Monday, August 9, 2010

Be Kind!

I just know that I'm going to start a fire storm by posting this one. Yes, it's a lot of money and I believe in education. Nice comments only on this post! I'm posting this to help anyone that has a child going off to college, trust me I would have bookmarked this page if some had put it out there. Sending a child away to college has so many scary variables that this may help ease a bit of that. And this is the scariest part about it, the bill! This is the break down of how we are going to pay for EIU for Anna.
Side note-Den found out a few years ago that he had had a child before we got married. She was 9 when he found out. The mother didn't know who the father was so Den was not a part of her life. The child thought this other man was her father and didn't want anything to do with Den. I don't want to post about other people's lives but the mother had just had a nervous break down and the state was involved. The little girl found her little brother in bed, he had passed because of SIDS. It was a very sad and touchy situation. We let her mother take the lead, right or wrong. But the little girl had just lost her brother, her mother was not well and the only man she knew was not her father anymore and she couldn't accept it. It was a mess. And now you know just about everything about me! Once again be kind with the comments!
So here is how this first year will break down, I think. You should also know that the first year will be the year that your child gets the least amount of money. They give out more the further along they get. My guess would be is that they want to make sure that they give it to the ones that are going to stick around, I'm probably wrong so don't quote me. Anna will also qualify for scholarship money for being in the honor society but not at first. UGH!
1st year-
$9500 tuition
$9400 room & board
$1800 books & misc.
$20700 TOTAL

It is a pretty upsetting number! But you have to remember that you have to break it down. That will help calm your stomach a bit!

-$1600 PELL grant
-$2850 IL Map grant
-$3500 Loans Anna will be taking out

So we have $12750 to go.

-$3500 She will have to work(has a job waiting) and this isn't including any $ she makes in the summer.
-$5200 Child support back
Now here is where it gets tricky! We will be getting a tax credit. My FIL is a CPA so this is an educated guess. We should be getting anywhere from $1000 to $3600 back on our taxes. He said that it should be around $2000. I'm going to try and cover the rest and I promise there will be a lot of complaining on my side. We are very blessed that my inlaws are helping too. They are going to cover what we can't until Den get s the child support back. I'm also going to clean a few extra houses. I think between everything we should have it covered. It's just looks like the first year will be a killer after that we will have the child support back and the tax refund and we should be fine. Fingers crossed.
-$2000 tax return
If I break that down by week, it's $39.42 a week I need to come up with. I just hope that my numbers are correct. Say a prayer for us and stay tuned!
Thanks for stopping over,


Linda Robinson said...

WOW my friend that sounds like a big Number.. But so worth it.. I always say things have a way of working out.. I hope you have a great week! Hugs, Linda

SonyaAnn said...

Linda Robinson-It is a scary trip but I figured that I would post the numbers because it is something that I wished I had known. It's a scary journey!
Thank you for always leaving such wonderful comments!

Frances said...

SonyaAnn, you will probably get some benefit from the education tax credits available, but it does not sound like much next to the bill.

Tell Anna that she is very, very lucky you are willing to help finance this. I wouldn't do it.

Samantha got enough money to pay for tuition, books and fees with a little left over, but she lived at home the first year until she could finance her own "room and board."(We did not feel the need to help her and her boyfriend rent an apartment, though we did and still do provide groceries on occasion.)

As smart as Samantha is, if she had not gotten the aid she did, she would have been going to the community college and working to pay for it.

Flame me if you wish, but I don't think we owe our kids the college experience of their dreams. I don't think people should go into debt or worry how they are going to pay for their kids' college.

I won't condemn anyone that does it, but I sure won't.

Good luck, SonyaAnn.

Jill said...

Wow, that is wonderful you want to help her out. My parents payed for Community college to get me started, after that I had to take out loans. I tend to agree it's not always the parents responsibility to fund full college. It's part of becoming an adult. there are tons of programs to help and they don't have to repay until they are done with college. I just paid off my school loans and have been contemplating taking more courses. You have to plan your retirement too, so it's a tough choice. Then if they don't follow through.... Hmmm could be quite a debate as with everything there is good and bad to both. But I could write a book LOL Hope it all works out.

Kat said...

Good luck on this very expensive journey .... although in the long run it is worth it - IMHO. I am currently working on child #2, since #1 graduated from UNH in 2009 and the fire academy in 2010 with a job, even in this "iffy" economy.

One of the things to look into is a payment plan. We did this with #1 at the university - and believe me it helped ALOT! There are programs out there (ask the financial aid department of the school) where you sign up for approx $70 and then make 10 monthly payments (starts in June) to make the "bite" just a little more bearable.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-It is a tricky situation to say the least! She will have loans in her name only and she has to work to pay for school. I do believe that if they are responsible for at least part of their education they appreciate it more. We hopefully won't be going into debt for this. It should be close but I think we can do it without us taking on debt. But only time will tell with this one. I'll keep you posted!
And I would never flame you!!!

SonyaAnn said...

Jill-We will pay for some and so will she. I just don't want her buried in debt when she gets out. You hear about all of the kids that are in so much trouble because of all of the debt. If it is too much we will bring her home and she can go to community college.
And this plan is without stopping the extra payments to our retirement and keep paying the 3 extra payments to the principle every year.

SonyaAnn said...

Kat-Thank you for the advice. I think that it is good to talk about this even if it is a touchy subject. I'm just afraid that if they don't have an education where they will end up.

Beth said...

That is a lot of money no matter how you look at it, but a wise investment. Anna if very lucky to have parents who are able to help her. I like how you broke the total down into how much per week - I do that! Sorta makes it easier to grasp. That's some story about the other child. WOW.

