Financing College

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Paul1611, May 27, 2008.

  1. Paul1611

    Paul1611
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have a number of teenagers who will be graduating High School with in the next year at our church, and of course college is something that the students and parents are starting to look more into. I have spoken with one parent and she is concerned about the costs and the debt that her son will have after graduating( this is a poorer family in our church). We have a youth pastor who graduated college two years ago and as of right now he still owes $ 18, 000. His wife graduated this year and she owes about the same. So between the both of them they are starting out with about $36, 000 in debt. Both of them say they took full advantage of every financial assistance program they could. My pastor also graduated about 8 years ago, and he says he too is still paying on debt accumulated in college. My question is this:
    Is there anyway to graduate college without going into serious debt?
    Did my pastor and youth pastor make some financial mistakes along the way, or does $18, 000 sound about average?
    Can any of you who have been through College/ Seminary offer any advise as far as financing is concerned? Looking back, are there things you now know that you would have done a bit different back then?
    Any info would be great.
     
  2. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    1) Yes, but it requires very good scholarships at a school with reasonable tuition. You can also take advantage of community colleges for the first two years, if the scholarships aren't that great for you.

    2) It depends. If they went to a state school, it might be on the higher end of the spectrum, but if they went to private school, it wouldn't be abnormal. I have a good friend who had some good scholarships but still came out with about that much debt.

    3) I'm not finished with seminary, so I really can't offer advice in that department. I was blessed with a full scholarship for my undergraduate studies, so I graduated debt-free.
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    There is always commitment not to go into debt but plan on a little longer getting through :thumbs:
     
  4. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    The problem with that method, especially in undergraduate, is that you will often lose all scholarships in doing so.

    For example, at my alma mater, you got four years of scholarships, and that's it. You had to be a full-time student to get any scholarships, and if you cut down to part-time, you lost them all without any guarantee of getting them back.

    Also, my school had a tuition cap so that 12-17 hours cost the same amount of tuition money. If you slowed down, it would only end up costing you more.

    Now, if scholarships aren't a factor, then going more slowly might be beneficial.
     
  5. TCGreek

    TCGreek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tough call, I say! A good accredited education is going to cost.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    26,806
    Likes Received:
    78
    Maybe take a little longer, but get a job and work while going to school.

    My wife and I, and two of our children all finished college debt free. Two more of my sons are postponing college while they save for it.

    We have always lived on quite limited resources.

    This may not be the conventional, easy answer, but it can work.
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I second this. The only debt worth having is your home. Take 5, 6 years and work your way through. My wife went this route, and we are so glad, as she graduated with her degree fully paid for. Even the lure of a scholarship is not a reason to get in over your head in debt. I have friends that are 80k+ in the hole in their thirties.
     
  8. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    If you go to a private college without scholarships, it's going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to save the cash to graduate in 6 years. High school diplomas don't open a ton of doors for you. The military may be an option with the GI bill and enlistment bonuses, though.

    There is another very, very, very important factor in play. If you are not a full-time student, generally you will be dropped from your parents' health insurance policy at around 18 or 19. The kind of jobs you can get at 18 don't generally have affordable health insurance coverage. If you pay it out of pocket, that's going to be a major expense.

    The unfortunate reality of the system is that it's stacked against all students except full-time students immediately out of high school.

    I generally think that it's best to go to an affordable institution, based on your scholarships. If you can get good scholarships, then your doors open to a number of schools. If you only get a few scholarships, then you might need to limit your options to state schools. If you don't get any significant financial aid, you should consider going to community college for the first two years.

    If you qualify for Pell Grants, it's very common for the Pell Grants to cover the entire cost of the community college education. You'd only have to find a place to live. If you still live at home, then you can work a part-time job and go full-time to school so that you can have two years under your belt without debt. That alone may make the difference between 5k and 10k in debt after graduation.

    My personal journey (not too long ago) was the following:

    I knew my family couldn't afford to help me with my tuition at all. I'd either have to get it paid for or get it covered by myself. I had good grades and test scores so I knew I could get good scholarships. I applied to three schools--one relatively expensive Baptist university, a moderately priced Baptist college, and a state university. My preferences were in that order, starting with #1.

    The first school offered me a scholarship that wouldn't even cover half of the (high) cost. I scratched them off the list.

    The state school offered me a very, very generous scholarship that would have covered everything with an additional stipend every semester. I seriously considered this option.

    The Baptist college offered me a full scholarship that covered tuition, room and board, and books but without a stipend. I chose this option because I really wanted to study at a Baptist college. Had I not been given this scholarship, I probably would have gone to the state school.
    ---------

    Another factor to consider: the rising cost of tuition. The longer you wait, the more it's going to cost. Tuition is outstripping inflation and has done so for years.
     
    #8 StefanM, May 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2008
  9. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Stefan Response

    Stefan,

    May I inquire as to which Baptist College that you attend?:thumbs:

    "That is all!"
     
    #9 Rhetorician, May 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2008
  10. Andy T.

    Andy T.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know this is slightly off-topic, but I wonder if a liberal arts 4-year degree is worth that much anymore. It is absolutely ridiculous how expensive it has become. There was an article in World magazine about this:

    http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13999

    We need to start re-thinking the idea that a traditional 4-year degree is the end-all-be-all for each individual. An interesting fact from my corner of the world: Neither of the two wealthiest men in my church have any college degrees. They are both tradesmen who were also entrepreneurs and now own their own businesses. They started working right out of high school and were able to start their own businesses at a young age. Try doing that with 40K in college debt. You can't. Both these guys are smart and would have done fine in college. But I'm glad they didn't waste their time or money by getting an "invaluable" college education.
     
