College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 am

arthurb999 wrote:I personally think college costs are the next thing to crash. This has bubble written all over it.
The ROI is just not there in a lot of cases...

There is an entire generation... strapped with tremendous debt, little means to repay, and the debt cannot be discharged in BK.
Granted they should have thought things through (e.g 200k for an art history degree with salaries in the 40k range).


Take the candy (loans) away from them and just like the housing market, it too will come back down to earth. This is already starting to happen courtesy of social networks which describe what happens to those who graduate without a job and X thousands of debt around their neck like a noose.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby bungalow10 » Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 am

stoptothink wrote:The media certainly isn't blowing the insane increase in tuition costs out of proportion. At some universities (as I noted earlier, including where I did my undergrad) tuition has tripled in the past decade. To say that is cause for concern would be a mild understatement.


Yes, some areas are more expensive. Some are not. I checked the University of Wisconsin colleges. In 2005-2006, tuition was $3,978. In 2011-2012 it was $4,502, a 12.5% increase. That's not horrible. For the flagship school (UW-Madison), tuition was up 53% in that same time period. So while tuition is up, students without means still had options. If they didn't think UW-Madison was worth almost double the price, they wouldn't pay it.

You also didn't address my main point - average debt at graduation is $27k. Is that really that horrible? It's not ideal, but it isn't exactly insurmountable.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Peter Foley » Fri May 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Sam I am wrote
Wife and I have had a pretty blessed life thus far. Our children are grown, all college educated. What worked for us was purchasing prepaid tuition plans.

Now I've turned my attention to the grandchildren. I know that retirement could be more difficult for my children, given the fact that pensions are falling by the wayside in many companies. Frankly I'd much rather my children concentrate on building their retirement portfolios.

[Snip - prepaid plans]

We also are funding a 529 plan, as are the other grandparents, I believe.

I think the parents will be too wealthy to expect much aid, other than merit-based, and too poor to afford some tuitions. Right in the middle of the pack, in other words!

So, we will attempt to pay it forward as much as we can.


We are on the same page as Sam I am but are taking the 529 plan route and not the prepaid tuition route. My mother provided some funding for her grandchildren's education via a gift when they were very young. Invested primarily in low cost mutual funds, it ended up paying for 3 of the 4 years for each of my daughters. We are continuing the "tradition" and are setting aside funds for each of our grandchildren in 529 plans.

A couple things to consider - while tuition at a state's flagship institution may still be somewhat reasonable, admission can be very competitive and not everybody gets in. It takes a combination of good grades and good test scores. Not everyone tests well. My oldest daughter never tested well but graduated from a good private college with honors and went on to get her masters.
A second considersation is how to fund a 529 plan. 529 plans must be funded with cash or cash equivalents. We are gifting shares of a mutual fund from a taxable account to our daughters. The shares have long term capital gains. My daughters are in the 15% tax bracket so they will be able to sell the shares w/o paying capital gains and can use the proceeds to fund the 529 plan.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri May 17, 2013 12:00 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:The media certainly isn't blowing the insane increase in tuition costs out of proportion. At some universities (as I noted earlier, including where I did my undergrad) tuition has tripled in the past decade. To say that is cause for concern would be a mild understatement.


Yes, some areas are more expensive. Some are not. I checked the University of Wisconsin colleges. In 2005-2006, tuition was $3,978. In 2011-2012 it was $4,502, a 12.5% increase. That's not horrible. For the flagship school (UW-Madison), tuition was up 53% in that same time period. So while tuition is up, students without means still had options. If they didn't think UW-Madison was worth almost double the price, they wouldn't pay it.

You also didn't address my main point - average debt at graduation is $27k. Is that really that horrible? It's not ideal, but it isn't exactly insurmountable.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dear-c ... 2013-05-17

Today's article above, I believe addresses some of your concerns.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby stoptothink » Fri May 17, 2013 12:17 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:The media certainly isn't blowing the insane increase in tuition costs out of proportion. At some universities (as I noted earlier, including where I did my undergrad) tuition has tripled in the past decade. To say that is cause for concern would be a mild understatement.


