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    #162749 - 07/22/13 04:20 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    CFK, I'm certainly not suggesting that a plan like that isn't a good idea for a lot of DYS-level kids. Nowhere is that more true than in those kids with well-honed interests in math, computer science, or physics.

    In fact, it's probably the best, most sane plan for the vast majority of them-- presuming that the entire family can avoid buying into the hype surrounding elite college admissions (which is just about as meaningless as PG, as terms go). Also assuming that you've been able to realize a fairly ideal K-12 education for that child, and maximize study in an area of interest so as to accumulate a couple of years' worth of dual enrollment credit. Truly, this sounds-- given where I live, and the reality of what GT ed is and is not around here-- like "you should have been eating cake." Well, yes... but I was a little more concerned about bread in the short-term. wink KWIM? The school makes it VERY hard advice to follow, and that includes the local colleges at which one must beg a seat for a non-admitted, very young student.

    Also, this is a good, workable plan for students who have a learning style which is a good match for it. That's not to say that CFK's child is antisocial-- far from it. Just to note that for some kids, being an outlier BOTHERS them a lot more than it does others. How they cope varies wildly.



    Flagship State varies dramatically from place to place, also-- for someone in CA, that's an excellent plan from an educational standpoint (though I think that at this point, I'd hasten to add that this graphic is pretty disturbing if that is, in fact, 'plan A' for you, ten years down the road). For someone in WY or ID, maybe not so viable. For us, the cost of a neighboring state Flagship University rivals that of Stanford in cost, and our OWN state Flagships are more like the best that the Cal-state system has to offer, and THEY are in some serious financial doo-doo, too, so fee increases there may soon be back into double-digits annually.


    WA's legislature just approved a freeze. For one year-- for in-state students, anyway.

    :shrug:



    We're definitely not hopping onto the HYP(e) Bandwagon. I just see too little to suggest that it is worth the costs-- both real and incidental.








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

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    #162750 - 07/22/13 04:22 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Honestly, I have trouble naming more than a couple of undergraduate institutions that I think are really worth paying 40+K annually for. The problem is that this is now most private colleges, and not a few state flagships, particularly if you are unlucky enough not to be in-state for SUNY or UC.

    _________________________
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    #162752 - 07/22/13 05:19 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Quote:
    note that in that bastion of mediocrity, otherwise known as our state flagship, almost all of his professors have degrees from Harvard, Brown, Berkely, Princeton, etc.. I wonder at what point did they lose IQ points?


    This is something we haven't touched on yet... where do all those PhD recipients go in "academia"? The answer is that many of them, even from top schools, end up at state or regional or lower tier colleges. I have degrees from two universities, one an undergrad degree from what is considered a "top" state university and one a masters from a more mediocre state U. The professors at the lower ranked state U were very, very good. It is the quality of fellow students (and thus quality of class discussion, quality of group project work -- of which there is a ton because you can't get away from it, quality of conversation in the common area of campus, etc.) that varies widely between the institutions. I don't think I have disparaged the faculty themselves at lower ranked institutions at any point in these postings. But someone mentioned earlier in the thread that the faculty are forced to "dumb down" their content to match the student body at schools where the students aren't as strong. Many of those professors are thrilled when they get an exceptional student and will work one-on-one with that student -- but there still is a difference between being in a classroom of peers or near-peers, and being one of a kind in the student pool.


    Edited by intparent (07/22/13 05:20 PM)

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    #162755 - 07/22/13 05:55 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    It mattered for my kid -- she got through high school, but the difference in her experience there and at THINK told me everything I needed to know about what we should look for in a college. She doesn't complain often about high school, but the joy she experienced at being in a fast paced, PG-peer group was something I have never seen in her before. And actually, we do have over $100,000 in her college account -- but have been working toward that diligently since she was born. I wouldn't say it is "sitting around", but I would say that we have sacrificed a great deal toward this goal because it was a top priority. That still doesn't pay the bill at a full pay top college, but it puts us in striking distance and gives her options so she does not have to make a choice between high debt and top academics/peers. Or making her wait another four years for the possible relief in grad school if she ends up attending one.

    People do what they can afford and they justify it... but if you have younger kids, I still stick by my advice -- figure out how to start saving more now and do it. You won't be sorry.

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    #162756 - 07/22/13 06:32 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Well, for us, our plan was always for me to go back to work when DD went to college. In part this is because our K-12 educational choices, while imperfect, have also been expensive. Effectively, about 60-100K annually in my lost income.

