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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 9/18/2009 2:00:21 PM EST
I'm posting this here as I don't play in General Discussion, to high of an idiot quotient!

I am the father of a teenage daughter and we are getting ready to face the college, or after high school years depending on how you look at it... What have you guys done when faced with this. I know its not an uncommon place for a father to find himself but the costs seem OUTRAGEOUS! We are looking at college as an option only if it is needed for her career path, which she hasn't decided on yet. I see education as an investment and as such needs to have an ROI, does anyone have a different outlook on this subject? I'm not loosing sleep over this but at the same time not sure I plan to work 2 jobs so she can have the college experience, know what I mean. I feel like I must be missing something as I see so many folks send their kids off to college with no direction and they often make less than I do? How is this suppose to work? Additionally I see few people that are using there education, many not doing a job that they needed ANY education for?

I am sincerely looking for a perspective to this as 50-200K, is definitely something that could put a damper on the storms my family would be able to weather?

Prepper
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:30:49 PM EST
Is she really going to make the money back?
or is she going to graduate with a 200,000 dollar philosophy degree? plus the lost opportunity costs of actually learning a skill.

Enlist for 2 years, learn what you really want to do, get help (GI bill) and then she'll pound out the courses.

I have never met anyone who was in the armed forces and then was back into college that didn't know seriously what they wanted out of life.

Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:34:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 2:38:30 PM EST by ar-jedi]

college does not necessarily have to be 100% expense...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-operative_education

http://www.drexel.edu/admissions/difference/cooperative-education.aspx
http://www.northeastern.edu/experiential/coop/index.html
http://www.uwaterloo.ca/employers/
http://www.rit.edu/co-op.html
http://coop.gatech.edu/index.php
http://www.kettering.edu/employers/

co-op education works.

i completed undergraduate engineering school with minimal help from my parents and a residual $12K student (stafford) loan at the end. my resume *on the day i graduated* included 6 month PAID stints at AT&T Bell Labs, Siemens Information Systems, and Boeing CAG (Commercial Airplane Group) –– and was backed up by recommendation letters from managers at all three companies. as you can imagine, as a newly minted graduate this was a huge differentiator, and having a "fat" resume made the task of finding gainful employment much easier and more beneficial economically. plenty of co-op employers hire back prior students because they are known quantities –– they already were test driven and the risk to the employer is much reduced.

note 1: the schools above have co-op programs in many disciplines besides engineering: my girlfriend in undergrad was an accounting major and worked at what was then a "Big 7" accounting firm, Ernst and Young. another friend of mine was a finance major and spent time at GE doing economic analysis of military programs. another was on co-op for a major retail chain as a designer of window displays.

note 2: one unique advantage of co-op school is that it lets you test drive a career, or even a segment of a given profession. plenty of accounting majors went to their first co-op jobs and discovered that they were not cut out for the bottom of the accounting food chain, and that actual partner status was a bridge too far.

note 3: another nice advantage is the 6 months school/6 months work schedule. you start getting sick of school, you go to work. tired of work, back to school. it's actually a nice cycle for 5 years.

note 4: co-op is not for everyone. if you want to fuck off in college, drink deep into the night, skip classes during the day, and sit on the beach in the summer, don't go to a co-op school.

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:46:11 PM EST
Prepper,

There is plenty of money out there for college that doesnt come out of your pocket, scholarships, grans, etc. Just need to spend the time filling out all the paperwork and searching for them. Joining the military is a good option if she is not sure what she wants to do. But honestly she needs to have a job until she goes to college. Im all for my child going to college to better themselve but from my standpoint im not gonna foot the whole bill. What I have learned is I appreciate things more that I earned myself. I will HELP my child if they decide to go the college route. But the military option may be better right now, alot of college kids are leaving school with their diplomas into a non-existent job world. Although in 4 years or more it may be a different scenario.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:50:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By Preppernation:
I'm posting this here as I don't play in General Discussion, to high of an idiot quotient!

