Picking College and College Scholarships

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timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:47 am

Facts:

Oldest boy, white male

Graduates Spring 2018

Very smart. Good grades (all A's in "advanced" classes and AP classes). Likely to score high/ near perfect on SAT and ACT. (Based on PSAT/ prior testing ... but you never know).

Good other stuff. Plays violin, lots of activities and service.

Likely chemical or mechanical engineering. Maybe minor in music.

Looking at top engineering schools (MIT, Stanford). We'll be doing the tours this year.

We will not let him take loans (we would drop all support if he goes this route). We will not take loans. That said, we have a healthy incomes (think moderately successful engineer ... not Wall Street titan).

We have 529 savings.

Questions:

Looking good resources, books, websites, etc.?

Looking for your experiences. What worked? What didn't? (From the perspective of getting into preferred school and getting scholarships.)

I'd appreciate any advice.

Thank you in advance. I always appreciate the feedback from this group. (Let me know if you need more details.)

KlangFool
Posts: 7190
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:06 pm

OP,

1) How does he rank in PSAT scores?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_ ... ip_Program

After that, you will know where he stands compare to the rests.

2) Which state are you in?

KlangFool

Constant Chaos
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by Constant Chaos » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:09 pm

Since you have specific schools in mind, the best advice I can give is to run the Net Price Calculator each college has on its website. Google the school name and net price calculator. It will ask specfic questions about your income, assets etc and will tell you what that school expects you to pay based on your info. The most elite and selective schools generally only give need based financial aid and no merit scholarships. "Need" can be interpreted quite generously though. Best to run the NPC for specific info.

You can also google the school and Common Data Set. lots of info. For example, in 2014-2015, 39% of MIT first year students did not qualify for financial aid and are paying full sticker price. Or, 25% of enrolled first year students had a 35 or higher on the ACT.

livesoft
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:12 pm

collegeconfidential.com is a good web site.

nytimes.com has had a GREAT "college" feature for years now. Worth re-reading.

And of course, bogleheads.org has all your problems solved in spades because lots of readers graduated from Stanford and MIT and sent there kids there. Here is a 6-page thread to read: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=171074

My daughter graduated from a private elite university mentioned many times on the forum. What worked? A parental hands-off approach. All those AP credits allowed her to graduate early which saved some big bucks. She also worked part-time during school. Humble-brag: Gainfully employed as an engineer and promoted a couple of times in the first year, too.
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:15 pm

http://news.bitofnews.com/malcom-gladwe ... mall-pond/

OP,

You may want to read the above article too. Aka, MIT / Stanford may not be good for you kid.

KlangFool

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:24 pm

KlangFool wrote:OP,

1) How does he rank in PSAT scores?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_ ... ip_Program

After that, you will know where he stands compare to the rests.

2) Which state are you in?

KlangFool


They just show 99+. 1480 score out of 1520. Is that enough info?

Illinois (aka: the broke state and getting broker :( )

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:26 pm

KlangFool wrote:OP,

1) How does he rank in PSAT scores?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_ ... ip_Program

After that, you will know where he stands compare to the rests.

2) Which state are you in?

KlangFool


Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. A quick read ... I see the $2500

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:27 pm

Constant Chaos wrote:Since you have specific schools in mind, the best advice I can give is to run the Net Price Calculator each college has on its website. Google the school name and net price calculator. It will ask specfic questions about your income, assets etc and will tell you what that school expects you to pay based on your info. The most elite and selective schools generally only give need based financial aid and no merit scholarships. "Need" can be interpreted quite generously though. Best to run the NPC for specific info.

You can also google the school and Common Data Set. lots of info. For example, in 2014-2015, 39% of MIT first year students did not qualify for financial aid and are paying full sticker price. Or, 25% of enrolled first year students had a 35 or higher on the ACT.


Thank you. This will be helpful

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:29 pm

livesoft wrote:collegeconfidential.com is a good web site.

nytimes.com has had a GREAT "college" feature for years now. Worth re-reading.

And of course, bogleheads.org has all your problems solved in spades because lots of readers graduated from Stanford and MIT and sent there kids there. Here is a 6-page thread to read: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=171074

My daughter graduated from a private elite university mentioned many times on the forum. What worked? A parental hands-off approach. All those AP credits allowed her to graduate early which saved some big bucks. She also worked part-time during school. Humble-brag: Gainfully employed as an engineer and promoted a couple of times in the first year, too.


Thank you. I will add both of those to my reading list.

Congrats on your kid. As parents, it's hard to say what we control/ don't control or just influence, but it looks like you did something right! :sharebeer

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:37 pm

KlangFool wrote:http://news.bitofnews.com/malcom-gladwells-mindblowing-theory-on-why-its-better-to-be-a-big-fish-in-a-small-pond/

OP,

You may want to read the above article too. Aka, MIT / Stanford may not be good for you kid.

