High income and college costs question

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marcopolo
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:23 pm

mcraepat9 wrote:
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.
+1
cognitive dissonance.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

marcopolo
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:26 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.

There is probably a lot of truth to this.
That is different than the "follow your passion" argument for students that have the ability to take any path.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

mathwhiz
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by mathwhiz » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Haha. If I had to do it again, I'd have picked lazy mathwhiz as my username. I could do the math but didn't want to do the work. I liked what came easiest to me so I majored in finance.
I like your username.
+1
cognitive dissonance.

cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:59 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.
+1

The engineering curriculum is HARD and not everyone can pull it off. Most engineering schools have admission requirements much higher than those needed for other programs of study. For the schools that don't set the bar high at admission the weeding out the first year is brutal. Lots of people start it because it's "where the money is" or because their parents pushed them that way, but don't make it because it's just not for them.

Disclaimer, my son is going for Aerospace engineering so I'm crossing my fingers it's a fit. :)

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goodenyou
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by goodenyou » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:33 pm

cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:59 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.
+1

The engineering curriculum is HARD and not everyone can pull it off. Most engineering schools have admission requirements much higher than those needed for other programs of study. For the schools that don't set the bar high at admission the weeding out the first year is brutal. Lots of people start it because it's "where the money is" or because their parents pushed them that way, but don't make it because it's just not for them.

Disclaimer, my son is going for Aerospace engineering so I'm crossing my fingers it's a fit. :)
It takes a special student to get through the rigors of an engineering program. It takes a really special student to excel in an engineering curriculum. Look out when an engineering student crosses disciplines in other fields of study like finance. They usually kill it.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

EddyB
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by EddyB » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:42 pm

sd323232 wrote:
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.
I feel like you’ve provided at least some answers to your own question. Even assuming the ability (which, of course, shouldn’t be assumed), doing something one has no real interest in is a terrible life. You can mask that as being about “work ethic,” but how many engineers do you know who have the “work ethic” to write a serviceable novel? So now I’ve responded to your question—do you want to go back and respond to my ultimate question? What’s the point of this observation for people for whom the engineering isn’t a real option?

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:19 am

goodenyou wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:33 pm
cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:59 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.
+1

The engineering curriculum is HARD and not everyone can pull it off. Most engineering schools have admission requirements much higher than those needed for other programs of study. For the schools that don't set the bar high at admission the weeding out the first year is brutal. Lots of people start it because it's "where the money is" or because their parents pushed them that way, but don't make it because it's just not for them.

Disclaimer, my son is going for Aerospace engineering so I'm crossing my fingers it's a fit. :)
It takes a special student to get through the rigors of an engineering program. It takes a really special student to excel in an engineering curriculum. Look out when an engineering student crosses disciplines in other fields of study like finance. They usually kill it.
What a Fictional Narrative!!!

This is due to an utter confusion between science and engineering. Science is about finding truth and engineering is about making things work no matter what. Engineering is mostly about learning and applying rules conceived, created and guided by scientists. Engineering takes time and efforts to be productive, and contributed a lot to modern society. Science without engineering does not mean much to everyday life. However, engineering is not science. I want to elevate the status of engineering, but my conscience does not let me and I have to be truthful. I have a number of friends who were brilliant and inquisitive while young. Now they are all, including myself, boring and shallow in their thought after a lifetime of engineering.
N.B. I am a Ph.D. level engineer with many years in engineering R&D (more R than D).

themuse
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by themuse » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 am

Don't get what you are trying to say. Who is comparing engineering and the pure sciences?
--themuse-- | | Investing should be boring

themuse
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by themuse » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:50 am

goodenyou wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:33 pm
cshell2 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:59 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.
+1

The engineering curriculum is HARD and not everyone can pull it off. Most engineering schools have admission requirements much higher than those needed for other programs of study. For the schools that don't set the bar high at admission the weeding out the first year is brutal. Lots of people start it because it's "where the money is" or because their parents pushed them that way, but don't make it because it's just not for them.

Disclaimer, my son is going for Aerospace engineering so I'm crossing my fingers it's a fit. :)
It takes a special student to get through the rigors of an engineering program. It takes a really special student to excel in an engineering curriculum. Look out when an engineering student crosses disciplines in other fields of study like finance. They usually kill it.
+1
--themuse-- | | Investing should be boring

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:00 am

themuse wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 am
Don't get what you are trying to say. Who is comparing engineering and the pure sciences?
How many engineers are working at Boeing, Apple, or Intel? There are tens of thousand. If you include other employers, there must be much more. Modern society needs a large/huge number of engineers at all levels. They are more like foot soldiers. Do you think they are all special and passed high bars compared to other disciplines? I would reserve those words for pure science and other rarefied fields, not engineering. Time to crack the delusion.

cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:44 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:00 am
themuse wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 am
Don't get what you are trying to say. Who is comparing engineering and the pure sciences?
How many engineers are working at Boeing, Apple, or Intel? There are tens of thousand. If you include other employers, there must be much more. Modern society needs a large/huge number of engineers at all levels. They are more like foot soldiers. Do you think they are all special and passed high bars compared to other disciplines? I would reserve those words for pure science and other rarefied fields, not engineering. Time to crack the delusion.
The pure sciences are rough too, but as you stated there are lot more job opportunities for engineers.

