Projected College Costs Realistic?

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Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby SkierMom » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:06 pm

Hey Bogleheads. I am looking for opinions on the projections for college costs.

THe Vanguard College Calculator defaults to a 6% annual college cost increase. I'm looking at others, i.e. Bankrate.com and the like and the rates often are at least 5% if not higher. My question for BH's is, how realistic is this? In what economy can any one sector be supported at that growth rate? Seems to me it has elements of a bubble and might hit a critical mass. Factoring in subsidized federal loans given at will and unscrupulous private student loans do nothing but fuel the costs to go higher and higher. When will the growth of greater liability of the schools and states toward staff benefits and retirement slow down?

I don't think that a 5-6% rate of growth for the next ten years is sustainable. University of California is currently at $28,000/year. This projects out to a $280,000 public education Bachelor's degree in ten years; it's just unrealistic.

I guess my bottom line is that using these calulators to estimate savings for 529 plans, what realistic rate of growth for college expense do people use? What are your thoughts on the projected costs ten or fifteen years from now?
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby livesoft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:15 pm

My personal feeling is that list price will go up that high, so that folks with the moolah will end up paying that. OTOH, many folks will not have to pay list price.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby mhc » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:38 pm

Go read about financial aid calculations. You might just see that it is a big game to manipulate the price.

In general, no one knows what a college education will cost in 10, 20, 30 years. Very similar to retirement. Take your best guess and save what you can without sacrificing too much.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ram » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:48 pm

livesoft wrote:My personal feeling is that list price will go up that high, so that folks with the moolah will end up paying that. OTOH, many folks will not have to pay list price.

+1
Even at the present time the list price to me seems grossly inflated. I do not know exactly but my best guess is that the ratio of list price : average price paid by a student is perhaps 4:1. ( at least at the brand name colleges)
My kids are not eligible for the discounted price and so I have steered both my college kids to (slightly) lesser colleges where they were able to get merit based scholarships.

I have accepted a 5% education inflation as something I can not do anything about. I am going to give my daughter X dollars for her education and my son, who is 2 yrs behind her 1.1X dollars. This comes to a 5% per year (non compounded) inflation rate.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby NYBoglehead » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:56 pm

Save what you are able. If the costs grow faster than your savings the kids will have to pick up the rest.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby sscritic » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:58 pm

SkierMom wrote:I don't think that a 5-6% rate of growth for the next ten years is sustainable. University of California is currently at $28,000/year. This projects out to a $280,000 public education Bachelor's degree in ten years; it's just unrealistic.

Is your child taking six years to graduate?

I took 10 years out as starting in 2023. Did you use a different 10 years?
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby lwfitzge » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:44 pm

good question....it appears that based on publish reports the annual increase was 4.8% in 2012 and that was the first time it was below 5% in the last 12 years. Overall annual debt was lower in 2012 as well. While one year a trend does not make, it would seem that eventually you'll run into basic market considerations like "ability and willingness to pay".
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Rubiosa » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:50 pm

There will need to be a lot of adjusting to the idea in the future, but in light of staggering degree costs, a B.A. via the military is beginning to make more and more sense. I really like this program at UC-Davis. http://catalog.ucdavis.edu/programs/MSC/MSCprog.html
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Wolkenspiel » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:47 pm

Two comments:
- If the OPs kid was to go to e.g. MIT in 2013, costs could vary from $0 to $60k/year, depending on personal circumstances. Taking a college "list price" and extrapolating 10 years in the future is an exercise in futility.
- Perhaps more importantly, college in 10 years is likely to look entirely different from now. Essentially all top schools are now experimenting with online delivery of course content, in various forms. I know for a fact that even those at the forefront of these efforts do not have a clear vision what the eventual outcome is going to be. My bet would be that an education at e.g. MIT in 10 years will be different, but no less costly than now. For smaller/lower tier schools the change will be far more dramatic and disruptive. One can easily envision a new breed of schools that license online courses developed elsewhere and just provide teaching faculty/TA support in a 'flipped classroom' setting, with standardized testing to provide quality control. Many other outcomes are possible, and most of them are far more likely than the OPs "$280k traditional college" future.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby bottlecap » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:09 pm

I think 6% might be low.

