Bryn Mawr [College]

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LarryG
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Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by LarryG » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:56 pm

My high school senior granddaughter is thinking about applying to Bryn Mawr College as her first choice.
Any information from bogleheads
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by Buysider » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:06 pm

Very good liberal arts college in a suburban setting close to a major city. Tri-college relationship between Haverford and Swarthmore means a lot of academic options available. Anything more specific you are wondering about?

As a bonus, it is Jack Bogle's hometown, she may see him occasionally in the Starbucks on Lancaster Ave only 2 blocks from campus.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by shawcroft » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:26 pm

Buysider wrote:As a bonus, it is Jack Bogle's hometown, she may see him occasionally in the Starbucks on Lancaster Ave only 2 blocks from campus.


That is a great reason for attending Bryn Mawr, which is (also) an excellent college.
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by obgraham » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:07 pm

My daughter thought about applying there. We went on a campus visit, after which she decided Bryn Mawr was just not her kind of people. Probably a good decision. She made a side trip to Penn, and did like that school, but eventually went elsewhere.

I recommend a visit.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by dickenjb » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Buysider wrote:As a bonus, it is Jack Bogle's hometown, she may see him occasionally in the Starbucks on Lancaster Ave only 2 blocks from campus.


Or she could go to church services at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian, where my wife and I were married. She will be guaranteed to see him there.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by nisiprius » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:23 pm

It's one of the Seven Sisters. Of whom there are now only six, I think, and one of them became co-ed. Yes, Seven Sisters, Radcliffe is gone and Vassar is co-ed.

Without looking it up, I'm sure that it ranks high in U. S. News' rankings for small liberal arts colleges. Quaker affiliation? Yes, Bryn Mawr College, originally Quaker affiliation. Literally physically located on the Philadelphia Main Line. U. S. News puts it at #30 among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

If what she wants is a) an excellent small liberal arts college, and b) a women's college, of which there are fewer and fewer, then Bryn Mawr fits that description.
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:49 pm


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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by frugaltype » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:11 pm

Does she know what fields she's interested in? Worth checking to see how they stack up in those areas. I know some kids (I'm looking at you, me) don't fix on a major until fairly late, but she probably has an idea if she's interested in science or whatever.

I would also definitely take her for a campus visit.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by NYnative » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:07 pm

A dissenting opinion from someone who went to the City College of NY back when it was free.

The current annual tuition cost at that school is at least $42,870. Doesn't say anything about 2014-15. Assuming that she will live in a dorm for at least the first year and have a meal plan, that adds $13,860, for a total of $56,730. Even if she spends the next 3 years in a shared apartment off campus, it will probably cost at least $7,000 for R&B. So we are talking about $206,840 before inflation. I'm not including incidental or books as she will have to pay for them anywhere she goes.

Are her parents rich? Are you going to pay for it? Do they have the over $200K set aside? Will she receive huge scholarships? Will her parents have to pillage their retirement fund? If she is a PA resident, the main Penn State campus costs about $22K a year plus room and board, Their affiliate schools run anywhere from $16 to $21K. It's a bit hard to get a handle on totals as they charge differing amounts for both location and different schools at that location (engineering, liberal arts, nursing, etc.). Bryn Mawr is primarily a liberal arts school with a smattering of science. Bryn Mawr is ranked 30 among national liberal arts college. Among all colleges it's not ranked in the top 100. Penn State comes in at 37 nation wide of ALL colleges. And, if she lives in another state, I'm sure they also have perfectly good schools.

This is a Bogleheads board. I don't mean to insult your granddaughters choice, and if money is not an issue, by all means she should go to Bryn Mawr. The real question is what is she getting for an extra $21K a year? Is the education she receives going to be better than Penn State? I really doubt it. Is sending a kid to a sexually segregated school in the best interests of the child? Again, I don't think so. To me, this is a situation where she really needs to nail down the general area of her career before asking her parents to shell out nearly $100K (with inflation) extra over a 4 year period. Penn State is a far better school for both liberal arts and science with a much broader faculty.

