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spinoff--paying for college for your kids? - Page 10

post #181 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster View Post
My experience working in the admissions office at MIT (you know, the other, better Harvard ) was that a lot of smart caring people worked incredibly hard to create a diverse, creative, talented and deserving student body. Although the dean of admissions never graduated college herself....
Yes, I believe this -- my husband is a Professor at MIT. He is constantly complaining about how it is difficult to hire people from a diverse background, since so few people who are considered "diverse" even apply (for a Post-Doc). I've discussed classism, etc. with him at MIT when the whole Larry fiasco (ex-Pres of Harvard) happened. He insists that in his department, and within the Media Lab (where he works), people are VERY interested in creating as diverse a community as possible, from students to Professors.

I think it's easy to bash Ivy institutions because they are considered to be the elite. I'm not saying I do or I don't beieve Periwinkle. I just know my experience at Harvard (and talking with my husband for an MIT perspective) gives me the opposite impression.
post #182 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Yep. That's a huge problem - what families do you know can afford FIFTY TWO THOUSAND dollars a year in cash??? You need to be making nearly $100K *just to pay for college*!! And you have to be seriously upper income in order for $52K per year not to hurt BAD. And heaven help you if you have more than 1 kid in college at the same time, which A LOT of people do!
It's a "retirement" that happens earlier (usually). As such, it's something you plan to save for well in advance of the event's arrival. I'm not discounting the fact that the price tag for a top-tier private university or college is colossal (and perhaps not the best value out there, but that is definitely a function of the fit of the student and the university), but it's not reasonable to describe it in terms of something you would be paying for with this week's pay check (meaning, "current" income, rather than savings).

Also, re: diversity and classism - check out the Washington Monthly's "rankings" of universities and colleges out there. I think you'd be surprised (and somewhat refreshed) by the results.
2006 ranking:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...legechart.html

2005 ranking:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/fea...legeguide.html
post #183 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNB View Post
it's not reasonable to describe it in terms of something you would be paying for with this week's pay check (meaning, "current" income, rather than savings).
Of course. Not sure that anything I said is in conflict with this. the REASON most people need savings is because they can't afford to write a check for the tuition out of their paycheck. That's kind of the point of the thread, and I was just pointing out that you'd need to be making literally HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars a year (honestly.... $500K - $750K and up) for two kids in college not to hurt BAD.

Quote:
My experience working in the admissions office at MIT (you know, the other, better Harvard ) was that a lot of smart caring people worked incredibly hard to create a diverse, creative, talented and deserving student body.
MIT is - to a degree - a totally different ballgame. It is a technology focused / trade focused school, not an elite liberal arts college or Ivy League university. It, like Carnegie Mellon, Cal Tech, London School of Economics, gosh even RISD and the like, a lot more focused on skill sets and have historically been less concerned with courting the upper class as opposed to just going after brainiacs no matter where they come from or look like. I will say, however, that there is inherent bias in favoring a perfect SAT Math score or 5's on AP Calc exams etc.... as these tests themselves are biased against lower income and racial diversity but that is a whole other thread.

*****
My experience working HEAVILY with the admissions offices at elite colleges and universities is that either a.) they CARE about diversity but the administration undermines it or doesn't put their money where their mouths are with actually changing how recruiting happens and admissions factors are weighted... or b.) they are totally and completely elitist ___s who are blind to their own racism and classism.

I also freely admit and perhaps should have said this, that IT/tech focused schools (I have specifically recruited from MIT, CMU, VA Tech, and WPI and the IT/tech programs at other universities & colleges) tend to be very egalitarian compared to the others, especially nowadays, where many of the great developers / architects / IT program managers are Indian and southeast Asian - many by birth - and I have also seen a lot of Russians in particular and immigrants from Eastern European countries. I still think there is tremendous work to do to bring more women into these positions and the deck still seems to be stacked against seeing more black, hispanic, and Native Americans -- in other words, when you peel back a few layers, it often turns out that the "diversity" numbers come from highly educated Indian and Southeast Asian and Russian YOUNG MEN, which is great, but leaves a lot of room for improvement in the other areas I mentioned.
post #184 of 195
My bad - I guess I misread your post. I don't see using savings for the purpose intended as hurting, even if it is a lot of money. I will probably be singing a different tune when DD is closer to that point though -- she's only 10 months now, so my own college bills are closer in time than hers will be. (though just barely.. and gosh, that's making me feel old.)
post #185 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster View Post
My experience working in the admissions office at MIT (you know, the other, better Harvard ) was that a lot of smart caring people worked incredibly hard to create a diverse, creative, talented and deserving student body. Although the dean of admissions never graduated college herself....
MIT also has "need-blind" admissions - meaning they don't look at your ability to pay before you are admitted, and they guarantee financial aid to any admitted student who needs it. I am the very grateful beneficiary of their policy, since my parents never paid a dime for my education. (My family lived reasonably well but were quite poor on paper.) I did have to work part-time (as a research assistant on campus) and take out student loans totaling about $25K, but the majority of the cost was paid for with grants from the university.

