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Millennials-Advice to break through the road blocks of high cost of education
Old 02-19-2017, 07:54 PM   #1
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Millennials-Advice to break through the road blocks of high cost of education

This thread Recession's Mark on Millennials
had gotten a lot of commentary about how the road-blocks facing the next generation weren't insurmountable. Collectively like the Borg, we have ideas and knowledge, that we could share with the up and coming generation, that might just might help them to champion through.

There have been 3 distinct themes of impediments to personal success raised on the thread.

1) The runaway cost of college Education
2) Stagnate wages for workers
3) Corporate greed that has eroded job security

Since only #1 is within an individuals control, maybe we can concentrate on that one. Also I could personally use the advice as I am in the middle of it.

In addition to the community input, I specifically challenge Texas Proud and LOL to provide suggestions to those who may live in HCOL areas like Boston, NY, or CA & may not have in state "low cost options" for decent schools (top 100 Nationally ranked).
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:17 PM   #2
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My 25-year-old went to college, got master in engineering and a job. She attended a private elite university (say a top 20) in your neck of the woods, passed the EIT exam as a junior, and graduated early saving some bucks.

Her wages are not stagnant and are quite decent.

Nevertheless, get over trying to go to a top 100 college if you are going to complain about it. Go somewhere cheaper instead. Example: UConn has tuition+fees of $14K a year. UConn is ranked #1 in something.

I know another millennial who has 3 jobs because her hard science bachelor degree would normally only be good for going to grad school or med school which she chose not to do. That was also the same thing that happened to a college biology graduate in 1980.

I lived in NY near NYC many years and have many friends still there. That is, I lived in a very high COL area. My wife and I rented an apartment. I didn't have a car. Young people rent places and have roommates. They don't have cars even if they think they need cars. I eventually reached my late thirties and could afford to buy a car and later a house. But in my twenties? No way.

As for student debt, a big part of it (40% I've read) is for graduate degrees. Students are incentivized by some programs (notably PSLF) to take out big loans that they think they will not have to pay in full. See: https://www.brookings.edu/research/t...eness-bonanza/

I don't see that times have changed that much. One of my jobs is to teach. I teach millennials who already have undergraduate degrees. Certainly, some of them got talked into spending more for college than they could afford. Perhaps their parents thought a top-100 college was a ticket to success regardless of debt.

I see many college students without wealthy parents working (retail, restaurants, service jobs) while going to school. Of course, not everyone goes to college. Some young people work to "find themselves" just like in the 80's. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe they do construction, military, road crews. Shouldn't the young people who don't go to college get some tax and loan benefits like the government gives to college students?

For your student, name your state of residence, a few possible majors, and at least two careers, then I can suggest some colleges.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky-Sperm-Club View Post
This thread Recession's Mark on Millennials
had gotten a lot of commentary about how the road-blocks facing the next generation weren't insurmountable. Collectively like the Borg, we have ideas and knowledge, that we could share with the up and coming generation, that might just might help them to champion through.

There have been 3 distinct themes of impediments to personal success raised on the thread.

1) The runaway cost of college Education
2) Stagnate wages for workers
3) Corporate greed that has eroded job security

Since only #1 is within an individuals control, maybe we can concentrate on that one. Also I could personally use the advice as I am in the middle of it.

In addition to the community input, I specifically challenge Texas Proud and LOL to provide suggestions to those who may live in HCOL areas like Boston, NY, or CA & may not have in state "low cost options" for decent schools (top 100 Nationally ranked).
One question immediately occurs is the bachelors degree a terminal degree or a step to grad school? If the second you could investigate how often folks from the local state schools get into top 100 places in grad/law/medicine etc.

Second question is how important is top credential in your chosen field? For example nursing has a shortage of nurses so...
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:35 PM   #4
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As to top 100 schools Mass has Umass which is #74, Californiah as the Whole UC system,
New York has at least Suny Binghamton and Stony Brook (In state tution at Stony Brook is 9026/year according to the articles.
If you expand to the top 250 schools, in Ca a lot of the Cal State schools appear (at around 7k a year, )
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lucky-Sperm-Club View Post
...

