Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

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oldfort
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

MIT is a good example of the changes which took place in college admissions. In 1971, less than 10% of MIT's student body was female. Today it's 50/50. The increase in women attending MIT has meant men are competing over a smaller share of the available slots than were available to them half a century ago.
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market timer
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by market timer »

oldfort wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:12 pm MIT is a good example of the changes which took place in college admissions. In 1971, less than 10% of MIT's student body was female. Today it's 50/50. The increase in women attending MIT has meant men are competing over a smaller share of the available slots than were available to them half a century ago.
And 35% Asian or Asian-American.
usagi
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by usagi »

simas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:34 am
that is 100% not true - it is not harder , it is just different. Different society, different rules, different (very different) laws, different capabilities, completely different medicine. I wish we just stop with whining of 'how much harder' - each and every generation , each and every time was saying the same things and each time it was not true. it is not harder, it is different. the choices your kids (and my kids ) have right now were just impossible at all even 25 years ago, much less 50.

get a profession in demand (especially in STEAM), and you are getting 60K out of college. that is ~10k in 1970 dollars or median household income at that time.
This. We bought the hype and saved for college and regret it. None of our children even came close to using their college fund, not even close. By the time college came around they were wise to the scam. So off to community college for them, selecting a 4 year college and 6 year college program based on merits of the program they were entering and the ability of that program to provide high quality, good paying internships in their field of study, leading to multiple offers by graduation.
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:35 pm
I hire college fresh-outs and the bar is pretty high. A solid internship is the norm.
Yes, but, look at the reason why many companies are doing that. Part of the problem is you can no longer trust that a person graduating from a college is proficient in their field of study, nor that they can read with comprehension or write. An internship is one of the few objective measures a recruiter has to go by.

IBM learned this lesson, they now recruit from non-traditional backgrounds (i.e. other than college) putting it under the guise of promoting diversity and opportunity for all. But the real reason was simple, they had multiple wash out years of hiring college graduates who simply could not function in a corporate environment. Either the educational standards eroded to the extent that the hires could not actually absorb the employer provided training or the hires could not function in a structured environment.
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:02 pm
No one is forcing anyone to live a comfortable middle/upper mid-class lifestyle. If a person chooses to live like an average household, the person is saving like an average person in the USA. Aka, less than 5% per year.


It is a choice. Live like the average household, save like an average household, and ended up with all the financial problems of the average household.


Do not be average. Live one level below your income peers. Then, you could save a lot of money.


KlangFool
As usual, KlangFool knocks it out of the park.
simas
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by simas »

usagi wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:42 pm
This. We bought the hype and saved for college and regret it. None of our children even came close to using their college fund, not even close. By the time college came around they were wise to the scam. So off to community college for them, selecting a 4 year college and 6 year college program based on merits of the program they were entering and the ability of that program to provide high quality, good paying internships in their field of study, leading to multiple offers by graduation.

We did not buy the hype (yet) but did save 300k for two children under 10 for college needs in 529 plans plus grandparents set aside another 100k for their education. We will see what the real needs us.

Out of curiosity I looked at the costs of my school i went to 20+ years ago in Missouri and it is still very reasonable
- in state + all costs (room and board) , 18K annually
- out of state + all costs (25 annually)
98% of students receive financial aid with automatic scholarships.

In my state (Illinois), tuition +feeds cost of state school is 16k annually for undergrand before any aid is considered of applied.

Wonder where are the scary stories of "100K is not enough for year in public school in your state" coming from.. :confused
usagi
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by usagi »

simas wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:22 am
We did not buy the hype (yet) but did save 300k for two children under 10 for college needs in 529 plans plus grandparents set aside another 100k for their education. We will see what the real needs us.

Out of curiosity I looked at the costs of my school i went to 20+ years ago in Missouri and it is still very reasonable
- in state + all costs (room and board) , 18K annually
- out of state + all costs (25 annually)
98% of students receive financial aid with automatic scholarships.

In my state (Illinois), tuition +feeds cost of state school is 16k annually for undergrand before any aid is considered of applied.

Wonder where are the scary stories of "100K is not enough for year in public school in your state" coming from.. :confused
In Illinois, if your child graduates from a community college you are guaranteed admission to the state colleges(but not the individual programs). Some of the Illinois state colleges have programs that are among the best in the country with a plethora of paid internships and highly shopped graduates. One thing to note, at least when mine were there, they added a surcharge on programs that get you jobs. So the STEM students end up subsidizing the art and history majors (slap).