Yes, some areas are more expensive. Some are not. I checked the University of Wisconsin colleges. In 2005-2006, tuition was $3,978. In 2011-2012 it was $4,502, a 12.5% increase. That's not horrible. For the flagship school (UW-Madison), tuition was up 53% in that same time period. So while tuition is up, students without means still had options. If they didn't think UW-Madison was worth almost double the price, they wouldn't pay it.

You also didn't address my main point - average debt at graduation is $27k. Is that really that horrible? It's not ideal, but it isn't exactly insurmountable.


I finished 10yrs of college education with zero debt and having never taken out a loan. Do I think it is insurmountable? No. Do I think the increase in cost is absurd and not necessary? Absolutely. Just because it is possible (and I overcame it), doesn't make it ok.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby reisner » Fri May 17, 2013 12:22 pm

Recently I decided to check on the tuition at my old college (a private Jesuit college in NJ). When I attended from 1963 to 1967 tuition was $900 and there were no dorms. I lived at home with my widowed mother and walked there. Now tuition and fees top $30,000 a year.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby bungalow10 » Fri May 17, 2013 12:27 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
bungalow10 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:The media certainly isn't blowing the insane increase in tuition costs out of proportion. At some universities (as I noted earlier, including where I did my undergrad) tuition has tripled in the past decade. To say that is cause for concern would be a mild understatement.


Yes, some areas are more expensive. Some are not. I checked the University of Wisconsin colleges. In 2005-2006, tuition was $3,978. In 2011-2012 it was $4,502, a 12.5% increase. That's not horrible. For the flagship school (UW-Madison), tuition was up 53% in that same time period. So while tuition is up, students without means still had options. If they didn't think UW-Madison was worth almost double the price, they wouldn't pay it.

You also didn't address my main point - average debt at graduation is $27k. Is that really that horrible? It's not ideal, but it isn't exactly insurmountable.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dear-c ... 2013-05-17

Today's article above, I believe addresses some of your concerns.


I think the paradigm for funding college has changed, but I really don't think we are in a bubble. It might shift back slightly, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for things to change to they way they were in 1985.

I also think that article you posted is disingenuous when it says that this topic isn't being addressed by journalists. It's being written about every.single.day.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby rec7 » Fri May 17, 2013 12:42 pm

reisner wrote:Recently I decided to check on the tuition at my old college (a private Jesuit college in NJ). When I attended from 1963 to 1967 tuition was $900 and there were no dorms. I lived at home with my widowed mother and walked there. Now tuition and fees top $30,000 a year.


That is a real money saver live at home and walk.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby SPG8 » Fri May 17, 2013 12:49 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
arthurb999 wrote:I personally think college costs are the next thing to crash. This has bubble written all over it.
The ROI is just not there in a lot of cases...

There is an entire generation... strapped with tremendous debt, little means to repay, and the debt cannot be discharged in BK.
Granted they should have thought things through (e.g 200k for an art history degree with salaries in the 40k range).


Take the candy (loans) away from them and just like the housing market, it too will come back down to earth. This is already starting to happen courtesy of social networks which describe what happens to those who graduate without a job and X thousands of debt around their neck like a noose.


For fun, imagine if these loans were made dischargeable in bankruptcy this summer.

How much does tuition drop (%) the for the next year?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby investingdad » Fri May 17, 2013 12:53 pm

HardKnocker wrote:
investingdad wrote:My wife and I both graduated from Penn State. We're doing pretty well for ourselves and would have no problem sending our two kids to a State U at a much lower cost than an expensive private school.


Just a note that Penn State is one of the most expensive state colleges/universities.


Yes, it has gotten out of hand since my attendance in the early 90s. And I can tell you why, the former President (who left in disgrace for good reason) was bent on building out the campus. It blows my mind how much money was spent on making the University focused on the 'experience'. What a joke. That money could have been used to offset tuition but instead was funneled into building projects that seemed to me to be nothing more than a 'look how AWESOME our campus is' effort.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby investingdad » Fri May 17, 2013 12:56 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:My kid is going to school to learn something useful, not get wasted, party and oh, as an afterthought graduate.


Well, I actually did all those things and still got a chem engineering degree...

