Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

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veryseablue
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Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:19 pm

First time posting a question, seeking your advice for me to make decision. Thanks in advance.

My only son will be graduating from high school next year, right now we are researching colleges. He likes going to Cornell, one of the costly college in the nation with annual tuition about $57k, plus about 15k other expenses. I retired early ( 58 years old ) due to health issue without much income, spouse still working and our annual household income is around 70k after tax/social security/medical etc., We have about 400k savings, mostly in cash, due to my wrong personal finance decisions.

My son was born here in the US, but we all have US /Canadian dual citizenship and have been living here for about 40 years. My relatives in Canada who is a professor at one of top universities talked with me the other day that we could save a lot of money if my son goes to Canada for college. According to his GPA, he could possibly be admitted to one of the best in Canada, ( ranking similar with Cornell in the world ranking) We may just pay 20k most per year. Since my son never lived in Canada, he is not willing to go. My spouse said that since we have some savings ( about 400K total) and have on;y one child, could use half of the savings to pay his tuition for the next 4 years.

I believe that son will most likely come back to US after graduation, as he has better ties here, We are worried if it is harder to find a job in the US after graduating?

Please share your thought as what is the best choice for us ? Thanks so very much!

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witsend
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by witsend » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:35 pm

Strongly recommend not to use your retirement funds to fund your son's education. Remember there are education loans available but no loans available for retirement. I would send son to Canada for education and ask him to get an edu loan or aid to fund it. Even if you had to fund it, 20k vs 200k is a no-brainer. There is no issues finding jobs in USA for well qualified persons no matter where in the world you graduate from.

fwellimort
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by fwellimort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:25 pm

Attended Columbia. Total cost with "engineering fee", "mandatory first year fee", "mandatory fourth year fee", "mandatory lab fee", etc is almost a third of a million dollars before financial aid. Have peers with 100~200+k student loan for an undergrad degree while I also have peers that legitimately got paid to attend school (even after food/travel/insurance/fees/tuition, the school's financial aid package gave enough to pay for their winter/summer + a few thousand dollars in bank account).

General consensus among my peers (and me): If we could redo college, we would rather have that money invested while attending a more affordable school (a school that is still credible though). If "ROI" is the only thing someone cares about, I feel for a motivated student, in average, attending a 2 year community college to 2 year state flagship or private school with scholarship is the way. However, I do know people who transferred rarely made any friends in college and hence had near non-existential connections (hence defeating the purpose of attending a top school like Columbia).

It really depends on what you/your child values. I can tell you though, Cornell degree ain't worth 200k. And that tuition/extra might increase say 4.5k a year.
Attending a credible school without taking much debt/loans will generally open most doors for someone out of college. Yes, it feels very very unfair that your child does not get 'rewarded' for all his hard work he has done, but sometimes, that's life itself.

I recommend attending the more affordable option. Make him read through "Boglehead's Guide to Investing" so that he too can also understand the financials behind the potential decisions he might end up making.
Most of my peers (including I) who got high paying jobs had to ditch their dreams to pay off for the high tuition. Your child will also be pressured to do the same once he realizes the sacrifices you had to make for the college.

Also,
@veryseablue, I hope you listen to this carefully.
US colleges, especially the top privates, do not really cost whatever the sticker price is. You have to run the damn calculators in every single school for the financial aid.

For instance, let's look at Harvard (https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator)
Say you lived in New Jersey in a family of 3 with 1 kid to college. And you earned $70,000 + $15,000 in interest/dividend income. With a $400,000 parent asset, the cost of attendance suddenly becomes for the parents: $10,400 a year. Note the tuition is $50,420 but the financial aid is then $57,400. Depending on your situation, some schools will PAY you for your food/shelter/insurance/book and if super fortunate, have your child's bank account grow during the four years (?).

You HAVE to spend a weekend with your child legitimately running every single god damn calculator out there while also digging through every damn scholarship. For instance, a private school like George Washington University will give your child all loans while a school like Columbia might give 0 loans (0 loan policy). Financial aid even in across peer schools can be drastically different.
My friend had gotten accepted to USC, NYU, and Brown. Brown gave next to nothing except loans. USC gave half merit scholarship. NYU gave near full though on the 'online fianancial aid calculator', NYU was supposed to be the one that gave nothing but loans (also, NYU is known to generally give next to nothing -all loans-).

What you see in tuition for US private schools is NOT the actual tuition. Basically, the "actual cost" is whatever the college decides on a whim depending on your financial situation. Some colleges for instance count your home as "liquid cash" while other schools completely ignore all factors but income.
It's frustrating but you really got to go through each god damn calculator and spend a whole weekend plug and chugging. And even then, those calculators could be very very off (but hopefully, it will give a "good idea" of how much the actual cost of attendance is).


Other than that, personally, I advocate attending an affordable reputable college after merit/need based scholarships. Generally, state flagships win out on this but again, you have to run down the calculator all day. And don't fret too much about "it's a canadian university". Companies want smart people. If your child is motivated, then in the long run, it won't matter much. Also, I do believe UWaterloo, UToronto, McGill, UBC are well known to the people that matter in the US.

