Picking College and College Scholarships

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nyknicks2544
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by nyknicks2544 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:21 pm

I'll go with a different perspective - my parents could have afforded to pay my full tuition bill. However, they forced me to take on the maximum undergraduate Stafford loan each year. Believe it steps up from like 6k-8k over the course of the four years. They paid the interest payments throughout school. Total debt was ~$28k at graduation.

If they could have afforded to pay for it why did they make me take out the loans? To force me to learn about personal finance. I had plenty of friends who graduated with no debt and blew their first paychecks on cars/expensive apartments/vacations etc. A little struggle in your first few years can force some discipline that will last a lifetime. And when I say a little I mean a little. Graduated with a computer science degree at a very average school and was able to payoff my debt in 2 years while still having plenty of fun. I'd imagine an engineer from a top undergraduate school would have better job prospects and be able to do it even faster.

Forcing your kid to have some skin in the game isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know Dave Ramsey preaches debt is the devil but it can also teach you a lot.

duuuuuude
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by duuuuuude » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:08 pm

What's interesting thus far from reading this thread is that everyone comes from a different experience. As much as we can try and control things for our kids, as a public school teacher, I still think it's mostly up to the student in terms of how he/she wants to apply herself.

At a minimum, I see that the OP's child is very fortunate to have options for college. My running joke is that Berkeley was my "back-up" school, having been rejected from every other school I applied to (I applied all public). Same goes for graduate school. Both times, Berkeley was the only institution that opened their doors for me. From that moment I received the "thicker" envelope, I knew that I had to take my education seriously and pursue what I truly wanted to pursue. My parents didn't have the opportunity I had waiting in front of me. I was also fortunate to take a semester of classes at the local JC for the fall semester (Spring Admit to boot!) to meet a 70 year old grandmother who was "back in school" because she never had a chance to pursue higher education (as well as a few other older students). I soaked in these little things to understand how education was truly a gift.

Fortunately, back in those days, the tuition was manageable for my blue-collar job parents, in addition to my work-study job. However, now with 2 kids under 2, I shudder at the thought of what college will cost in 16-20 years...

Finally, I have no knowledge of how the science/engineering field works, but here's an interesting personal data point with regard to Caltech:

Our neighbors are Caltech PhDs. (and a few more down the street). Husband went to JC for two years, then UC San Diego for undergrad, and Caltech for his PhD. He's now with JPL with a research company on the side as a consultant. Wife went to Florida for undergrad, then Caltech and now runs a lab at Caltech. In fact, most of the Caltech PhD's I have come across (as a local area public school teacher, I have a lot of parents associated with Caltech), if they not from California, went to state schools (or their home country's public university) prior to pursuing PhDs at Caltech (UT, Sweden, Hungary, etc). My data point may be skewed because Caltech probably picked the brightest form each country?)

So, as much as we want to "control" for schools our kids go to, I think there's a combination of putting them in a good setting, while also allowing them to make a space for themselves where they can put their skills and personalities to use. After all, school/college is simply a stage in life where everyone is trying to "find themselves"...it's just that we constantly are trying to find ourselves, which is a good thing!

Rodc
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by Rodc » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:27 pm

nyknicks2544 wrote:I'll go with a different perspective - my parents could have afforded to pay my full tuition bill. However, they forced me to take on the maximum undergraduate Stafford loan each year. Believe it steps up from like 6k-8k over the course of the four years. They paid the interest payments throughout school. Total debt was ~$28k at graduation.

If they could have afforded to pay for it why did they make me take out the loans? To force me to learn about personal finance. I had plenty of friends who graduated with no debt and blew their first paychecks on cars/expensive apartments/vacations etc. A little struggle in your first few years can force some discipline that will last a lifetime. And when I say a little I mean a little. Graduated with a computer science degree at a very average school and was able to payoff my debt in 2 years while still having plenty of fun. I'd imagine an engineer from a top undergraduate school would have better job prospects and be able to do it even faster.

Forcing your kid to have some skin in the game isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know Dave Ramsey preaches debt is the devil but it can also teach you a lot.


It is not necessarily a bad thing, but I would argue this should be taught at an earlier age. Indeed one should start around say age 5, IMHO. Give them an allowance and allow them to make their own decisions. When they buy some piece of junk and it breaks discuss what happened - lead the discussion don't lecture. As they grow the amount grows and the pain of making mistakes grows too. Better to be devastated when they do something stupid with $50 than late with $500 or even later with $5,000.

