Anyone not planning to push a college education on their children? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 83 Old 07-21-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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This is a privileged observation, that college isn't about the cost.  For many if not most of us, cost is the bottom line.  "Challenging" doesn't even begin to touch on the reality of tuition plus all the expenses that go with it.

 

 

 Just FYI, most of the Ivy-League schools will not charge tuition to families making less than $60k.  (And some will throw in housing, as well.)   At state schools, there are potential scholarships, loans, work-study programs, Pell grants, etc.  

Yes, my statement was very general.  There are some incredible opportunities for students out there.  Still, cost is the bottom line for many of us.  If, when all is said and done, we don't qualify for such a full ride (and in many instances it would have to be full ride, not partial, especially if students have to live out-of-state, or anywhere they can't live at home or with relatives), we are going to have to get creative if going to college is what our kids truly want.

 

In general, not necessarily in response to this post:  I don't mean to imply in any of my posts that college is a waste-- far from it.  College creates incredible opportunities.  As much as I wouldn't push college, I would also not actively discourage it, either.  It is one of many possibilities in life, and it is not inherently superior (or inferior) to other paths.  But I would encourage it as a path when they have an idea what they want to do with such an education.  Interests change, and that's just part of life, but in general, I would discourage college just for finding oneself, or discovering what you want to do (though that inevitably happens regardless).  In some instances, college is a end in itself--especially for philosophical pursuits or other such academia, and that's OK, too.  But, again, I say that college is just one possible path, different from but equal to others.  "Equal to"-- how?  Satisfaction with one's life, a sense of purpose in the world, self-worth, discovery, intellectual stimulation, financial solidity... I'm sure I can think of more if I waste more time on this contraption.

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#62 of 83 Old 07-21-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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We have an RESP for our children (we are in Canada).

It can be used for College, University, at Trade, etc. It may not provide all of the financial needs for their post-secondary training. Who knows what tuitions will be like in 15-20years. Anything else above that than they will be responsible for. Although I am not opposed to a loan from us parents.

I do hope that my children decide to become a professional in something. If they are going to work in construction, I hope they get a trade.

I don't care what my kids do. But I hope that what they choose makes them happy and provides them with enough money to feel secure, take care of themselves and their families and provide them with the life they want to live.


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#63 of 83 Old 07-21-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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I agree with what many PP's have said, that if a child IS showing a strong inclination in a certain direction, one that clearly makes them feel happy and inspired, that's when it's our job to support them even if it's different from what we thought would be best. And that goes as well for folks who who had an awful college experience; maybe it will go better for your child.

You have to look at the whole kid.

I had a good plan in a field I was passionate about (and my eventual degree/career ended up being in something related that wasn't even on my radar at the time), where I'd volunteered regularly for several years. There was no reason, looking at my passion, to think that it was a bad plan. In addition, it was a career path that was flattering to my family and closest mentors, and I was going to a university that would make my school's graduation stats look good, so why would anyone discourage me from it?

If you looked at my inconsistent performance in high school (I got into an excellent university more based on test scores than stellar grades) and general levels of stress related to school, you might suggest that other alternatives are perfectly acceptable and don't preclude going to college at some later point.

I'm not trying to put blame on anyone outside myself for doing badly in college. This is all 20/20 hindsight. It just changes the way I look at things for my kids. I'm not going to work to prevent them from going to college if their mind is set on it, I'm just going to be sure they've explored their options in terms of choices other than college, which colleges they can go to, and what career/degree options are out there.

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#64 of 83 Old 07-22-2013, 09:00 AM
 
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Oh, and to the person who mentioned not minding if the college teachers made good money from the tuition, you might like to know that most college professors are adjunct, meaning they teach one, two, or even three classes per semester without any job security or benefits of any kind.  They only begin to make decent money when they become full professors as their full-time job.  The likelihood of getting this kind of a position has gone down since Obamacare, as all colleges are trying to keep costs down by only hiring part-time employees so they don't have to  provide benefits.

As an example, I used to teach 2 classes a semester at a local state college, making $1200 per class (this was 1999).  When I added up how many hours of work, and subtracted the cost of gas and tolls, it turned out to be about $1.75 per hour!

