How do the plebes pay for cost of books etc.

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by old Ranger, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. old Ranger

    old Ranger Member

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    My DS said that he has to pay for books and his chinese language book is 100.00 alone can someone explain how the plebes handle all these costs with there paycheck ??? This is also on top of all the equipment they were issued during Plebe summer that they are paying for. Is this something I can help him with??
     
  2. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    They will pay for their books in the same way that they "pay" for their uniforms, laundry service, etc. It will come out of their account.

    Directly from the USNA website:

    Midshipmen pay is $864.00 monthly, from which laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, yearbook and other service charges are deducted. Actual cash pay is less than $100 per month your first year, increasing each year to $400 per month in your fourth year.

    Although it does not explicitly say academic books - this is where the money comes from.

    One of my sons had such an exorbitant fee for his books that it exceeded the allotment and he had to come up with about $160 dollars of his OWN money to supplement the expense. Apparently, Organic Chemistry books cost a fortune.

    Being a technical major is always going to cost more in books. After all, how much could the paperback version of "Wuthering Heights" possibly cost? :smile:
     
  3. Aloha

    Aloha Member

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    So when do they get the $100.00 per month extra put into their accounts? Do they get an accounting of what the deductions were from the check? Since it seems like they have to pay for several different things.
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Since all midshipmen are the same rank (i.e. pay grade), they all get paid the same. The only difference is how much of their $864 they actually get. Plebes get $100, 3/C get $200, 2/C get $300, and firsties get $400. The portion they do not receive as cash is side aside in an account that is, for the most part, inaccessible until they resign, get separated, or graduate.

    It is from this "inaccessible" account (money that they've earned) that these expenses are paid - in monthly increments. Deductions are continuously made until everything is paid up. This does not occur for quite some time, by the way.

    From what I understand, should a midshipman resign during his first two years, he has to make good on the unpaid portion of his expenses. (i.e. uniforms, books, etc.) So, it could cost a midshipman a sizable chunk of change to resign.
     
  5. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    My mid gets paid once a month at the end of the month. She is able to log on to her LES (Leave and Earning Statement). I have never logged onto her LES so I'm not sure if some of the accounting for all of their expenses are in there. The rest of the active duty military has a pretty detailed LES so it's worth a look. Last month, prior to starting her youngster year she had a huge deposit of held pay which I assume is mostly as a result of a scholarship that she received a year ago and applied to her ACE Loan. It could be that a parent could pay into the ACE account in the same way but the plebe won't see that money until next year. If you'd like to get more money in their pocket you may want to consider a deposit into their checking account. I loaded up my mid's Yard Card last year and she has yet to use it a year later since she finds her debit card more convenient. Hope that helps.
     
  6. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    The responses sound reasonable and familiar to me from days (very long ago) as a midshipman. This discussion, BTW, is one of the reasons that candidates who earn scholarships may want to accept the scholarship as a hedge against the start up expenses of becoming a midshipman. There is a way to deposit the funds into the mids' accounts. By and large everything works out pretty well from my experience many years ago.
     
  7. xrunmariarunx

    xrunmariarunx Member

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    Being a technical major is always going to cost more in books. After all, how much could the paperback version of "Wuthering Heights" possibly cost? :smile:[/QUOTE]

    Excuse me? But no offense, the non-technical majors are costly as well. So please, don't put down the other majors. We still spend a great deal of money on books. I had to buy 15 this semester alone.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    The statement is usually true to the fact that technical majors cost more than the liberal arts type of majors. Take a look at the tuition rates for engineering degrees at most schools compared to those for English/History/PolySci etc and you will find a significant difference. This is due to many reasons, not the least being the cost of texts/labs/etc.

    There was nothing derogatory about the statement in regards to non-technical majors, every major is important (although the Navy considers technical degrees more important when awarding ROTC/similar awards) simply a statement about cost.
     
  9. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    Seems like everyone here has made accurate statments compaired to what it was like back when I was a mid.

    I just want to take a minute to state the importance of reading your leave and earings statements (LES). I know that back in my day our LES did state how our money was being spent. to be honest with you my upperclass didn't do a good job explaining the importance of the LES and that you should keep copies of all your statements (at a minimum a years worth). I can tell you that I have at least 18 months worth of my statements in my financial file in case I ever run into a pay discrepency, which trust me you'll find. also as officers in training it's important to remember that some day they will be leading young Sailors (some 17yrs of age) who most likely have never had any financial training nor understand what an LES is or how to read it. ensuring that your Sailors keep tabs on their statements can prevent pay issues in the future. so encourage your DS/DD to read their LES monthly and learn how to read it...it will come in handy
     
  10. tothetop14

    tothetop14 Member

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    Somewhere in Dahlgren Hall over PPW, I picked up a spreadsheet detailing the costs for a 4/C - Class of 2014, Female expenses. It shows Entitlements (their base pay and someting called Comrats -which is footnoted as an estimate of pay based on typical Thanksgiving, winter and spring leave periods). Then it shows standard deductions, like FICA, then USNA Specific Deductions: ACE Loan repay of no more than $200/month for the year; Alumni dues, some personal deduction. Then it shows the last section of Variable deductions including midstore, uniform, text book ($1100 in Sep and $600 in Jan - non-core books are included in these projections).