There have been 3 distinct themes of impediments to personal success raised on the thread.

1) The runaway cost of college Education
2) Stagnate wages for workers
3) Corporate greed that has eroded job security

...
I find it interesting, and informative, that #3 is assigned a cause (greed), but not #1.

Most of the products and services that I get from 'greedy corporations' have come down in price, and improved in quality. Yet, we have the 'runaway cost of college Education', but no one is to blame?

As far as #2, yes, that seems to be true for most. But there is a another side of that that I keep pointing out. Much of that is due to global competition. And I feel it is more important that some poor schmuck in a third world country gets to improve their life a little with a job they wouldn't have w/o global competition, than it is for some American to more easily afford the premium channels on cable.

I think it is tougher in some ways for people today, but there were challenges back then also. There always are challenges.

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Old 02-19-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I find it interesting, and informative, that #3 is assigned a cause (greed), but not #1.

Most of the products and services that I get from 'greedy corporations' have come down in price, and improved in quality. Yet, we have the 'runaway cost of college Education', but no one is to blame?

As far as #2, yes, that seems to be true for most. But there is a another side of that that I keep pointing out. Much of that is due to global competition. And I feel it is more important that some poor schmuck in a third world country gets to improve their life a little with a job they wouldn't have w/o global competition, than it is for some American to more easily afford the premium channels on cable.

I think it is tougher in some ways for people today, but there were challenges back then also. There always are challenges.

-ERD50
Again. It's all Rob Peter to pay Paul. Regress is progress. It's OK if somebody gets harmed just don't let it be me.

And btw, #1 is NOT within the individual's control. The individual can make some adjustments to help but the only people who have any control over it are the once who decide how much to charge.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
Again. It's all Rob Peter to pay Paul. Regress is progress. It's OK if somebody gets harmed just don't let it be me.
...
I have no idea what you are talking about. Care to add some context to that?

I don't know if you are agreeing with me, or arguing against me.

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Old 02-19-2017, 09:50 PM   #8
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I would agree that things are tougher for the millennial generation today but previous generations also had significant challenges.

As a college student in the 60's (64-68) you knew that if you dropped out or flunked out of school you would probably be drafted within a few months. Our nation was very divided over a very unpopular war in the Far East.

My father's generation had a depression to deal with and a World War to fight as they came of age.

IMO young people today have to be much smarter about their field of study and the ROI of that field. For many a community college would be a good way to start their studies until they "find" themselves. There are many good jobs in industry that are available to those with associates degrees.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:23 PM   #9
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I would agree that things are tougher for the millennial generation today but previous generations also had significant challenges.

As a college student in the 60's (64-68) you knew that if you dropped out or flunked out of school you would probably be drafted within a few months. Our nation was very divided over a very unpopular war in the Far East.

My father's generation had a depression to deal with and a World War to fight as they came of age.

IMO young people today have to be much smarter about their field of study and the ROI of that field. For many a community college would be a good way to start their studies until they "find" themselves. There are many good jobs in industry that are available to those with associates degrees.
Agreed that a 4 year degree is not for a lot of folks, an electrican or a plumber does about as well as a school teacher (depending on the state of course). Plus if you pick the repair and renovate side of the business, not the new construction side, it is hard to offshore that job.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:31 PM   #10
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I will ask where your list is of the rankings....


Also, why limit it to the top 100.... I would bet that the majority of people on this forum did not graduate from that list... maybe we can do a poll...
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:33 AM   #11
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Forbes has good articles in how to receive financial aid, including grants, even for not exactly low income or low net worth households.

Other than that we used an assortment of community college credits, guaranteed transfer programs, good value in state public schools, online courses, club positions, tutor jobs, paid internships, volunteer work (we paid a stipend) and STEM majors. We offered to pay for community college / in state schools (less grant money) or equivalent plus living expenses and cars and they worked for spending money.