Do you want to have your child start $200k behind everyone else or $200k ahead of everyone else? Graduating college without loans will make your child's 4 years much better than having to constantly worry/be stressed of "what if I can't get a high paying job right outa college". Teach your child about the value of money and 'opportunity costs' of his choosing at the end of day. Make him research through the career he wishes to take (bls.gov) and what the average prospect for his major is at <insert school>. It will be a good eye opener for your child and will help your child make a decision he can take responsibility for at end of day.
Have your child be able to make his own decision instead of being influenced by the media. That's all I can say. I have high respects for my peers who chose after all this research to pursue art/music over peers who simply attended "top schools" without much thought. The former is a trait of a true leader while the latter is what I deem a failure.
Treat your child as an adult. Your role as a parent is to guide him but ultimately his decision is his decision. And be quite frank. "Look, if you attend Cornell, we will have to depend on you for retirement. This is our family's current retirement and this is your college cost of attendance." Don't be ashamed. Be honest. Otherwise, if you make the decision for him, he will end up internally hating/despising you.
Last edited by fwellimort on Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:51 pm, edited 12 times in total.

livesoft
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:32 pm

In your financial situation it may not cost much to attend college anywhere. Nevertheless, I think there should be no issue getting a job in the US after graduating from a Canadian or US university. There are also other US universities besides Cornell.

While I am not a Canadian citizen, I have been to Canada many times and would love to live there. I would wonder why your son doesn't want to go there ... that is, what are the real reasons?

Also it is not like college is a big deal nowadays anyways. Your son could start in the US or in Canada and change his mind and try another college in another country.

In other words: Relax and don't worry about these things. Let your son do his own thing and when it comes to money let him know that resources are limited and the place he goes to school may not be paid out of your pocket. He may have to find someone else's pocket.
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gr7070
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by gr7070 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:46 pm

veryseablue wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:19 pm
Since my son never lived in Canada, he is not willing to go. My spouse said that since we have some savings ( about
There's your answer!

I think it's reasonable to discuss (not coerce) further with him, but if that's still his answer then it's his answer.
veryseablue wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:19 pm
My spouse said that since we have some savings ( about 400K total) and have on;y one child, could use half of the savings to pay his tuition for the next 4 years.
That sounds like a terrible idea. Have you done any retirement projections to know how much you'll need and how long she'll have to work to get there? An informed decision would be wise, but without that added info, it's a really bass idea!

Lastly, barring highly unusual circumstances typically the best answer for higher education is a quality degree from a good, state university. Even for high achievers. That's the party I'd most encourage if Canada isn't desired.

gr7070
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by gr7070 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:51 pm

One more consideration...

If given the choice 15 years from now would your son choose a state university degree and financially independent parents or an ivy league degree and supporting his parents in their "retirement"?

I know which I would choose and which I'll provide for my child.

fwellimort
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by fwellimort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:57 pm

If given the choice 15 years from now would your son choose a state university degree and financially independent parents or an ivy league degree and supporting his parents in their "retirement"?
Even better:
If given the choice 15 years form now would your son choose a state university and be a matured person who makes rational decisions out of careful planning/researches with a financially independent parent OR an ivy league degree son constantly in stress due to the cost of college (and constantly feeling behind his peers due to it) while also being aware that "I need to get a higher paying job to support my parents one day".

I'm just saying, even I (and my peers majoring in math), had to ditch my original career plan of becoming a mathematician for the sake of money (due to high cost of college being the biggest stress inducer). One of my most "successful" peer I'm sure would have been more content being a high school teacher over his current role: instead, he plans to delay being a teacher until he becomes 30 to "make the cost of degree worth it".

student
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:00 pm

fwellimort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:25 pm
Attended Columbia. Total cost with "engineering fee", "mandatory first year fee", "mandatory fourth year fee", "mandatory lab fee", etc is almost a third of a million dollars before financial aid. Have peers with 100~200+k student loan for an undergrad degree while I also have peers that legitimately got paid to attend school (even after food/travel/insurance/fees/tuition, the school's financial aid package gave enough to pay for their winter/summer + a few thousand dollars in bank account).

General consensus among my peers (and me): If we could redo college, we would rather have that money invested while attending a more affordable school (a school that is still credible though). If "ROI" is the only thing someone cares about, I feel for a motivated student, in average, attending a 2 year community college to 2 year state flagship or private school with scholarship is the way. However, I do know people who transferred rarely made any friends in college and hence had near non-existential connections (hence defeating the purpose of attending a top school like Columbia).

It really depends on what you/your child values. I can tell you though, Cornell degree ain't worth 200k. And that tuition/extra might increase say 4.5k a year.
Attending a credible school without taking much debt/loans will generally open most doors for someone out of college. Yes, it feels very very unfair that your child does not get 'rewarded' for all his hard work he has done, but sometimes, that's life itself.

I recommend attending the more affordable option. Make him read through "Boglehead's Guide to Investing" so that he too can also understand the financials behind the potential decisions he might end up making.
Most of my peers (including I) who got high paying jobs had to ditch their dreams to pay off for the high tuition. Your child will also be pressured to do the same once he realizes the sacrifices you had to make for the college.

Also,
@veryseablue, I hope you listen to this carefully.
US colleges, especially the top privates, do not really cost whatever the sticker price is. You have to run the damn calculators in every single school for the financial aid.

For instance, let's look at Harvard (https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator)
Say you lived in New Jersey in a family of 3 with 1 kid to college. And you earned $70,000 + $15,000 in interest/dividend income. With a $400,000 parent asset, the cost of attendance suddenly becomes for the parents: $10,400 a year. Note the tuition is $50,420 but the financial aid is then $57,400. Depending on your situation, some schools will PAY you for your food/shelter/insurance/book and if super fortunate, have your child's bank account grow during the four years (?).

