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Old 05-19-2016, 02:47 PM   #41
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If DD worked hard enough to get into Cambridge, then I think she has plenty of skin in the game.

I told DS that if he can get accepted in Stanford and goes for a CS degree, then we'd figure out how to pay for it. It's not going to happen in our case, but there are definitely some benefits for going to a top notch school if you select the right major. You'll make connections there you wouldn't make otherwise and as others have mentioned, she probably won't have issues finding employment after college.

Personally, I don't mind working a little longer so my kids can get a stronger start in their life. If that's the case for your daughter, then I think it'd be silly to pass on this opportunity (IMO).

Also, it's only 50k more. Cheaper than a Tesla.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:14 PM   #42
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If you're asking "how to fund it?" then it's a simple analysis. Find those sources of debt that are cheapest, which might be parent PLUS loans as you suggest. Or it might make more sense to dip into the portfolio. I'd personally rather sell investments and pay cash instead of taking on debt with 4%+ rates (not sure what the going rate is). Unless that debt can be wrapped into the IBR rules and I thought I could end up with a "payment optional" loan (as our six figure law school loans turned out to be for the most part).

If you're asking "Is it worth it?" then it's more complex. I'd question whether an additional $50k was worth it (plus more for being a stranger in a strange land, transatlantic flights, etc). I don't know that Cambridge carries more weight in the US than any other random top tier schools, and it's probably YMMV depending on specialty. If there's a master's or other advanced degree in the works, grad school is probably more relevant than undergrad anyway.

If the "hey, going to school in the UK would be cool" is appealing, that's a steep price tag. Why not take a "gap year" as is common and live it up across the pond. $50k would go a long way on a year long jaunt over there especially with the pound being so weak.

In my situation with 3 kids, I'm going to offer them what we can afford toward in state universities, and if they get into Cambridge, we'll see what creative ways the kid can come up with to help pay for it.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:23 PM   #43
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For most, yes.


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lReaaly? Haven't Americans struggled with cc debt? if that were true, I would think the lack of money make them responsible enough not to lbym?

and it seems every article i read screams how 1/2 the adults are ill prepared for retirement. I would think if having to spend your own cash was a indication of responsibility that this would not be so??

ok, no worries. I always say i march left when everyone else goes right

I look at it like the statement "18 makes you an adult". I don't think turning a magical number makes you automatically responsible, nor do I think having 50k in loans going to make you a good stident.

just me



lol when I was 22 not having money did not prevent me from getting credit card debt
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:23 PM   #44
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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.

Thanks for the clarification.

You DD will likely be able to take about $18-20K of the loans herself. That leaves 30K for you. Some people have car loans of that amount.

With no other kids to worry about, I'd let her go to Cambridge if that's what she wanted. (After some honest discussions about the ramifications of that decision, financial and social).
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:06 PM   #45
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In my view, you also have to assess your child and determine if she will really take advantage of that extra "prestige" she will gain and and leverage it for the future. For example, is she a self-starting, outgoing type who likes to get involved in things, can lead activities, good and making friends not just of peers but of teachers, adults in the community, etc.? Or is she more the reserved, likes to study but keeps knowledge to herself, wait for opportunities to come to her type? If it is the former, she has a better chance of making that extra money be worth it from a career perspective.

We went through this with one child. He was accepted at both a good State U with scholarships, and at a top 25 "elite" school, with the cost an extra 35K a year. He really wanted to go to the elite school, and we were convinced that we should extra - biased because we had gone to Ivy League schools and done well. In retrospect, their has not been a return on the difference we paid. He graduated in 4 years but did really did not take advantage of any of the opportunities and made few friends or adult contacts there. Almost 10 years later, his current job he could have had graduating from the State school, going to the more expensive school provided no benefit.

Another child got a scholarship to another good private school but took advantage of it and has done very well. So it is not just "can we figure out a way to afford it", but "is this something the child will take advantage of in the long run"
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #46
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First off - congratulations to you for raising a bright, academic daughter. (I'm struggling with my 15yo and 13yo... they don't always understand the need for good grades, despite not being completely stupid.)

Does she qualify to go straight into the 3 year program? I ask this because I know the US high schools have a lower graduating standard than the European schools. It's one of the reasons the Int'l Baccalaureate program is starting to take hold here in the US. I'm sending my kids to IB high school for exactly this reason. My sons are dual citizens and there has been some interest, by younger son, of going to a public university in Italy (Bologna). But - he'd need to have the IB diploma or be faced with a year of remedial work because of his US HS diploma being lesser.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:44 PM   #47
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Ah, the Baccalaureate. In many countries, one is not called a HS graduate until he passes the Baccalaureate. One can just throw away 12 years of school transcripts because only the grade of the Baccalaureate exam counts for anything.

Brings back memory.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:06 PM   #48
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If she can get Stafford loans, then she should get the max she can since since those don't require parent guarantee. Tell her that when she graduates she will be responsible to repay all of this. That should work out to about 40% or so of the extra $50k.