Your granddaughter's parents and/or you if you are helping to pay for the education, really need to have a heart to heart with her and ask her what is it she is seeking to achieve. Paying over $200K for a liberal arts education makes no sense at all. I never felt one twinge of regret that I didn't try to bludgeon my parents into sending me to a school I knew they couldn't afford, even though they offered. And I know that our kids are perfectly happy that they didn't go to an Ivy League school. I find it hard to believe that not going to such an expensive school will ruin her life. It's sort of like a lady we know who went to Harvard and became a pre-school teacher. Of course, that was her choice, but I doubt she is any better a pre-school teacher than the lowly graduate from CCNY. And, she didn't even snag a Harvard doctor or lawyer or someone with a trust fund while she was there - ended up marrying a high school teacher.

Disclaimer - I have a BS from CCNY (free), a MSA from George Washington Univ (paid for by the VA), a DBA from Virginia Tech (also paid for by the VA) as well as a Senior Executive Fellowship at Harvard (paid for by DoD). I doubt that between us, we are out more than $3,000 total for our graduate and undergraduate degrees - and most of that was for books and fees (we lived with our parents in NYC while we went to college and then were married when I went on for further education, so no R&B ever). When our kids got to college age, we gave them a choice - go to a state school - their choice - or figure out how to make up the difference. Free ride for 4 years or work while you are in school or take out large loans. Our kids both got their undergraduate degrees in state from a state school and then went on to get an MS and MBA from state schools where they had moved with their employer paying about 70% of the bill and us happily paying the other 30%.

Just something to think about as most people won't say anything like this. But you asked and I answered.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by nisiprius » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:43 pm

NYnative wrote:...The real question is what is she getting for an extra $21K a year?...
Just to point out the obvious: she would be getting an education at a women's college. If she wants to be at a women's college, I mean seriously, as in that is important to her, well, AFAIK you won't find that at... any? public university??? And, looking at the U. S. News liberal arts list, the only women's colleges ranking above it are Smith at #20, and Wellesley at #7, also Seven Sisters and I doubt that either of them is significantly less expensive.

Now personally, shrug, I went to a school which though nominally co-ed was at the time overwhelmingly male; I didn't like it; I'd druther have been at a (more) co-ed school*; I think single-gender schools are a strange relic of the past, but hey, that's me. Men's school, women's school, co-ed school are valid personal choices and a person might really care about it. I don't know whether LarryG's daughter cares.

Haverford and Bryn Mawr allow cross-registration though, and I have no idea what the actual gender makeup of an actual classroom is like--definitely something to check out.

(*Irrelevant ramblings: MIT, although nominally coed since very early in its history--Ellen Swallow and all that--in the 1960s had about 25 co-eds in a graduating class of 400. Now it's quite close to 50/50. A tip of the hat to Katherine McCormick for a) donating money for the full-sized women's dorm, and b) nothing to do with MIT, but funding the research for the birth-control pill...)
Last edited by nisiprius on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by The Wizard » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Similar to Nisi, my college was mostly male way back then. But in the Boston/Cambridge area, there's no shortage of students of either gender. My ex-wife was a Simmons student when I met her and that was (still is?) a women's college. Same with Wellesley of course, but a lot of those aspire to higher callings (think Hillary).
In that part of metro Philly, there's a whole bunch of higher ed places, so I'd not sweat the single-sex issue a whit...
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by obgraham » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:20 pm

Folks are bringing up all the right questions to ask about a school like this. Some of those questions may not be politically correct. Bryn Mawr is a "niche" school, with particular features about it. It's not the same as choosing a large state/private multi-college University, which can often be done strictly in the Internet.