You HAVE to spend a weekend with your child legitimately running every single god damn calculator out there while also digging through every damn scholarship. For instance, a private school like George Washington University will give your child all loans while a school like Columbia might give 0 loans (0 loan policy). Financial aid even in across peer schools can be drastically different.
My friend had gotten accepted to USC, NYU, and Brown. Brown gave next to nothing except loans. USC gave half merit scholarship. NYU gave near full though on the 'online fianancial aid calculator', NYU was supposed to be the one that gave nothing but loans (also, NYU is known to generally give next to nothing -all loans-).

What you see in tuition for US private schools is NOT the actual tuition. Basically, the "actual cost" is whatever the college decides on a whim depending on your financial situation. Some colleges for instance count your home as "liquid cash" while other schools completely ignore all factors but income.
It's frustrating but you really got to go through each god damn calculator and spend a whole weekend plug and chugging. And even then, those calculators could be very very off (but hopefully, it will give a "good idea" of how much the actual cost of attendance is).


Other than that, personally, I advocate attending an affordable reputable college after merit/need based scholarships. Generally, state flagships win out on this but again, you have to run down the calculator all day. And don't fret too much about "it's a canadian university". Companies want smart people. If your child is motivated, then in the long run, it won't matter much. Also, I do believe UWaterloo, UToronto, McGill, UBC are well known to the people that matter in the US.

Do you want to have your child start $200k behind everyone else or $200k ahead of everyone else? Graduating college without loans will make your child's 4 years much better than having to constantly worry/be stressed of "what if I can't get a high paying job right outa college". Teach your child about the value of money and 'opportunity costs' of his choosing at the end of day. Make him research through the career he wishes to take (bls.gov) and what the average prospect for his major is at <insert school>. It will be a good eye opener for your child and will help your child make a decision he can take responsibility for at end of day.
Have your child be able to make his own decision instead of being influenced by the media. That's all I can say. I have high respects for my peers who chose after all this research to pursue art/music over peers who simply attended "top schools" without much thought. The former is a trait of a true leader while the latter is what I deem a failure.
Treat your child as an adult. Your role as a parent is to guide him but ultimately his decision is his decision. And be quite frank. "Look, if you attend Cornell, we will have to depend on you for retirement. This is our family's current retirement and this is your college cost of attendance." Don't be ashamed. Be honest. Otherwise, if you make the decision for him, he will end up internally hating/despising you.
This is an excellent analysis. Awesome post.

fwellimort
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by fwellimort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:03 pm

I also want to point out:
I ate generally 1 meal a day during most of college sometimes none.

And I wasn't the only one. If your parents are dedicating so much to the cost of college itself, that's what happens behind the scenes. Sure, you might never notice but your child might have to go a through an extreme 4 years due to personal guilt.

Take all this into account please.
Last edited by fwellimort on Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SchruteB&B
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by SchruteB&B » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Has your son even been admitted to Cornell? Why is the decision Cornell vs. a Canadian school? There are many other college options in the US that might work out financially for your family. I agree with fweilmort that you need to run your own family’s financial facts through every potential college’s Net Price Calculator. Disagree with that poster that no one pays sticker price at the top elite universities. The Common Data Sets for Harvard and Yale, as an example, reveal that approximately. 40% of families at those school gets neither need based nor merit aid.

fwellimort
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by fwellimort » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:09 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:04 pm
Disagree with that poster that no one pays sticker price at the top elite universities. The Common Data Sets for Harvard and Yale, as an example, reveal that approximately. 40% of families at those school gets neither need based nor merit aid.
Yes. Many parents pay the sticker price. But I guess I came off wrong as I was talking about the OP's specific case at certain schools.
Like I reiterated, I have peers with 100~200+k$ student loans out of college. Those peers definitely needed financial aid but due to unusual circumstances, were not able to get one.

Also, please get accepted first before worrying. Getting into Cornell is no joke. The top US schools especially in the top 25 is more or less a lottery for an average academically talented child due to "holistic admissions".

@student
Thanks.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:11 pm

He has no choices until he gets admitted. Cart before horse. Cornell is very competitive.
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student
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:23 pm

fwellimort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:03 pm
I also want to point out:
I ate generally 1 meal a day during most of college.

And I wasn't the only one. If your parents are dedicating so much to the cost of college itself, that's what happens behind the scenes. Sure, you might never notice but your child might have to go a through an extreme 4 years due to personal guilt.

Take all this into account please.
OMG. 1 meal a day at Columbia. Wow. At the university that I am teaching (midsize state university), most students drive a better car me, which is not difficult to do though.

Isabelle77
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by Isabelle77 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:40 pm

We are in a similar situation, I am a dual citizen and so are our kids. We've decided that we will pay for the price of the flagship in-state college. So they can go to a great Canadian school, in-state, or make up the difference with scholarships. It's ridiculous to empty out your savings. Canadian schools for citizens are less than 20K a year including room and board for most programs.

For the posters wondering about why Cornell. I'm not sure this is the case but where I grew up outside of Toronto, Cornell was THE American school that the smart kids went to, maybe the OP brought that idea with her? It's not far from home I guess. A quick google search says there are over 500 Canadian students at Cornell.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:42 pm

I have no first-hand experience with Canadian colleges and universities. But here's a few things I've noticed over the years:
- a good friend's daughter graduated from McGill. According to my friend, she received an excellent education with more of an international focus than one would find at the majority of US schools. That's what she was looking for at it really fit the bill.
- I lived in VT for 8 years and sat on/chaired a committee that awarded college scholarships to HS seniors. A number of those VT kids applied to Canadian schools, due partly to the lower costs. Several friends had kids at schools across the border and were quite pleased.
- although I'm a big fan of US college sports, I can't deny that we've let the sports tail wag the college dog too often in the US. Canadian schools appear to me to do a better job of keeping sports in a subordinate position to academics. (It may be partly because they have a separate system for developing their athletes - particularly in hockey - rather than using Colleges as their minor leagues.)
- I believe virtually all Canadian colleges are accredited by the same regional accrediting organizations that accredit US colleges. (If I'm wrong about that I'm sure an academic Boglehead can clarify.)

