What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

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123
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by 123 »

If your son qualified and got in to UCLA and you can afford it (one way or another) your family is very fortunate. UCLA is part of the California dream for many.

There's always a chance after a year he won't like it (very unlikely) and will choose somewhere else.

If UCLA is his aspiration and you don't support it you may feel enduring regret.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by popoki »

If the end result is two BS degrees, then it will likely take longer than four years, plus summers. Also, the cost of attending UCLA (including housing) will be a lot higher 3, 4, 5 years from now.

What is the value of the math degree? Most engineering/CS majors take enough math courses to earn a math minor anyway.

How much effort did he put into getting merit aid? How much earned money is he bringing to the table? How much is he willing to borrow?
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Colorado14 »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 3:14 pm
Colorado14 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 3:06 pm As others have noted, these are very different schools. So, to throw a wrench into this topic, has your son considered the Colorado School of Mines? It's a step (or 3) above CSU in terms of computer science and math, although still isn't UCLA. Obviously disregard this idea if this is not an option that your son would consider.
It's too late to apply to Mines if he hasn't already.


You're right... It's a day late for fall 2024 admission.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by edmundspenser »

Have you thought about offering your child the difference in cash upon graduation?
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Dregob »

fortfun wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 1:41 pm I never thought I'd be this parent, but here I am. My son has been accepted to, and wants to attend UCLA. He plans to double major in Computer Science and Math. He's very smart. I think the cost with out of state tuition, housing, etc. is upwards of 75k/yr.

He could attend Colorado State University for about 17k/yr.

Like most students, he wants to get out of town and go some place new.

I've been through the numbers with him. He fully understands that it's a terrible financial decision. He's certain that he will make much more money with a degree from UCLA. That's what the stats say but I'm not so sure. UCLA does have highly ranked computer science and math departments (for whatever that is worth).

We have about 85k in his 529. We could probably cash flow the remainder. His mom says she's okay working longer to cash flow it (I'm 50, she's 52).

Our retirements are pretty well funded and we have no debt. Any words of wisdom for me or my son. I want to support his desire to attend the school he wants but I know that it is a terrible financial decision.
We were in that position. Told daughter you can go to state school and graduate with no debt. Out of state and you are responsible for loans/debt above and beyond state school costs.
She ended up staying in state and then Vet school. It is hard to predict the future.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by fortfun »

Thanks for the replies everyone! Very helpful!
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Dregob wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:37 pm We were in that position. Told daughter you can go to state school and graduate with no debt. Out of state and you are responsible for loans/debt above and beyond state school costs.
She ended up staying in state and then Vet school. It is hard to predict the future.
I think you are not appreciating the internships and on campus jobs strong CS/Math students get. I am assuming OP’s son is strong, based on what OP says. Parents can make up the difference and it will matter more to the student than a larger inheritance when he himself is ready to retire.

Internships after 1st year are rare. After that, I think the son can make up most or all of the cost difference without loans.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Watty »

UCLA may be good but it is not on the same level as places like MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, etc.

Once you get a few years out of college where you got your Computer Science degree from tends to matter less than in many other fields unless it is tippy top college. While I have an ancient CS degree I am not up to date on all the universities but UCLA would not come to mind if someone asked me to list the top ten CS colleges.

Stretching the budget might be worth it for one of those other colleges but I suspect that a lot of the attraction of UCLA has more to do with a teenager being in California and near beaches than academics.

Another consideration is that if you have other kids you also need to consider how spending a lot about the other kids colleges or if you will then leave them equal inherences after spending an extra quarter of a million on this kids college. Siblings have become estranged over less.

Since it does not sound like you can easily afford this then I would just pay the same as in state and leave it up to your kid to pay for the rest with loans or internships.
We could probably cash flow the remainder. His mom says she's okay working longer to cash flow it (I'm 50, she's 52).
Keep in mind that Murphy's Law can always happen with things like a layoff, disability, illness, etc.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by barnaclebob »

Pay for UCLA, offer him 20% cash of all scholarship money earned in the future to help offset the cost.
Bobby206
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Bobby206 »

No brainer... go Bruins!

Long term he's more likely to earn significantly more. Not for sure, obviously, but odds are! I am a dummy from a state school who made well but a ton of my schoolmates were not so fortunate. I know a ton of successful Bruins!
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by gaussmarkov1 »

I agree with others on the financials: if your son is so certain he will make more money after attending UCLA, he should agree to cover a portion of the difference with loans or scholarships.