My husband will teach his first class at a law school next semester, and he will actually loose money doing it!
The colleges are NOT giving the money to the teachers.
I don't believe Obamacare is the issue here -- as you've shown by your example from 1999, colleges have been exploiting adjuncts for a long time.
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#65 of 83 Old 07-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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In general, not necessarily in response to this post:  I don't mean to imply in any of my posts that college is a waste-- far from it.  College creates incredible opportunities.  As much as I wouldn't push college, I would also not actively discourage it, either.  It is one of many possibilities in life, and it is not inherently superior (or inferior) to other paths.  But I would encourage it as a path when they have an idea what they want to do with such an education.  Interests change, and that's just part of life, but in general, I would discourage college just for finding oneself, or discovering what you want to do (though that inevitably happens regardless).  In some instances, college is a end in itself--especially for philosophical pursuits or other such academia, and that's OK, too.  But, again, I say that college is just one possible path, different from but equal to others.  "Equal to"-- how?  Satisfaction with one's life, a sense of purpose in the world, self-worth, discovery, intellectual stimulation, financial solidity... I'm sure I can think of more if I waste more time on this contraption.

 

Similarly, I'm responding to the entire concept and not just this post:

 

I want my children to know about the opportunity of college.  It sounds simplistic, but so many parents (including mine) never talked about college as an option.  So, we take college tours. We actually plan vacations sometimes around what colleges we want to visit.  (And yes, I realize that we are financially-privileged enough to do so.)  Does that make me pushy?  Maybe.  Or maybe I'm just expanding their opportunities in life.  

I think the graduation rate of the college one attends matters, too.  Because I think the worst thing to do would be starting college, getting in debt for it, and not actually graduating. 


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#66 of 83 Old 07-22-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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but back to medical school and other professional graduate degrees, seeing how things are playing out for my super bright DD, I seriously wonder if anyone who has what it takes to get into and complete professional school, NEEDS to get into debt for their undergraduate degree. If they aren't getting full rides, then why do the think they will get into professional school at the end?

 

Whoa. Because getting a free ride scholarship is VERY VERY RARE, and much more competitive than getting into professional school.

 

Many many MANY people have what it takes to get into professional school, but don't get offered a free ride to undergrad. Not all bright students get scholarships. There just aren't enough to go around. Glad your daughter is lucky, but that's not the way it works for everyone. 

 

I went to professional school --- I'm a nurse practitioner --- but didn't get a free ride for my undergrad. Neither did almost any of my NP school classmates. I know a bajillion doctors, PAs, PTs, OTs, SLPs, and social workers all in the same boat. 

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#67 of 83 Old 07-22-2013, 08:40 PM
 
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I just have to put in a plug for small liberal arts colleges. The price tag looks high on paper, but there is often a lot of scholarship money waiting. If such a school really wants a bright student, they can find a lot of sources of funding. My best friend's sister got a full ride to a small liberal arts college (though she ended up transferring to another small liberal arts college because she had a terrible experience there, but I don't think that was necessarily related). She is certainly bright but I wouldn't say she's head and shoulders above the rest of us. I am told the way to play this is to apply to several different schools and see how much they offer you, and if you don't like the offer from your favorite, tell them you got a better offer someplace else (assuming this is true) and see if they come up with more money--though I admit I never tried this. 

 

Also, our state university offers a full ride to anyone who meets certain (pretty stringent but not impossible) criteria. My sister qualified for this and had her tuition, room, board, and a stipend paid to attend undergrad. Other state schools may have something similar.  

 

I guess with scholarships, you have to be willing to look around and see what is available different places. If you are set on one particular school that makes it more difficult. I'm not saying everyone can get a full ride, but there may be more options to go to college for cheap than people think there are. 

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#68 of 83 Old 07-23-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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I haven't read any of the replies yet, but my quick 2¢ while I'm here: our plan is to save up for our kids' future education.  There are tons of options for that, and we're looking into those.  But the money will be available for college or a trade school.  If our kid ends up being mechanically inclined and wants to fix airplanes, more power to him/her.  We're totally okay with that, and we want whatever funding we can give to help provide the necessary training for something like that even if it's not a traditional "college".  We are vehemently anti-debt/anti-credit/anti-loan (with the only exception being a mortgage because that's just about a necessity these days for anyone wanting to actually own instead of rent), so whatever we can do to help make sure our kids don't end up with the student loan noose around their necks, we'll do.

