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College Tuition and Student Loans

by kestrellyn Posted 24th Jun 2018 at 11:48 PM - Updated 6th Sep 2018 at 1:51 AM by kestrellyn
76 Comments / replies (Who?) - 2 Feedback Posts
Updates:
  • New version that works with Cyjon's Semester Changes. See Hack Compatibility section for more details.
  • Interest no longer accumulates on community lots.
  • Expanded functionality after long discussion in thread
  • Added option to change tuition cost after token creation
  • Fixed a bug related to paying off student loans with grants when no payee or sponsor was selected
  • Interest should no longer accumulate in vacation hoods
  • Now possible to initialize token with 0 simoleons

Do your sims have too much money? Do you want to share the joys of student loans with them? Do you already charge them college tuition, but have to keep track of who has paid and who is in debt in a spreadsheet outside of the game? With this hack, the game will charge tuition and track loans for you.

The basic idea: each sim you wish to be responsible for paying tuition is given a token that tracks their college fund, their student loan debt, their tuition rate, and various other things. This is a token you manually assign to particular sims, it is not given out automatically at any point. Sims with a token will be automatically charged tuition at the end of every semester - if the sim has not saved enough money in their college fund to pay for the tuition, it will accumulate as student loan debt. If a sim voluntarily drops out, they will be charged tuition for the semester they didn't complete. Debt, college funds, and tuition bills are tied to particular sims rather than families, allowing your to better control who gets saddled with the debt.

To assign tokens and set up college funds, you need to buy the College Tuition Management Object, which looks like Professor Von Ball and is available from the buy catalog in Misc/Misc for 1 simoleon.



Professor Von Ball has the following interactions:





Initialize

Available to any sim without a token. You will be able to choose a multiple of 10,000 simoleons from 10,000 to 50,000. For sims who are young adults or younger, this represents the total cost of an 8-semester college education (note that you can attend college for more or fewer than 8 semesters if you get on academic probation or drop out, and thus pay a different amount over all). It is possible to initialize the token with 0 simoleons; in that case, the sim will not pay tuition, and none of the functions to move money around in "semesters" of tuition will function unless the total cost of education is changed later on.

For adult and elder sims, this amount is initialized as that sim's student loan debt (and the presumed cost of that sim's former education). When initializing adult and elder sims, you may also choose initialize the loan as a regular loan from another sim. The money will be transferred from the loaning sim's family funds to the current sim's family funds and will be tracked on the token as a debt.

Tuition per semester

This is just a static disabled option visible for young adults and younger, which shows the currently selected sim's semesterly tuition.

Change total education cost

Young adults and younger can use this option to change their total (eight-semester) education cost without having to delete the token and reinitialize it.

Add to college fund

Allows young adults and younger to add money from family funds to a college fund for this particular sim, which is reserved for paying tuition in the future. The college fund can accrue interest if an interest rate greater than zero is set, so it is beneficial to start saving early! You can add money in thousands from 1,000 to 10,000 simoleons at a time, or add money in "semesters" - so, if your semester tuition is 2,500, you can add 2,500, 5,000, 7,500, etc. at a time.

Withdraw from college fund

Anyone can at any time withdraw money from their college fund, if they still have any. You can withdraw in the same amounts as you can add it, or your can just withdraw it all.

Pay back loans

Anyone who has student loans can pay them back from family funds. You can pay them back in the same amounts as you can add to the college fund, or you can pay them all (if you can afford it). Student loans can accumulate interest, too.

Forgive loan

You can choose to forgive all or part of your sim's loan with this option.

Designate Payee

You can designate any living, playable, adult or elder in the neighborhood to be a particular sim's payee - meaning that they will be sent your sim's tuition money as it is paid. Unfortunately this money does not count towards total money earned/personal wealth, because apparently you can't add to that if the sim is not on the lot, for some reason. It's probably just as well, since it would make the "earn $100,000" LTW trivial. If you've set the payee to someone, you can clear the the payee by clicking the option again and then cancelling the dialog.

The payee is paid in the following contexts:
  • Tuition was successfully paid from the sim's college fund.
  • Student loans were paid back from family funds.
  • A semester grant was used to pay back student loans (more on this below).

Designate Sponsor

You can designate a sponsor (or clear the selection by cancelling the dialog) in the same way as the payee. The sponsor is a third party who is not affiliated with the university, and thus does not benefit directly from tuition payments, who will pay any tuition that your sim cannot afford, at the cost of your sim becoming indebted to them the same way they would have become indebted to the payee. This is useful if you want the payee to always be paid, even if the sim cannot afford it, or if you want a moneylender sim who earns interest on loans but does not receive tuition payments. If no sponsor is set, the payee is paid in the circumstances described in the payee section. If a sponsor is set, it works like this:

Whenever tuition is billed:
  • If the student can afford it, the money goes to the payee.
  • If the student can afford some of it, they pay what they can and the rest is paid by the sponsor directly to the payee. The student accumulates the rest as loans.
  • If the student can afford none of it, the sponsor pays the full tuition directly to the payee and the student accumulates the money as loans.

If there is no payee, the money they would get simply disappears.

When paying back loans, if the sim has a sponsor, the sponsor will receive the payment, otherwise it will go to the payee.

Borrow money

Sims who don't have a college fund can directly borrow (maybe additional) money from either their sponsor (if they have one) or their payee (if they have a payee but not a sponsor). The money is transferred directly to the sim's family funds from the sponsor/payee's family funds, and is accumulated as debt on their token.