KlangFool


Thank you. I'll check it. Both my boy and I have read David and Goliath. We talked about the lessons from that, and hope to apply them. That said, Harvey Mudd and Rose Hulman are both very attractive. While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there (intent seems to be to fail kids at larger schools ... at least with the 100 and 200 level classes).

We are also doing research on cost vs. reputation vs. how much we like the school. For example, if he does well on the SAT and keeps working hard, he could probably go to a school like Valpo for a much lower cost (just guessing based on others we know that went there). We like the campus and they are rated well. That might be a better outcome than going to Stanford at $60K/ year, and being in the middle of the pack. So much to think about ...

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:49 pm

timmy wrote:
KlangFool wrote:http://news.bitofnews.com/malcom-gladwells-mindblowing-theory-on-why-its-better-to-be-a-big-fish-in-a-small-pond/

OP,

You may want to read the above article too. Aka, MIT / Stanford may not be good for you kid.

KlangFool


Thank you. I'll check it. Both my boy and I have read David and Goliath. We talked about the lessons from that, and hope to apply them. That said, Harvey Mudd and Rose Hulman are both very attractive. While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there (intent seems to be to fail kids at larger schools ... at least with the 100 and 200 level classes).

We are also doing research on cost vs. reputation vs. how much we like the school. For example, if he does well on the SAT and keeps working hard, he could probably go to a school like Valpo for a much lower cost (just guessing based on others we know that went there). We like the campus and they are rated well. That might be a better outcome than going to Stanford at $60K/ year, and being in the middle of the pack. So much to think about ...


timmy,

PSAT score ranking.

A) In order to be National Merit Commended Student, you need to be top 50K out of 1.5 millions
B) In order to be National Merit Semi-finalist, you need to be top 32K out of 1.5 millions
C) In order to be National Merit Finalist, you need to be top 16K out of 1.5 millions

If your son is not at least (A), he is probably not smart enough to go into those schools. And, even if he does, he will be at the bottom 1/3.

<<For example, if he does well on the SAT and keeps working hard,>>

As per my own observations, PSAT is very good in predicting the final SAT score. There could be improvement but the change is not significant in term of ranking.

KlangFool

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:50 pm

Your initial post is pretty scary. Do you have a budget in mind as to what you're willing to pay (you said no loans allowed)? I would certainly support your decision to say pay in-state costs at a state university. My sister in-law is doing this. Two kids, one accepted to Princeton and another to Amherst. They'll both be going to Arizona State because she can't afford either of the above, even with her need basis. Know what in-state COA (cost of attendance) is. In my state, it's just about $30k. I know other states are lower.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

BlueCable
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:20 am

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:50 pm

13 years ago, my resume looked very similar to your son's, although I didn't realize I was going to become an engineer yet. Thanks for making me feel old :D

I applied for every scholarship I could find. My high school's guidance counselor office had filing cabinets of potential scholarships. I think college scholarships and application assistance were the main reason that office even existed. I applied for institution-specific, state-specific, and universal scholarships. I found that state schools had many merit scholarships available, but aid at elite (:moneybag) schools was almost entirely need-based. Institution-specific scholarships were often a large fraction of total cost (1/4, 1/2, or full), while universal scholarships were $250-$2000, often for 1st year only.

When writing scholarship essays, I always made sure to write about how this specific scholarship was going to help me achieve great things in my career. I had several "base" scholarship essays, and would tailor them towards the organization offering the scholarship. I highlighted (embellished?) areas where my interests and the organization's values coincided. These essays are like job interviews; don't lie, but talk about yourself like you're the best thing since sliced bread, and the company would make a huge mistake to pass you up.

Make the essays personal and memorable. Make an emotional impact. I remember helping a friend with an essay for an art scholarship. The first draft was fairly non-descript and talked about how important art was to her in a general way. By the end, the essay focused on how even though her engineer father refused to pay for college if she was an art major, she was going to study art anyway because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't even remember anything else about that essay, except the section that was very personal, connected with the scholarship reviewers (who were artists), and gave a specific reason why this scholarship would change her life. She got the scholarship.

In the end, I had the choice between a free education at very well-respected state schools, or combining a few thousand dollars of universal scholarships with need-based aid at the elite institutions. I choose the state schools because I didn't want to be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt when I didn't even know what I wanted to do for my career. If your son truly wants to be an engineer, getting an in-state education at a great university like Michigan or UIUC will open nearly as many doors as MIT or Standford and be much less expensive. If your in-state schools are poor, go to the best school you can. If he wants to be a high-flying lawyer or Wall Street guy, go to the best school he can for undergrad to open more post-grad opportunities.