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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Mudpuppy » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:03 am

Wolkenspiel wrote:Two comments:
- If the OPs kid was to go to e.g. MIT in 2013, costs could vary from $0 to $60k/year, depending on personal circumstances. Taking a college "list price" and extrapolating 10 years in the future is an exercise in futility.

One also has to bear in mind that inflation will factor in to prices when one is saving for 18 years down the road. While a growth at a greater pace than inflation may not be sustainable long-term, one should plan for a stabilizing of prices in the short term and then having prices keep pace with inflation. That really should be part of how one plans for any future costs, be they educational, health, retirement, or otherwise. Plan for a growth that at least keeps pace with inflation, then add a delta based on one's impressions of the other factors at play. It's not an exact science.

Wolkenspiel wrote:- Perhaps more importantly, college in 10 years is likely to look entirely different from now. Essentially all top schools are now experimenting with online delivery of course content, in various forms. I know for a fact that even those at the forefront of these efforts do not have a clear vision what the eventual outcome is going to be. My bet would be that an education at e.g. MIT in 10 years will be different, but no less costly than now. For smaller/lower tier schools the change will be far more dramatic and disruptive. One can easily envision a new breed of schools that license online courses developed elsewhere and just provide teaching faculty/TA support in a 'flipped classroom' setting, with standardized testing to provide quality control. Many other outcomes are possible, and most of them are far more likely than the OPs "$280k traditional college" future.

And when I went to college, they were all experimenting with TV broadcast classes (e.g. the ITV fad) and said one's whole education could come from selecting courses off an interactive cable/satellite/etc TV guide. Although I did watch some interesting courses on the local university's ITV channel when I was in high school, I never saw any cable channels that featured an entire college education at one's beck and call. There's something to be said for the structure of a class schedule versus being free to set one's own schedule, particularly for the courses that might not be personally enjoyable, but certainly would be part of a well-rounded education. This holds just as true with online courses as with the ITV courses of my era. They're really only effective when the students have a passion for or strong interest in the subject matter, but rarely is a college degree program composed only of courses one is passionate about.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby letsgobobby » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:45 am

As others have alluded to, there is a problem only if you are rich enough to be paying full sticker price. If you are, it's not really a problem, more of a thorn in your side. If you're not rich enough to pay full sticker price, you won't have to pay full sticker price, so there isn't really a problem, either.

It's very convoluted.

Since the tax breaks for retirement saving are generally better than those for college saving, it's just as well to max out all retirement plans before doing any college-specific savings (unless you get a state tax break). This is also better for your financial aid eligibility. As your kids get closer to college, some financial aid planning might be in order; this might include paying off your mortgage, and all kinds of other games that people play to look income- and asset-poor on the FAFSA or CSS.

As to your specific question: tuition has inflated above CPI for about 50 years. Just like health care. Expecting anything different in the near future seems like wishful thinking to me.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Calm Man » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:10 am

OP, this is a great question. Fortunately I am past it. I can tell you the following: I went to a private "selective college" from 1969-1973. My tuition plus room and board averaged something like $4500 a year. My parents contributed $500, I contributed $500 from the summer and the rest were scholarships and loans. I then went to medical school for 4 years at a top one. The costs was about $6000 a year all in. This was all scholarship and loan. (BTW, as letsgobobby pointed out, scholarship at elite universities is a euphemism for needing aid, as all the students are qualified academically. ) I thought that this has to end. It doesn't and hasn't. I don't know if it will, The online effort is huge and we will see if it is successful. I am taking an online class and hate the format but I am 60 years old. Much prefer a classroom and textbook. There are some heavy fixed costs. The research universities have a dual mission. Education and research. So faculty salaries are not only for teaching and many teach less than half of the hours and do research the rest. Buildings, administration costs, etc. The ease of loans and government subsidies, programs to forgiven loans (I don't get that actually - doesn't make sense) and other things actually make it easier to raise costs.

