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Old 09-13-2015, 04:21 PM   #21
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OP (and others). Remember when you look at private schools like Rice that they also require you to complete the CSS/Profile form. Schools using that form take a harder look at your assets. Rice is quite generous compared to many schools and guarantees to meet need (of course they get to define what need is...)

My DD is a Rice graduate and although DW and I had an income north of $100k (several years ago) we we given very generous aid (total costs including room and board were less than $20k for two years and less than $10k for the years when our DS was also in college). At the time the sticker price for tuition + board was ~$55k per year. If I remember correctly, Rice did consider the value of your home but not your retirement assets. It does consider savings.

Our income is going to be low this year (he goes next year).... but the online calculator show I would have to contribute $43K per year of the $57K sticker they estimate... if they went down to $20K it would probably be the best option for us... the other problem he would have with Rice is getting into the program he wants...

My problem is that I have a decent amount of assets outside of retirement accounts... (I do not think so, but they seem to)....


You might know, but not everybody does... Rice used to be free to every student that was accepted... IIRC, it changed in the 60s...
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:21 PM   #22
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A quickie divorce and live in sin for four years? only problem is that she might decide not to re-up.

HEY>>>> I might not want to re-up
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:37 AM   #23
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My suggestion is to have DS do 'informational interviews' with people in the profession. Professors are convinced that the sun shines on the pupils they teach.. 'tant so. He should interview recent graduates (2-3 years after graduation) and a couple who are mature in the profession. My recommendation is that he contact members of Construction Specification Institute, an organization that includes architects, contractors (estimators, project managers) and material providers. He won't find many 'designers' (architecture graduates who are frequently not licenced) there but he will meet the folks who bring the designer's vision to reality.

DS should find out how many years it takes to graduate in the major of his choice (5-6 years for architecture isn't unusual, 4 years is rare) and what % of entering freshmen graduate in that major. He should also draw up a budget, figure out how his schooling will be funded including the long term impact of school loans.

He is considering a serious investment of time and money and should go in with his eyes wide open.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:32 AM   #24
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I think the Rice architecture program is six years (five years of classes, with another year as an intern before the last year of classes), so budget for that too. DD's very good friend went through that program and is doing well in his profession. If that is your stepson's passion (sounds like it is) I hope he can follow it wherever it takes him.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:00 AM   #25
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Speaking as the wife of an Architect:

Construction Management is a much better choice career wise than Architecture. If the school offers both programs usually the freshman and sophomore classes are the same.
Speaking as another wife of a man who worked as an Architect prior to retirement. (Now that his license is lapsed due to retirement he cannot say he's an architect, here in CA.)

I agree with Brat. Higher pay and more work as Construction Management.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:12 AM   #26
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My suggestion is to have DS do 'informational interviews' with people in the profession. Professors are convinced that the sun shines on the pupils they teach.. 'tant so. He should interview recent graduates (2-3 years after graduation) and a couple who are mature in the profession. My recommendation is that he contact members of Construction Specification Institute, an organization that includes architects, contractors (estimators, project managers) and material providers. He won't find many 'designers' (architecture graduates who are frequently not licenced) there but he will meet the folks who bring the designer's vision to reality.

DS should find out how many years it takes to graduate in the major of his choice (5-6 years for architecture isn't unusual, 4 years is rare) and what % of entering freshmen graduate in that major. He should also draw up a budget, figure out how his schooling will be funded including the long term impact of school loans.

He is considering a serious investment of time and money and should go in with his eyes wide open.

We had a talk about funding yesterday.... I told him I was paying for 4 years of college at a certain level.... so if he wants to go to an expensive school he will have to take out loans and pay for them himself...

To BWE.... The year of work at Rice is paid from what I read... the standard work rate.... so that year should not cost me....

I tell him to talk to people who are in the business... he met some during his design competition (which he won)... I said he needed to keep in touch with them and ask about the working conditions etc....

My biggest fear is that he (and his mom) think that he will be able to use his 'artistic talent' right away.... I say that he will probably be drawing bathrooms in a high rise... and he has to draw them the way the client wants....
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:19 AM   #27
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We had a talk about funding yesterday.... I told him I was paying for 4 years of college at a certain level.... so if he wants to go to an expensive school he will have to take out loans and pay for them himself...

To BWE.... The year of work at Rice is paid from what I read... the standard work rate.... so that year should not cost me....

