Second semester tuition bills

second semester tuition billsWe’re now past mid-terms and in the home stretch for the end of the first semester. It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of months, our twins will officially be second semester freshmen. And that, of course, means those tuition bills for second semester are just around the corner.

We’re still breathing easy at our house, since their grandmother paid for the first year. And with scholarship money, there’ll even be some left over for the second year. But we’ll definitely be applying for student loans. I’ve learned it’s always best to look at loan money from the government first, since federal tuition loans are guaranteed and insured by dear old Uncle Sam. We won’t qualify for a subsidized loan, since these are only for kids who can show financial need. But even with an unsubsidized loan, well be getting a good deal, since these loans are usually offered at a lower interest rate than private loans. And repayment doesn’t start until six months after graduation.

We’re also looking into PLUS loans, which are loans to parents for their children to use for college tuition. With these types of loans, repayment starts immediately. And our third option is a private loan. We’ll be shopping around to get the best interest rate. Also, our son may be able to get more scholarship money from the College of Business. His major, finance, offers many scholarships to academically talented students.

Since we agreed to pay fraternity and sorority dues, we’ve had to shell out about $2,000 already this semester. Both our son’s fraternity and our daughter’s sorority offered payment plans, rather than asking for everything at once.

And since we bought the condo the kids are living in, we’ve haven’t had any housing costs. I was thrilled to recently hear the Today Show’s real estate expert say off campus college housing was the one for sure real estate investment still around! My husband is concerned we may have problems selling or renting after our children graduate, since the university is building more dorm rooms. But I don’t agree. Even with the addition of the new dorms, there will still only be about 5,000 on-campus beds for 25,000 students.

Beside the ever present need for a dollar here and a dollar there (actually lots of dollars here and there), our twins are settling into the college routine. We’re thrilled with their grades. Both have close to a 4.0. They’re both doing great with the writing required in freshman English; that was an area they were both worried about. They’ve made new friends, had lots of dates, been to plenty of parties and can tailgate at those famous SEC football games with the best of them.

We spent a weekend with them in October; it was Parents’ Weekend for our son’s fraternity, and they have come home once. Both weekends were great. It was wonderful to meet some of their new friends when we visited, and exciting to have them back at home for a couple of days. We’re certainly looking forward to Thanksgiving. Their college takes Fall Break then, so they will have the entire week off. It will be great to be together again as a family.

 

Tuition and Bills