My DH and I both feel that if our kids are smart enough, they will be able to go to an institution that will pay their way, as we did. If they aren't that ambitious, they can go to a state school where we expect to be able to pay the tuition when the time comes. Or maybe we'll be back in Canada by that time, where university tuition is a fraction of what it is here.

Incidentally, the way things turned out I would not have been any better off had my parents saved for my education. MIT would have simply reduced the grants they offered me by whatever amount my parents might have been able to pay. Of course, the difference was that my options were very limited - I had to go to one of the universities that could pay my tuition in full.
post #186 of 195
I have not read all 10 pages of replies. We do the Florida pre-paid college fund for our trio, but that will only cover 2 years at a community college and 2years at a state school. Only classes and special fees. No books, no housing, etc. We save more $$ for our retirement. Our financial planner told us that the kids can take out for student loans, but we can't take out money to retire on...so our money is best served in our retirement account.

My parents did pay for my 4 year degree at a very costly, private liberal arts school. I paid for my post-graduate studies, and have just started on a second master's degree. I am a professional student. :
post #187 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
Look at teachers in my area who are expected to earn Master's degrees to teach kindergarten then they're not paid well at all. A freaking Master's degree and then paid half of what my hair stylist friend earns in her upscale salon and not even a high school diploma.

It's madness.
Yeah, that. My husband is a high school teacher and he must have a master's degree to hold that position. His parent's did not help out one penny and so he has $65,000 in student loans that we must pay off. And his GPA in high school was 4.0 and his college GPA never dropped below 3.8. So now he makes $55,000 a year (after 5 years of teaching in an extremely high paying district) and we are expected based on that income to pay over $400 a month towards his student loans. We have three kids, a mortgage, and our expenses alone use up that entire income with nothing left over for student loans. And we only live in a semi-decent neighborhood in one of the cheapest cities in Massachusetts. Costs of living are astronomical enough these days without having to factor in exorbitant student loan payments.

He finished college just after our oldest was born and so we have been able to defer those loans due to income hardship but that bill is going to come calling someday and soon. And none of this even counts in my student loans (about $30,000 right now and I have not finished my undergraduate degree). We made all the right choices to lower costs as much as possible for college (teaching fellowships, full time jobs, high grades, etc. I even became a part time student because it would lower my yearly tuition by half.) This is still the position we find ourselves in. We will be lucky to have it all paid off by the time our daughter starts college.

I do not want my children to have to start out their adult lives burdened down by such a large debt. So, once they are in school I will be going back to work outside the home so that we can save as much as we can towards their college education, whatever form that may take. We will help them out as much as we can with whatever schooling choices they make. I hope to at least be able to cover four years at a public state college for each of them. We will of course expect them to help out as much as they can and keep their grades high.
post #188 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 in August View Post
When you've earned the $1500 (or whatever amount, this was just a random #) for a couple classes and wrote the check out yourself it is a big sense of accomplishment.

While I agree with this in theory (since I see a lot of kids at my college who do not seem to take their education very seriously at all) one credit at my university is $825. One credit. That means a typical three credit course costs over $2400. One class. This is only if you are a part time student. Full timers pay more. And my college is nowhere near the costs of a lot of others out there. I don't know many jobs a 17 or 18 year old can get that would net them an income high enough to write checks for this kind of bill.

Why doesn't our country have universal higher education again? Oh yeah, too socialist. I forgot.
post #189 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole77 View Post
Why doesn't our country have universal higher education again? Oh yeah, too socialist. I forgot.
I think people are extremely short-sighted nowadays. Even if you are selfish, it is still better for the big economic picture to provide affordable higher education.

Back in the '60s and '70s education was a priority, and a college education at any state university was cheap. The idea was that when people get an education they make more money over their lifetime and pay more in taxes, in the long run more than making up for the cost of the education to the taxpayer. So, that's the reason the Babyboomers are a highly educated, big money-making generation.

What is going to happen when the USA is no longer churning out an educated workforce, as more and more people are priced out of college? Will we, as a country, be able to compete with India, Europe, China, etc. when they are producing an educated workforce and we are not?

