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Old 01-11-2010, 05:11 PM   #41
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I pay for all my kids' undergraduate education with conditions: They have to maintain a minimum 3.00GPA, they are not allowed to major in Liberal Art or in other useless field such as Psychology.
Clarification: They are allowed to study Liberal Art and even Psychology as a second major or as a minor. In fact I encourage them to do so. But the major has to be something practical, and the minimum GPA applies to the practical major. I couldn't care less if they fail miserably in their hobby field.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:17 PM   #42
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I also gave her publications each year from our local university on the average starting salaries of their graduates by degree. When it came to her going to college she did a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Music.
I don't remember that any of the colleges my kids were interested in provided this type of information. I think it ought to be a basic part of any college advertising.

Is the publication you're referencing available on the internet?
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:19 PM   #43
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We had four kids. The "best" approach certainly varied between them. I think anything that you decide when they are pretty young is subject to revision when you get to know them as teenagers.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #44
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... not sure I am crazy about the idea of in some way trying to steer my kids in one career direction or another,
I'm probably old fashioned. In my book, "steering" your children (in all facets of life, education included) is the utmost important job of a parent.

I had the unfortunate opportunities of seeing numerous parents letting their teenage kids making less (much less) optimal decisions without interfering. Those parents say that they RESPECT their kids' opinion/way of life. I say (to myself) that those parents are simply taking the easy way out.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:03 PM   #45
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Interesting that you went with this approach right off the bat, during freshman year. $25k a big number for an 18 Y.O.
That's two data points on the early end of the time scale. Do others have experiences (pro or con) to share on Junior spending the parent funds contributed to education?
We've been ramping up our kid's bucket-handling skills. She gets a monthly allowance and a semi-annual clothing/toiletries allowance. A portion of her allowance goes to a "Bank of Kid" CD that she's allowed to make semi-annual withdrawals from. On her own she nailed down a part-time job that's now paying $100/week.

I'd be comfortable with writing her a $25K check for annual expenses. She'd freak out, but I'd be comfortable knowing that she'd settle down and handle it.

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Even though the oldest failed 2 classes this semester, he still wants to go to college.
Heh. We have these kinds of "wants vs actions" conversations in our house all the time.

You know how a steely-eyed command master chief would respond to those sentiments... which, of course, the board's profanity filter would prevent me from repeating here.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:26 PM   #46
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I don't remember that any of the colleges my kids were interested in provided this type of information. I think it ought to be a basic part of any college advertising.

Is the publication you're referencing available on the internet?
This was back in 1997 and was not on the internet, Looking around I see the following on starting salaries for new graduates:


Most lucrative college majors - highest starting salaries - Jul. 24, 2009

This looks like a very good site to see not only salaries but also the types of jobs that degrees typically get you

Most Popular Jobs By Major
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:42 PM   #47
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Clarification: They are allowed to study Liberal Art and even Psychology as a second major or as a minor. In fact I encourage them to do so. But the major has to be something practical, and the minimum GPA applies to the practical major. I couldn't care less if they fail miserably in their hobby field.
How about chosing their dinner entre' at the dorm cafeteria? Are they on their own for that?
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #48
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I am in the camp that, as a parent, I should provide some guidance to my children regarding their choices of a major. As it turned out, they realized on their own that they would need to make a living in a few years, and I did not have to do much persuasion.

As I recently posted in another thread, we had dire financial difficulties when I was in my late teens. My parents could hardly afford to help me with school costs, and in fact, I stayed at home and worked part time to help with the living expenses. I knew they would not spare the money for my schooling if they were well-to-do.

