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How are your kids going to go to college? - Page 9

post #161 of 208

I think we also have to remember that student loan debt is not bankruptable. It will never go away until it is paid off. There was a mention of Suze Orman in a PP and I have seen one of her episodes where a man was semi-suicidal and crying because he could not get out of his student loan debt and couldn't afford to pay it. He was in his 40's so I don't know if he could defer it.

 

To answer Honey693, I am in theory against mortgages but do have one because I am also against us being homeless. haha. But then again a loan for a house guarantees a house. Loan for school doesn't guarantee anything.

post #162 of 208
Quote:

Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

 

2. I noticed, when I was a student, and now as a college professor, that students who either work and/or pay for their own education are much more focused and mature, and much better at managing their time. I know quite a few students whose parents pay for everything so they can "concentrate on their studies" and these students have it so easy they can't find the motivation to get out of bed. Many of them sleep through class, play video games, and party excessively. I know this is a HUGE generalization and that there are always exceptions, but it's a pattern I've noticed.

 

 

 



This is interesting to me. I had a former manager who once told me she wished resumes showed how a person paid for their degree, for the reasons you state above. Only, she was expanding it to the workforce. She had noticed a strong pattern (again - there were exceptions) over the years, where the students who had had to pay for their own educations were solid employees, and the ones whose parents had paid weren't'. Again, it wasn't always that way, and it was a generalization, but she'd noticed the pattern over three decades in the workforce, talking to colleagues, employees, and occasionally her own managers, about their education before entering the workforce.

 

I've noticed something similar over the years, but my sample size is far, far too small to get a handle on. I've worked mostly in very small companies. The place where I worked with the most people was a packaged office building where I worked for the management, and most of our tenants were entrepreneurs, who are a somewhat atypical sample of almost anything. (Quite a few of them were thriving on no education beyond high school.) Once I take out that job, I really haven't had a lot of coworkers, etc., to work with, yk?

post #163 of 208
Thread Starter 

Bailey, we don't usually agree... But you just made me laugh my butt off... at work... they're all looking at me funny...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post



It is totally different when your child takes the initiative to apply and sign up for loans on his own and decides to take on that debt knowingly. But it's totally different when your parent tells you if you don't go your only option will be work at McDonalds, then takes you to a few schools so you can decide where to go, sets up meetings for financial aid and has you sign your future salary from a future job away, then you graduate with a basket weaving degree and can't get a job that pays enough to pay the bills. Next thing you know your kid is down banging drums at Zucotti park wanting "their fair share" from the banks that "took their money". I am absolutely and totally NOT against college or college degrees or careers nor am I pro-giganto-bank, etc. but I think that people REALLY have to way their options and not just go because "everyone else is going" or "because my parents said I should go."

 

And no offense to the kids at Zucotti Park, I'd be pissed too!



 

post #164 of 208

This is totally what happened to me and because of it I am in tons of debt with no degree but am soo happy I dropped out of university when I turned 18 and discovered the real world. Despite working full time and making some payments towards loans I still owe a ton! I just hope my kids can find their niche without paying a ton!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post



It is totally different when your child takes the initiative to apply and sign up for loans on his own and decides to take on that debt knowingly. But it's totally different when your parent tells you if you don't go your only option will be work at McDonalds, then takes you to a few schools so you can decide where to go, sets up meetings for financial aid and has you sign your future salary from a future job away, then you graduate with a basket weaving degree and can't get a job that pays enough to pay the bills. Next thing you know your kid is down banging drums at Zucotti park wanting "their fair share" from the banks that "took their money". I am absolutely and totally NOT against college or college degrees or careers nor am I pro-giganto-bank, etc. but I think that people REALLY have to way their options and not just go because "everyone else is going" or "because my parents said I should go."

 

And no offense to the kids at Zucotti Park, I'd be pissed too!