I said many years ago when our NYC bridges went from an initial 25 cent toll all the way to a dollar that this was unsustainable. It is now $14 and going to $15.. Presumably at some point it has to end. That is, nobody would pay a million dollars a year in tuition at today's dollars. But these bubbles can last for decades. I was happy to bite the bullet and pay the full load for my daughter for private college and med school. But I was lucky and had the means. Good luck.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby lwfitzge » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:18 am

Wolkenspiel wrote:Two comments:
- If the OPs kid was to go to e.g. MIT in 2013, costs could vary from $0 to $60k/year, depending on personal circumstances. Taking a college "list price" and extrapolating 10 years in the future is an exercise in futility.
- Perhaps more importantly, college in 10 years is likely to look entirely different from now. Essentially all top schools are now experimenting with online delivery of course content, in various forms. I know for a fact that even those at the forefront of these efforts do not have a clear vision what the eventual outcome is going to be. My bet would be that an education at e.g. MIT in 10 years will be different, but no less costly than now. For smaller/lower tier schools the change will be far more dramatic and disruptive. One can easily envision a new breed of schools that license online courses developed elsewhere and just provide teaching faculty/TA support in a 'flipped classroom' setting, with standardized testing to provide quality control. Many other outcomes are possible, and most of them are far more likely than the OPs "$280k traditional college" future.


Not only are the MIT's of the world experimenting w online delivery but there are innovators like the Minerva project that "claim" they will deliver an Ivy quality education all on-line at half the cost....

http://www.minervaproject.com/
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:24 am

Costs are already that high almost. $60,000+/yr (including room & board at a few universities) You'd be nuts to pay it unless you are rich. There are many who could afford to pay it and will pay it in our society. To indenture yourself or your family which many do is insanity.

Rather than costs dropping I think many colleges will go under and cease to exist. There are too many.

The elite institutions will survive and the demand will still be there. Not everyone will go to college. How many went to college 100 years ago? Not many. The elite. Henry Ford did not go to college. Bill Gates did not go to college.

You can make a living doing things without a degree like trades, entrepreneurship, service businesses, sales, etc.

Most college degrees are worthless in the sense that they do not prepare the degree-holder for a job after graduation. I have a nephew who has a degree in Philosophy. He is also a self-taught computer geek. He works for a major company as a Software Engineer. The contribution of his philosophy degree to his job? Zero.

The value of an education goes beyond getting a job of course. However, how much value? $280,000 for an English degree or a Music degree? For a medical degree where you can earn $200,000-$500,000/year certainly. To make $35,000/yr, no.

If Daddy pays for it (the rich) who cares. If you have to pay for it (loans) questionable.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:59 am

lwfitzge wrote:
Not only are the MIT's of the world experimenting w online delivery but there are innovators like the Minerva project that "claim" they will deliver an Ivy quality education all on-line at half the cost....

http://www.minervaproject.com/

I think in the case of MIT, the classroom experience is only a fraction of what it offers. My son toured MIT last week, and while he's a strong and qualified applicant, we know that he has probably less than a 20% chance. Why is he so interested? According to him, he would love the opportunity to be among the less intelligent in the room for a change.

FWIW, we're among the "rich" who are prepared to pay full freight if he gets in.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby STC » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:02 am

My theory on this is that online course-work and degree's will become more prevalent, and lose their stigma over time. The rich will still go away to school. The middle class will do a blend. And the poor will attend online classes with 10,000 other students per class.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby bottlecap » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:05 am

letsgobobby wrote:As others have alluded to, there is a problem only if you are rich enough to be paying full sticker price. If you are, it's not really a problem, more of a thorn in your side. If you're not rich enough to pay full sticker price, you won't have to pay full sticker price, so there isn't really a problem, either.