Semester grants go to family funds/Semester grants go to college fund or student loans

This option will flip between the two possible strings when you click it. When it reads "Semester grants go to family funds", then the grants you get at the end of the semester for good grades will go to family funds as with the unmodified game - when it reads "Semester grants to go the college fund or student loans", those grants will instead go into your college fund (if you don't have student loans) or to pay student loans (if you do). The grant is processed before tuition is billed, so it can be used to pay for the same semester in which the sim earned it. Note that any student who gets straight As can pay for nearly 10,000 simoleons of tuition this way (at the expense of not having any spending money while at college). This setting shouldn't affect the semester grants' contribution to total earned money/personal wealth. They will be counted as earned either way.

Inherit student loans

If you have a sim who will die with unpaid student loans (or already has) you can have another sim inherit their loans, so that the account doesn't just disappear with the sim. You can choose any playable sim in the neighborhood, living or dead, to inherit loans from as long as they have outstanding loans. Another way you can use this is to allow a rich relative to pay off one of your sims' student loans.

If the inheriting sim does not have a token, they will be given a new one, using the same tuition rate, interest rate, and payee/sponsor as the other sim.

If the inheriting sim does already has a token: first, any college fund the inheriting sim has will be used to pay the other sim's student loan debt, payable to the other sim's payee. If that does not pay off all of the debt and the inheriting sim does not have a payee/sponsor set, they will also inherit the other sim's payee/sponsor. Otherwise they do not inherit any other part of the other sim's token.

After the inheritance, the token will be removed from the sim that was inherited from.

Note about payees and sponsors: the sim who is transferred will be the one to whom loan payments go (so, the sponsor if they exist, otherwise the payee). They will be transferred as the inheriting sim's sponsor only if the inheriting sim has neither payee nor sponsor and they inherit debt.

Set interest rate

You can set an interest rate that determines how quickly money in the college fund and student loan debt increase. This controls interest for both (since you can't have both at the same time). Interest is accumulated every night between 3 and 4 AM by everyone except young adults, who do not accumulate interest on either student loans or college funds. You can always set the interest rate to 0% (the default) if you don't want it.

Remove tokens

You can remove tokens from either the currently selected sim, all sims, or all dead sims using this option, which is always available.

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Game Compatibility

This hack requires University, and also at least one expansion that is OFB or later.

Hack Compatibility

This hack is mostly made up of self-contained custom objects, but it does override a few resources: BHAV 0x200C in group 0x7F17E3A4 (which controls what happens at the end of a semester) and text list 0x12F in that group, and BHAV 0x1000 in group 0x7F3FDB15 (which controls what happens when a sim drops out), and a new text list 0x12F that I created for that group. Any hack that modifies these same resources will conflict.

One that conflicts is Ancient Highway's hack that makes term papers required in order to earn a grade better than a B+ - if you have that hack, use collegetuition+termrequired.zip and make sure my hack loads after Ancient Highway's. Let me know if you discover other conflicts and I will try to accommodate them.

Another hack that conflicts is Cyjon's Semester Changes. If you use this hack, get collegetuition+semesterchanges.zip and make sure my hack loads after Cyjon's. Semester Changes makes it so that instead of having semesters, your sims pass a whole year at once and only take finals/get grants/etc. at the end of every year. With my hack and Cyjon's together, you will be billed tuition for two semesters at a time at the end of each year. You will also be billed for a full year's tuition if you drop out.

Problems and bugs

If you experience a situation where a sim returning from a final exam does not advance the semester and they are still listed having to take the final exam, do the following:
  1. Check the status of the student's token using Professor Von Ball: note their semester tuition, their college fund or student loan debt, their payee and sponsor, and where their semester grants are going.
  2. Enter debug mode by typing ctrl+shift+c and then "boolprop testingcheatsenabled true".
  3. Send the student to their final exam once again. After they come back, you should get a popup about an error log. Note where the game says the error log is stored. Click "reset" to exit the popup.
  4. Exit the game, and find the error log. It should be in My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Logs/. Post the stack trace from the error log (the first part, before where it says "global simulation variables") in the discussion thread, along with the information you got from Professor Von Ball about the token.

Thanks!

Special note about the custom objects

The fallback GUIDs of all of the custom objects have been set to 0x0, so there should be no problems with them turning into something unexpected when you remove the hack.

Acknowledgements

The code of the following hacks helped me and/or inspired me while I was making this:

Cyjon's Loan Jar
Paladin/SimWardrobe's Checkbook
Pescado's Autonomycontrol

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

University
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
collegetuition.zip 68.5 KB 756 6th Sep 2018
collegetuition+termrequired.zip | Description: Compatible with AncientHighways Term Paper Required 68.7 KB 362 6th Sep 2018
collegetuition+semesterchanges.zip | Description: Compatible with Cyjons Semester Changes 68.7 KB 254 6th Sep 2018
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract: Use WinRAR (Windows) or Stuffit (Mac) to extract the .package file(s) from the .rar or .zip file(s).

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Windows Vista/7/8: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\

-or-

4. Place in Program Files: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your appropriate Install folder:
  • Windows XP: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files(x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Origin: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Mac: APPLICATIONS FOLDER -> THE SIMS 2 -> TSDATA -> RES -> CATALOG


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76 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 60 Feedback Posts, 15 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
#76 Old Today at 2:25 AM
For some reason I have not been abled to get the mod to charge my sims. I have initialized, set payees, set sponsors. I have done everything I was supposed to and still can figure it out. What could I be doing wrong? I love the concept of this mod, I can't wait for it to work for my game!
Instructor
Original Poster
#77 Old Today at 2:51 AM
If you're expecting it to deduct from family funds, it doesn't. It accumulated debt (or decreases balance) in the college fund tracked by the token, and then you can pay off the debt from family funds (or add money to the account to be deducted).
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