 

post #165 of 208
My daughter's roommate's parents are paying out of pocket for her entire college education - over 50K a year. Roommate (who apparently is friends with at least one of the Kardashians and was on their show and went to school with Arnie and Maria's son) has been drinking and drugging her way through the year, getting bad grades, and is currently on probation. Rain, otoh, has been working hard in order to keep her scholarship and increase her chances of getting other sorts of funding, because she knows there's no way we can pay that out of pocket.

I was doing my taxes this year and realized that between the two of us we "paid" something like 80K this year for college tuition - that's 2 semesters for me and one for Rain. It blows my mind. Of course, we really "paid" none of it - it was all covered by scholarships - but it seems like just an incredible amount...
post #166 of 208

      Quote:

Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

To answer Honey693, I am in theory against mortgages but do have one because I am also against us being homeless. haha. But then again a loan for a house guarantees a house. Loan for school doesn't guarantee anything.

 

All a loan for a house guarantees is a loan for a house. It does't guarantee a house. You have to make the payments for that unlike my student loan where I got the education upfront and then got to pay it off. The government could not have taken my degree or education back if I missed payments, but if I don't send in my mortgage, my house will be taken back by the bank. Of course my education did not guarantee a huge salary or even a job, but it certainly gave me better prospects than I had before.  


Edited by AbbyGrant - 2/26/12 at 1:40pm
post #167 of 208

My parents were set to pay for my undergrad degree, but I got scholarships instead.  Wealthy parents != Lazy-ass kid, thank you very much.

 

That being said, we started a college fund for the kids before they were born.  I am an only child and my parents are wealthy, I believe they have already started setting aside $$ for the kids but they're also control freaks so I'll make a full disclosure/discussion about "strings" with my kids should they lean towards accepting that money.

 

We will help pay for undergrad at a state school (because we have already destroyed our kids' chances for a need-based student loan, and there's a ton of predatory lenders out there still for the non-need based ones, it's not my kids fault that they were born into our family).  If they do service in the military or peace corps or some other significant service to the community at large equivalent we will either assist with grad school OR give them a nest egg for starting a business/investment/family/ect.  If the kids decide to go to trade school/go for an apprenticeship/undergrad equivalent, we will provide financial assistance while they're going through their education.  Same gift for community service applies.

 

I don't look down on people who cannot or won't provide for their kids' post-secondary education.  I can see all sides of that.  I feel very fortunate that our family has the *privledge* of that option (because that is certainly what it entails).  What irritates me is the ASSumption that doing so ruins the kids.  Sorry, but having grown up in those circles, so far as I can tell it doesn't, and I certainly met many people at college who blew their own student loans on drinking orgies, racking up stupid consumer debt, and being blissfully unaware of how they were squandering their opportunities as well.  I think it's stupid to pretend that post-secondary education is a guarantee of wealth or a job;  but it's just as stupid to pretend that it has absolutely no effect ever.

post #168 of 208

I forgot to say with my answer that our helping pay is contingent on grades.  If my kids are flunking out, we're done paying.  They can come home and try a semester at the community college by the house or work until they can get their heads on straight, grow up and act like an adult.

post #169 of 208

I think the whole concept that kids won't appreciate an education unless they pay for it themselves is a falsity, to an extent...a throw-back from the old the days where one couldn't appreciate a dollar until one made a dollar...so forth and so on.  

 

Kids who want to learn and feel directed are going to do well, whether or not their parents pay for it or not.  I think where one sees the problem is when kids are thrust into a college education, don't really know what they want to do, don't have the underlying drive to do something, and then flounder around and don't treat their education as a privilege or are driven because there is nothing driving them.  No goals, no ideas, no reasons.  I mean, I had scholarships throughout - I wasn't personally paying for my education - but I had an underlying desire to do something and to learn something.  I think therein lies the issue...a desire to learn.  I think this goes to the issue that a lot of kids are expected to go to college and don't really know why they are there or what they should do.  If their parents are paying for it, it compounds the problem.  But again, I don't think that kids whose parents underwrite their educate are flailing because of that, but because they lack direction.wild.gifblahblah.gif  (DD added the last in the way of graphics)

post #170 of 208

Anyway, when you have kids who are young, like I do, and like the OP does, how do you get them into an appropriate education that will make them a happy, well-rounded person who can get a job doing what they want to do? 

