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    #237210 03/19/17 12:20 PM
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    Val Offline OP
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    My eldest is hearing from colleges and his parents are looking at price tags and, well...based on what I've been reading, it seems that it's time for a new thread about the cost of college.

    I learned that Yale will cost ~$69K next year. DS didn't apply there. I just found their tuition after gagging at the prices of the ones he did apply to, including public universities in CA.

    Five UCs ranged from 30-35K, not including the cost of summer school. Lots of kids have to take summer classes because some required course was oversubscribed and the university wouldn't open another section. So that adds ~$5,000 to costs. And then there's the summer income that junior didn't earn as a result. Interesting:

    Originally Posted by LA Times
    Complaints that college fees are too high often reflect confusion over the difference between the cost of higher education and its price to students. Cost is a function of salaries for faculty and staff and the infrastructure expenses required to educate students. Price refers to tuition. Most people donít realize it, but the cost of educating a student has been restrained. According to the Higher Education Price Index between 2002 and 2014, college costs rose annually at a rate only about three-quarters of a percent higher than the consumer price index. Expenditure per student fell in many states.

    Nice.

    Meanwhile, Yale wants $69K for roughly 8 classes, assuming 4 per semester. Even if we just use the tuition and book fees, that's $51.4K for tuition and another $2K or so for the other things, or 53.4K. Divide that by 8 classes and Yale is charging ~$6,700 for a semester of English or Chemistry.


    NO WAY, for any of my kids (and costs will likely be $75-80K when my 12-year-old starts). It's not worth it. DS got a merit scholarship at a nice little inexpensive but respected private college. The cost to us will be less than the public colleges, and he won't be taking classes all summer and during winter term. Sounds like a win to me.

    Sure, I know that financial aid makes college affordable --- but only in that you spread the costs out over the 10-15+ years it takes to pay off your student loans (instead, perhaps, of paying off a mortgage?). And I know that a few top-tier college like Amherst don't deal in loans. But they're the exceptions, not the rule.


    Val #237212 03/19/17 02:10 PM
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    Paying for college is a topic that makes me gulp.

    Short-term, I'm looking at cash-flowing occasional college classes. According to my state's child labor laws, DS can work at DH's business at 12 years old and working hours are not restricted for high school graduates (although types of hazardous work are restricted until 18). I'm seriously considering putting DS to work during gap years. My calculations suggest he could get Associates degree locally, have 4 gap years and save enough for the last 2 years of state university. I'm hoping scholarships could stretch that money for him. Also, with gap years, he would enter university as a "nontraditional student" rather than a freshmen, so he would not be required to stay in dorms and could live with grandparents.

    Alternatively, I could put him into public school and have the district pay for college classes, and he could work fewer hours over more years and hustle scholarships? Easier with lower cost up-front, but fewer or no gap year for him to save money.

    This conversation reminds me to check the community college to see how many AP and CLEP credits they will accept. I'm hoping to reduce the cost of his Associates degree by maximizing credits for tests.

    My brother was one who lived in a vehicle to get through college without debt. His wife was a spectacular student who not only got full ride scholarship to medical school but also received a stipend to cover living expenses. They are my inspiration. They are frugal and careful with money getting their PhD's without student debt was not an accident! They are my inspiration. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    Val #237218 03/19/17 04:08 PM
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    I just read where Naval academy and West Point are free with a 5 year commitment after graduation.Anyone here who can speak to this?

    Val #237227 03/20/17 07:25 AM
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    Deep Springs is a free 2 year college with an unusual program that also may appeal to gifted students.

    http://www.deepsprings.edu/


    Val #237231 03/20/17 10:51 AM
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    I found this link a few months ago looking at college prices.
    Not sure if anyone would move to Europe but it is interesting.


    http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/23/pf/college/free-college-europe/

    Val #237248 03/20/17 08:56 PM
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    I don't know if it's still a thing, but back when I was applying to colleges (almost 20 years ago, *gulp*), there were a number of large public universities that offered free tuition plus some sort of living stipend for National Merit Scholars/Finalists. It means foregoing prestige to some extent, but I found my own education at one of those universities to be quite good. And it's been amazing to have no student debt when many of my friends are still struggling to pay down their debts while also juggling mortgages, daycare, etc.

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    Val Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by berbere
    ...there were a number of large public universities that offered free tuition plus some sort of living stipend for National Merit Scholars/Finalists.

    I found a list of colleges offering full tuition scholarships to National Merit Scholars.

    These scholarships are wonderful, as are the no-loan policies at a few elite colleges. But they only cover a tiny number of people, and future students are dependent on the colleges continuing to offer them.

    The problem is that college costs long ago escalated to a point where they create debt serfs. Like the LA Times pointed out (see OP), internal costs at public California colleges/unis are going down, yet the tuition goes up. And what the colleges offer to students is also being reduced.

    The choices are grim for 95% or more of students: pay a lot for a public university and take summer classes instead of getting a summer job, or pay a king's ransom for a private college. And then there is the cost of textbooks. A local community college has a policy of using the newest edition of any textbook, so students pretty much can't even get used copies.

    I just don't like the idea that society tells students that a college education is critically important to their chances of future success, yet getting it mostly requires being soaked for money. Total loan debt apparently hit $1.3 trillion last summer, and is growing faster than starting salaries for graduates.

    Val #237260 03/21/17 11:30 AM
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    Originally Posted by Val
    I just don't like the idea that society tells students that a college education is critically important to their chances of future success, yet getting it mostly requires being soaked for money. Total loan debt apparently hit $1.3 trillion last summer, and is growing faster than starting salaries for graduates.

    That's so they don't waste money on drugs, alcohol, tattoos, iPhones and high definition surround sound multi-panel home theater entertainment systems.

    Plus order to participate in the modern international financial hypereconomy, you must first *become* a participant. Being larded up with massive amounts of debt is an awesome way to make sure that you doing your part every month to keep the financial flows flowing. You don't even have to buy a house or car! So there's no asset upkeep to worry about. Student loan debt is like the key that opens the door to your financial future.

    This is why I recommend law school. It's a great way to do your part to create six-figure debt instruments to make a better tomorrow.

    Last edited by JonLaw; 03/21/17 11:31 AM. Reason: I are sleepy
    Val #237262 03/21/17 11:41 AM
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    They advertise prepaid college plans here part of the year, enrollment just ended here in Feb.

    Val #237265 03/21/17 01:04 PM
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    I got a NMS back in the late 80s from our state flagship university and got an excellent education in their honors program. Of course, our state flagship no longer offers any merit aid (AT ALL) because of the ferocity of competition just for admission now.

    My 2e DS16 is an indifferent student anyway but even if he were competitive, I doubt we would enter the college admissions arms race. An undergraduate degree from an Ivy has a certain cachet but not $250,000 worth. Yikes!

    I have heard that few, if any, students pay "sticker" at selective schools, but be that as it may, I think a student's terminal degree matters most. A good education at a public university with good grades and experiences will serve most students who plan on pursuing additional degrees very well and be priced right(outside of California anyway.)

    I foresee a possible stint, maybe one year, at our good local CC to allow DS16 to find his feet before he goes to university based on his current study habits. CC is still dirt cheap.

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