Finally, if you are forbidding him from taking on debt, you need to foot (almost) the whole bill after scholarships. For engineering students, the school year is for studying and the summers are for internships. Sure, I made some money during my internships, but not nearly enough to pay for tuition, room, board, etc. Especially if he ends up somewhere where costs exceed $50,000/year.

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:51 pm

timmy wrote:
KlangFool wrote:OP,

1) How does he rank in PSAT scores?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_ ... ip_Program

After that, you will know where he stands compare to the rests.

2) Which state are you in?

KlangFool


Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. A quick read ... I see the $2500


timmy,

College recruits National Merit Scholars. So, if a person is a National Merit Finalist, the person is guaranteed to get a full ride scholarship form a college some where.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:58 pm

timmy wrote:
KlangFool wrote:http://news.bitofnews.com/malcom-gladwells-mindblowing-theory-on-why-its-better-to-be-a-big-fish-in-a-small-pond/

OP,

You may want to read the above article too. Aka, MIT / Stanford may not be good for you kid.

KlangFool


Thank you. I'll check it. Both my boy and I have read David and Goliath. We talked about the lessons from that, and hope to apply them. That said, Harvey Mudd and Rose Hulman are both very attractive. While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there (intent seems to be to fail kids at larger schools ... at least with the 100 and 200 level classes).


timmy,

For undergraduate engineering, personally, I probably will rank Harvey Mudd higher than MIT or Stanford.

<<While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there>>

Sorry, I disagree. Especially, if you are average or below average in those schools.

How would you feel to be the poorest among your neighbors? Ditto, how would a person feels to be the dumbest among their classmates? Do this for 4 years and the person will feel like dirt.

KlangFool

SRenaeP
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by SRenaeP » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:59 pm

BlueCable wrote:13 years ago, my resume looked very similar to your son's, although I didn't realize I was going to become an engineer yet. Thanks for making me feel old :D

I applied for every scholarship I could find. My high school's guidance counselor office had filing cabinets of potential scholarships. I think college scholarships and application assistance were the main reason that office even existed. I applied for institution-specific, state-specific, and universal scholarships. I found that state schools had many merit scholarships available, but aid at elite (:moneybag) schools was almost entirely need-based. Institution-specific scholarships were often a large fraction of total cost (1/4, 1/2, or full), while universal scholarships were $250-$2000, often for 1st year only.

When writing scholarship essays, I always made sure to write about how this specific scholarship was going to help me achieve great things in my career. I had several "base" scholarship essays, and would tailor them towards the organization offering the scholarship. I highlighted (embellished?) areas where my interests and the organization's values coincided. These essays are like job interviews; don't lie, but talk about yourself like you're the best thing since sliced bread, and the company would make a huge mistake to pass you up.

Make the essays personal and memorable. Make an emotional impact. I remember helping a friend with an essay for an art scholarship. The first draft was fairly non-descript and talked about how important art was to her in a general way. By the end, the essay focused on how even though her engineer father refused to pay for college if she was an art major, she was going to study art anyway because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't even remember anything else about that essay, except the section that was very personal, connected with the scholarship reviewers (who were artists), and gave a specific reason why this scholarship would change her life. She got the scholarship.

In the end, I had the choice between a free education at very well-respected state schools, or combining a few thousand dollars of universal scholarships with need-based aid at the elite institutions. I choose the state schools because I didn't want to be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt when I didn't even know what I wanted to do for my career. If your son truly wants to be an engineer, getting an in-state education at a great university like Michigan or UIUC will open nearly as many doors as MIT or Standford and be much less expensive. If your in-state schools are poor, go to the best school you can. If he wants to be a high-flying lawyer or Wall Street guy, go to the best school he can for undergrad to open more post-grad opportunities.

Finally, if you are forbidding him from taking on debt, you need to foot (almost) the whole bill after scholarships. For engineering students, the school year is for studying and the summers are for internships. Sure, I made some money during my internships, but not nearly enough to pay for tuition, room, board, etc. Especially if he ends up somewhere where costs exceed $50,000/year.


+1

I used a similar approach when searching for scholarships (albeit many moons ago). Those 'small' amounts can add up. I often hear coworkers complaining about lack of scholarships for their children but when I ask if they applied for the scholarship our MegaCorp offers, they've never heard of it. Similarly, my undergrad alumni chapter offers a scholarship every year and we get very few applicants. The key is to be diligent and thorough in your search.

-Steph

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:02 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Your initial post is pretty scary. Do you have a budget in mind as to what you're willing to pay (you said no loans allowed)? I would certainly support your decision to say pay in-state costs at a state university. My sister in-law is doing this. Two kids, one accepted to Princeton and another to Amherst. They'll both be going to Arizona State because she can't afford either of the above, even with her need basis. Know what in-state COA (cost of attendance) is. In my state, it's just about $30k. I know other states are lower.