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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby stoptothink » Fri May 17, 2013 1:09 pm

investingdad wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
investingdad wrote:My wife and I both graduated from Penn State. We're doing pretty well for ourselves and would have no problem sending our two kids to a State U at a much lower cost than an expensive private school.


Just a note that Penn State is one of the most expensive state colleges/universities.


Yes, it has gotten out of hand since my attendance in the early 90s. And I can tell you why, the former President (who left in disgrace for good reason) was bent on building out the campus. It blows my mind how much money was spent on making the University focused on the 'experience'. What a joke. That money could have been used to offset tuition but instead was funneled into building projects that seemed to me to be nothing more than a 'look how AWESOME our campus is' effort.


That is the standard. The tuition at the school I received my PhD from increased every one of my last 6 quarters there. The reasons: a new multi-million dollar marquee, renovation of the football stadium and other athletic facilities, some crazy looking Chinese garden in the middle of campus, etc. Absolutely nothing which actually improved the education component.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri May 17, 2013 1:29 pm

stoptothink wrote:
investingdad wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
investingdad wrote:My wife and I both graduated from Penn State. We're doing pretty well for ourselves and would have no problem sending our two kids to a State U at a much lower cost than an expensive private school.


Just a note that Penn State is one of the most expensive state colleges/universities.


Yes, it has gotten out of hand since my attendance in the early 90s. And I can tell you why, the former President (who left in disgrace for good reason) was bent on building out the campus. It blows my mind how much money was spent on making the University focused on the 'experience'. What a joke. That money could have been used to offset tuition but instead was funneled into building projects that seemed to me to be nothing more than a 'look how AWESOME our campus is' effort.


That is the standard. The tuition at the school I received my PhD from increased every one of my last 6 quarters there. The reasons: a new multi-million dollar marquee, renovation of the football stadium and other athletic facilities, some crazy looking Chinese garden in the middle of campus, etc. Absolutely nothing which actually improved the education component.


Sounds like my grad alma mater which just spent $50 million for a new state of the art dorm that features a retail component as well. Is it any wonder they are ringing my phone off the hook at home asking for money and how my experience was while attending? Give me a break, these schools actually think after paying them what I thought was a godly sum of money then, that that experience correlated into a one for one or greater reason why I succeeded and making X dollars? :oops: And entitles them to a yearly tithing to boot!! :annoyed
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby floydtime » Fri May 17, 2013 1:43 pm

Doesn't this really boil down to how much you are willing to pay for the status of going to an expensive school? Seems to me that with scholarships and/or the "community college 2 years followed by state college 2 years" route, that one would very likely do just as well. If you really feel the need to give your kid 200k, give it to him afterwards and help him invest it wisely - maybe even after an around the world trip.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby rustymutt » Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 pm

Try cheaper state university colleges, and get all the scholarships, and tarp money you can.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby DoWahDaddy » Fri May 17, 2013 4:09 pm

I don't see much credibility being given to private schools around here in relation to the markup over public. Bottom line for me is that I'm planning for the instance where my kid has a legitimate interest in a particular subject (I didn't have such interest as a teenager) and there is an institution recognized as a leader in that discipline where he/she truly thinks they can get the best education. I see it as my obligation as the financial guru in the family to ensure money isn't an obstacle in the equation. I don't care what's being built, so long as the foundation is solid.

Regarding the distribution between 529 and taxable contributions, it looks like there's no consensus on the matter. I did think much like an earlier poster that footing for the state-run institution, and worrying about anything additional when the time comes is a reasonable solution. It would make managing debt for the kid more, uh, manageable, and would be less of a tax burden for us if we had to foot a bigger bill by selling investments, or maybe a little of both.

That would require investing 100% to the 529 until further notice.

Done.

Probably.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri May 17, 2013 4:23 pm

Zacharay Karabell has a Reuters column published today on exactly this topic:

The United States has a problem: rapidly rising student debt. It also has a solution: online education. The primary reason for spiraling student debt is the soaring costs of a college education at a physical college. Online education strips away all of those expenses except for the cost of the professor’s time and experience. It sounds perfect, an alignment of technology, social need and limited resources. So why do so many people believe that it is a deeply flawed solution?