It's not a delusion that high level math and physics are not in the cards for every student. The attrition rate in engineering programs is very high. I BARELY made it through Calc in college for my Biology degree after having worked up to it with College Algebra and Trig. Having that be the entry level math course? Hell to the no for me.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:05 am

cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:44 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:00 am
themuse wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:47 am
Don't get what you are trying to say. Who is comparing engineering and the pure sciences?
How many engineers are working at Boeing, Apple, or Intel? There are tens of thousand. If you include other employers, there must be much more. Modern society needs a large/huge number of engineers at all levels. They are more like foot soldiers. Do you think they are all special and passed high bars compared to other disciplines? I would reserve those words for pure science and other rarefied fields, not engineering. Time to crack the delusion.
The pure sciences are rough too, but as you stated there are lot more job opportunities for engineers.

It's not a delusion that high level math and physics are not in the cards for every student. The attrition rate in engineering programs is very high. I BARELY made it through Calc in college for my Biology degree after having worked up to it with College Algebra and Trig. Having that be the entry level math course? Hell to the no for me.
Everybody is different in aptitude. I had a horrible time with German. Even in math, I consider myself quite good with applied math and have went through many highest level math in EE and physics, but my brain still cannot take pure/rigorous math (number theory, group theory in math department, conjectures,lemmas, proofs, ..).

Yes, there are a lot of engineering opportunities. There is a large spill-over from physics majors working in engineering. One day a former physicist told me "we are doing ONLY engineering" with a sad smile. He is quite successful in engineering as many physics majors are because majors in science/math have an easy time to switch over to engineering thanks to their strength in fundamentals.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:19 am

RE math aptitude/progress, IME a lot depends on how it’s taught. One of my kids was in quasi remedial math, until (after switching to private school) he got a math/physics teacher that lit the subjects up for him. He went on to be the standout math student at the school, and in college considered a double major in CS and Math, but opted instead for a combined degree (MS/BS) in CS with a strong math component.

I know it’s an anecdote, but I believe, sincerely, that if it were not for that teacher, his trajectory would be very different.

Btw, ROI? haha haha. Anecdotal slam dunk.
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HoosierJim
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by HoosierJim » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:05 am
One day a former physicist told me "we are doing ONLY engineering" with a sad smile.
THIS is why Seldon makes fun of Howard (who has a Masters in Engineering from MIT).

In the 1960's, engineers helped put a person on the moon. Now they figure out how to get you to click on an ad. :happy

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:42 am

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?
Ask your kids that question, not this board. We are talking about specific individuals that you know well and we haven't met.

If you have a lot of money you don't expect much need-based aid, just like you don't qualify for Section 8 housing (have to buy your own house or pay your own rent) and don't qualify for SNAP (have to pay for your own food) and don't qualify for Medicaid. That's a good thing. It means you have more choices about where to live and what to eat and how to get medical care. You also have a lot of choices about college. You can pay for any college you want because you make and have a lot of money. You can choose not to pay for any college for them, because you are not obligated to pay them one red cent after they turn 18. Or you can do anything in between. What do you want to do? Freedom of choice is a great thing, but it does mean you have to choose.

Maybe you want your kids to make a lot of money, but maybe they don't want to make a lot of money. Maybe they want to raise organic vegetables or write poetry. I don't know, I haven't met them. Maybe they want to join the military (enlisted or military academy), or maybe they want to become doctors or veterinarians or lawyers. Probably they don't really know what they want to do, but they want to get an education to be prepared to make more specific life choices later.
Last edited by NotWhoYouThink on Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

Wow, I thought I had hijacked this thread but it's taken a couple more turns since last night.

It takes a special (in a good way) person to be an engineer. If my sons said they wanted to be engineers (and had the skill and aptitude) I'd be happy.

In responding to posts from last night, the statistics cited last night by marcopolo raise various questions. First, I did not take much time looking at the links but it did seem to me that compensation stats were looking at only people with undergraduate degrees--so not English majors who went on to graduate school of some sort. Also the list of majors was strange. It listed 9 types of engineering degrees, but didn't list common liberal arts majors like physics and math (and philosophy)--and didn't list any post graduate degrees.

Also, I seem to remember hearing that one downside of an engineering degree is that while the starting salaries are high, the overall compensation band is pretty tight--and the only engineers that make any "real money" are those that move into management or start their own businesses--a pretty small percentage.

I would not recommend a liberal arts degree to anyone who didn't plan to go to graduate school or had another realistic plan--e.g., one of my nephew's had the plan of getting a history degree and then entering officer training in the Marines, which he did, and he is still there. I thought that was a cool plan--traditional but also somewhat uncommon. But for those kids who either want a broad education and/or don't know what they want to do AND who realize that they need to go on to grad school (and have a way to pay for it), I think liberal arts is a great choice.

