Two kids, two tuition bills

two kidsMy wife and I thought we had prepared ourselves for all that college life could throw at us with two kids at separate universities. We had planned financially for the trip we would embark on last fall and felt relatively good about our status to assist both of our children in their educations. We offered our intuition in many areas and because we are both educators ourselves we knew a few tricks, if you will, about the scholarship and application processes.

We encouraged both to apply for as many scholarships as possible, look for a part time job if possible, seek out overseas travel if applicable, and inquire as to the availability of credit for AP classes. Yep, we had our plan and it began to work very well. Both kids ended up with very nice scholarships, our daughter travelled to South Africa in a Teacher Abroad Program and our son found a stress-free part-time job on campus.

In addition we learned that the 2 AP classes our son completed in high school would free up some money since his university would apply them to his major.

Yep, we seemed to have this children-in-college thing under control–until we learned that at both universities the tuition rate was going to increase. In particular our son’s university would raise their costs by 12 % and our daughter’s college tuition would go up by 9%. Sometimes life just needs to throw you a curve to see if you are paying attention. Believe me, this got our attention.

Luckily our daughter will be graduating this winter so the cost for her education can be swallowed up with summer job earnings and one last scholarship payment. However, our son is going to be a sophomore this fall and with this increase and future increases on the horizon, we have had to seriously look at other ways of funding his future. He is not adverse to taking out government loans nor to working the on-campus job routine for the next three years. Still, there is some frustration on our end.

We, like most, worked hard preparing ourselves and our children for the next phase of education in their lives. We also realize these are tough times in the educational field. We can’t for the life of us figure out why both our children want to be educators. Then, over a cup of coffee this morning, my wife and I realized maybe their career choices had something to do with us. We smiled, grabbed hands, and knew we just needed to get back to the planning stages again. We will adapt, we will make alternate plans, we will see this through to the end without too much complaining. After all, we are seeing some of the results of our work through our kids. We must be doing something right!!


Financial Decisions