We have been doing this for years and around age 13 included a clothing allowance to manage.

My mother left some money for my kids about the time they were 14, now they are 16. They get all of it at age 23. Not enough to ruin them for life but enough I will be pretty unhappy if they blow it. They get the income the trust throws off which is about what they had earlier for fun allowance and clothing allowance. I give it to them in 6 month chunks and they have to budget. I am happy to help them if they ask. But they have to make it work and if they run out after 4 months - too bad. Or they blow the money on fancy pants and then don't have money for shoes, tough. So far they have done really well. One has a higher lifestyle than the other so went out and got a job. Great. Could do this with regular allowance.

At any rate, start them early. Let them practice making decision and mistakes. Help them learn don't just talk at them.
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malabargold
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by malabargold » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:06 pm

Harvard is consistently ranked at, or very near, the top
of "best value in higher education" lists. At least in financial terms.
Sometimes one does get what one pays for.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:50 pm

nyknicks2544 wrote:I'll go with a different perspective - my parents could have afforded to pay my full tuition bill. However, they forced me to take on the maximum undergraduate Stafford loan each year. Believe it steps up from like 6k-8k over the course of the four years. They paid the interest payments throughout school. Total debt was ~$28k at graduation.

If they could have afforded to pay for it why did they make me take out the loans? To force me to learn about personal finance. I had plenty of friends who graduated with no debt and blew their first paychecks on cars/expensive apartments/vacations etc. A little struggle in your first few years can force some discipline that will last a lifetime. And when I say a little I mean a little. Graduated with a computer science degree at a very average school and was able to payoff my debt in 2 years while still having plenty of fun. I'd imagine an engineer from a top undergraduate school would have better job prospects and be able to do it even faster.

Forcing your kid to have some skin in the game isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know Dave Ramsey preaches debt is the devil but it can also teach you a lot.


Good perspective. Your parents demonstrated wisdom (even though it doesn't align with my preferences). $28K for a CS degree is reasonable. (Ex: $128K for the same thing would be a shame.)

My hope is we can teach our kids and demonstrate our values so it sticks. We shall see.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:55 pm

malabargold wrote:Harvard is consistently ranked at, or very near, the top
of "best value in higher education" lists. At least in financial terms.
Sometimes one does get what one pays for.


As I recall, Harvard, to its credit .... Harvard will work with students to avoid loans. If you (family) makes $60K/ year, school will be free. If you make $600K/ year, you'll likely pay full price.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:37 pm

timmy wrote:
malabargold wrote:Harvard is consistently ranked at, or very near, the top
of "best value in higher education" lists. At least in financial terms.
Sometimes one does get what one pays for.


As I recall, Harvard, to its credit .... Harvard will work with students to avoid loans. If you (family) makes $60K/ year, school will be free. If you make $600K/ year, you'll likely pay full price.

I'm more familiar with Yale, but Yale and Harvard are similar in financial aid generosity.

Families making less than $65k are expected to contribute $0 to the total cost of attendance. "Families earning between $65,000 and $200,000 (with typical assets) annually contribute a percentage of their yearly income towards their child’s Yale education, on a sliding scale that begins at 1% just above $65,000 and moves toward 20% at the $200,000 level."

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:44 pm

Timmy wrote:$28K for a CS degree is reasonable. (Ex: $128K for the same thing would be a shame.)

It is not unusual for strong CS students to make $200k per year right after graduation. That doesn't require a high priced education, but it puts the education cost in perspective.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by blevine » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:37 am

travellight wrote:"Now, if you're a single- or double-legacy, talk away because your odds just went up five- or ten-fold -- but for that one school."

I just want to say that I think this is overstated. Legacy carries little weight imo... perhaps if every factor was identical, a slight nod might go to the legacy but that is rarely the case. Big big donors certainly get noticed but your average legacy gets a minimal boost. In my personal experience as a parent, my kid got rejected by my legacy school (Johns Hopkins) but got into a higher ranked school regular decision (Columbia).