Illinois is, or was, a tricky state for college in regard to aid. The costs were/are reasonable (caveat my last one graduated a few years ago) but we received no financial aid despite 4.0/4.0 GPAs, so merit based scholarship, not so much. They did end up getting major specific stipends from companies directly that offered internships and recruited from their program. And because of the program they were in, they were able to find good paying internships, though they hunted for them nationwide rather than take the more modest paying offerings at the college. The internships they landed paid $25 to $35 an hour. Each child took two internships and used them to fill elective hours. Between the company specific stipend and the internships they pretty much covered the cost of their bachelors degrees. To clarify the stipend, the would be employer were essentially giving a would be employee who already interned for them a scholarship as an inducement to work for them after graduation. So he earned $45,160 in internships( one spring semester and one summer semester) and then he collected a 5K and 7K stipends from the companies.

My opinion is, if you child knows what career they want, what the education path is to get there, they should select colleges based on a well regarded program in their area of study that is shopped by recruiters in their desired profession and offers excellent paid internships; weigh that first, then consider the colleges overall reputation. For example Harvard has a great reputation as a college but it is a nobody in the professions they wanted to go into, on the other hand their state college was recognized throughout the world as having one of the finest programs in their field of study. So they ended up walking out the door of their state college with a decent paying job, no college debt, and were earning over 6 figures within 3 years of graduation.

But then you mileage may vary. I tend to think I have lower-class mindset in regard to college, which is college, now, is simply vocational training. In this day and age you can gain a classical liberal education for free via the Internet and library system so paying for it via college makes little practical sense; as long as a student has the discipline to expand themselves via both routes they will be well situated in life.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

simas wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:22 am
usagi wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:42 pm
This. We bought the hype and saved for college and regret it. None of our children even came close to using their college fund, not even close. By the time college came around they were wise to the scam. So off to community college for them, selecting a 4 year college and 6 year college program based on merits of the program they were entering and the ability of that program to provide high quality, good paying internships in their field of study, leading to multiple offers by graduation.

We did not buy the hype (yet) but did save 300k for two children under 10 for college needs in 529 plans plus grandparents set aside another 100k for their education. We will see what the real needs us.

Out of curiosity I looked at the costs of my school i went to 20+ years ago in Missouri and it is still very reasonable
- in state + all costs (room and board) , 18K annually
- out of state + all costs (25 annually)
98% of students receive financial aid with automatic scholarships.

In my state (Illinois), tuition +feeds cost of state school is 16k annually for undergrand before any aid is considered of applied.

Wonder where are the scary stories of "100K is not enough for year in public school in your state" coming from.. :confused
My in state is only $11K for tuition and fee but $27K total after housing, meal plan, books, etc. $100K for out of state maybe...ours is $53K total out of state.

UVA is $51K for tuition and fees and around $18K for everything else...but that still doesn't get you to $100K. Different majors do cost more...McIntire School of Commerce takes you up to $81K.

https://sfs.virginia.edu/financial-aid- ... -2020-2021
PowderDay9
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by PowderDay9 »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:32 pm In state tuition is $10K for my state. On campus housing is $8K. Meal plan is $5K...all in around $27K for in state. For non-residents the tuition is $37K.

I have no idea where you get your numbers from but according to college data the average is $27K a year so my state is pretty much average.
Curious why you include food and housing costs in your cost of college. If your kid didn't go to college they would still have to pay money to eat and for a place to live (assuming they don't live with their parents). Plus housing and food varies. You can live off campus and share a house for cheap in most places. You can spend less than $5k a year on food. Some families spend less than that so no reason a college kid can't.

$10k a year for tuition is reasonable and I'd call the cost of college $40k then.
stoptothink
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by stoptothink »

PowderDay9 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:40 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:32 pm In state tuition is $10K for my state. On campus housing is $8K. Meal plan is $5K...all in around $27K for in state. For non-residents the tuition is $37K.

I have no idea where you get your numbers from but according to college data the average is $27K a year so my state is pretty much average.
Curious why you include food and housing costs in your cost of college. If your kid didn't go to college they would still have to pay money to eat and for a place to live (assuming they don't live with their parents). Plus housing and food varies. You can live off campus and share a house for cheap in most places. You can spend less than $5k a year on food. Some families spend less than that so no reason a college kid can't.