The problem is that most Bogleheads will be considered "rich" by the time their kids go to college. But they'll only be rich enough pay for college or retire, not both!

I never started saving for college and probably never will. It's just not realistic.

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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby DualIncomeNoDebt » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:14 am

Make college loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. Once banks and lenders properly price the risk of some of these questionable $150k degrees, it may impose some market discipline. Currently colleges offload all their risk onto the public, zero price discipline. Broken system.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby STC » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:18 am

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:Make college loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. Once banks and lenders properly price the risk of some of these questionable $150k degrees, it may impose some market discipline. Currently colleges offload all their risk onto the public, zero price discipline. Broken system.


100% accurate
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Keep It Simple » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:27 pm

This is an interesting topic.

How much money(income and assets) does one need to have to be considered ineligible for financial aid from colleges?

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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby livesoft » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:32 pm

^ This is pretty easy to figure out. The FAFSA helps compute the Expected Family Contribution. Use the online calculator: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/quickefc.phtml

If you have a million in taxable assets and no income, your EFC will still be above the cost to attend all known US colleges and universities.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby letsgobobby » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:14 pm

Even Princeton?
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby msj16 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:03 pm

I have saved a fortune for my kid's college costs already in a 529 plan. What I did is assume a 5% college inflation rate. My goal was to save that amount. I made sure to max out retirement accounts in the meantime. I have now saved enough to pay for college at a private university at 5% college inflation rate. I am contributing more when I can to get to a 6% rate if I can, but not expecting that I will reach that goal. If I took that money and added it to my retirement, I could probably quit my job now! My kid has potential (in gifted math program at school for example), and I think there will be many families like me that will still contribute to college if their child can get into a prestigious college.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby bsteiner » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:32 pm

Calm Man wrote:I said many years ago when our NYC bridges went from an initial 25 cent toll all the way to a dollar that this was unsustainable. It is now $14 and going to $15..


The old 25 cent toll (50 cents on the Verrazano) was one-way. The $15 is round-trip. If you use E-Z Pass, the round-trip toll is only $10.66.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:13 pm

It's very likely that for many families this may be the last generation that goes to college.

Frankly, the value of a college education is over-rated.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:17 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Even Princeton?


Most expensive colleges in the nation (October 2011):

"Next year (2012), we will see for the first time schools busting through the $60,000 mark."
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37247019/25-most-expensive-colleges-in-the-nation/

Princeton has a very generous program of aid for students. Everybody appears to get some financial aid, even relatively high earners, although it is less. Of course you have to be accepted first.

I see no end in sight for rising tuition. However, do you really need to send your kid to a $60,000/yr school? No. State schools, local community colleges, live at home, etc. Room and board at colleges is very expensive. For most state schools Room and Board costs exceed tuition.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby livesoft » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:42 pm

^That link is an old list. My kid's college is not on the list and cost-to-attend went over $60K.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby RenoJay » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:57 pm

I agree with the original poster that there are elements of a bubble here and the logic dictates it's likely to pop. My children are both under 5. When I extrapolate out Vanguard's 6% annual increase, I got a very similar number to the original poster...about $280,000 for four years of public college. It seems that only a small fraction of people would actually be able to afford that, and that the "skip college and become a plumber" option would make significantly more sense in that scenario than today. So I've chosen to aim to have about half the projected amount in 529's by the time the kiddos are college-aged. The rest is in UTMA accounts for them. I'll inform them when they're old enough that the UTMA funds are intended for college, and anything unspent is theirs to start their lives.