Thank you for the information. It seems like a horse race. So I'm glad others are making decisions that take into account the full picture. (I can't tell you the number of people that say ... If you get into Harvard, you have to go to Harvard.)

Yes, our budget right now ...

Cashflow up to $25K/ year

+

$10K/ year from 529

We will consider any choice under that amount. Ex: If no scholarships ... no Stanford (and the like).

We will give special consideration to free ride/ much lower cost options.

In terms of decision making, this will be a a shared decision. However, since this is our money and he is a kid, not all votes are counted equally. And we will not support any option requiring debt.

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:04 pm

timmy wrote: And we will not support any option requiring debt.


Why?

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danwhite77
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by danwhite77 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:12 pm

Not sure if your son would be interested in Northwestern, but if so they recently eliminated loans. My understanding is that after the parent contribution, any amount that would have otherwise been paid for with loans is eliminated. Not sure if other schools are doing the same. Here are some articles on their approach:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... story.html

http://dailynorthwestern.com/2016/03/03 ... -packages/

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/ ... dents.html
"While some mutual fund founders chose to make billions, he chose to make a difference." - Dedication to Jack Bogle in 'The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing'.

itstoomuch
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:13 pm

#Skip the tours unless it is a regularly scheduled vacation.
#The competition will be incredible. There will be no lack of qualified students who can and will afford the costs.
#Outcomes of Privates vs Public may be no different.
#Your child will attend the school they feel where they are most accepted and that you and them can afford.
#Do not discount the possibility for financing the education. Unless you are incredibly wealthy, use every financing tool available.
#Run trial FAFSA. NPC.
#Aptitude and Attitude are codependent and are absolutely important.

Disclaimers: 2002-2006. Full payer family. Financed ~75% (?) of cost-of-attendance. Student loans started at 4.5% and last loans at 1.0 %. The EE Savings Bonds (before Educational Bonds), in UGMA, had a minimum of 4.0% interest of which taxes were paid at 15% marginal rate. Capital gains at marginal rates. Consolidated loans now 3.0% , nondeductible. Our time was prior 529's. Only is a NMF. Student should be outgoing, sociable, and an optimist. Depression and overachievers to please can be killers.

YMMV
Last edited by itstoomuch on Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SecretAsianMan
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by SecretAsianMan » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:21 pm

BlueCable wrote:
timmy wrote: And we will not support any option requiring debt.


Why?

+1

I understand saying the parents won't take any debt or even that you won't let him take on, say, 200K in debt because he might not recognize the full ramifications of that. Saying you won't let him take on ANY debt lest you stop supporting him entirely sounds very controlling. Neither of you may end up in debt, but depending on the outcome you could up with years or decades of resentment and ill-will. I would tread lightly.

SAM

timmy
Posts: 459
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:23 pm

BlueCable wrote:13 years ago, my resume looked very similar to your son's, although I didn't realize I was going to become an engineer yet. Thanks for making me feel old :D

I applied for every scholarship I could find. My high school's guidance counselor office had filing cabinets of potential scholarships. I think college scholarships and application assistance were the main reason that office even existed. I applied for institution-specific, state-specific, and universal scholarships. I found that state schools had many merit scholarships available, but aid at elite (:moneybag) schools was almost entirely need-based. Institution-specific scholarships were often a large fraction of total cost (1/4, 1/2, or full), while universal scholarships were $250-$2000, often for 1st year only.

When writing scholarship essays, I always made sure to write about how this specific scholarship was going to help me achieve great things in my career. I had several "base" scholarship essays, and would tailor them towards the organization offering the scholarship. I highlighted (embellished?) areas where my interests and the organization's values coincided. These essays are like job interviews; don't lie, but talk about yourself like you're the best thing since sliced bread, and the company would make a huge mistake to pass you up.

Make the essays personal and memorable. Make an emotional impact. I remember helping a friend with an essay for an art scholarship. The first draft was fairly non-descript and talked about how important art was to her in a general way. By the end, the essay focused on how even though her engineer father refused to pay for college if she was an art major, she was going to study art anyway because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't even remember anything else about that essay, except the section that was very personal, connected with the scholarship reviewers (who were artists), and gave a specific reason why this scholarship would change her life. She got the scholarship.

In the end, I had the choice between a free education at very well-respected state schools, or combining a few thousand dollars of universal scholarships with need-based aid at the elite institutions. I choose the state schools because I didn't want to be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt when I didn't even know what I wanted to do for my career. If your son truly wants to be an engineer, getting an in-state education at a great university like Michigan or UIUC will open nearly as many doors as MIT or Standford and be much less expensive. If your in-state schools are poor, go to the best school you can. If he wants to be a high-flying lawyer or Wall Street guy, go to the best school he can for undergrad to open more post-grad opportunities.