So, really, that leaves you on the hook to take out extra loans to cover the part she can't get loans for. My inclination (as someone who is a bit believer in state U education) is that I would probably be willing to do it if she is going to study something at Cambridge that will actually help her in her future earning capacity.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:47 PM   #49
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IMO there is nothing wrong with a student graduating with some student debt... it is their investment in their life. If she works summers she should be able to pay off some parts of the loan before she graduates. If she earns $5k more a year as a result of graduating from a more prestigious university then paying that $50k loan should be no problem for her.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:42 PM   #50
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For most, yes.


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Have anything to back this up? (Please, not anecdotal examples.)

My own feelings are that the student's level of responsibility and seriousness at school will be a reflection of his/her values, likely rooted in family values. These ingrained values will override whether mom and dad are largely picking up the bill or whether the student is taking loans and working 40 hours a week.
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College quandary - parents perplexed
Old 05-19-2016, 09:47 PM   #51
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College quandary - parents perplexed

You first. What data do you have besides anecdotal ?

Edit: on second thought, this is headed off topic. So ignore my request as I will yours.


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Old 05-19-2016, 09:56 PM   #52
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OK. I figured you were just BSing but thought perhaps there was some data to support your position and I'd be interesting in hearing it. Personally I've haven't seen data supporting whether students do better when paying for at least a portion of their post secondary education themselves or whether their success is more dependent on other factors.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:06 PM   #53
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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.
I never understand this either. We're talking about a 17 year old child. Some kids are not mature enough.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:18 PM   #54
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First off - congratulations to you for raising a bright, academic daughter. (I'm struggling with my 15yo and 13yo... they don't always understand the need for good grades, despite not being completely stupid.)

Does she qualify to go straight into the 3 year program? I ask this because I know the US high schools have a lower graduating standard than the European schools. It's one of the reasons the Int'l Baccalaureate program is starting to take hold here in the US. I'm sending my kids to IB high school for exactly this reason. My sons are dual citizens and there has been some interest, by younger son, of going to a public university in Italy (Bologna). But - he'd need to have the IB diploma or be faced with a year of remedial work because of his US HS diploma being lesser.
This has been my fear. Non US colleges are actually much harder than US colleges. Something about the style of teaching. While US colleges give more frequent projects and exams. So if you fail the final exam, you are in trouble.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:19 PM   #55
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A friend told his kids. "Take out student loans! When you graduate, I will pay them off. If you don't graduate, you pay them off." His first son dropped out. When the bills came due he went back and got his degree.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:38 AM   #56
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What is her major going to be? I'd look at from an ROI perspective. You've probably heard that the cost of Ivy league colleges may not have the payback to make them worth it vs a state or lower cost private university. If she is engineering, I would think Illinois will provide the biggest bang for the buck.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:15 AM   #57
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First off - congratulations to you for raising a bright, academic daughter. (I'm struggling with my 15yo and 13yo... they don't always understand the need for good grades, despite not being completely stupid.)

Does she qualify to go straight into the 3 year program? I ask this because I know the US high schools have a lower graduating standard than the European schools. It's one of the reasons the Int'l Baccalaureate program is starting to take hold here in the US. I'm sending my kids to IB high school for exactly this reason. My sons are dual citizens and there has been some interest, by younger son, of going to a public university in Italy (Bologna). But - he'd need to have the IB diploma or be faced with a year of remedial work because of his US HS diploma being lesser.
Thanks!
She does; that analysis is part of the application process.
UK secondary schools have an extra year. To adjust for that, UK schools grade US students on AP exams. DD had good grades (3.5) but much better AP exams. There is no question that she would not have been accepted to Michigan, Wisconsin, or Northwestern, but because of the focus on admittance to a specific program in the UK, she got into Cambridge and St. Andrews.
I doubt that they even looked at her HS grades. Not sure how IB works, but I'd think a typical IB student would rock AP exams.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:15 AM   #58
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A friend told his kids. "Take out student loans! When you graduate, I will pay them off. If you don't graduate, you pay them off." His first son dropped out. When the bills came due he went back and got his degree.
This is actually a great idea.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:23 AM   #59
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What is her major going to be? I'd look at from an ROI perspective. You've probably heard that the cost of Ivy league colleges may not have the payback to make them worth it vs a state or lower cost private university. If she is engineering, I would think Illinois will provide the biggest bang for the buck.
She is not majoring in engineering.

If she had been admitted to an Ivy, that would likely have cost less to us than Big State U, as the Ivies are much more generous with financial aid (especially scholarships vs. loans) than big public schools, which flips the whole cost/benefit thing on its head.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:31 AM   #60
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Thanks!
She does; that analysis is part of the application process.
UK secondary schools have an extra year. To adjust for that, UK schools grade US students on AP exams. DD had good grades (3.5) but much better AP exams. There is no question that she would not have been accepted to Michigan, Wisconsin, or Northwestern, but because of the focus on admittance to a specific program in the UK, she got into Cambridge and St. Andrews.
I doubt that they even looked at her HS grades. Not sure how IB works, but I'd think a typical IB student would rock AP exams.
Interesting, my daughter didn't apply to any UK schools because she heard from a guy from her school who was accepted to Stanford that it's much harder to apply to Oxbridge. Was there an interview?
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