High income and college costs question

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mcraepat9
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mcraepat9 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:51 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
Your thinking isn't unreasonable. I think the issue is every student is different -- what if a kid would succeed at an expensive mid tier private school vs. get lost in the shuffle/fail/not do as well at a large public school? College choice is more art than science, which is tough to swallow for Bogleheads (myself included). Not only is every student different, but most individuals will only attend one (and at most two) schools, so all firsthand info you get will be anecdotal and unique to that individual.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.

marcopolo
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:59 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
That is how we approached it.

We saved a lot of money in 529 plans to be able to pay for top tier schools if our kids got into them.

Both our kids had very good credentials, but did not get into top tier school. Our definition of top tier is quite narrow, including only about 5 or 6 schools in their respective areas of interest.

We explained to our kids from very early on, that if they got into a top tier school in their area of interest, we would pay for that. But, otherwise we would pay for excellent flagship state schools, even out of state if they desired. But, would not pay any additional amount for mid-tier private school that in our opinion did not justify the costs.

Our kids completely understood that. They both ended up choosing our in state flagship public school. They will have quite a bit of money available if the choose to pursue graduate degrees, or a nice leg up on their kids education savings.

One has graduated and had multiple internships and several very good job offers upon graduation, and appears to be well on his way to a good career. The other is just getting started at school.

So, I summary, I think flagship state schools are a great alternative if student does not get into top tier school in their field. Better, IMHO, then a highly priced lower tier private school.

Good luck to you and your student. The entire process can be daunting.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:07 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
Don’t underestimate the difficulty of being admitted to, for example, Michigan. Out of State (OOS) applicants are chomping at the bit to get in, and many wind up paying full freight.

“Finding partners” can also include business partners for down the road.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

HereToLearn
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:08 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
A couple of reasons, but I don't think more desirable mix of students is one of those reasons.

1. Student can't gain acceptance to Michigan or a desired UC. I am a bit wary of Illinois b/c of the funding issues. If student cannot be admitted to own state school, with the OOS cost to attend Michigan at $65K, some families will look to the next tier privates as they do not seem as expensive when compared with some OOS publics. (UC, Michigan, UVA, etc)

2. Some students need a smaller learning environment than that offered at state universities.

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Harry Livermore
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Harry Livermore » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:09 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:26 pm
Harry Livermore wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:23 am
You can also have the child apply at schools where full price is not reasonable just to see what, if any, aid pops up.
As others have said, try out the sample FAFSA, and the NPC at each school if you like. But my opinion is the whole admissions/ finaid formula is like an individual black box at each school, and you are better off encouraging the child to apply far and wide to many schools, to see what the results are.
Cheers
Do you have that luxury to understand what the financial "gap" is before the deadline to respond to the acceptance to the school?
In the case of my oldest (the junior in college), 7 of the 8 schools he was accepted into included the merit aid awards with the acceptance letter. The 8th showed up in a separate mailing a few days later. We had ample time to review the pros and cons of each school, the aid offered (or not offered), and time for me to send an email appealing to the $74K school (who politely but firmly said he could attend as a full-pay or not attend at all)
Cheers

Regattamom
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:30 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:58 pm
E.g., I saw in the Juilliard alumni magazine that one of its recent viola graduates was off to med school. That's cool.
Hmm. I thought you wanted people to pursue their passion. It sounds like that would have been the viola. Instead he/she is pursuing some "job training". Kind of sad, right? :beer
Cowdogman, I hear what you are saying. Even if marcopolo doesn't or won't.

And for what it's worth, I also agree with Cowdogman. Maybe it's because I have herding dogs.

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Harry Livermore
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Harry Livermore » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:39 pm

Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:30 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:58 pm
E.g., I saw in the Juilliard alumni magazine that one of its recent viola graduates was off to med school. That's cool.
Hmm. I thought you wanted people to pursue their passion. It sounds like that would have been the viola. Instead he/she is pursuing some "job training". Kind of sad, right? :beer
Cowdogman, I hear what you are saying. Even if marcopolo doesn't or won't.

And for what it's worth, I also agree with Cowdogman. Maybe it's because I have herding dogs.
I also agree with Cowdogman. Unless a kid REALLY knows what he or she wants to do immediately following college, it's OK to choose a major that gives him or her a wide exposure to the arts and sciences, critical thinking and adulting skills, and sets the stage for the next chapter. STEM is fine if the kid will stick with that. CS too. Business, accounting, getting your CPA, or going to trade school are also all great choices. It's just that not every kid knows what they want to do at 17, and to me that's all the more reason to choose wisely, and not overpay for a BA or BFA... which seems to me is, today, like what a high school diploma was in the 1960s or 1970s.
It's a big world, folks, and each student (and family) gets to decide for themselves. But in my mind, college is about more than ticking boxes on a checklist of life (1. potty trained at 6 months; 2. quality preschool, 35 words by age 1; 3. top high school, perfect SATs; 4. Ivy BA in business; 5. MBA; 6. Goldman Sachs)
YMMV, as they say.
Cheers

Dottie57
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:46 pm

Back in the day I got a liberal arts degree for About 12k. Tuition and fees < 500 a quarter. 12 quarters to graduate. Living expenses were about the same - so 12k. The same institution for tuition and room / board is slightly less than 30k.
Almost 200% increase for a state university degree.

marcopolo
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:57 pm

Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:30 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:58 pm
E.g., I saw in the Juilliard alumni magazine that one of its recent viola graduates was off to med school. That's cool.
Hmm. I thought you wanted people to pursue their passion. It sounds like that would have been the viola. Instead he/she is pursuing some "job training". Kind of sad, right? :beer
Cowdogman, I hear what you are saying. Even if marcopolo doesn't or won't.

