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college savings for your kids

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goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
goodnatured's page
Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

Subject: college savings for your kids
 
Posted on Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:54 pm  

With the rising cost of education I thought this would be a good topic to kick around. I seen a post on consolidating student loans. With all the options available with grants and loans, should one start saving when a child is pre teen for college? I know it is always good to be prepared, but is it necessary? Especially if you are on a tight budget. I started doing the Upromise campaign about three years ago, it is pretty cool, you shop, you save, it has been accumulating on my groceries mainly. You can also put friends on it, so when they shop you save for your kid for college too.
sdchargers_63

sdchargers_63

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
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1901 Magic Points

Subject: college
 
Posted on Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:24 pm  

Great question!! I have a 14 year old. He's in 9th grade now. I would like to know ( too ) if anyone has any advice on this. Education can get expensive. If you can't get grants, loans,etc..hen where do you turn? I tried Upromise, at one time. They kept saying I wasn't giving them " valid information" ( bank account, etc.), so, I couldn't start anything with them. I just don't get it.
debtstinker



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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-11 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:48 am  

Hi...you pose a great question. as a recent college grad, hubby and i were fortunate enough to have assistant ships to pay for tuition and we got a stipend that was pretty nice. additionally I had VA since I was a dependent of a permanent and totally disabled veteran, my dad. Despite this income and lots of college students don't even come close to that, hubby and i had to consolidate our student loans totaling 25k. what on earth di dthat money do? now that i look back i'm not sure...i think for books and such as our assistant ships didn't cover that and any money left over including va and stipends went for food, rent and all other expenses. My point is even with that tremendous financial help, we still owe and continue paying a pretty hefty monthly payment. I think it would be a great idea to start now, sd, talking to your teenager's guidance counselor. Talking with your children and helping them establish goals such as where they want to go for college can help us as parents get more information. Apply early for scholarships (we did around the junior yr of high school), grants, pell grants, all kinds of things. This even included Reader's digests scholarships, Coke scholarships. we had to do some research. Unfortunately it's not easy for many of us to save for our children's college. My parents told me that I had to find my own way and thanks to guidance I did...
Upromise is a great program and will add up over the years. you wouldn't think so but it does. I also believe there's a program where you can put tax deferred money into your child's account that is specifically designed for their schooling. I can't remember now the name and i don't know if it's state specific but that's pretty nice since it's tax sheltered. great topic!
desiree15



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
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951 Magic Points

Subject: Building a Future for your Child. . .
 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:34 am  

I agree it is very expensive even with financial assistance to aid your children in reaching their planned goals. There were some options I should have chosen to help aid some of the financial burden of obtaining a degree and / or traveling abroad, my only suggestion and I am sure there are more out there would be to open a savings acct and do not touch what you invest in there. Even if it is only a small amount of money you put in there if you do not touch it it has the potential to accumulate interest. One of my good friends happened to be fortunate in the sense her parents invested for her a savings acct and when she got her own job she put forth some money for the acct also which eventually after two years was a down payment for a vehicle for her to get around in. To make a long story short, for every situation there is a different solution however instead of asking my parents to help me pay college related bills I wish I would have invested some of my meager income at college ( work based program) into a savings account and use that later one when times get tough. As you probably already know, and I know too, every penny counts. If it is not in your personal acct then you are less likely to spend it. Good luck getting those payments under control it all pays off in the end and is well worth the investment. . .
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:27 am  

I am working on it, I am getting there slowly but surely, I am not worried just don't have the patience to wait for the next pay check to be all gone, LOL.

I will continue with the Upromise program, I have been able to accumulate a little bit anyway, every little bit helps.

I know when I went through I had the whole thing paid for by the veterans administration because of being a disabled veteran.
debtstinker



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 272



-11 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:19 pm  

Ok, gotta question...did you say that buying groceries and products under the upromise helps to accumulate money for your child and that others who buy products under the upromise can gain money for your child? i'm not that familiar with that program but should be now that we have a little one...thanks good
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:18 pm  

How it works is you sign up for the program, you register all your cards on a secure site, you send out emails and invite others to join you in saving for your kid also. Every time you or your friends and family use your grocery card, you get money toward your childs account. Some companies like Kraft really put the points out there. Google Upromise with a capital U, it is really easy to sign up for, I think it is a good program and does not cost you a dime. You get statements from them quarterly. I will google it and pm you the link.
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:23 pm  

I pmed you the link, if it don't work, just google it, I am gonna go on and see what I have saved up.
sdchargers_63

sdchargers_63

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
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1901 Magic Points

Subject: school
 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:55 pm  

if I go back to school, the military will pay for ALOT of it. Just concern about my son, though. He can probably get grants, etc, because of my income...but, I want to try to save for him, too.
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:18 pm  

I think you are probably right sdchargers, how old is he? I know with pell and phea, and then all the scholarships out there from companies and organizations. Should take care of quite a bit.

One thing for you to keep in mind is your veteran organization, the legions, vfw and other organizations like this often have scholarships for $1000 or more. My local legion has 5 seniors write essays on a subject, usually the flag and they award a few of them the scholarship for thier first year. So keep this information so that when he is ready you can have him apply. You can apply at more than one also, the other one in the county next door, simply asks the student to write a need letter and come in and present it to the board, they usually give around $500, the will cover alot of expense. So there are resources out there, just takes some digging to find them. Never hurts to start early and start a file on where and what you need to do.
debtstinker



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 272



-11 Magic Points

 
Posted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:34 am  

Sd, that's really wonderful that you have a goal of saving for your son's college. believe me if you can do it please do if at all possible. while you may do just a little at a time that will add up AND while it just may help him with books and stuff because often the financial resources don't cover books and other expenses that are associated with college. Good really really really appreciate you pming me that. i haven't gotten it yet but am going to google it and see if i can't sign up.
sdchargers_63

sdchargers_63

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
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1901 Magic Points

Subject: school
 
Posted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:00 am  

Yep...ANYTHING I save DOES add up..."alittle at a time"......I think that's my motto for just about everything!! LOL Works for me!! LOL
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:51 pm  

sdchargers, your son will have motivation and work ethic that he sees you do everyday. I am sure he will be a very resourceful person when he grows up too. Don't take too much worry on your shoulders just yet, just do what you can.
I see he is 14, is he involved in any sports or clubs that offer scholarships? If this is his goal to go to college, he should start keeping a note book of all the resources and the deadlines to apply. I know some of them require you to start in the 11th grade to apply. He won't want to miss out on those opportunities.

The reason I ask about the sports and clubs is, there are opportunities that business offer for like "future business leaders" club and etc. You have to be a member of the club to even apply. something to watch out for.
debtstinker



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 272



-11 Magic Points

 
Posted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:52 pm  

Plus it looks good on his college apps if he's a part of leadership organizations, additionally if he holds a leadership position within those groups that is an added bonus. I was VP of Future Business Leaders of America...colleges and universities want to see intiative on the students' parts. Sports is a great area to get into! I know it's hard to do everything but if he can be versatile that will not only make him eligible for scholarships, and grants, but some schools will offer individual scholarships only associated with the college too. Like the university I went to and taught at, our football players had all books and accessories paid for through the school's athletic program, a perk for our athletes! good luck sd
goodnatured



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Posts: 3931



389 Magic Points

 
Posted on Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:04 pm  

Sounds like you have a heard start anyway, just putting thought into it is a great start. I would have him do internet searches. Do you know what he is interested in doing, a college or a technical school. That is important to think about too, cost wise there is a big difference. You will also want to check out the labor market trend for what he wants to go into, you can find this information on the department of labor and industry website to see if there is predicted growth in the field.

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