That's why I emphasized that the young lady should visit there, then decide if that's where she would like to go. Assuming the cash is willing.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by jackholloway » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:28 pm

obgraham wrote:Folks are bringing up all the right questions to ask about a school like this. Some of those questions may not be politically correct. Bryn Mawr is a "niche" school, with particular features about it. It's not the same as choosing a large state/private multi-college University, which can often be done strictly in the Internet.

That's why I emphasized that the young lady should visit there, then decide if that's where she would like to go. Assuming the cash is willing.


Based on the studies I have seen, women often do better in single gender classes, especially in STEM. The results are mixed, and some are questionable, but there is probably some kind of signal there. If she has a sense that she is one of those that would benefit, she may well be right.

Personally, I went to a school with a totally out of whack gender ratio, and it was a bit unhealthy. Knowing what I know now, I would still have gone, but I am glad the mix has gotten better, and that the social dynamics are healthier.

If your granddaughter wants what Bryn Mawr offers, it is rather hard to beat. Paying for it is a challenge, but good schools are, IMO, worth it for those who do not wreck their future in the process.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by Kosmo » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:56 pm

I know nothing about the school, but the Main Line is a very expensive area.

As for the social aspect of it being a women's college...within probably 5 miles there are a dozen other schools. I know for a fact they all gather at the same watering holes.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by abuss368 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:07 pm

Internship with Vanguard which is close by?
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:14 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (education). I also retitled the thread.
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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by Bidwell » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:19 pm

My impression of her choice of Bryn Mawr is that she'll get a world class education. Lots of people dismiss this College as just a quaint school for young women. But it's one of the best places on earth to learn, grow and mature. As for the $200k or more for degree, I think it's a bargain. No one gets a better education. The problem with education is it doesn't foster critical thinking; but, Bryn Mawr does. Bryn Mawr will also offer female role models which will help shape her success in life.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by nisiprius » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:55 pm

I don't think a 1901 book will be very relevant, but LarryG's granddaughter might enjoy peeking at it anyway:

A Book of Bryn Mawr Stories

Do Bryn Mawr ladies still refer to themselves as "Bryn Mawrtyrs?"

Google, click, click... yes, apparently, although there is dispute as to whether it is spelled Bryn Mawrtyr or Bryn Mawrter.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by fishnskiguy » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:18 pm

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Sorry to be blunt, but that was my brother's experience. He spent over $200K putting his step daughter through Smith to get her a degree in art history. I swear, she wouldn't know a Picasso from a Warhol. The only job she ever got was as a nanny.

Thank God she got married. Got to admit, she's a fine mom.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by mathwhiz » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:40 pm

My daughter thought about applying there. We went on a campus visit, after which she decided Bryn Mawr was just not her kind of people. Probably a good decision. She made a side trip to Penn, and did like that school, but eventually went elsewhere.

I recommend a visit.


Definitely visit and think long and hard about whether she would fit in there. I've heard a lot of things about the student bodies at these niche kind of schools and they are very self-selected. She needs to know what she is getting herself into with eyes wide open if you are going to be spending that kind of change.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by zebrafish » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:49 am

Would add that it is in a very safe, suburban place

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by frugaltype » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:57 am

nisiprius wrote:(*Irrelevant ramblings: MIT, although nominally coed since very early in its history--Ellen Swallow and all that--in the 1960s had about 25 co-eds in a graduating class of 400. Now it's quite close to 50/50. A tip of the hat to Katherine McCormick for a) donating money for the full-sized women's dorm, and b) nothing to do with MIT, but funding the research for the birth-control pill...)


It was really the recently deceased Charles Vest who had a lot to do with increasing the number of women at MIT.