$10k a year for tuition is reasonable and I'd call the cost of college $40k then.
I live in an area where we have a handful of universities that are <$7k/yr for tuition + fees within driving distance, two literally within bike riding distance of my front door (which my wife did regularly over the last 4yrs). At this point, we assume that our children will go to one of these two universities and live at home (as did their mom and almost all our relatives in the area) and we have saved enough in 529s to cover this already (they are 8 and 5). We are fortunate, but there are a lot of people in this country who live close to cost-effective universities. Cost of college varies dramatically based upon your situation, so these discussion always end up essentially pointless.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

PowderDay9 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:40 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:32 pm In state tuition is $10K for my state. On campus housing is $8K. Meal plan is $5K...all in around $27K for in state. For non-residents the tuition is $37K.

I have no idea where you get your numbers from but according to college data the average is $27K a year so my state is pretty much average.
Curious why you include food and housing costs in your cost of college. If your kid didn't go to college they would still have to pay money to eat and for a place to live (assuming they don't live with their parents). Plus housing and food varies. You can live off campus and share a house for cheap in most places. You can spend less than $5k a year on food. Some families spend less than that so no reason a college kid can't.

$10k a year for tuition is reasonable and I'd call the cost of college $40k then.
It’s still not $3500 or whatever AVERAGE as old fort suggested. Maybe not even for living at home and going to community college and then transferring to a nearby 4 year.

$27K per year is what 4 year state schools costs on average retail.

What folks pay after that depends on so many factors that there isn’t a useful way to compare.

Good luck on a $40K spend total for college. It can be done but it’s not typical for most boglehead families.
oldfort
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

nigel_ht wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:33 am
PowderDay9 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:40 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:32 pm In state tuition is $10K for my state. On campus housing is $8K. Meal plan is $5K...all in around $27K for in state. For non-residents the tuition is $37K.

I have no idea where you get your numbers from but according to college data the average is $27K a year so my state is pretty much average.
Curious why you include food and housing costs in your cost of college. If your kid didn't go to college they would still have to pay money to eat and for a place to live (assuming they don't live with their parents). Plus housing and food varies. You can live off campus and share a house for cheap in most places. You can spend less than $5k a year on food. Some families spend less than that so no reason a college kid can't.

$10k a year for tuition is reasonable and I'd call the cost of college $40k then.
It’s still not $3500 or whatever AVERAGE as old fort suggested. Maybe not even for living at home and going to community college and then transferring to a nearby 4 year.

$27K per year is what 4 year state schools costs on average retail.

What folks pay after that depends on so many factors that there isn’t a useful way to compare.

Good luck on a $40K spend total for college. It can be done but it’s not typical for most boglehead families.
Average net tuition and fees is $3-4k at a public four-year university. If you're trying to argue one generation on average had it worse than another on average, it makes zero sense to look at retail, when most families don't pay retail. If you want to move the goalpost to what's typical for most boglehead families, what boglehead is making their kids take out crushing student debt? Doesn't the typical boglehead family either cash flow college or start a 529 when their kid is born?

https://research.collegeboard.org/pdf/t ... d-2020.pdf
PowderDay9
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by PowderDay9 »

nigel_ht wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:33 am Good luck on a $40K spend total for college. It can be done but it’s not typical for most boglehead families.
I can pre-pay for 4 years of university tuition right now for less than $28k. I don't count food and rent as college expenses since those are lifelong expenses, irregardless if you are in college or not.

https://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/prepai ... d-pricing/
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

PowderDay9 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:14 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:33 am Good luck on a $40K spend total for college. It can be done but it’s not typical for most boglehead families.
I can pre-pay for 4 years of university tuition right now for less than $28k. I don't count food and rent as college expenses since those are lifelong expenses, irregardless if you are in college or not.

https://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/prepai ... d-pricing/
If college is really that cheap for everyone then it should be a no brainer for BH parents to always fund 4 years of education. If you can't save $30K for each kid to make them competitive in the work force then you probably can't appreciably save for retirement either.

