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Old 04-20-2016, 02:55 PM   #21
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How funny to read this post today as I just picked up my DS from his college today and on the ride home had a discussion about this very topic. I wanted my DS to go off to college for a lot of reasons, some related to him specifically (he is an introvert and I hoped living on his own would benefit him), but also because of my own college experience living away from home. Personally, I think living away from home was when I started to grow up and become independent. I never actually moved back home once I went away, except for summer months while off from school.

Our compromise was that my DS lived on campus at a local school for two years. This is his fourth year and he has commuted now for three semesters. He told me today he thought it was worth living on campus his first year, but not worth the extra money the second year. I will say that even though he lived on campus 2 years, he didn't really involve himself in many activities while he lived there like he could have. I think it is just not in his nature. Maybe I should not have forced it and saved that money...

I really think the answer may be in what kind of kid you have. My hope was that my DS would come out of his shell a bit more living away from home, but that didn't happen. He does say that he had more opportunity to use some of the facilities at school when he lived there (library, gym). But he is happier commuting and I guess I'm happier saving the money. I just had so much fun living at college it is hard to understand why he didn't absolutely love it.
Our thinking and situation very similar. My older son is starting in the fall, was only interested in the local state school as it offers CompSci, but his Mom and I are insisting he spend the first year on campus, just for the life experience and hopefully he makes friends as he can be quiet and not outgoing, but does fine in most situations. A preference rather than a problem as he handled being Senior Patrol Leader of his Scout troop and is an Eagle. After the first year, we're open to other options.

The local school is no cake walk, it's one of the five four year campuses of Penn State.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #22
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One of the great things about going away to college is it gives you a break between high school and life.
Join the Navy and get a more valuable break, and it will be cash-flow positive.

Ha
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:50 PM   #23
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He's looking at UBC and UW. He wants to stay relatively close to home and he likes the West Coast. That limits his options. He's not interested in Oregon and CA is outrageously expensive.
UW = University of Washington? If so that school has some really good AI/machine learning profs if he's into that area.

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Also, the co-op program at UBC sounds like a great program. I like the idea of UBC so he gets a little bit of non-US exposure and if he'd get international co-op employment, all the better.
Having done coop at UW (University of Waterloo) all the best internships were in the states not Canada (unless maybe you wanted to work for RIM, Northern Telecom, in their prime before they imploded). Today I don't think there's anything that can match US companies in silicon valley or wash state and I bet 99% of the students are looking to the US for the coop employers.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:16 PM   #24
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I have friends who've worked or taught at all three colleges mentioned (UW, UBC, and WWU). My personal choice would be western.... There's a reason why students who attend Western don't move away from Bellingham - it's a great place to live. Their CS program is respectable and their grads get hired.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:31 AM   #25
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I'd do whatever would ensure me getting into the comp sci program - when I was hiring comp sci New grads - I didn't care all that much about the school - I was more interested in what class projects they did or if they did internships or if they did some contributions on an open source project or research project - if the school has a good intern program to me that's a big plus.
Our oldest got a pretty nice job out of college based in part on internships, club positions and the soft skills those positions helped develop. Other than that I think he picked his college based in large part on the weather and beach proximity.

Google says they don't focus on degrees these days:

"Both Bock and Schmidt are adamant that most people should go to college but that skills and experience are more important than the stamp of expertise. Bock says Google is looking for the kinds of projects candidates completed or what they accomplished at an internship."
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:20 AM   #26
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He's really against living in a dorm, especially the shared space. He likes his comfort/privacy. Single dorm rooms are available and they don't cost much more, so that might be an option. Personally, I think he should get over it, but they have their own opinions at this age.

I never had the living on campus experience, and it's something I wish I had, but I think living on campus would be great, for many of the reasons mentioned here.

I'm warming up to the idea to having him to live on campus the first year. We live close to the UW, so even if he wanted to come home on the weekends, etc, it wouldn't be a big deal. Of course if he goes to UBC, then he'll have to live on campus.
If you can afford it, living away from home is an opportunity for the student to grow and mature in a way that won't happen while living with the folks. When I started my first post-college job, and also when I was hiring recent grads, there was a difference between kids that were just getting out of the house and those that had been on their own for a few years.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:39 AM   #27
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UW = University of Washington? If so that school has some really good AI/machine learning profs if he's into that area.

Having done coop at UW (University of Waterloo) all the best internships were in the states not Canada (unless maybe you wanted to work for RIM, Northern Telecom, in their prime before they imploded). Today I don't think there's anything that can match US companies in silicon valley or wash state and I bet 99% of the students are looking to the US for the coop employers.
Yes, UW is University of Washington. You bring up a good point regarding co-op employers. I need to check to see what type of jobs are posted and if they are primarily in the US.

