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Old 05-19-2016, 10:49 AM   #21
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Have you really factored in the total cost of Oxford..did you factor in transatlantic flights, the cost of where she will live in the Summertime if she doesn't come home. The idea that she is in Europe so she "might as well" go to Paris and Rome while she has the chance? Things in Europe can be pretty expensive. I suggest you have your daughter do a complete budget so she knows what she can and can't do overseas. At that point I'd probably borrow 1/2 of the extra costs and put the rest of the loans in her name. This seems like a good compromise and will ensure your DD is fully aware of budget constraints.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:55 AM   #22
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+1
Yes, please stop these comparisons, as I have an irrational and knee-jerk reaction to attack and correct such outdated thinking.
- My undergrad tuition in 1979 was $275 a semester (in-state).
- In-state tuition is now ~$25,000. And we all know real wages have remained flat or gone down. IOW, everything costs a helluva lot more than it did back in the disco days. And undergrad degrees are now a prerequisite for any mainstream corporate job, which means their instrinsic value is now lower.
It's $13k here for UC a year. If you qualify for Pell Grant, I think you get $5500. So you end up paying about $8k out of pocket. If you commute from home, I don't think it's outrageous. My kid after sophomore year earned $20k for her summer internship, let's say she could save half or 1/4. She could save from $10k-$5k on her own money.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:55 AM   #23
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Have you really factored in the total cost of Oxford..did you factor in transatlantic flights, the cost of where she will live in the Summertime if she doesn't come home. The idea that she is in Europe so she "might as well" go to Paris and Rome while she has the chance? Things in Europe can be pretty expensive. I suggest you have your daughter do a complete budget so she knows what she can and can't do overseas. At that point I'd probably borrow 1/2 of the extra costs and put the rest of the loans in her name. This seems like a good compromise and will ensure your DD is fully aware of budget constraints.
Yes. The actual cost of tuition (it being a 3-year BA) is actually not far off from State U's 4 years; it's the flights and housing and some wiggle room for the exchange rate.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:01 AM   #24
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Part of answering this is to understand what Cambridge offers other then an excellent name. If you don't have that information, maybe a source like the site "Quora" would be a good place to ask such a question.

Also I got some interesting hits with a Google search on "Is Cambridge a good university".

And have you visited the school?
It's a very different educational experience than a US school. All programs (that is, every degree, e.g., Euro History) are ranked by the government. It's a world-class program that she has been accepted to.

As to the visit: UK parents are not involved in touring schools or handling housing or anything like that: one parent told me: "we put him on the bus and we went to the bar." We have not been there. We did speak to a counselor who has sent several kids there with high recommendations.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:47 AM   #25
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Your DD has a unique opportunity. I agree that the choice is not the same as "big state U with no loans vs. U.S. private school with $150K in loans". If I were in your shoes I'd be inclined to want to make it possible.

Some things to consider:

Is DD your only child, or have you/will you be funding other college educations? I have two daughters, and while I've never worried that "fair" = "spending the exact same amount of money", I believe it's fair to keep the spending somewhat equal. If taking on large loans for DD means that a younger sibling will have limited options, I wouldn't do it.

You say you cannot afford to pay the extra $50K per year but can afford the loan payments. Is it just a cash flow problem, or will the loan payments adversely affect your ability to run the household/save for your retirement? I would be adverse to so much debt but I don't know the details of your finances.

As far as the posters advising your daughter should get her own loans, that is not likely to happen. Student loans in the US are limited to $5,000-7,500 per year for the student. (I don't know if Stafford loans are even available for students attending college in another country). Additional private loans are available, but someone will need to consign for her. What bank is going to lend $50,000 to an 18-year old student with little income and no assets?

Disclosure, because our experience colors our opinion: DH and I paid about $250K (total) to send our two DDs to college for their BS degrees. There was no need-based financial aid offered, and we were able to pay by using savings and current income. There were no loans.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:08 PM   #26
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Does she have the opportunity to study abroad for a year if she does State U? Our daughter-in-law (m/l) did USA school undergrad in three years, second of which was abroad at Oxford, followed by masters at Cambridge, so she has the double OxBridge on resume. (now in law school.... but maybe this is it ...)

If State U would permit such a route, that might be a more affordable option?
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:10 PM   #27
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Getting accepted obviously doesn't mean "has to go". IMO, if she wants to go there, she needs to figure out how to fund it. You're going to give what you can give, but should not feel under any obligation to spend a quarter million dollars for an education that might provide a cool opportunity but not much of an earnings bump as to what she could get for 1/5th of the cost.

