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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 12:45 PM   #21
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

Nords,

Interesting point about competitive vs cooperative envirnoment. We went to a seminar by Cal Tech. They explained some of reasons for choosing Cal Tech over MIT:

1. It's nice and warm in Pasadena, CA (compared to Cambridge, MA).
2. It focuses on cooperation over competition.
3. Cal tech is a small college.
4. Students work closely with professors.
5. Students live in houses (at campus) as opposed to dorms.
6. The average student debt is $5,700 after 4 years of college (although they did not disclose what parents had to pay).

Anyway, we need to find out what her needs are. Thanks.

Spanky


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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 12:56 PM   #22
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

I've got one daughter in medical school and one at a state university. The one in med school is making it on loans and scholarships - no help from me. The younger one is making it on part time jobs and loans. Maybe $5-6K/year parental help.

No way I'd give my kids a free ride through an expensive school. I paid 1/3 of their costs for their first 4 years at state schools, they figured out the rest. I think it builds character.

Just my 2 cents........
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 01:00 PM   #23
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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No way I'd give my kids a free ride through an expensive school.
College was the best eight years of my brother's life...
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 01:23 PM   #24
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

Caltech (NOT Cal Tech!) is not cheap by any means, but is a little under the Ivy League in costs.* I went there (undergrad and grad), and can say that it is great undergrad place for a kid that really wants to learn -- drink from the fire hose, as they say.* The small size has some nice points, particularly for a reasonably outgoing student.* I didn't feel that it was highly competitive in the sense of 'cut-throat' (no swimming with the sharks), but was 'competive-by-example' -- "intense" better describes the learning situation than "competitive" does.

However, when I was an undergrad, a lot of students didn't like the intensity and left -- for 'easy' schools like Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the like.* I loved the place, but then I'm weird -- a lot of my friends ended up hating the place.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 03:42 PM   #25
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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If your daughter can get into MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, or Stanford (etc) then there's no question: SEND HER.* As a recent graduate from one of these schools, please trust me that a prestigious name opens many doors to powerful offices.*
This can be true in many cases.* I know that my MBA from Berkeley was well worth MY investment (daddy having provided exactly zero dollars to my cause!)* I've run into more than one company who said "oh yes, that's one of the X schools we hire from.")*

However, it's also the case that I started with two years in Jr. College, then transferred to Berkeley for a less-competed-for and therefor less expensive Philosophy degree.* Nobody who sees the MBA knows or cares about the cheaper path I took to earn it.

Several others here have said that you can get the "halo effect" of a brand-name school without the expense.* Just adding my 2 cents to confirm that it can be done.


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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 03:48 PM   #26
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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Originally Posted by Spanky
I thought about getting a law degree (with an emphasis on patents) about two years ago and decided that the work of a patent lawyer is boring despite its potential salary. Another reason is that I still enjoy Engineering work.
My brother is an electrical engineer and patent attorney. After paying dues with a couple big law firms in DC he went out on his own, and has built an extremely profitable but specialized practice. Besides it being very boring, the only downside is he feels it's necessary to stay in the DC/Northern VA area.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 03:51 PM   #27
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However, it's also the case that I started with two years in Jr. College, then transferred to Berkeley for a less-competed-for and therefor less expensive Philosophy degree.
That was the route that most people (that I knew) took back in the 70s. Most went to Merit College, Laney or College of Alameda for their first two years of college before completing their degrees at Cal.

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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #28
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

I've got nothing against students who don't know what they want to major in, as I started in psych/anth/soc and ended up switching to business when I realized I was going to need to be able to get a job when I graduated.

But my "general management" non-specialized business degree didn't do me much good when most of the recruiters were looking for accounting majors for Arthur Anderson and the like. So I took a test, got picked up by the Feds, and ER'd 29 years later.

I have had some sort of small side business (largely hobby but it has turned a decent profit a few years) much of the time since I got out of school, so that is where the smattering of business study has been most useful.

But my school expenses didn't qualify as a major financial outlay, and $40K a year sounds pretty significant to me if the student is basically just cruising around pretty much aimlessly. Aimless cruising can be had for a lot less than that!

As was pointed out the only thing you need from the prestigious university for most employers is going to be the university name on your diploma, and that doesn't necessarily require a full 4/5/6 years to be spent at that one place.

It sounds, from what I hear about nieces going to college, that if you are a decent student there is often a pretty decent amount of financial aid that can be had from the small (but not hugely prestigious name) colleges, as they don't have as many people trying to get it, and they often may have a decent endowment that allows more help to the students.

But in the Feds there certainly seemed a pretty wide array of degree fields (and the occasional MA/PhD/JD advanced degree) represented among my coworkers. I'm sure that if you are working as an engineer in an engineering firm, you'll see a lot of people with engineering degrees around you. But for general industry/retail/government/small business stuff some sort of degree just seems to be an easy thing to ask for to thin the herd of applicants, and the degree field or comparitive prestige of the institution doesn't seem to have much impact.

I encourage the students in the family (the siblings, not ours) to take at least some basic business courses as electives as I think that like taking shop AND home ec classes everyone needs that kind of basic knowledge.

Oddly enough, they don't often seem to take that free advice.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 04:57 PM   #29
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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Another approach would be to find out how badly the Ivies want her. Tell them you can afford a smaller school and see if they'll match U Minn prices.
In fact, the top schools generally have enough money for scholarships that you shouldn't have to pay full price anyway, if that would be a show-stopper for you. The schools that can afford need-blind admissions are the ones to go for, if your kid can get in.

