The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

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nigel_ht
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

hand wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:13 am
hand wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:55 pm
Money is easy, giving my kid the opportunity to refine how they see and experience the world is likely to be vastly more valuable.
Lack of money precludes seeing and experiencing the world. An extra $1m at age 38 allows you to experience a lot.
Personally, I'd prefer a deeper more nuanced experience of the world around me and the ability to think critically and communicate clearly to an extra million dollars.
Okay, must be nice not to care about a million bucks. That's worth a lot of nuance for normal folks.

And I still don't why you must attend a high priced private university to learn critical thinking, have a nuanced experience, etc...and that somehow a public in-state university precludes such an experience.
sls239
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by sls239 »

It really is an incredibly privileged position to be able to just waive away “experience” as inconsequential.

There are students whose “experience” can range from questions like how likely is the food in the dining hall to make me sick, to will I be discriminated against in housing due to my gender identity, to what will my interactions with campus police be like, to will blatant sexism or racism among faculty be addressed or will the burden be shifted to the students, will there be faculty and advisors that look like me or share my background?

Experience matters, deeply.
thedaybeforetoday
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:54 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:26 am
nigel_ht wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:20 pm
bltn wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 10:01 pm
hand wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:55 pm
Personally, I wouldn't spend more than I could afford for a child's education, but were I in the position to afford it, I wouldn't shy away from investing in a bit more than a basic financially justified education for my kid. Money is easy, giving my kid the opportunity to refine how they see and experience the world is likely to be vastly more valuable.
Well said.

I m surprised this concept took so long to be voiced in this thread.
I agree that some things would be worth “a bit more” but so far there are few examples of “a bit more” that doesn’t end up being “a lot more” for the average kid.

Sure, my average kid got lots of “scholarships” from private universities that moved tuition from $50K a year tuition to $35K a year but that’s still $25K a year more than $10K a year for in-state flagship.

The $100K savings delta for 4 years invested in the market is a good financial start and after 20 years…likely a vast sum.

Average kids aren’t going to end up working for FAANG and getting low 6 figure bases with low 6 figures worth of RSUs.

Average kids aren’t even likely to make it into med school.
Average kids (I assume you mean students with average GPA/test scores and such) who apply and are accepted to below average privates usually have a lower net cost relative to flagship U in our area of the world.
Not for the US.

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cua

“In academic year 2019–20, the average net price of attendance (total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) for first-time, full-time undergraduate students attending 4-year institutions was $14,200 at public institutions, compared with $28,100 at private nonprofit institutions and $23,200 at private for-profit institutions (in constant 2020–21 dollars).”

And less so for HHI above $110K:

“Those with family incomes of $110,001 or more were awarded the lowest amount ($21,800) in aid from private nonprofit 4-year institutions.“

Image

What are the stats like in your part of the world?

We looked at McDill, U of T, UBC and some colleges in London.

I wish my kids spoke German fluently, lol…TUM is free.
That said, heavily weighting net cost as the primary metric to choose a school and determine best fit for a student doesn't seem all that wise.
It’s something we could do because our local flagship is good and the 2nd best school isn’t terrible. For some kids in other states the ROI equation will end up different.

The most useful outcome for me doing this analysis was finding University of South Florida (USNWR #97)…of course its students aren’t entirely average:

“USF’s fall 2021 Freshman academic profile posts an average SAT score of 1297 and a high school GPA of 4.18, which exceeds the Florida Board of Governors Preeminence benchmarks.”

Perhaps for “average smart” kids.

The other useful result was the quantification of the long term financial delta of the different choices.

My presumption is that parents here want to provide good financial education for their kids.

By showing the cost difference, calculating the ROI based on out of pocket cost vs median salary and the long term portfolio difference is good foundation for a lifelong financial savings and decision making.

This is the same process that leads you to choose a Camry over a Mercedes. While a Mercedes may have superior intangible value over a Toyota most of it, in my opinion, is paying for short term luxury at the expense of long term wealth.

The quantifiable advantages of the perennial BH favorite Toyota Camry over a cheaper car can be evaluated to determine if it really provides “best bang for the buck” value over absolute lowest total cost options.

And at the end of the day my kids are picking based on understanding the real costs of their choices.

DS understands his education is personally costing him around $500K or so at age 38. Not my first choice but for him it may be the best option. He’s not the most frugal of the kids…so I guess he better work on offense.

DD would rather have a house…unless she gets acceptance to an elite university. Sophomore year we’re going to look for condos around wherever she goes. Freshman year I told her it’s more fun to live on campus.

Whether the condo turns out to be more remunerative than VTI will be undetermined for decades but it gives her a taste of real estate investing and whether she wants to do that over more passive index investing as a lifestyle decision.

All in all, so far happy with the “unwise” decision to heavily weight net cost as the primary metric.

Hopefully this thread is useful for other parents with high school students.
I consider the car analogy an apples and oranges kind of comparison. Determining the value of an education is quite a bit more fuzzy.

Your data is based on averages, and you and your kid(s), like me and my kids, will be making decisions one where they attend(ed) based upon the actual award letters they get from each school they applied to. Once those letters are opened and the awards are digested, statewide/regional/national averages are of no consequence.

My part of the world I referenced is regarding my three kids who all either attend or recently graduated private universities on the east coast of the U.S. All three received substantial merit and financial aid monies such that it was cheaper for them to attend private U than to attend state flagship U.

To be fair, all 3 had far above average GPA/test scores/APs, so perhaps they don't fit the average student experience, but they all had far less net price to attend 4 year private U vs highly regarded state U. This was also true of other privates that they were accepted to but chose not to attend. So perhaps I am overgeneralizing my kids' experiences to the average student experience.

I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures ), as I have heard that high achieving students who could go to a top school (Duke/Penn for example in my kids cases), but chose 1 level down (still top 50) really drive down their net cost. Ex: At the extreme of our 3 kids, net cost to attend, on average, for 4 years, was 8k/year. all in. It's an 80k/year east coast private U. State U would have cost 17k/year all in.

Cost was somewhat of a factor, (we have our kids pay 10% of all college related net costs) but not the driving force behind their decisions to attend and we may just disagree on net cost as the primary driver behind determining a student's best fit for post h.s. education.

PS: Our kids have been managing their own money since age 13 (we give them a monthly stipend, around $100 and they pay for all their activities, clothes, etc. We paid for educational experiences at that same 90% clip), so the financial aspect of choosing a college was something they were accustomed to doing on a smaller scale, and probably wasn't any more or less of a financial educational experience. I'll have to ask them.
They already knew how to figure out the long term ramifications of interest/loans, etc and thus they told me what their long term net cost would be for each of the short list of schools that they were considering once they got each award letter.
YMMV
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
ncbill
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by ncbill »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:02 am My part of the world I referenced is regarding my three kids who all either attend or recently graduated private universities on the east coast of the U.S. All three received substantial merit and financial aid monies such that it was cheaper for them to attend private U than to attend state flagship U.

To be fair, all 3 had far above average GPA/test scores/APs, so perhaps they don't fit the average student experience, but they all had far less net price to attend 4 year private U vs highly regarded state U. This was also true of other privates that they were accepted to but chose not to attend. So perhaps I am overgeneralizing my kids' experiences to the average student experience.

I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures ), as I have heard that high achieving students who could go to a top school (Duke/Penn for example in my kids cases), but chose 1 level down (still top 50) really drive down their net cost. Ex: At the extreme of our 3 kids, net cost to attend, on average, for 4 years, was 8k/year. all in. It's an 80k/year east coast private U. State U would have cost 17k/year all in.
Same here...with scholarships & grants from the school itself public schools were more expensive than private for my kids.

