Paying for Initial Costs

qb17

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
1
My son is entering in the class of '21. Can a parent pay money upfront to offset the loan for uniforms, books, computer, etc? If a parent does make the payment will the cadet get more of his pay since he will have a smaller loan or no loan from the government?

Also, what kinds of things are helpful to send with cadets when they report? Would an ipad be helpful?
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
Not certain about USAFA, but at West Point we put money in our Cadets account, and thus there is less taken out of his monthly pay. I suspect they do it the same way at AFA.
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
I am not sure if or how a parent can pay money upfront to help offset the loans, maybe someone else has done this. However, I do know that nonrestrictive scholarships received by cadets can be used to offset some of the expenses, and then yes, the cadet will have more of his/her pay available.

As far as things to send with the cadet when he/she reports -- stick to the list that will provided in the "Instructions to Appointees", with maybe a few exceptions (current cadets can chime in on these items). An IPad would not be allowed until A-Day or Parents' Weekend.
 

Daretodream

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
246
I do not believe you can pre-pay. In fact some parents who gave their DS money for books were having trouble trying to get the money back. In the initial packet there will be budget information on pay and deductions (they screwed it up for a lot of Doolies this year). It is still the best way as they know exactly what they will receive and what will be deducted. You can put money in their personal account for them to use on day to day items, but they really are given everything they need for their first year that isn't on that initial list.
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2007
Messages
3,203
qb, please be patient!!!

Your child will be sent much information, including what to bring (and make sure, you don't send him/her off with anything not on the list.). I have never known anyone who was able to pre-pay, though many parents made e-deposits into their kids bank accounts later.

Now, fix a cup of coffee, and read through some of these threads. You'll find numerous instructions about DO NOT BRING ANYTHING NOT APPROVED - and a host of other topics. Many parents here have been in your shoes, sending Junior or LilBit off to that big scary place, so far from home. Glean what info you can here, watch your kid's portal (as much as s/he will allow), and know that thousands of kids and twice as many parents have gone through this. If you read through the many threads here, you will send your child off to his adult life (albeit with some tears!), with at least a more-than-basic (ha!) idea of what's needed, what's to be avoided, and especially, the (shocking!) knowledge that your kid is now an adult and able to navigate all these issues without help or even, without consultation (which may be worse!). S/he will find out the "lay of the land" right away, and by A-Day, will be confident.

In short: no ipad for I day, and depending on squadron, maybe no cell phone, no ipod, no civilian clothing...

Just.Be.Patient.
 

jebdad

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
432
My son is entering in the class of '21. Can a parent pay money upfront to offset the loan for uniforms, books, computer, etc? If a parent does make the payment will the cadet get more of his pay since he will have a smaller loan or no loan from the government?

Also, what kinds of things are helpful to send with cadets when they report? Would an ipad be helpful?

At USMA the treasurer's office puts together a memo detailing an IRS eligible amount for which one could use 529 or other similar tax preferred education savings to pay for initial expenses. I would assume USAFA's treasurer/accounting dept. could provide the same guidance. Essentially, they assign a value to certain expenses and you can properly use the education savings to pay it down. I did this with my 2019 and she ended up receiving slightly more monthly income from the onset.
 

sherrie

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
67
What costs are you talking about? There is a fee? I thought everything was paid for and there was no cost involved when a person is accepted into the academy.
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
The costs...their books, issued laptop, uniforms, and many other miscellaneous things. They are NOT expected to pay for this upfront, out of pocket, but instead, they receive a 0 interest loan, with repayment coming out of their paycheck over the next couple of years.
 

xcmum

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
97
I thought I heard something about a $2000 deposit of sorts, but that may only be for USMA. I've been assuming those cadets going to USAFA could also do this.
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
USAFA does not expect cadets to front any costs or fees for these items. Cannot speak for the other SAs.
 

xcmum

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
97
USAFA does not expect cadets to front any costs or fees for these items. Cannot speak for the other SAs.

Capri120-Do you know if there is a way to add money to their account if we want/are able to?
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
Capri120-Do you know if there is a way to add money to their account if we want/are able to?
I honestly don't know. You can contact the financial office and ask. Based on how the Academy accepts scholarship monies, I would think you could.
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
The basics, soon to be cadets, do need a bit of spending money before their first paycheck. Last year about $200 - $250 was recommended for personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, "mad money" for the rodeo, and so forth. Best to have a bank account and debit card ahead of time that you can always put money in if needed
 

Sydney C.

5-Year Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
743
We'll now take a break from our regularly scheduled posts to conduct a test of the Service Academy Forum Emergency Post System. This is only a test....if it were a real emergency, there would be some really anxious candidates and their parents out there.

Five posts up from this humble reporters text are the words of wisdom and experience from a Founding Member who's been there and done that with here own offspring and in the process has successfully counseled hundreds upon hundreds of others who have asked these very same questions....good ones, I hasten to add....on how to best address them to help take away all of the angst associated with the subject of money (which is always associated with angst) service loans, etc. As a public service, please heed the advice she's provided and save yourself the sleepless nights associated with your concern.

Again, this is only a test....I trust everyone will do well as half of all knowledge is simply knowing where to find it.
 

schul542

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
30
What is the estimated cost of all the fees that they deduct from the cadets paycheck throughout the years? I am curious as to how far the scholarship money I have received would get me in paying off the fees.
 

Capri120

Parent
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
1,240
What is the estimated cost of all the fees that they deduct from the cadets paycheck throughout the years? I am curious as to how far the scholarship money I have received would get me in paying off the fees.

Each year is somewhat different, and for each cadet it can vary by a little or a lot. Nearly everyone is "issued" (issued = cost comes out of your paycheck) the same uniforms, laptops, backpacks, and the like. However, textbooks will vary based on classes, whether you buy or rent real books, or choose to buy ebooks. Additional costs can be WiFi, insurance, additional uniforms for clubs, and many others. Over the four years it can range from $6K - $12K total, as a rough estimate.

As mentioned in many threads, once the appointee receives the "Instructions" package, it will provide more detail on the fees/costs that are deducted and the loan(s) that help offset the costs. This, too, is still just an estimate. The loan(s) are not given all at once, but as needed to help cover the costs of books, laptop, and so forth.

So, will your scholarship money cover it? Hard to say. But, don't fret since the AF will leave you spending money in your paycheck regardless of whether you contribute any outside cash to the cause.

As Maplerock said, the cadets get paid and don't need additional money.
But, they should start learning how to budget what they have and will receive.
 

kinnem

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
13,997
I am not sure if or how a parent can pay money upfront to help offset the loans, maybe someone else has done this. However, I do know that nonrestrictive scholarships received by cadets can be used to offset some of the expenses, and then yes, the cadet will have more of his/her pay available.

As far as things to send with the cadet when he/she reports -- stick to the list that will provided in the "Instructions to Appointees", with maybe a few exceptions (current cadets can chime in on these items). An IPad would not be allowed until A-Day or Parents' Weekend.
One way is to pay for the required computer, otherwise the cost is added to their loan. I believe there are also up front uniform costs that later come out of their pay. I think you can pay for these up front too.
 
Top