Because it means massive swaths of higher education is about to change. Technology has disrupted many industries; now it’s about to do the same to higher ed.

...

http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2013/05/17/massive-open-online-disruption/


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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby floydtime » Fri May 17, 2013 4:49 pm

DoWahDaddy wrote:I don't see much credibility being given to private schools around here in relation to the markup over public. Bottom line for me is that I'm planning for the instance where my kid has a legitimate interest in a particular subject (I didn't have such interest as a teenager) and there is an institution recognized as a leader in that discipline where he/she truly thinks they can get the best education. I see it as my obligation as the financial guru in the family to ensure money isn't an obstacle in the equation. I don't care what's being built, so long as the foundation is solid.

Regarding the distribution between 529 and taxable contributions, it looks like there's no consensus on the matter. I did think much like an earlier poster that footing for the state-run institution, and worrying about anything additional when the time comes is a reasonable solution. It would make managing debt for the kid more, uh, manageable, and would be less of a tax burden for us if we had to foot a bigger bill by selling investments, or maybe a little of both.

That would require investing 100% to the 529 until further notice.

Done.

Probably.

Great post. Wanting the "best" for your kid is natural, and we all have that instinct.

But, when the "best" is, say 25% better than the "good" (I am being generous here - sometimes it's not even better)...then is it really worth 100%-400% more money? Our emotions may say "for my kid - he## yes!" But we should be teaching them common sense and the lost art of frugality in addition to (or instead of) "be the so-called best at any cost".
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby MnD » Fri May 17, 2013 7:46 pm

I think there's going to be something major happening with AAS (associate of applied science) and BAS (Bachelor of applied science) degrees.
AAS are applied degrees designed to gain work-ready skills in two years, as opposed to taking general community college course to prepare for a transfer.
AAS credits now transfer very poorly into 4-year colleges and the 2nd degree, a BAS 4-year degree, is very uncommon at 4-year colleges, even though state colleges are typically authorized to offer them.

A federal report just came out that that indicated for several states, AAS 2-year degree holders are outearning BA and BS 4-year degree holders.

Some community colleges are starting to or trying to gain authority to offer 4 year BAS completion degrees for AAS degree holders, and 4 state year colleges are fighting this tooth and nail in state governments to block this. If the 4 year colleges lose that that battle, the 4-year colleges are going to have to start offering more BAS degrees or risk losing students to the community colleges that can offer 4 year completion BAS degrees.

The situation is now for many AAS degree holders is that they apply for 4-year college and 4-year colleges say "oh gosh sorry, we'll take maybe 1 semester of your 2 year applied science degree - so you'll need to go to college for 3.5 more years. It's all politics and the fact that kids with very specific interests that wanted a work-ready degree are being shut out of getting 4 year degree without basically starting over is sad and pathetic on the part of the higher education community.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Garco » Fri May 17, 2013 8:27 pm

I think we were lucky. My children entered college in 1996 and 1999. They attended good private colleges, got no financial aid (well, just a bit of merit aid). They graduated in 4 years -- that was more important to me than their choice of college major. Total costs for the two were about $250,000 -- tuition, room, board. It would be twice that amount today at the same schools. This was an era in which 529 plans had not quite been established. But we saved roughly enough to pay for 1 year of their college. The grandparents (my parents) gave EE bonds that roughly covered 2 years of college expenses for each child. And the remaining year we paid for through savings while they were in college.

When I say "savings," I also mean deferred expenditures. We kept our 1 car for 12 years. We minimized repairs and improvements on the house. We stayed in our starter house. Of course eventually you need a new car, you have to replace the furnace, etc. But that happened after the kids graduated and all college costs had been paid. No loans. No debt.

Somehow, some way, I think we would be able to do this again at the higher prices. But the real saviors in this situation were my parents. Had they not been so generous to our children (and to all their grandchildren), the kids' options would have had to be different.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Rodc » Fri May 17, 2013 8:34 pm

I'm planning for the instance where my kid has a legitimate interest in a particular subject (I didn't have such interest as a teenager) and there is an institution recognized as a leader in that discipline


Could happen, but really at the undergrad level it is very rare that going in a kid is so specialized that there is only a tiny handful of colleges, all high price private, that can fit the bill. Grad school maybe.