My wife and I are in line on this as we were both educated at public schools growing up, and have bachelor's from the same public University and masters' from public Universities, and together ended up with about $10K in low-interest student debt from the entire range of our education. I cannot fathom spending a quarter million dollars on a bachelor's degree. It'd be a non-starter for us unless our child was going to pay the difference.

This is like Camry vs. BMW 5 series to me.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:27 PM   #28
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I finished my graduate degree with very little debt. I paid for my two children college education up to completion of their undergraduate degrees, then they paid for their graduate tuition with their employer's help. None of us even thought of applying to expensive schools, so I was not faced with the problem the OP has.

A compromise is for the youngster to apply for a loan, even if you have the money to give her. Perhaps that would teach her that money does not grow on trees. You can always help her pay that loan later. One hopes that by seeing herself in debts, she would not indulge herself too much while in expensive Europe.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:29 PM   #29
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My employer paid for my expensive graduate school. Got to love it. Luckily I finished my Master degree in one year, otherwise they would be paying more.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dadu007 View Post
+1
Yes, please stop these comparisons, as I have an irrational and knee-jerk reaction to attack and correct such outdated thinking.
- My undergrad tuition in 1979 was $275 a semester (in-state).
- In-state tuition is now ~$25,000. And we all know real wages have remained flat or gone down. IOW, everything costs a helluva lot more than it did back in the disco days. And undergrad degrees are now a prerequisite for any mainstream corporate job, which means their instrinsic value is now lower.
Your tuition # is a little overstated. (At least for my state, and I think MA is a high cost of living state.)
The $25k would cover in-state tuition, fees, and on campus housing (housing around $11k) for a Massachusetts state University.
Maybe if your from outside of New England it would cost $25k for tuition and fees for University of MA.

My kids have been told we will pay for in state college. If they decide to go for a private college they would have to make up the difference on their own.
I have a daughter working towards her Associates in Dental Hygiene. She's not interested in going for the traditional college education. (Or my idea of a traditional education.)
My son expressed interest in Private, but is leaning towards State U since he doesn't want to be in debt when he's just starting out on his own. We'll see if he changes his mind. He has a couple more years of HS to go.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:41 PM   #31
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This is a great chance for some grownup talk with your daughter. I noticed you said it's a 3 not a 4 year program witch puts her out in the world earning money that much sooner. Given the unique experience and the 3 years it's really not about the money.

How will it get paid for...you could just fund the 50 and have a serious talk about this being it for her i.e. house downpayment assistance, wedding funding, etc..they won't happen now. Explain it's nothing punitive, it's for your financial health and putting her first now so she can have this chance. Perhaps she can borrow some of the money as well.If your DD is mature enough to handle 3 years abroad, a difficult degree program and being separated from family, it's not too much to expect a intelligent 2 way conversation about how to make this happen that will satisfy both parties.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:57 PM   #32
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Not quite the same as Cambridge, but somewhat similar situation... DS had merit-based scholarships to two very good, but smaller engineering schools here in Texas. The scholarships paid all tuition, fees, room, and board for 4 years. But he really wanted to attend UT Austin, which is a top-10 engineering school nationally, and therefore merit-based scholarships are significantly harder to come by and rarely if ever cover all costs for 4 years.

Even though the extra money wasn't a showstopper from an affordability standpoint, it was still a very substantial sum over 4 years. So I really tried to convince him to go to one of the smaller schools. But he had worked incredibly hard in high school to get the GPA and SAT scores necessary for acceptance into UT's program. So, in the end, there was no way we were going to deny him that.

We still arranged the finances so he had some skin in the game. He worked over the summers for spending money and other living expenses after he moved off campus. And he had some great internships, which resulted in multiple job offers. So it worked out well.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:01 PM   #33
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I think if she wants to go to Cambridge, she should go, enough said and no questions about it period. This is a chance of a lifetime for her.

So the next question is how will it be paid for. Your entire family (including your daughter) needs to come together as a team and work together to figure out how to do this. All need to be pitching in on this task and giving it their all, IMO.

But there should be NO question about whether she goes or not, assuming she wants to (and who wouldn't?). None.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:32 PM   #34
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If DD is smart enough to get into Cambridge then she should be smart enough to figure out how to pay the added cost. Let HER take out the loans if she believes it is worth the difference - which it very well may be.

EDIT: To make it clear (if it isn't already) I think young adults should have some skin in the game with regards to their college education. Getting a free ride on mom and dad's expense account is short-changing them on part of their education - a very important part.
lol, Ive never agreed with this. my parents paid my tuition and believe me I had "skin" in the game. My skin was easy, waste their money and I got my pretty little black behind (my moms exact words) kicked from one end of the state to another. Every term my parents EXPECTED excellence and my life would have been holy heck if they felt I goofed.