    The footnotes indicate that there is normally an annual military-wide base anticpated pay increase of 2% in January, Held pay balance will never drop below zero. FICA is lower in 2010 due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, probably will go up in 2011??

    I think I got this spreadsheet while talking to the Business Services Division. I don't know why I was chatting with them, probably waiting for my 15 year old to finish riding the Segway around Dahlgren with a very tired Marine following him!!
     
  11. jomass

    jomass Member

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    Still hazy on how this works. Two questions:

    1. For all those services (laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, yearbook and other service charges, etc) are these paid by each mid on a 'pay as you go' based on how much they use each service? Or is a flat amt deducted from every mid and then pooled so that they don't pay specifically per use of each service?

    2. Regarding scholarships, let's say a mid has $3,000 coming into the USNA every year from outside scholarships. (Let's assume that their costs for books, etc are the same as everyone else for the most part.) Now shouldn't the mid with $3K per year in outside scholarships actually have $3K more in their account than someone who doesn't have outside scholarships? And when would the mid actually see this money deposit into their account? Would this $3K go toward paying off their load more quickly?
    Thanks!
     
  12. tothetop14

    tothetop14 Member

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    Why don't you try to call the Business Services Division. I searched BSD on the USNA.edu website and found this link: http://www.usna.edu/NABSD/HRM/

    I think they'd be able to answer your questions, they handle payroll.
     
  13. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    My understanding is that a set amount is deducted from their pay each month regardless of how often they use the service, even if they don't use it at all. As for the scholarship, I think that was explained in the 'held pay' post - scholarship funds are 'held' until the end of either the semester or year (I think it is the year) and then released to pay. So scholarship receipient should see the $3,000 show up in account at end of ac year along with any other 'held pay' unless the Mid actually ate into the scholarship money with other charges. I don't think that the scholarship money is actually applied to the loan balance, but I may be wrong.
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    As an example: It is my understanding that Women are charged for "haircuts" although no female Mid in their right mind would have it done there. Mids are charged for "Laundry Service" whether they use it for all their uniforms or not. Take some uniforms out for clean and press and military crease and you still pay the fee out of your held pay. As far as I know held accounts are released to the MID sometime during the 1/c year.
     
  15. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    is there any way for a parent to get a sample LES just so we know what they are talking about if they ask us to help them understand it-not to mention the fact most parents end up paying any extra.
     
  16. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    They'll be able to understand them. The LES is pretty straight forward, it shows what they were paid, and then lists (pretty specifically) what was taken out of that, then shows bottom line what the net deposited to bank amount was. I've checked my son's deposits at NFCU, and he's only had $50 deposited so far, that was in the middle of July.
     
  17. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    Your mid could give you his access information to get on to his mypay site to view his LES online. Mids should become familiar with checking their LES because it can get complicated down the road in their career with special pays, tax free, etc.


    I think the suggestion to call the Business Services Division is a good one to help understand the specifics of held pay.
     
  18. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    But do not expect them to discuss anything specific regarding your mid's account. At best, they will only discuss pay procedures.

    If you ask them if your mid's scholarship money has been deposited - they will probably not answer that. They won't tell you their balance, how much has been deducted, what they were charged for books, etc ...
     
  19. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    I know you want to help your DS/DD but they are officers in training and as they learned during plebe summer "message to Garcia". If they have questions about their LES they should be seeking the assistance of their chain of command not mom and/or dad. From DFAS mypay site your DS/DD can print off a "fake" LES which describes block by block every inch of the LES.
     
  20. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    I have to agree with USNA 02. Our son has been learning a lot about the "real world" this past week. We have gotten many texts and emails from him about his Navy Federal Account, Yard Card...etc. He is now taking care of his own business as it should be. In fact, one thing that he went on and on about in several emails was the fact that he and his roommates had just made their first purchasetogether.....a fan for their room. He described it in great detail and said they split the purchase three ways. He even offered to send us a picture of the above said fan. Then he said it sure was a great fan and ought to be...they paid 39.99 for it. :smile: Made my day.
     

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