And for what it's worth, I also agree with Cowdogman. Maybe it's because I have herding dogs.
I was just poking a little fun. But, now I am curious what you agree with. And what you think I don't understand.

Do you agree that students should "pursue their passion" rather than getting "job training"? That seems a reasonable position to take.

Do you think someone goes to study the viola at Julliard without a passion for it? If one has a passion for medicine, are they likely to go to Julliard to study the viola? Both of those seem quite unlikely to me.

So, then giving up that "passion" for medical school sure seems like pursuing "job training" training.
If one believes in pursuing their passion, then why view this as a "cool", rather than a sad outcome?

As for whether I "hear" cowdogman or not. I hear him, I am just not sure i agree with him.

The original discussion was about liberal art degrees. Do you really think the vast majority of liberal arts student study what they do because they have a passion for it? How many 18 year olds have any clue what they will be passionate about in life? If you are fortunate enough to have identified that, then great go for it. But, if like most kids that age, you are still struggling to find your interests. To me, it seems like an easy choice to follow the path that leaves the most options open to you as you are discovering that. In my OPINION, that path is a STEM based education. Almost all paths that one would take with a liberal arts degree are still open to you with a STEM degree. The opposite is not true. Your OPINION may be different. I would not accuse you of not hearing or understanding.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:15 pm

Here’s another lowly liberal arts degree holder. Yet we aren’t the ones concerned about paying for our kid’s college - or our retirement...

One of the things that has really struck me after spending several years here on this site is how well that education prepared me for a wide variety of job responsibilities. My career has been constantly in flux over the years - even though I’ve stayed at the same employer. I have adapted to a wide variety of tasks even as my job description has essentially changed every 5 years or so. I tend to build out a system until it becomes essential to the business, hand it off to someone else nearly complete, and then move on to the next project. And I do this with almost no knowledge of the subject matter when I begin, and no oversight on my time.

I have little to no anxiety about my work despite having 3 kids because a) we saved a lot early and continue to do so and b) my experience has shown me to be adaptable to nearly any situation. I can always find work to do that others will find valuable. Interestingly most of my college friends I keep in touch with have had similar successful trajectories.

If your kid or kids express interest in a liberal arts degree and you disparage it - that’s likely to do far more damage than letting them pursue it.
Last edited by onourway on Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Regattamom
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:15 pm

"I was just poking a little fun. But, now I am curious what you agree with. And what you think I don't understand.

Do you agree that students should "pursue their passion" rather than getting "job training"? That seems a reasonable position to take.

Do you think someone goes to study the viola at Julliard without a passion for it? If one has a passion for medicine, are they likely to go to Julliard to study the viola? Both of those seem quite unlikely to me.

So, then giving up that "passion" for medical school sure seems like pursuing "job training" training.
If one believes in pursuing their passion, then why view this as a "cool", rather than a sad outcome?

As for whether I "hear" cowdogman or not. I hear him, I am just not sure i agree with him.

The original discussion was about liberal art degrees. Do you really think the vast majority of liberal arts student study what they do because they have a passion for it? How many 18 year olds have any clue what they will be passionate about in life? If you are fortunate enough to have identified that, then great go for it. But, if like most kids that age, you are still struggling to find your interests. To me, it seems like an easy choice to follow the path that leaves the most options open to you as you are discovering that. In my OPINION, that path is a STEM based education. Almost all paths that one would take with a liberal arts degree are still open to you with a STEM degree. The opposite is not true. Your OPINION may be different. I would not accuse you of not hearing or understanding."


Marcopolo, Your remark seemed somewhat snarky to me, and like you, I was also poking fun.

I believe a large number of liberal arts students study what they do because that is what they are interested in. Passion? Maybe, maybe not. I believe you should see where your interests take you.

I also believe a large number of students definitely know they will never go into a STEM based career because they don't have the interest and/or they don't have the aptitude. I don't see the benefit of those students pursuing a STEM major.

Honestly, I get a little tired of the push to STEM. Thank goodness we have choices.

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:23 pm

There is also the fact that the value of a STEM degree is looking rearward. Similar to investments, we have no idea what the future may hold.

krb
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:27 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
Do you guys think that if someone can not get into an “elite school” that state school should be best option For most, especially schools Ike Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, etc given costs and reputation?

I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more? Is it the curriculum, campus, something else? I have heard someone mention that there is a more desirable mix of students/families at some of the more expensive schools (whatever that means) . Guess they mean in terms of finding partners.
I think there is a chance that you could possibly get a better education at an elite ivy school like Harvard or Princeton but this is by no means certain. I think if you go to any major state school you have a good education if you put effort into it. To add an extra quarter million dollars or half million dollars to your debt for a little benefit by going to a private school is I think ridiculous. Going to A private school and paying private school tuition to NOT an elite private school – Ivy League or Stanford – is absurd. Math is math whether you are at Harvard or Michigan State. Particularly if you think you will not have a job that pays a quarter million dollars or a half million dollars a year why would you take the extra debt to go private if there is a public option for you. The thought that someone might spend private school prices and accumulate private school debt to become a teacher and make 70 or $90,000 a year is crazy.
Last edited by krb on Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sport
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by sport » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:27 pm

Some of the above posts compare STEM and liberal arts. Sometimes the difference is not so clear. The university I went to awarded BA degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. I have one of those "technical" degrees and I had to meet all the requirements for a liberal arts major, such as courses in philosophy, foreign language, history, English Literature, music appreciation, etc.