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#69 of 83 Old 07-26-2013, 10:21 PM
 
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We will strongly encourage post-secondary education for our children.  Even if they go into trade school or an apprenticeship that costs $$, and many are competitive and may actually require more work than a "traditional" college degree to be blunt.  I'm most interested in making sure that the kids know how to fend for themselves financially and in a management sense, which you don't really get in postsecondary education but will serve you well in it.

 

What we advise our kids is going to largely depend on the individual child, and what the economy/job market looks like at the time when they're about ready to launch. Things can change rather quickly in relatively short periods of time, and we've got 8ish years before the first batch are there.  In the meantime, we're saving money to help out with post secondary education, whatever path that takes.

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#70 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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Two of my children have already gone to college. (The middle one is currently attending Graduate School.)  Both my husband and myself attended University as well. My husband and I came from a working class neighborhood where very few of the people we went to Grammar School and High School with went to college and fewer of their parents did. Few of these people were ever able to break out of the cycle of poverty most of their parents lived in and are still struggling hard every day as we speak.  (few of the women had the luxury of staying home with their children, as they had to pitch in to pay the rent and buy food as soon as their children were born.) 

 

Those few of us who went to college (and graduated, some of us with advanced degrees) are OUT of the old neighborhood, doing fairly well, or at least keeping our heads above water. I can't say the same for my classmates who wanted to "make money right away" or who were actively discouraged from going to college  and who are now in their late 40 or early 50s... doing the same type of  job they did in High School, making about the same money and hating every second of it. I'm worried about how they will fare when they retire. Of course many of their children don't attend college, continuing the cycle of poverty and lack of advanced education.

 

I LOVED University!  (I made the mistake of applying to a University we could not have afforded and got accepted, but I did end up at a very well respected Jesuit Uni and got a fantastic education.) I love the buildings, the classes, going to seminars and lectures, I loved my work study job (working with autistic children in an on campus Day School)  and even loved writing papers. I even liked taking tests in those old "Blue Books." I hated  the academics at our High School, as I wasn't really learning anything, as they didn't expect much out of us in that neighborhood, I think. University offered me quite of bit of interesting and new knowledge and helped encourage my love of learning that I use every day. Both my husband and I have careers that we love and neither could have been done without at least a Bachelor's Degree. (He's an Electrical Engineer and I'm a Board Certified Lactation Consultant.)

 

Also, we were able to afford to move to a much safer neighborhood which offered our children much better Grammar Schools and High Schools and better prepared our children for both University and for life.

 

My father is a Uni professor, and my mother was a technical writer, so college was simply expected of me. It really wasn't discussed, it was just the process: You go to Grammar School, you go to High School, you go to University and hopefully you also go to Grad school. My children were raised similarly, college was the norm and they expected to go. The main difference of their lives from ours is that most of their friends also were expected to go to college so they had a lot of company on the way. I went to a University where I only saw 2 people from my High School, and I knew neither of them well.

 

My husband and I believe that even with the cost, a college education sets a young person up for a life of less struggle than going it alone with only a High School diploma. There are so many great jobs that require a college degree that are fun and also help bring in enough money (yes, it's a necessity) to raise one's family in a comfortable manner. We aren't rich, but I see how badly our friends from High School who didn't go to college struggle. Most of them are still living in rental places, only a few own homes, few have jobs they like and fewer have "careers," (there is a difference between a "job" and a "career" and it can make a huge difference in how people enjoy life)  many many are divorced with children scattered to the wind (money problems are the Number One issue that causes divorce) and even though we are far from rich, we are also far from poor. Yes, we did struggle some when our first two children were born shortly after I finished my Bachelor's degree, but as time went on (and I got more education and more experience) and my husband moved up the ranks at his job, things did get quite a bit easier. We got stung during the economic disaster.... but not as badly as many of our High School friends, a few of them who could afford houses lost them in the economic decline. One friend just walked away from her home and her mortgage, ruining her credit for life, but not having any choice. She is working full time, making little money (not enough to pay the mortgage)  the same job she had in High School, her husband (from whom she is "separated" yet he still lives with them) does not work, he likewise did not attend college, and is in his late 40s with no life plan. It's sad to see them and their children living this way. Very sad.