I firmly believe not have tens of thousands of dollars in debt upon graduation gave me a leg up, upon graduating.

every child is different. My sons also do not have any student loans, my sons is a B + student, he too has skin in the game. the fact of knowing I will end his life and enjoy doing it if he waste my hard earned dough. He recognizes that he is fortunate that he does not have a 500 loan payment every month.

Op you know your daughter best. I always encourage my children to pick experiences over money. going to Cambridge does NOT happen to every American teen, do the pluses out weigh the negatives?

If my child had an opportunity such as that there wouldn't even be a discussion, we would have taped him to the wing of a plane if we had to. He'd be there.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #35
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Not quite the same as Cambridge, but somewhat similar situation... DS had merit-based scholarships to two very good, but smaller engineering schools here in Texas. The scholarships paid all tuition, fees, room, and board for 4 years. But he really wanted to attend UT Austin, which is a top-10 engineering school nationally, and therefore merit-based scholarships are significantly harder to come by and rarely if ever cover all costs for 4 years.

Even though the extra money wasn't a showstopper from an affordability standpoint, it was still a very substantial sum over 4 years. So I really tried to convince him to go to one of the smaller schools. But he had worked incredibly hard in high school to get the GPA and SAT scores necessary for acceptance into UT's program. So, in the end, there was no way we were going to deny him that.

We still arranged the finances so he had some skin in the game. He worked over the summers for spending money and other living expenses after he moved off campus. And he had some great internships, which resulted in multiple job offers. So it worked out well.
Texas A&M used to give scholarship for NMS. I think my oldest kid received a voucher for one day visit. She never went because she never wanted to get out of California.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:43 PM   #36
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Question? Does having "skin" in the game suppose to make you more responsible? I know quite a few friends who took out loans, still goofed off, dropped out of school and now have loan payments and no degrees.
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Old 05-19-2016, 01:50 PM   #37
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I know quite a few friends who took out loans, still goofed off, dropped out of school and now have loan payments and no degrees.
Well, to quote Ron White, "You can't fix stupid."
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #38
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Question? Does having "skin" in the game suppose to make you more responsible? .

For most, yes.


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Old 05-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #39
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Your DD has a unique opportunity. I agree that the choice is not the same as "big state U with no loans vs. U.S. private school with $150K in loans". If I were in your shoes I'd be inclined to want to make it possible.

Some things to consider:

Is DD your only child, or have you/will you be funding other college educations? I have two daughters, and while I've never worried that "fair" = "spending the exact same amount of money", I believe it's fair to keep the spending somewhat equal. If taking on large loans for DD means that a younger sibling will have limited options, I wouldn't do it.

You say you cannot afford to pay the extra $50K per year but can afford the loan payments. Is it just a cash flow problem, or will the loan payments adversely affect your ability to run the household/save for your retirement? I would be adverse to so much debt but I don't know the details of your finances.

As far as the posters advising your daughter should get her own loans, that is not likely to happen. Student loans in the US are limited to $5,000-7,500 per year for the student. (I don't know if Stafford loans are even available for students attending college in another country). Additional private loans are available, but someone will need to consign for her. What bank is going to lend $50,000 to an 18-year old student with little income and no assets?

Disclosure, because our experience colors our opinion: DH and I paid about $250K (total) to send our two DDs to college for their BS degrees. There was no need-based financial aid offered, and we were able to pay by using savings and current income. There were no loans.
Only child for us. Cost will be about $125,000 all-in, or about $50,000 more than state U. It's not 50,000/year extra, it's $50,000 total above our college savings.

The loan situation is broadly the same as it would be for a US school. Students can get Staffords, parents can get PLUS loans. Same amounts. There is little in the way of merit aid (which is also true of Big Public U).

One of the more interesting things is that she will have no choice but to become far more independent than a typical US college student: no meal plan, no university people fretting over your happiness, basically no hand-holding.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:43 PM   #40
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So, how much is your available cash flow budget? You say you can afford payments.

Sounds like the cost is $125k and you have $75k. Assuming you don't pay in advance you need $42k per year for 3 years.

Year 1 - Pay $42k and save $750 per month
Year 2 - Pay $42k and save $750 per month
Year 3 - Pay $9k and come up with $33k somehow

I would focus on cash flow, belt tightening, and a combination of summer work before I ended up borrowing $50k.

Sounds like a great opportunity though.
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