Good luck!
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by bayview » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:44 pm

Absolutely do not pay for Cornell if he can get into a top Canadian university.

Do not even begin to consider destroying your retirement funds simply because he wants to go to Cornell (or anywhere else).

The deal I cut with my kids (after paying for private middle and high school) was that I would pay for the equivalent of instate college expenses. If they wanted to go somewhere else with higher costs, they were on the hook for the additional costs. They all did just fine.

I’m sure you love him to death, but I have to say that he seems to have a massive entitlement outlook. In this day and age, he should be grateful that you’re able to help at all.
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by lawman3966 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:02 pm

Dual Canadian-U.S. citizen here. Convince your son to visit Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, and better still take the train across Canada. He won't want to come back.

I used to visit my native Montreal while in college, and there legions of American students at McGill Univ. and other schools. If McGill was good enough for Ernest Rutherford, it's got to be good enough for your son.

And I haven't even mentioned the comedy festival, the Jazz festival, the restaurants, or the nightlife!

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by inbox788 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:06 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:11 pm
He has no choices until he gets admitted. Cart before horse. Cornell is very competitive.
Yup! Statistically, he's not going to get in, so plan accordingly. Apply to some better match schools as well as safety schools. Also apply to any appropriate Canadian schools. Many of the top schools are need blind, so wait for the financial aid offers before making any decision. Depending on need, you might find costs upside down what you expect.

https://www.collegeraptor.com/college-search/

Rutherwho? Americans might be more familiar with William Shatner and Leonard Cohen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGill_Un ... ble_people

element rutherfordium, Rf, Z=104 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_of ... nts#People

HereToLearn
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by HereToLearn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:22 pm

Run the Net Price Calculator for Cornell: https://npc.collegeboard.org/app/cornell

Be careful when the question asks for parent asset & income vs. student savings & income.

Cornell may end up costing you less than McGill, but of course, your son needs to be admitted to both to even contemplate this decision.

I agree with everyone else that you should not spend a chunk of your savings to send your child to college.

Princeton, referenced above, offers extremely generous need-based financial aid; they have the largest per capita endowment in the country. Cornell's per capita endowment is significantly lower, but they should still offer an attractive package to a family earning $70K. You have not mentioned home equity, but some of the Ivies consider home equity when calculating financial aid. The last information I have (may be out of date now) says that Cornell considered home equity up to 1.2x income.

Good luck to your son.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by physiorol » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:32 pm

Did someone mention that the drinking age in Canada is 19? That might motivate him.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by physiorol » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:35 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:40 pm
We are in a similar situation, I am a dual citizen and so are our kids. We've decided that we will pay for the price of the flagship in-state college. So they can go to a great Canadian school, in-state, or make up the difference with scholarships. It's ridiculous to empty out your savings. Canadian schools for citizens are less than 20K a year including room and board for most programs.
I agree with this offer a flat rate of 20K per year and tell him he will need to get loans for the rest.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm

I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by TheDDC » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm
I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.
Loans are a bad idea. Cursing a young kid with decades of debt before their brains are wired to properly understand this decision is not a good idea. How about working to pay cash for school? Or setting a reasonable upper limit? Working to pay for school would expose him to some better opportunities (including tuition assistance).

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by Cascade425 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:04 am

We live in Seattle and our kids are US/Canadian dual citizens. All of the kids attended high school in the Seattle area.

The much lower tuition of Canadian schools for Canadian citizens is very very tempting. We told our kids that we would fund the equivalent of University of Washington in state tuition plus living expenses for four years. If the kids needed more money than that then they would have to fund it through loans, scholarships, other income etc. Our eldest was smart when she asked "what if I spend less, can I keep the difference?" We thought about it and said yes.

Kid #1 went to University of Waterloo and pays around C$7,000 per year in tuition. She wanted to go far away and Waterloo has a very good reputation in the Seattle area due to its long history with Microsoft and other local tech. She is in a pretty general program with some tech and some non tech. When she was looking for an internship in the US she did not have a problem at all and landed an interesting position in Virginia with a large tech company. Her US passport helped for sure. The company did not care that she was at a Canadian school. Kid #1 will be graduating in May 2020 and will start looking for full time jobs soon. She's pretty confident that her U Waterloo degree will hold up just fine in the US. Especially in the tech heavy Seattle area. Oh, BTW, she's graduating with no debt and lots of money in the bank.

Kid #2 really had no interest in going to Canada for school. She is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY for Mechanical Engineering. The bill is so very high but she knows the deal and has hustled hard to get pretty impressive scholarships. She loves the school, has joined the ski team, and is very happy with her choice. She is even close enough to family in Southern Ontario that she goes up there by train for US Thanksgiving. She will graduate with modest loans (I think) - probably around $20k. For an engineering degree from Rensselaer we think that is ok.

Kid #3 is in grade 10 and is open to Canada so we will see. We will listen to him and guide him as appropriate. There are great schools in Canada for sure. It is hard to beat Waterloo, UofT, UBC, etc. But, of course, there are even greater schools in the US!

