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    #162780 - 07/23/13 07:45 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Harvard and a very small number of other schools have such massive endowments that they COULD allow everyone to go for free. Say there are 3,000 colleges in the US (guessing), then 2,995 of them can't afford to do that. Most of the colleges that say they "meet need" do ask about your home equity on the CSS profile form. FAFSA only colleges do not look at home equity. But a lot of the colleges that do require the CSS (pretty much all the top colleges) won't tell you their exact equations for calculating need... so you can't know for sure.

    Unless a college has a big enough endowment to cover everyone's expenses anyway, they want to make sure people don't have large assets they COULD tap for college. If you have a $750,000 house that is paid off, but only $100,000 in liquid assets, you can hardly blame colleges for taking that into account. It used to be that they didn't look at that... but every time people try to game the system (trying to get someone else to pay their college bills by doing things like investing in home equity that they thought wouldn't be considered), eventually the colleges that have to limit their Financial Aid distributions get wise and close the loophole. Which also tells you that the rules today for calculating financial aid may not be the rules in 5 or 10 years when your kids are actually applying.

    Colleges that don't guarantee to "meet need" just gap you -- they give you some aid, and offer some federal loans. But they know perfectly well that your income and assets are not sufficient to pay the rest, and they expect you to take out private loans to cover that gap.


    Edited by intparent (07/23/13 07:47 AM)

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    #162783 - 07/23/13 07:56 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Which also tells you that the rules today for calculating financial aid may not be the rules in 5 or 10 years when your kids are actually applying.


    Which gets you back to the problem of "college" or "retirement" given that future nominal returns for (reasonable) financial assets over all reasonable time frames is approximately 4%.

    Which leads me back to "free, if possible".

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    #162785 - 07/23/13 08:08 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: master of none]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2596
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    Originally Posted By: madeinuk
    I do not think that Chinese, Korean and Japanese overachievement in this country is entirely genetic, for instance.


    Ha! I met a Chinese woman yesterday who was explaining the effect these cultural stereotypes have on her family. She said that in general police officers, teachers, bosses, people in authority look at her as if she will yield to what they ask, even if unreasonable. They will ask her to move to another seat, do an undesirable task, etc. She struggles because culturally, she would not stand up for herself but would hope to earn respect by her actions.

    She also said in school, her dd who is a junior has tremendous pressure on her to keep up with the other Asian kids and drives herself to an unhealthy level. The dd tells her mother that the younger sibs are not disciplined enough, not focused enough, etc.

    This mom said she gets pressure from other Asian parents too. They tell her if she doesn't start violin lessons young, doesn't get them into the right sport, math tutoring, etc, her kids will not do well.


    So the stereotype *is* true for most of the Asian parents in her circle. In general, most stereotypes have some truth to them, as social psychologist Lee Jussim has documented.



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    #162786 - 07/23/13 08:23 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: master of none]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    This mom said she gets pressure from other Asian parents too. They tell her if she doesn't start violin lessons young, doesn't get them into the right sport, math tutoring, etc, her kids will not do well. She has tried to raise her kids to follow interests and passions and to be relaxed and she feels like she is improving with each child, but has a great deal of guilt over how stressed her older dd is, and a world that tells her that her children must achieve.


    What are they trying to "achieve" though?

    It's always been a complete abstraction to me because there's no benchmark as to what is an acceptable level of achievement.

    Kind of like the empty word "success". I can't even tell you what that means.


    Edited by JonLaw (07/23/13 08:23 AM)

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    #162787 - 07/23/13 08:30 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: JonLaw]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    What are they trying to "achieve" though?

    It's always been a complete abstraction to me because there's no benchmark as to what is an acceptable level of achievement.

    Kind of like the empty word "success". I can't even tell you what that means.


    As with most relative terms, it means whatever you decide it means.

    For maximum mental health, I suggest setting the bar extremely low... like, pants-on-correctly low. Then you can be a winner all day long.

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    #162788 - 07/23/13 08:41 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Harvard and a very small number of other schools have such massive endowments that they COULD allow everyone to go for free. Say there are 3,000 colleges in the US (guessing), then 2,995 of them can't afford to do that. Most of the colleges that say they "meet need" do ask about your home equity on the CSS profile form. FAFSA only colleges do not look at home equity. But a lot of the colleges that do require the CSS (pretty much all the top colleges) won't tell you their exact equations for calculating need... so you can't know for sure.

    Unless a college has a big enough endowment to cover everyone's expenses anyway, they want to make sure people don't have large assets they COULD tap for college. If you have a $750,000 house that is paid off, but only $100,000 in liquid assets, you can hardly blame colleges for taking that into account. It used to be that they didn't look at that... but every time people try to game the system (trying to get someone else to pay their college bills by doing things like investing in home equity that they thought wouldn't be considered), eventually the colleges that have to limit their Financial Aid distributions get wise and close the loophole. Which also tells you that the rules today for calculating financial aid may not be the rules in 5 or 10 years when your kids are actually applying.