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I have friends who've worked or taught at all three colleges mentioned (UW, UBC, and WWU). My personal choice would be western.... There's a reason why students who attend Western don't move away from Bellingham - it's a great place to live. Their CS program is respectable and their grads get hired.
Western is a great school. I have many friends/co-workers that went to Western. My only concern with Western is the opportunity for internships while going to school. There's not much of a tech community in Bellingham. If DS is in Seattle, then he has the opportunity to work for tech companies part-time while going to school. I know tech companies are flexible when it comes how often you work and are willing to work around your school schedule. That's a great way to get experience and make connections while still in school.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:32 AM   #28
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You're right about B'ham having a smaller tech community - but they have a lot more than they did when I lived there in the early 90's. That said - I managed a few interns from WWU. And a friend is an IT manager who regularly hires interns... There is some tech there. Just not the giants like microsoft, boeing, amazon, etc...
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:27 PM   #29
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....I'm wondering what others think about going to university and living at home? ....
While it depends on the kid, I think in most cases that there is a lot of value to a young person going to college away from home and learning to depend on themselves, develop relationships with others, get involved in college activities.

My college had about 50% resident students and 50% "commuters" and I think the resident students had a fuller experience.
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:37 PM   #30
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.....Also in hindsight, my college years were the best years of my life. I have a lot more money now, but I had a lot more fun then. I have fun now but the college years were the best.
+1 No regrets and I love my life now but the best years were college and the first couple years out of college... worked hard and played hard.
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University Living Costs - is it worth it?
Old 04-21-2016, 11:27 PM   #31
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University Living Costs - is it worth it?

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Old 04-22-2016, 01:27 PM   #32
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I was in the University Reserves for the Air Force. So I had service buddies and school buddies. Both my sons lived in residence out of town at different schools. We all seem to have been infected with wanderlust.

I would suggest that they go to the best school that they can afford. Don't limit geography.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:10 PM   #33
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Also in hindsight, my college years were the best years of my life. I have a lot more money now, but I had a lot more fun then. I have fun now but the college years were the best.
+1

I also felt my college years were the best of my life, not just for the fun but the start into a real life. I still get together with 20+ of my college buddies at least once a year, and now that we are all starting to retire, even more often.

If I worked hard enough to be able to retire early, then I could work a little harder/longer to provide my two children with a similar opportunity to live away at college. It's just a matter of priorities. It was an easy decision for me as both exceeded expectations in anything I cared to measure before, during, and after college. I paid full ride for both of them, but it was the best spent money I can think of.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #34
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You must have uninteresting lives if your college years were the best of your lives! Why not go do something about it.

Living in another country is going to teach you more, help you to grow up more and be a great experience all round.

OP why not just let your kid decide unless the money is too much of an issue.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:55 PM   #35
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DS is a senior in computer science graduating in December. He is attending a state university. Currently, he is living in an apartment across the street from the university. But, he lived at home when he first started college.

While his situation was not typical, I think it shows how the decision needs to be individualized. The first thing to recognize is that just because someone is starting college doesn't mean that person is necessarily able to handle the executive function of living away from home.

In DS's case, it was easy to see this. He was 16 when he started college (he graduated high school early) and he was not ready to live away from home. (Some of that age are ready. He wasn't). He also has ADHD and that put his then executive function skills lower than that of most college students.

In his case, we started him at Community College. He actually started as a computer science major, switched to English, switched to business. During this time he was also learning how to manage his deadlines.

Eventually, he transferred to a state university about an hour away from our house. By then he was over 18, but still wasn't ready to do all the things he needed to move away. I have seen many very bright students of typical age who, at age 18, are simply not ready to manage all their deadlines and to prioritize school. They often crash and burn when sent away to school.

In our case, he wanted to move up to the university. We told him we would allow it when he had a semester at home where he successfully (1) woke up on his own every morning (we actually bought an alarm that vibrates his mattress -- otherwise he sleeps through an alarm), (2) took his medication on his own without forgetting, and (3) managed all his deadlines at school on his own. During this period of time, he was attending the university but commuted.

Once he showed he could do those things, we rented him an apartment across from the college. We didn't do a dorm because the apartment was much less expensive and was actually just as close to campus as the dorm.

He has been there almost 2 years now. The big advantage to being on campus is that he has been able to integrate much more into campus life. He changed his major to computer science and became very involved with the computer science organization at the school. Also, they put on a conference every semester and he was chair of the conference this year. It would have been impossible for him to do that if he wasn't up there. Now, if the school was 10 minutes away that would be different. But, it is an hour drive.

I like how we ended up doing it. He has been on campus for his last couple of years and those are the years when he has been very involved in extra-curricular activities. But, he was at home early on and that was indeed less expensive and I think it eased him in to learning how to manage his time.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:19 AM   #36
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While his situation was not typical, I think it shows how the decision needs to be individualized. The first thing to recognize is that just because someone is starting college doesn't mean that person is necessarily able to handle the executive function of living away from home.
I think those are great points. Not all kids are emotionally ready to live away from home as teenagers.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:49 AM   #37
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I agree with the majority here that the experience of living away at college is one of the best opportunities that you can provide for your son at this point, from both a social and a developmental perspective. Living on his own in his college years will encourage him to explore himself and the world around him in ways that the same-old same-old living at home just won't. Living away from home probably won't help much if at all with the degree, but in my opinion that's only half of what college is about.
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