One last thing, this discussion has really been comparing apples and oranges. Engineering is really vocational training. You can say you went to college, but engineers really skipped college and went to trade school. Ditto for CS, business and accounting. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is different from a traditional college education. Apples and oranges.

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:45 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:42 am

Ask your kids that question, not this board. We are talking about specific individuals that you know well and we haven't met.
+1

ThatGuy
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by ThatGuy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:51 am

onourway wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:31 pm
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.
You just described my undergrad engineering curriculum, at a public school.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:06 am

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

One last thing, this discussion has really been comparing apples and oranges. Engineering is really vocational training. You can say you went to college, but engineers really skipped college and went to trade school. Ditto for CS, business and accounting. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is different from a traditional college education. Apples and oranges.
How is "engineering" (or other hard sciences) different from a "traditional college education"? I took a heck of a lot of English, history, philosophy, ethics, etc. classes on my way to a double BS, MS, and science PhD, and I did so on the same campus (in many of the same classrooms) as liberal arts students.

This argument always comes down to "the college experience", whether or not you believe it is a thing and how much you are willing to pay for it. I enjoyed my 11yrs of university education, and my 5yrs of teaching (and I will be returning next fall after a 2yr break), but I still don't understand this whole college experience thing and IMO, my most important lessons were not taught in academia.

cshell2
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cshell2 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:24 am

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:06 am
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

One last thing, this discussion has really been comparing apples and oranges. Engineering is really vocational training. You can say you went to college, but engineers really skipped college and went to trade school. Ditto for CS, business and accounting. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is different from a traditional college education. Apples and oranges.
How is "engineering" (or other hard sciences) different from a "traditional college education"? I took a heck of a lot of English, history, philosophy, ethics, etc. classes on my way to a double BS, MS, and science PhD, and I did so on the same campus (in many of the same classrooms) as liberal arts students.

This argument always comes down to "the college experience", whether or not you believe it is a thing and how much you are willing to pay for it. I enjoyed my 11yrs of university education, and my 5yrs of teaching (and I will be returning next fall after a 2yr break), but I still don't understand this whole college experience thing and IMO, my most important lessons were not taught in academia.
I'm looking at the 4 year plan at a couple of engineering schools and there is only a small amount of course requirements outside the major. An English class and 2 or 3 other gen Ed's. The rest is all major specific.

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cowdogman
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:03 pm

cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:24 am
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:06 am
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

One last thing, this discussion has really been comparing apples and oranges. Engineering is really vocational training. You can say you went to college, but engineers really skipped college and went to trade school. Ditto for CS, business and accounting. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is different from a traditional college education. Apples and oranges.
How is "engineering" (or other hard sciences) different from a "traditional college education"? I took a heck of a lot of English, history, philosophy, ethics, etc. classes on my way to a double BS, MS, and science PhD, and I did so on the same campus (in many of the same classrooms) as liberal arts students.

This argument always comes down to "the college experience", whether or not you believe it is a thing and how much you are willing to pay for it. I enjoyed my 11yrs of university education, and my 5yrs of teaching (and I will be returning next fall after a 2yr break), but I still don't understand this whole college experience thing and IMO, my most important lessons were not taught in academia.
I'm looking at the 4 year plan at a couple of engineering schools and there is only a small amount of course requirements outside the major. An English class and 2 or 3 other gen Ed's. The rest is all major specific.
Yes, exactly.

I was trying be provocative. It's silly to argue over the definition of "college," but my point remains the same--job training college programs are different from "traditional" college programs.

And stoptothink, engineering is not a hard science. Physics, chemistry and math, maybe biology and geology are hard sciences. And all are part of the liberal arts curriculum, and available as majors in any liberal arts college (with extensive non-science gen ed requirements). It sounds like you were a hard science major, not an engineering student.

stoptothink
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:20 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:03 pm
cshell2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:24 am
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:06 am
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am

One last thing, this discussion has really been comparing apples and oranges. Engineering is really vocational training. You can say you went to college, but engineers really skipped college and went to trade school. Ditto for CS, business and accounting. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is different from a traditional college education. Apples and oranges.
How is "engineering" (or other hard sciences) different from a "traditional college education"? I took a heck of a lot of English, history, philosophy, ethics, etc. classes on my way to a double BS, MS, and science PhD, and I did so on the same campus (in many of the same classrooms) as liberal arts students.

This argument always comes down to "the college experience", whether or not you believe it is a thing and how much you are willing to pay for it. I enjoyed my 11yrs of university education, and my 5yrs of teaching (and I will be returning next fall after a 2yr break), but I still don't understand this whole college experience thing and IMO, my most important lessons were not taught in academia.
I'm looking at the 4 year plan at a couple of engineering schools and there is only a small amount of course requirements outside the major. An English class and 2 or 3 other gen Ed's. The rest is all major specific.
Yes, exactly.

I was trying be provocative. It's silly to argue over the definition of "college," but my point remains the same--job training college programs are different from "traditional" college programs.