I simply do not believe that one segment of the economy, especially one that is not life and death like healthcare, can continue to increase so much faster in price than the rest for much longer. I've already seen signs of the trend starting to abate with schools offering quicker paths to a degree, AA degrees yielding more in starting salary than BA degrees, better deals for getting an education abroad and lots of media attention about how student loan debt exceeds credit card debt and how BA's are working at Starbucks.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Calm Man » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:09 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Calm Man wrote:I said many years ago when our NYC bridges went from an initial 25 cent toll all the way to a dollar that this was unsustainable. It is now $14 and going to $15..


The old 25 cent toll (50 cents on the Verrazano) was one-way. The $15 is round-trip. If you use E-Z Pass, the round-trip toll is only $10.66.


thank you for the correction. I will have you know I road a bicycle over the Throggs neck before cars were permitted, I think the day before. You are right. It was 40 cents round trip. I don't use ezpass and won't (so the government doesn't know of my covert activities like visiting my parents) and at $15 round trip it will be a 30 fold increase.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Calm Man » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:27 pm

[quote="HardKnocker"
. However, do you really need to send your kid to a $60,000/yr school? No. State schools, local community colleges, live at home, etc. Room and board at colleges is very expensive. For most state schools Room and Board costs exceed tuition.[/quote]

It depends on your kid's ability and aspirations. My experience is not universal and one cannot prove a negative. However, I am yet to meet an American Medical School graduate or person admitted who has gone to community college. I suspect this is also the same at top post graduate PhD, business and law schools as a general rule. The college experience also includes living away from home and becoming independent. So we disagree on this one, a lot.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Wolkenspiel » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:59 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Wolkenspiel wrote:- Perhaps more importantly, college in 10 years is likely to look entirely different from now. Essentially all top schools are now experimenting with online delivery of course content, in various forms.

And when I went to college, they were all experimenting with TV broadcast classes (e.g. the ITV fad) and said one's whole education could come from selecting courses off an interactive cable/satellite/etc TV guide. Although I did watch some interesting courses on the local university's ITV channel when I was in high school, I never saw any cable channels that featured an entire college education at one's beck and call.


Well, there are things that one can do with computers/web technology and live support that are difficult with a TV set (or with a book).

These developments ARE going to change higher ed. I might be off by a few years (in either direction), but this is going to happen. MIT isn't putting in 10's of millions into EdX for fun (and neither are the Coursera venture capitalists). The first thing that this effort is going to revolutionize is not the higher Ed business model, but the science of learning, i.e. understanding what is and is not effective (Hint: TV is not, but neither are traditional lecture classes). Where things go from there remains to be seen.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:07 am

Calm Man wrote:It depends on your kid's ability and aspirations. My experience is not universal and one cannot prove a negative. However, I am yet to meet an American Medical School graduate or person admitted who has gone to community college. I suspect this is also the same at top post graduate PhD, business and law schools as a general rule. The college experience also includes living away from home and becoming independent. So we disagree on this one, a lot.


Everyone is free to make their choice in America. Hopefully you have the financial wherewithal to do it and it is not a huge burden. In that case it is no problem (Daddy pays). If you have to sacrifice your retirement or the student has to mortgage their future then perhaps alternate options should be considered. Part of the reason many, many colleges (and most are not highly ranked) are able to command high prices is this irrational belief that price equals quality. It is status seeking plain and simple. The colleges are taking advantage of this mindset and making a fortune.

Not everyone seeks the career path of doctor, lawyer, PhD college professor that seem to be the only acceptable career choices for many on this forum.
Last edited by HardKnocker on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ThatGuy » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:59 am

Calm Man wrote:It depends on your kid's ability and aspirations. My experience is not universal and one cannot prove a negative. However, I am yet to meet an American Medical School graduate or person admitted who has gone to community college. I suspect this is also the same at top post graduate PhD, business and law schools as a general rule. The college experience also includes living away from home and becoming independent. So we disagree on this one, a lot.