    Colleges that don't guarantee to "meet need" just gap you -- they give you some aid, and offer some federal loans. But they know perfectly well that your income and assets are not sufficient to pay the rest, and they expect you to take out private loans to cover that gap.


    What intparent says in the post above is exactly what we've been finding, too-- as we have talked to colleges and run preliminary financial aid at various institutions, second tier private schools are coming in at 12-20K in institutional grants (but remember that this is off the top of a tuition bill which is 36-45K), and the public ones have tuition discounting instead-- for a student in the 90th percentile and higher for the institution, that might be as much as 40-50%, but that is IN-STATE students.

    The gapping problem is getting bigger. Colleges gloss over it in their statements, but it's not trivial.

    Also, even preliminary aid calculations now ask questions re: equity and other investments. They clearly DO consider those things somehow, though the exact details are frequently proprietary.

    One reason why I still think that this conversation likely is better here than at CC is that the reality here is predicated on most of our kids BEING in the top percentiles no matter where they are looking. The real question is whether it is acceptable to be in the top 1% for the institution, or the top 10%.

    It's not about "getting in" for anyone posting here, I suspect. It's about getting in so that you can extract a good education from that setting at a cost that seems worth it.

    I also concur strongly about TigerParenting (for any reason) as a means of achieving this goal. No matter how defensible your rationale, unless you are desperate and this is (seriously) the ONLY way that your child can attend college at all due to financial dire straits... it's simply NOT worth what it will cost either of you in the long run. What constitutes "Tigering" varies with the individual child significantly, however.

    Some kids respond very well to push-parenting (done in moderation, mind). My DD is one of them. Now, our version of "push" parenting is "No, this was your idea, you signed up for it, we paid for it, and you're going to follow through on the commitment." Not "here's your list of extracurriculars, and here are our target outcomes. Do whatever you need to in order to reach those." :cringe: To be clear, we have seen some of DD's peers subjected to the latter type of parenting.





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

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    #162791 - 07/23/13 09:04 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    About that "gap" thing again-- UW, for example, estimates our EFC at 32K annually, give or take. Because we are OOS, the tuition and fees (2013) are ~47K.

    Okay, so that 15K gap?

    LOANS. Mostly unsubsidized, and 9K annually are parent loans, not "student" loans.



    So, Reed College--

    Estimates our EFC at 34K (using the same data that UW used), and DD's "self-help" contribution at 5K annually.

    They'd offer us a 10K "Reed Grant" (unclear whether this is need based or something else-- presumably "need-based" of some sort).

    The rest? (Meaning that pesky remaining 3.6K gap)

    Loans again.

    (This is a relatively low loan-rate for institutions like Reed, too.)

    Interestingly, UW touts people like us as having "100% of need met" and Reed wouldn't, based on that calculation, because of the gap.

    On the other hand, because Reed didn't tell us to go get loans, they can say that their aid packages don't include loans in cases like ours.

    It's a huge shell game-- that is what I'm pointing out.

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

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    #162792 - 07/23/13 09:21 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    It's not about "getting in" for anyone posting here, I suspect. It's about getting in so that you can extract a good education from that setting at a cost that seems worth it.


    I agree, and the gulf seems to be between the following camps:

    1) This is the only educational option that works for our kids, so no price is too high.

    2) The [rent] is too damned high.

    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Some kids respond very well to push-parenting (done in moderation, mind). My DD is one of them. Now, our version of "push" parenting is "No, this was your idea, you signed up for it, we paid for it, and you're going to follow through on the commitment."


    That's not pushing, that's just parenting. If the goal is to raise self-sustaining individuals that function well in society, then the ability to follow through on obligations is a critical one.

    Other parents act differently, because apparently they have another goal in mind.

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    #162794 - 07/23/13 09:26 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    The Reed Grant is need based -- they have no merit aid... frown

    What you are also pointing out is that it is crazy complicated -- and parents are often whiplashed and surprised by the complexity of it. That is why I like the CC financial aid discussion forum -- there are a couple of people who work as financial aid officers posting out there who can help you decipher/cut through the bs and figure out what is really going on.

    I have this massive spreadsheet where I tracked everything about D2's college search. I think the most complicated part of it is the financial aid portion -- just tracking all the offers and the differences. And due dates & formats for FA materials to the college. Every one of them has a different set of requirements for CSS forms, how to get tax forms to them, what tax forms they want, and what the due dates for all that stuff is. One thing I will say is that there is no way our kids can just handle and figure this out on their own -- it is super, super complicated, and requires an adult understanding of your finances, assets, taxes, etc. It was practically a full time job to get all the paperwork in this last spring. Some people say you should apply to a LOT of colleges (15-20) to compare FA offers. I think that would have killed me (never mind my kid doing the applications).

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    #162795 - 07/23/13 09:30 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Dude]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    That's not pushing, that's just parenting. If the goal is to raise self-sustaining individuals that function well in society, then the ability to follow through on obligations is a critical one.


    This is a pretty good definition of parenting.

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