And stoptothink, engineering is not a hard science. Physics, chemistry and math, maybe biology and geology are hard sciences. And all are part of the liberal arts curriculum, and available as majors in any liberal arts college (with extensive non-science gen ed requirements). It sounds like you were a hard science major, not an engineering student.
I'm very aware engineering is not a hard science, I am a scientist, not an engineer. That was a simple mistake, don't know why I added the word "other". I don't see anybody in this thread saying only study engineering, they are questioning the (financial) ROI of spending a lot of money on a liberal arts education.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
It takes a special (in a good way) person to be an engineer. If my sons said they wanted to be engineers (and had the skill and aptitude) I'd be happy.
Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Also, I seem to remember hearing that one downside of an engineering degree is that while the starting salaries are high, the overall compensation band is pretty tight--and the only engineers that make any "real money" are those that move into management or start their own businesses--a pretty small percentage.
You got it right. Due to large demands and fairly good salaries, engineering may be a good field for those NOT special, but ordinary without much special talent or passion.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
But for those kids who either want a broad education and/or don't know what they want to do AND who realize that they need to go on to grad school (and have a way to pay for it), I think liberal arts is a great choice.
This applies to the majority of college-bounds who are ordinary, but not special. Starting with liberal arts and planning for your future as you gains better perspective is ideal if affordable.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Engineering is really vocational training.
That is my opinion after years in engineering R&D. In a sense, it is a boot camp. It is all about how to make things work.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:08 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:20 pm
I don't see anybody in this thread saying only study engineering, they are questioning the (financial) ROI of spending a lot of money on a liberal arts education.
True, tho I think the engineering program does effectively preclude getting a general college education (without a lot of effort).

As to the financial ROI, I can only speak from my experience. Of my "group" in college (all dedicated liberal art majors--we used to endlessly debate the definition/scope of "liberal arts"), 3 became doctors (one of whom is also a scientist), two became lawyers, two became Catholic priests and one became a college professor. I'm a corporate lawyer (semi-retired), having worked at 2 major law firms and, for a long time, as general counsel for a large (in assets) corporation. The vast majority of lawyers I have met in my professional life were liberal arts majors, including hard science majors. I can't think of one who was a business major. I wouldn't be surprised if a few were former engineers.

A liberal arts education is not an end in itself, but it is a very good basis for life.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:32 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
It takes a special (in a good way) person to be an engineer. If my sons said they wanted to be engineers (and had the skill and aptitude) I'd be happy.
Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Also, I seem to remember hearing that one downside of an engineering degree is that while the starting salaries are high, the overall compensation band is pretty tight--and the only engineers that make any "real money" are those that move into management or start their own businesses--a pretty small percentage.
You got it right. Due to large demands and fairly good salaries, engineering may be a good field for those NOT special, but ordinary without much special talent or passion.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
But for those kids who either want a broad education and/or don't know what they want to do AND who realize that they need to go on to grad school (and have a way to pay for it), I think liberal arts is a great choice.
This applies to the majority of college-bounds who are ordinary, but not special. Starting with liberal arts and planning for your future as you gains better perspective is ideal if affordable.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Engineering is really vocational training.
That is my opinion after years in engineering R&D. In a sense, it is a boot camp. It is all about how to make things work.
In my father's day, engineering was a path to management for those without family connections. For many of his and my generation, that path worked out quite well.

But the energy and dedication and time spent in this thread emphasizing that engineers are ordinary and nothing more seems.....interesting.

Many students start out engineering, "pre-med", or "pre-law," because those are the names of careers they have heard of, but they find other interests and graduate with other degrees, or no degree at all. The well-adjusted ones are happy being who they are and don't much need to justify that what they are is better than ordinary.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:45 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:08 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:20 pm
I don't see anybody in this thread saying only study engineering, they are questioning the (financial) ROI of spending a lot of money on a liberal arts education.
True, tho I think the engineering program does effectively preclude getting a general college education (without a lot of effort).

As to the financial ROI, I can only speak from my experience. Of my "group" in college (all dedicated liberal art majors--we used to endlessly debate the definition/scope of "liberal arts"), 3 became doctors (one of whom is also a scientist), two became lawyers, two became Catholic priests and one became a college professor. I'm a corporate lawyer (semi-retired), having worked at 2 major law firms and, for a long time, as general counsel for a large (in assets) corporation. The vast majority of lawyers I have met in my professional life were liberal arts majors, including hard science majors. I can't think of one who was a business major. I wouldn't be surprised if a few were former engineers.

A liberal arts education is not an end in itself, but it is a very good basis for life.
I think this is called selection bias.

What percentage of liberal arts majors go on to get advanced degrees, let alone JD or MD?

Again, my point is not that you can't be successful with a Liberal Arts degree, but simply that STEM gives you more options. You can become JD or an MD with a STEM degree, It is really hard to become a Physicist with a Comparative Religion degree. Do you disagree with that point?