There are benefits to a women's college. It avoids a lot of the drunken frat atmosphere that exists at many coed colleges and hence is safer. Plus there's more of a chance for women to develop in a supportive environment.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Myopic squirrel » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:13 am

As posted earlier, definitely have her visit the campus. It's amazing when a kid visits a campus - it's like a dog whistle. They pick up a vibe that we are totally unaware of. Friends told me that before we started campus visits. Taking the campus tours, our son would say "nah - this isn't the place for me", or conversely "I could see myself here". If she makes the trip, take a couple of days - on the Main Line there is BM, Haverford, and Villanova - all high tuition schools offering unique educational opportunities. Travel east on Lancaster Ave. to St. Joseph's University, then head into the city for Penn & Drexel. Head up Broad St and there is LaSalle, and double waaay back to Swarthmore to visit Swarthmore. To paraphrase Spinal Tap, the Phila area isn't much of a college town. *S*

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:04 am

nisiprius wrote:
NYnative wrote:...The real question is what is she getting for an extra $21K a year?...
Just to point out the obvious: she would be getting an education at a women's college. If she wants to be at a women's college, I mean seriously, as in that is important to her, well, AFAIK you won't find that at... any? public university??? And, looking at the U. S. News liberal arts list, the only women's colleges ranking above it are Smith at #20, and Wellesley at #7, also Seven Sisters and I doubt that either of them is significantly less expensive.

Now personally, shrug, I went to a school which though nominally co-ed was at the time overwhelmingly male; I didn't like it; I'd druther have been at a (more) co-ed school*; I think single-gender schools are a strange relic of the past, but hey, that's me. Men's school, women's school, co-ed school are valid personal choices and a person might really care about it. I don't know whether LarryG's daughter cares.


The evidence (at the high school level) says that single sex education benefits women. They are more outspoken in class, more ambitious both academically and in sports, and take a larger role in student leadership.

As the deputy headmistress used to say to a friend of mine in school 'darling, you have to read the lesson to the school at morning prayer. What if you need to address the Cabinet one day?'.

Those schools can teach the girls to aim high, very high. Most evidence re what prevents women reaching the top (of business, academia, civil service) seem to suggest that a big part of the problem is women self limiting in their ambitions.

The symmetric is not true of an all male environment-- all male environment doesn't benefit boys in the same way a single sex environment does girls.

Whether this advantage pertains at the post secondary level I don't know. These women will, in the end, wind up working in male dominated settings, because the senior management of *everything* is male dominated. So maybe they should start early? (I suspect rather the not, but I don't know of any research on this).

Haverford and Bryn Mawr allow cross-registration though, and I have no idea what the actual gender makeup of an actual classroom is like--definitely something to check out.

(*Irrelevant ramblings: MIT, although nominally coed since very early in its history--Ellen Swallow and all that--in the 1960s had about 25 co-eds in a graduating class of 400. Now it's quite close to 50/50. A tip of the hat to Katherine McCormick for a) donating money for the full-sized women's dorm, and b) nothing to do with MIT, but funding the research for the birth-control pill...)


My mother (educated in the late 1940s) once said vaguely 'every generation thinks it invented pre marital sex'. I didn't pursue the question ;-). But it underlines an absolute truth about young people: their hormones, shaped by millions of years of evolution, tell them to mate, but society is not structured around 18 and 19 year old college girl mothers.

1963 was a year when humanity grasped the nettle of its own evolution. It is also, I think, more or less the year when human fertility peaked (or at least the number of babies adjusted by how many would reach adulthood). It is perhaps unsurprising that 50 years later, we are still coming to terms with such a momentous moment.

Of the 10 things the 20th century brought us that really changed things, the Pill (along with Penicillin) really has to be on that list.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:07 am

fishnskiguy wrote:[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Sorry to be blunt, but that was my brother's experience. He spent over $200K putting his step daughter through Smith to get her a degree in art history. I swear, she wouldn't know a Picasso from a Warhol. The only job she ever got was as a nanny.

Thank God she got married. Got to admit, she's a fine mom.

Chris


Ironically my experience of Smith grads was very different: really capable women (they came over to the UK to do masters degrees). I mean *really* capable. Very assertive (Europeans are not used to assertive American women, generally) but sharp.

