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How did you pay for college?

OK I know I am the minority on this board because I didn't attend college. So I have a question for those who did. My SD is attending Gettysburg College and has 90% of her schooling paid for in grants and scholarships. Yes, she's one smart cookie Smile However, she still has about $10k to pay on her own. So my question is..

How did you pay for it?

Did you have a cosigner for a loan?

If no cosigner how did you get a loan?

Re: How did you pay for college?

  • That is awesome that she has so many scholarships and grants!! Good for her!

    How did you pay for it? I was lucky that my parents paid for my education, partly from my college savings that they set up for me and partly from their own savings.

    Did you have a cosigner for a loan? My sister did take out some student loans (she had a longer and more turbulent time in college than I did) and I'm not sure how those work but I'm sure my parents cosigned them if a cosigner was needed. $10k is a relatively small amount (as student loans go) so it shouldn't be too much of a burden for your SD to pay back once she graduates.


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  • My first bachelors degree my parents paid for partially and I took out student loans for the remainder. I'm not sure how it all worked as my mom did all the paperwork. I will say though that 10 years later, I'm still paying them.

    My 2nd bachelors degree, I paid for either by CC or by reimbursement from my employer. 

     Congrats to her for scholarships!

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  • I had a few scholarships for undergrad and my parents picked up the rest.

    For grad school, I took out student loans. 

    If your SD is looking into a loan, I would go the federal loan route, rather than through a bank, IMO. 

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  • Good for her! That is awesome. The less she has to finance, the better, as she will not be weighed down with enormous amounts of $$ to repay when she gets into the workforce. I was extremely lucky because my dad paid for 4 years of school (if I would have stayed an extra year or went back for another degree I would have been on my own). DH paid for his by himself all with loans and he STILL has student loan debt. I know that he did not have a cosignor and he didn't seem to have any trouble getting his loans. I don't know if things have changed since then though.

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  • That's fantastic that she has so many scholarships!

    About 80% of my college education was covered with various scholarships and grants.  My parents agreed to pay the remaining amount for 4 years of college; however, if I lost any scholarships or had to stay longer than 4 years for my BS, I had to pick up the extra cost.

    DH was also very fortunate to have his parents pay for his education.  I must say that we both pretty grateful to not have student loans.  I hope that we are able to provide the same for our children.   

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  • That's awesome that so much of her education is covered! 

    My dad purchased savings bonds for my sister and I to put toward college for both of us. We each ended up with about $20,000.  This covered my sister's entire four years.  However, I was on the five year plan and my two years at a small private school blew most of it.  I paid for the rest by working full time while in school.  No loans needed! DH got a full scholarship to UMBC so he didn't pay a dime.   


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  • That's awesome that she's done so well with scholarships!

    I was lucky enough to have my parents pay for undergrad.  I took loans for law school - with my dad's theory being that if the cost wasn't worth it to me in the long run financially I shouldn't be going.  My parents cosigned.  I paid off all of the private loans in the first couple of years but will be paying off the consolidated federal loans over 30 years since the interest rate is so low that it's better to invest the money rather than prepay them.

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  • I had a scholarship, but the rest my mom paid for from an account and then I took out loans (all stafford) that my mom paid for me.  Her deal was that she would pay for all undergrad and anything else we were on our own.  I took out loans for grad school.
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  • My parents paid for my undergrad and I'm very lucky to not have any student loans. I paid for my books and I decided to go to a school that was closer to home, so I could commute to school to help them out.
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  • My parents paid for mine and we had the "we will pay for 4 years undergrad" after that you are on your own.

    I hope I can do the saem for DD.  My parents paid partially for my sisters, she went and stopped several times and they got annoyed w/ wasting money so they stopped paying.  She took out massive loans to cover her living expenses and she's paying for it now and got a degree is a low paying field. 

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  • My first year of undergrad was paid for about 95% with grants and scholarships,  after that my school dropped some of my grants and I had to take out about 20% in loans, by my senior year it was 70% loans. But I went to a private school that would cut funding for upperclassmen to try to bring more freshmen in. I didnt know that going in, I figured it would be the same every year. After I reached my senior year I had to choose between staying and paying 70% myself or leaving and spending 2-3 more years in school which would cost me the same or more for the same degree. My grad school was paid for by my employer.

    I had the dreaded sallie mae so there was no cosigner but thats pretty common for student loans, there is no check and balance put in place they just loan students whatever they need without concern about how much they can really afford since you cannot get rid of student loan debt. 

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  • I was very lucky that my parents paid for my college without loans. However, DH has loans through Sallie Mae -- he has cosigners. A lot of them -- friends and family members, probably 5 total.
  • It was a mix for me.  I got a few scholarships, I took out some loans, my parents took out some loans, and for the last couple of years, I chose to go part-time so I could stop taking loans and work enough to pay as I went.  I had my undergrad loans paid off just in time to go to grad school and take out new loans!

    Definitely just file the FAFSA ASAP to see what kind of federal loans you can get.  I took out what I needed on my own - no co-signer - and that's also where my parents got a loan for the portion they helped out with.

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  • Thank you everyone for your help! I am so suprised at how many of you had parents who paid for your schooling. I didn't have that option and I don't know many people who did. You are very lucky. SD is planning on going to med school after her 4 years at Gettysburg so she has a ton of schooling ahead of her.
  • It was paid for with grants and loans. I did NOT have a co-signor, rather I got a student loan through the government, i.e. a Stafford loan, but I think they are called Direct Subsidized loans. Have her apply for a Stafford/Government student loan FIRST. Please, don't apply for a private education loan unless you have no other options.  The government pays the interest on the loans while you are in school or if you experience certain kinds of financial hardship.


    However the financial aid office at her college should be able to guide her through this process.

    ETA: My mom paid for 1/2 and I paid for the other 1/2 with student loans for undergrad. For grad school, I took out massive loans, at least for my 1st degree, which I am still paying off. I paid for my 2nd degree in cash and tuition remission because I worked FT at the school. 

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  • Awesome for your SD!!

     My parents paid for my college.  I think I ended up taking out like 8k in loans over 4 years of undergrad and I'm not even sure why I did that lol.

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  • My parents paid for it as long as I maintained a 3.0. 

    If I had to get a loan I likely would have had my parents cosign. I worked since I was 13, and worked a lot, so they knew I was good for it :) 

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