Also, the definition of "liberal arts" (LA) has drifted a bit in this conversation. It seems to have started as LA vs STEM. Now people seem to be lumping the S and M from STEM into Liberal Arts. I guess technically Math and Physics are taught in the school or "Arts and Science" in most schools. But, i guess i never consider either of those a "Liberal Arts" degree.
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm

am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 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.
Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:03 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:59 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:06 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:03 pm
I was a philosophy major at a small liberal arts college. I remember my mom telling me at the time that she was complaining to her doctor that I was a philosophy major ("can you believe that!?") and the doctor said "so was I." She was OK with it after that.
Philosophy majors are well represented at law schools. At one time, perhaps still, they were the highest scorers on LSATs.
I find the liberal arts/stem discussion interesting on a forum mostly supportive of passive index investing to garner good returns on average, because active approaches can have outsize returns, but on average does worse.

How are two related, you might ask.

It seems to me proponents of liberal arts education usually point to an anecdotal case of someone they know, or talk about people with advanced degrees (lawyers, doctors, etc.).

But, what percentage of liberal arts majors go on to get JD or MD? what percentage end up being the successful ones people put up as examples?

By that reasoning, may be not going to college or dropping out is an even better options. we can point to many anecdotal cases of very successful people without any college degrees.

Now consider an engineering, or similar STEM degree. That by itself is not going to assure success, but the odds are that it will have a better outcome, similar to index investing...

I am not sure of the stats now, but back when I was in undergrad, engineering majors had one of the highest acceptance rates in medical school.

So, i think of it more as flexibility of options. You want to go to law or med school, you can definitely do that with an engineering degree. You want to be an engineer, you can't do that (for the most part) with a degree in political science, or similar liberal arts degree.

Liberal arts degree seems more risky, you might be one of the minority that ends up doing better than the average engineer grad, but the odds are against you.

When comparing the outliers that have done extremely well, you also need to compare them to similar outliers with engineering degrees.
The vast majority of kids entering law school & med school have liberal arts degrees. Math, physics, biology, philosophy, literature, history.... they're all liberal arts degrees.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by sd323232 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:05 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:32 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
It takes a special (in a good way) person to be an engineer. If my sons said they wanted to be engineers (and had the skill and aptitude) I'd be happy.
Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Also, I seem to remember hearing that one downside of an engineering degree is that while the starting salaries are high, the overall compensation band is pretty tight--and the only engineers that make any "real money" are those that move into management or start their own businesses--a pretty small percentage.
You got it right. Due to large demands and fairly good salaries, engineering may be a good field for those NOT special, but ordinary without much special talent or passion.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
But for those kids who either want a broad education and/or don't know what they want to do AND who realize that they need to go on to grad school (and have a way to pay for it), I think liberal arts is a great choice.
This applies to the majority of college-bounds who are ordinary, but not special. Starting with liberal arts and planning for your future as you gains better perspective is ideal if affordable.
cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:43 am
Engineering is really vocational training.
That is my opinion after years in engineering R&D. In a sense, it is a boot camp. It is all about how to make things work.
In my father's day, engineering was a path to management for those without family connections. For many of his and my generation, that path worked out quite well.

But the energy and dedication and time spent in this thread emphasizing that engineers are ordinary and nothing more seems.....interesting.

Many students start out engineering, "pre-med", or "pre-law," because those are the names of careers they have heard of, but they find other interests and graduate with other degrees, or no degree at all. The well-adjusted ones are happy being who they are and don't much need to justify that what they are is better than ordinary.

Notwhattothink, I agree, many here saying that engineering is basically for people who like hard work for no reason and almost considered to being close minded robots with zero imagination that only obey company orders. There are examples here that liberal arts major will provide great job options and amazing career growth, so why major in engineering at all then, if someone can succeed just as well with a liberal arts degree. The reality is, whom are we kidding here guys? Engineering is great career choice, it's basically toyota camry of education. You cant go wrong with engineering, get a cheap 4 year engineering degree from state school, and u can put many miles on it, it will keep u employed for many many years.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm

MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:03 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:59 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:06 pm
cowdogman wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:03 pm
I was a philosophy major at a small liberal arts college. I remember my mom telling me at the time that she was complaining to her doctor that I was a philosophy major ("can you believe that!?") and the doctor said "so was I." She was OK with it after that.
Philosophy majors are well represented at law schools. At one time, perhaps still, they were the highest scorers on LSATs.
I find the liberal arts/stem discussion interesting on a forum mostly supportive of passive index investing to garner good returns on average, because active approaches can have outsize returns, but on average does worse.

How are two related, you might ask.

It seems to me proponents of liberal arts education usually point to an anecdotal case of someone they know, or talk about people with advanced degrees (lawyers, doctors, etc.).

But, what percentage of liberal arts majors go on to get JD or MD? what percentage end up being the successful ones people put up as examples?

By that reasoning, may be not going to college or dropping out is an even better options. we can point to many anecdotal cases of very successful people without any college degrees.

Now consider an engineering, or similar STEM degree. That by itself is not going to assure success, but the odds are that it will have a better outcome, similar to index investing...