One did move on to a 'public' school after a year, though.

Since the chances of anyone-reading-this-thread's kid actually getting into a HYMPS school is minuscule w/o a hook (e.g. legacy) I think the real question is sending your kid to a public school versus committing to pay for a lower-ranked, but you're-still-paying-almost-full-price private 'safety' school.
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nigel_ht
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:25 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:16 am
Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:38 am And that's before you even get to intangibles. Like, you know, actual learning.
The insinuation that you can’t learn at at a school like Purdue and must instead go somewhere like MIT is laughable.
I never said that one can't learn at Purdue (or anywhere else). In fact, I am on record saying the opposite - and I was taught that way and have taught my kids this way. In fact, DS's college essay was on this very topic - that it is not the places that grace men, but men the places.

But it is also hard defend a point that there is absolutely no difference, yet in these discussions, the difference is often either simply ignored or outright denied.
The average for MIT for "Computer and Mathematical" is $125K.

https://ir.mit.edu/gss

The average for Purdue for "Computer Science" is $92K

https://www.cco.purdue.edu/Files/Upload ... salary.pdf

(Both 2019)

That's a quantifiable difference in outcome between the two for computer science.
There are kids that could easily be top of their class at the state flagship that struggle at MIT.

https://thetech.com/2022/02/03/for-pain
If we assume that the top of the class at Purdue is in the 75% percentile of salary their outcome is $109K. If they are struggling at MIT and we assume these kids will end up in the 25th percentile their outcome is $105K so the Purdue kids do a little better and I'm guessing their college experience won't be as painful as described in your link...
Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:22 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:08 am For the vast majority of kids full price at Purdue is better than full price at MIT because they simply can’t get into MIT…not that Purdue is all that easy to get into.
Actually, for the vast majority of kids (including ours) Purdue is more expensive than MIT (admission chances aside).
The vast majority of kids can't get into either Purdue or MIT. For the kids that can get into Purdue but not MIT it also doesn't matter.

For the kids who can get into both...on BH the likely relevant metric isn't for the average attendee but whatever your HHI is and your level of assets. For a two engineer family earning $100K a year the average net cost is $40K a year.

https://sfs.mit.edu/undergraduate-stude ... ffordable/

At Purdue:

"each year about 15% of applicants receive a merit award".

https://www.admissions.purdue.edu/costs ... php#review

Assuming you can get into MIT you likely are in that 15% category. Picking the lowest award (Presidential) you get $10K for non residents...average net cost is $33K a year unless you get trustee...which is an extra $6K for $27K a year.

While I would agree MIT is worth a $13K premium over Purdue IF you can get in but for some place like USC who doesn't provide the same level of aid as MIT would be much more expensive.

I've said that HYPMS is likely worth whatever premium you pay.

What I don't believe is schools below that top tier are worth a very large premium. If you can get merit aid to close the gap then sure...
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Vulcan
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Vulcan »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 am What I don't believe is schools below that top tier are worth a very large premium.
On this I largely agree.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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nigel_ht
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

sls239 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:49 am It really is an incredibly privileged position to be able to just waive away “experience” as inconsequential.

There are students whose “experience” can range from questions like how likely is the food in the dining hall to make me sick, to will I be discriminated against in housing due to my gender identity, to what will my interactions with campus police be like, to will blatant sexism or racism among faculty be addressed or will the burden be shifted to the students, will there be faculty and advisors that look like me or share my background?

Experience matters, deeply.
This is a different discussion and one that can't be done here. You can PM me if you care to discuss privately.
stoptothink
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:27 am
hand wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:13 am
hand wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:55 pm
Money is easy, giving my kid the opportunity to refine how they see and experience the world is likely to be vastly more valuable.
Lack of money precludes seeing and experiencing the world. An extra $1m at age 38 allows you to experience a lot.
Personally, I'd prefer a deeper more nuanced experience of the world around me and the ability to think critically and communicate clearly to an extra million dollars.
Okay, must be nice not to care about a million bucks. That's worth a lot of nuance for normal folks.

And I still don't why you must attend a high priced private university to learn critical thinking, have a nuanced experience, etc...and that somehow a public in-state university precludes such an experience.
:sharebeer My experience at elite U certainly did not allow me a "deeper nuanced experience of the world around me". I am thankful for the degree, and that it was mostly covered by scholarships, but there was nothing magical about the experience and life outside of academia was far more important for developing real world skills. It's crazy to me that so many think that a university (whether it be elite private or community college) is the ideal environment for young adults to develop an understanding of the world; if this is the case, why aren't we all doing whatever we can to spend as much time as possible in and around universities? There is a great big, fantastic world out there outside of academia.
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Vulcan
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Vulcan »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 am The average for MIT for "Computer and Mathematical" is $125K.
Never tell me the odds
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 am For the kids who can get into both...on BH the likely relevant metric isn't for the average attendee but whatever your HHI is and your level of assets. For a two engineer family earning $100K a year the average net cost is $40K a year.
Haven't we had this conversation before?

In this very thread ? ;-)
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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nigel_ht
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:02 am
I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures ), as I have heard that high achieving students who could go to a top school (Duke/Penn for example in my kids cases), but chose 1 level down (still top 50) really drive down their net cost. Ex: At the extreme of our 3 kids, net cost to attend, on average, for 4 years, was 8k/year. all in. It's an 80k/year east coast private U. State U would have cost 17k/year all in.

Cost was somewhat of a factor, (we have our kids pay 10% of all college related net costs) but not the driving force behind their decisions to attend and we may just disagree on net cost as the primary driver behind determining a student's best fit for post h.s. education.
I'm going to guess it is too...I suspect we'd make out pretty well if we retired this year...but using the various cost calculators we get $0 at most schools.

So the kids have to earn merit scholarships if they want any kind of price breaks. That's not strictly true...we got the usual "scholarship" discount from some universities that inflate their prices to be able to offer "scholarships". We even got some of those from schools he didn't apply to. I can only assume they've done the research that shows this marketing strategy results in better results than a more reasonable base tuition would give them...

With a net difference of $9K, even after 20 years of growth in the market, I would agree that cost shouldn't be a primary driver.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:24 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 am The average for MIT for "Computer and Mathematical" is $125K.
Never tell me the odds
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:07 am For the kids who can get into both...on BH the likely relevant metric isn't for the average attendee but whatever your HHI is and your level of assets. For a two engineer family earning $100K a year the average net cost is $40K a year.
Haven't we had this conversation before?

In this very thread ? ;-)
Well...it is 7 pages long now...
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Vulcan
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Vulcan »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:52 am
Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:24 am Haven't we had this conversation before?

In this very thread ? ;-)
Well...it is 7 pages long now...
Eight :oops:
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by bltn »

Do Ivy League schools offer any form of athletic scholarships? It seems as though a guy I knew decades ago got a ROTC scholarship to play quarterback at Harvard.. That may have been unique.
He ended up goingto a school with a better athletic program. Dumb jock! 😉
Last edited by bltn on Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sls239
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by sls239 »

On the contrary, if we can discuss here the safety, performance, and reliability of a car a poster is considering purchasing, I don’t see why a similar discussion would be taboo with respect to paying for college.

Perhaps what you meant with your thread title is that the primary *financial* factor in choosing a college / uni is OOP cost.