Challenge is that often once kids are in and exposed to a variety of things they find some other passion. For this reason is is good to go to a school that offers a variety of options and they are broadly recognized as decent.

Not always of course. I decided to be a mathematician at age 14. Fortunately most schools have a math department...
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby steve roy » Fri May 17, 2013 9:51 pm

Told my kids that we'd pay college, but if they dogged it, we would pay less.

Older kid dropped out of college to start a career. Younger kid has been lolly gagging along with his studies, so we've financed a fine community college education for him.

It's what our darling boy EARNED.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Cunobelinus » Sat May 18, 2013 4:33 am

investingdad wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:My kid is going to school to learn something useful, not get wasted, party and oh, as an afterthought graduate.


Well, I actually did all those things and still got a chem engineering degree...

:sharebeer


Ditto, except it was electrical engineering.

My options were to go to a state university, where the Florida Scholars program pays quite a bit, or get a full ride scholarship to somewhere out of state. My desire to leave FL was large enough to motivate me to get a full ride scholarship out of state.

One of my freshman year roommates was a psychology major, using 100% student loans to pay for our private university, and expecting to graduate with ~$120-140k of debt and a psychology undergraduate degree. I couldn't understand why he was doing it then, and frankly, I still can't understand why a majority of my non-engineering* friends were paying $30k-$40k per year for their undergraduate degrees.

*by non-engineering, I am thinking of those who graduated with undergraduates in history, international relations, psychology, or journalism.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby stemikger » Sat May 18, 2013 5:48 am

I think people should rethink spending that much on college. First off, they don't have to room and board. Second they should go to a local senior college and pay in-state tuition. I gave my daughter a choice. A private school where you would most likely have to take out loans or the college where we live and have no loans. She is going to college where we live which is a 15 minute walk from our house and I am paying for it.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby HardKnocker » Sat May 18, 2013 2:37 pm

Whether you pay in cash, borrow the money, work while attending, or whatever, the actual cost for a private college education is ridiculous.

It only makes sense for those smart enough to get academic scholarships or those talented in other ways (athletics, special talents) to get substantial merit aid or poor enough to get large financial aid. For those who have to pay the full shot you better be so wealthy that the cost is not significant.

If you have just enough that you get no aid but have to imperil your future financial security then it's best to go a less expensive route (community college, state colleges, etc). There are many fine state colleges and Universities.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby dickenjb » Sat May 18, 2013 3:34 pm

HardKnocker wrote:
investingdad wrote:My wife and I both graduated from Penn State. We're doing pretty well for ourselves and would have no problem sending our two kids to a State U at a much lower cost than an expensive private school.


Just a note that Penn State is one of the most expensive state colleges/universities.


Correction - it is the #1 most expensive state school in the U.S.

My son goes to #2 most expensive state school - Pitt.

I guess when you live in a state with a 3.07% income tax you can't complain.

Also pay no state income tax on pension or 401(k) / IRA withdrawals.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Sat May 18, 2013 4:04 pm

This may be sacrilege in this thread, but I would guess that many folks here are insensitive to the price of a college education. Lots of folks here describe how they are maxing out retirement accounts or starting 529 plans before their child is even conceived or how they are helping their grandchildren with college.

For these folks, the price of college just doesn't matter as they will have the funds to pay for it. If one got out of the gate on investing/saving early whether for retirement or college, they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year private college education.

Perhaps it is Bogleheads who are driving up the cost because they can afford it and do not balk at paying for it.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2013 4:23 pm

livesoft wrote:This may be sacrilege in this thread, but I would guess that many folks here are insensitive to the price of a college education. Lots of folks here describe how they are maxing out retirement accounts or starting 529 plans before their child is even conceived or how they are helping their grandchildren with college.

For these folks, the price of college just doesn't matter as they will have the funds to pay for it. If one got out of the gate on investing/saving early whether for retirement or college, they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year private college education.

Perhaps it is Bogleheads who are driving up the cost because they can afford it and do not balk at paying for it.