I am not sure of the stats now, but back when I was in undergrad, engineering majors had one of the highest acceptance rates in medical school.

So, i think of it more as flexibility of options. You want to go to law or med school, you can definitely do that with an engineering degree. You want to be an engineer, you can't do that (for the most part) with a degree in political science, or similar liberal arts degree.

Liberal arts degree seems more risky, you might be one of the minority that ends up doing better than the average engineer grad, but the odds are against you.

When comparing the outliers that have done extremely well, you also need to compare them to similar outliers with engineering degrees.
The vast majority of kids entering law school & med school have liberal arts degrees. Math, physics, biology, philosophy, literature, history.... they're all liberal arts degrees.
That may be true.

But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:21 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:45 pm
Again, my point is not that you can't be successful with a Liberal Arts degree, but simply that STEM gives you more options. You can become JD or an MD with a STEM degree, It is really hard to become a Physicist with a Comparative Religion degree. Do you disagree with that point?

Also, the definition of "liberal arts" (LA) has drifted a bit in this conversation. It seems to have started as LA vs STEM. Now people seem to be lumping the S and M from STEM into Liberal Arts. I guess technically Math and Physics are taught in the school or "Arts and Science" in most schools. But, i guess i never consider either of those a "Liberal Arts" degree.
I don't think the definition of "liberal arts" has drifted. Some people equate liberal arts with the humanities, but that is not correct.

The liberal arts are traditionally defined as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences. Some people argue about whether the social sciences (psychology, sociology and economics) should be included as "newcomers" because they are not humanities and not hard science/math. And some people argue about whether non-liberal arts (e.g., computer science, business) should be taught at liberal arts colleges.

Yes, math, chemistry and physics are liberal arts, but keep in mind that these topics are taught as hard science, not as applied science (e.g., engineering), and require a lot of Gen Ed classes for graduation. A math or physics major at a liberal arts school is not likely to be any more employable than an English major (maybe less) without continuing his/her education. A chemistry major may be able to move into a chemistry job with a B.S.

If your goal is to give kids "more options," starting vocational training at 17 or 18 is not the way to do it.
Last edited by cowdogman on Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by marcopolo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:26 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:21 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:45 pm
Again, my point is not that you can't be successful with a Liberal Arts degree, but simply that STEM gives you more options. You can become JD or an MD with a STEM degree, It is really hard to become a Physicist with a Comparative Religion degree. Do you disagree with that point?

Also, the definition of "liberal arts" (LA) has drifted a bit in this conversation. It seems to have started as LA vs STEM. Now people seem to be lumping the S and M from STEM into Liberal Arts. I guess technically Math and Physics are taught in the school or "Arts and Science" in most schools. But, i guess i never consider either of those a "Liberal Arts" degree.
I don't think the definition of "liberal arts" has drifted. Some people equate liberal arts with the humanities, but that is not correct.

The liberal arts are traditionally defined as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences. Some people argue about whether the social sciences (psychology, sociology and economics) should be included as "newcomers" because they are not humanities and not hard science/math. And some people argue about whether non-liberal arts (e.g., computer science, business) should be taught at liberal arts colleges.

Yes, math, chemistry and physics are liberal arts, but keep in mind that these topics are taught as hard science, not as applied science (e.g., engineering), and require a lot of Gen Ed classes for graduation. A math or physics major at a liberal arts school is not likely to be any more employable than an English major (maybe less) without continuing his/her education. A chemistry major may be able to move into a chemistry job with a B.S.

If you're goal is to give kids "more options," starting vocational training at 17 or 18 is not the way to do it.
"Vocational training"

Ok.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm
But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
If you're a liberal arts major at a good school, you will most definitely be planning a post-graduate education--graduate school, med school, law school, MBA, teaching certificate, cooking school, military, etc. Go to the website of any liberal arts college and you will see statistics about how many students go to med school, law school and Ph.D. programs.

I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by SchruteB&B » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by goodenyou » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm

MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 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.
Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:52 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm

That may be true.

But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
That's because the vast majority have no desire to attend law or med school.

A liberal arts degree won't hold anyone back from a successful life. If your kid studies one of those disciplines (and many STEM disciplines are, in fact, liberal arts) he'll be fine if he takes challenging courses and is diligent about landing some internships to build a resume and solid recommendations.

I'm married to an engineer and he's had a nice career. But we never for a moment tried to force our kids into that (or any) field.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by goodenyou » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:53 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm
But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
If you're a liberal arts major at a good school, you will most definitely be planning a post-graduate education--graduate school, med school, law school, MBA, teaching certificate, cooking school, military, etc. Go to the website of any liberal arts college and you will see statistics about how many students go to med school, law school and Ph.D. programs.