Finally, if you are forbidding him from taking on debt, you need to foot (almost) the whole bill after scholarships. For engineering students, the school year is for studying and the summers are for internships. Sure, I made some money during my internships, but not nearly enough to pay for tuition, room, board, etc. Especially if he ends up somewhere where costs exceed $50,000/year.


Great story. And really helpful ... I took a note on the essays.

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:26 pm

KlangFool wrote:
timmy wrote:
KlangFool wrote:http://news.bitofnews.com/malcom-gladwells-mindblowing-theory-on-why-its-better-to-be-a-big-fish-in-a-small-pond/

OP,

You may want to read the above article too. Aka, MIT / Stanford may not be good for you kid.

KlangFool


Thank you. I'll check it. Both my boy and I have read David and Goliath. We talked about the lessons from that, and hope to apply them. That said, Harvey Mudd and Rose Hulman are both very attractive. While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there (intent seems to be to fail kids at larger schools ... at least with the 100 and 200 level classes).


timmy,

For undergraduate engineering, personally, I probably will rank Harvey Mudd higher than MIT or Stanford.

<<While top schools and very competitive to get into, they seem to be more positive once you get there>>

Sorry, I disagree. Especially, if you are average or below average in those schools.

How would you feel to be the poorest among your neighbors? Ditto, how would a person feels to be the dumbest among their classmates? Do this for 4 years and the person will feel like dirt.

KlangFool


Very good point. We will take note of that and capture data points/ estimates of how well he will do once there. I agree. If you'll be in the bottom 1/3, that might be too much school for you.

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:28 pm

SRenaeP wrote:
BlueCable wrote:
I used a similar approach when searching for scholarships (albeit many moons ago). Those 'small' amounts can add up. I often hear coworkers complaining about lack of scholarships for their children but when I ask if they applied for the scholarship our MegaCorp offers, they've never heard of it. Similarly, my undergrad alumni chapter offers a scholarship every year and we get very few applicants. The key is to be diligent and thorough in your search.

-Steph


Ha... good point. My Dad's and Father in laws companies both offer scholarships (even though they are retired). My company does too.

KlangFool
Posts: 7190
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:28 pm

OP,

I do not believe in paying top dollar for undergraduate engineering degree. Go for a good in-state school. Unless somebody else (full ride scholarship) is paying for it, it is not worthwhile to go for the elite out of state school.

A) If your kid is not that smart, it is not worth the money and effort to let your kid to be the door mat at those elite schools.

B) If your kid is smart enough, cream will rise to the top. He / she will have very good CGPA at the undergraduate level. He / she will get a full ride graduate scholarship to study at those elite schools.

KlangFool

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:36 pm

BlueCable wrote:
timmy wrote: And we will not support any option requiring debt.


Why?


I don't believe most 18 year olds are mature enough to take on debt. They don't know what they are signing up for. This might be less true at $10K. It is even more true at $100k.

What happens if they don't finish school?

It's not needed. We are blessed with a good income. And he seems to be blessed with the raw stock to earn scholarships.

Freedom. A kid who graduates with an engineering degree (by way of example) and no debt is unbounded.

Most importantly, it doesn't fit our belief structure. (Closer to Dave Ramsey than not.)

Of note, my parents paid maybe 1/3 of mine. I paid for the remaining by working. It took me 6 years for a chemical engineering degree. My kid will work. Summers at least. Maybe more.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:37 pm

KlangFool wrote:OP,

I do not believe in paying top dollar for undergraduate engineering degree. Go for a good in-state school. Unless somebody else (full ride scholarship) is paying for it, it is not worthwhile to go for the elite out of state school.

A) If your kid is not that smart, it is not worth the money and effort to let your kid to be the door mat at those elite schools.

B) If your kid is smart enough, cream will rise to the top. He / she will have very good CGPA at the undergraduate level. He / she will get a full ride graduate scholarship to study at those elite schools.

KlangFool


Agree. I think this is a case of control what you can control. And make wise decisions.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:39 pm

timmy wrote:
KlangFool wrote:OP,

I do not believe in paying top dollar for undergraduate engineering degree.

KlangFool


Might disagree with you on this point. But we will go through the process and hopefully make good decisions along the way.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:47 pm

SecretAsianMan wrote:
BlueCable wrote:
timmy wrote: And we will not support any option requiring debt.


Why?

+1

I understand saying the parents won't take any debt or even that you won't let him take on, say, 200K in debt because he might not recognize the full ramifications of that. Saying you won't let him take on ANY debt lest you stop supporting him entirely sounds very controlling. Neither of you may end up in debt, but depending on the outcome you could up with years or decades of resentment and ill-will. I would tread lightly.