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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sat May 18, 2013 4:27 pm

livesoft wrote:This may be sacrilege in this thread, but I would guess that many folks here are insensitive to the price of a college education. Lots of folks here describe how they are maxing out retirement accounts or starting 529 plans before their child is even conceived or how they are helping their grandchildren with college.

For these folks, the price of college just doesn't matter as they will have the funds to pay for it. If one got out of the gate on investing/saving early whether for retirement or college, they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year private college education.Perhaps it is Bogleheads who are driving up the cost because they can afford it and do not balk at paying for it.


Umm....not quite.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby livesoft » Sat May 18, 2013 4:31 pm

OK, how about "they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year public college education"? :)
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: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Texas hold em71 » Sat May 18, 2013 4:35 pm

livesoft wrote:This may be sacrilege in this thread, but I would guess that many folks here are insensitive to the price of a college education. Lots of folks here describe how they are maxing out retirement accounts or starting 529 plans before their child is even conceived or how they are helping their grandchildren with college.

For these folks, the price of college just doesn't matter as they will have the funds to pay for it. If one got out of the gate on investing/saving early whether for retirement or college, they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year private college education.

Perhaps it is Bogleheads who are driving up the cost because they can afford it and do not balk at paying for it.


Not in my area. It is those who will do whatever it takes for their child - beg, borrow or steal. We are in a position to fund this for our kids but are trying to teach that scholarships to state schools mean our savings will be left over for professional or graduate school. It seems to be sinking in, but who can tell with teenagers?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Cherokee8215 » Sat May 18, 2013 4:44 pm

I look at what my alma mater is charging these days, and I just can't figure out where all of that money goes. The facilities aren't fancy, and the few modern buildings were built with money from the "whale" donors. Few if any professors are earning six-figures. The food is a notch above low-grade dog meat. They nickel and dime the students with fees, and force basically everyone to live on campus to foster some kind of "collaborative learning environment" or whatever (read: money grab, they don't want that money going to the local landlords). Even though it's a lower tier school, they are extremely stingy with scholarships unless you had a 3.8GPA or higher in HS or are a good athlete.

And of course, they pay no property taxes on the campus.

Yet they are now charging $40-$45k a year with room and board. I don't get it. I guess you can charge whatever you want, so long as people are willing to pay it.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sat May 18, 2013 4:52 pm

livesoft wrote:OK, how about "they should have found that their portfolio went up just in the last 6 months by the full cost of a 4-year public college education"? :)


Depends where this public school is located? If it's a CUNY - then probably. If its a public college like a SUNY or Rutgers, not quite - that would be on the order of $100K. I view my retirement account as off-limits even for college, so that leaves my 529 plan and taxable (also to be off-limits for retirement). 529 plan went up, but not nearly that much.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat May 18, 2013 5:34 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:[snip...]And of course, they pay no property taxes on the campus.


They are not alone in not paying property taxes. It could be argued that they provide as much public good as other non-payers. In any case, I think the good and bad uses of tax policy are not forum acceptable topics.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby lostInFinance » Sat May 18, 2013 6:23 pm

Almost all undergrad engineering programs provide the same quality of classroom education. Internship and employment opportunities may be better at the better ranked colleges, but all undergrad engineering programs basically teach the same information the same way. Maxwell's equations are the same whether you learn them at Podunk or UCB.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Sandman62 » Wed May 22, 2013 11:14 am

Restored from cache:
HardKnocker wrote:
Whether you pay in cash, borrow the money, work while attending, or whatever, the actual cost for a private college education is ridiculous.

It only makes sense for those smart enough to get academic scholarships or those talented in other ways (athletics, special talents) to get substantial merit aid or poor enough to get large financial aid. For those who have to pay the full shot you better be so wealthy that the cost is not significant.