As seen in oldfort's source the cheapest instate tuition is WY followed by FL.
Last edited by nigel_ht on Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

oldfort wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:03 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:33 am
PowderDay9 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:40 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:32 pm In state tuition is $10K for my state. On campus housing is $8K. Meal plan is $5K...all in around $27K for in state. For non-residents the tuition is $37K.

I have no idea where you get your numbers from but according to college data the average is $27K a year so my state is pretty much average.
Curious why you include food and housing costs in your cost of college. If your kid didn't go to college they would still have to pay money to eat and for a place to live (assuming they don't live with their parents). Plus housing and food varies. You can live off campus and share a house for cheap in most places. You can spend less than $5k a year on food. Some families spend less than that so no reason a college kid can't.

$10k a year for tuition is reasonable and I'd call the cost of college $40k then.
It’s still not $3500 or whatever AVERAGE as old fort suggested. Maybe not even for living at home and going to community college and then transferring to a nearby 4 year.

$27K per year is what 4 year state schools costs on average retail.

What folks pay after that depends on so many factors that there isn’t a useful way to compare.

Good luck on a $40K spend total for college. It can be done but it’s not typical for most boglehead families.
Average net tuition and fees is $3-4k at a public four-year university. If you're trying to argue one generation on average had it worse than another on average, it makes zero sense to look at retail, when most families don't pay retail. If you want to move the goalpost to what's typical for most boglehead families, what boglehead is making their kids take out crushing student debt? Doesn't the typical boglehead family either cash flow college or start a 529 when their kid is born?

https://research.collegeboard.org/pdf/t ... d-2020.pdf
Thank you for the source. You are correct that for tuition and fees it's $3500. However:

"In 2020-21, first-time full-time in-state students at public four-year colleges need to cover an estimated average of $14,850 in tuition and fees and room and board after grant aid, in addition to $4,640 in books and supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses."

That's a little more than $3000-$4000 a year.

I guess my comment is the same to you as powderday: if folks don't think college is actually all that expensive (which is the only reason I can think of to assert college is only $3500 a year) then it should be a no brainer for BH parents to always fund 4 years college for each kid to make them more competitive in the 2021 job market. The ROI for a mere $3500 per year investment (total $14K) for a high chance of improved income over a lifetime for each child is impossible to beat and that provides an additional safety net in retirement unless your kids are heartless enough to leave you homeless.
Last edited by nigel_ht on Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Valuethinker
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Valuethinker »

engineer101 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:32 pm
My SAT scores were in the mid-1200's, which was respectable for someone going into engineering school. My older son scored 1500+ and that was just meh. He had a bunch of classmates with perfect 1600's. So without some compelling hook he was just not that interesting to many of his choice schools. He did get into state school but now feels like a failure b/c he didn't get into some private schools like his friends. My younger son is so discouraged about the whole process I'm not sure he's even going to try. We're trying to convince them both otherwise, but they think and feel and believe what they do regardless. It's difficult to watch them go through this.

I also think the whole social media phenomenon is hard - not for me or perhaps many in my generation (50's) or older folks, but for our kids, yes very. They're just inundated with all the flash and bling of celebrities and "influencers" (god I hate that word...), and it's hard to be objective about their own lives in comparison.

Not to whine about life being tough, but just overall agreement with the OP that if we can help our kids to get started in their adult lives, we'll do what we can.
I believe the whole basis of SAT scores was changed during the 1990s? After that, perfect scores became far more common.

I had a friend who had a perfect Math SAT and got into Rennselaer (sp?) & MIT. In those days (1980) it was very rare to get a perfect math SAT. He went to a (much cheaper) Canadian school and works on projects for NASA now.

I am sorry your sons are so discouraged. I do think the best of US education is actually the 4 year colleges with a strong orientation towards teaching. People seem to have the happiest times at those places and develop the most as human beings*. However they are usually private, and very expensive. Failing that, getting into the right programme in a public university can lead to good outcomes. If I had it again, and money was not a constraint, something like U of Chicago would have suited me (very academic, everyone takes some generalist humanities courses, etc).

Agree re the horrors of social media. At my generation & older it is the Facebook phenomenon - any improbable story can get traction and be circulated, and believed, on FB in a way that it would never be if you read it in the newspaper, say. But for the younger generation, it is this impression, carefully cultivated, by these people seemingly leading the perfect lives. Like a constant diet of Hello/OK (magazines about the lifestyles of the rich and famous).