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by DonIce » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:12 am

I went to UBC in Vancouver. Great school but not on par with the very top US schools. In the end, the choice of where to go to college is up to the student, not to the parents. How much funding to provide is up to the parents, though. For example, you can say you're gonna help him with an amount that would have paid for school in Canada, and he can take it and use it at whatever school he wants. If he goes to Canada he'll be all set; if he prefers an expensive US school he can go there and use loans/scholarships/work/etc to make up the rest.

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JD Leonard
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by JD Leonard » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:32 am

Per https://financialaid.rice.edu/thericeinvestment
Beginning in fall 2019 under The Rice Investment, middle-income families with typical assets will receive grant aid to cover full tuition if they earn up to $130,000 per year, and half tuition for families earning between $130,001-$200,000. In addition, students with family incomes below $65,000 will receive grant aid covering not only their full tuition, but also all of their mandatory fees and room and board. Students receiving aid under The Rice Investment will have all demonstrated need met without any loans.
I attended Rice and loved it. There are probably other schools offering similar financial aid policies.
- JD Leonard

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:48 am

DonIce wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:12 am
I went to UBC in Vancouver. Great school but not on par with the very top US schools. In the end, the choice of where to go to college is up to the student, not to the parents. How much funding to provide is up to the parents, though. For example, you can say you're gonna help him with an amount that would have paid for school in Canada, and he can take it and use it at whatever school he wants. If he goes to Canada he'll be all set; if he prefers an expensive US school he can go there and use loans/scholarships/work/etc to make up the rest.
Undergrad B Comm. at Sauder (UBC undergrad business) would be at least as good, academically, as UVA, U of Texas Austin or even Wharton (I am not sure how Wharton undergrad works vis a vis the very high ranked MBA.

They use the same textbooks and teaching materials. UBC is a big, public, school so they won't nursemaid you - you have to be self-directed. Sauder is tough - I know at least 2 of the profs there (in Information Systems, and in Economics/ Finance) and they are top notch. (I attended an eastern Canadian school). Other top Canadian undergrad business schools would be Toronto (a focus in the B Comm on becoming an accountant), Western (BBA/ HBA at the Ivey School), Queens, McGill but in truth the programmes would be very similar.

If we are comparing to Stanford MIT Harvard then they are a class above in what they can offer their students. But it's mostly about the nameplate.

For undergrad in Canada:

- UBC or U of Toronto it's very much the programme because these are big city schools with a lot of commuting students. But some programmes (like engineering at U of T) are famously closely knit - Engineering Science at U of T (used to be called Engineering Physics) is one of the top undergrad programmes in North America (on the evidence of where the kids go on to their Phds).

I would have no reservations for undergrad engineering of sending a young person to a good Canadian school.

- Waterloo it's all about the co-op programmes - get work experience as part of the degree. Waterloo is famous in tech (although U of T arguably has a stronger graduate department) and Google etc. certainly recruit there

- Queens (Kingston ONT) is more of an American style campus college in a small town, rah-rah on the football etc. But this is all toned down Canadian - the school has a long established relationship with the Canadian establishment (as does McGill). People tend to love their time there - real student community. B Comm. or BSC Eng is very good (please do not tell my siblings or my nieces and nephews that I said that ;-)). Main problem with Queens is no one outside of Canada ever seems to have heard of it.

- McGill - Montreal is a fantastic city, and affordable for students in a way Toronto and Vancouver no longer are. Very multicultural city & campus. Campus location is amazing - half an hour's walk from downtown. The university, being public, has suffered from budget cuts by the Provincial Government (and also a student strike re tuition fees, which remain the lowest in Canada - brought down a government). It has compensated in part by increasing the foreign student population (American, but also from Asia etc.)

These are all good choices and I haven't even mentioned other schools like U of Victoria (great city for students if a little bit quiet, fantastic place for things like ocean science), U of Alberta (Albertans are great, Edmonton is a lovely city, but don't decide to go there before visiting in January - they are not kidding about the winter), Dalhousie (Halifax Nova Scotia).

Maclean's magazine does an annual survey of Canadian universities. As with US rankings, take it with a slight grain of salt but it is a helpful place to start (I think, published separately as well).

Being big public universities and being Canadian, generally the schools will have less rah rah than an equivalent American school, and as another poster mentions, the sports are just less important and consume less resources (but if your thing is track and field, then it's there; U of T trains a lot of the Canadian Olympians in many sports). An able young sportsperson might be better off pursuing a related scholarship at a really top American university (neighbour's kid in Toronto went to one of Princeton/ Yale/ Harvard on an ice hockey scholarship and is now a doctor).
Last edited by Valuethinker on Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

student
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:49 am

physiorol wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:32 pm
Did someone mention that the drinking age in Canada is 19? That might motivate him.
lol. Only 18 in some provinces. :wink: Maybe OP doesn't want him to go now. I think many campuses have bars. https://www.ubyssey.ca/features/student ... ss-canada/ :wink:
Last edited by student on Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:01 am

TheDDC wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm
I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.
Loans are a bad idea. Cursing a young kid with decades of debt before their brains are wired to properly understand this decision is not a good idea. How about working to pay cash for school? Or setting a reasonable upper limit? Working to pay for school would expose him to some better opportunities (including tuition assistance).

-TheDDC
Loans are not necessary bad but a large amount is. In my area, the total tuition + books without any financial assistance is about $40k if attending cc in the first two years, or $50k if going to the local university for four years. Summer jobs should bring $5000 a year. So if the parents support the kid at the high school level (room and board plus some spending money), the student needs to borrow $20k. It is not an unreasonable amount.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:17 am

student wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:49 am
physiorol wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:32 pm
Did someone mention that the drinking age in Canada is 19? That might motivate him.
lol. Only 18 in some provinces. :wink: Maybe OP doesn't want him to go now. I think many campuses have bars. https://www.ubyssey.ca/features/student ... ss-canada/ :wink:
I think the Canadian policy leads to less unmonitored drinking by students. You don't have to go to frat parties off campus. Since my view is 18 and 19 year olds will experiment with alcohol, one might as well learn to do it in a more structured environment. This is particularly so for the safety of young women (but not only) .