SAM


Thank you. I understand the caution. We've started these discussions already. We've told our 3 boys that we'll always love them unconditionally. However, our money comes with strings. It is actually not about control. It is about complete freedom. At 18, if he doesn't like the rules, he can move out. We'll even help him get started in life. I'm a bit old school like that.

Our oldest is mature. He seems to get it. The youngest ... he'll be another story.

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:50 pm

timmy wrote:Of note, my parents paid maybe 1/3 of mine. I paid for the remaining by working. It took me 6 years for a chemical engineering degree. My kid will work. Summers at least. Maybe more.


Average college costs are now about 3 times what you paid in real dollars. That means your parents would have paid 1/9 of your education, and you would have taken over 10 years to graduate. My rough reasoning for ~10 years:
  • 2/3 of your costs required 2 extra years of school, so that comes to 1 year per 1/3 of your costs
  • College is now 3 times more expensive, so that would be 3 years for each 1/3 of the cost
  • Assuming your parents paid the same amount, you would have needed 6 extra years of school to pay for your education

I don't mean to be overly critical. I think you are on the right track in deciding that Harvard isn't always the best option.

However, if your son can take on $40k of debt to significantly improve his career options, it is worth considering. For example, if he thinks he wants to use his engineering degree to be a patent lawyer, he should go to MIT or Stanford given the opportunity. It will help him get into the premier law schools, which absolutely correlates to higher starting salaries in law.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:55 pm

BlueCable wrote:
timmy wrote:Of note, my parents paid maybe 1/3 of mine. I paid for the remaining by working. It took me 6 years for a chemical engineering degree. My kid will work. Summers at least. Maybe more.


Average college costs are now about 3 times what you paid in real dollars. That means your parents would have paid 1/9 of your education, and you would have taken over 10 years to graduate. My rough reasoning for ~10 years:
  • 2/3 of your costs required 2 extra years of school, so that comes to 1 year per 1/3 of your costs
  • College is now 3 times more expensive, so that would be 3 years for each 1/3 of the cost
  • Assuming your parents paid the same amount, you would have needed 6 extra years of school to pay for your education

I don't mean to be overly critical. I think you are on the right track in deciding that Harvard isn't always the best option.

However, if your son can take on $40k of debt to significantly improve his career options, it is worth considering. For example, if he thinks he wants to use his engineering degree to be a patent lawyer, he should go to MIT or Stanford given the opportunity. It will help him get into the premier law schools, which absolutely correlates to higher starting salaries in law.


No problem. I really appreciate the feedback.

I think your general sentiments make sense. We'll be using all the tools available to give him an edge, save for debt. Thanks again.

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:56 pm

How are the public universities in your state?

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:03 pm

BlueCable wrote:
I don't mean to be overly critical. I think you are on the right track in deciding that Harvard isn't always the best option.

However, if your son can take on $40k of debt to significantly improve his career options, it is worth considering. For example, if he thinks he wants to use his engineering degree to be a patent lawyer, he should go to MIT or Stanford given the opportunity. It will help him get into the premier law schools, which absolutely correlates to higher starting salaries in law.


BlueCable,

I am a family with many engineers. And, many of my nephews are engineers. Frankly, that does not make any sense at the undergraduate level at all. All of my nephews went to good in-state schools. And, those that are VERY GOOD had fully paid sponsorship from the employers to attend the top schools.

In fact, I will say the REVERSE. If a person has to take on additional DEBT to attend out of state undergraduate engineering degree, it is most likely a WASTE of money. The person is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to get a full scholarship. So, why bother?

<< For example, if he thinks he wants to use his engineering degree to be a patent lawyer, he should go to MIT or Stanford given the opportunity.>>

If a person is going to a PATENT LAWYER, why WASTE 40K at undergraduate level? Where is THE MONEY at the graduate level going to come from?

KlangFool

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:07 pm

KlangFool wrote:If a person is going to a PATENT LAWYER, why WASTE 40K at undergraduate level? Where is THE MONEY at the graduate level going to come from?

KlangFool


If the student spent 40k to get into MIT and that helped get them into a top 5 law school, that 40k will be their bonus in their first year of work.

NightFall
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by NightFall » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:11 pm

KlangFool wrote:A) In order to be National Merit Commended Student, you need to be top 50K out of 1.5 millions
B) In order to be National Merit Semi-finalist, you need to be top 32K out of 1.5 millions
C) In order to be National Merit Finalist, you need to be top 16K out of 1.5 millions

If your son is not at least (A), he is probably not smart enough to go into those schools. And, even if he does, he will be at the bottom 1/3.

<<For example, if he does well on the SAT and keeps working hard,>>

As per my own observations, PSAT is very good in predicting the final SAT score. There could be improvement but the change is not significant in term of ranking.