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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 05:37 PM   #30
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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I am facing a similar situation regarding college selection. My daughter, a high school junior, has not decided on her career or major, but she is excellent in math and science and is being heavily recruited by major universities, such as Cal Tech, MIT, USC, Princeton, and so on. We have not applied to any colleges but have been seriously thinking about the local state university (University of Minnesota) or University of Wisconsin at Madison (same tuition fee as the U of Minn) since their costs will be at least 50% lower than those of the "brand name" schools. These schools may be more appropriate for graduate studies in business, law, and medicine in terms of ROI.
I've got a bit of a different take on this. I'm a university professor in the sciences and am also about to launch my youngest into college. I think the issue of the school's name depends a lot upon the student's plans. If they're going into science as a career, then they are really going to need to go to graduate school. Professionally, the choice of grad. school and major professor is critical. When you get your Ph.D. in math or science, you're going to be tagged with the prestige of the graduate institution and advisor and not your undergrad. school. No one focusses much on where you went as an undergrad.

So, if your daughter is serious about science, then she will need to go to a first-class grad. program. The importance of the undergrad. school is to prepare her for that. Acceptance committees at grad. schools really don't care much about whether you went to Minnesota or Princeton - they focus much more on your individual qualities. A very good public institution such as U. Minnesota or U. Wisconsin will serve her well as she gets her undergrad. education. You can save quite a bit of money that way, and thus be more likely to be able to help her a bit in her first few years of graduate school.

If she is going into a discipline in which she is going to have a B.S. or B.A. as her terminal degree, then you need to spend the $$ now and send her to the absolutely best university.

Another thing you should focus on is preparing her for the PSAT's and SAT's. Do well enough on them (top 2%) and she'll qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Then the schools will really recruit her, and some of them make pretty good scholarship offers that are not need-based.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 06:56 PM   #31
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

First off, thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. Maybe I should have been a little clearer about my daughter’s education. The 40K includes everything not just tuition and fees. My daughter is a very good student but messed up her junior year in high school due to the death of her 19-year-old cousin, so she went from a 4.0 to 2.9 for the most important year for getting scholarships. We make too much for needs based aid. She wanted to go to the west coast (SF) to get a different perspective from Boston. The cost difference from U Mass is only about 10K and U Mass isn’t that great in the areas she is interested in. Her problem is she has too many interest and keeps bouncing back and forth. We are hoping that with a good freshman year (so far so good) the school will provide more funds. If not, she wants to transfer to a less costly or more generous school. We aren’t name snobs and just want her to get the best education. I feel her school is worth the money for the small class sizes and individual attention she gets not to mention the whole experience of standing on her own two feet across the nation from Mom and Dad. She has grown up so much in a very short time. How do you put a dollar figure on that? As the advertisement says “priceless”. My brother went to Harvard basically for free so that was a good investment. I was lucky enough to have Purdue in my home state and I paid 1K a year for tuition, good investment. Not exactly MIT but when I was looking for work out of college the BSEE from Purdue opened a lot of doors that Ball State wouldn’t have. 24 years later nobody cares where I went to school, as the technology didn’t even exist back then.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 07:08 PM   #32
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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Another thing you should focus on is preparing her for the PSAT's and SAT's. Do well enough on them (top 2%) and she'll qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. Then the schools will really recruit her, and some of them make pretty good scholarship offers that are not need-based.
QW,

Thanks for the insight about the importance of picking the 'right' graduate school as opposed to selecting the 'best' undergraduate school. As you mentioned, U of Minn or Wiscosin are both excellent graduate schools.

She took the PSAT, SAT and ACT. Her scores are top 1%. Because of her PSAT score, we have been receiving letters from top ranked universities and some lesser-known ones also.

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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-27-2006, 08:30 PM   #33
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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er scores are top 1%
That will really help bring in the scholarship offers. Many university presidents like to demonstrate to the local politicians what a great job they're doing by counting up how many National Merit Scholars they have among their students. What they don't alert the politicos to is that many of the NM scholars are essentially bought by scholarship offers that equate to paying all tuition plus a few thousand dollars per year. Great deal for the students...and the parents.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-28-2006, 11:39 AM   #34
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

From Spanky:

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Most went to Merit College, Laney or College of Alameda for their first two years of college before completing their degrees at Cal.
LOL, Spanky -- try "all of the above" for me, plus the JC in Bremerton, WA and Fairfield, CA.* I'd have made it to Cal a lot faster and with fewer stops if I hadn't taken a small detour to marry a Navy man!* ;-D

None of this was as quick or easy as having daddy pay for college, but it was probably a lot more interesting.
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?
Old 03-28-2006, 10:53 PM   #35
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Re: Poorest Millionaire in U.S. ?

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LOL, Spanky -- try "all of the above" for me, plus the JC in Bremerton, WA and Fairfield, CA. I'd have made it to Cal a lot faster and with fewer stops if I hadn't taken a small detour to marry a Navy man! ;-D
Caroline,

A small detour is okay. I returned to Bay Area and started college after 4 years of service with the Air Force. Three of those 4 years were spent in Germany in which I met many people all over the world and an opportunity to travel around Europe. The GI bill paid for all four years of college plus 9 months for graduate school. I do not think the current GI bill is as generous as it used to be. After a few years of working, I completed an MBA program at company expense. In short, nearly all my education were paid by the government or Corporate America.

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