I know two doctors who started out in Community College with me. However, they leave that off of their resume just like I do. I also know a couple of top 30 PhDs that started out in Community College, however they also don't talk about their humble beginnings when around their academic peers.

There's a stigma attached to the 2 year college that keeps most successful graduates from talking about it, as evidenced in the quoted post. Kind of like Atheism, it's more popular than you expect, but no one talks about it because of the mild social stigma.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:29 am

ThatGuy wrote:I know two doctors who started out in Community College with me. However, they leave that off of their resume just like I do. I also know a couple of top 30 PhDs that started out in Community College, however they also don't talk about their humble beginnings when around their academic peers.

There's a stigma attached to the 2 year college that keeps most successful graduates from talking about it, as evidenced in the quoted post. Kind of like Atheism, it's more popular than you expect, but no one talks about it because of the mild social stigma.


3/4 of the doctors in my locale are from India. Hardly any of them attended Ivy League Universities or even U.S. med schools.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:37 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Even Princeton?


Yes. I used the Princeton calculator as a lark, and even with less than a million in assets, they will require you to use a very good chunk of it to pay for schooling. :greedy :moneybag :greedy
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:45 pm

RenoJay wrote:I agree with the original poster that there are elements of a bubble here and the logic dictates it's likely to pop. My children are both under 5. When I extrapolate out Vanguard's 6% annual increase, I got a very similar number to the original poster...about $280,000 for four years of public college. It seems that only a small fraction of people would actually be able to afford that, and that the "skip college and become a plumber" option would make significantly more sense in that scenario than today. So I've chosen to aim to have about half the projected amount in 529's by the time the kiddos are college-aged. The rest is in UTMA accounts for them. I'll inform them when they're old enough that the UTMA funds are intended for college, and anything unspent is theirs to start their lives.

I simply do not believe that one segment of the economy, especially one that is not life and death like healthcare, can continue to increase so much faster in price than the rest for much longer. I've already seen signs of the trend starting to abate with schools offering quicker paths to a degree, AA degrees yielding more in starting salary than BA degrees, better deals for getting an education abroad and lots of media attention about how student loan debt exceeds credit card debt and how BA's are working at Starbucks.


The public universities in my state are charging $26K per year now, and the vast majority of their students today can not afford to pay it. I know this because they consistently dial my number looking for :moneybag . The bubble is well on its way to popping. One more thing folks have today, is the ability to selectively shop for the school that offers the best fit - one does not need to pay $60K annually, if a school that costs half as much offers more. If you were inclined to go into nursing, why pay $55k or even $40K for the equivalent degree? Because of the prestige? The earnings will be the same, regardless of school.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:48 pm

HardKnocker wrote:
ThatGuy wrote:I know two doctors who started out in Community College with me. However, they leave that off of their resume just like I do. I also know a couple of top 30 PhDs that started out in Community College, however they also don't talk about their humble beginnings when around their academic peers.

There's a stigma attached to the 2 year college that keeps most successful graduates from talking about it, as evidenced in the quoted post. Kind of like Atheism, it's more popular than you expect, but no one talks about it because of the mild social stigma.


3/4 of the doctors in my locale are from India. Hardly any of them attended Ivy League Universities or even U.S. med schools.


Sorry, that is very scary.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:50 pm

Calm Man wrote:[quote="HardKnocker"
. However, do you really need to send your kid to a $60,000/yr school? No. State schools, local community colleges, live at home, etc. Room and board at colleges is very expensive. For most state schools Room and Board costs exceed tuition.


It depends on your kid's ability and aspirations. My experience is not universal and one cannot prove a negative. However, I am yet to meet an American Medical School graduate or person admitted who has gone to community college. I suspect this is also the same at top post graduate PhD, business and law schools as a general rule. The college experience also includes living away from home and becoming independent. So we disagree on this one, a lot.[/quote]

I have met many teachers who've attended Community colleges. They have litterally made out like bandits.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:52 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Calm Man wrote:I said many years ago when our NYC bridges went from an initial 25 cent toll all the way to a dollar that this was unsustainable. It is now $14 and going to $15..