 

I think one way to make that happen is to save some money toward a college education, if you can afford to do that without having to stint on more basic things. Another way is to model seeking more education and vocational training. If a person has the great good fortune to be able to do BOTH of those things, well, then we're really cooking with gas. 

 

I am really not worried that my kid is going to turn out to be a spoiled, directionless, hard-partying wastrel if a miracle happens and I manage to put together enough savings to give him a free ride in college. That's just not my concern. I'm also not attached to university as the only model for achieving happiness--but I do see my kid is fascinated by math and science and that I ought to plan accordingly. These stories about how kids are too spoiled to do well in university--yes, there are young adults like that out there, I taught some of them. 

 

I don't think paying for school will turn my kid into one of them. 

post #171 of 208

I don't agree either that parents paying for a degree means the kids aren't motivated. I could have done a little better than my 3.45 in undergrad, perhaps, if I were paying, but I think I did pretty well. And got a 3.5 when I went back to school and paid for it myself.

 

in re various stuff brought up in this thread-- my husband and I have discussed this a lot and his position, which ultimately I've decided I agree with, is that the kids should have a plan. They should decide what they want to do and pursue it. Even if they then change their mind and have to change their course of study, it's better than not having a plan at all. And if they have no idea what they want to do, they should work on getting an idea, rather than just going through school anyway and figuring that they'll figure it out when they're done. I went to a small liberal arts school that I do feel encouraged the idea of just getting the degree if you didn't have a specific career ambition and then figuring out what you want to do. I don't think this prepared my friends and me very well. Of myself and several close friends from undergrad, all now in our late twenties/early thirties, there isn't a single one of us who graduated with a degree relevant to what we wanted to do and is still doing that thing. There are a couple people who still don't have the foggiest clue what they want to do and a couple who are doing the thing that they got dropped into but it's not necessarily their dream job and they don't have a great handle on what their dream job would be and how to get there. Then there are a couple of us who did figure out our dream jobs and pursued them, but for both of us, that involved going back to school in something totally unrelated to our undergrad major. Maybe my friends are just a clueless bunch, but there were lots more people at our school like this. My husband isn't doing the thing that he thought he'd do when he started college--he changed his mind a couple of times, but he always had something in mind and had in mind how his course of study would relate to it. I do think I want to encourage this for our kids when the time comes, and we can all sit down and figure out what course of action in college is best.

post #172 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post


I don't look down on people who cannot or won't provide for their kids' post-secondary education.  I can see all sides of that.  I feel very fortunate that our family has the *privledge* of that option (because that is certainly what it entails).  What irritates me is the ASSumption that doing so ruins the kids.  Sorry, but having grown up in those circles, so far as I can tell it doesn't, and I certainly met many people at college who blew their own student loans on drinking orgies, racking up stupid consumer debt, and being blissfully unaware of how they were squandering their opportunities as well.  I think it's stupid to pretend that post-secondary education is a guarantee of wealth or a job;  but it's just as stupid to pretend that it has absolutely no effect ever.



I'm not assuming it, and I specifically said that there are exceptions. But, it is something I've actually witnessed in the workplace, and I'm not alone. However, to be honest, I found that it applied to a lot of people with degrees, no matter how the education was paid for. It's certainly not everybody - not by a longshot - but there are people out there, in non trivial numbers, who seem to feel that once they have their degree, they've paid their dues, and can coast by on less work than their less accomplished colleagues. It's far from universal, but the tendency/trend does exist.

post #173 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

I think the whole concept that kids won't appreciate an education unless they pay for it themselves is a falsity, to an extent...a throw-back from the old the days where one couldn't appreciate a dollar until one made a dollar...so forth and so on.  