I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.
Most students from any school don't go to law or medical school. That is not the same as saying that most law and medical students come from liberal arts schools. Which they do. Back in the day, I was the only student with a biomedical engineering degree in my medical school class. Probably one of only a few with an engineering degree in medical school. Now it is commonplace with an emphasis on STEM. Today, many BME students have aspirations for medical school and choose that major in order to have good job prospects if they don't make it to medical school (provided they get through a BME program).
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KlangFool » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm

SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by goodenyou » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:57 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
I hope he is not working for Boeing now.
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by fyre4ce » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:58 pm

krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:48 pm
I think liberal arts degree do not require the discipline and excellence they once did. STEM degrees mean you know something nowadays. Liberal arts degrees nowadays - and my degree was in Philosophy - mean that you spent four years and a quarter million dollars to get a piece of paper. I don't want to get into politics though but I think that's the reason many hold disdain and not respect for those degrees. In the past, yes, but not now.
What is the basis for saying that liberal arts programs are not as rigorous as they used to be? Not agreeing or disagreeing, just asking if you have references to back up this claim.

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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by KlangFool » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:01 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:57 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
I hope he is not working for Boeing now.
goodenyou,

No. He is smart enough to know that he should work in a safe and boring area. He worked for the utility/power company.

KlangFool

stoptothink
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by stoptothink » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:02 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:08 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:20 pm
I don't see anybody in this thread saying only study engineering, they are questioning the (financial) ROI of spending a lot of money on a liberal arts education.
True, tho I think the engineering program does effectively preclude getting a general college education (without a lot of effort).

As to the financial ROI, I can only speak from my experience. Of my "group" in college (all dedicated liberal art majors--we used to endlessly debate the definition/scope of "liberal arts"), 3 became doctors (one of whom is also a scientist), two became lawyers, two became Catholic priests and one became a college professor. I'm a corporate lawyer (semi-retired), having worked at 2 major law firms and, for a long time, as general counsel for a large (in assets) corporation. The vast majority of lawyers I have met in my professional life were liberal arts majors, including hard science majors. I can't think of one who was a business major. I wouldn't be surprised if a few were former engineers.

A liberal arts education is not an end in itself, but it is a very good basis for life.
If I am only using my experience, then not going to college at all is the best option. In my circle of childhood friends (~200, the 4 most successful professionally (by salary) all did not attend a day of college. Furthermore, in my family of 7 kids, the one and only without a degree (littlest is currently a high school sophomore) makes the most...This is a pretty simple discussion when you bring in actual data. But of course, only you know your child and your situation; plan according to your unique situation.

I'm a scientist, I like generalizable data; admittedly that clearly sways my perspective.

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goodenyou
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by goodenyou » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:05 pm

fyre4ce wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:58 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:48 pm
I think liberal arts degree do not require the discipline and excellence they once did. STEM degrees mean you know something nowadays. Liberal arts degrees nowadays - and my degree was in Philosophy - mean that you spent four years and a quarter million dollars to get a piece of paper. I don't want to get into politics though but I think that's the reason many hold disdain and not respect for those degrees. In the past, yes, but not now.
What is the basis for saying that liberal arts programs are not as rigorous as they used to be? Not agreeing or disagreeing, just asking if you have references to back up this claim.
I assume STEM students compete on a more global scale than liberal arts students. That's just an assumption, but I may be wrong. Therefore, the competition for jobs and competency may be more rigorous.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

Leesbro63
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:11 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:00 am
I can't say if your child will get scholarships, but I can say that you will pay full sticker price and will receive no financial aid.

OTOH, at this stage of your life, your net worth probably went up by more than half-a-million dollars in 2019, so you can easily afford it. After all, one can pay college expenses from other sources besides 529 plans.

For more details, there are web sites that let you fill out a trial FAFSA and tell you your expected family contribution (EFC).
+1...this. Prepare to pay. That being said, if your kid is REALLY smart/tests well etc, this is what to expect: Your kid will get offers for cheaper or even free college at some "non-name" schools. And admission to some of the "name" schools with no financial break. The decision will end up being whether the "name" is worth the money. Only you can make that decision. The top "name" schools are now approaching $300,000 for 4 years, "all in" with dorm and fees. I chose to pay and have the "name" for both of my now adult kids. Both are doing well, but perhaps they would have done well at some of the lesser cost/lesser name options that were available to them. I'll never know.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MaryO
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Location: New Jersey

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:13 pm

cowdogman wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:36 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:06 pm
But, the vast majority of Liberal Arts majors do NOT go to law and med schools.
If you're a liberal arts major at a good school, you will most definitely be planning a post-graduate education--graduate school, med school, law school, MBA, teaching certificate, cooking school, military, etc. Go to the website of any liberal arts college and you will see statistics about how many students go to med school, law school and Ph.D. programs.

I'm getting the impression you are not speaking from experience.
There was a sharp uptick in kids attending graduate school a few years back when the job market was so awful. I wonder if that trend has calmed down a bit?

A liberal arts degree has always been the most common path for law & med school students. I don't follow opportunities for new law school grads, but wasn't there a massive glut not too long ago? Kids passing the bar and getting hired as paralegals seemed to be a common news story. Med school grads continue to do very well. For other fields, many of those unemployed grads just loaded up on debt pursuing graduate degrees without a viable career path. Kids pursuing PhDs with the aim of teaching were badly hurt as colleges shrink the numbers of full professor spots and give teaching jobs to low paid adjuncts. Usually good MBA programs require some work experience before even admitting a candidate.