Which is a very different statement.
psteinx
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by psteinx »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:38 amFAANGs may think they are all that - but they aren't.

DS found a FAANG internship interview disappointingly trivial. And the pay is middling.

https://www.levels.fyi/internships/
Can you disclose where your son did intern, or at least the type of internship (i.e. was it fintech/trading in NYC/Chicago/Connecticut?)
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by TomatoTomahto »

bltn wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:10 pm Do Ivy League schools offer any form of athletic scholarships? It seems as though a guy I knew decades ago got a ROTC scholarship to play quarterback at Harvard.. That may have been unique.
He ended up goingto a school with a better athletic program. Dumb jock! 😉
Ivy League schools, by League rules, do not offer athletic scholarships. I remember reading somewhere that an edge case of merit scholarship can be available at an Ivy, but by and large it's Need Based only.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

bltn wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:10 pm Do Ivy League schools offer any form of athletic scholarships? It seems as though a guy I knew decades ago got a ROTC scholarship to play quarterback at Harvard.. That may have been unique.
He ended up goingto a school with a better athletic program. Dumb jock! 😉
No, but it is certainly easier to get in as a high-level athlete who intends to compete for the school, just ask my sister. She received full need-based aid to an Ivy, highly unlikely she would have been accepted without her plans to compete for their water polo team.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Vulcan »

psteinx wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:37 pm Can you disclose where your son did intern, or at least the type of internship (i.e. was it fintech/trading in NYC/Chicago/Connecticut?)
"Connecticut"? ;-)

(I'll reply in PM. It's a small world, and I do not want to deanonymize in this public forum).
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Pdxnative »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:40 pm
bltn wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:10 pm Do Ivy League schools offer any form of athletic scholarships? It seems as though a guy I knew decades ago got a ROTC scholarship to play quarterback at Harvard.. That may have been unique.
He ended up goingto a school with a better athletic program. Dumb jock! 😉
No, but it is certainly easier to get in as a high-level athlete who intends to compete for the school, just ask my sister. She received full need-based aid to an Ivy, highly unlikely she would have been accepted without her plans to compete for their water polo team.
Yes, for a recruitable athlete in an equivalency sport (and not from an upper income family) the Ivies can often be a better deal than the state flagship with partial athletic scholarship. Even in head count sports they can be a better deal if family income is in the appropriate range, given that the aid is not linked to athletic talent or continued participation.

It should be noted though that these athletic slots are limited (about 200 supported athletes at each school each year) and rules are in place to ensure academic qualification. So one needs to be a very good athlete and have the academic stats as well.

Re: ROTC I do think there is aid with that but it isn’t linked to athletics and doesn’t come from the school.
.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by snowday2022 »

Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:14 am
snowday2022 wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 7:49 am
nigel_ht wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:53 am
theplayer11 wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:36 am
Blue456 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:38 pm I can speak for myself and my wife. If you are going into medicine then pick the cheapest school. Once you are a physician nobody cares what school you went to. Better yet, go to community college and transfer to cheapest state school.
not sure if this is true. I always check the school my Drs went to in deciding who I want treating me.
If it’s important and you are near Chicago, Boston, San Francisco or Baltimore you just go directly to the hospital associated with the big name med schools if you can…
You also have to get into Med school. Brand name undergrads help with that.
Medical schools care more about GPA and MCACT scores than prestige of undergrad (at least at the time when I was applying). They will have simple cut offs and if your GPA is below certain level they will not even look at your application. And the same goes for MCATS. Of course if you are set on going to medical school in specific state and only want to submit a couple of applications then yeah, going to that ivy league will definitely make you stand out.

Once you are employed or open your own practice it really doesn't affect you at all that patients don't want to see you because you didn't go to ivy league medical school. You already have too many patients.... The reality is that there isn't enough medical doctors in the US. Most of our patients when they come see us are just thankful that they are not seeing a nurse practitioner or a PA. If I was doing my education all over I would have really gone to state school like my wife, instead of more "prestige" school and saved $100,000. This was really my biggest financial mistake.

Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools. Ditto for my similar fellowship. I sit on committees to accept residents and fellows. All other things equal, the prestige matters. I believe it plays a role in allowing one to get the residency and fellowship of their choice. In my case this was worth way more than 100K, per year. YMMV.

Many pts don’t care. Some do.
Blue456
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Blue456 »

snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
snowday2022
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by snowday2022 »

Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:57 pm
snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
If the goal is to find any job, sure. If the goal is to go into a selective (and lucrative) subspecialty, it can be harder to do that if you went to Creighton Med school and a DO residency.

Finding a job is a very low bar. Getting to do exactly what interests one, for the rest of one’s life, is worth a lot of money.

Personally I know a lot of people even from my top 5 Med school who didn’t get into the residency specialty of their choice. This is very common.

Plenty of good programs in the Midwest.


Other posters have said it better than I could. There is more to life than money. Trading money for experience of a more “prestigious” education has tremendous value to some/a lot of people.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by HereToLearn »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:14 pm
psteinx wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:37 pm Can you disclose where your son did intern, or at least the type of internship (i.e. was it fintech/trading in NYC/Chicago/Connecticut?)
"Connecticut"? ;-)

(I'll reply in PM. It's a small world, and I do not want to deanonymize in this public forum).
Bridgewater, SAC, Point 72...We have a few hedge funds & PE funds in CT.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... onnecticut
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by MMiroir »

Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:57 pm
snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
This is somewhat of an aside, but when one of our kids was looking at going the med school route, we drew the following conclusions:

1 - Adjusting for specialties, we did hear anecdotes that doctors in smaller MSA's (under 250,000) that were not college towns earned a premium over those in larger cities as small city medical providers frequently had to offer a premium for newly minted specialist docs to re-locate even the cost of living was much less. However, these docs had to be willing to move to areas like Green Bay or Toledo.

2 - College students with physician parents have a tremendous advantage that is largely invisible to those kids whose parents are not physicians. The physician parents were able to guide their kids through system, and use their personal and professional network to get them opportunities that would otherwise not be available. Having a parent that is physician is a much bigger benefit than legacy or any other hook in the med school application process.

3 - For undergraduate, many prestigious private schools boost relatively high medical school acceptance rates compared to state schools. The following dataset is from the AAMC, and lists all colleges with more than 50 med school applicants.

https://www.aamc.org/media/9636/download?attachment

If you go through the data, the top of the list is dominated by big state schools, and most of these schools will have acceptance rates at or below the national average (around 40% and trending down). In contrast, elite private schools (T-20 range) tend to have much higher med school acceptance rates (>70%), but also much a smaller number of applicants. The schools explain this by boasting about the quality of their teaching and advising. However, they also boost their med school acceptance rate by artificially limiting the supply of med school applicants. They do this in two ways.

The first is during the undergraduate application period. The schools know the raw number of kids they can get into med school each year, so they restrict the number of undergraduate acceptances going to kids that suggest they want to become a doctor. Big state schools do not do this. The other way they restrict the number of med school applicants is via aggressive weeding out of the premed program and change majors as early as possible which is easier to do at a T-20 private than a big state school. Coupled with a naturally smaller class size, it is little surprise that a school like Princeton with 147 med school applicants will have an 84 percent acceptance rate compared to 50 percent for UCLA with a class size of 1,298.