Why aren't people getting pi$$ed off about the cost of college? Aren't there people who believe college should be available to anyone who wants to go? It seems like everyone just accepts it.
post #190 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma4fun View Post
IME, student loans are NO BIG DEAL. Together DP-PhD has 80,000 in debt. We pay about 200/month, according to the salary chart.
In all seriousness would you tell me who you consolidated with? Because I would really like to look into moving our loans over to them. DH has $65,000 in loans and our salary-based payment is over $400 a month. He has a Master's and makes $55,000 so we must make less than you guys do...
post #191 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole77 View Post
In all seriousness would you tell me who you consolidated with? Because I would really like to look into moving our loans over to them. DH has $65,000 in loans and our salary-based payment is over $400 a month. He has a Master's and makes $55,000 so we must make less than you guys do...
Well you might want the weigh your options. An $80,000 loan even at say 1% intrest paying $200 a month means you will be paying for over 40 years and paying an additional $17,000+ in intrest when its all done. : At the same time you may at this point in your life need the lower payments.
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post #192 of 195
You can save for 18 years and with the rate costs are going up, most elite colleges are still out of reach for the average family- even educated, professional, two-income families. It's difficult enough just putting money away for retirement at this time in our lives, much less college for multiple children. Our state univ is excellent and even that is beginning to go up. Who knows what it will be in 15 years.
post #193 of 195
DH and I plan on paying 100% for college for all of our kids. Fortunately, we're in (or will be in) a position to do that. We live comfortably on his current income (e-4 with 4 years in service) and anticipate a generous increase in salary when he gets out of the military in 2 years. We've discussed it, and agreed that we will continue with our current lifestyle, and the extra income will go into long-term savings, with 2 goals in mind: kids' college funds, and DH being able to retire early, preferably around 45.

But, our kids won't know about the college funds. I don't want them to think that because college will be paid for, they don't have to work or try...so we intend to imply to them (by not mentioning the savings accounts) that college is contingent on scholarships, financial aid, etc.
post #194 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole77 View Post
In all seriousness would you tell me who you consolidated with? Because I would really like to look into moving our loans over to them. DH has $65,000 in loans and our salary-based payment is over $400 a month. He has a Master's and makes $55,000 so we must make less than you guys do...
Yeah, we pay about $200 a month on a 10-year repayment plan (halfway through) with 3.5% interest rate, and our remaining balance that was consolidated is only $13k and change. How is it that you can pay $200 for $80k. Doesn't the interest accrue faster than that? The only thing I can imagine is that your repayment period is several decades, but in that case, how much total will you be repaying? Will you pay a total of 10 times the original loan amount?

Our loan is currently with ACS, and repayment is not salary-based.
post #195 of 195
Hey, it's the demographic I've been looking for.

I think the game has changed pretty substantially in the last 15 years, and it is probably no longer reasonable to assume that talent and brains will win the free undergrad tuition to the elite institutions. Last I heard, which was a few months ago, 4/5 of parents are saving nothing at all toward their kids' educations; combine that with tuition inflation, and the competition for aid is going to be tremendous. So long as the kids are willing to sign for the loans -- and how should they know better? -- universities will tacitly understand that they don't really need to expand aid radically. And I don't think there'll be any serious effort to do anything about lending to students for another 20 years. At that point there'll be a large number of middle-aged, middle-class voting-type people still trying to pay off the interminable debt from BAs and support elderly parents (who haven't saved adequately for retirement) while they watch their kids sign the student loan papers. It's a nice Upton Sinclair image. And that'll start it. But I don't actually see an end to it myself.

What's disturbing to me is the trend at flagship state schools towards selecting mostly-Ivy students for the grad programs. Until very recently, I've maintained that so long as you go somewhere reasonably large, it really doesn't matter where you go for an undergrad program unless you're spectacularly talented or you need something very specialized. You're going to find good faculty everywhere at this point, so there's no point in spending $34K on tuition when you're 18 years old. What matters is the grad program. But that was predicated on the idea that the grad programs select in a pretty open way, which had been, I think, the rule. If that's changing, then the state-school undergrad fallback plan stops working. (And it leads to funding questions, but that's another thing.)

I work in the K-12 test-prep industry, where there is gigantic state and federal money being thrown around. I expect to see the same begin in the next decade in higher ed, but you have to keep in mind it's not some main-line Eastern Establishment running the show anymore. The people who do run it buy a tremendous amount of pedagogical garbage, which comes out of ed schools that collect the bottom 25% of university students. Some portion of whom are turned into ed consultants, ed agency administrators, and new heads of ed schools. (You would not believe the teacher handbook I've just proofed. The word "cognitive" has made it to K-12 pedagogy, and they have the most decided ideas about How Brains Learn. We have this all figured out, you see. RedWine, your husband can tell his AI Lab friends to go home.) For the money they'll want oversight at the universities, and you can bet that the benchmarks they'll insist on will have little or nothing to do with liberal education or with competing with a few billion Asian degree-holders. We are not serious yet. And why should we be? The power's still on, there's plenty of food.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work. The state of Arizona tells me that "research has established the major steps of the writing process," so I'd best go find out what they are. Maybe paying for ed on your own is not such a terrible thing after all.
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