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    College costs

    Oldest daughter is going to community college to start and then will transfer to the main campus after 2 years. Love it for the cost ($3,800 / year). She loves it because she is working her way through college. So far, that is working great.

    Younger daughter is looking at starting at a full time four year college. In state runs $22k / year. Out of state seems to be $50k or more / year. I knew this already from our first daughter, but my wife posed a good question: How are our friends able to send their kids to colleges that cost $200,000 for a 4 year education? We don't qualify for any subsidized aid, just the $5,500 unsibsidized loan. So cash or private loans. I don't have $200,000 saved up for college and won't.

    So, for those with kids in out of state college, are you paying $200,000? If not, how? She has great grades (32 ACT, 1300 SAT and top 10% in her class). But the best I could get for merit scholarships is $3,000 / year.

    Ouch.

    Tom

    #2
    Originally posted by tomhole View Post
    So, for those with kids in out of state college, are you paying $200,000? If not, how?
    Our daughter is a freshman. Total fees for this year came to about $51,000 (I don't have the exact number handy). But NO, we are NOT paying that amount. Virtually nobody pays that amount. 96% of students receive some sort of financial aid.

    Our daughter has a $19,000/year merit scholarship leaving us paying about $32,000 - still a lot of money but a lot less than $51,000.
    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


      #3
      Originally posted by tomhole View Post
      Oldest daughter is going to community college to start and then will transfer to the main campus after 2 years. Love it for the cost ($3,800 / year). She loves it because she is working her way through college. So far, that is working great.

      Younger daughter is looking at starting at a full time four year college. In state runs $22k / year. Out of state seems to be $50k or more / year. I knew this already from our first daughter, but my wife posed a good question: How are our friends able to send their kids to colleges that cost $200,000 for a 4 year education? We don't qualify for any subsidized aid, just the $5,500 unsibsidized loan. So cash or private loans. I don't have $200,000 saved up for college and won't.

      So, for those with kids in out of state college, are you paying $200,000? If not, how? She has great grades (32 ACT, 1300 SAT and top 10% in her class). But the best I could get for merit scholarships is $3,000 / year.

      Ouch.

      Tom
      A combination of loans and paying cash likely.
      I would suggest a $25 education per year is more than good enough. I went to a top 5 engineering program for $12k in 1991, that same program is $25k now.

      My 7 years had loans which were about $80k after 6 years, and it took me 8 years to pay them off. I made a good salary, but my salary was at bottom end of my graduating class.


      I would focus on
      1) What YOU can do (do not compare yourself to others)
      2) What your CHILD can do (work through school, get loans, apply for scholarships)
      3) Educating yourself about your situation
      a) a CPA might be your best friend (divert money to a small business and create your own scholarship for example)
      b) federal tax credits (you likely make too much, check with your CPA
      c) cash flow analysis (could you pay off your mortgage before second child starts college)?

      Most colleges have private scholarships- a friend of mine died in 2011 and his family created a scholarship in his name with his assets at the college we went to. I would likely guess there are 100s to 1000s of stories like his- but your child needs to work at finding these and applying for them.

      Put your kids to work and see if they can find "free money" at their school of choice. The soccer club I used to coach for even had $500 scholarships they paid out- the kids need to LOOK for the opportunities.

      Comment


        #4
        Our daughter's school also has a scholarship program for existing students that partly covers tuition increases year to year if they maintain a certain GPA (3.2 I think). They also have a program that provides a scholarship 3rd and 4th year if they are involved with the campus career office to work on their resume and job search process.
        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


          #5
          By the way, DD is not out of state but her school charges the same either way.

          The main state school in the area would run about 26K/year which in the grand scheme of things, isn't a whole lot less than the 31K/year we are paying for the private school. And they wouldn't give any scholarship money.
          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


            #6
            One issue often overlooked is who you meet in college.

            Cost is what you pay, value is what you receive.
            A student will pay for the education.
            The student receives a LOT MORE than just an education.

            For example if a major at a given school graduates 50 people, a person has 49 professional contacts with a similar degree they just spent 4 years with.

            If the same major at a different school graduates 250 people, that person has 249 professional contacts with a degree similar that they just spent 4 years with.

            I have been working for 16 years, my best professional contacts are the customers I consult with followed by the people I went to college with. I know my friends from college very well- we studied together, partied together and overall spent upwards of 100-1000 hours together over 5 years. The value of a friendship and bond that deep is tough to put a price on. My customers know my ability, but they don't know my personality. Most of my customers I spend no more than 120 "billable hours" with plus some phone time with. They don't know much about me, just the software I installed in there environment.


            I realize the cost of college is tangible- it is very obvious. In Cincinnati there are 3 big schools with overlap in majors (for example UC and Miami both have decent Engineering departments). Most students choose a school based on a feel (one is a rural campus, another is urban) and not the quality of each department (UC turns out better engineers historically) even though an old professor of mine is Engineering Dean at Miami.

            It's tough to get an 18 year old to think ahead to what they might need at age 22 to get a job, or what an alumni organization can get you at age 40. But that is how a decision should be made, IMO for picking a college.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jIM_Ohio View Post
              Most students choose a school based on a feel (one is a rural campus, another is urban) and not the quality of each department

              It's tough to get an 18 year old to think ahead to what they might need at age 22 to get a job, or what an alumni organization can get you at age 40. But that is how a decision should be made, IMO for picking a college.
              Having recently gone through the college search process, I can certainly agree that students (and their parents) pick at least in part due to feel. I don't think that's a bad thing though. Enrolling in a school that just isn't a good fit is a recipe for disaster, poor academic performance, and very likely an ultimate transfer to a different school, which could delay graduation beyond 4 years.

              We visited 9 schools. We left 1 of them during the lunch break. We left another one after the introduction speech. We had been on campus for under an hour and we all knew that it just wasn't the right place for her. It's a great school with a great reputation but there's no way she would have been happy there or fit into their culture.

              So yes, contacts and alumni network are important, but so is the other stuff.
              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


                #8
                I agree about the feel of the campus. Much more important to feel comfortable somewhere than to go to a school because of the academics and not feel comfortable and end up leaving the school.

                In regards to paying for college, our son joined a fraternity and now lives in the house. We are saving $10k compared to his freshman year by him living in the frat.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You need to dig deeper for scholarship money. College research is my hobby . I did extensive research on which schools give merit-based scholarships and how much they give. Private schools often give enough money to bring that $40-$50k closer to what you'd pay for your state school. Or with an ACT of 32 & 3.5 GPA, an out of state student at University of Alabama can get a full tuition scholarship for 4 years. If your daughter is a senior, you've probably missed the deadline on these scholarships. Is she a junior or senior? How far from home is she willing to go (or you're willing to let her)? Our best state college costs over $30k/year so many students go to nearby states for less than that, even paying out of state tuition.

                  Comment

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