4 - Take college admission advice from doctors with a grain of salt, especially those who attended state colleges or non-prestigious privates and push to save money on undergrad by attending lower ranked institutions like they did. These schools have horrendous med school acceptance rates, but many doctors who went though the system have survivorship bias and believe because they were one of the few survivors of a system stacked against them, anyone else can do it. Remember when you talk to someone like this, you are not talking to the other 9 out of 10 freshmen premeds that did not get to med school either because they never applied or were rejected.
Last edited by MMiroir on Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Vulcan »

HereToLearn wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:09 pm
Vulcan wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:14 pm "Connecticut"? ;-)
Bridgewater, SAC, Point 72...We have a few hedge funds & PE funds in CT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... onnecticut
Never heard of them. If they want to compete for top talent, they need to sponsor some math competitions. :twisted:
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:44 pm
Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:57 pm
snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
If the goal is to find any job, sure. If the goal is to go into a selective (and lucrative) subspecialty, it can be harder to do that if you went to Creighton Med school and a DO residency.

Finding a job is a very low bar. Getting to do exactly what interests one, for the rest of one’s life, is worth a lot of money.

Personally I know a lot of people even from my top 5 Med school who didn’t get into the residency specialty of their choice. This is very common.

Plenty of good programs in the Midwest.


Other posters have said it better than I could. There is more to life than money. Trading money for experience of a more “prestigious” education has tremendous value to some/a lot of people.
"It can be harder"...going to a prestigious undergrad university and med school certainly won't hurt, but there isn't a whole lot of objective data suggesting that it is a significant factor either (at some schools or in some specialties, maybe). Is that worth the added cost? Maybe...if you can afford it. Money buys options, unfortunately an extra $20k/yr for education really is a life-changing amount of money for most families.

For the most part, this whole debate can be boiled down to your conclusion sentence: do you value the "prestigious education experience"? Just like Blue456, I genuinely think I would have been better off taking the full ride to a lesser known undergrad instead of stressing about money for 4yrs at prestigious U (I graduated with no debt, but had to work the entire way through while also being a student-athlete). Whatever it is that was supposed to be different/superior about the experience at prestigious U, I didn't notice it and therefore didn't value it then or now and it is hard to suggest it positively impacted my career trajectory. My sister has a much more negative opinion about her Ivy experience, and she didn't have to pay a dime - if you ask her, the value was negative and it had no impact on her career (in large part because of the fields of study). But our experiences aren't yours (or your child's); it really does depend on the individual. Problem is, the question you pose can only really be answered in hindsight.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by er999 »

Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:57 pm
snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
For some difficult to match specialties like dermatology even getting a residency spot in the Midwest is tough. Agree once you have finished the residency you have many options for jobs.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by MMiroir »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:27 am For the most part, this whole debate can be boiled down to your conclusion sentence: do you value the "prestigious education experience"? Just like Blue456, I genuinely think I would have been better off taking the full ride to a lesser known undergrad instead of stressing about money for 4yrs at prestigious U (I graduated with no debt, but had to work the entire way through while also being a student-athlete). Whatever it is that was supposed to be different/superior about the experience at prestigious U, I didn't notice it and therefore didn't value it then or now and it is hard to suggest it positively impacted my career trajectory. My sister has a much more negative opinion about her Ivy experience, and she didn't have to pay a dime - if you ask her, the value was negative and it had no impact on her career (in large part because of the fields of study). But our experiences aren't yours (or your child's); it really does depend on the individual. Problem is, the question you pose can only really be answered in hindsight.
It is tough for athletes to maximize the worth of the elite institutions. One of my kids has an athlete for a roommate. Her sport is year round, and most of her free time is spent training. She is gone on an airplane ride for a meet every third weekend and most of her friends are on the team so her social circle is rather limited.

In order to accommodate their schedule and since academically many athletes are at the lowest quartile of students, many athletes choose easy non-remunerative majors. We attended an cross-Ivy woman's lacrosse game, and it seemed like 80% of the players on both teams had the same easy major that athletes gravitated to. The rest of them were some sort of studies major, with only a few bio majors trying for med school. No STEM or Econ majors on either team.

Frequently athletes have to be on campus over the summer for training which robs them the chance for valuable internships. My D had a finance internship in NYC over the summer, and has another one setup next summer at a major IB. Her roommate spent the summer training, and taking classes to make up for a light load in the Fall and Spring.

This can have long term effects. A child of friend wanted to be a PA, but because playing a D1 sport took up so much time, she was not able to get enough patient care hours in undergrad to qualify for PA school. Now she has to take a gap year doing the minimum patient care hours in order to apply.

It is great when you hear stories about kids getting accepted to school to play their sport, but it is unfortunate that sometimes playing that sport keeps people from succeeding.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

MMiroir wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:18 am
stoptothink wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:27 am For the most part, this whole debate can be boiled down to your conclusion sentence: do you value the "prestigious education experience"? Just like Blue456, I genuinely think I would have been better off taking the full ride to a lesser known undergrad instead of stressing about money for 4yrs at prestigious U (I graduated with no debt, but had to work the entire way through while also being a student-athlete). Whatever it is that was supposed to be different/superior about the experience at prestigious U, I didn't notice it and therefore didn't value it then or now and it is hard to suggest it positively impacted my career trajectory. My sister has a much more negative opinion about her Ivy experience, and she didn't have to pay a dime - if you ask her, the value was negative and it had no impact on her career (in large part because of the fields of study). But our experiences aren't yours (or your child's); it really does depend on the individual. Problem is, the question you pose can only really be answered in hindsight.
It is tough for athletes to maximize the worth of the elite institutions. One of my kids has an athlete for a roommate. Her sport is year round, and most of her free time is spent training. She is gone on an airplane ride for a meet every third weekend and most of her friends are on the team so her social circle is rather limited.

In order to accommodate their schedule and since academically many athletes are at the lowest quartile of students, many athletes choose easy non-remunerative majors. We attended an cross-Ivy woman's lacrosse game, and it seemed like 80% of the players on both teams had the same easy major that athletes gravitated to. The rest of them were some sort of studies major, with only a few bio majors trying for med school. No STEM or Econ majors on either team.

Frequently athletes have to be on campus over the summer for training which robs them the chance for valuable internships. My D had a finance internship in NYC over the summer, and has another one setup next summer at a major IB. Her roommate spent the summer training, and taking classes to make up for a light load in the Fall and Spring.

This can have long term effects. A child of friend wanted to be a PA, but because playing a D1 sport took up so much time, she was not able to get enough patient care hours in undergrad to qualify for PA school. Now she has to take a gap year doing the minimum patient care hours in order to apply.

It is great when you hear stories about kids getting accepted to school to play their sport, but it is unfortunate that sometimes playing that sport keeps people from succeeding.
Certainly, but it's not like this perspective only comes from athletes; Blue456 mentioned nothing about being a student-athlete and I know many non-athletes with elite undergrads who share a similar opinion. FWIW, I started at elite U as a walk-on for the football team (on a partial academic scholarship) and ultimately earned an athletic scholarship in my 3rd and 4th years. While my sister likely would not have been accepted to the Ivy without sports (due to not elite standardized test scores), she was her high school salutatorian. Both of us were not in typical athlete majors, graduated summa cum laude, and went on to good grad schools of our choice (with a lot of funding). I think it is safe to say, we all have different expectations and experiences regarding the purpose of higher education - if yours is not just career/financial ROI, it's likely you place a high value on the "college experience".