The old 25 cent toll (50 cents on the Verrazano) was one-way. The $15 is round-trip. If you use E-Z Pass, the round-trip toll is only $10.66.


I paid $15 today at the Battery - there was no mention of an ez-pass discount. In all the years using that tunnel, I have yet to see any material changes in upkeep. :shock:
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:31 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:"3/4 of the doctors in my locale are from India. Hardly any of them attended Ivy League Universities or even U.S. med schools."

Sorry, that is very scary.


Of course they have attended college and med school, only in India instead of the U.S. You've probably read of Americans going to India for surgery at discount prices.

The human body is the same no matter where you go. We also have quite a few Indian residents. Their children are usually among the highest ranked in our school system.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby supersharpie » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:44 am

HardKnocker wrote:Costs are already that high almost. $60,000+/yr (including room & board at a few universities) You'd be nuts to pay it unless you are rich. There are many who could afford to pay it and will pay it in our society. To indenture yourself or your family which many do is insanity.

Rather than costs dropping I think many colleges will go under and cease to exist. There are too many.

The elite institutions will survive and the demand will still be there. Not everyone will go to college. How many went to college 100 years ago? Not many. The elite. Henry Ford did not go to college. Bill Gates did not go to college.

You can make a living doing things without a degree like trades, entrepreneurship, service businesses, sales, etc.

Most college degrees are worthless in the sense that they do not prepare the degree-holder for a job after graduation. I have a nephew who has a degree in Philosophy. He is also a self-taught computer geek. He works for a major company as a Software Engineer. The contribution of his philosophy degree to his job? Zero.

The value of an education goes beyond getting a job of course. However, how much value? $280,000 for an English degree or a Music degree? For a medical degree where you can earn $200,000-$500,000/year certainly. To make $35,000/yr, no.

If Daddy pays for it (the rich) who cares. If you have to pay for it (loans) questionable.


Liberal arts degrees in majors like philosophy may have no direct practical application in the workforce you are selling your nephew's education short. A liberal arts education hones one's critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. I am sure your nephew is applying all of them in his job and life.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ThatGuy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:37 am

supersharpie wrote:Liberal arts degrees in majors like philosophy may have no direct practical application in the workforce you are selling your nephew's education short. A liberal arts education hones one's critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. I am sure your nephew is applying all of them in his job and life.


I see this printed quite frequently on this site. I'm not trying to disparage the arts, but how do they teach critical thinking more effectively than a STEM degree? I mean, there's this whole archetype of an engineer that is highly rational and requires hard evidence before believing in things...
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby Professor Emeritus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:04 am

ThatGuy wrote:
supersharpie wrote:Liberal arts degrees in majors like philosophy may have no direct practical application in the workforce you are selling your nephew's education short. A liberal arts education hones one's critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. I am sure your nephew is applying all of them in his job and life.


I see this printed quite frequently on this site. I'm not trying to disparage the arts, but how do they teach critical thinking more effectively than a STEM degree? I mean, there's this whole archetype of an engineer that is highly rational and requires hard evidence before believing in things...


I teach Engineers. Very bright, very task oriented and routinely terrible at deciding whether or not a specific task is a good idea. In general they are not trained to ask "Why/" but only "how". In software terms they understand "verification" (is the output true? ) but not validation (is the output really useful?)

