posts in this thread. Go back and read them.</p>

<p>In brief: she did Americorps for a year. Then went to a local community college while living at home. Transfered to another local-ish 4year college and continued to live at home. She has scholarships and she works part-time and is frugal with her money.</p>

<p>She planned every step of the way. If an option appeared with a ridiculous price tag, such as Cornell's COA, she tossed it immediately and moved on quickly to affordable plans.</p>

<p>so are you saying your paying for school tuition, room, board, books etc, That is great how did you do it?</p>

<p>NO. She's saying that she **lived at home **while she went to **instate **public schools. She paid with scholarships. small student loans, and a part-time job.</p>

<p>No room and board costs....no out-of-state tuition costs.</p>

<p>When your instate public's tuition isn't too expensive, and the student can live at home for free, a student can sometimes pay for the costs himself thru loans and a part-time job. </p>

<p>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>........ 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.*</p>

<p>Good and believable story. I would assume that OP lives in Ft. Lewis, from where it is a 50 minute drive to U Washington, Tacoma. The only caution here would be the need to graduate quickly. If the parents were to get transferred to another post or father was to retire, then living situation would change. So if someone were to follow this plan, they also should make sure they complete within a given time frame. In a four year residential college, there is more visibility and peer pressure to graduate in time. When you are commuter, work part time, you could loose track of time.</p>

<p>The OP appears to be pretty level headed and has a plan that is not sexy but achievable and very commendable.</p>

<p>Yeh I live a little south of Fort Lewis but as you as stated my family is pcsing. I will be moving into an on campus apt come end of Sept. Everything is covered for this year.</p>