 

Kids who want to learn and feel directed are going to do well, whether or not their parents pay for it or not.  I think where one sees the problem is when kids are thrust into a college education, don't really know what they want to do, don't have the underlying drive to do something, and then flounder around and don't treat their education as a privilege or are driven because there is nothing driving them.  No goals, no ideas, no reasons.  I mean, I had scholarships throughout - I wasn't personally paying for my education - but I had an underlying desire to do something and to learn something.  I think therein lies the issue...a desire to learn.  I think this goes to the issue that a lot of kids are expected to go to college and don't really know why they are there or what they should do.  If their parents are paying for it, it compounds the problem.  But again, I don't think that kids whose parents underwrite their educate are flailing because of that, but because they lack direction.wild.gifblahblah.gif  (DD added the last in the way of graphics)

 

Yeah - actually, this is probably a large part of what I've observed. However, I've seen it in the workplace, post degree. I'm not sure what happens there.
 

 

post #174 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I don't agree either that parents paying for a degree means the kids aren't motivated. I could have done a little better than my 3.45 in undergrad, perhaps, if I were paying, but I think I did pretty well. And got a 3.5 when I went back to school and paid for it myself.

 

in re various stuff brought up in this thread-- my husband and I have discussed this a lot and his position, which ultimately I've decided I agree with, is that the kids should have a plan. They should decide what they want to do and pursue it. Even if they then change their mind and have to change their course of study, it's better than not having a plan at all. And if they have no idea what they want to do, they should work on getting an idea, rather than just going through school anyway and figuring that they'll figure it out when they're done.

 

And, what if they "work on getting an idea", and still don't have one? I'm in my 40s, and know lots of people my age who have no idea what they want to be "when they grow up". I know people even older who also never figured it out. My mom and dad understood it, becuase they were both the same way. But, I've always wondered how parents who believe in plans handle people like me. Some of us just don't have anything we really want to do.

post #175 of 208


Okay - I had skipped over the entire latter part of your post, here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
Of myself and several close friends from undergrad, all now in our late twenties/early thirties, there isn't a single one of us who graduated with a degree relevant to what we wanted to do and is still doing that thing. There are a couple people who still don't have the foggiest clue what they want to do and a couple who are doing the thing that they got dropped into but it's not necessarily their dream job and they don't have a great handle on what their dream job would be and how to get there. Then there are a couple of us who did figure out our dream jobs and pursued them, but for both of us, that involved going back to school in something totally unrelated to our undergrad major. Maybe my friends are just a clueless bunch, but there were lots more people at our school like this. My husband isn't doing the thing that he thought he'd do when he started college--he changed his mind a couple of times, but he always had something in mind and had in mind how his course of study would relate to it. I do think I want to encourage this for our kids when the time comes, and we can all sit down and figure out what course of action in college is best.


Among my family and friends who have degrees, this is the rule, not the exception.  Our entire cultural approach to formal education and career building was structured around the idea that people could decide what they wanted to do with their lives at about 15 or 16 (with maybe a hint of wiggle room, but there are course prerequisites to consider), and determine the path that would work for the rest of their lives from that. IME, it's only a very few people who can really do that, and have it work well.

 

post #176 of 208
With a few exceptions, I don't really think an undergrad degree is meant to prepare you for a specific job. It's meant to expose you to a wide variety of ideas, ensure that you can read, understand, analyze, write a paper... also that you can organize your time and that you are able to commit to a 4(ish) year project and complete it successfully. Having attended community colleges, non-selective state universities, for-profit private universities, and selective private universities, I do think there is a difference in the expectations of each, overall - of course there are exceptions, but overall. For example, the amount of reading expected per week generally differs, and the length of a class paper, and the expectations for the quality of the papers.
post #177 of 208