I am in a position now to pay for my children school costs at the same state U that I attended. If they were able to secure admission or scholarship at a better out-of-state school, I would support them in one way or another. However, as they are underachievers (perhaps I did not know how to motivate as they were growing up), I would not spend the money to send them to a state U in another state, just so they can party without me knowing. I have not even looked at any school financial forms, leave alone filling them out. I knew we would not get any "free" money, and I also do not want my children burdened with debt when they graduate. Their school costs are low enough that we only have to "sacrifice" some travels (which we shall resume in earnest when they are done :-)

Helping them to finish college without being in debt pretty much concludes our duties as parents. I am free to spend the rest of money, though am not likely to do so (frugal habits die hard:-) I do not understand when people leave an inheritance to their children, yet would not help them with school.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:37 PM   #49
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I do not understand when people leave an inheritance to their children, yet would not help them with school.
My sentiments exactly Teach them to fish, and they'll feed themselves.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:43 PM   #50
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My sentiments exactly Teach them to fish, and they'll feed themselves.
And to be sure that they will use that "fishing skill", we have not told them about the size of our stash. Someday, once they are established but not now. Hopefully, when we do, they would think to themselves, "Is that all they've got left?".
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:53 PM   #51
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How about chosing their dinner entre' at the dorm cafeteria? Are they on their own for that?
Hey, Sam's following the Golden Rule-- he has the gold and the rule, and his kids are free to take the deal or pass on it.

What are they going to do, move out and start living their own lives?
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:55 PM   #52
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Honesty part of my reasoning is that I went for a semester on my Dad's dime and flunked out with a 0.0 grade average and new found love of beer and sitting around in my bathrobe.
I've let it be known elsewhere that I think very highly of a quality college education and strongly support helping my kids get as good an education as they can. My own experiences were that working distracted from the homework, but I got professional exposure that I used later in life more than the education itself. On the other hand, I had friends whose need to work to pay for school significantly hurt their grades, reduced their ability to take as many classes as they wanted and even kept them out of some specific very hard classes that required large time committments. I intend to provide as close to a fully paid education for my kids as I can, so they can do the best that they can with getting a good launch into adulthood.

But if any of them major in bathrobe and beer for a semester, that support will stop. I doubt it will come to that with my kids, but perhaps others might.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:03 PM   #53
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I'm probably old fashioned. In my book, "steering" your children (in all facets of life, education included) is the utmost important job of a parent.

I had the unfortunate opportunities of seeing numerous parents letting their teenage kids making less (much less) optimal decisions without interfering. Those parents say that they RESPECT their kids' opinion/way of life. I say (to myself) that those parents are simply taking the easy way out.
There's a big difference between letting kids run wild or make harmful choices, and laying down the law to insure that they do what YOU want with their lives. In my opinion, neither is good parenting, but it's pretty difficult for an outsider to distinguish between "important guidance" and "controlling to the point of rebellion" as much as it is to distinguish between encouraging them to "find themselves" and "run wild"

I'm confident my choices are appropriate for my kids. I hope you do whatever is best for yours.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:08 PM   #54
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Clarification: They are allowed to study Liberal Art and even Psychology as a second major or as a minor. In fact I encourage them to do so. But the major has to be something practical, and the minimum GPA applies to the practical major. I couldn't care less if they fail miserably in their hobby field.
I am lucky, my kids so far have chosen practical professions (culinary and computer). Still I have told them that if they are undecided or want to do something a little less able to provide a solid income they should major in Business and minor in the other. You can fall back on a business degree and make a living and it will give you some insight into how to turn your less practical minor into a lucrative business.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:17 PM   #55
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But if any of them major in bathrobe and beer for a semester, that support will stop.
Bathrobe and beer? Sounds like early retirement!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:27 AM   #56
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My own experiences were that working distracted from the homework, but I got professional exposure that I used later in life more than the education itself. On the other hand, I had friends whose need to work to pay for school significantly hurt their grades, reduced their ability to take as many classes as they wanted and even kept them out of some specific very hard classes that required large time committments.
I agree that this was a concern of ours. DD's job was as a helper in the Computer Lab @$10/hr for 16 hrs a week and she said she was able to do her own homework most of the time, and DS's scholarships paid tuition and lodgings so the $500/month we sent him meant he didn't need work at all.