If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably take the football scholarship I was offered as an incoming freshman from a few less prestigious universities.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by EnjoyIt »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:20 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:27 am
hand wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:13 am
hand wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:55 pm
Money is easy, giving my kid the opportunity to refine how they see and experience the world is likely to be vastly more valuable.
Lack of money precludes seeing and experiencing the world. An extra $1m at age 38 allows you to experience a lot.
Personally, I'd prefer a deeper more nuanced experience of the world around me and the ability to think critically and communicate clearly to an extra million dollars.
Okay, must be nice not to care about a million bucks. That's worth a lot of nuance for normal folks.

And I still don't why you must attend a high priced private university to learn critical thinking, have a nuanced experience, etc...and that somehow a public in-state university precludes such an experience.
:sharebeer My experience at elite U certainly did not allow me a "deeper nuanced experience of the world around me". I am thankful for the degree, and that it was mostly covered by scholarships, but there was nothing magical about the experience and life outside of academia was far more important for developing real world skills. It's crazy to me that so many think that a university (whether it be elite private or community college) is the ideal environment for young adults to develop an understanding of the world; if this is the case, why aren't we all doing whatever we can to spend as much time as possible in and around universities? There is a great big, fantastic world out there outside of academia.
My "College Experience" was full of indulgence and hedonism. Same for all of my friends at the time. Frankly, looking back at my closest friends we are all lucky that none of us ended up dead or in prison. Today all of these same people that are still my closest friends have graduate degrees and very successful careers. I will admit my college years have been some of the most fun of my life, at least what I can remember of them.

I laugh when I hear parents talk about "The College Experience." They have no idea what they are talking about.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | viewtopic.php?p=1139732#p1139732
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by LilyFleur »

MMiroir wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:12 pm
Blue456 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:57 pm
snowday2022 wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:47 pm Most of the residents at my prestigious residency in a selective specialty had gone to top Med schools.
I can guarantee you that a doc from mid west, middle of nowhere residency will find a job as quickly as a doc from your prestigious residency.

I will tell my kids to keep 100k in their pockets.

Each to their own.
This is somewhat of an aside, but when one of our kids was looking at going the med school route, we drew the following conclusions:

1 - Adjusting for specialties, we did hear anecdotes that doctors in smaller MSA's (under 250,000) that were not college towns earned a premium over those in larger cities as small city medical providers frequently had to offer a premium for newly minted specialist docs to re-locate even the cost of living was much less. However, these docs had to be willing to move to areas like Green Bay or Toledo.

2 - College students with physician parents have a tremendous advantage that is largely invisible to those kids whose parents are not physicians. The physician parents were able to guide their kids through system, and use their personal and professional network to get them opportunities that would otherwise not be available. Having a parent that is physician is a much bigger benefit than legacy or any other hook in the med school application process.

3 - For undergraduate, many prestigious private schools boost relatively high medical school acceptance rates compared to state schools. The following dataset is from the AAMC, and lists all colleges with more than 50 med school applicants.

https://www.aamc.org/media/9636/download?attachment

If you go through the data, the top of the list is dominated by big state schools, and most of these schools will have acceptance rates at or below the national average (around 40% and trending down). In contrast, elite private schools (T-20 range) tend to have much higher med school acceptance rates (>70%), but also much a smaller number of applicants. The schools explain this by boasting about the quality of their teaching and advising. However, they also boost their med school acceptance rate by artificially limiting the supply of med school applicants. They do this in two ways.

The first is during the undergraduate application period. The schools know the raw number of kids they can get into med school each year, so they restrict the number of undergraduate acceptances going to kids that suggest they want to become a doctor. Big state schools do not do this. The other way they restrict the number of med school applicants is via aggressive weeding out of the premed program and change majors as early as possible which is easier to do at a T-20 private than a big state school. Coupled with a naturally smaller class size, it is little surprise that a school like Princeton with 147 med school applicants will have an 84 percent acceptance rate compared to 50 percent for UCLA with a class size of 1,298.

4 - Take college admission advice from doctors with a grain of salt, especially those who attended state colleges or non-prestigious privates and push to save money on undergrad by attending lower ranked institutions like they did. These schools have horrendous med school acceptance rates, but many doctors who went though the system have survivorship bias and believe because they were one of the few survivors of a system stacked against them, anyone else can do it. Remember when you talk to someone like this, you are not talking to the other 9 out of 10 freshmen premeds that did not get to med school either because they never applied or were rejected.
College students with physician parents have a tremendous advantage.
Period.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

EnjoyIt wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:52 pm I laugh when I hear parents talk about "The College Experience." They have no idea what they are talking about.
Lol...some of us remember. It's a piece of paper, a little bit of knowledge and the fact that one of your drinking buddies founded and sold an internet company and still takes your calls to have a beer. That you may or may not still have incriminating evidence from 35 years ago has nothing to do with that...
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by chazas »

Ependytis wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:23 pm
chazas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:19 am Best for you, not necessarily for your kids. This kind of pure cost/benefit analysis of college makes me queasy.

The difference for the right kid between going to two years community college and then a local school, vs. an Ivy, is incalculable, and it will follow them the rest of their lives. It’s obviously a privilege and not everyone can afford it but always prioritizing savings vs. your kids’ experience seems wonky to me.
Care to show any data that supports your conclusion. Go ahead, you pick the criteria backed by data.
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Not every life decision is about crunching numbers.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

chazas wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:43 am
Ependytis wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:23 pm
chazas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:19 am Best for you, not necessarily for your kids. This kind of pure cost/benefit analysis of college makes me queasy.

The difference for the right kid between going to two years community college and then a local school, vs. an Ivy, is incalculable, and it will follow them the rest of their lives. It’s obviously a privilege and not everyone can afford it but always prioritizing savings vs. your kids’ experience seems wonky to me.
Care to show any data that supports your conclusion. Go ahead, you pick the criteria backed by data.
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Not every life decision is about crunching numbers.
Luxury values. It's not even necessarily about savings vs. kids' experience. College is hardly the only way for a child to gain "experience" and (maybe I am alone), but I hardly think it is the best way for a young adult to gain real-world relevant experiences (but it is almost certainly the most expensive).

As you said: the difference "for the right kid". The Ivy "experience" doesn't end up having incalculable value for some people and it may be difficult to know if your child is a "right kid" beforehand. IMO, that can be an expensive gamble - absolutely worth it if $70k/yr for education isn't a financial burden for you.
Last edited by stoptothink on Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

When I was in high school and college a long time ago, my perhaps peer-fed perception was that getting into an Ivy or other top school was the educational and career equivalent of finding a Wonka Golden Ticket, or winning an athletic scholarship.

I still regard it as such, and I’m curious why so many are so willing to toss those opportunities overboard (possibly because some of the institutions have arguably declined, while costs became prohibitive - and I attended at a significant discount, so my pain point was reduced by a lot). Yet, by all means, if such opportunities are not valued by all, it opens up some slots to those who do value them.

I think of the scene in My Brilliant Friend where the post war working class Neapolitan ghetto children take money given them as a payoff by the local mob boss and use it to buy *a book*, their precious first book, which changes their lives. That was how sacrosanct education was as a vehicle to the revered goal of upward mobility (which of course has its own frustrations).

That said, the wonderful thing is you don’t need such degrees to do very well in life. There are fine community colleges, small private colleges and state schools all across the country with less of the economic pressure.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:03 am When I was in high school and college a long time ago, my perhaps peer-fed perception was that getting into an Ivy or other top school was the educational and career equivalent of finding a Wonka Golden Ticket, or winning an athletic scholarship.