    So I'll work for four years in order to put my income toward tuition, and then I'll put that $ into retirement investments and our mortgage (or what is left of it).

    So yes, to us-- because we have the ABILITY-- that difference, which we've worked out to be more like 100K additional at most, over 4y, we're willing to do what it takes.

    My child seems to need this. I was not of that opinion until recently, when I could see what it meant to her to interact with people closer to her intellectual peers... and to realize that those were all people who already possessed undergrad degrees. Placing her with a group much like her high school experiences have been is going to increase the risk that she'll just give up and walk away. She has indicated very emphatically that she NEEDS for college to be a different experience from high school in this regard. High school has been barely tolerable. Not "fine."



    We thought that acceleration alone would be enough w/r/t college, and if we'd had CFK's options through high school (dual enrollment, etc) it might have been. Then again, DD being a true polymath and so radically Socratic/collaborative w/r/t peers, maybe it wouldn't have in light of her other personality quirks.


    An Ivy? No way. Not worth the $.

    An elite school where merit matters? Might be worth the premium. To my DD and to us. IMMV.



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

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    #162758 - 07/22/13 06:58 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    I was weeding the garden tonight and thinking about this -- what is going on right now with the very top colleges seems almost like doping in sports... baseball and cycling are in the news this week, maybe that is why it is on my mind. I think that is one reason we stayed away from the Ivies altogether in the application process -- it feels like there are too many students (and parents) who would do ANYTHING for their kids to get into those schools these days. We focused more on schools with an intellectual reputation -- Swarthmore, U of Chicago, Mudd... although U of Chicago seems to have joined the Ivy-like frenzy, their head of admissions is focused on knocking off Yale in the college rankings... D got in there, but did not much like most of the present or accepted students she met. Anyway, that is the analogy I was thinking about.

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    #162759 - 07/22/13 07:02 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    figure out how to start saving more now and do it. You won't be sorry.


    Excellent advice for any situation.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #162760 - 07/22/13 10:33 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: Bostonian]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Quote:
    But the preparation for university should be academic.


    You did ask about Ivy League Admissions in your original post. And whether you prefer it to be that way or not, purely academic preparation will not get you into any of the Ivies, probably even the "lesser Ivies", today.

    A student whose ECs were an extension of his academic interests, for example scoring at the national level on the Math, Physics, Chemistry Olympiads, and/or doing scientific research, could be a strong applicant. You can get in as an academic star, but being a valedictorian with almost-perfect test scores does not make you a star, especially if you are deemed "privileged".

    If someone is a USAMO contestant (with academic results and awards consistent with that, but with little in the way of non-academic Extra-Curriculars) what are their chances at places like Harvard, Princeton, MIT, CalTech, Stanford?

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    #162762 - 07/22/13 10:44 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Several people have mentioned merit aid.

    What kinds of places offer merit aid?

    More to the point, who offers full rides or close to it, and what does it take to get it?

    If you qualify for some need-based aid, does that make it harder or easier to also get some merit based aid?

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    #162763 - 07/22/13 11:02 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: JonLaw]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    I stick with my original advice -- start plugging money into a 529 now. You will be very happy that you did when the time comes.


    Since financial returns are trending toward 2% to 4% over longer term time frames, I'm utilizing standard taxable accounts because there's little loss from taxation and I have increased flexibility.

    And *this* gets to my complaint about the entire issue of tuition discounts.

    If you save for college, you get punished by not having access to these discounts.

    Granted, I'm using the intparent approach, except that I'm not using the 529.


    I hope everyone realizes that you should not put any money into a 529 plan or taxable account unless you have already put the maximum allowed amount into all available tax-shelered retirement plans first. And paying down/off your mortgage should also take precedence over taxable or 529 plan investing.

    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Quote:

    If you save for college, you get punished by not having access to these discounts.

    Granted, I'm using the intparent approach, except that I'm not using the 529.


    Which is precisely the advice that our financial adviser gave us ten years ago. You can't possibly invest the money SAFELY in an investment that has the kind of return to make it worth doing, basically-- every dollar is losing purchasing power every year in the current climate.


    But stocks have doubled in the last decade. (Actually they've doubled twice and halved once.)

    I avoid financial advisers. Seeing a financial adviser does help a kid get into college --- theirs not yours.

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