Also echoing others: the schools are not really comparable. In the long term, I believe a sound financial argument could be made for attending UCLA. Besides the prestige, the networking opportunities, and the proximity to tech, your son will be forced to push himself academically at UCLA in ways he may not at CSU (based on the caliber of his average peer). This will have compounding effects throughout his career. I say this as a STEM professor at a big public school, so I'm undoubtedly biased.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by itaos »

I usually read these college choice posts and kind of shrug as either option seems ok. In this situation your child really may benefit from what UCLA has to offer over CSU. Is he the type of student who is self motivated and will take advantage of the opportunities?
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Big Dog »

I've never been a fan of paying OOS fees to attend a public, unless it was for a specialized program. (Think Theater or Film at UCLA.). Comp Sci is a generic degree. The largest feeder to AAPL is (nearby) San Jose State Uni.

Colorado State and UCLA can't be his only two choices. What about Boulder? Any private schools? (For a few dollars more, you get more value IMO.)
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by j9j »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 2:25 pm I generally think paying out of state tuition for a public college tends to be a horrible deal. You end up paying significantly more than the in-state students for the exact same education. Private schools tend to offer more financial aid than a state school of the same caliber.

That said, it sounds like the die is cast and it's too late to look at other options. Between the two, I think UCLA may be worth considering despite the cost given its strong reputation and stronger connection to the West Coast tech industry. The cost delta is not material relative to a lifetime of earnings. At the same time, there is a realistic possibility that he ends up in exactly the same place career-wise, especially if he wants to return to Colorado after graduation.

One thing that students often fail to consider is the regional of school networks, which tends to mean that the best career opportunities will be in the region of the school. Does your son want to live in California or Colorado after graduation? While a Colorado employer won't turn their noses up at a UCLA degree, you are throwing away most of the advantage of the UCLA network if you have no intention of staying in California. Likewise, while Colorado State doesn't have the same national reputation as UCLA, its local network may mean it's more at-par with Colorado employers.
I have the same view. I don’t see as much value in UCLA as a lot of the posters. Longer I do not see a significant earning difference in compsci. Better to spend the money on graduate degree.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by rockstar »

Have your kid take out student loans to attend. Make sure he’s actually committed. Some kids don’t make it past their freshman year.

When he graduates, and if you’re feeling generous, then pay off his student loans as a graduation present. If he thinks he’s paying his own way, he might work harder. And he might hustle more.

But I’d remain supportive.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by nulka »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:50 pm
Dregob wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:37 pm We were in that position. Told daughter you can go to state school and graduate with no debt. Out of state and you are responsible for loans/debt above and beyond state school costs.
She ended up staying in state and then Vet school. It is hard to predict the future.
I think you are not appreciating the internships and on campus jobs strong CS/Math students get. I am assuming OP’s son is strong, based on what OP says. Parents can make up the difference and it will matter more to the student than a larger inheritance when he himself is ready to retire.

Internships after 1st year are rare. After that, I think the son can make up most or all of the cost difference without loans.
I tried to post earlier but it didn't seem to go through. Sorry if this is a double post.

Yes, a lot of people are really underestimating the pay difference when they mention things like COL. Internships at competitive tech companies pay $10k/mo. For CS majors at top trading firms, it's $20k/mo to $25k/mo. And it's possible to get an internship after your first year. I did that as an engineering student because I needed the money and it's easier now than it used to be.

Entry level pay for typical new grads at tech companies is close to $200k/yr and we paid the last new grad I hired significantly more because another company also wanted them. I think I could've gotten something as high as $350k/yr approved, but I didn't need to push it to the limit because my the other person who was willing to bid above par couldn't go that high. Pay ramps up quickly for new grads if they're competent. As Tomato mentions, the son can take out loans and pay them off in a year or two after graduation.

I'm not a fan of how companies hire new grads, but the way things are, a mediocre student at a prestigious school has a better chance at these jobs than a great student at a no-name school. As Watty mentions, UCLA isn't considered one of the top tier schools, which would be MIT, Stanford, CMU, and Berkeley, but it's in the tier below with 10 or 15 other good schools, which will open a lot of doors.

I think the big risk is if the son goes to UCLA and then changes their mind about their major or things don't work out.
Last edited by nulka on Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by J295 »

fortfun wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 1:41 pm I want to support his desire to attend the school he wants but I know that it is a terrible financial decision.
We don’t know. It’s possible going to UCLA would be a fantastic financial decision.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by Chv396 »

Think of sending your kid to UCLA as an investment, which will pay dividends for his entire life. UCLA graduates are found in some of the top firms and companies in California and the US. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Go Bruins! :sharebeer
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

A) If you are rich enough to spend 200+K extra on a college education and give 200+K to your kid upon graduation, then, it is a no-brainer.