There's a stereotype about sexual orientation, but I suspect that is simply a stereotype.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:10 am

modelamike wrote:My impression of her choice of Bryn Mawr is that she'll get a world class education. Lots of people dismiss this College as just a quaint school for young women. But it's one of the best places on earth to learn, grow and mature. As for the $200k or more for degree, I think it's a bargain. No one gets a better education. The problem with education is it doesn't foster critical thinking; but, Bryn Mawr does. Bryn Mawr will also offer female role models which will help shape her success in life.


I am sure that is true of Wellesly, and Smith. I don't know about lower ranked schools. Ample data at the high school level that single sex education benefits women in terms of their future careers and academic achievements. I don't know about the secondary level.

You are going to get a mix of (probably pretty affluent) legacy admittees (just like any Ivy as well), rich girls and smart girls. With plenty of overlap.

I do agree, from everything I am told, about the individual attention.

The question really boils down to whether $200k is material. If grandparents are worth say $5m, then it's not. If they have to borrow every penny, then that's a lot of debt.

In the professions in the USA it seems to be more important where the postgrad came from (JD, MBA, MD, Phd).

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Levett » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:40 am

"she'll get a world class education"

Certainly happened with one daughter-in-law.

From Bryn Mawr to Harvard (Ph.d.) to Rockefeller University to heading her own lab at a major medical school + consulting for startups that have come public.

Not bad.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by SteveB3005 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:55 am

There you go, mileage may vary.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by RobInCT » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:41 am

Valuethinker wrote:In the professions in the USA it seems to be more important where the postgrad came from (JD, MBA, MD, Phd).

Agreed, though don't underestimate the value of a blue-chip undergrad in gaining admissions to the blue-chip professional schools. Not to say it's impossible to go from anon State U to Wharton, but it is harder. I wouldn't take out $200k in debt to attend Bryn Mawr. If it can be done with a reasonable debt load or with no debt, and if the granddaughter is excited about attending because she is excited about the unique features it offers, I think it's a great school.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Dave76 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:43 am

Valuethinker wrote:
fishnskiguy wrote:[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

Sorry to be blunt, but that was my brother's experience. He spent over $200K putting his step daughter through Smith to get her a degree in art history. I swear, she wouldn't know a Picasso from a Warhol. The only job she ever got was as a nanny.

Thank God she got married. Got to admit, she's a fine mom.

Chris


...Very assertive (Europeans are not used to assertive American women, generally) but sharp.



Heheheh... I met a few at a top UK university. The seminars were brutal. My head felt like a Frenchman was living in it.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Christine_NM » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:13 am

I can't speak to Bryn Mawr, but I am a Smith grad class of 1965. It was "only" an English degree. At that time all 4 years cost less than $11,000, including room and board. That should give young'uns a sense of the impact of inflation in the 70's and 80's, Fear of a repeat of such inflation is I believe an unrecognized cause of income inequality today.

Smith, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Bryn Mawr have name recognition among employers -- she can't be a total screw up if she went to a name school. This has probably been diluted by the admission of women to Ivies. It's hard to imagine now, but being female was accepted as a disqualification for top educational opportunities.

I believe I got my last and best employment (23 years) in IT because the Smith degree differentiated me from all the other applicants for a job working for mostly Ivy grads.

The main benefit of single sex education for women is the chance to find out what you can do without the usually stifling effect of men in the classroom and lab. For many women, just 4 years of this starts a lifetime of not caving and not settling for less. Even women in the Ivies never get this unique opportunity.