I still regard it as such, and I’m curious why so many are so willing to toss those opportunities overboard (possibly because some of the institutions have arguably declined, while costs became prohibitive - and I attended at a significant discount, so my pain point was reduced by a lot). Yet, by all means, if such opportunities are not valued by all, it opens up some slots to those who do value them.

I think of the scene in My Brilliant Friend where the post war working class Neapolitan ghetto children take money given them by the local mob boss and use it to buy *a book*, their precious first book, which changes their lives. That was how sacrosanct education was as a vehicle to the revered goal of upward mobility (which of course has its own frustrations).

That said, the wonderful thing is you don’t need such degrees to do very well in life.
You seem to have answered your own question. I do agree; if it is cost prohibitive, you think the institutions have declined, or it may not be the environment for your child, why bother applying when the opportunity could be taken by someone who values it more?
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

Some people also need it more than others to achieve good life outcomes - they’ve done studies. People with fewer social connections and cultural capital have a greater net benefit from it (lifetime earnings, etc.) than those without, compared to where they might have been otherwise. It’s not only whether we value it, it’s whether employers do. If you’re going to get hired anyway, why bother?

It’s impossible to quantify the impact on any individual life but in my life the difference has greatly exceeded $200k if my childhood peers are any standard (with a few notable exceptions mostly poor outcomes that do not pass the “well, maybe they’re happy” laugh test). I’ve found the benefits to be long lasting, beyond the initial hiring stage into later life.

Anyway, we should each do what makes sense for us and our families in our circumstances. We can discuss the costs and traumas of upward and downward mobility elsewhere.

I really need to start donating to my schools or at least writing them into my estate plan, although they don’t seem to need it.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:19 am Some people also need it more than others to achieve good life outcomes - they’ve done studies. People with fewer social connections and cultural capital have a greater net benefit from it (lifetime earnings, etc.) than those without, compared to where they might have been otherwise. It’s not only whether we value it, it’s whether employers do. If you’re going to get hired anyway, why bother?

It’s impossible to quantify the impact on any individual life but in my life the difference has greatly exceeded $200k if my childhood peers are any standard (with a few notable exceptions mostly poor outcomes that do not pass the “well, maybe they’re happy” laugh test). I’ve found the benefits to be long lasting, beyond the initial hiring stage into later life.

Anyway, we should each do what makes sense for us and our families in our circumstances. We can discuss the costs and traumas of upward and downward mobility elsewhere.

I really need to start donating to my schools or at least writing them into my estate plan, although they don’t seem to need it.
:confused I don't think anybody is arguing your point and the predominant argument (in this thread at least) seems to be that elite U provides value (primarily) in the way of an "experience" that may not be able to be replicated somewhere else - something difficult to quantify (especially in dollars).

There is no consensus on whether employers value elite U, and how much. It's absolutely the case in some fields/some companies and doesn't appear to be (at least statistically) in others. For you, a lawyer - yeah. For me, in science/healthcare - that's a lot more debatable.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:03 am When I was in high school and college a long time ago, my perhaps peer-fed perception was that getting into an Ivy or other top school was the educational and career equivalent of finding a Wonka Golden Ticket, or winning an athletic scholarship.

I still regard it as such, and I’m curious why so many are so willing to toss those opportunities overboard (possibly because some of the institutions have arguably declined, while costs became prohibitive - and I attended at a significant discount, so my pain point was reduced by a lot). Yet, by all means, if such opportunities are not valued by all, it opens up some slots to those who do value them.

I think of the scene in My Brilliant Friend where the post war working class Neapolitan ghetto children take money given them as a payoff by the local mob boss and use it to buy *a book*, their precious first book, which changes their lives. That was how sacrosanct education was as a vehicle to the revered goal of upward mobility (which of course has its own frustrations).

That said, the wonderful thing is you don’t need such degrees to do very well in life. There are fine community colleges, small private colleges and state schools all across the country with less of the economic pressure.
It is a golden ticket and education is a silver bullet.

But with single digit acceptance rates and overall increase in the level of competition getting into an ivy is a lot tougher these days…harder still at those that provide sufficient aid for relatively high income families that make enough to be well off but not so well off that spending $70-80K a year is a no brainer.

Is Harvard worth whatever you have to pay? Arguably yes.

Is BC? (Net price calculator shows it at $79K).

NYC? (about the same).

In terms of life experiences…the annual cost delta between BC and her local flagship is less than paying for an slot on a commercial Everest expeditionary team (40-50K).
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:09 am
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:19 am Some people also need it more than others to achieve good life outcomes - they’ve done studies. People with fewer social connections and cultural capital have a greater net benefit from it (lifetime earnings, etc.) than those without, compared to where they might have been otherwise. It’s not only whether we value it, it’s whether employers do. If you’re going to get hired anyway, why bother?

It’s impossible to quantify the impact on any individual life but in my life the difference has greatly exceeded $200k if my childhood peers are any standard (with a few notable exceptions mostly poor outcomes that do not pass the “well, maybe they’re happy” laugh test). I’ve found the benefits to be long lasting, beyond the initial hiring stage into later life.

Anyway, we should each do what makes sense for us and our families in our circumstances. We can discuss the costs and traumas of upward and downward mobility elsewhere.

I really need to start donating to my schools or at least writing them into my estate plan, although they don’t seem to need it.
:confused I don't think anybody is arguing your point and the predominant argument (in this thread at least) seems to be that elite U provides value (primarily) in the way of an "experience" that may not be able to be replicated somewhere else - something difficult to quantify (especially in dollars).

There is no consensus on whether employers value elite U, and how much. It's absolutely the case in some fields/some companies and doesn't appear to be (at least statistically) in others. For you, a lawyer - yeah. For me, in science/healthcare - that's a lot more debatable.
The value is in the social network you developed at the elite university.

Your friends will get you jobs your resume never would. Elite universities tend to result in well connected friends.

The secondary benefit is the benefit of the doubt and social elevation regardless of your original circumstance.

For those in a disadvantaged social position this is something hard to quantify but deeply important that is difficult for those who aren’t disadvantaged to understand at a visceral, as opposed to intellectual, level.

HYPMS and a few others have this cachet but few of the pricey second tier (or less well known elite) schools do even if, on an educational level, they are just as good.
stoptothink
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:30 am
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:09 am
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:19 am Some people also need it more than others to achieve good life outcomes - they’ve done studies. People with fewer social connections and cultural capital have a greater net benefit from it (lifetime earnings, etc.) than those without, compared to where they might have been otherwise. It’s not only whether we value it, it’s whether employers do. If you’re going to get hired anyway, why bother?

It’s impossible to quantify the impact on any individual life but in my life the difference has greatly exceeded $200k if my childhood peers are any standard (with a few notable exceptions mostly poor outcomes that do not pass the “well, maybe they’re happy” laugh test). I’ve found the benefits to be long lasting, beyond the initial hiring stage into later life.

Anyway, we should each do what makes sense for us and our families in our circumstances. We can discuss the costs and traumas of upward and downward mobility elsewhere.

I really need to start donating to my schools or at least writing them into my estate plan, although they don’t seem to need it.
:confused I don't think anybody is arguing your point and the predominant argument (in this thread at least) seems to be that elite U provides value (primarily) in the way of an "experience" that may not be able to be replicated somewhere else - something difficult to quantify (especially in dollars).

There is no consensus on whether employers value elite U, and how much. It's absolutely the case in some fields/some companies and doesn't appear to be (at least statistically) in others. For you, a lawyer - yeah. For me, in science/healthcare - that's a lot more debatable.
The value is in the social network you developed at the elite university.