Here are some resources we used:

Job Outlook Handbook

Payscale reports - starting salaries by major and college. Good ROI schools.

College Score Card - all sorts of good stats, including Affordable Four Year Schools with Good Outcomes,

Find a Community College in Your State with High Salaries

Kiplingers - Best Value Colleges
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:09 AM   #12
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I haven't see either of the following mentioned yet...

Taking as many "free" college level courses in high school as possible. I know of a half dozen kids who graduated from HS and had 2 years, or more of college credit. One was accepted to Purdue, so the programs are legit.

Joining the military or a corporation offering generous tuition reimbursement. We have a family member wanting to be a nurse. She is now in the Navy, and taking her courses. (She could have taken an entry level job at many hospitals and accomplished the same goal) You might not get your degree in 4 years, but you will be making money and having benefits (401-k??) while you learn. And the promise of a job, most likely, when you graduate.
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:19 AM   #13
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I would agree that things are tougher for the millennial generation today but previous generations also had significant challenges.

As a college student in the 60's (64-68) you knew that if you dropped out or flunked out of school you would probably be drafted within a few months. Our nation was very divided over a very unpopular war in the Far East.

My father's generation had a depression to deal with and a World War to fight as they came of age.

IMO young people today have to be much smarter about their field of study and the ROI of that field. For many a community college would be a good way to start their studies until they "find" themselves. There are many good jobs in industry that are available to those with associates degrees.
I agree with the comments about college in the 60's/draft. Of course, no one published articles talking about how rough young men (women not drafted then) had it, being forced to either go to college or Vietnam. Today's constant barrage of negative media about college costs, high student debt, no jobs, etc., most likely discourages many young people from seeing a glass 1/2 full.

When the manufacturing jobs started drying up (late 70's or so), there were many young people who were hung out to day because they never took college prep type classes (our nation was divided even then) in HS, and were not prepared for college entry exams. It wasn't easy for them as they had to adjust to the market.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:55 AM   #14
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There have been 3 distinct themes of impediments to personal success raised on the thread.

1) The runaway cost of college Education
2) Stagnate wages for workers
3) Corporate greed that has eroded job security
Like early retirement, I've learned that there are lots of variables to 'personal security' and no real rule of thumb.

Most of our nieces and nephews have landed good, high paying jobs ($100K+) right out of school.

Of course, they didn't major in some obscure 'follow my passion' subject (mezzo american women's art, anyone?) but instead went to school focused on getting a job. Quote one: "I didn't go to school to make $30K a year; you have to make the return on investment calculation"

Their wages aren't stagnate but they are quite mobile in their jobs and don't give a wit about job security.

Yes, they did go to schools where the professors make $300K+ per year but somehow they managed.

In talking with them they feel that the easy access to student loans has encouraged colleges to increase their prices in sort of a vicious cycle, coupled to many schools lack of accountability on their pricing.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:39 AM   #15
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As a millennial, here's how I did it. I went to a top-rated private school in my field where at the time (2000-2004) the average cost of a degree was $80-100K depending on the program. I didn't qualify for any need-based scholarships. I graduated with $21K in debt which I paid off in less than 4 years. My parents didn't pay a penny for my college other than buying me linens when I left for freshman year.

1) I had an ROTC scholarship that paid for about 55% of my fixed college expenses, plus gave me a monthly stipend sophomore through senior year. It also gave me full time guaranteed employment with substantial benefits straight out of school. I know military life isn't for everyone, but that's a pretty great deal.
2) I aggressively applied for merit-based scholarships. Those covered about 1 year's worth of tuition and fees.
3) I worked every semester except the one when I was writing my thesis. During the school year I worked 20-30 hrs/wk, during the summers I worked 40-50 hrs/wk.
4) during two summers I also took community college courses which were unbelievably cheap ($11/credit hour!!) and freed up time for me during the academic year.
5) unlike many of my friends, I didn't use my college years to buy brand new cars, take fancy vacations, or start a gun collection. One college friend took out over $4000 in loans just to buy guns. smh.