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more?
Going to a highly-rated small college (a few thousand students (or less)) is really an ideal atmosphere for a lot of kids. Colleges (as opposed to universities) don't have graduate programs and the focus is on teaching undergraduates in (usually) small classes. The campus is usually small, there is usually one dining hall and you know most everyone. For a lot of kids, that's nirvana.

Why someone would go to a large mid-tier private university, I couldn't say--but I'm sure there are good reasons.

krb
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:35 pm

onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:15 pm
Here’s another lowly liberal arts degree holder. Yet we aren’t the ones concerned about paying for our kid’s college - or our retirement...

One of the things that has really struck me after spending several years here on this site is how well that education prepared me for a wide variety of job responsibilities. My career has been constantly in flux over the years - even though I’ve stayed at the same employer. I have adapted to a wide variety of tasks even as my job description has essentially changed every 5 years or so. I tend to build out a system until it becomes essential to the business, hand it off to someone else nearly complete, and then move on to the next project. And I do this with almost no knowledge of the subject matter when I begin, and no oversight on my time.

I have little to no anxiety about my work despite having 3 kids because a) we saved a lot early and continue to do so and b) my experience has shown me to be adaptable to nearly any situation. I can always find work to do that others will find valuable. Interestingly most of my college friends I keep in touch with have had similar successful trajectories.

If your kid or kids express interest in a liberal arts degree and you disparage it - that’s likely to do far more damage than letting them pursue it.
My degree is in liberal arts as well. Philosophy. I think however that everyone here is confusing the numerator with the denominator. The vast majority of people on this website are financially successful or on their way to financial success. We are all looking at the numerator. The question is the denominator. How many people with English degrees end up being the CEO of Pepsico? And how many are working at the coffee shop. How many people with engineering and chemistry degrees are successfully employed and how many are working at the coffee shop. Of course there is a CEO or Other financially successful person with a degree from the liberal arts. It would be silly to think otherwise. The question to answer is what percentage of people with liberal arts versus stem degrees art financially independent. I think we all know the answer to that. We don’t hear so many stories about struggling electrical engineering degree graduates who just can’t find work in their field. We hear lots and lots and lots of stories of English majors who are struggling to find a job.

krb
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:39 pm

onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:23 pm
There is also the fact that the value of a STEM degree is looking rearward. Similar to investments, we have no idea what the future may hold.
True. But analysis can only look at your word and assume forward. The question is how likely is it that the world will need electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemists in the future and will they find jobs that will lead to financial independence. And of course will the world need art history majors and English majors going forward and do we think that the economy will provide good paying jobs for them? We all know the answer. Engineers and chemists are very likely to have good well-paying jobs in the future. It remains to be seen how many good paying jobs the world will provide for art history majors and English majors. We are all here because we are playing the odds in playing the numbers. That is why we prefer low-cost index funds to actively managed funds. Is it possible despite the past that actively managed funds will outperform passive funds? It is possible but we recognize that we analyze what happened in the past and projected to the future and so use our intellect with a dash of common sense. Is this not the case? And if we use this for investing why would we not use this in selecting a major?

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:42 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:35 pm
My degree is in liberal arts as well. Philosophy. I think however that everyone here is confusing the numerator with the denominator. The vast majority of people on this website are financially successful or on their way to financial success. We are all looking at the numerator. The question is the denominator. How many people with English degrees end up being the CEO of Pepsico? And how many are working at the coffee shop. How many people with engineering and chemistry degrees are successfully employed and how many are working at the coffee shop. Of course there is a CEO or Other financially successful person with a degree from the liberal arts. It would be silly to think otherwise. The question to answer is what percentage of people with liberal arts versus stem degrees art financially independent. I think we all know the answer to that. We don’t hear so many stories about struggling electrical engineering degree graduates who just can’t find work in their field. We hear lots and lots and lots of stories of English majors who are struggling to find a job.
Maybe. We are a technical business and we hire a lot of EE’s and computer programmers. Most of them seem to have moved around from one mediocre job after another. It’s hardly a sure thing you’ll have a great, steady career in these fields.

Largely though as you say, it really comes down to the individual. For some people the right place is an Ivy, others a great state school, and others a small private liberals arts. Trying to force fit a kid into the wrong school is where things seem likely to come apart.

krb
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:44 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more?
Going to a highly-rated small college (a few thousand students (or less)) is really an ideal atmosphere for a lot of kids. Colleges (as opposed to universities) don't have graduate programs and the focus is on teaching undergraduates in (usually) small classes. The campus is usually small, there is usually one dining hall and you know most everyone. For a lot of kids, that's nirvana.

Why someone would go to a large mid-tier private university, I couldn't say--but I'm sure there are good reasons.
There aren’t a lot of those though. You could think you are getting a good private education and then find you are attending a whackadoo school like evergreen or oberlin.