If you have just enough that you get no aid but have to imperil your future financial security then it's best to go a less expensive route (community college, state colleges, etc). There are many fine state colleges and Universities.
+1

Our DD just graduated from State U yesterday. Though we didn't qualify for any financial aid other than unsubsidized loans (which we declined), through a combination of earning 19 college credits during high school, school merit scholarships and a couple private ones along the way, plus some summer internship credits and a couple 4-credit courses, she managed to complete her Bachelor's in Public Relations (summa cum laude) in just 3 years. Total cost including room & board was around $50k. She also will begin her 3rd paid summer internship tomorrow (to finish her last 6 credits by August), and worked on-campus part-time the past two years in their Marketing & Comm. dept, along with being a tour guide and peer mentor and President of their PR Society. We helped her with spending money during freshman year, but she has worked since that first summer and saved her own spending money these past two years. She really bought into the "college is what you make of it, not just the name on the degree" attitude. We are hopeful for her future job prospects, despite the current job market.

She had the chops to get into a lot more prestigious private schools, but opted for the "no loan" approach at State U, where she actually liked the program better anyway. We've had family discussions for many years about private college costs vs. a state education. She evidently agreed.

DS has 3 more years at the same State U. Both will graduate debt-free.

I know there are some majors that may require prestigious private educations, but oftentimes there are just a ton of naive kids way overspending on their educations because they're still too young to really know what they're getting into financially - an issue the colleges and our government are keenly aware of and take advantage of.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby blu9535 » Wed May 22, 2013 11:57 am

HomerJ wrote:I just put two kids through college...

University of Kansas... about $15k a year including room and board... $60k total for each of their degrees... And that's with sorority fees... Could be done for less.

There should be a simple college admission test.

"Are you willing to pay $200k for your undergraduate college degree?"

If they answer "Yes", then they are too stupid to go to college....

(I kid, I kid!)

But seriously, if you don't get scholarships or financial aid, then don't go to those expensive private schools. There are plenty of very good public state schools that offer reasonable in-state tuitions.


I wouldn't count on KU's tuition remaining as low as it is, with the recent tax policy developments in the state and less money going toward higher education funding. See this article for example: Higher Education Cuts Loom Amid Kansas Tax Changes
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Tortoise » Thu May 23, 2013 12:17 am

I've mentioned to my wife that we have more than enough in 529s to send our son to Cal Poly, SLO, for both undergrad and graduate degrees. I think she has her sights on Caltech, though, because she grew up in Pasadena. It is also where the Big Bang Theory takes place. At least it is less expensive than Stanford.

Our son, of course, has said he wants to go to Stanford. I told him he will need to win some large merit scholarships.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Garco » Thu May 30, 2013 11:36 am

This discussion has focused so far on undergraduate education. I think there's good reason to avoid debt for that degree and taking advantage of the quality alternatives to high-priced private colleges. But graduate or professional school is a different matter. Rankings of the programs matter a lot to future career success. And so students rightly focus on them for law, business, and medical education, for example, as well as for doctoral programs.

For the doctoral programs, my advice has been: don't enroll in one if you don't get full financial aid (either fellowships or teaching or research assistantships). Those programs end up being cheap relatively speaking (except for opportunity costs), and PhD students usually graduate with little or no loan debt. But your financial and future career payoff will be correlated with the prestige of the program you attended.

For professional programs such as law or business or medicine, the graduates often take on prodigious loan debt. And the interest rates on those loans are far less favorable than the rates on loans for undergraduate degrees. Believe me, I know this from the experience of my own children. But again, the quality and prestige of the program matters a lot for future career prospects, including income. So for well qualified students it's better for them to try to attend the highest ranking program they can get into, and to take on loans if necessary to do so.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby NorCalDad » Thu May 30, 2013 11:50 am

Tortoise wrote:I've mentioned to my wife that we have more than enough in 529s to send our son to Cal Poly, SLO, for both undergrad and graduate degrees. I think she has her sights on Caltech, though, because she grew up in Pasadena. It is also where the Big Bang Theory takes place. At least it is less expensive than Stanford.

Our son, of course, has said he wants to go to Stanford. I told him he will need to win some large merit scholarships.

As I understand it, top schools like Stanford and the Ivies don't really offer merit scholarships for undergrad. They offer need-based aid. But some of the lower-ranked private schools offer merit-based scholarships to attract top students to their campuses.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu May 30, 2013 12:22 pm

Tortoise wrote:I've mentioned to my wife that we have more than enough in 529s to send our son to Cal Poly, SLO, for both undergrad and graduate degrees. I think she has her sights on Caltech, though, because she grew up in Pasadena. It is also where the Big Bang Theory takes place. At least it is less expensive than Stanford.