Your friends will get you jobs your resume never would. Elite universities tend to result in well connected friends.

The secondary benefit is the benefit of the doubt and social elevation regardless of your original circumstance.

For those in a disadvantaged social position this is something hard to quantify but deeply important that is difficult for those who aren’t disadvantaged to understand at a visceral, as opposed to intellectual, level.

HYPMS and a few others have this cachet but few of the pricey second tier (or less well known elite) schools do even if, on an educational level, they are just as good.
I definitely did this whole "elite" U thing wrong, I didn't find a spouse nor have I seen any evidence to suggest my undergrad alma mater had anything to do with any job I've ever gotten. But, I can't say that I'm not the outlier.
Ependytis
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by Ependytis »

chazas wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:43 am
Ependytis wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:23 pm
chazas wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:19 am Best for you, not necessarily for your kids. This kind of pure cost/benefit analysis of college makes me queasy.

The difference for the right kid between going to two years community college and then a local school, vs. an Ivy, is incalculable, and it will follow them the rest of their lives. It’s obviously a privilege and not everyone can afford it but always prioritizing savings vs. your kids’ experience seems wonky to me.
Care to show any data that supports your conclusion. Go ahead, you pick the criteria backed by data.
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Not every life decision is about crunching numbers.
It’s true, not every life decision is about crunching numbers, however, when you could be paying up to $60,000 per year for a college education you better look at the numbers. When people are making claims about college and have no data to me it falls on deaf ears.

If you have a superior product and or service in this case, you ought to be able to demonstrate it through data otherwise it’s just salesman puffery.
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

nigel_ht wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:30 am
stoptothink wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:09 am
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:19 am Some people also need it more than others to achieve good life outcomes - they’ve done studies. People with fewer social connections and cultural capital have a greater net benefit from it (lifetime earnings, etc.) than those without, compared to where they might have been otherwise. It’s not only whether we value it, it’s whether employers do. If you’re going to get hired anyway, why bother?

It’s impossible to quantify the impact on any individual life but in my life the difference has greatly exceeded $200k if my childhood peers are any standard (with a few notable exceptions mostly poor outcomes that do not pass the “well, maybe they’re happy” laugh test). I’ve found the benefits to be long lasting, beyond the initial hiring stage into later life.

Anyway, we should each do what makes sense for us and our families in our circumstances. We can discuss the costs and traumas of upward and downward mobility elsewhere.

I really need to start donating to my schools or at least writing them into my estate plan, although they don’t seem to need it.
:confused I don't think anybody is arguing your point and the predominant argument (in this thread at least) seems to be that elite U provides value (primarily) in the way of an "experience" that may not be able to be replicated somewhere else - something difficult to quantify (especially in dollars).

There is no consensus on whether employers value elite U, and how much. It's absolutely the case in some fields/some companies and doesn't appear to be (at least statistically) in others. For you, a lawyer - yeah. For me, in science/healthcare - that's a lot more debatable.
The value is in the social network you developed at the elite university.

Your friends will get you jobs your resume never would. Elite universities tend to result in well connected friends.

The secondary benefit is the benefit of the doubt and social elevation regardless of your original circumstance.

For those in a disadvantaged social position this is something hard to quantify but deeply important that is difficult for those who aren’t disadvantaged to understand at a visceral, as opposed to intellectual, level.

HYPMS and a few others have this cachet but few of the pricey second tier (or less well known elite) schools do even if, on an educational level, they are just as good.
Nigel_ht nailed it in those third and fourth paragraphs. So well said.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Ependytis wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:17 pm If you have a superior product and or service in this case, you ought to be able to demonstrate it through data otherwise it’s just salesman puffery.
I will not be able to convince you otherwise. But, since there's a long line of more applicants than could ever possibly be admitted, I don't see salesman puffery because it's just not necessary; they don't even ask for a deposit when you accept admission because they don't have to.

I know, to a mortal lock, that Yale had a profound effect on my son's trajectory. He could have done well elsewhere, perhaps better, but I know that the tuition was well spent. I have no expectation that you'll believe me, and that's fine.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by thedaybeforetoday »

nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:28 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:02 am
I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures ), as I have heard that high achieving students who could go to a top school (Duke/Penn for example in my kids cases), but chose 1 level down (still top 50) really drive down their net cost. Ex: At the extreme of our 3 kids, net cost to attend, on average, for 4 years, was 8k/year. all in. It's an 80k/year east coast private U. State U would have cost 17k/year all in.

Cost was somewhat of a factor, (we have our kids pay 10% of all college related net costs) but not the driving force behind their decisions to attend and we may just disagree on net cost as the primary driver behind determining a student's best fit for post h.s. education.
I'm going to guess it is too...I suspect we'd make out pretty well if we retired this year...but using the various cost calculators we get $0 at most schools.

So the kids have to earn merit scholarships if they want any kind of price breaks. That's not strictly true...we got the usual "scholarship" discount from some universities that inflate their prices to be able to offer "scholarships". We even got some of those from schools he didn't apply to. I can only assume they've done the research that shows this marketing strategy results in better results than a more reasonable base tuition would give them...

With a net difference of $9K, even after 20 years of growth in the market, I would agree that cost shouldn't be a primary driver.
So I guess you and I agree then that the topic of your post is more grey than you initially presented when you wrote:
"When it comes to choosing a school, the primary factor is out of pocket cost."

I mean if cost was a primary factor wouldn't a parent just quit or drastically reduce their income a few years before their oldest applied to schools thus qualifying for the most possible financial aid and cost reduction? Is this what you plan to do?

I'm new here but I was under the impression that posts were encouraged to be of actionable intent. Did you have an actionable purpose for this post or just to initiate a discussion?
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them." R. Dangerfield
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket

Post by Parkinglotracer »

MMiroir wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:18 am
stoptothink wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:27 am For the most part, this whole debate can be boiled down to your conclusion sentence: do you value the "prestigious education experience"? Just like Blue456, I genuinely think I would have been better off taking the full ride to a lesser known undergrad instead of stressing about money for 4yrs at prestigious U (I graduated with no debt, but had to work the entire way through while also being a student-athlete). Whatever it is that was supposed to be different/superior about the experience at prestigious U, I didn't notice it and therefore didn't value it then or now and it is hard to suggest it positively impacted my career trajectory. My sister has a much more negative opinion about her Ivy experience, and she didn't have to pay a dime - if you ask her, the value was negative and it had no impact on her career (in large part because of the fields of study). But our experiences aren't yours (or your child's); it really does depend on the individual. Problem is, the question you pose can only really be answered in hindsight.
It is tough for athletes to maximize the worth of the elite institutions. One of my kids has an athlete for a roommate. Her sport is year round, and most of her free time is spent training. She is gone on an airplane ride for a meet every third weekend and most of her friends are on the team so her social circle is rather limited.

In order to accommodate their schedule and since academically many athletes are at the lowest quartile of students, many athletes choose easy non-remunerative majors. We attended an cross-Ivy woman's lacrosse game, and it seemed like 80% of the players on both teams had the same easy major that athletes gravitated to. The rest of them were some sort of studies major, with only a few bio majors trying for med school. No STEM or Econ majors on either team.

Frequently athletes have to be on campus over the summer for training which robs them the chance for valuable internships. My D had a finance internship in NYC over the summer, and has another one setup next summer at a major IB. Her roommate spent the summer training, and taking classes to make up for a light load in the Fall and Spring.