I would add that frat life seems to be far more subdued at Canadian universities than one reads & hears about in American ones. It's just not a major part of the social scene AFAIK.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by A-Commoner » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:31 am

Let your son apply to Canadian and US universities. Wait for the results. Then choose among the schools that accepted him the one that is the best academic and financial fit. There’s no point worrying about should son apply to Cornell or not. Cornell has a 10% acceptance rate. Just because your son likes Cornell doesn’t mean Cornell will accept him.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by TheDDC » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:27 am

student wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:01 am
TheDDC wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm
I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.
Loans are a bad idea. Cursing a young kid with decades of debt before their brains are wired to properly understand this decision is not a good idea. How about working to pay cash for school? Or setting a reasonable upper limit? Working to pay for school would expose him to some better opportunities (including tuition assistance).

-TheDDC
Loans are not necessary bad but a large amount is. In my area, the total tuition + books without any financial assistance is about $40k if attending cc in the first two years, or $50k if going to the local university for four years. Summer jobs should bring $5000 a year. So if the parents support the kid at the high school level (room and board plus some spending money), the student needs to borrow $20k. It is not an unreasonable amount.
20k for education expenses means something totally different to two different people. How much ROI is expected from the career path, for instance? I also think starting off a professional life with another debt stream is just a bad choice, especially if there is CC or consumer debt in the picture as well. It’s a pain multiplier. And make no mistake about it this is a CHOICE.

-TheDDC
Refreshingly, a double barrel shotgun blast of truth...

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by rhe » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:48 am

I think the intended major is very important here. Fancy private schools in the US tend to have similar standards for admission regardless of whether you're planning on studying comparative literature or astrophysics. This is not the case in Canada. "Arts" (as opposed to "science") programs often have surprisingly low admissions standards. Admissions cutoffs are generally publicly available on university websites, so it is relatively easy to figure out what your classmates will be like. The economics major, for example, might be full of students who couldn't get in to the commerce major.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:28 am

TheDDC wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:27 am
student wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:01 am
TheDDC wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm
I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.
Loans are a bad idea. Cursing a young kid with decades of debt before their brains are wired to properly understand this decision is not a good idea. How about working to pay cash for school? Or setting a reasonable upper limit? Working to pay for school would expose him to some better opportunities (including tuition assistance).

-TheDDC
Loans are not necessary bad but a large amount is. In my area, the total tuition + books without any financial assistance is about $40k if attending cc in the first two years, or $50k if going to the local university for four years. Summer jobs should bring $5000 a year. So if the parents support the kid at the high school level (room and board plus some spending money), the student needs to borrow $20k. It is not an unreasonable amount.
20k for education expenses means something totally different to two different people. How much ROI is expected from the career path, for instance? I also think starting off a professional life with another debt stream is just a bad choice, especially if there is CC or consumer debt in the picture as well. It’s a pain multiplier. And make no mistake about it this is a CHOICE.

-TheDDC
I agree that it means something totally different to two different people. That's why I said "not necessary" bad. One first has to decide whether one wants to go to college. If so, decides on a major that will bring income after graduation. Based on the original posting, I assume that OP wants their son to go to college. Now, one has to think about how to pay for it. As I have said, if the parents support the kid at the high school level (room and board plus some spending money), the student needs to borrow $20k in my area. I do not not consider this bad if the degree leads to a reasonably good paying job.
Last edited by student on Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

StealthRabbit
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by StealthRabbit » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:38 am

I concur with many;
1) Your current retirement fund status does not have excess to fund a discretionary edu for your son.
2) Your own health needs may dictate a future financial need.
3) Your son is fully capable of being an active and financially participatory element in this decision.
4) With your health issues it will be beneficial to defer more responsibility to your son (sooner the better... I was CARING for my parents at age 18, including housing and financial - not their choice, not my choice = necessity)
5) There are lots of options for your son. (financial and academic)
6) Canadian school can be on par with his most likely outcome in USA (maybe better).
7) Plenty of choices in USA that are free to affordable. (ex:I hire UofWY Engineering grads whenever I can find them (tough, as they are good and in demand) $6,026 annual tuition (WY resident) Have son go get a $80k/ yr oil field job for a yr to gain residency. Good incentive to Stay in College ;-) + 12 months REAL WORK experience (great head-start for future employment and knowing what you Don't want to do the rest of your life (or maybe he will want to continue working a high wage job during college).
8) Plenty of choices in Europe for FREE excellent U's
https://www.student.com/articles/countr ... ee-europe/
https://www.valuecolleges.com/internati ... education/

Your son has more options than you do, so it's time to transfer the baton and set him free! (If you so desire. - He will do fine, likely excel)

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by Miakis » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:59 pm

I went to Guelph in Canada for my first two years of undergrad and transferred my credits to an American college without issue. So ultimately, if he tries it and dislikes it, he can just re-apply to US colleges and move. You want to make sure you're not transferring more than 50% of your total required credits for a degree (so two years is the magic point), because a lot of US colleges will limit the transfer to that many.

Going to college in Canada is not very different from college in the US. There was a generic frat and a generic sorority, but they didn't really have the same culture of the Greek system in the USA. Some Canadian colleges have a more robust Greek system, but probably not your major ones. College sports were not at all important to the college culture - the focus of the university was strongly academic.