  11. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    2
    Andy T Response

    Dear Andy T,

    I know you have heard this before but it bears repeating:

    "If you think the costs of education are high-try the costs of ignorance!":laugh: :thumbs:

    FWIW!

    "That is all!"
     
  12. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    I graduated from Williams Baptist College in AR.
     
  13. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    This implies anyone without a college education is ignorant. I disagree.
     
  14. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife graduated in 5 years working full time and going to school full time. It can be done, and should be done to avoid the unnecessary debt of college loans. If the average Joe spent time studying the real estate market and how to invest, received the same amount in loans and applied that to investment properties, that individual would be heads above the individual who graduates with a mountain of debt, and many years closer to retirement.
     
  15. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    I disagree that the only debt worth having is your house. An education never depreciates. Houses do. An education can make it possible to afford the house to start with :)

    I would rather graduate with loans to repay and have a solid education than have no debt but no true education because I had to work my fingers to the bones and failed to learn what I could because of it. I failed to get the education I needed because I had to work so much. Each individual's situation is different, I know.

    Also, I'm all for RE investing, but you cannot invest in N/O/O properties with what you'd get a student loan for. Can't be done. Maybe a REIT, but still......

    I am all for people starting IRAs as soon as they get their first paycheck. I know that if I'd started 15 years earlier, I'd be much better off! :thumbs:

    I know quite a few people today who thought they couldn't afford college and didn't want loans, etc. They got good jobs out of HS. Now they're stuck, needing a degree, and cannot advance without one and cannot spare the time, etc., to go get one. Or they can't get the job back they just lost because they don't have an education. Or they're paying for other things (extra cars, HDTVs in every room, etc.)
     
    #15 TomVols, May 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2008
  16. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very rarely does a home depreciate. What you see now is the market adjusting to what it should be after over inflation. Debt is debt, but you cannot seriously say that debt in student loans is even comparable to debt in real estate. Anybody can become educated. College is a means, but not the only means.
    I guess this would depend if you are happy working for someone your entire life or in corporate America...or desire to take charge of your own financial future. The future is much brighter without the debt of student loans.
    There are numerous avenues and products that allow for NOO investments. You have to know the non traditional routes (hard money, JV's, equity partners, etc.) Most commercial products come to mind, too. That is why the time is well spent knowing thoroughly what you are doing.
    Amen! I'm looking to start both of my children on IRA's as soon as possible. All that is needed is a social security number and employment. They will be "models" for my wife's real estate marketing :) While most people are saving for their children's college, I will have their retirements paid for in 10 years. Much better investment, IMO. That gives them the freedom to do what they truly love to do, too.
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I teach at a university and we noticed that if a student works up to 20 hours per week their grades are typically higher than those who do not work at all. As they work more than 20 hours per week their grades typically go down. I was hesitant to take a job there because it is a small university connected to a large university system but am glad I did because the students who come there are slightly lower than the larger big name university but they graduate a higher level than the larger university. I noticed that the students are forced to work harder because the professors are more interested in teaching than publishing and work harder at teaching and helping students.

    The problem is that very few junior colleges do a very good job preparing students for the university and the student is behind. Plus the fact that most students who go to junior coleges lose a lot of credits. The students who take the lower level classes I teach with the same name and number of hours who come from junior colleges only take about 1/2 to 2/3 of what I teach at the university in the same amount of time. When I am asked I have never accepted the hours from a JC simply because other classes are dependent on what the students have learned in previous classes. If they do not learn what I teach in the lower level classes they will not be prepared for what I teach at a higher level class.

    Certainly a student can do well after a junior college but he must be sure that what he are taking will transfer and that he will be well prepared.

    What I am seeing many times is that parernts are taking care of the child's every need and not teaching them that life can be a struggle and many times it is about discipline. Too many parents think that the child must have all of the amenities of the home life of a couple that have been married many years. I see that it is counterproductive and destroys the child's ambition and drive to excel. If everything is given to the child the child soon learn that things come easy and there is not much value in them. When I watch students who come from poor countries there is a very different attitude toward learning and possessions.
     
    #17 gb93433, May 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2008
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    The "I will" is more important than the IQ.

    Certainly it can be done. Doctors and lawyers do it all the time.

    I am glad that my doctor does not have the same attituded toward studying as you suggest. If I had a heart attack I wouild not want a mortician to do my surgery even though he has seen more hearts.

    Bill Gates is the wealthiest man who made his money from those who bought computers, but take a big guess where he is giving his money today--education. Money never satisfies. It is the things which money cannot buy that gives deep satisfaction.

    There was a time when I made a lot more money than I am today I am teaching students what I know from my business days. My wife told me that the modest house we live in is too large. She does not like cleaning it. She wants to live more simply. The greatest satisfaction I have is teaching and discipling students not spending money and buying things.
     
  19. Karen

    Karen
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2000
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    0
    How did they do that just getting a bachelor's? I know it certainly can cost that, but an undergraduate can't borrow that much as far as I know.
    The last time I looked, a freshman can borrow about $2500, soph. $3500, and about $5-6000 for the next two years or so.
    So 4 years would be about $18,000. And you can pay it off over 10 years at relatively reasonable interest.

    If they got that $80,000 in debt by getting an M.D., a law degree, or some such thing, that may well have been a good thing to do.
     
  20. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm referring to couples, not individuals. It depends on the school.
     

Share This Page

Loading...