DW and myself were so fortunate when we went to College as we did what was called a "thin" sandwhich in that we had a company who we worked for when not in school. For the first 3 years we did one semester in college and the rest of the year working and on the 4th year we did 2 straight semesters and graduated then back to work. Not having to work during the school time was very important to us, and we admire folks who successfully manage to work and study at the same time.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:51 AM   #57
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This was back in 1997 and was not on the internet, Looking around I see the following on starting salaries for new graduates:


Most lucrative college majors - highest starting salaries - Jul. 24, 2009

This looks like a very good site to see not only salaries but also the types of jobs that degrees typically get you

Most Popular Jobs By Major
Thanks for the sources. I ran across the second one once and wished I had bookmarked it.

The thing that jumped out at me from your earlier post was the fact that the college supplied the data. I've seen lots of college advertising that sells the "get a great job" aspect of college, but in my experience colleges don't want to provide any real data. Your post made me think that maybe things had changed since my kids were in HS.

I think that any school making claims about good careers for its grads should put out the basic statistics. What percent of graduates get jobs that require their specific degree. What's the median income of those grads, and what's the median income of the grads who ended up with other jobs.

I think that would help parents and teens make realistic decisions about which majors to pick and how much debt to assume, but I've never seen this information in a college information packet.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:21 AM   #58
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Thanks for the sources. I ran across the second one once and wished I had bookmarked it.

The thing that jumped out at me from your earlier post was the fact that the college supplied the data. I've seen lots of college advertising that sells the "get a great job" aspect of college, but in my experience colleges don't want to provide any real data. Your post made me think that maybe things had changed since my kids were in HS.

I think that any school making claims about good careers for its grads should put out the basic statistics. What percent of graduates get jobs that require their specific degree. What's the median income of those grads, and what's the median income of the grads who ended up with other jobs.

I think that would help parents and teens make realistic decisions about which majors to pick and how much debt to assume, but I've never seen this information in a college information packet.
I tried Googling the actual university (LSU in Baton Rouge) but couldn't find anything. I recall that is was a collegue who obtained the information and we used it as part of our company's partnership with our adopted High School. Among the things the company does with their adopted High School is bring in groups of students for a few hours to show them the sorts of jobs they can get - finance, IT, engineering (Process, Electrical and Mechanical), chemists, lab technicians, process operators etc. All these jobs need a degree these days and the thrust of the day out is to encourage these kids to stick in at High School and get themselves to university and earn a degree.

I often gave presentations and tours of the IT and Process Control groups and always enjoyed the experience. I was VERY lucky at the same age to have had good advice by a teacher at school who also did career counselling plus our school took us on several trips to local industries to see the sorts of jobs available.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #59
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Heh. We have these kinds of "wants vs actions" conversations in our house all the time.

You know how a steely-eyed command master chief would respond to those sentiments... which, of course, the board's profanity filter would prevent me from repeating here.
Oh, believe me...the salty Chief comes out all the time! I throw my 2 cents in almost daily. My fiance is getting onboard finally. We gave him the ultimatum the other day. Either pick up the grades or he is riding the bus to school instead of driving which is an embarrassment, so we shall see!
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:04 PM   #60
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That's two data points on the early end of the time scale. Do others have experiences (pro or con) to share on Junior spending the parent funds contributed to education?
For the first DD who graduated last June, I paid the bills for the first two years, and then just wrote her a check at the beginning of the school year for the last two years. It worked out pretty well, but she did need to borrow $500 near the end of her senior year. She had two part-time jobs to supplement what we gave her, but operating and maintaining her car cost more than she had budgeted and saved for. We are handling DD#2 who just started at UCLA the same way....paying the bills and giving her a quarterly allowance for the first two years, and then letting her handle the finances for the final two years. I figure that they've got enough on their minds with adjusting to being on their own, schoolwork, and part-time jobs, that I won't burden them with bill-paying at first. If a registration payment is missed, there is the risk of not getting the classes needed for their degree in this age of class cutbacks and tight university budgets. Let' minimize that risk. So far, so good.
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