I tell him to talk to people who are in the business... he met some during his design competition (which he won)... I said he needed to keep in touch with them and ask about the working conditions etc....

My biggest fear is that he (and his mom) think that he will be able to use his 'artistic talent' right away.... I say that he will probably be drawing bathrooms in a high rise... and he has to draw them the way the client wants....
Not only will he be doing scut work when he first graduates, he'll be doing it for low-ish wages. You can't take the NCRB license exams till you've got some work experience under your belt. And this series of exams is super hard. Then, depending on the state, there may be additional exams/hoops to jump through for his license. Prior to getting the license he can't seal any drawings, so he is paid less. In some cases a LOT less. When I saw that the first 5-8 years after graduation are basically internship.... I decided to discourage my kids from going into architecture.

My brother graduated as an architect from UC Berkeley... he stayed with it long enough to get licensed but by them he'd discovered it's not the highest paying field. He switched to IT and doubled his salary. My husband graduated from Penn State and worked on some pretty high end projects (hospitals, museums, airports)- but as an engineer - I always out-earned him.

The fantasy of being an architect is often quite different from reality.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #28
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Speaking as another wife of a man who worked as an Architect prior to retirement. (Now that his license is lapsed due to retirement he cannot say he's an architect, here in CA.)

I agree with Brat. Higher pay and more work as Construction Management.
My husband is still licenced in OR at the age of 77. He is about out of NCARB units to complete his continuing education requirements. We ran into CA's anal retentive policies when he used his professional e-mail address while designing DD's home in Los Altos.

Designers have a passion so he may make it in architecture. My husband, when he worked for a large firm in the PNW, preferred to hire from WSU over UW or UO because their architecture graduates were ready to work 'on the boards' (at CAD stations). They knew how to put a building together, knew building codes and had good design skills.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:29 AM   #29
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Not only will he be doing scut work when he first graduates, he'll be doing it for low-ish wages. You can't take the NCRB license exams till you've got some work experience under your belt. And this series of exams is super hard. Then, depending on the state, there may be additional exams/hoops to jump through for his license. Prior to getting the license he can't seal any drawings, so he is paid less. In some cases a LOT less. When I saw that the first 5-8 years after graduation are basically internship.... I decided to discourage my kids from going into architecture.

My brother graduated as an architect from UC Berkeley... he stayed with it long enough to get licensed but by them he'd discovered it's not the highest paying field. He switched to IT and doubled his salary. My husband graduated from Penn State and worked on some pretty high end projects (hospitals, museums, airports)- but as an engineer - I always out-earned him.

The fantasy of being an architect is often quite different from reality.

I have been discouraging him for months... the other day he even said that he is looking into civil engineering!!! His mom just does not understand.... he does not because he is still in high school and 'everything is possible'....

I think telling him that I am only paying for 4 years will help... he is a good student... works hard... I know he will be successful at whatever he chooses, but he was swayed by a teacher.... he won a 5 state competition (and the trophy is like 6 feet tall!!!) with a small scholarship.... he almost won a national contest with another student.... so it is not like this is an out of the blue request....

However, he was all gung ho on engineering prior to this string of things that has moved him away from this...
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:32 AM   #30
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I think the Rice architecture program is six years (five years of classes, with another year as an intern before the last year of classes), so budget for that too. DD's very good friend went through that program and is doing well in his profession. If that is your stepson's passion (sounds like it is) I hope he can follow it wherever it takes him.

Just looked again... I had thought it was a 4 year program with the one year internship.... but you are right... it is 5 years in college with a one year intern for a total of six!!!


I am not a great proponent of Rice because of the cost... and if he wishes to change to engineering UT or A&M would be much better choices... we will see...


To all... thanks for the info.... It helps





(cannot type anymore... cat will not get off keyboard)
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:52 PM   #31
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A friend just retired after a career as an architect and DD's new boy toy is an architect as well. Most careers have a ladder to climb and newbies will effectively "apprentice" for a few years but get some good experience.

I have always thought that for most professions that if you are really good at what you do then the rewards will ultimately follow. It sounds like your DS has a good head on his shoulders... he'll figure it out.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:20 PM   #32
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An engineer who has an artistic bent is a treasure. Here are a few examples: Sherwood » Projects, Work | Ziba, About the SoMA Product Design Company .

Keep in mind the fact that the practice of architecture is a business.
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