$$$$ For College

Updated on August 08, 2009
M.M. asks from Rockwall, TX
6 answers

Wondering if any mamas have been saving for college? Have a 13 year old and 8 year old and back in the younger days we pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck. Well before I realized it---I've got 5 years to try and gather some $$ for her college! Not much more for the 8 year old. Not expecting to be able to cover it all, but would like to get something going for them. I know they can get student loans but we won't be able to recieve goverment loan assistance if it goes by income(?) Any ideas??

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answers from Dallas on

Don't waste time, start saving now. The idea of going to college or not is not an option at this house.

We set up the college fund for our 14 yr old as soon as she was born. We had target numbers $$ to put in each year. When the market dropped, we added more than our plan to keep it up. We have a 529 for her and it has been a priority.

At this time, she is fully funded, we are still adding though, she wants to study in Itlay for a year, YIKES. We always told her she could go anywhere she wanted to go.

The community colleges, especially Quad C has a good program for nailing down the basics for the first 2 years if they want to do that.

Scholarships are also available of all sorts and kinds. You can't count on them though!! There is a lot of competition for them...academic, sport and music. Scholarships are great, just don't bank on it. You never know....your star athlete might get injured, and not be able to play, therefore, knocking your plan of a free ride out.

Good luck!! It is a big job.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It's definitely a good idea to start saving--and researching--now. There is a HUGE range in how much college can cost, and also in how one can pay for it. Almost all federal aid (loans and grants) are need-based, so whether or not you qualify will be based upon your family's income. But, even if you make decent money, you can still qualify if your kids goes to a really expensive college (Ivy League colleges cost more than $50,000 per year these days!). You can get private loans, but they are more expensive, since you have to pay interest from day one, instead of having the interest forgiven until the student finishes school. There are an enormous range of scholarships, which can and do help, but it's very rare to get any scholarship--sports or academic based--that will cover the whole thing. But there are lots of options available, you just have to figure out what's best for your child and your family. Do start saving as much as you can. We started as soon as DD was born, but are only able to put in $50/mo--this will certainly help, but to put things into perspective, I used one of those online calculators and figured out that with an 8% return on investment (and who gets that these days?), we would have to put away $1000 per month from the day DD was born (YES, you read that right, and yes, there are 3 zeros there) if we wanted to pay for an Ivy League education (assuming their tuition will go up at least as much as inflation). On the other hand, Harvard gives need based aid to any family that makes less than $180,000/year--so we'd definitely qualify as needy!! Funding college is a really complicated thing--the best I can suggest is to do your research, and figure out what the best thing to do is for YOUR kid, depending upon her strengths and desires and what's best for your family. Start putting away as much as you can now, but also look into as many scholarships and sources of aid as you can. And good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

College can be very expensive and it is better to start saving now than to wait til its time for the thirteen year old to start. One thing to remember is that you do not need to have all the money on day 1. College will phase over a 4 or 5 year period, so it looks like you will need these funds for about 10 years (but at least they probably won't be in college at the same time.
The community college is an excellent value to get the first two years of college out of the way at a much lower cost. Another idea is to take advantage of dual enrollment that is offered by many high schools. A student can earn college credit taking classes during high school at low (or in some districts no) costs. If you child if very bright, they might also take some AP classes in high school and the tests and earn college credit.
Figure out what you can set aside from your budget each month and start saving. Think about things you can do -postpone purchase of a car and save that money for college.

Check with your local high school-they have a college planning session in the fall that goes over things like planning for college and applying for college and financial aid issues. Go and learn as much as you can. You might pick up some good tips and you will get a realistic view of the costs of college. You will be way ahead of some parents who don't think of funding college until there kids are in high school.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, start saving and setting up accounts NOW. I'm not sure what is presently available but check into state programs. We did the Texas Tomorrow fund and it truly helped.

This was also the main reason I started my own small business as an Independent Shaklee Distributor. I only put in 5-10 hours per week, but I make a little money to put away each month. Every little bit helps. If you are interested in doing what I do contact me. Otherwise consider something else on the side.

Best of Luck,



answers from Dallas on

It's never too late to start saving. Try an educational Saving Account, otherwise known as the ESA. It's a GREAT way to save money for the kids, and it grows tax free!!Your child will be able to get loans, and as parents you can get loans as well despite your income. If you can though, I would definitely cash flow your childrens educations, so they can come out debt-free with a fresh start. Do what you can, stay focused, and pray alot. You'll look up, and have more than you thought you could save in 5 years. Good luck!


answers from Dallas on


They grow up fast don't they? It seems like the older I get the faster time goes.

I just wanted to share what I've done for college money. I have 5 kids between my husband and I. My oldest is 17. She didn't do well all through high school so sending her to even a community or jr college would be a waste of money. So we've decided on the air force for her. I have twin boys who are 14 and a girl who is 13. One of the boys and the girl are outstanding basketball players. The boy is number 1 in his state for his age group and the girl was picked to be one of 10 on the jr wnba team. So their college will be taken care of by scholarships, I'm sure. But the other boy and my 6 year old may need to be paid for.

I started my botanically based skin care, health and wellness business for that purpose. I now am doing it full time and absolutely love it! I started it 2 years ago while I was working a full time job and did it right along side everything else I was doing.

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