Same experience here, with one of my kids.
Waitlisted at the eng school within mom and dad's legacy schools. Attending a better eng college. Go figure.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by blevine » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:40 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Timmy wrote:$28K for a CS degree is reasonable. (Ex: $128K for the same thing would be a shame.)

It is not unusual for strong CS students to make $200k per year right after graduation. That doesn't require a high priced education, but it puts the education cost in perspective.


Maybe "not impossible" but I dont agree "not unusual".
I am still in a hiring position in a wall street firm, we are not highest paying, but well under 100k for a new grad. If many other options at 200k, how do we land grads from Ivy CS programs ?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:00 am

blevine wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Timmy wrote:$28K for a CS degree is reasonable. (Ex: $128K for the same thing would be a shame.)

It is not unusual for strong CS students to make $200k per year right after graduation. That doesn't require a high priced education, but it puts the education cost in perspective.


Maybe "not impossible" but I dont agree "not unusual".
I am still in a hiring position in a wall street firm, we are not highest paying, but well under 100k for a new grad. If many other options at 200k, how do we land grads from Ivy CS programs ?

By "not unusual," I mean that when I hear of one, I no longer exclaim that it's crazy.

My wife is in a hiring position in a Wall Street firm, but she knows that they're not getting the top tier of grads. Whether it's lifestyle (likely) or money (less likely), the top tier is going to hedge funds or Google or FB, and not even applying to Wall Street firms, and many choose to go on for PhDs, fully funded.

We know many kids who did a quick summer internship at Wall Street firms, decided it wasn't for them, and told their friends. Wall Street still attracts the crowd that wants to slave away in analyst positions, but they're seldom top CS grads. And, as always, half of the grads were in the bottom half of the class.

I heard Anju Jain, then CEO of Deutsche Bank, lament that his son's strong tech friends had no interest in working for DB (and that was before DB had its "unpleasantness.")

Anyway, sorry to go OT. But, even allowing for "well under $100k incomes," it also puts having paid $128k for education in perspective, and not having been a "shame."

livesoft
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:07 am

blevine wrote:
travellight wrote:…. In my personal experience as a parent, my kid got rejected by my legacy school (Johns Hopkins) but got into a higher ranked school regular decision (Columbia).


Same experience here, with one of my kids.
Waitlisted at the eng school within mom and dad's legacy schools. Attending a better eng college. Go figure.

I would not be surprised if during the college interview that the student came across as not really wanting to go to the same university as the parents. Admission officers are only too happy to help the student out in this regard. :)
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:15 am

livesoft wrote:
blevine wrote:
travellight wrote:…. In my personal experience as a parent, my kid got rejected by my legacy school (Johns Hopkins) but got into a higher ranked school regular decision (Columbia).


Same experience here, with one of my kids.
Waitlisted at the eng school within mom and dad's legacy schools. Attending a better eng college. Go figure.

I would not be surprised if during the college interview that the student came across as not really wanting to go to the same university as the parents. Admission officers are only too happy to help the student out in this regard. :)

I spoke with an alumni interviewer at Columbia, which does binding Early Decision, and he reported that one kid came right out and said that he applied under pressure from family, and hoped that the interviewer's report would reflect that. He felt that he had no other way to steer the decision, since his GPA and scores were what they were, and his parents would see any obvious attempt to sabotage his essays.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:12 am

blevine wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Timmy wrote:$28K for a CS degree is reasonable. (Ex: $128K for the same thing would be a shame.)

It is not unusual for strong CS students to make $200k per year right after graduation. That doesn't require a high priced education, but it puts the education cost in perspective.


Maybe "not impossible" but I dont agree "not unusual".
I am still in a hiring position in a wall street firm, we are not highest paying, but well under 100k for a new grad. If many other options at 200k, how do we land grads from Ivy CS programs ?


May be open satellite offices in more fun places?
Have you seen the view from the Russell Investment Center building, Seattle? :annoyed
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:28 pm

We had a free day today so we visited U of WI, Madison. It's out of state (so out of state tuition). From what I can see online, they tend NOT to be generous with scholarships. Just the same, it was worth a visit.

It's a pretty campus (urban)

The built environment is well maintained (We didn't see any dorms)

Seems like nice people, friendly

Good engineering program

My son was put off by the size of it. He had the same take on U of Illinois.