 

So, yes, our children ARE expected to go to college. It does make a difference in one's happiness of career as well as usually helps one avoid the worst of economic disasters. Of course, there were people with good degrees who did things like buy much much more house than they could afford, but those are unusual situations, in the long run, from my experience, families where both parents have earned University degrees and work in a good field tend to be happier, struggle less and want to pass that on to their children. :) 


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#71 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 11:56 AM
 
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I also think we can't look at how our parents lived their lives and try to base our children's lives on how things were when our (at least my dh's and my) parents started out in the 50s and 60s. My father didn't finish his BS or his Master's Degrees until I was a small child. He had gone to the Art Institute in Chicago, which "didn't believe in degrees" in the 50s and found that even with that schooling behind him couldn't get a decent job without a real degree. But, he was able to work his way through college while raising a family (something that would be out of the ordinary based on tuition rates in this day and age.)

 

My husband's father never even finished High School, (his mother did, but she never worked outside the house) but was able to get a good job as a fire fighter and ended up as Chief and then Fire Inspector, with two pensions, buying property in cash and plenty of money to pay for my dh's University education in cash. I can't see that happening today. Not at all. The economy and the nature of "work" has changed too much in the last 50 years.

 

I've just seen a lot of poverty and sadness connected to a lack of usable education to think otherwise. I agree with those who say that what one majors in is important. One of my best friends went to a very good private Uni, but majored in "Vocal Music." She enjoyed it well enough, in fact she had a great time in college, but it didn't set her up for a real workable job. Now, in her late 40s and a widow, (and helping to support her son... and his wife... and their baby)   she's going back to get a second Bachelor's Degree in Education. It isn't easy for her at all.

 

I agree with those who are saying that getting an education in something usable is necessary. One might think one will be a SAHM for life or will actually get that job with the Opera, but sometimes the unthinkable happens, and it's always good to have a plan and a usable education. I think too many of us believed "Do what you love and the money will follow." That worked for some, but not all, especially if something someone "loves" doesn't translate into a real career that a family can live on.

 

(I guess it also depends on what you "Love." My career, as a Lactation Consultant, wasn't even invented when I went to University. But, being an IBCLC does require a Bachelor's Degree in a "related field" so my degree in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development was perfect to set me up for the Path.  (there is an other path, but it's difficult to get all the extra CERPS and extra patient contact hours needed to sit for the Boards in the three years allotted. I do what I love, but I did have the educational back up and degrees and could have done something else with my education if Lactation hadn't become a workable career.)


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#72 of 83 Old 10-08-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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I think too many of us believed "Do what you love and the money will follow."
 

 

Or, we can love what we do. I'm a call center representative. What 12 y.o. dreams of being a phone rep??  I'm having a ball, and I love that I'm helping people who really need help.  And I'm making good money and have exceptionally good benefits. But I didn't plan for this.  It just sort of happened. 

 

I'm so literal minded, it seems like 'do what you love and the money will follow' is too much like faith healing.  If you aren't financially successful it's because you don't love your job enough.


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#73 of 83 Old 10-09-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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Or, we can love what we do. I'm a call center representative. What 12 y.o. dreams of being a phone rep??  I'm having a ball, and I love that I'm helping people who really need help.  And I'm making good money and have exceptionally good benefits. But I didn't plan for this.  It just sort of happened. 

 

I'm so literal minded, it seems like 'do what you love and the money will follow' is too much like faith healing.  If you aren't financially successful it's because you don't love your job enough.


You took one quote I made from two long complicated posts WAY out of context. Please read my two posts and mull them over and realize that I grew up in a neighborhood with a legacy of poverty with many of the families.

 

You can "love" a job at a gas station or Walmart all you want, you are not going to make enough money at dead end jobs like this to be able to buy a home or even usually  properly feed yourself or any children you might have.  IMO, usually only fortunate people get careers that both allow them enough income to live a life free from the specter of either starvation or homelessness. My friend, who I mentioned before, who majored in Vocal Music and now, at almost 50 is having to go back to school to get a second degree in Education LOVES her job at a Day Care Center.  However, her pay is crap. Not only is she now a widow, (something most women in their 20s, 30s or 40s certainly don't expect!) and is paying a mortgage on a house which needs major repairs as well as helping out her just-out-of-his-teens son who is a father and a husband. Neither this boy nor his wife can AFFORD a job they love. They have to feed their baby and pay their rent and their car insurance and eventually buy health insurance (as at the moment, they have NONE.)