Point being, there are ways to make even the most expensive educations affordable if people are creative.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:59 AM   #16
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In Connecticut, if you serve in the military, you are entitled to free tuition at any of the state colleges and universities, including the flagship University of Connecticut. You will also be entitled to benefits under the GI Bill, which should cover your room and board.

It's not the quickest route to a college degree, and it requires some personal sacrifice, but it is a good option for a kid with no money.

And if you are wise (and fortunate) in your choice of service and specialty, you can often obtain some excellent vocational training while on active duty.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:17 AM   #17
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Most of our nieces and nephews have landed good, high paying jobs ($100K+) right out of school.

In talking with them they feel that the easy access to student loans has encouraged colleges to increase their prices in sort of a vicious cycle, coupled to many schools lack of accountability on their pricing.
Congratulations to your nephews and nieces, they must be exceptionally gifted, since starting salaries for engineers out of MIT are roughly $75K.
What did they study?

I would agree with your nephew and niece that the financial aid bubble is responsible for most of the runaway costs. It puts those who have saved in a worse position then those that haven't. Allow me to explain. Financial aid is heavily weighted towards income, and most families earning $100K will get financial aid. However, for those living below their means and accumulating assets, they are penalized dramatically compared to the living large crowd.

Two families with 2 kids to put through college, both earning $100K. The only difference is 1 has 1 million in investment real estate equity. Wow they must be rich you say, well they won't be for long. Consider that 20% of your (non-401K) assets beyond $50K are "available" for school cost.

That means according to the formula you can afford $200K towards school every year. No financial aid for the real estate Barron. Assuming both families children get into Harvard, which easily costs $50K per year, after 8 years of school (2 kids) "Rich family" is left with 600K in assets.

Meanwhile living large family, has gotten over $400K in education for nothing.

So what does the "rich" family do they start going down the education ladder looking for affordable alternatives, making their children pay in opportunity costs, because they aren't willing to bankrupt themselves. Not fair!

Then lower costs schools see increases in demand and begin raising their costs. Higher tier schools can't be priced the same as lower tier, so they raise their costs and on and on it goes. So now you find an economic diversion of over 270% between the increase in costs of education to the increase in corresponding wages.

Before getting slammed about global forces on supply and demand of labor. We should pause and consider why "TOP TIER" global schools (like Oxford $20-$30K) are in many cases 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of USA schools?
What keeps their costs in check for international students, who always pay a premium?

My theory is the financial aid bubble is responsible for USA Higher education cost escalation.

I suppose I'm just upset that my assets were fully exposed, and I have to pay full boat where as many earning the same or more then I will get close to free rides, through "institutional" grants and other easy financing options.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:27 AM   #18
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IMO if a young person really wants to succeed in life they will take the time to figure it out. Is a degree from a top rated university worth more than the same degree from a local state university? Depends on what that young person wants from life. Want to be a top tier CEO, attorney, doctor? maybe. Want to have a good career and a great life? maybe not so much. Perhaps some young adults want too much too soon? Be willing to put in the time to build your career and IMO it doesn't really matter where you "got yer schoolin" as long as you can prove that you can work proficiently.
As an aside my degree in 1976 was in Marine Biology. Yeah that paid great-ha!, but didn't stop me from having a good career and enjoying life and retirement. I just had to expand my job search into different fields. And yes we all wanted too much too soon. Patience is best learned slowly.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:32 AM   #19
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I suppose I'm just upset that my assets were fully exposed, and I have to pay full boat where as many earning the same or more then I will get close to free rides, through "institutional" grants and other easy financing options.
Yep, I used to be upset, … after all I paid full list price for two children to go to college. Then my investments went up in 12 months by the list price of two Harvard degrees. I probably made that money off the backs of hard working Millennials, so I couldn't complain.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:36 AM   #20
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A lesson I learned early - Life Is Not Fair. Expecting that to change, or whining/complaining about it, while popular pastimes, are pretty much a waste of time. Those who never learn the lesson are in for a lifetime of disappointment.
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