This can have long term effects. A child of friend wanted to be a PA, but because playing a D1 sport took up so much time, she was not able to get enough patient care hours in undergrad to qualify for PA school. Now she has to take a gap year doing the minimum patient care hours in order to apply.

It is great when you hear stories about kids getting accepted to school to play their sport, but it is unfortunate that sometimes playing that sport keeps people from succeeding.

Some truth here - many practices and time demands prevent athletes from taking the challenging courses or majors they would otherwise find better jobs after graduation. Sadly the kids perspective glorified in the sports world don’t realize the affect this will have on their lives. Take the advantage in the application process you get as an athlete - BUT skip the practices as needed to take the engineering major or other major that will get you where you want in life. Coach told recruits “my practices don’t work with afternoon engineering /science labs”. Smart kids majored in engineering / science anyway.
stoptothink
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:08 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:28 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:02 am
I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures ), as I have heard that high achieving students who could go to a top school (Duke/Penn for example in my kids cases), but chose 1 level down (still top 50) really drive down their net cost. Ex: At the extreme of our 3 kids, net cost to attend, on average, for 4 years, was 8k/year. all in. It's an 80k/year east coast private U. State U would have cost 17k/year all in.

Cost was somewhat of a factor, (we have our kids pay 10% of all college related net costs) but not the driving force behind their decisions to attend and we may just disagree on net cost as the primary driver behind determining a student's best fit for post h.s. education.
I'm going to guess it is too...I suspect we'd make out pretty well if we retired this year...but using the various cost calculators we get $0 at most schools.

So the kids have to earn merit scholarships if they want any kind of price breaks. That's not strictly true...we got the usual "scholarship" discount from some universities that inflate their prices to be able to offer "scholarships". We even got some of those from schools he didn't apply to. I can only assume they've done the research that shows this marketing strategy results in better results than a more reasonable base tuition would give them...

With a net difference of $9K, even after 20 years of growth in the market, I would agree that cost shouldn't be a primary driver.
So I guess you and I agree then that the topic of your post is more grey than you initially presented when you wrote:
"When it comes to choosing a school, the primary factor is out of pocket cost."

I mean if cost was a primary factor wouldn't a parent just quit or drastically reduce their income a few years before their oldest applied to schools thus qualifying for the most possible financial aid and cost reduction? Is this what you plan to do?

I'm new here but I was under the impression that posts were encouraged to be of actionable intent. Did you have an actionable purpose for this post or just to initiate a discussion?
This is one of the "legacy topics" on this board; is expensive education (especially higher education) worth the cost? Always bring out good points and anecdotes on both sides, and not a ton of animosity. Just contribute your opinion and enjoy the discussion.

Depending on the situation, that likely has a larger negative effect on finances than just sustaining current earnings and paying full-freight. If you are essentially financially independent when your kids are about the head off to college, this may be a viable option, and I recall many threads on here about posters who have done it (or plan to). Our kids won't be heading off to college for another 7 and 10yrs, we're pretty close to financial independence now and plan to work ~10 more years; we may be inadvertently doing this although we already have saved enough in 529s to pay for 4yrs at local U.
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nigel_ht
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

thedaybeforetoday wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:08 am
nigel_ht wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:28 am
thedaybeforetoday wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:02 am
I have a feeling that income was a larger factor in our case (we are dead middle class HHI. High 5 figures )
I'm going to guess it is too...I suspect we'd make out pretty well if we retired this year...but using the various cost calculators we get $0 at most schools.

So the kids have to earn merit scholarships if they want any kind of price breaks. That's not strictly true...we got the usual "scholarship" discount from some universities that inflate their prices to be able to offer "scholarships". We even got some of those from schools he didn't apply to. I can only assume they've done the research that shows this marketing strategy results in better results than a more reasonable base tuition would give them...

With a net difference of $9K, even after 20 years of growth in the market, I would agree that cost shouldn't be a primary driver.
So I guess you and I agree then that the topic of your post is more grey than you initially presented when you wrote:
"When it comes to choosing a school, the primary factor is out of pocket cost."

I mean if cost was a primary factor wouldn't a parent just quit or drastically reduce their income a few years before their oldest applied to schools thus qualifying for the most possible financial aid and cost reduction? Is this what you plan to do?

I'm new here but I was under the impression that posts were encouraged to be of actionable intent. Did you have an actionable purpose for this post or just to initiate a discussion?
Out of pocket cost can/should (IMO) be the primary factor unless the cost delta is negligible. Then, obviously, other factors move to the forefront.

If you don’t think a $200,000 cost delta over 4 years is actionable (potentially $1M at age 38) I dunno what to say except congrats on your NW.

It certainly is actionable for my family as we’re in the middle of college applications…and many folks here have higher incomes and net worth than us where need based financial aid isn’t likely available.

We’re currently debating pulling both Cornell and Vandy for ED since she wouldn’t go if we have to pay full price and we wouldn’t know until we got the financial aid package back. $70-80K a year is a lot and ethically we’d have to pony up if she did ED and she got no aid. Loans don’t count and although you can pull out because of finances we know going in no aid is a possibility.

Even if I quit my job we have too much saved in taxable. The minor downside of being moderate savers. Prodigious savers (or those with higher HHI) would likely have even more in taxable.

And quitting your job is a pretty extreme step to take.

We didn’t really think about colleges and the impact of taxable net worth while they were in elementary and middle school other than putting money into their 529s. Since it’s money for retirement we simply didn’t think about it that much. Retirement was decades away and college several years away…

Lots of advantages to saving but college aid isn’t one of them.

So yeah, out of pocket cost IS the primary factor for us despite moderately high net worth and decent income. Perhaps “because of” instead of “despite” is a better way to put it.

Too much money to get aid but not enough to be able to afford full price without significant impact. We’re in that 10% category and not 1% category.

Add a 0 to our family net worth and I’d stop caring (as much). Remove a 0 from our family net worth and we’d get aid and I’d stop caring at all.

If there is anywhere where this is actionable it’s going to be on Bogleheads where we LBYM and try to save a lot.
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by nigel_ht »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 7:18 am Our kids won't be heading off to college for another 7 and 10yrs, we're pretty close to financial independence now and plan to work ~10 more years; we may be inadvertently doing this although we already have saved enough in 529s to pay for 4yrs at local U.
That’s where we were 10 years ago…and then had another kid, lol. We are technically FI but not at our current kids spend rate.

But yeah, I recommend estimating your taxable portfolio for 10 years in the future and run a few net price calculators. We always assumed we wouldn’t get anything and sure enough…we don’t. Our kids are only normal smart (at best, lol) and not 1% smart sooooo…
stoptothink
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Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

Post by stoptothink »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 7:49 am
stoptothink wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 7:18 am Our kids won't be heading off to college for another 7 and 10yrs, we're pretty close to financial independence now and plan to work ~10 more years; we may be inadvertently doing this although we already have saved enough in 529s to pay for 4yrs at local U.
That’s where we were 10 years ago…and then had another kid, lol. We are technically FI but not at our current kids spend rate.

But yeah, I recommend estimating your taxable portfolio for 10 years in the future and run a few net price calculators. We always assumed we wouldn’t get anything and sure enough…we don’t. Our kids are only normal smart (at best, lol) and not 1% smart sooooo…
Our taxable portfolio will be WAY too much for this to benefit us as well, but it is not unlikely we'll have little (or no) income by the time our kids are heading to college. No more kids here.
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