 

I'm sorry, maybe I'm missing something, but there are LOTS of jobs where the upper end ceiling of what you can make is still UNDER the poverty line. You can love those jobs "enough" and still be food insecure and have nowhere safe to live.

 

I've been an adult, in the real world for more than 30 years. It's great if you can find a career you love, but more often than not, that requires a GOOD education. I could never have become a Lactation Consultant without my Bachelor's Degree and then the Master's Certification the IBCLC earned me. My husband could NEVER have become a Senior Staff Engineer without a degree from a greatly regarded University in Engineering. Jobs that can allow you to live securely and well fed and in a place where you don't have to worry about being shot just going out to the store that don't require education are not common.

 

Coming from Immigrant Stock who struggled mightily, like my husband and I, and living in POOR working class neighborhoods and seeing the poverty my former Grammar School and High School classmates who didn't go to college live in has made an impression on me. NONE of them can afford to be Stay at Home Moms, few of them have enough food to get them through the month without outside help. It doesn't matter how much they "love" their jobs. How could it? That comment sounds like a statement from a very entitled point of view. "Well, if you just loved your minimum wage job at Walmart a little more,  you and your baby wouldn't be on WIC and be running out of food by the end of the month and wouldn't be living in a one room apartment in a dangerous neighborhood. You just have to "love it" more."  Do you honestly believe that? 

 

When I was a child the people in our neighborhood all started with the same basic education, but my DH and I were fortunate enough to have parents who at least cared about our futures enough to help us with University so we would have a future free from food insecurity and free from homelessness . Plus, both of our jobs are fairly secure. I don't know what the security rate of call center representatives are, I have no idea. But, to say that people can't pay their bills or have enough money coming in to feed their children properly because they "don't love their jobs enough" is a gross simplification and misunderstanding of the causes of the cycle of poverty. Not to mention patently untrue.

 

I say this with all respect, but this isn't just about a single anecdote, but about millions of people who live below or around the poverty line, for many reasons, but a lack of education and lack of encouragement to get an education being one of the roots of this cycle of poverty.

 

I wish you would understand.


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#74 of 83 Old 10-09-2013, 08:49 AM
 
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Regarding your post above MaggieLC, College can definitely help some, but I can say it's not the end all to the be all. There will always be other factors in play.

A hard work ethic, a desire to do more, a willingness to relocate or live within ones means.

Of course I feel "lucky" to live in Canada where I think College (or our equivalent University) isn't as pushed as widely. It still is pushed but I don't see most people as passionate.

I could be making a great wage doing the same job I did when I was in HS (that I love). A live able wage with benefits, flexible hours an the ability to buy a house. But I can also to choose to SAH. I have no long term University education (I went for four months). My husband went to Trades school and we moved to an area where it's more about your willingness to work hard and do more than your University education.

Certainly College/University can afford some a great life, but all it does to others is put them into massive debts holes that they can't climb out of. And there are so many jobless with large student debts with fancy degrees people that there has to be a happy medium!

And our WM also pays a decent wage and is having to raise wages in our area to find people to work. Could you buy a house on a one income WM wage in our area? Possibly (if you were willing to look at town houses/trailers)

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#75 of 83 Old 10-09-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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honestly i feel there is lady luck involved with getting jobs and who do you know.

 

for some jobs a degree is just the first step in the door. there are many other steps that follow that has absolutely nothing to do with a degree. 

 

imho, spoken from experience - unless you are in a v. specialised field, most jobs that hire you just coz u have a degree are soul sucking jobs. though of course i am that kind of person who just cant work somewhere just to pay bills. 

 

i made good money using my degree and also NOT using my degree.

 

what i find is more important - to make money - is self marketing skills, inter/intrapersonal skills and your own common sense and smartness (i dont quite know how to say this, i dont mean to be prejudice) for that job. i have had jobs where i was terrible. my degree got me in the door but i just did not have the skills to play the game. 