I will simply note that this is just one person's opinion. It makes the assumption that PSAT or SAT score is a good predictor of intelligence. While there may be some correlation, I have seen many examples of very smart people that did not do well in some particular area. Just as an example, Ramanujan was probably one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history. He failed nearly every subject except for mathematics. I'm not saying that your child is of this caliber. However, I think the weight given to standardized testing is overdone.

welldone
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by welldone » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:14 pm

MIT and Standford are 70K a year for undergraduate and they don't offer scholarships - it is all need based aid. You really need to run the NPC calculators for both and realize that both require the CSS profile filled out as well as FAFSA. I wouldn't count on getting much (if any aid) if you and your spouse both work and you have been diligent about saving.

I personally believe that your son would be better off looking at schools 1-2 tiers below MIT/Stanford to be in real contention for the merit monies those "lesser" schools offer to attract applicants like your son. Look at schools in the top 50-150 to maximize merit money as well as being a bigger fish (and getting opportunities).

Engineering is one of the few fields where undergraduate "prestige" is almost meaningless. Top grades at any accredited engineering school will get a graduate into grad school or a great job. Also, there isn't a pay bump in engineering based upon the "prestige" of your degree. Engineering salaries are based upon experience because the degree is pretty much equal amongst top students.

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:15 pm

BlueCable wrote:
KlangFool wrote:If a person is going to a PATENT LAWYER, why WASTE 40K at undergraduate level? Where is THE MONEY at the graduate level going to come from?

KlangFool


If the student spent 40k to get into MIT and that helped get them into a top 5 law school, that 40k will be their bonus in their first year of work.


BlueCable,

1) I disagreed. If a person has to spend 40K to get into MIT, the person is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. So, the person may not survive in MIT at all. Much less getting into top 5 law schools.

2) How much DEBT for the top 5 law schools? It will be a lot more than the 40K.

3) Do you have any real first hand experience in this area?

4) My nephew got his BSEE from Texas A&M. The employer sponsored his MBA at MIT. Now, he is a director at 30+ years old.

KlangFool

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:16 pm

BlueCable wrote:How are the public universities in your state?


U of Illinois is very good and will be in the mix.

timmy
Posts: 459
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:18 pm

welldone wrote:MIT and Standford are 70K a year for undergraduate and they don't offer scholarships - it is all need based aid. You really need to run the NPC calculators for both and realize that both require the CSS profile filled out as well as FAFSA. I wouldn't count on getting much (if any aid) if you and your spouse both work and you have been diligent about saving.

I personally believe that your son would be better off looking at schools 1-2 tiers below MIT/Stanford to be in real contention for the merit monies those "lesser" schools offer to attract applicants like your son. Look at schools in the top 50-150 to maximize merit money as well as being a bigger fish (and getting opportunities).

Engineering is one of the few fields where undergraduate "prestige" is almost meaningless. Top grades at any accredited engineering school will get a graduate into grad school or a great job. Also, there isn't a pay bump in engineering based upon the "prestige" of your degree. Engineering salaries are based upon experience because the degree is pretty much equal amongst top students.


That makes sense. (And we won't get by on need.)

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:20 pm

timmy wrote:
BlueCable wrote:How are the public universities in your state?


U of Illinois is very good and will be in the mix.


If in-state U of I is an option, you are all set. As good as it gets.

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:23 pm

NightFall wrote:
KlangFool wrote:A) In order to be National Merit Commended Student, you need to be top 50K out of 1.5 millions
B) In order to be National Merit Semi-finalist, you need to be top 32K out of 1.5 millions
C) In order to be National Merit Finalist, you need to be top 16K out of 1.5 millions

If your son is not at least (A), he is probably not smart enough to go into those schools. And, even if he does, he will be at the bottom 1/3.

<<For example, if he does well on the SAT and keeps working hard,>>

As per my own observations, PSAT is very good in predicting the final SAT score. There could be improvement but the change is not significant in term of ranking.


I will simply note that this is just one person's opinion. It makes the assumption that PSAT or SAT score is a good predictor of intelligence. While there may be some correlation, I have seen many examples of very smart people that did not do well in some particular area. Just as an example, Ramanujan was probably one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history. He failed nearly every subject except for mathematics. I'm not saying that your child is of this caliber. However, I think the weight given to standardized testing is overdone.


NightFall,

<<Just as an example, Ramanujan was probably one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history. >>

At 18 years old, does Ramanujan KNOW that he is a BRILLIANT mathematician? I agree that PSAT is not a perfect system in ranking a person's intelligence. But, unless a person is living in a isolated cave, at 18 years old, a person would know how he / she rank in term of intelligence in many areas as compare their peers. PSAT allows a person to be ranked among their peers across the WHOLE COUNTRY. It is an OBJECTIVE measure. There are many others too.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:29 pm

timmy wrote:
BlueCable wrote:How are the public universities in your state?


