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70% of college students/parents don't consider income when borrowing

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    #16
    I see nothing wrong with price as a consideration when comparing colleges or choosing a profession. That's where mom & dad hopefully come in with guidance and sage advice.

    But at 17 or 18, it's a hard decision to make wisely. Lots of kids go off to college without even knowing what they want to do with their life. I knew many who changed their majors after the 1st or 2nd year.

    Of course there is risk involved in every decision. Just because you study medicine or law doesn't mean you'll automatically get rich. Far from it - there are lots of poor lawyers out there (I mean, not rich ).

    But as Steve has pointed out, even doctoring isn't a sure thing and is a substantial investment. But there is hope for a payoff - you can calculate out a way. But to spend $100k+ to be an English teacher? When it can be done for $25k?

    There was a thread a while back about a couple deciding to send her back for an MBA. They were trying to make the decision, with the lost income and expenses, if it was worth it. The advice was mixed on "worth it". But what I thought amazing is that they were actually running the calculation and considering it from an investment perspective. I think that is admirable.

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      #17
      I know I didn't consider potential future income when borrowing. I had no idea what I could make. That said, I did consider the impact of a lot of debt. I choose to go to a much cheaper school than I could have so that I wouldn't walk away with a huge amount of debt. Still ended up with 20k in student loans but that was better than the 100k+ I would have got at the other school I was considering.

      As someone on the 10 year plan even when my first year of income was 16k out of school, my loans were never too much for me to handle. I was much more intimidated by them while I was still in school than after I started paying on them.

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        #18
        College is an expensive place to find yourself in the past. Now. . .it's practically impossible to have a young person find themself there.

        Maybe 1-2 years working isn't a bad idea and then going to college.

        I think that's where the parent and the child start to get emotional - they see their friends "accelerating" ahead adn they are working in a high school oriented job, maybe traveling, etc. and they get that feelilng of "being left behind the pack", not making something of themselves. It's an intense time of pressure. I think I must admit I'd feel that with my own kids, even though that's silly (Life's a marathon, not a sprint).

        Maybe it's best to set your kids up in a condo for 100K (approximate cost of college, take the 10% penalty in the 529), let them work/save after taking and getting at least a B on a course in financial management. . .then if they want, take out home equity loans for college - maybe have them buy their first condo in a college town and act as landlord.

        In other words, make the whole thing a business venture with your kids. . .going to college, to which you can cash out the property when you are done.

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          #19
          Originally posted by Scanner View Post
          Maybe 1-2 years working isn't a bad idea and then going to college.
          I think the longer you wait before going to college, the less likely it becomes that you will actually do it. If someone works for 2 years and is established in a job they like and has gotten used to having that weekly paycheck, what are the chances they will give it all up to go back to college?
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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            #20
            DS,

            I agree. . .the problem is college is an expensive place to find yourself.

            Do you have any other alternative than the workplace?

            Military? Peace Corps?

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              #21
              I often wonder if Israel doesn't have it right - don't they make every young person serve in the military to defend their country before going to college (or deciding if it's for you)?

              I look back and think maybe a couple years in the military would have done me good and may have "helped" a few lost souls in college "find themselves."

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                #22
                Originally posted by Scanner View Post
                DS,

                I agree. . .the problem is college is an expensive place to find yourself.

                Do you have any other alternative than the workplace?
                You're asking the wrong person. I'm one of those people who strongly believes in the overall college experience, not just the classroom education. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, I think the book knowledge you gain is just a side benefit. I think the life lessons learned are more important. With that in mind, I also believe all college students should live on campus, away from home. We've made it very clear to our daughter that she is expected to go away for college. One of my wife's only regrets in life is that she lived home for college. She feels she missed out on a lot of growing up time. I went away for college and it totally shaped the adult I became.

                So I vote for kids to continue to go to college upon graduating high school.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #23
                  DisneSteve,

                  I think your values reflect mine for sure. I think the problem is, when you get right down to it, money. Sure, go away to college. . .but you can't change majors 5x either, can you?

                  That is simply unsustainable for most families nowadays (and maybe in days past too).

                  What life lessons are important at college? The 3 "B's"? Beer, Botany, and Beowulf?

                  No, seriously, I know what you mean - an ability to critically think, an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method, an ability to express yourself intelligently orally and in writing and an endowment of advanced literacy are probably the key components of a college education, not whether you majored in Philosophy or Chemical Engineering. I get that.

                  The problem is you can get into Chemical Engineering and just decide it's not for you - too math intensive, rote calculations, some tedious experimentation. .. then you jump to Philosophy. . .my ex-roomate did that and pretty much didn't graduate college til age 24.

                  That being said, he was going at taxpayor expense due to racial quota requirements at the time (late 80's) and meeting the college's mission of diversity so he could afford to.

