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College: Cost surprise
Old 06-05-2018, 04:42 PM   #1
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College: Cost surprise

Young Dreamer? Some amazing information that you don't know about, concerning the cost of college education for your children.

Follow this article through to the end, to find out why those scary numbers on college costs for your children are causing sleepless nights.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...520180605&te=1

It's something I always suspected, but couldn't believe. Having gone through an expensive college with scholarship help, some 60 years ago... I knew that my school believed in a moral responsibility to help deserving, aspiring and potentially productive good citizens. Giving back has provided my school, Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine, with a current endowment of about one and a half billion dollars.

Much of this is going toward needs based scholarships for deserving undergraduates. The total enrollment for Bowdoin is less than 2000. The calculated cost for a student who might have no help, is approximately $70,000 per year. According to the study in the above cited article, the actual cost to the family of the student could be as low as $3K to $8K.

Sound strange? I would urge you to go to the website and to input nominal family assets in the calculator, for the school of your choice, to see what you might expect as support. In my case, because of the low college enrollment and the high endowment, the $$$ support from the institution is relatively high, but most schools DO offer scholarship dollars that can have a significant impact on your own retirement plans.

If you, or your children or your childrens' children have college in the future, knowing what may be available, could be very important.

The time spent in researching possibilities is incredibly important. I have three grandchildren who are all receiving good scholarships, even though their parents are reasonably well-to-do retired lawyers. The youngest has a 100% room, board, tuition and books 4 year scholarship that also includes a new computer every year, and one $12,000 travel cash stipend for one summer, to go to whatever country he chooses, to learn the lifestyles and needs. He intends to be a "doctor without borders" after graduation.

To put a fine point on this subject, here is a website that lists many scholarships that are available.

College Scholarships: Find the Best for 2017-18 and Beyond | Money

If this has interest to you, I would urge some in depth study of the subject. Leaving college without a $100K or $200K debt may be possible.

For me, as a young student back in 1954... Bowdoin was a dream come true.
In many, many schools, and from many, many compassionate and forward thinking sources, the dream is alive.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
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I agree that college costs are often a myth driven by reporting from the New York and Boston areas. If you have lived in those areas, then you will see that reporters think that everybody will get into an expensive private college and that state-supported public institutions either don't exist or no one bothers to go to them. After all, how often are SUNY-Binghamton, UConn, Rutgers, and UMass mentioned in the same article as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT?

Even this opinion piece about "Top Colleges" says "Of the 32, 31 are private." And the total number of freshmen in these colleges is rather small, so it does not reflect the vast majority of entering freshmen into top colleges.

The top state-supported pubic universities can be rather inexpensive even without any financial aid.

Full disclosure: I am the parent of 2 college graduates. One went to a top private university and the other went to a top state university, so I have experienced paying list price at both types of places.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:18 PM   #3
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People should also consider foreign countries, there are many top Universites in the world and you would be surprised by the low cost of some of them.

Example: Teach your kid German, they can then go to Germany and attend University (even grad and PHD) for free. This was told to me by a PHD student in Germany , who is not German, but was giving us a tour.

Or Canada, tuition is about 5->6K for Canadians, and double that for foreigners, but it is CDN $$ . !!
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:49 PM   #4
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Our public university has a list of foreign countries and their colleges that they will recognize. If not on the list it’s like you have no degree. My DIL has a BA from Poland to teach high school French. Not recognized here
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:55 PM   #5
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Some of that info is misleading....


My income is low, but my assets are high... going to a private school would cost between 150% to 200% of a state school, and that is with help from the school...


Also, DS will not be able to get any scholarship based on need... so he does not even try... you have to put in a lot of effort to apply for a number of these scholarships without knowing what chance you have of getting any money... he has received a couple from the school for academics but did not have to apply...
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:36 AM   #6
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Last kid, just graduated from high school, found that most "scholarships" offered by their private schools were just a discount off the rack rate.

For them, the above ran around $50k/year, with most offering $10-$15k off, though a couple of the (less competitive) schools offered $25k/year off.

State schools? Apart from the standard unsubsidized loan, bupkis.

So their solution was the same as their older siblings - the U.S. military.