U of Illinois is very good and will be in the mix.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universit ... 3Champaign

timmy,

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandrevie ... l-rankings

UIUC is very good! If your son can get into that school, I won't go anywhere else.

KlangFool

BlueCable
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by BlueCable » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:33 pm

Illinois actually has a calculator to help estimate your cost by major. I suspect engineering majors pay more in tuition. I know I paid about $2k more per year than Liberal Arts majors at my state school.

https://cost.illinois.edu/

When I ran it for 2017, the estimated costs were above $35k for engineering, although there are several thousand dollars for "other costs" which may not be incurred. I imagine tuition is going to increase several percent per year while your son is studying, especially given Illinois's budget issues. They have managed to freeze tuition the last few years, but other fees have increased.

Taking on $5k of debt per year to do UIUC would probably (edit: make that ABSOLUTELY) be worth it compared to no-debt UI-Springfield or UI-Chicago.
Last edited by BlueCable on Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

welldone
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by welldone » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:35 pm

UIUC is exceptionally difficult to get into for engineering. And, it is exceptionally expensive even for instate residents. In state total costs for engineering 2016-2017 is about 37K (for comparison - Wisconsin - Madison is about 26K a year for instate rates). Also, Illinois is notoriously stingy with aid, so OP would most probably be full pay. It is not a bad option at all (great if OP's son gets accepted!) but it is at the very top of their price point in 2016 dollars - tuition is only going up.

welldone
Posts: 28
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by welldone » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:35 pm

BlueCable wrote:Illinois actually has a calculator to help estimate your cost by major. I suspect engineering majors pay more in tuition. I know I paid about $2k more per year than Liberal Arts majors at my state school.

https://cost.illinois.edu/

When I ran it for 2017, the estimated costs were above $35k for engineering, although there are several thousand dollars for "other costs" which may not be incurred. I imagine tuition is going to increase several percent per year while your son is studying, especially given Illinois's budget issues. They have managed to freeze tuition the last few years, but other fees have increased.

Taking on $5k of debt per year to do UIUC would probably be worth it compared to no-debt UI-Springfield or UI-Chicago.


+1

timmy
Posts: 459
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:19 pm

BlueCable wrote:Illinois actually has a calculator to help estimate your cost by major. I suspect engineering majors pay more in tuition. I know I paid about $2k more per year than Liberal Arts majors at my state school.

https://cost.illinois.edu/

When I ran it for 2017, the estimated costs were above $35k for engineering, although there are several thousand dollars for "other costs" which may not be incurred. I imagine tuition is going to increase several percent per year while your son is studying, especially given Illinois's budget issues. They have managed to freeze tuition the last few years, but other fees have increased.

Taking on $5k of debt per year to do UIUC would probably (edit: make that ABSOLUTELY) be worth it compared to no-debt UI-Springfield or UI-Chicago.


Great tool. Thank you

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:22 pm

welldone wrote:UIUC is exceptionally difficult to get into for engineering. And, it is exceptionally expensive even for instate residents. In state total costs for engineering 2016-2017 is about 37K (for comparison - Wisconsin - Madison is about 26K a year for instate rates). Also, Illinois is notoriously stingy with aid, so OP would most probably be full pay. It is not a bad option at all (great if OP's son gets accepted!) but it is at the very top of their price point in 2016 dollars - tuition is only going up.


Yes, that is what I hear. No money for engineering. He is also considering Math and Physics. A family friend with similar credentials just got a full ride in math.

timmy
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Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:23 pm

KlangFool wrote:
timmy wrote:
BlueCable wrote:How are the public universities in your state?


U of Illinois is very good and will be in the mix.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universit ... 3Champaign

timmy,

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandrevie ... l-rankings

UIUC is very good! If your son can get into that school, I won't go anywhere else.

KlangFool


Yes, as good as it gets.

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:27 pm

<<Just as an example, Ramanujan was probably one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history. >>

At 18 years old, does Ramanujan KNOW that he is a BRILLIANT mathematician? I agree that PSAT is not a perfect system in ranking a person's intelligence. But, unless a person is living in a isolated cave, at 18 years old, a person would know how he / she rank in term of intelligence in many areas as compare their peers. PSAT allows a person to be ranked among their peers across the WHOLE COUNTRY. It is an OBJECTIVE measure. There are many others too.

KlangFool[/quote]

Good point. For my son, the issue be deciding with path (Mechanical, Chemical, etc.) to head down. As he works at these topics, it'll come to him.

In terms of interest, he studies coding, math, chemistry and physics on his own. He seems to like applied better than theoretical.

timmy
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Post by timmy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:29 pm

Thanks for all the replies so far. This is what I was hoping for. Useful information and differing POVs. Excellent! Keep it coming.

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