May 272008

How Much Cash for College Will You Need?

If you’re like I was, a single mom with kids approaching college or possibly in college, you know the pain and frustration of trying to figure out how to send your kids to the best possible college they can get into and then paying for it. My oldest has big ideas, probably got it from her mom, about going to Harvard. She can probably get accepted, she’s a smart kid.But do you know what it costs to send your kid to Harvard? I’m going to need a lot of cash for college.

What Is the Cost for College?

cash for college needed for HarvardWell I didn’t know exactly so I Googled it. For an undergrad degree it costs about $45,000 a year. And for four years of medical school it is around $450,000. They say to think of college as an investment.If you invested that amount of money for four years at 7.5% you’d yield about $209,000. Sink that into an investment that earns 7.5% and after 40 years you’d have close to $3,700,000 dollars. That’s right. Now that’s an investment.

How much money is your kid going to make in a lifetime after you or your kid invests $200k over four years? Hopefully it’s more than $4M. Plus also remember that if you borrow that kind of money you are going to have added interest expenses to go along with that.

OK. OK. Not that many people go to Harvard or expensive schools like that. But even a public college costs somewhere around $23,000 per year for a resident, and $44,000 per year for out of state or non-resident.These numbers are from the University of Michigan undergrad program and include tuition, room and board, books and other expenses. Holy Cow!

How Will You Pay Back Cash for College?

No matter who pays for this, you or your kid, it’s a huge chunk of money by most people’s standards. If you pay for it and you don’t have the money already saved, it means working more hours, leveraging your home or borrowing the money and paying it back. This could put a serious crimp in your lifestyle or plans to retire.

Well I’m faced with this reality. I want my kids to go to college. I think that education is valuable regardless of what you earn because of it. I also want to avoid loading up myself or my kids with a huge debt if I don’t need to.Yes we will research scholarships.I’m pretty sure their dad will contribute, but some single moms aren’t in that situation. They are totally on their own.

It seems a shame to work so hard to get your kids ready for college only to find out that the costs are prohibitive. Well I never take no for an answer when it’s really important. I’ve been looking all over the place for ways to fund my kid’s college and earn some serious chunks of cash. I figure I’ll need roughly $4,000 per month for every year one kid is an undergrad. The way my kids are spaced out, that will amount to eight years of $4,000 per month, close to $400,000.

Well there is a way to fund your child’s education, if you start now, and I found it.You’re not going to make that kind of money instantly but after a while that extra $5,000 a month will go on autopilot. How sweet will that be! No more worrying about tuition when you find cash for college.


  3 Responses to “Great Kids, Great Future, Great Debt? — Find Cash for College”

  1. While this mindset may make YOU feel better, I can assure you, in the end, your child having to pay for their education (or a big chunk of it) will make THEM feel like a million bucks. I really believe that parents who hand things (like a college education) to their kids on a silver platter are doing their children a disservice. I would never call hard work “suffering”. Not working, leaching off society and always looking to someone else to provide the things you want out of life causes everyone else to suffer.

  2. Dear Koryn,

    Thanks for your comment. My kids work very hard and get excellent grades in school. They take pride in their hard school work and the results they achieve. They are also very busy with sports and are not getting into any trouble.

    I am very proud of them and want to help them all I can. I am confident that they will be good citizens if I pay for their college education or not. They are not nor never will be leaches on me or society.

    I think helping them through college is a service I can offer them so that they can contribute to society debt free from the start and sooner rather than later. I’m not handing it to them on a silver platter. They will have some kind of jobs too.

    I worked and went to school with no help from my parents and I assure you that I didn’t feel like million bucks. I was exhausted, had very few friends and no social life. Plus it took me longer than others which put me behind in the promotion game.

    Then I would gloat about how hard I worked and say others didn’t appreciate their education because it was paid for by their parents. Really! Now who am I to say what their experience was. I was just mad because they had it (what seemed to me) so easy.

    But I also understand your position.

  3. Sunday, July 6, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    Hi Koryn. I read your response with care and it seems to me that there is a great deal of emotion invested in it, which is a good thing! Caring for, supporting and educating our children is in my opinion the most important service in our society today. Truly learning the value of a hard-earned dollar and taking pride in one’s own accomplishments are very valid perspectives and I do hope that one day my child will share this view as much as I do.

    My one disagreement with your response however lies in the fact that when children are “handed things” they are destined to become “leaches on society”. When I went through school I was very fortunate to receive a student loan through my province (I live in Canada). I did not have to pay for tuition fees or school supplies until I completed my entire degree. However had I not received that loan I would never have been able to go to university. My family did not have enough money for that and there was no job I could acquire at that young age without any credentials whatsoever that could have come close to paying for my tuition fees.

    However there are many children who cannot receive a loan in order to go to school. They aren’t fortunate enough to live in a region that is willing to help them, or they simply don’t qualify for a loan if they happen to live at home, as if this solves the problem of paying for tuition fees. I don’t want to see my daughter in this situation one day. Loans are getting more difficult to acquire in Ontario. I need to ensure that my child will indeed be able to attend college and that she can devote all of her effort and spare time to her studies, not to a job that pays minimum wage and will cause her to graduate far behind her peers.

    I don’t discount your entire perspective. A child who is handed everything in life is not going to develop into a responsible adult. But a child who has the opportunity to attend college and become a successful professional is indeed someone to be proud of. This is all that Lana Hawkins wishes for you and your children.

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