In their case a ROTC scholarship in order to attend the private school of their choice.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:06 AM   #7
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People should also consider foreign countries, there are many top Universites in the world and you would be surprised by the low cost of some of them.

<snip> Or Canada, tuition is about 5->6K for Canadians, and double that for foreigners, but it is CDN $$ . !!
One of my friends at church went to U. of Toronto (probably graduated in the 1970s). VERY respectable school and he had no problem finding a job with a major bank back home in the US.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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I don’t believe in college education and I don’t care for Freddie Mac handling the student loans, when the government is lending the money everyone should be following everyone else and go to school, the biggest school you can get into. Can someone tell me when student loan refinancing began? It’s getting a bit out of hand
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
Our public university has a list of foreign countries and their colleges that they will recognize. If not on the list itís like you have no degree. My DIL has a BA from Poland to teach high school French. Not recognized here
Perhaps what you meant is:
Lots of Universities have a list of other Universities that they will recognize usually for the purposes of credit for courses, so you can take some courses at other Universities and then return to finish off your degree at the home University.

If I got to a University in FL and they don't recognize MIT, it does not mean MIT is bad, simply that it does not fit into FL University requirements. Lots of employers will happily take MIT grads.

In some places a simple degree does not allow a person to teach, one also has to attend a teaching school, simply having a degree does not mean one can teach.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:41 PM   #10
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Coming back to sharpen the pencil and make a point of the importance of doing the research. After discussing the process with my kids, I find that they spent many hours of research... going well beyond the high school counselors recommendations.
While the grandchildren are smart and capable, the effort that was put into digging in deep to the possibilities took place over weeks for each of the kids. The best outcome was for the youngest... a "Stamps" scholarship, which has a value of more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Stamps Scholarships Are Only for Certain Colleges, and They Are not Need-Based | Public University Honors
The counselors had no idea that this scholarship was even available.

The other two children, while not receiving quite as much, only came upon the scholarships that they have been awarded, by doing deep searches... beyond the schools that had been recommended, and finally ending up in more prestigious schools that closely matched their interest and potential career ambitions.

I admit that when the search process first began, I thought my DIL was crazy to spend so much time in research, correspondence and then visiting many of the schools. the grandkids spent many, many longs hours on the essays that were requested by many of the schools. It didn't stop there... the oldest is now in his second year of post graduate work... also on scholarship. He is now mulling over offered scholarships for his Doctorate, next year. Grandaughter graduated MCL is working this summer in an internship that will be a stepping stone into whichever Post Grad program she might finally choose. The youngest is now in Lima Peru, for a few days before going to volunteer work in a clinic in the nearby, poor city of La Molina, for the rest of the summer.

I guess this is bragging, but after seeing the difference this will mean in their lives, I can understand why they all worked so hard to find the right path. Much sacrifice along the way, but ultimate rewards... Hopefully a future not clouded by heavy debt.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:13 PM   #11
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The loan aspect could be a whole new thread. If you do take out loans, it is easy for them to get out of hand. When hubby had school loans the terms were quite different. Ultra low interest rates and not sure they accrued interest while he was in school. He had no interest in saving for dd's college, since he was able to do it.

DD graduated from college a few years ago. She had good scholarships to private college. She went there a year and then transferred to state school (no scholarship). Fortunately we were in a position to pay most of the fee and had her take out a loan for a small portion. By the time she had to pay back the loans, they had been accruing interest for 5 years. She owed a LOT more than I anticipated. I have seen some incredibly sad debt stories online with college loans, which are protected from bankruptcy. Can you imagine taking loans out for a top name school and not making it through?
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:42 PM   #12
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People should also consider foreign countries, there are many top Universites in the world and you would be surprised by the low cost of some of them.

Example: Teach your kid German, they can then go to Germany and attend University (even grad and PHD) for free. This was told to me by a PHD student in Germany , who is not German, but was giving us a tour.

Or Canada, tuition is about 5->6K for Canadians, and double that for foreigners, but it is CDN $$ . !!
I just got home from attending an academic award ceremony at my sons' IB school. (Both got academic award, yay!). What was interesting was the German teacher said that the students getting awards in the IB German program were guaranteed free education in Germany based on the awards. My older son's girlfriend received an award.