Personally, I don't see why you would agree to pay more than $20,000 per year for your child to attend college, given that he has many options at that cost. If he wants to go somewhere more expensive, it should be up to him to figure out how.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by joe8d » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:59 pm

gr7070 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:51 pm
One more consideration...

If given the choice 15 years from now would your son choose a state university degree and financially independent parents or an ivy league degree and supporting his parents in their "retirement"?

I know which I would choose and which I'll provide for my child.
:thumbsup
All the Best, | Joe

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by hmw » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:04 pm

OP, I think it is crazy to spend half of your life savings (200k) on your son's college when you will need it for your retirement.

I think you should let your son apply to Cornell, and some in state public universities and some top Canadian ones. See where he gets in, and what the final cost are at each university. You should set a limit on how much you will contribute to his education (not 200K) and let him decide where he wants to go.

Personally I would rather spend 4 years living in Toronto than Ithaca NY. :happy

I don't think getting a job in the US will be a problem. My wife's cousins went to UBC and got jobs at Apple and MSFT.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by aristotelian » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:25 am

Have him take out some loans to pay for a portion of his education. He may feel differently if he has some skin in the game. If not, it will be his choice and his responsibility but you will have done your part.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:33 am

TheDDC wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:27 am
student wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:01 am
TheDDC wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:43 pm
I don't think you should pay any of his education expenses. You are not in a position to do so. Reasonably priced loans and recently priced colleges and crappy part-time jobs abound. Community college start is also a way to cut costs. Maybe help him get established in the new town and act as a safety net if he needs a hundred for groceries.
Loans are a bad idea. Cursing a young kid with decades of debt before their brains are wired to properly understand this decision is not a good idea. How about working to pay cash for school? Or setting a reasonable upper limit? Working to pay for school would expose him to some better opportunities (including tuition assistance).

-TheDDC
Loans are not necessary bad but a large amount is. In my area, the total tuition + books without any financial assistance is about $40k if attending cc in the first two years, or $50k if going to the local university for four years. Summer jobs should bring $5000 a year. So if the parents support the kid at the high school level (room and board plus some spending money), the student needs to borrow $20k. It is not an unreasonable amount.
20k for education expenses means something totally different to two different people. How much ROI is expected from the career path, for instance? I also think starting off a professional life with another debt stream is just a bad choice, especially if there is CC or consumer debt in the picture as well. It’s a pain multiplier. And make no mistake about it this is a CHOICE.

-TheDDC
$20k debt is about $250 per month depending on interest rates. It's good to avoid debt, but let's not overstate the case. That's not a life changing amount on the assumption of any kind of salaried job. I see a lot of students who would be better off taking a small amount of loans and finishing their degrees who instead go part-time for the better part of a decade so they're not in debt. Better education debt than consumer debt - you seem to be accepting that consumer debt and credit card debt are necessary.

GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm

In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)

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veryseablue
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:03 am

fwellimort wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:25 pm
Attended Columbia. Total cost with "engineering fee", "mandatory first year fee", "mandatory fourth year fee", "mandatory lab fee", etc is almost a third of a million dollars before financial aid. Have peers with 100~200+k student loan for an undergrad degree while I also have peers that legitimately got paid to attend school (even after food/travel/insurance/fees/tuition, the school's financial aid package gave enough to pay for their winter/summer + a few thousand dollars in bank account).

General consensus among my peers (and me): If we could redo college, we would rather have that money invested while attending a more affordable school (a school that is still credible though). If "ROI" is the only thing someone cares about, I feel for a motivated student, in average, attending a 2 year community college to 2 year state flagship or private school with scholarship is the way. However, I do know people who transferred rarely made any friends in college and hence had near non-existential connections (hence defeating the purpose of attending a top school like Columbia).

It really depends on what you/your child values. I can tell you though, Cornell degree ain't worth 200k. And that tuition/extra might increase say 4.5k a year.
Attending a credible school without taking much debt/loans will generally open most doors for someone out of college. Yes, it feels very very unfair that your child does not get 'rewarded' for all his hard work he has done, but sometimes, that's life itself.

I recommend attending the more affordable option. Make him read through "Boglehead's Guide to Investing" so that he too can also understand the financials behind the potential decisions he might end up making.
Most of my peers (including I) who got high paying jobs had to ditch their dreams to pay off for the high tuition. Your child will also be pressured to do the same once he realizes the sacrifices you had to make for the college.

Also,
@veryseablue, I hope you listen to this carefully.
US colleges, especially the top privates, do not really cost whatever the sticker price is. You have to run the damn calculators in every single school for the financial aid.

For instance, let's look at Harvard (https://college.harvard.edu/financial-a ... calculator)
Say you lived in New Jersey in a family of 3 with 1 kid to college. And you earned $70,000 + $15,000 in interest/dividend income. With a $400,000 parent asset, the cost of attendance suddenly becomes for the parents: $10,400 a year. Note the tuition is $50,420 but the financial aid is then $57,400. Depending on your situation, some schools will PAY you for your food/shelter/insurance/book and if super fortunate, have your child's bank account grow during the four years (?).

You HAVE to spend a weekend with your child legitimately running every single god damn calculator out there while also digging through every damn scholarship. For instance, a private school like George Washington University will give your child all loans while a school like Columbia might give 0 loans (0 loan policy). Financial aid even in across peer schools can be drastically different.
My friend had gotten accepted to USC, NYU, and Brown. Brown gave next to nothing except loans. USC gave half merit scholarship. NYU gave near full though on the 'online fianancial aid calculator', NYU was supposed to be the one that gave nothing but loans (also, NYU is known to generally give next to nothing -all loans-).