I think the need to jump right into grad school varies with the strength of the economy.

NJdad6
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 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.
Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.

EddyB
Posts: 1361
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by EddyB » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:24 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:01 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:57 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:54 pm
SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:34 pm


Again, I wouldn't use the word special. Disciplined may be more suitable. You may mould an average person into a decent engineer.
That is an interesting opinion. From what I have seen both when I was in school and with my teenagers now, truly average people —people with 40-60% IQ scores and math aptitude scores—sometimes struggle to get through high school math. The idea that they could get through college level calculus is not realistic.
SchruteB&B,

I know of one person that did this. He was average or below average in intelligence. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE degree. He took almost all the courses twice. He showed up in the course and did all the works but not officially enroll in the course for the first time. Then, he redid the course the second time and officially enrolled.

KlangFool
I hope he is not working for Boeing now.
goodenyou,

No. He is smart enough to know that he should work in a safe and boring area. He worked for the utility/power company.

KlangFool
PG&E?

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MaryO
Posts: 118
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Location: New Jersey

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by MaryO » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:33 pm

NJdad6 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:16 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:40 pm
MaryO wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:50 pm
am wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:11 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.
Confusing. Thought merit scholarships did not depend on financial assets/income? Are you talking about elite schools only?
It's truly astounding to see how many merit scholarships are actually "need aware" merit. In general, the more elite the school, the less likely any merit is awarded without factoring in need. Even on campus jobs are reserved for kids getting need-based aid.
There is less "merit" money because more students need to be subsidized at private schools to prevent them from going to debtor's prison. The costs keep going up (very quickly).
By definition Merit awards are NOT financial aid. They are awards based on performance/qualifications. Many of the higher rated schools do not offer Merit awards at all, only financial aid. This includes the ivies and at least a few others. Meaning if someone says they got a scholarship to Yale they most likely mean financial aid. It is based solely on need and not performance. The top performing student may get nothing and the last one in might get full tuition.

Other schools may use merit awards to attract high performing students. This has nothing to do with financial needs. Merit award information (how much, how to qualify,etc) is usually readily available on the college’s website. Some students might get both. Meaning they qualify for a merit award and still might get financial aid on top of it. The merit award was based on their qualifications not their financial need.

Each school is different so if merit is important you need to do the research to determine where you/student has the best shot at qualifying. There is a lot of money for those with top grades/scores. Gets less as you move down. Probably very little opportunity for a B/B- student.

This post is focused on Merit vs. financial aid. I am not addressing the other things like specific scholarship awards that might have unique qualifications or grants. These vary school to school and usually require separate applications and maybe interviews.
When were you last looking at colleges? Most schools do, in fact, tie merit to need. It's called "need aware" merit. Pure merit scholarships are becoming more and more rare. Even many private scholarships not tied to colleges require the applicant submit parents' 1040. After the stock market tanked in 2007 many colleges dramatically altered their financial aid policy to favor need over merit. It was not a happy time to be looking for merit money, as much of it was moved into the need-based side. Without demonstrated need, top students were out of luck.

The Ivy League never gives merit. Not academic. Not Athletic. Not musical or other talent. It's all need-based.

fyre4ce
Posts: 705
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Re: High income and college costs question

Post by fyre4ce » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:35 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:05 pm
fyre4ce wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:58 pm
krb wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:48 pm
I think liberal arts degree do not require the discipline and excellence they once did. STEM degrees mean you know something nowadays. Liberal arts degrees nowadays - and my degree was in Philosophy - mean that you spent four years and a quarter million dollars to get a piece of paper. I don't want to get into politics though but I think that's the reason many hold disdain and not respect for those degrees. In the past, yes, but not now.
What is the basis for saying that liberal arts programs are not as rigorous as they used to be? Not agreeing or disagreeing, just asking if you have references to back up this claim.
I assume STEM students compete on a more global scale than liberal arts students. That's just an assumption, but I may be wrong. Therefore, the competition for jobs and competency may be more rigorous.
I interpreted krb to be saying that present-day liberal arts programs are less rigorous than liberal arts programs of decades past, not necessarily compared to any STEM program. I could be wrong that this is what he meant.
Last edited by fyre4ce on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cowdogman
Posts: 511
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Location: Washington State

Re: High income and college costs question

Post by cowdogman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:35 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:02 pm

If I am only using my experience, then not going to college at all is the best option. In my circle of childhood friends (~200, the 4 most successful professionally (by salary) all did not attend a day of college. Furthermore, in my family of 7 kids, the one and only without a degree (littlest is currently a high school sophomore) makes the most...This is a pretty simple discussion when you bring in actual data. But of course, only you know your child and your situation; plan according to your unique situation.
Yep. There is a saying in law school: The A students will end up working for the C students. Often true.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

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