It's always been in the back of our mind to consider EU schools since both sons are dual Italian citizens.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:43 PM   #13
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I ran the Wellesley calculator for fun. It tells me I can expect to pay $68,000 per year for my child to go there. That is full boat, with no savings at all, and $272K (plus "incidentals") over four years (not counting the fact that it would likely increase in price in the next few years).

Once again, there is a penalty on those in society who save, LBYM, and who don't fritter away their money buying stuff.

Ponder this one: If you were offered your college paid for (e.g. Wellesley) or getting $272K to get you established in life, which would be better?
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:41 PM   #14
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In California students can go to community college for two years for $1K in tuition and then state colleges for $5K a year, plus books, fees and transportation (plus room and board if not living at home). For computer science graduates the average salary for a full stack software engineer in San Francisco is $124K (not right our of school but with work experience). One of our kids friends went into a specialized trade that tops out at over $100K a year with tech school training. Lots of the families we know do spend in the hundreds of thousand per kid for college, some taking out loans, some for very low demand degrees and they aren't fabulously wealthy families where cost doesn't matter so I don't really get it. For the kids that want to be art or music majors I would think buying them a house in a lower cost of living area and letting them rent out rooms would provide more financial security for $200 - $300K. Then they can be starving artists with housing and then some costs covered for the rest of their lives.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #15
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I donít believe in college education
You don't believe it exists?

You don't believe it's a good thing?

You don't believe it's worth the expense?

Or something else?

Quote:
when the government is lending the money everyone should be following everyone else and go to school, the biggest school you can get into.
I don't understand what you mean here. What does the government being the lender have to do with following? And what does it have to do with big schools?
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:49 PM   #16
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In California students can go to community college for two years for $1K in tuition and then state colleges for $5K a year, plus books, fees and transportation (plus room and board if not living at home). For computer science graduates the average salary for a full stack software engineer in San Francisco is $124K (not right our of school but with work experience).
I don't disagree with the gist of this - but the CSU colleges have gone up in price... I just checked our local state college - SDSU... It's $7488/school year for in state fees.

The UC public schools are even higher (but still a bargain). UCSD is $14273/school year for in state tuition/fees.

(Need to add housing/food/books/transpo,etc to that to get a 'real' number.)

I'm hyper aware of all this right now... I have a son who is finishing his junior year of HS and will be applying this coming fall.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:51 PM   #17
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The UC public schools are even higher (but still a bargain). UCSD is $14273/school year for in state tuition/fees.
+1, especially given the high quality of the university system.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:09 PM   #18
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I don't disagree with the gist of this - but the CSU colleges have gone up in price... I just checked our local state college - SDSU... It's $7488/school year for in state fees.

Okay, good point. I should have said starting at $5K. Cal State East Bay is $5.7 this year for tuition. CSU tuition varies by school and will probably only go up in future years.

We have one down and one in progress so I know this works. The one who graduated has two roommates from college these days. They all graduated from a good value, in state, public school in majors with decent job outlooks and are doing really well. Between financial aid, tax credits, summer jobs, a paid co-op program, tutor jobs, paid internships, in state and public 4 years, community college, online courses and transfer degrees, our only surprise was hey, this isn't going to cost us much out of pocket at all compared to all the scare stories.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:02 PM   #19
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One more link that I neglected to include. The "NICHE" website may be the best of all inclusive help for college students... This link is just for the scholarship segment, but the main website is all-inclusive and IMHO, a must for anyone involved in selecting a school. Virtually every aspect of college and beyond has its' own in depth study.

https://www.niche.com/colleges/scholarships/

https://www.niche.com/?ref=colleges
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:01 PM   #20
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As noted above, many states offer various "automatic" scholarships (I call them automatic because just having grades good enough that you should consider going to college is enough to get them). I have multiple friends who have kids in or about to go to college. Going to state schools, after taking into account the automatic scholarships, cost them so little that you could pay it out of pocket working an average of ~20 hours/week throughout the year at minimum wage (that's living on campus and includes room and board etc).

The student loan "problem" is mostly a problem for those who CHOOSE to spend many multiples of those costs to go to private schools, or out of state schools, and who don't get any of the TONS of scholarships or grants available these days that didn't exist 40 years ago when college was "cheap".
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