B) Or else, you are spending 200+K extra on a lottery ticket. It may or may work out to be better.

C) Or, you can choose not to spend that 200+K and give that 200+K to your kid. And, that definitely can change your kid's life.

D) My family member "cash flow" 80K per kid per year for 3 kids to go through college. Then, he gave 200+ K to each kid after graduation. He is rich enough that he does not care whether his kid can make more from their salary upon graduation.

E) Each kid has a portfolio around 1 million in their 30s. And, it is not from their savings and/or income.

F) How rich are you? And, what do you think how best to help your kid with that 200+K? Is it worthwhile to spend that kind of money on an UCLA lottery ticket?

G) To each its own.

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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

Post by chmcnm »

CS is employable from just about any decent school. Go to a top CS grad school like CMU, Stanford or UCLA.

For our oldest son we offered to pay for our in-state schools (Pennsylvania). Anything else required scholarships. He was accepted to Georgia Tech. He sold us that it was very doable in 3 years and he’d have internships or co-op. The 3 year cost would be about the same as 4 years at Pitt/PSU. He did and it was. I’m assuming your son could do same at UCLA if he has AP or dual enrollment credits. A dual major in CS and math isn’t required. He’ll take enough math in the CS major.

That said, if it’s affordable without loans and won’t impact retirement much send him to UCLA. Good luck.
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

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Money value of UCLA vs UC Davis

Post by fortfun »

[Merged into existing locked thread by Moderator Misenplace - see rules#rule-6b]
Follow up from last week's question.

Son accepted to UCLA and UC Davis. Wants to double major in CS and Mathematics.

UCLA no scholarship.
Davis: 53k scholarship over 4 years.

Son prefers UCLA. Is UCLA worth the extra 53k?

Many thanks!
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Re: Money value of UCLA vs UC Davis

Post by White Coat Investor »

fortfun wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:18 pm Follow up from last week's question.

Son accepted to UCLA and UC Davis. Wants to double major in CS and Mathematics.

UCLA no scholarship.
Davis: 53k scholarship over 4 years.

Son prefers UCLA. Is UCLA worth the extra 53k?

Many thanks!
Fort Fun
Probably not.

How rich are you and your son? Is $53K throw away money? If so, go to UCLA. If not, go to UC Davis.

If you are rich but your son isn't, why not offer him this: Go to Davis and I'll give you $53K in an investment account or you can go to UCLA. Show him what $53K will do over the next 47 years. =FV(8%,47,0,-53000) = $1.97 million. See what he thinks.
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Re: Money value of UCLA vs UC Davis

Post by fortfun »

White Coat Investor wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:22 pm
fortfun wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:18 pm Follow up from last week's question.

Son accepted to UCLA and UC Davis. Wants to double major in CS and Mathematics.

UCLA no scholarship.
Davis: 53k scholarship over 4 years.

Son prefers UCLA. Is UCLA worth the extra 53k?

Many thanks!
Fort Fun
Probably not.

How rich are you and your son? Is $53K throw away money? If so, go to UCLA. If not, go to UC Davis.

If you are rich but your son isn't, why not offer him this: Go to Davis and I'll give you $53K in an investment account or you can go to UCLA. Show him what $53K will do over the next 47 years. =FV(8%,47,0,-53000) = $1.97 million. See what he thinks.
Good advice.
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Re: Money value of UCLA vs UC Davis

Post by student »

White Coat Investor wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:22 pm
fortfun wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:18 pm Follow up from last week's question.

Son accepted to UCLA and UC Davis. Wants to double major in CS and Mathematics.

UCLA no scholarship.
Davis: 53k scholarship over 4 years.

Son prefers UCLA. Is UCLA worth the extra 53k?

Many thanks!
Fort Fun
Probably not.

How rich are you and your son? Is $53K throw away money? If so, go to UCLA. If not, go to UC Davis.

If you are rich but your son isn't, why not offer him this: Go to Davis and I'll give you $53K in an investment account or you can go to UCLA. Show him what $53K will do over the next 47 years. =FV(8%,47,0,-53000) = $1.97 million. See what he thinks.
+1. Especially since he wants to double major in CS and math.
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Re: Money value of UCLA vs UC Davis

Post by nalor511 »

Once in the job market, the difference between UCLA and Davis is going to be fairly minimal, and your experience and skills matters a lot more. I would say Davis is the clear winner for you
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Re: What to tell son who wants to attend UCLA vs state school.

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