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#76 of 83 Old 10-09-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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Regarding your post above MaggieLC, College can definitely help some, but I can say it's not the end all to the be all. There will always be other factors in play.

A hard work ethic, a desire to do more, a willingness to relocate or live within ones means.

Of course I feel "lucky" to live in Canada where I think College (or our equivalent University) isn't as pushed as widely. It still is pushed but I don't see most people as passionate.

I could be making a great wage doing the same job I did when I was in HS (that I love). A live able wage with benefits, flexible hours an the ability to buy a house. But I can also to choose to SAH. I have no long term University education (I went for four months). My husband went to Trades school and we moved to an area where it's more about your willingness to work hard and do more than your University education.

Certainly College/University can afford some a great life, but all it does to others is put them into massive debts holes that they can't climb out of. And there are so many jobless with large student debts with fancy degrees people that there has to be a happy medium!

And our WM also pays a decent wage and is having to raise wages in our area to find people to work. Could you buy a house on a one income WM wage in our area? Possibly (if you were willing to look at town houses/trailers)


One can have a "hard work ethic, a desire to do more..." etc, but if you're working at Walmart, because that's all your education will allow you to get, and trying to support a family, chances are good you will not be able to keep your head above water.

 

Of course, in Canada, you don't have to worry about health insurance or medical debt. People in the USA often get into medical debt certainly without intending to, so I don't think going into debt because you were requiring surgery when you have no insurance is "living beyond your means."  I didn't mean to leave out Canada and Europe, but people in the USA have challenges, because of our crappy health care system payer system that puts us at MORE risk of living in poverty due to debt that one didn't count on than people in more advanced Industrialized countries.


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#77 of 83 Old 10-09-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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We have higher taxes here to offset the cost of health care and I not only pay a health benefits premium to the government but up until we got benefits recently though DH's job still had to pay out of pocket for many things health related. But yes We are truly blessed to have a social health care system that works.

It doesn't mean that we're a whole lot better off. And I do know many people who live in the states and still don't believe that College is the end all to the be all. Certainly it can help, but so can seeking the right opportunities if you have the drive to do so.

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#78 of 83 Old 10-10-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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We have higher taxes here to offset the cost of health care and I not only pay a health benefits premium to the government but up until we got benefits recently though DH's job still had to pay out of pocket for many things health related. But yes We are truly blessed to have a social health care system that works.

It doesn't mean that we're a whole lot better off. And I do know many people who live in the states and still don't believe that College is the end all to the be all. Certainly it can help, but so can seeking the right opportunities if you have the drive to do so.


Of course, one can have earned a PhD and do nothing to gain employment, I understand that. I don't know if college is the end all and be all, but it's fairly well proven that people who get at least a Bachelor's Degree make an average of 1.5 million dollars over their working lifetimes than those who only have a High School Diploma. We all know anecdotes to the contrary, but these studies look at thousands of people in many different careers.

 

I would be afraid to send my children out into the world without at least a Bachelor's Degree, unless they had a well regarded Trade and training and that career looked promising as well as paid well. I've just seen too many people I grew up with struggle with food insecurity and poverty. Also I donate regularly to the Food Pantry in our community, I see poverty up close and personal, even in people with "drive" and who are working full time, doing the best they can without a complete education.

 

I don't know enough about the tax differences between Canada and the USA, but most Canadians seem to love their health care system. I wish we had Single Payer System here! I'd be happy with an increase in taxes. My husband and I have "full coverage" private insurance (Blue Cross) through my husband's employers,  runs us several hundred dollars a month, plus a $1,500.00 deductible before they pay for ANYTHING, and we still have high meds copays (two of my prescriptions cost me $75.00 per month each, and I have 5 more regular prescriptions that cost between $35.00 and $10.00)  and co-pays with every doctor's or ER visit. Plus, they can "deny" ER visits if the insurance company feels the trip wasn't "necessary." Not to mention the insurance won't touch any "alternative" health care, like chiropractic or acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy etc  and we never know when they are going to just randomly deny something.... not to mention "wait times."