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:45 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:39 pm
True. But analysis can only look at your word and assume forward. The question is how likely is it that the world will need electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemists in the future and will they find jobs that will lead to financial independence. And of course will the world need art history majors and English majors going forward and do we think that the economy will provide good paying jobs for them? We all know the answer. Engineers and chemists are very likely to have good well-paying jobs in the future. It remains to be seen how many good paying jobs the world will provide for art history majors and English majors. We are all here because we are playing the odds in playing the numbers. That is why we prefer low-cost index funds to actively managed funds. Is it possible despite the past that actively managed funds will outperform passive funds? It is possible but we recognize that we analyze what happened in the past and projected to the future and so use our intellect with a dash of common sense. Is this not the case? And if we use this for investing why would we not use this in selecting a major?
We may or may not need those degrees. Some major breakthrough could render currently very lucrative careers completely irrelevant - and yes - that includes highly technical ones as many of those fit very well into the potential capabilities of AI, etc.

I see a good liberal arts degree as much more akin to investing in the total stock market. It prepares one for a wide variety of responsibilities and is unlikely to leave one wondering ‘what next’ when their career-focused education doesn’t pan out quite the way it was envisioned.

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:47 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:44 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more?
Going to a highly-rated small college (a few thousand students (or less)) is really an ideal atmosphere for a lot of kids. Colleges (as opposed to universities) don't have graduate programs and the focus is on teaching undergraduates in (usually) small classes. The campus is usually small, there is usually one dining hall and you know most everyone. For a lot of kids, that's nirvana.

Why someone would go to a large mid-tier private university, I couldn't say--but I'm sure there are good reasons.
There aren’t a lot of those though. You could think you are getting a good private education and then find you are attending a whackadoo school like evergreen or oberlin.
Hmm. I’ll just tap my fingers over here in the corner... :mrgreen:

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by friar1610 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:52 pm

KingRiggs wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:04 pm
At your income/asset level, you will not qualify for merit scholarships. I am paying full freight at an elite private university for a kid with 35 ACTs who was valedictorian of his HS class and had tons of extracurriculars.

Meanwhile, my son’s roommate is on a full-ride ROTC scholarship. It’s a major time commitment and he’s up at 5am most days for Physical Training, but that work is worth about $300k.

On the plus side, seeing the amount of work his roommate does has made my son extremely appreciative of NOT having that time drain so he can focus on studies.

There are many ways to defray the cost of a college education.
When a prospective student applies for financial aid, is s/he applying for consideration for ROTC scholarships as well? My impression has always been that this was an entirely separate process and that one didn't get "offered" an ROTC scolarship unless expressly applying for such. But kids in college is ancient history for me, things have undoubtedly changed and I confess complete ignorance about how things work these days.
Friar1610

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:54 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:19 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:58 pm
E.g., I saw in the Juilliard alumni magazine that one of its recent viola graduates was off to med school. That's cool.
Hmm. I thought you wanted people to pursue their passion. It sounds like that would have been the viola. Instead he/she is pursuing some "job training". Kind of sad, right? :beer
Well, at some point everyone needs to get job. And some people (including me) would prefer to have a high-paying job. I went to law school in lieu of finishing a Ph.D.

My basic point is only that college can be so much more than job training, and if the parents can afford it (big if) then it's a real gift to the kid to allow him/her to pursue his interests. History major? Awesome. Just make sure you are the best history major there.

Regattamom
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:55 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:44 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:46 pm
I am just wondering why someone would choose an expensive mid tier private school and pay so much more?
Going to a highly-rated small college (a few thousand students (or less)) is really an ideal atmosphere for a lot of kids. Colleges (as opposed to universities) don't have graduate programs and the focus is on teaching undergraduates in (usually) small classes. The campus is usually small, there is usually one dining hall and you know most everyone. For a lot of kids, that's nirvana.

Why someone would go to a large mid-tier private university, I couldn't say--but I'm sure there are good reasons.
There aren’t a lot of those though. You could think you are getting a good private education and then find you are attending a whackadoo school like evergreen or oberlin.
Evergreen isn't private. It's a state school.

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:13 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:35 pm
We hear lots and lots and lots of stories of English majors who are struggling to find a job.
Actually, I don't hear that at all.

I think anyone pursuing a liberal arts degree knows that something will need to come next--law school, graduate school, etc.

And even if there is an English major who wants to find a somewhat permanent corporate job with "only" an English degree, if he/she went to a known school, got good grades and interviews well, he/she are going to have the same shot at a general corporate job as a business major. All things being equal, I'd hire an English major from a liberal arts school over a state university business major.

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am
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by am » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm

Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:21 pm

Merit has nothing to do with income. Our youngest got several small merit scholarships.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

onourway
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by onourway » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

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William Million
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by William Million » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:36 pm

No reason high income families can't take advantage of public colleges, including community colleges. In California, community college is free for all residents for the 1st year.

In addition, some private colleges will give scholarships to nearly every applicant.

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ClevrChico
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:06 pm

My college experience (25 years ago!) was that grant type financial aid disappears as one approaches average middle class income. If you're high income, forget about it.

Upper middle class kids dominated winning community scholarships. They also dominated merit scholarships to non-Ivys. They had academically focused parents and strong extra curricular participation.