But your granddaughter should certainly consider whatever hardship she may be inflicting on her parents. If $200k is a serious dent in the family finances, then the cost probably outweighs the benefits I've experienced.
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by LarryG » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:04 pm

Thank you all for your replies.
Unfortunately it is too late for visits.
Her school financing seems to be taken care of by grants from the schools she is considering and a fair size 529 plan. It is interesting to find that out-of-state tuition by some of the state universities (along with lower grants by these schools) is more expensive than the net cost of private schools.
I think fondly of my tuition at medical school-$300 per quarter.
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:18 pm

Christine_NM wrote:But your granddaughter should certainly consider whatever hardship she may be inflicting on her parents. If $200k is a serious dent in the family finances, then the cost probably outweighs the benefits I've experienced.

OP, you should look at http://www.brynmawr.edu/sfs/documents/F ... 3-2014.pdf. It is unlikely that $200k would be the final result. For example, families making >$150k/year received around $13k in grants the first year.

These discussions always confound sticker price, negotiated price, grants vs loans, etc. I agree that starting adult life with $200k in loans (or burdening parents with the same) is not a good idea, but it is simplistic to assume that the tuition will be paid entirely through loans, that there is no benefit to a student "finding his tribe/fit" at a school, no tangible difference in the education between schools, or that the measure of an education is lifetime earnings.

Check it out. Good luck.

EDITED TO ADD: post somewhat outdated by cross-posting with OP, but whatever...

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Christine_NM » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Tomato -

The intangible benefits do have tangible costs however. I don't like it, but some people cannot afford the niceties of a private college education.

Fortunately that doesn't seem to apply to OP's granddaughter.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:49 pm

Christine_NM wrote:Tomato -

The intangible benefits do have tangible costs however. I don't like it, but some people cannot afford the niceties of a private college education.

Fortunately that doesn't seem to apply to OP's granddaughter.


I wasn't suggesting that they don't have tangible costs, or that everyone can afford a private college education. My point was that often the benefits are pooh poohed and the costs exaggerated (especially at schools with need-based aid).

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Christine_NM » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:06 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Christine_NM wrote:Tomato -

The intangible benefits do have tangible costs however. I don't like it, but some people cannot afford the niceties of a private college education.

Fortunately that doesn't seem to apply to OP's granddaughter.


I wasn't suggesting that they don't have tangible costs, or that everyone can afford a private college education. My point was that often the benefits are pooh poohed and the costs exaggerated (especially at schools with need-based aid).


OK. :beer
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:08 pm

LarryG wrote:Thank you all for your replies.
Unfortunately it is too late for visits.
Her school financing seems to be taken care of by grants from the schools she is considering and a fair size 529 plan. It is interesting to find that out-of-state tuition by some of the state universities (along with lower grants by these schools) is more expensive than the net cost of private schools.
I think fondly of my tuition at medical school-$300 per quarter.
LarryG


Would you buy a car or a house without having visited and looked at its benefits and negatives? How is college any different? The difference is not only are you required to make an exceedingly large capital and time outlay, the school you choose may make all the difference in terms of major, occupation and the direction the rest of your life takes. Capital you may get back, time you will never get back, use your resources wisely. I would not be so quick to spend a dime whether it be yours or someone elses (grant, scholarship, merit) before having kicked the tires of an institution that may have the most profound effects on the rest of her life.

Good Luck!
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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:16 pm

LarryG wrote:Thank you all for your replies.
Unfortunately it is too late for visits.
Her school financing seems to be taken care of by grants from the schools she is considering and a fair size 529 plan. It is interesting to find that out-of-state tuition by some of the state universities (along with lower grants by these schools) is more expensive than the net cost of private schools.
I think fondly of my tuition at medical school-$300 per quarter.
LarryG


Larry G

It *cannot* be too late for visits. Or did you mean visits to alternative schools?

This is one of the most important decisions of her young life. Bryn Mawr as a college *has* to be sensitive to that. She *needs* to go and poke around the place, maybe sit in a few classes. Get the vibe. Even if school is out, wander around and feel the place.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by sscritic » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Would you buy a car or a house without having visited and looked at its benefits and negatives? How is college any different?