What you see in tuition for US private schools is NOT the actual tuition. Basically, the "actual cost" is whatever the college decides on a whim depending on your financial situation. Some colleges for instance count your home as "liquid cash" while other schools completely ignore all factors but income.
It's frustrating but you really got to go through each god damn calculator and spend a whole weekend plug and chugging. And even then, those calculators could be very very off (but hopefully, it will give a "good idea" of how much the actual cost of attendance is).


Other than that, personally, I advocate attending an affordable reputable college after merit/need based scholarships. Generally, state flagships win out on this but again, you have to run down the calculator all day. And don't fret too much about "it's a canadian university". Companies want smart people. If your child is motivated, then in the long run, it won't matter much. Also, I do believe UWaterloo, UToronto, McGill, UBC are well known to the people that matter in the US.

Do you want to have your child start $200k behind everyone else or $200k ahead of everyone else? Graduating college without loans will make your child's 4 years much better than having to constantly worry/be stressed of "what if I can't get a high paying job right outa college". Teach your child about the value of money and 'opportunity costs' of his choosing at the end of day. Make him research through the career he wishes to take (bls.gov) and what the average prospect for his major is at <insert school>. It will be a good eye opener for your child and will help your child make a decision he can take responsibility for at end of day.
Have your child be able to make his own decision instead of being influenced by the media. That's all I can say. I have high respects for my peers who chose after all this research to pursue art/music over peers who simply attended "top schools" without much thought. The former is a trait of a true leader while the latter is what I deem a failure.
Treat your child as an adult. Your role as a parent is to guide him but ultimately his decision is his decision. And be quite frank. "Look, if you attend Cornell, we will have to depend on you for retirement. This is our family's current retirement and this is your college cost of attendance." Don't be ashamed. Be honest. Otherwise, if you make the decision for him, he will end up internally hating/despising you.
Thanks so much. Well said.

Topic Author
veryseablue
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am

GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm
In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)
I live in NJ. His PSAT 10 was not good, around 1400. The scores are not useful for knocking down college costs unfortunately.

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veryseablue
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:17 am

Thanks so very much for all the advice and they are very helpful indeed. I am really appreciate it and your guys are awesome. I think I will have a good talk with my kid regarding his college choice and his and our financial future. We may choose in State public university instead if he is against going to Canada. Now it's too early to say, as all these depend on which school accept him. Thanks you once again for all the kind advice. Best regards!!

student
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by student » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:33 am

veryseablue wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am
GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm
In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)
I live in NJ. His PSAT 10 was not good, around 1400. The scores are not useful for knocking down college costs unfortunately.
Rutgers is an excellent university and it is "affordable."

Topic Author
veryseablue
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:48 am

student wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:33 am
veryseablue wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am
GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm
In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)
I live in NJ. His PSAT 10 was not good, around 1400. The scores are not useful for knocking down college costs unfortunately.
Rutgers is an excellent university and it is "affordable."
Yes. We are seriously looking at this one. Thanks.

cochlearboy
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by cochlearboy » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:18 pm

veryseablue wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:17 am
Thanks so very much for all the advice and they are very helpful indeed. I am really appreciate it and your guys are awesome. I think I will have a good talk with my kid regarding his college choice and his and our financial future. We may choose in State public university instead if he is against going to Canada. Now it's too early to say, as all these depend on which school accept him. Thanks you once again for all the kind advice. Best regards!!
This is a great idea. The key here is clearly communicating your financial situation to your kid, and making your expectations clear to him, as well as clearly explaining the options available to him and their pros/cons.

Topic Author
veryseablue
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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by veryseablue » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:31 pm

Thanks. I must admit that we have somewhat spoiled our son, since he is the only child. We should have taught him personal finance earlier. The kids nowadays don't know how money is earned. A lot of them including mine are self centered.

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Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by SchruteB&B » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:26 pm

veryseablue wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am
GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm
In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)
I live in NJ. His PSAT 10 was not good, around 1400. The scores are not useful for knocking down college costs unfortunately.
?? A 1400 on the PSAT10 is a 99% score.

HereToLearn
Posts: 562
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:59 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:26 pm
veryseablue wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 am
GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:22 pm
In which state do you live?
What does your son plan to study?
If he took the PSAT 10 or Pre-ACT, what scores did he earn? (For the most part, test scores are very important for driving down the cost of college.)
I live in NJ. His PSAT 10 was not good, around 1400. The scores are not useful for knocking down college costs unfortunately.
?? A 1400 on the PSAT10 is a 99% score.
I haven't looked that up, but it may be a 99th % national score, but it is not in NJ. National Merit Commended is a national award to the top 3% of test-takers nationwide, but National Merit Semi-Finalist is a state award to the top one-half of one percent in each state.

Assuming a 1400 consists of 700 Math and 700 Verbal, the selection index would be 210. NJ's National Merit SF selection index is 223 this year, and has been 223 since the exam was designed.

If he lived in N. Dakota or New Mexico where the cutoff score is 212, then he would have a great shot, but the distance from 210 to 223 will be challenging. Not impossible, but not easy. Scores are much more compressed at the tail than they were under the old 240 point selection index. (New index stops at 228, and NJ & MA are highest at 223.)

There are still attractive merit awards to high ACT & SAT scorers, even those who do not attain NMF. I cannot recall if student is a sophomore or Jr, but I would suggest significant practice for the test until the needed score is achieved.

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