The book, Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence, is popular in boglehead circles and covers "hacking college". See: https://www.choosefi.com/hacking-college-zero-debt/

mathwhiz
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mathwhiz » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:12 pm

The US government recently published a college scorecard of first-year earnings of college graduates for the first time broken by school and major. The information is collected from federal tax return data of those who took out federal loans and pell grants in the year after graduation. It's an incomplete picture as those who didn't take federal loans aren't included but the statistical set is large and the data is hard based on tax returns. It's not guessing or surveys. It's actual tax return data.

I've included the University of Florida because I live in Florida and it's the top ranked public university in the state and a Top 10 public ranked university nationwide. But you can research any University. The statistics would obviously be different at other schools depending on rank and prestige but you can search for yourself here.

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/search/

At UF, English majors have a median (half above, half below) of $25,800. Compared to Computer Information Sciences which has median of $74,200 and multiple other engineering and STEM are above $70,000 median. So there is a major, major, major difference in first year earnings.
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm

onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.
Everyone has anecdotes. Lets see if we can add some facts.

English majors may not be struggling to find jobs. But, they do appear to be struggling to find good jobs:

From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York study on Labor Market Outcomes (https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/col ... ajors.html):

English majors Unemployment Rate: 5.3% Underemployment Rate: 50.6%
By comparison, the various Engineering majors have unemployment around ~3%, and underemployment around 20%. I like those odds better.

Where underemployment rate is defined as:
Notes: The underemployment rate is defined as the share of graduates working in jobs that typically do not require a college degree. A job is classified as a college job if 50 percent or more of the people working in that job indicate that at least a bachelor’s degree is necessary; otherwise, the job is classified as a non-college job.

We should also consider lifetime earnings. Again lots of anecdotes about liberal arts majors doing quite well, and of course they do. But, how about across the board?

From Brookings Institute Hamilton Project (https://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/ ... _lifetimes):

Median Lifetime Earnings for Select Majors (In Millions of Dollars)


Image

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

krb
Posts: 196
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:15 pm

mathwhiz wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:12 pm
The US government recently published a college scorecard of first-year earnings of college graduates for the first time broken by school and major. The information is collected from federal tax return data of those who took out federal loans and pell grants in the year after graduation. It's an incomplete picture as those who didn't take federal loans aren't included but the statistical set is large and the data is hard based on tax returns. It's not guessing or surveys. It's actual tax return data.

I've included the University of Florida because I live in Florida and it's the top ranked public university in the state and a Top 10 public ranked university nationwide. But you can research any University. The statistics would obviously be different at other schools depending on rank and prestige but you can search for yourself here.

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/search/

At UF, English majors have a median (half above, half below) of $25,800. Compared to Computer Information Sciences which has median of $74,200 and multiple other engineering and STEM are above $70,000 median. So there is a major, major, major difference in first year earnings.
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.
I recall seeing this data in various forms. Thank you for finding it. I didn't have the energy.

krb
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.

Regattamom
Posts: 259
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.

livesoft
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:32 pm

Wait a minute ... since I have BA, does that mean I did some liberal arts thing?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

krb
Posts: 196
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:33 pm

Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.
Oh I don't think anyone would say anyone would have a bad outcome with a liberal arts education. If you are hardworking and driven and want to be successful you will be, regardless of your degree. A person with those qualities is just as likely to be successful coming with a philosophy degree or english degree or chemistry degree. I think it's just that if you look at large populations - those qualities are probably more common in hard science degrees than in say english. If your child is hardworking and driven I don't think the major matters at all. But for people who are NOT hardworking and driven they will be more attracted to less rigorous majors, and I think we can all agree that math and engineering demand more of 100% of their kids than does english or art history. There are CERTAINLY hardworking driven kids in art history. But I bet you can skate by through an art history degree more than you can with a math degree. That was the point. NO ONE would say liberal arts degree makes success unlikely. That's just silly. I think we are all talking about overall populations, not individual outcomes.

marcopolo
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:37 pm

Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:14 pm
Why not major in something in demand and minor or take classes in something you enjoy? Heck, you could take art history or literature classes at the local community college after you graduate. I like having a high paying job and being in high demand field. Majoring in English or history is great but how great will it be to struggle financially assuming you don’t go on to grad school?
As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.
Anecdotes, definitely.

All the "administrative assistants" in all the places I used to work were liberal arts majors. That is much more like the norm according to the data.

Your kids are obviously gifted, they likely would have thrived regardless of what they studied in college.

That is not the case in general.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Regattamom
Posts: 259
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Regattamom » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:38 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:33 pm
Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm


As noted, it’s likely much more perception than reality that English majors are struggling in the job market.

A liberal arts degree is about teaching one to see the bigger picture, to make connections others have difficulty seeing, and additionally, about teaching one to have the interest and capacity to continue to teach themselves for the rest of their life.