As to college costs please do not confuse tuition prices with the underlying cost of education.
What you have been seeing a a far larger portion of the cost being shifted to the student but the underlying costs have not changed much

http://trends.collegeboard.org/college- ... -over-time

State Higher Education Finance FY 2011
105.
Constant dollar total educational revenue (as displayed in
Figure 3
, which includes tuition revenue used
for capital or debt service) per FTE declined from
the late 1980s to the early 1990s from $10,690
in 1988 to $ 10,199 in 1993. Thereafter, total educational revenue per FTE grew steadily from 1994 to 2001,
reaching $11,767
, or about 10 percent higher than it was in 1988. Total revenue per FTE then fell shar
ply(about 10 percent) from 2001 to 2004 (to $10, 630), rebounded to $11, 733
by 2008, and then dropped to $11,064 in 2011

http://www.sheeo.org/sites/default/file ... F_FY11.pdf

In current dollars It costs my research university about 17,000 per student per year for their academic program. That cost is quite stable
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ohiost90 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:25 am

Bill Gates did not go to college.

He went to harvard for two years.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby RadAudit » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:08 am

ohiost90 wrote:
Bill Gates did not go to college.

He went to harvard for two years.


And Thomas Jefferson didn't graduate from William and Mary, or so I'm told.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ThatGuy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:34 am

Professor Emeritus wrote:I teach Engineers. Very bright, very task oriented and routinely terrible at deciding whether or not a specific task is a good idea. In general they are not trained to ask "Why/" but only "how". In software terms they understand "verification" (is the output true? ) but not validation (is the output really useful?)


I must have gone to an elite institution (not really) because every single report I wrote in an engineering curriculum, be it a project or lab, included a section on why we were doing what we were doing. We also finished up the the report with an analysis of our data, did it make sense, what might have skewed our results, etc.

This was a hard requirement given to us in the grading scheme.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby HardKnocker » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:05 pm

supersharpie wrote:
Liberal arts degrees in majors like philosophy may have no direct practical application in the workforce you are selling your nephew's education short. A liberal arts education hones one's critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. I am sure your nephew is applying all of them in his job and life.


Not a chance. This kid has the personality and social skills of a block of wood. However, he can write code very well.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:16 pm

ThatGuy wrote:
Professor Emeritus wrote:I teach Engineers. Very bright, very task oriented and routinely terrible at deciding whether or not a specific task is a good idea. In general they are not trained to ask "Why/" but only "how". In software terms they understand "verification" (is the output true? ) but not validation (is the output really useful?)


I must have gone to an elite institution (not really) because every single report I wrote in an engineering curriculum, be it a project or lab, included a section on why we were doing what we were doing. We also finished up the the report with an analysis of our data, did it make sense, what might have skewed our results, etc.

This was a hard requirement given to us in the grading scheme.

I was an engineer myself, and the two things that I found most problematic with my colleagues was:
1 - They could never seem to close the project if there was one thing less than perfect. They had no sense of "good enough for the application." That might sound commendable when you're speaking of a space shuttle, but not so much in the ordinary course of commerce, where their refusal to finish affected the profitability (and survival) of the firm.

2 - Many were incapable of writing a paragraph, on time, on topic, in English, that could be understood by an intelligent non-engineer.
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Re: Projected College Costs Realistic?

Postby ThatGuy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:23 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I was an engineer myself, and the two things that I found most problematic with my colleagues was:
1 - They could never seem to close the project if there was one thing less than perfect. They had no sense of "good enough for the application." That might sound commendable when you're speaking of a space shuttle, but not so much in the ordinary course of commerce, where their refusal to finish affected the profitability (and survival) of the firm.


I agree with this, but this was more a case of needing an A than anything to do with the project. In other words, this is more a factor of the system of education than anything specific to engineering, or STEM more generally. I'll note that my doctor buddies who I took chemistry with way back when were worse in this regard.

TomatoTomahto wrote:2 - Many were incapable of writing a paragraph, on time, on topic, in English, that could be understood by an intelligent non-engineer.


This was my biggest beef with my peer group academically. While I realize my own writing could do with vast improvement, I've seen no appreciable difference between the low standard set by my engineering peer group versus the writing I've read by non STEM majors in the real world. The worst offenders seem to be business and fine arts majors, in my experience.
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