If I had been offered a Rhodes Scholarship to go to Oxford, I would have accepted without having visited. How about you? You can read about Oxford and Bryn Mawr on the web and in various college guides; you can also get financial information without visiting. Visiting is nice, but not essential. Don't forget that the official visit will be propaganda, a snow job if you will (unless you are going to spend a week in each place investigating on your own).

People buy stuff on ebay and amazon all the time without ever having touched the items first. I know I do; I don't need to give everything a test drive before buying.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by sscritic » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:23 pm

P.S. She hasn't even applied yet. Why visit if she has a good chance of being turned down? There will be time after she is accepted (if she is) to visit before making a final choice.
My high school senior granddaughter is thinking about applying to Bryn Mawr College as her first choice.


P.S. to the P.S. If "as her first choice" has some special meaning, say she can't apply to any other school, that would change my answer.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Prefect42 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:26 pm

I would also add that the Bryn Mawr alumni network is fiercely loyal and supportive. That's the case with many schools, of course, but I do see it to an exaggerated degree at Bryn Mawr as well as the other all-women's schools. That's one of the intangible benefits of their school.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by jingo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:41 pm

I went to one of the Seven Sisters, then went on to Harvard and Stanford for graduate schools.


RobInCT wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:In the professions in the USA it seems to be more important where the postgrad came from (JD, MBA, MD, Phd).

Agreed, though don't underestimate the value of a blue-chip undergrad in gaining admissions to the blue-chip professional schools. Not to say it's impossible to go from anon State U to Wharton, but it is harder. I wouldn't take out $200k in debt to attend Bryn Mawr. If it can be done with a reasonable debt load or with no debt, and if the granddaughter is excited about attending because she is excited about the unique features it offers, I think it's a great school.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by NYnative » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:49 pm

[quote="jingo"]I went to one of the Seven Sisters, then went on to Harvard and Stanford for graduate schools.

And your point is? Many graduate students at Harvard and Stanford went to state schools. Do they get to say that their schools are as good as or better than Bryn Mawr or other private schools? Your statement is totally irrelevant as to the choice of college for this particular student.

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Re: Bryn Mawr

Post by jingo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:58 pm

I’m providing one data point. Women’s colleges usually have higher percentages going to Ph.D. programs compared to women in co-ed schools.

NYnative wrote:
jingo wrote:I went to one of the Seven Sisters, then went on to Harvard and Stanford for graduate schools.

And your point is? Many graduate students at Harvard and Stanford went to state schools. Do they get to say that their schools are as good as or better than Bryn Mawr or other private schools? Your statement is totally irrelevant as to the choice of college for this particular student.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by sscritic » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:00 pm

My observation is that colleges are like economic status. It is easier to drop down a level as you advance from high school to college to graduate school than it is to move up. Of course some move up from low status to high, but I think the reverse is more likely. I know it was in my case; super high high school, top level college, below top level graduate school, to low mid level professorship. I have been on a downhill slide for most of my life. I guess that's how I ended up on bogleheads. :)

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by jingo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Many private schools have good need-based financial aid packages. The only thing my parents paid for was a one-way ticket to the US. This statement is probably irrelevant for this particular student as well, but many don’t pay the sticker price.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:26 pm

sscritic wrote:P.S. She hasn't even applied yet. Why visit if she has a good chance of being turned down? There will be time after she is accepted (if she is) to visit before making a final choice.
My high school senior granddaughter is thinking about applying to Bryn Mawr College as her first choice.


P.S. to the P.S. If "as her first choice" has some special meaning, say she can't apply to any other school, that would change my answer.


From the BM web site:
First-year applicants for undergraduate admission may apply through one of three admission plans: Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision. Applicants follow the same procedures and will be evaluated by the same criteria for all three plans.
The Early Decision plans are binding, meaning that a student must enroll at Bryn Mawr if offered admission. Students may not apply Early Decision to any other institution, but may apply to other institutions under a Regular Decision plan or a non-binding Early Action plan. If admitted to Bryn Mawr, the student must withdraw all other applications.