It’s not remotely the same thing as taking a class in something you enjoy.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.
Oh I don't think anyone would say anyone would have a bad outcome with a liberal arts education. If you are hardworking and driven and want to be successful you will be, regardless of your degree. A person with those qualities is just as likely to be successful coming with a philosophy degree or english degree or chemistry degree. I think it's just that if you look at large populations - those qualities are probably more common in hard science degrees than in say english. If your child is hardworking and driven I don't think the major matters at all. But for people who are NOT hardworking and driven they will be more attracted to less rigorous majors, and I think we can all agree that math and engineering demand more of 100% of their kids than does english or art history. There are CERTAINLY hardworking driven kids in art history. But I bet you can skate by through an art history degree more than you can with a math degree. That was the point. NO ONE would say liberal arts degree makes success unlikely. That's just silly. I think we are all talking about overall populations, not individual outcomes.
But my point is that we are talking about individual outcomes. The outcomes of our own children. Hopefully one would know their child well enough to know if they are hardworking and driven. And if they are, they should not be persuaded out of majoring in their interests just because they might make more money coming straight out of college with a different degree.

indycougar
Posts: 3
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by indycougar » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:41 pm

This post hits close to home as I have 5 kids (2 out, 3 in the house). We've been a "sports family" for 20 years and I now have a professional ballerina and two pretty good HS athletes. Not D1 scholarship-level but close (any D2 would want them and my soccer son may get to D1). But after a life of sports and camps, there's no way I can envision giving each kid more than about $30k total for college ($150k collectively across kids). We've been "funding" an active life as we go - not penny pinching in some FIRE fantasy where the kids play piano and build chicken coops for their extracurricular activities. We hope that sports and dancing teaches them great life lessons or we're in trouble [edited by Moderator Misenplace] :) But joking aside, as a single-income family, we've been saving about 10% for college since about 2010 after scraping by early on in our marriage. How does anyone manage to save more?

stoptothink
Posts: 7865
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:59 pm

Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:38 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:33 pm
Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:13 pm



Perhaps it is just a coincidence.
OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.
Oh I don't think anyone would say anyone would have a bad outcome with a liberal arts education. If you are hardworking and driven and want to be successful you will be, regardless of your degree. A person with those qualities is just as likely to be successful coming with a philosophy degree or english degree or chemistry degree. I think it's just that if you look at large populations - those qualities are probably more common in hard science degrees than in say english. If your child is hardworking and driven I don't think the major matters at all. But for people who are NOT hardworking and driven they will be more attracted to less rigorous majors, and I think we can all agree that math and engineering demand more of 100% of their kids than does english or art history. There are CERTAINLY hardworking driven kids in art history. But I bet you can skate by through an art history degree more than you can with a math degree. That was the point. NO ONE would say liberal arts degree makes success unlikely. That's just silly. I think we are all talking about overall populations, not individual outcomes.
But my point is that we are talking about individual outcomes. The outcomes of our own children. Hopefully one would know their child well enough to know if they are hardworking and driven. And if they are, they should not be persuaded out of majoring in their interests just because they might make more money coming straight out of college with a different degree.
Then why go to school at all? Anybody who is hard working and dedicated can ultimately be a success regardless of what they do or don't study (because we live in the most egalitarian and opportunity-filled culture in history), but it is pretty easy to make a statistical argument that overall the risk (for not being financially successful) is considerably higher in some areas of study than others.

Yes, know your own children and council them accordingly, but that doesn't invalidate the data. If my child is "passionate" about art history and intent on that being their area of study, I'm probably going to have a long discussion about exploring that passion at the cheap local U before spending $50k+/yr (of my money) at a more prestigious institution.
Last edited by stoptothink on Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EddyB
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by EddyB » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:00 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:35 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:15 pm
Here’s another lowly liberal arts degree holder. Yet we aren’t the ones concerned about paying for our kid’s college - or our retirement...

One of the things that has really struck me after spending several years here on this site is how well that education prepared me for a wide variety of job responsibilities. My career has been constantly in flux over the years - even though I’ve stayed at the same employer. I have adapted to a wide variety of tasks even as my job description has essentially changed every 5 years or so. I tend to build out a system until it becomes essential to the business, hand it off to someone else nearly complete, and then move on to the next project. And I do this with almost no knowledge of the subject matter when I begin, and no oversight on my time.

I have little to no anxiety about my work despite having 3 kids because a) we saved a lot early and continue to do so and b) my experience has shown me to be adaptable to nearly any situation. I can always find work to do that others will find valuable. Interestingly most of my college friends I keep in touch with have had similar successful trajectories.

If your kid or kids express interest in a liberal arts degree and you disparage it - that’s likely to do far more damage than letting them pursue it.
My degree is in liberal arts as well. Philosophy. I think however that everyone here is confusing the numerator with the denominator. The vast majority of people on this website are financially successful or on their way to financial success. We are all looking at the numerator. The question is the denominator. How many people with English degrees end up being the CEO of Pepsico? And how many are working at the coffee shop. How many people with engineering and chemistry degrees are successfully employed and how many are working at the coffee shop. Of course there is a CEO or Other financially successful person with a degree from the liberal arts. It would be silly to think otherwise. The question to answer is what percentage of people with liberal arts versus stem degrees art financially independent. I think we all know the answer to that. We don’t hear so many stories about struggling electrical engineering degree graduates who just can’t find work in their field. We hear lots and lots and lots of stories of English majors who are struggling to find a job.
And for how many of those English majors struggling to find a job was engineering school a realistic option? How many of them think “I should have been an engineer.”? If it wasn’t a real option, what’s the significance of this insight into their career prospects?

krb
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by krb » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:10 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:59 pm
Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:38 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:33 pm
Regattamom wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:29 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:17 pm