In sum, we may be adding a filter: small and medium sized schools preferred.
Last edited by timmy on Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:57 pm

On reflection, I think our son also had a nebulous filter for graduation outcomes for location.
Firm filters: At least a plane ride away, no less than 600miles from home. High ranking. Expensive.

Many schools publish undergrad and grad outcomes for companies, location and salary and bonus ranges taken.

Note: West coast, especially SV/SF and major cities in mid-Altantic, skews the salary range.
YMMV
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:53 pm

itstoomuch wrote:On reflection, I think our son also had a nebulous filter for graduation outcomes for location.
Firm filters: At least a plane ride away, no less than 600miles from home. High ranking. Expensive.

Many schools publish undergrad and grad outcomes for companies, location and salary and bonus ranges taken.

Note: West coast, especially SV/SF and major cities in mid-Altantic, skews the salary range.
YMMV


strong opinions loosely held :sharebeer

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:04 am

Good news. My son received his ACT results today, a 36. So we are very pleased. The score should help.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by livesoft » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:22 am

Congrats to your son. That keeps many possibilities open.
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:29 am

livesoft wrote:Congrats to your son. That keeps many possibilities open.


Thank you. I hope so. With 3 to educate, we need possibilities!

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:52 am

@ Blevine
@Tomato

The short game is the hire.
The long game is providing financial needs to those who make it. Send Xmas cards and a personal phone call to the top candidates.
All have networks and could be valuable.
:oops:
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by daveydoo » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:06 pm

A word about parental (over)involvement:

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/06/ ... rspective/

"...A heightened level of parental involvement in the lives of kids obviously stems from love—unquestionably a good thing. But by the time I stepped down as dean at Stanford in 2012 I had interacted not only with a tremendous number of parents but with students who seemed increasingly reliant upon their parents in ways that felt, simply, off. I began to worry that college “kids” (as college students had become known) were somehow not quite formed fully as humans. They seemed to be scanning the sidelines for Mom or Dad..."

This isn't "kids today." This is Stanford freshmen today. This is the climate that elite universities (Stanford, in particular) have fostered. It's puzzling that they're perplexed by what they've created, but I guess it's karma :happy

Three local kids got in to Stanford early action a week or two ago. One legacy, one double-legacy, and one who proudly told friends that he/she made up half the accomplishments on the application (!).

TomatoTomahto wrote:Fwiw, URM and legacy will improve the odds but will not be a game changer (too large a cohort)


Legacy does matter. Schools report these data. My understanding is that it's in the 25 - 35% range for even the most elite schools. That's a pretty sizable advantage.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:48 pm

daveydoo wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:Fwiw, URM and legacy will improve the odds but will not be a game changer (too large a cohort)


Legacy does matter. Schools report these data. My understanding is that it's in the 25 - 35% range for even the most elite schools. That's a pretty sizable advantage.


In a 2011 NYT article http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011 ... cy-2/?_r=0
“We turn away 80 percent of our legacies, and we feel it every day,” Mr. Brenzel said, adding that he rejected more offspring of the school’s Sterling donors than he accepted this year (Sterling donors are among the most generous contributors to Yale). He argued that legacies scored 20 points higher on the SAT than the rest of the class as a whole.


The trend is for less legacy bump, but it is still significant. The effect, however, is smaller than people think. I know a good number of double legacy kids who were not accepted to selective schools, with strong scores and grades.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:31 pm

The "over involvement" issue is a fine line. Having not gone through it (college selection) before, it's a concern. However, don't we (parents) walk that line from ages 0 to ?. When should you let him walk to school by alone? When is it okay for her to be home alone? Etc. All (these issues) involve (hopefully) a potent mix of knowing your kid and parental wisdom. (Being religious, we also pray on these issues.)

Given the money and time involved, I think we owe it to ours kids to supply lots of guidance, and the occasional firm hand. If we do it right and get a little lucky, it'll feel natural, like co-pilots.

All that said, we have our boundaries (listed in the OP). So I won't revisit them here.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:31 am

Excellent editorial today in the NYT about the plaque of Early Decision.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/opini ... .html?_r=0

I find Early Action to be very defensible, as it allows the process to sometimes find an early conclusion without being binding. It does not discriminate against families with financial aid issues. It was a relief for our family to be "out of the game" early.