Our son, of course, has said he wants to go to Stanford. I told him he will need to win some large merit scholarships.

I looked it up online, and fwiw, Caltech is $58.7k and Stanford is $60.7k. Not sure if it's apples to apples, and you're technically correct, but a difference of 2k on a base of 60k isn't a large difference.

My conversation with my wife was similar but different than yours; it went: we've done what we can financially to send our son wherever, he's done what he can (rigorous curriculum, high GPA, great SAT scores, extracurricular leadership, etc.) but it is still going to be a crap-shoot for the first tier of his choices. He might get into all of them; he might get into none (he will of course apply to some less selective schools also, but even they are unpredictable).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby vectorizer » Thu May 30, 2013 12:52 pm

Tortoise wrote:Our son, of course, has said he wants to go to Stanford. I told him he will need to win some large merit scholarships.

Cry me a river. I'll be happy to exchange your son for my daughter, who is not going to Stanford or anywhere else. :annoyed
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Thu May 30, 2013 1:37 pm

vectorizer wrote:
Tortoise wrote:Our son, of course, has said he wants to go to Stanford. I told him he will need to win some large merit scholarships.

Cry me a river. I'll be happy to exchange your son for my daughter, who is not going to Stanford or anywhere else. :annoyed

vectorizer, I don't know your situation, but remember that some kids pick a different path. One of mine is doing that, and seems to be quite happy as an EMT. Loves what he does and provides a positive service for the community.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Confused » Thu May 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Sounds like a case of choosing the wrong schools. I went to a private school and it was $1400/semester when I started. It was $1700/semester when I finished, and is now hovering at about $2000. I am currently attending a state university and it's just a little more than $2000/semester.

It'd be absolutely insane to spend six digits on college, unless it was medical/dental (maybe law).
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 30, 2013 3:26 pm

Confused wrote:Sounds like a case of choosing the wrong schools. I went to a private school and it was $1400/semester when I started. It was $1700/semester when I finished, and is now hovering at about $2000. I am currently attending a state university and it's just a little more than $2000/semester.

It'd be absolutely insane to spend six digits on college, unless it was medical/dental (maybe law).


What state are you in?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 30, 2013 3:57 pm

"Good God, Lovey! Thurston Junior didn't get in to Stanford! Now what? Will he have to go to Yale or worse yet, Harvard?"

Image
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Confused » Thu May 30, 2013 4:06 pm

HardKnocker wrote:
Confused wrote:Sounds like a case of choosing the wrong schools. I went to a private school and it was $1400/semester when I started. It was $1700/semester when I finished, and is now hovering at about $2000. I am currently attending a state university and it's just a little more than $2000/semester.

It'd be absolutely insane to spend six digits on college, unless it was medical/dental (maybe law).


What state are you in?


Utah.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby rec7 » Thu May 30, 2013 4:12 pm

Confused wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
Confused wrote:Sounds like a case of choosing the wrong schools. I went to a private school and it was $1400/semester when I started. It was $1700/semester when I finished, and is now hovering at about $2000. I am currently attending a state university and it's just a little more than $2000/semester.

It'd be absolutely insane to spend six digits on college, unless it was medical/dental (maybe law).


What state are you in?


Utah.


Do you mind naming the private and public school?
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby investor1 » Thu May 30, 2013 4:18 pm

It would be interesting to see a table of the price of college laid out something like the CPI in order to track the inflation rate of a college education.
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Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

Postby Confused » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:09 am

rec7 wrote:
Confused wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
Confused wrote:Sounds like a case of choosing the wrong schools. I went to a private school and it was $1400/semester when I started. It was $1700/semester when I finished, and is now hovering at about $2000. I am currently attending a state university and it's just a little more than $2000/semester.

It'd be absolutely insane to spend six digits on college, unless it was medical/dental (maybe law).


What state are you in?


Utah.


Do you mind naming the private and public school?


I've been trying to send you a private message with the names, but I can't figure out how. Maybe if you send me one, I can reply to it?
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