OK that's funny.
This does not concern me at all. My oldest is almost three years out of college with a BA and is doing very well. Just bought a house with 20 percent down, and has been identified to be on the "executive track." My husband has a BA from a state school and makes more than almost all engineers I know and has never been unemployed or had to look for a job. Job offers come to him. Our youngest will almost definitely get a BA from a state school and I expect him to do very well, too. Anecdotes, I suppose.
Oh I don't think anyone would say anyone would have a bad outcome with a liberal arts education. If you are hardworking and driven and want to be successful you will be, regardless of your degree. A person with those qualities is just as likely to be successful coming with a philosophy degree or english degree or chemistry degree. I think it's just that if you look at large populations - those qualities are probably more common in hard science degrees than in say english. If your child is hardworking and driven I don't think the major matters at all. But for people who are NOT hardworking and driven they will be more attracted to less rigorous majors, and I think we can all agree that math and engineering demand more of 100% of their kids than does english or art history. There are CERTAINLY hardworking driven kids in art history. But I bet you can skate by through an art history degree more than you can with a math degree. That was the point. NO ONE would say liberal arts degree makes success unlikely. That's just silly. I think we are all talking about overall populations, not individual outcomes.
But my point is that we are talking about individual outcomes. The outcomes of our own children. Hopefully one would know their child well enough to know if they are hardworking and driven. And if they are, they should not be persuaded out of majoring in their interests just because they might make more money coming straight out of college with a different degree.
Then why go to school at all? Anybody who is hard working and dedicated can ultimately be a success regardless of what they do or don't study (because we live in the most egalitarian and opportunity-filled culture in history), but it is pretty easy to make a statistical argument that overall the risk (for not being financially successful) is considerably higher in some areas of study than others.

Yes, know your own children and council them accordingly, but that doesn't invalidate the data. If my child is "passionate" about art history and intent on that being their area of study, I'm probably going to have a long discussion about exploring that passion at the cheap local U before spending $50k+/yr (of my money) at a more prestigious institution.
I agree. For most kids the college education is nothing more than a piece of paper that costs a quarter million dollars and four years of life in order to open certain doors. For all of the liberal arts baristas they would have been better served spending that time and money elsewhere.How many RE agents have college degrees? The reality is those degrees were a waste of time and money. For the business majors who opened a shop or a franchise they would have been better served by using the money and time to apprentice and open a business. For many they would have been better served saving the money and time and getting a technical education in plumbing or electrical. For a small number of people the education is necessary for their careers (eg law school, engineering, med school). For most people though I think they don't get a real education at all but the piece of paper is necessary for white collar jobs nowadays. There's nothing you learned in english or philosophy to prepare you to work up the corporate ladder in reality. But without the piece of paper (an expensive piece) you don't get a shot at it.

sd323232
Posts: 518
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by sd323232 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:26 pm

EddyB wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:00 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:35 pm
onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:15 pm
Here’s another lowly liberal arts degree holder. Yet we aren’t the ones concerned about paying for our kid’s college - or our retirement...

One of the things that has really struck me after spending several years here on this site is how well that education prepared me for a wide variety of job responsibilities. My career has been constantly in flux over the years - even though I’ve stayed at the same employer. I have adapted to a wide variety of tasks even as my job description has essentially changed every 5 years or so. I tend to build out a system until it becomes essential to the business, hand it off to someone else nearly complete, and then move on to the next project. And I do this with almost no knowledge of the subject matter when I begin, and no oversight on my time.

I have little to no anxiety about my work despite having 3 kids because a) we saved a lot early and continue to do so and b) my experience has shown me to be adaptable to nearly any situation. I can always find work to do that others will find valuable. Interestingly most of my college friends I keep in touch with have had similar successful trajectories.

If your kid or kids express interest in a liberal arts degree and you disparage it - that’s likely to do far more damage than letting them pursue it.
My degree is in liberal arts as well. Philosophy. I think however that everyone here is confusing the numerator with the denominator. The vast majority of people on this website are financially successful or on their way to financial success. We are all looking at the numerator. The question is the denominator. How many people with English degrees end up being the CEO of Pepsico? And how many are working at the coffee shop. How many people with engineering and chemistry degrees are successfully employed and how many are working at the coffee shop. Of course there is a CEO or Other financially successful person with a degree from the liberal arts. It would be silly to think otherwise. The question to answer is what percentage of people with liberal arts versus stem degrees art financially independent. I think we all know the answer to that. We don’t hear so many stories about struggling electrical engineering degree graduates who just can’t find work in their field. We hear lots and lots and lots of stories of English majors who are struggling to find a job.
And for how many of those English majors struggling to find a job was engineering school a realistic option? How many of them think “I should have been an engineer.”? If it wasn’t a real option, what’s the significance of this insight into their career prospects?
Why engineering wouldnt be a real option? At least financially, college credit in engineering curriculum is same cost as any other credit at the same school. If student graduates from MIT with engineering degree, he paid same money as someone who graduated from MIT with English degree. Financially wise, student is gonna have better return on investment with engineering degree oppose to english degree. People do not choose engineering cause its hard work, not everyone will have the work ethic do it. Usually when someone follows passion, its something easier, thats why there is not alot of engineers in first place. It is alot easier to tell everyone you are passionate about writing than spending 15 hours in engineering lab everyday. I mean, being writer and English major sounds heck alot more cooler than some engineering passion nerd who spends all his time in a lab doing something noone understands.