Deadlines:
Early Decision I: Submit or postmark by Nov. 15
Early Decision II: Submit or postmark by Jan. 1
Regular Decision: Submit or postmark by Jan. 15

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:41 pm

Valuethinker wrote:It *cannot* be too late for visits. Or did you mean visits to alternative schools?

This is one of the most important decisions of her young life. Bryn Mawr as a college *has* to be sensitive to that. She *needs* to go and poke around the place, maybe sit in a few classes. Get the vibe. Even if school is out, wander around and feel the place.


It is not too late, but it is practically too late for the Early Decision deadlines (due to school break), and a bit tight for Regular Decision if a visit should precede the application. We decided relatively early on that visiting all schools that my son might apply to was not reasonable, and we decided to end visiting at the 4-5 schools he had already been to. If accepted, schools go out of their way to give you more than a tour and info session; they allow you to shadow a student, spend overnights, etc. My son also decided that he wouldn't do a Binding Early Decision school, but did a Single Choice Early Action and a compatible Early Action (I'm not a lawyer, but wish I were a lawyer specializing in College Application Legalities).

My son will spend some days at the schools where he is accepted, but it turns out that the teenaged mind also has another angle on this. He told me that he knows anywhere from 5 - 20 students at the schools under consideration, and he has a strong preference for the kids who wound up at school A rather than school B. You can get a distorted view over a few days at a school, and additional data points are useful. He actually feels that kids he knew for a year or more at his high school are a better predictor for "fit" than a couple of days in some stranger's dorm room.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by hand » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:06 pm

sscritic wrote:P.S. She hasn't even applied yet. Why visit if she has a good chance of being turned down? There will be time after she is accepted (if she is) to visit before making a final choice.


Whether an applicant has made the commitment of time and money to visit a school is sometimes weighed in the admissions process.

Students who don't visit are thought to be less likely to enroll if accepted.

Due to the importance of selectivity (# accepted / # applied) to college rankings, some colleges would prefer to deny a qualified applicant who is seems likely to enroll at a better/ different school.

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Re: Bryn Mawr [College]

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:19 pm

This is my not-so humble opinion having experienced several sides of the question. There's a nice little paragraph about Bryn Mawr toward the end so some may wish to skip down to that bit. :happy

Many people who don't go to college say "it's just another four years of high school." Fair enough for them. Some undergraduates say it too. Barring successful education evangelism they can't be disabused of the notion, so to serve them and the wider community well, teach them what they expect to learn. Where I grew up the smart people went on to be grocery store cashiers. Most others had it worse.

Many colleges are simply sub-par. The combination of sub-par with the student more-high-school attitude is not good. Try not for them to borrow too much, and try to facilitate the students demonstrating to themselves, for themselves, by themselves and together but not with you, that they can and should do better. Several will, but only if you don't tell them to. A few will regardless.

Many colleges are good. It's possible for a student there to obtain a first-class education, but only if they seize it for themselves.

More than a few colleges are first-class. It's possible for a student there to obtain a world-class education, but only if they seize it for themselves.

A very few colleges are world-class. People flunk out, but it's simply not possible for even world-class institutions to force students to learn if they'd prefer not. Too many squeak through and feel like successes because they put one over on old man professor.

I'm highly aware that Victoria F. and I have clashed over educational opportunities vs. aptitudes and expectations. I think maybe what I've written here is a point reflection of what she wrote. Victoria will undoubtedly respond if she disagrees.

My impression of Bryn Mawr is that it is first class. A student can seize a world-class education there but only by force. It's possible to graduate with a fair-to-middlin' education. If that's what a subterfugenous student intends, she'll achieve it.

Some achievement.

PJW
Last edited by Phineas J. Whoopee on Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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