 

I know a lot of Americans on the Far Right seem to complain (usually without knowing what they are talking about)  that Canada's Health Care System "makes people wait for health care." I know we have American standard insurance and we waited TWO YEARS to get Occupational Therapy for out daughter, waited 6 months to see a Pediatric Neurologist, and my husband waited over a month for eye surgery. I don't think some of these people realize that Americans, many of us, also have to wait for health care, even on the old "free enterprise" system (which, in my opinion, doesn't benefit anybody except the Rich...) But, I guess that's a discussion for an other thread.


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#79 of 83 Old 10-11-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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I won't push.  My husband hated doing his BA. And he is perfectly capable, not unintelligent and a really good writer. He just wasn't interested. It's his regret in life that he did not learn a trade and simply did as his parents expected.  He wishes he were a carpenter or mechanic or a welder. He explores this things as hobbies now.  He LOVES it when he makes something or fixes something and he can tangibly see and use what he has done.  It provides immediate satisfaction.

 

Additionally, I come from a lower middle class blue-collar family.  I have family and friends without college degrees who love their lives. And some of them make good money too. I have my Master's, am currently getting my Doctorate and I make less money than my friend who was trained as a hairdresser.

 

I love the idea of sending my kids to community college for all the general education classes. Some of the instructors in community college are superb. They are instructors only and not researchers. And they are also not newbie graduate student teaching assistants.  My son, however, has high academic abilities and I bet he will be encouraged by the school district guidance counselors toward a more competitive university.

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#80 of 83 Old 10-15-2013, 07:52 PM
 
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 They are instructors only and not researchers. And they are also not newbie graduate student teaching assistants.

 

Good point. I had not thought of that.


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#81 of 83 Old 10-16-2013, 06:04 PM
 
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I love the idea of sending my kids to community college for all the general education classes. Some of the instructors in community college are superb. They are instructors only and not researchers. And they are also not newbie graduate student teaching assistants.  My son, however, has high academic abilities and I bet he will be encouraged by the school district guidance counselors toward a more competitive university.

I agree. But keep in mind a four year college that is not associated with a university should also result in the teachers being professors rather than grad students. That was something I looked at when I was applying to colleges back in the day. I ended up having one or two new teachers in my 4 years at a liberal arts college but not any TAs.


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#82 of 83 Old 10-16-2013, 09:15 PM
 
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Some of the instructors at community college suck, though. At the one I went to, not every class got to evaluate their instructor. I know because my husband now teaches at that same community college. Only one class evaluates him each term and it is his highest-level class, whatever that might be. I got the distinct impression that some tenured instructors felt no compunction to act with any integrity towards their lower-level classes. I had a few good ones but some really awful ones, and the awful ones did some things that the professors at my liberal arts undergrad school would never, ever have pulled. And something like Ratemyprofessor.com isn't very helpful because you can find somebody who will complain about any instructor (the reviews of my husband basically boil down to "Oh, man, he expects us to do actual work! WHINE!") I stuck it out because I was going back for an advanced degree and was motivated and knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I'd be reluctant to inflict it on a new freshman. Though in our case we probably will encourage community college for our kids... but like I said, my husband teaches there, and he probably has or can get more insider knowledge on which instructors to avoid. Otherwise I would be careful. 

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#83 of 83 Old 10-17-2013, 06:30 AM
 
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As far as the original question about college goes, is it possible to just keep all the options for education open? That is to say, for us to save money (to the best of our ability) and to try to get our children to learn as well as they can in every subject area and to explore every interest? 

 

It just seems like it's hard to make a living without some kind of education or training. I am assuming college and pushing college--of course I am, I am also teaching college again. On the other hand, I would be delighted if my child had a skilled profession instead of a college education, provided that he really liked it, did it well, and made a living at it. My ex-husband's uncle (OK, now that's a weird relationship) did an MA in an academic subject and became an electrician when the work didn't come in the field he wanted. He likes his work, he does it well, and he makes a very good living.

 

Of course I'm oriented toward academics, but for my kid's future, I want him to have the education or training that suits him. 

 

I guess I do want to prepare him for college and have everything lined up, but if he decides to be a welder or a plumber, I'm not going to cry. I just want him to do something cool that gives him steady work and uses at least some of his tremendous potential. There are a lot of jobs that would be good, and a lot of different kinds of education I could respect. 

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