* winners will win, wherever they go. But for the more average student.
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nigel_ht
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by nigel_ht »

Valuethinker wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:03 am
engineer101 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:32 pm
My SAT scores were in the mid-1200's, which was respectable for someone going into engineering school. My older son scored 1500+ and that was just meh. He had a bunch of classmates with perfect 1600's. So without some compelling hook he was just not that interesting to many of his choice schools. He did get into state school but now feels like a failure b/c he didn't get into some private schools like his friends. My younger son is so discouraged about the whole process I'm not sure he's even going to try. We're trying to convince them both otherwise, but they think and feel and believe what they do regardless. It's difficult to watch them go through this.

I also think the whole social media phenomenon is hard - not for me or perhaps many in my generation (50's) or older folks, but for our kids, yes very. They're just inundated with all the flash and bling of celebrities and "influencers" (god I hate that word...), and it's hard to be objective about their own lives in comparison.

Not to whine about life being tough, but just overall agreement with the OP that if we can help our kids to get started in their adult lives, we'll do what we can.
I believe the whole basis of SAT scores was changed during the 1990s? After that, perfect scores became far more common.

I had a friend who had a perfect Math SAT and got into Rennselaer (sp?) & MIT. In those days (1980) it was very rare to get a perfect math SAT. He went to a (much cheaper) Canadian school and works on projects for NASA now.
Heh, I had friends with perfect SAT scores...maybe not 1600 but the max possible in that year.

Almost 40 years later looking on linked in and other places the final outcome isn't remarkably different. I don't think I'm anything but dead average but I had to redo my resume recently and as I look back it turns out that by pure luck I've worked on some pretty remarkable things. Not bad for an average engineer from a slightly above average state engineering program.

There was a girl from some lower ranked Ivy...maybe Columbia...giving a talk to kids at a local club and she made some comment about how "oh its fine to go to state school and become a regular engineer but if you want to work on really great stuff you need to go to an elite school".

I just smiled at her.
Last edited by nigel_ht on Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
brianH
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by brianH »

MarkBarb wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:42 pm Housing is another example. Cost/sq ft is similar, but people want bigger, fancier houses than we had back in the 70s. I see a lot more brick and granite and a lot less vinyl. And while the purchase price has gone up, mortgage rates are about 3-4% today but they were 7-12% back in the 70s. If people were as worried about higher housing prices as they say, someone would be building smaller, cheaper houses. The fact that they aren't tells me that people would rather pay high prices for nice houses.
A large part of the problem is the cost of land and the numerous government entities that have their hand out during the house planning and building process. These costs don't scale linearly with house size, so builders seeking to maximize profits either bump square footage or build as many homes (townhomes/'carriage homes') on the same land and under the same plan as possible.

In my M-H COL area, it's still possible to find new construction under 2000 sq/ft, but it's going to be a townhouse.
oldfort
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by oldfort »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:57 am Thank you for the source. You are correct that for tuition and fees it's $3500. However:

"In 2020-21, first-time full-time in-state students at public four-year colleges need to cover an estimated average of $14,850 in tuition and fees and room and board after grant aid, in addition to $4,640 in books and supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses."

That's a little more than $3000-$4000 a year.

I guess my comment is the same to you as powderday: if folks don't think college is actually all that expensive (which is the only reason I can think of to assert college is only $3500 a year) then it should be a no brainer for BH parents to always fund 4 years college for each kid to make them more competitive in the 2021 job market. The ROI for a mere $3500 per year investment (total $14K) for a high chance of improved income over a lifetime for each child is impossible to beat and that provides an additional safety net in retirement unless your kids are heartless enough to leave you homeless.
This thread has drifted a lot from the original discussion, which was comparing some nostalgic and idealized version of 1970s life to today, as if life was so much better when we had rotary phones, rabbit ears tvs, Ford Pintos, 1970s medical care, and half of homes lacked air conditioning. Some of the dorms at my college didn't have air conditioning in the 2000s. I agree with you a BA/BS from almost any public, in-state college should be expected to have a positive ROI.
jharkin
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by jharkin »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:35 am

Heh, I had friends with perfect SAT scores...maybe not 1600 but the max possible in that year.