SonyaAnn said...

Beth-My life is one mess after another! Honestly, I really didn't know what to do with that one so I stepped out of it and just worked on staying afloat financially.
I just hope that my master plan works!

Frances said...

"If it is too much we will bring her home and she can go to community college."

I am glad to hear this and to hear that you are still funding your retirement.

If you are doing this and can still help, that is excellent for her and wonderful of you. I won't berate you for doing what is affordable.

And you are very organized about it, breaking it down the way you did.

I still hope that Anna really appreciates what you are doing for her.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-Thank you. If we can keep it at $40-$50 a week and not go under, I think it is a good investment.
I would never stop funding the retirement. That comes first because it has too.
I think that I might be able to save the money a week just because she won't be eating here and her friends won't be over. But I have had one say that she is moving into Anna's room once she leaves! But I might be sending the money I save so she has spending money. We decided that all that she makes at her job will be saved and we will give her $20 a week. Everything that she makes needs to be saved for the bill. I think it will be easier that way. We shall see!

slugmama said...

SonyaAnn--Now why on earth would you think you'd start a firestorm with this?
Hey, everybody is in their own place with the whole who pays for college thing, right?
While I'm w/Frances on no parent OWES their kid the costs of college education, everyone does what they feel is right for themselves and their family. ;-)
That being't go digging a hole of debt you can't fill.
Better for Anna to take out more loans for school than you to finance more since nobody will give you loans to finance your retirement. I know, I know, I always say that.lolol

Just to give you some heads up on the Education Credit deal and how that will shake down. It's a credit on your taxes rather than a tax's a subtle difference you may want to read up on before you start filling out your 1040s next year.
Anyway, since schools bill semi-annually, the amount you can deduct on your 2010 taxes will only be the 1st semester charges...the part of the tuition/fees/books bill you actually pay OOP(or pay with funds from a loan You take out). The highest limit for 2009 you could start the process(to claim)for each student was $4K. If you had $4K or more in expenses you could claim and depending on your actual gross income, you could get as much as a $2500 education tax credit against your taxes.
Now if Anna gets any scholarship money, she will have to claim that on her taxes but that's not your issue. ;-)

There is also a Nonrefundable Education Credit which you may qualify for too...depending on whether or not you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax thing/filing status/income/etc. so you could see some benefit there as well on your tax return.

Be looking for a 1098-T Tuition Statement from the school in Jan/Feb. of next year. You'll need that to file for the credits.
Seeing as the credit will reduce your taxes and you won't get cash in hand until after your taxes are filed in the following year and well after the next semester school bill comes due, it's a good thing your in-laws are willing to cover parts of the costs since you won't have that tax refund money yet to plow back into paying the school in time for the 2nd semester.

While I wouldn't stretch myself financially as far as you are willing to, to let Anna attend this school at this price, I admire that you are facing this head-on and running the numbers and not just saying things will work out/God or the universe will provide and burying your head in the sand and hoping it all works out. ;-)

If Anna does well and the whole financial world doesn't collapse before next school year she may get more free-aid, this is true. But be aware that A)public schools are under tremendous pressure to raise costs of attending since they are tied to state budgets and B)even though public schools are cheaper they do raise tuition rates ALMOST every year by a certain percentage so go ahead and COUNT ON a rate hike for her school fees each yr. Between Matt's 1st semester & 2nd, the cost rose $100(just on tuition/r&b, not counting books, etc.). This semester the tuition rose $631.91 from last semester's rate-more than an 8.5% increase. IF by some change, they don't raise rates again before his 4th semester bill comes due, we will have put out $1363.82 MORE than planned for him in 2 yrs AND he still has 2 more years to go so we figure we'll be out even more than anticipated(or HE will be if he has to pay it).

Keep your head in the game on this and feel free to email me about anything college. ;-)

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-Holy Hell woman you wrote a book!
I knew when I wrote this it would probably start trouble but I also knew that these numbers were exactly what I had been looking for when we knew that Anna would be going away. I just had to put it out there for anyone that needed help. Even if it meant that I would catch a ration of $***.
Anna just got some paper work today about honor student scholarships. Yay! They just don't give it out in the beginning.
The good thing is my FIL has done all of the tax stuff so I feel a little better about it. But if I do have questions, I'll be coming to you. You explain thing a bit differently than he does. It might just be a girl things.;)
I'm going to keep posting about the costs I'm sure that it will help someone! And it will help me keep track of everything too. I've had quite a few friends ask for help already. I'll just send them to you.
And I really don't think that this will put us under. I hope! Once it was broken down it didn't look that bad. And as long as we keep putting money in the 401k and 3 extra house payments then I think that I'm doing ok.
I'll let you know! And as always thank you so much for caring about little ol' me!

Frances said...

Slugmama is right. Just because I wouldn't pay for my kids' college does not mean that I don't think someone else should if they want to.

Heck, when I went to college if anyone had offered to pay, you bet I would have taken them up on it. LOL!

As for the tax credit, you will probably fare better than we did. Since Sam got so much aid, the credit did not help us much. I think it was a couple of hundred one year, $79 one year and the next year we had to pay the $79 back due to the school reporting delayed aid or something. I don't remember exactly.

I am hoping that it all works out well for you. And still hoping that Anna really appreciates what you are doing for her.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-She better appreciate it! I didn't get a college education all I got was the boot. I think that she won't get how huge of a gift this is until she has kids in college. But she is very excited.
I hope that we get more than $2000 back on taxes but you just never know. Fingers crossed and all that!

slugmama said...

SonyaAnn--We loves ya and want only the best for ya!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-I know that! What would I do without you?