Early Decision, by contrast, is less defensible. Full disclosure: one of our kids used ED, successfully, at a school not known for its generous aid packages.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:56 am

This college journey has been interesting. My two younger guys are definitely listening in:

They've been asking their brother lots of random math and science questions. :)

My youngest guy asked how much college cost vs. how much we make. He asked how many days (in a row) I would need to work to pay for college. I thought that was so interesting. It means that, on some important level, he gets the value of money.

They are reporting back on their friends' brothers/ sisters returning from college for Winter break.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:17 pm

Of interest:

Visited:

East coast. MIT, Yale, Princeton, Carnegie

Midwest. Notre Dame, U of IL, Rose Hulman

Not visited:

West: Stanford, Harvey Mudd

Based on what I can tell (from a lot of online reading), he'd likely get into half of these schools (if he applied to them all). He'd receive enough funds from 1 to 3 to get the yearly cost below $30K/ year,

Next steps:

SAT next month

Visit west coast

Study southern schools

Develop list of schools likely to offer full ride and are desirable (from our perspective)

Break our mental model. Look for schools that are outside our horse blinders (picked up a couple of good books ... one has a section of ... If you like that school, also check out these schools

Study up on scholarships (not associated with schools)

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:34 pm

Have you not found the schools have the same, sameness?
Just different bell towers.
:mrgreen:
Enjoy the weather in CA. :wink:
YMMV
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by travellight » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:44 pm

"My youngest guy asked how much college cost vs. how much we make."

Did you answer the income question?

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:28 pm

travellight wrote:"My youngest guy asked how much college cost vs. how much we make."

Did you answer the income question?


I said that for each kid, that Mom and Dad, might have to go to work for a whole year to pay for their college. That's why we are doing all this research and why each kid will be expected to make the most of his opportunity.

This is where the 9-yo part fits in. He went to the local amusement park this past year. His cousin, who is around his age, acted like a spoiled brat and seemed not to enjoy the day. My kid describes the day as one of his favorite this past year.We talked about ... That it cost $100 to get each of them into the park, fed, other crap, etc. That was that opportunity. He chose to enjoy the day (gain benefit). His cousin passed on the benefit, wasting the opportunity and money. He mostly got it ... in a 9-yo kind of way. :happy

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:32 pm

itstoomuch wrote:Have you not found the schools have the same, sameness?
Just different bell towers.
V


Ha ha. Don't give advice on picking a spouse.

Yes, with the recent cold, I may personally chaperone his 4 year CA experience.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by daveydoo » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:36 am

timmy wrote:I said that for each kid, that Mom and Dad, might have to go to work for a whole year to pay for their college. That's why we are doing all this research and why each kid will be expected to make the most of his opportunity.


Just so I have my math right -- so you and spouse earn a quarter-million a year after taxes? And weren't you just anticipating scholarships above? I'd recommend skipping a school visit or two and instead spending some time with an online FAFSA estimator. You will get zero need-based aid, and your long list of best-in-the-nation schools are unlikely to offer much in the way of merit-based aid.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:51 am

daveydoo wrote:
timmy wrote:I said that for each kid, that Mom and Dad, might have to go to work for a whole year to pay for their college. That's why we are doing all this research and why each kid will be expected to make the most of his opportunity.


Just so I have my math right -- so you and spouse earn a quarter-million a year after taxes? And weren't you just anticipating scholarships above? I'd recommend skipping a school visit or two and instead spending some time with an online FAFSA estimator. You will get zero need-based aid, and your long list of best-in-the-nation schools are unlikely to offer much in the way of merit-based aid.


For the conversation with him (9-yo), it was mostly conceptual, yet close enough. He grasps what its like getting up every day and going the same place (school, work) every day for a year.

I'd separate need, want and willing. We would be willing to pay (and can afford ... no impact to retirement and sustainable for other two kids) up to $35K/ year (combo cashflow and 529). Schools that don't come up under that will not be a real option.

To your point, we are not optimistic on need-based aid.

In terms of scholarships, we will pursue all options with vigor. Why spend $100K if we don't have to? This will mean 3rd party scholarships and considering schools that offer some/ full scholarships.

In terms of the "top" schools, they are on the list. If he doesn't get in, life goes on. If doesn't get in and he can't afford to go there (by our definition), life goes on. He'll be fine where ever he lands.