Almost 40 years later looking on linked in and other places the final outcome isn't remarkably different. I don't think I'm anything but dead average but I had to redo my resume recently and as I look back it turns out that by pure luck I've worked on some pretty remarkable things. Not bad for an average engineer from a slightly above average state engineering program.

There was a girl from some lower ranked Ivy...maybe Columbia...giving a talk to kids at a local club and she made some comment about how "oh its fine to go to state school and become a regular engineer but if you want to work on really great stuff you need to go to an elite school".

I just smiled at her.
When I took them in the early 90s I think I knew of one person - school valedictorian - who had 1500+. I think 1400 was enough to make the cut at Harvard. I did mid 1100s to mid-1200s. I got waitlisted at MIT but managed to get accepted pretty much everywhere else I applied. I had to decide on cost...


I hadn't realized the rules changes make perfect scores so much easier now. What good is the test then?
Jags4186
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Jags4186 »

Re: college costs I think we just drastically underestimate how many folks who aren’t tradition 18-22 year old kids who go live in a dorm for 4 years and graduate. There are 100,000s of older students who work and go to college and/or live with parents/relatives and go to college.

As you can see above, for many in state tier 2 and 3 schools, the room and board is 2x-3x the tuition. If you can avoid that due to someone else’s kindness, you are far and away ahead. Of course, many (most?) 18 year olds want the dorm experience, want college college athletics, want the stuff that makes college $$$$$.

All to say, I doubt $30,000 is the average loan for the traditional 4-year, dorm staying, 18-22 year old student.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

I'd say different rather than harder, with the main change being that college costs are outpacing wage growth and that college is becoming for a middle class life. So the stakes with respect to education are higher at the same time it's more expensive. And it's the last big expense to launch kids, and more expected that your parents will pay.

(Side note: unless your kid is living with you during college or non traditional (working their way through over years) you really should budget for room/board as an expense, because if they're in a separate household one can't assume that it's just whatever you pay to feed them now or exactly the cost of their bedroom.)

But many other things are cheaper or hard to compare. Health care iand insurances a lot more expensive, but there's also great advances in technology. No one needed a smartphone in 1970 which is good because they hadn't been invented yet!
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greg24
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by greg24 »

Daycare is much more expensive now, because in the 1970s, they sent you to the weird lady down the street. The one who would send you to the corner to buy cigarettes for her. From a guy who would sell cigarettes to kids.

There are ~125M more people in the US, a much higher ptg of population is interested in higher ed, and roughly the same number of state schools. Of course the competition is higher.

I think it is easier to live a very comfortable lifestyle now than in the 1970s. But you may have to avoid keeping up with the joneses.
Leesbro63
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by Leesbro63 »

greg24 wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:56 am There are ~125M more people in the US, a much higher ptg of population is interested in higher ed, and roughly the same number of state schools. Of course the competition is higher.
This is not exactly right. It's true for the Ivy and "name" schools just below that. And it's somewhat true for flagship state schools. But there is a huge amount of excess college capacity, overall. More desks than students.
stoptothink
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Re: Family Costs 1970s vs 2020s

Post by stoptothink »

jharkin wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:14 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:35 am

Heh, I had friends with perfect SAT scores...maybe not 1600 but the max possible in that year.

Almost 40 years later looking on linked in and other places the final outcome isn't remarkably different. I don't think I'm anything but dead average but I had to redo my resume recently and as I look back it turns out that by pure luck I've worked on some pretty remarkable things. Not bad for an average engineer from a slightly above average state engineering program.

There was a girl from some lower ranked Ivy...maybe Columbia...giving a talk to kids at a local club and she made some comment about how "oh its fine to go to state school and become a regular engineer but if you want to work on really great stuff you need to go to an elite school".

I just smiled at her.
When I took them in the early 90s I think I knew of one person - school valedictorian - who had 1500+. I think 1400 was enough to make the cut at Harvard. I did mid 1100s to mid-1200s. I got waitlisted at MIT but managed to get accepted pretty much everywhere else I applied. I had to decide on cost...


I hadn't realized the rules changes make perfect scores so much easier now. What good is the test then?
I scored 1370 on the first try (class of '98) and knew it was plenty, received a partial merit to UCLA. My sister, class of '01, scored in the 1100s and went to Brown and her best friend headed to Stanford with a similar score (to be fair, we all checked the right box for ethnicity).
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