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Re: College savings and "fairness"
Old 03-02-2005, 12:46 PM   #21
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Re: College savings and "fairness"

We told our kids that they can go to any school they wanted, and for as long as they wanted. Their parents would pay for the tuition equivalent of 8 semesters up to the cost of the most expensive public university in our state. We didn't promise to pay for room and board too, but so far we have paid and will continue to if we can. Our daughter chose a more expensive housing option this year and she pays the difference between that choice and a normal dorm room. Summers they can live at home free, or live in an apt on their own dime. We encourage the apt as it's good life experience, but don't feel we owe them a completely free ride. We feel this strategy encourages a state U and 4 years but doesn't make other choices impossible.
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Re: College savings and "fairness"
Old 03-03-2005, 08:38 AM   #22
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Re: College savings and "fairness"

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If a child wants to go in the military, then fine, but I think parents should at least put their child in the position of giving them the officer route (having money for college for ROTC, or for OCS after they get their degree).
A lot of kids enter the military just to avoid college. Then they find out that it's not such a bad deal after all.

I worked with college-raised officers, both ROTC & USNA, who weren't worth the ink on their commissions. And for every one of them I knew several former-enlisted officers who had put themselves through college during their enlisted time-- some of them on their own money-- and then OCS. They sincerely appreciated the value of their education. Their focus & organization made them much better leaders.

Navy is starting a program to require E-8 candidates to have at least an associates' degree, and E-9s at least a bachelors.
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Re: College savings and "fairness"
Old 03-03-2005, 12:17 PM   #23
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Re: College savings and "fairness"

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I worked with college-raised officers, both ROTC & USNA, who weren't worth the ink on their commissions. *And for every one of them I knew several former-enlisted officers who had put themselves through college during their enlisted time-- some of them on their own money-- and then OCS. *They sincerely appreciated the value of their education. *Their focus & organization made them much better leaders.
*
My spouse spent 3 years enlisted as a basic grunt before earning a commission and said it was the only way to go - an education in itself. *Although he says he wished he had been more aware of the different commissioning options at an earlier age.

The USMC has a great program called MECEP that is probably one of the last really outstanding deals around. *Through this program they take motivated jr. enlisted and send them to a college of their choice for 4 years with full pay and allowances (along with accelerated promotions while you're in - most end up being paid at the E-6 level while attending school fulltime). *Tuition isn't included but you can tap the GI Bill, which is now around $900/month. *Of course you get your commission at the end and have to serve 4 years as an officer.

Since you're still on active duty during the program, your 4 years of college count towards the time in service needed to collect a pension (unlike ROTC). *We know a 37 year-old who went through the progam after enlisting at age 18. *Will be retiring and collecting his pension starting next year, and because he also went to graduate school while in the military, only spent about 13 years actually "in the Fleet." *No school debt, no military academy, no trying to squeeze in classes between active duty assignments, and a COLA-ed pension w/medical by age 38. *My spouse was like "Damn, wish someone had told me about this program when I was 17!"
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Re: College savings and "fairness"
Old 03-03-2005, 06:11 PM   #24
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Re: College savings and "fairness"

I graduated from a non brand name state university, and it's only acted as a checked box (as in this job requires a 4 year degree) my wife got her Biology degree from UCSD, which is now a top 25 school and number 6 in biology, I can tell you it opened doors for her, as she met and was mentored by some great minds, and now does incredible work in Biotech. Both of us paid our own way in college, with some time living at home and plenty of meals mooched off the parents. We had about 50k in student loans after she got her graduate degree, and got it down to 30 before we became ineligible to deduct the interest (income rose) and rolled into the house during a refinance.

If your child has the good fortune to know what he/she is passionate about (as my wife did), I think they should go to the best school for that major, with cost only playing a roll in extreme cases. If not, state school or the military is the way to go in my book! It's never too late to find yourself....
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