                  But had he not, it would have cost his parents a small fortune. Even a doctor couldn't afford to put their kids through that, especially nowadays with what a lot of docs make.

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                    #24
                    I understand the going back to school after 2 years working is hard. But heres' the deal. A lot of studentas are ready at 18 to chose their future.

                    Second, I wonder if we didn't require 1 or 2 years of peace corp or mission work with the underpriviledged wouldn't make us less materialistic and more humble and grateful for what we have? That it wouldn't mature us? I'm not sure about the military service, although many countries have it.

                    But I like the idea of having young people spend a couple of years working with those who are truly in need. And paying them and giving them a chance to see life outside of the ivory tower.
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                      I think the longer you wait before going to college, the less likely it becomes that you will actually do it. If someone works for 2 years and is established in a job they like and has gotten used to having that weekly paycheck, what are the chances they will give it all up to go back to college?
                      I agree! I've known MANY people who have great intentions of "going back to finish that degree" who still haven't, and probably never will. It's a lot harder to go to college with kids and spouses to care for. Not to mention the financial aspect.

                      Dee

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                        #26
                        LAL - I think you nail it on the head.

                        While I agree going to college is important while young, the fact is most people are not ready to choose a career and commit to college at 18. I suppose a solution is community college and such. It really shouldn't be so looked down upon. IT's an extremely viable solution for the undecideds of the world, and those not emotionally ready to be on their own. Peace corp, etc. is another angle to the same end. A much cheaper way to "find yourself," anyway.

                        Which is the other thing. How many kids at 18 who KNOW what they want to do, get pushed into doing what they don't want to do? PArents plan their kids college days from before they are even born. Which means they usually don't take into account what is best for their child. I have seen it with MOST of my friends from high school. They all have pre-law and pre-med degrees, and they work in retail because they never had any true support from their parents (but for a pricey degree) and have no idea how to move on with their lives. My husband falls in that category. Their parents all had good intentions and paid bucko books for big college degrees that will never be used. IT's so much more than just wasting 4 years in college and having to start over. For my friends and my husband, they are emotionally unable to pursue the career they want to because it has been so beaten into them that it is "wrong" to pursue a low paying career that you love. I have financially supported my husband for 7 years and he is still scared to jump off into the career he rather be in. Because he is *supposed to* support us with such six figure job? (MEanwhile he is working for LOW PAYING jobs and not working at all for 7 years - this is better???) But even my female friends seem emotionally frozen since they disagree with their parents chosen career path. IT's just SAD, and yet SO COMMON.

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                          #27
                          Since Peace Corps is being mentioned as an alternative to college, I would just like to point out that, in most cases, one must already have a college degree to go into Peace Corps. You see, Peace Corps is not just about willing bodies to go work. There are already plenty of will bodies to work in the communities that Peace Corps serves. Peace Corps brings ~knowledge~ to the poor foreign countries they are in. So if you've been to college and have a degree that enables you to figure out how to safely get alum out of the earth, clean it up, and grind it up enough to use it to precipitate large biological contaminants from the nearest water source for a village and can then figure out a way to sustainlably further treat the water for chemical contaminants and smaller biological contaminants---then, yes, the Peace Corps needs you to teach the rest of the village how to do this. If all you know is how to turn on your brushed nickel water faucet in your parent's granite surrounded kitchen sink, then you might not have anything to offer the Peace Corp.

                          Not to say that Peace Corps is all about water, but you do need to have real, needed skills for Peace Corps as it presently exists.
                          "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                          "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by MonkeyMama View Post
                            the fact is most people are not ready to choose a career and commit to college at 18.
                            Perhaps I just hung with a different crowd but almost everybody I know and went to school with knew what they wanted to do. I decided I wanted to be a doctor when I was in 4th grade. I had friends who knew they wanted to be teachers or computer programmers or nurses or research scientists or work in the financial sector. I had a couple of friends who changed majors in college but a huge majority of them did not. Almost everybody I was close with graduated in 4 years and went on to their intended career or the graduate school needed to get to their career.

                            Certainly, there are some high school kids who aren't quite sure what they want to do, but I think most have a pretty good idea.
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              How about something that uses your knowledge from just high school? And it could be as simple as working working some how in an under priviledged area.

                              Besides the point at 18 we choose our careers but we aren't old enough or mature enough to drink legally?
                              LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                                Besides the point at 18 we choose our careers but we aren't old enough or mature enough to drink legally?
                                Not sure what one has to do with the other. Lots of studies have shown that the brain isn't fully developed until about age 25, I think. Alcohol has a different effect on an 18-year-old than on a 21 or 25-year-old. There are many who feel a drinking age of 21 is too low based on the research.
                                Steve

                                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                                Comment

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