You make valid points, Storm Bride. I think I have been left a little skeptical of the "get a degree, then figure out what to do" model of degree-pursuing. IME, though college is a great experience, that mentality leaves people ill-prepared for the so-called Real World. I'd rather my kids have an idea of what they want to do. If they don't have an idea, I'd like them to look around before going to college. If they do that and STILL don't have an idea, I do think having a college education would fit them better than not having one (if nothing else, it makes it easier to go back if they figure out what they really want to do and it requires a grad degree), but I am in favor of them at least trying to acquire direction before starting the degree program. My backstory is that I would have loved to gap-year and try to see a little more of the world, because I felt painfully sheltered and clueless coming out of high school, but the dynamic in my family was too unhealthy for me to voluntarily subject myself to another year under their surveillance. Absent that issue, I think I would have been well-served by a year to get my head together and mature a little in my peer relationships and decompress and do some research about what careers were out there and how they might match up to my interests. It came out well for me on the whole anyway, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking at how to improve the experience for the next generation.

post #178 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

You make valid points, Storm Bride. I think I have been left a little skeptical of the "get a degree, then figure out what to do" model of degree-pursuing. IME, though college is a great experience, that mentality leaves people ill-prepared for the so-called Real World. I'd rather my kids have an idea of what they want to do. If they don't have an idea, I'd like them to look around before going to college. If they do that and STILL don't have an idea, I do think having a college education would fit them better than not having one (if nothing else, it makes it easier to go back if they figure out what they really want to do and it requires a grad degree), but I am in favor of them at least trying to acquire direction before starting the degree program. My backstory is that I would have loved to gap-year and try to see a little more of the world, because I felt painfully sheltered and clueless coming out of high school, but the dynamic in my family was too unhealthy for me to voluntarily subject myself to another year under their surveillance. Absent that issue, I think I would have been well-served by a year to get my head together and mature a little in my peer relationships and decompress and do some research about what careers were out there and how they might match up to my interests. It came out well for me on the whole anyway, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking at how to improve the experience for the next generation.


 

I've talked about the "gap year" with a lot of people (most of whom do have degrees) over the years, and I think it would be very valuable for a lot of people, maybe the majority. There are always other factors (such as your family situation), but I think the gap year is a really good idea, in general.

post #179 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


Okay - I had skipped over the entire latter part of your post, here:


Among my family and friends who have degrees, this is the rule, not the exception.  Our entire cultural approach to formal education and career building was structured around the idea that people could decide what they wanted to do with their lives at about 15 or 16 (with maybe a hint of wiggle room, but there are course prerequisites to consider), and determine the path that would work for the rest of their lives from that. IME, it's only a very few people who can really do that, and have it work well.

 



Maybe it's just the people I hang out with, but in my experience getting a degree and working in that field is the rule, not the exception.  All of DH's friends went to private schools and out of the ones he still talks to only one isn't working in their degree field.  That one is back getting his masters in the field though.  I went to a public university and at least half of my group ended up in their degree field.  I hung out with all teaching and pharmacy majors though.  I'd be willing to bet it wouldn't be the same with liberal arts, theater, etc majors.

post #180 of 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post



Maybe it's just the people I hang out with, but in my experience getting a degree and working in that field is the rule, not the exception.  All of DH's friends went to private schools and out of the ones he still talks to only one isn't working in their degree field.  That one is back getting his masters in the field though.  I went to a public university and at least half of my group ended up in their degree field.  I hung out with all teaching and pharmacy majors though.  I'd be willing to bet it wouldn't be the same with liberal arts, theater, etc majors.



I've met quite a few who are working in the fields they got their degree in. What i haven't talked to are a lot of people who are doing so, and happy about it. The ones that are usually have at least a Masters, and generally changed tracks, at least somewhat, between their Bachelors and their Masters. I just haven't met that many people who chose a field, got their Bachelors degree in that field, and then happily went to work in that same field. Most of them either changed tracks somewhere along the way, or felt trapped and stuck it out, but don't like it, in their originally chosen field. (Obviously, it's not everyone, but it's what I've seen the most.)

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