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    #162264 - 07/16/13 08:45 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    But it is hard to know whether any of those agreements will be in place in 10 years given the current financial difficulties many colleges have.



    YES, yes, yes. But-- those with middle schoolers should begin thinking strategically.

    Some states with traditionally strong systems are in deep, deep financial trouble within those systems at the moment.

    There's a reason why no UC schools are on my DD's list-- even though we're relatively local and one parent is a product of one of the top-notch schools within that VERY fine system. Right now? I wish that I lived in NC. Seriously. But I wouldn't predict that to remain true for a decade, so if my child were seven, no way would I move there for the opportunity that exists right now.

    Look at rates of tuition increase over the past two decades within the institutions that you're eyeing. The UC system is particularly eye-watering there, but a good many elite schools have also gone from "no loan" policies to "oh well" in the past seven to ten, too, as their tuition has skyrocketed.

    We have found-- at least theoretically-- what Jon posted to be true. The very, very elitest of the elite? They offer no merit aid-- because they don't NEED TO. Oh, sure, they offer financial aid-- to those who qualify. If you're above the 75th percentile in income, that's not going to be much, and even if you're not, "loans" are often the underlying answer to "how do you make sure that 100% of student need is met at your institution?"



    This is the conundrum that we find ourselves in. DD is in for a truckload of financial aid at most public institutions because she's at the 90th percentile (and then some) at most of those. Not so much for places like Rice, Reed, the Ivies, etc. where she looks like a more-or-less average admit. (Aside from the fact that she's 3-4y younger, I mean.) Take a look at the College Board's stats on places like Virginia and the University of Chicago-- how many of their admits are in the top 10% of their graduating classes?? At some elite institutions, it's 95% or more of the student body. Why would they offer merit aid? There are 100,000 of those students for the picking of those top 100 colleges and universities... every.single.year. It's a giant game of musical chairs, and because parents will do whatever it takes (second mortgages, loans, etc) they really don't need to offer merit aid.

    Different institutions are perfectly within their rights to consider whatever assets they like as "fair game" when it comes to determining what your ability to pay actually is, as well. That's not whining or doomsday talk-- it's just reality in this particular era. Be prepared to pay until it hurts. A lot.

    Honestly, our plan for paying is to bump our household income by 30-40% and just write the checks.

    I also LOVE intparent's advice re: EC's and interests off the beaten track. This is why we haven't pushed DD into math competitions and chess, and have encouraged her to do things like 4-H. Elite college admission planning? Good luck with that, honestly... you're aiming your child at a moving target whose transformations are largely irrational and unpredictable.

    Remember when everyone wanted their kids to take Japanese since that was what the future had in store for North America?? Now, it's the Chinese and everyone wants them learning Mandarin. You can't play catch up like that and hope to guess right as you peer 10-16 years into the future.

    Encourage your kids to do what they love, to develop passion and determination and commitment to some things, and the rest? Realize that there's no real way to control it, and little way of even predicting it from more than 5-6 years away.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #162265 - 07/16/13 08:46 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Ultimately we as parents and our students are responsible for paying for our kids' educations.


    You are looking in the rear view mirror.

    Top
    #162266 - 07/16/13 08:47 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Bostonian, the calculation is different if your kids are in college the same years (they still only look at 5% regardless of how many kids you have in college). I guess that is a bonus of having them close together.

    Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of college topics. CC has thousands (literally) of threads on stuff like this, and also many very knowledgeable posters. There are a couple of people who are college financial aid professionals (work in the area) on the FA board that can cut right to the chase on stuff like this. If you want the straight scoop, that is the place to go.

    Jon, not sure what you are saying. Ultimately we as parents and our students are responsible for paying for our kids' educations. No one owes us any financial aid -- by the time we are done our family will have saved about $250,000 to spread over two kids (starting when they were wee, so it isn't quite as painful as it sounds), plus we have and will pay out of current income as well. And our kids have saved and will work summers and in school for some expenses as well. Of course it will drain money you have saved. But everyone has the option of cheaper colleges (in state, community college with a transfer, living at home during college). And honestly, those are the options that most low income students do take, along with loans.



    Yes, again.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162267 - 07/16/13 08:49 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Honestly, our plan for paying is to bump our household income by 30-40% and just write the checks.


    You can also find employment with the university in question.

    That often gets you 75% off.

    Top
    #162268 - 07/16/13 08:51 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    YES, yes, yes. But-- those with middle schoolers should begin thinking strategically.


    I think that lots of people are playing the wrong game.

    Top
    #162269 - 07/16/13 08:58 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: JonLaw]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Honestly, our plan for paying is to bump our household income by 30-40% and just write the checks.


    You can also find employment with the university in question.

    That often gets you 75% off.


    Ahhhhh-- you DO know my plan! laugh

    Alas, since the rollout of adjunct and fixed term teaching, it's often more like 20-50%, and those are prized 'benefits' that aren't offered to anyone less than full time. "Adjunct" as a category, by the way, is often by definition <0.49 FTE at an institution.

    There's also the matter than without ties TO an institution, getting hired into an elite campus is easier said than done. But there are always lab positions. They just don't pay very well.

    Here's another resource for general college planning (not specifically 'elite' and in fact, much of his advice is about cost savings, NOT considering 'worth' of colleges based on how good they are):

    FrugalDad-- common sense for college He does have a couple of really good blog entries-- pay particular attention to his discussion of freshman versus renewable aid from colleges, something that is very easy to overlook.

    Another resource:

    College Data

    Some of the information here is a reprise of what is over at College Board, but there are also financial particulars that College Board doesn't address or make public, too. There are built-in calculators at that site, but it is behind a registration wall.


    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #162271 - 07/16/13 09:06 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    There's also the matter than without ties TO an institution, getting hired into an elite campus is easier said than done. But there are always lab positions. They just don't pay very well.


    Considering that the point of working for them isn't to collect a paycheck, the pay doesn't really matter.

    Top
    #162272 - 07/16/13 09:35 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Quote:
    Take a look at the College Board's stats on places like Virginia and the University of Chicago


    U of Chicago actually does give some merit aid (my D got some, much to our surprise). But don't count on a lot -- but something is better than nothing.

    Quote:
    You are looking in the rear view mirror.


    Jon, I have one who graduated from college last year and one entering college this fall. So I am not looking in the rear view mirror. I know exactly what the college bills look like these days, and what the pros and cons of the various choices are.

    Top
    #162273 - 07/16/13 09:38 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Quote:
    You are looking in the rear view mirror.


    Jon, I have one who graduated from college last year and one entering college this fall. So I am not looking in the rear view mirror. I know exactly what the college bills look like these days, and what the pros and cons of the various choices are.


    That's not the rear view mirror that I'm talking about.

    My point is that it does not appear that the next 30 years are going to look anything like the last 30 years.

    Top
    #162274 - 07/16/13 09:55 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    ... which is why it's really difficult for parents whose kids are only 6 or 7 to know what the right thing to do is, from a strategic standpoint.

    Ask parents who planned that way in California.

    Many public university systems are edging nearer toward insolvency all the time, and that is having real consequences, not just for tuition rates (which are a symptom of the larger problem) but also in terms of institutional infrastructure in an educational sense. If I had a 6yo, I wouldn't plan on sending her to a public university in ten years. No matter how storied or robust. That system (in general) is currently on quicksand.

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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