Paying for college, loans? Expected GPA?

For our son, we’re paying a substantial chunk of his undergraduate degree. Anything beyond that, he’ll need to pay on his own, and he understands that. Question 1-For the remainder, any thoughts about how you’ve seen this successfully managed? We pay our chunk up front and he takes out a loan for the rest? Or we do this annually? Question 2-We’d like him to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, if not, we wouldn’t continue to pay. (Give or take, we’re not going to be ridiculous if it dips a bit below that, but we’re not going to pump in money, if he doesn’t do his part of the deal. Thoughts? Feedback?

Depending on the “chunk” you’re expecting him to pay with loans,he may be best to take out federal loans each year as they are only available up to a certain amount per year.


If the loans are greater than the $27K max Federal Direct Student loans for the 4 years of undergrad, I would find a more affordable school. What major will he be?


The loan will likely be about $25,000. He will be studying computer science.

As far as maintaining a GPA, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request. What’s his high school GPA? I understand you don’t want him slacking off and do want him to succeed. My oldest son had a high GPA going in so I didn’t feel the need to give him a limit. His brother coming along in a few years might be a different story…

Regarding college GPA, pay attention to any GPA thresholds needed to renew scholarships or gain secondary admission to major, if applicable at the specific college (best to find out about these before deciding on a college).

Remember also that first year college students commonly have the lowest GPAs, due to issues adjusting to college and taking required courses not in their areas of academic strength, while GPAs tend to rise at higher class levels as students focus more on their major courses that are presumably in their areas of greatest interest and academic strength. But also remember that most college students have college GPAs lower than their high school GPAs.

3.0 is a common employer screening GPA when deciding which college applicants to interview (it is not the only criterion, of course).


If he is to borrow $25,000, I’d have him take the federal loan each year, as that is close to how those come out. As opposed to you paying everything the first couple years and then he has to find a place to lend him $25,000 the last couple years.


Is that $25K per year, or in total for 4 years?


$25,000 in total or $25,000 per year?

Sorry, I should have clarified. In the end, he’ll out about $25,000 total, give or take a bit.

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. I’m printing this out as a reminder to us and we move forward. Much appreciated!

As stated he just needs to take out the federal loans and you will be right there. Also as stated, CS is really hard. Don’t be surprised if he dips a full grade point below where he is now then slowly builds it back up. So as long as he’s working, getting help, I would be sorta lenient on the GPA until he gets a good grasp on how to study for college. Most of these kids breeze through high school. College is a different ballgame… If he gets a school job for spending money he can make around $3,000/year. Also if he gets even one internship he can make around $10,000-20,000. Don’t count on it especially if covid hangs around but many do. So he might be able to graduate close to debt free. Somethings to think about.