If the number of schools seems daunting, I don't think it is. There's a cost to applying to 15 to 20 schools, from free to $50 to $100 per application. I see it as buying low cost options. The essays are something. But once you generate a pool of 5 to 10, you can customize. We've talked to 5 kids/ families that took this approach. It worked out well for each. (It won't work if the kid or parent is Harvard or bust.)

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:04 am

This was posted earlier (by someone else). I've had a chance to use it. Really useful ...

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/

It's a bit like this site. You can post just about any question on just about any school ... and a concerned citizen will supply an answer.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:22 am

timmy wrote:This was posted earlier (by someone else). I've had a chance to use it. Really useful ...

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/

It's a bit like this site. You can post just about any question on just about any school ... and a concerned citizen will supply an answer.

I recommend it highly, but much like this site, it's good to spend enough time there to know the posters and their biases.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by welldone » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:21 am

I would highly recommend running the NPC calculators on the individual school's website to see if your son's list needs to be radically altered. Most of the schools you've just listed are 100% need met, but the school defines need and very few of them offer merit aid at all.

If you are sure you won't pay more than 35K, and you are sure you won't qualify for 35K or more in aid at places like MIT, Yale and Princeton - it is baffling to allow your son to apply. Unless the $100 app fee is justified by bragging rights, in which case - to each their own.

Also, and this is a total aside - think about why you had the need to tell a story that cast your 9 year old nephew in such a very negative light regarding going to an amusement park in order to explain your views on money and how you teach it. I understand amusement parks are expensive and it sure is frustrating that he acted like 9 year olds sometimes (regrettably) act...but why did you need to tear him down to show us how well your 9 year old acts and/or how well you are raising your children? Just something to think about.

Good luck to your son, I am sure he will do well no matter where he ends up for college.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by livesoft » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:28 pm

Another method of school choice: I didn't go on any college campus visits ever. Not for my own college and not for any of my children. My daughter went to a couple by herself. That is, arranged by herself and without parents. My son didn't visit any colleges. I have never been to my son's university and he is a college junior. Both kids made great choices I think.
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:57 pm

welldone wrote:Also, and this is a total aside - think about why you had the need to tell a story that cast your 9 year old nephew in such a very negative light regarding going to an amusement park in order to explain your views on money and how you teach it. I understand amusement parks are expensive and it sure is frustrating that he acted like 9 year olds sometimes (regrettably) act...but why did you need to tear him down to show us how well your 9 year old acts and/or how well you are raising your children? Just something to think about.


A fair consideration ... They spent the day together. He had to put up with it himself. It wasn't just an off day, so it is a pattern. I see it as neither tearing down nor a brag.

When I tell my sons about the poor eating habits they I/ my brothers developed in our 20s and the negative consequences, it is neither tearing down or a brag. It's a real story with a lesson to be had.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:58 pm

livesoft wrote:Another method of school choice: I didn't go on any college campus visits ever. Not for my own college and not for any of my children. My daughter went to a couple by herself. That is, arranged by herself and without parents. My son didn't visit any colleges. I have never been to my son's university and he is a college junior. Both kids made great choices I think.


Point taken. Not our preferred method for a host of reasons.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:22 pm

welldone wrote:I would highly recommend running the NPC calculators on the individual school's website to see if your son's list needs to be radically altered. Most of the schools you've just listed are 100% need met, but the school defines need and very few of them offer merit aid at all.

If you are sure you won't pay more than 35K, and you are sure you won't qualify for 35K or more in aid at places like MIT, Yale and Princeton - it is baffling to allow your son to apply. Unless the $100 app fee is justified by bragging rights, in which case - to each their own.

Good luck to your son, I am sure he will do well no matter where he ends up for college.


Thank you. We feel the same way. We do think that some paths will likely lead to better outcomes. Ric Edelman (radio guy) once told the story of two people ... One invested in the SP500 (index fund). The other invested in an expensive blue chip mutual fund. In every other way they were the same (income, % savings, years worked). Do you know what you call both of these guys after 40 years? Rich.

I see our college situation as the same. I want to make sure that we understand the wisest path (for all three skids) ... call it the index fund path. Yet, at the same time, if we do a few simple things right (ex: for us ... no college debt), all will likely be well.