HoosierJim
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:11 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by HoosierJim » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:29 pm

Most any degree would be good in the current environment. We've been at near FULL EMPLOYMENT for college graduates for a few years now. That practically gets people in the door. Once you have a job you can demonstrate competence. Note many peers are not very competent so you can advance.

Except in specially fields (i.e. law , medicine, engineering, accounting, nursing,etc), general business advancement does look at your grades or degree once you have demonstrated performance.

Problem becomes looking for a job out of college during a severe downturn.

Sam1
Posts: 506
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:24 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Sam1 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:38 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:47 pm
College is very expensive for moderately wealthy people. No aid and few scholarships. Unless you save very early and often to build up a nest egg for the eventuality that your kid will unlikely get aid, it will be painful to shell out $80k per year out of cash flow. Have 2-3 in college at the same time, and you will need to have a very good income. If you are a believer in the tenets of this forum, you will cringe at the idea of borrowing money or having them borrow money for college. I saved early and built a small fortune to send my kids to college on a merit-based free ride. Education is a priority in our family and so is fiscal responsibility.
+1. In today’s dollars we estimate needing $320k per child. Our HHI is close to 500k and we won’t receive any help.

Trying to save over $600k over the next 14-18 years will be challenging but doable. But it requires one making it a priority. It is more challenging to save for college than for our downpayment on our house.

Our plan is to shoot for $150k before each child is 5.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 1799
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:42 pm

FYI (Stanford):
For parents with total annual income below $125,000 and typical assets for this income range, the expected parent contribution will be low enough to ensure that all tuition charges are covered with need-based scholarship, federal and state grants, and/or outside scholarship funds.

Families with incomes at higher levels (typically up to $225,000) may also qualify for assistance, especially if more than one family member is enrolled in college.

https://financialaid.stanford.edu/under ... arent.html

Personally I am having a great difficulty understanding why anyone even considers stop working and seeking financial aids for his/her children. There are many who work hard and contribute to scholarships. Financial aids are on top of, not replacement of, family contributions.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 22560
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:44 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:42 pm
FYI (Stanford):
For parents with total annual income below $125,000 and typical assets for this income range, the expected parent contribution will be low enough to ensure that all tuition charges are covered with need-based scholarship, federal and state grants, and/or outside scholarship funds.

Families with incomes at higher levels (typically up to $225,000) may also qualify for assistance, especially if more than one family member is enrolled in college.

https://financialaid.stanford.edu/under ... arent.html

Personally I am having a great difficulty understanding why anyone even considers stop working and seeking financial aids for his/her children. There are many who work hard and contribute to scholarships. Financial aids are on top of, not replacement of, family contributions.
They think they can "game" the system. Faulty reasoning, but many do it.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

mathwhiz
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mathwhiz » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:20 pm

I remember taking Calculus and Physics in high school and knew there was no possible way I could ever be an engineer. I did well but struggled through both classes and hated them. So a Business major it was for me. I had no problem doing Business Calculus or Statistics because it was applied to tangible real world stuff I had interest in. But doing the applied physics stuff was nothing but frustration. There was no way I could ever do 4 years of that or a life long career. It just wasn't an option. I'm sure 95% of people are like this. They have negative experiences with math or science in high school and run for the hills or they think about the major and take a few intro classes in college and are weeded out by the rigor. Off they go to business or psychology running and screaming. They just don't have the interest and their brain isn't wired for these highly technical jobs. It's why the starting salaries are so high in engineering and so low in English.
Why engineering wouldnt be a real option? At least financially, college credit in engineering curriculum is same cost as any other credit at the same school. If student graduates from MIT with engineering degree, he paid same money as someone who graduated from MIT with English degree. Financially wise, student is gonna have better return on investment with engineering degree oppose to english degree. People do not choose engineering cause its hard work, not everyone will have the work ethic do it. Usually when someone follows passion, its something easier, thats why there is not alot of engineers in first place.

mcraepat9
Posts: 1532
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mcraepat9 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:21 pm

mathwhiz wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:20 pm
I remember taking Calculus and Physics in high school and knew there was no possible way I could ever be an engineer. I did well but struggled through both classes and hated them. So a Business major it was for me. I had no problem doing Business Calculus or Statistics because it was applied to tangible real world stuff I had interest in. But doing the applied physics stuff was nothing but frustration. There was no way I could ever do 4 years of that or a life long career. It just wasn't an option. I'm sure 95% of people are like this. They have negative experiences with math or science in high school and run for the hills or they think about the major and take a few intro classes in college and are weeded out by the rigor. Off they go to business or psychology running and screaming. They just don't have the interest and their brain isn't wired for these highly technical jobs. It's why the starting salaries are so high in engineering and so low in English.
Why engineering wouldnt be a real option? At least financially, college credit in engineering curriculum is same cost as any other credit at the same school. If student graduates from MIT with engineering degree, he paid same money as someone who graduated from MIT with English degree. Financially wise, student is gonna have better return on investment with engineering degree oppose to english degree. People do not choose engineering cause its hard work, not everyone will have the work ethic do it. Usually when someone follows passion, its something easier, thats why there is not alot of engineers in first place.
I like your username.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.

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