In terms of the list, yes, as noted above, we will be adding to the list (process already started). We did start with the shiny pennies (admittedly).

We've visited the calculators for these schools. They are important data points, enough to temper/ kill optimism. We know of plenty exceptions though. There are other scholarships, supply vs. demand (based on major, skill, etc.). Again, for $100, we will take the chance (or $1000 when you add it all up).

I do like your idea of bragging rights. Get into Harvard ... attend for a couple of days ... then leave. The penalty will be a few grand, and upside, you get to be like Gates and Zuckerberg. :sharebeer

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:35 pm

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/how-my-children-will-pay-for-their-college/

Thoughtful post from the White Coat Investor. I think his kids are younger.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:45 pm

It's early days, but here's a prediction. Let me know a few years from now if I was right.

Your income seems to be above the level where any need-based aid will be offered, at least when you have only 1 in college, i.e., >$200k. If your first gets into a "shiny penny" (your term) school, you will pay what it takes to have him attend. In the event that your first to attend gets in and attends a "shiny penny" school, you will find a way to have your other chIldren attend, if possible.

I spend a lot of time at college confidential; it's not my first rodeo. I could be wrong.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:57 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:It's early days, but here's a prediction. Let me know a few years from now if I was right.

Your income seems to be above the level where any need-based aid will be offered, at least when you have only 1 in college, i.e., >$200k. If your first gets into a "shiny penny" (your term) school, you will pay what it takes to have him attend. In the event that your first to attend gets in and attends a "shiny penny" school, you will find a way to have your other chIldren attend, if possible.

I spend a lot of time at college confidential; it's not my first rodeo. I could be wrong.


Don't bet against the trend, right? My thoughts ...

14 years is a long time (when last will graduate). We have good incomes, and God willing, getting better each year. I don't mind spending the money if we have it.

That said, our two immovable objects are ... our prep for retirement and debt.

For now, we will go through the process, and keep on the constraints. Constraints are a man's best friend. (I don't like dogs so much.)

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:59 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:It's early days, but here's a prediction. Let me know a few years from now if I was right.


Yes, if it's Yale that he attends, drinks our on me.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:04 pm

CollegeConfidential. Fond memories. About 10 years there. I became infamous on a couple of topics, noncollege related.
I was obnoxious there before here. :oops: :wink: :annoyed
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by travellight » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:07 pm

" timmy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:28 pm

travellight wrote:
"My youngest guy asked how much college cost vs. how much we make."

Did you answer the income question?


I said that for each kid, that Mom and Dad, might have to go to work for a whole year to pay for their college. That's why we are doing all this research and why each kid will be expected to make the most of his opportunity."

This conversation came up with my kid a couple of weeks ago. Apparently he asked me many years ago how much I make and I didn't give a direct answer. This left an indelible impression on him. I don't know what the right way to approach this is.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:08 pm

itstoomuch wrote:CollegeConfidential. Fond memories. About 10 years there. I became infamous on a couple of topics, noncollege related.
I was obnoxious there before here. :oops: :wink: :annoyed


People like you make sites like this and that run. We learn so much. True power of the web ...

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:10 pm

travellight wrote:" timmy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:28 pm

travellight wrote:
"My youngest guy asked how much college cost vs. how much we make."

Did you answer the income question?


I said that for each kid, that Mom and Dad, might have to go to work for a whole year to pay for their college. That's why we are doing all this research and why each kid will be expected to make the most of his opportunity."

This conversation came up with my kid a couple of weeks ago. Apparently he asked me many years ago how much I make and I didn't give a direct answer. This left an indelible impression on him. I don't know what the right way to approach this is.


I'll let you know in 20 years. :oops:

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by travellight » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:14 pm

At your income level, it is likely that any school your kid would get merit aid at is a lower level school than where he would have to pay to go. They may be perfectly great schools and it may be the right decision for you financially but it is not likely to be an apples to apples decision.

My kid got into some schools that were very very solid for free tuition but they were not the top 20 schools. I ended up paying for the shiny penny school out of current income.

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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:08 pm

Started booking late Winter/ Spring (hooray for warmer weather) college tours.

Notre Dame

U of Chicago (physics) ... He's loving physics class and math these days

Stanford

U of CA, Berkeley

Napa Valley for Mom and Dad while kids hang at hotel

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