I am the father of a teenage daughter and we are getting ready to face the college, or after high school years depending on how you look at it... What have you guys done when faced with this. I know its not an uncommon place for a father to find himself but the costs seem OUTRAGEOUS! We are looking at college as an option only if it is needed for her career path, which she hasn't decided on yet. I see education as an investment and as such needs to have an ROI, does anyone have a different outlook on this subject? I'm not loosing sleep over this but at the same time not sure I plan to work 2 jobs so she can have the college experience, know what I mean. I feel like I must be missing something as I see so many folks send their kids off to college with no direction and they often make less than I do? How is this suppose to work? Additionally I see few people that are using there education, many not doing a job that they needed ANY education for?

I am sincerely looking for a perspective to this as 50-200K, is definitely something that could put a damper on the storms my family would be able to weather?

Prepper


You've probably forgotten more than I know about being a parent, but I will offer this: If your daughter is unmotivated to the point that she doesn't have the grades or gumption to go looking for every scrap of financial aid and grants she can find, then she isn't worth giving a full ride to school. Stay at home while studying? Sure! Help with books/tuition? Absolutely! Send her off to school so she can burn up your retirement on something she's halfhearted about? NO WAY.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:58:24 PM EST
Bachelor's Degrees have become the high school diplomas of our time - over-prescribed and over-expected. Considering how many of the richest men in the world are actually college drop-outs. Another thing that bugs me is when did it become the parent's burden responsibility to pay for kid's college?
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:59:14 PM EST
Keepin' an eye on this one. I have a young one at home and feel like I have a 17 year advance notice to start prepping for her after HS education.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 3:02:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 3:02:26 PM EST by ar-jedi]
Originally Posted By Mid-Tenn:
Keepin' an eye on this one. I have a young one at home and feel like I have a 17 year advance notice to start prepping for her after HS education.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/529_plan

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 3:09:42 PM EST
I completely agree with the HS diploma being replaced by the college degree.

I go to Missouri, and even though my parents are finacially able to keep me in, I'm flipping the bill. I applied for every scholarship that I could in HS and it's not near enough. So I joined Marine Corps PLC to help me out. Between that and finacial aid,

I'm still left paying around $2000 each year.....

If their interested tell them to look at ROTC or the like.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 3:29:37 PM EST
My two cents-I was an aimless shit until Uncle Sam took me in. He was generous with education benefits. I had a greater appreciation for life/education after spending time with my Uncle.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 3:31:44 PM EST
I went to a state school and paid for it myself out of pocket.
The only aid I got was a Pell Grant and anybody can get one of those.
Even with the extensive materials costs of a film degree, it probably cost me less than $25,000.
Took six years though, I had to work the whole time.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 4:53:05 PM EST
My wife's family moved here (NY) because her Dad had 4 kids and no money for college. NY has a State university system with reasonable costs.

They all went to State schools- My wife graduated in 6 years, working her way through with no debt. Now has a masters and is in the top 5% of wage earners.

Her sisters graduated with student loans in 4 years, and paid them back. Brother became a multi-millionaire.

Recently a friend's daughter graduated with a masters in Math and $65,000 in student loans. She can only find a job at $10/hr.

There are choices to make.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 5:16:13 PM EST
I'm a father also but I have made it clear to my childern that Mom and I are not paying for college Ya I know it sucks but WE did not have anyone pay for ares so! So what makes you think we are going to pay for yours? My wife thinks we should set up something for the kids and college. Me I say if they want college payed for they join the military the same way I did!! They just can STFU!! My school did not come free(When I do go back to school)My kids know military or get good grades!


If your daughter well is cute might not want here to join the AF!! (I'm not talking you as her father thinks she is your little girl but!! You know!!) Want to know why IM me!!
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 5:38:39 PM EST
I'd be looking at a community college for the first two years for a variety of reasons. Cost, of course, is going to be less.

More importantly, it gives kids time to get their feet under them while still under your supervision. They will get a better grounding in the basics than they would at mega-state university. They will get the professor and not the 23 year old grad student as an instructor. Many flagship state universities such as Ohio State and Penn State will guarantee admission to students who do their first two years either at a community college or satellite campuses of the state university.

I had a long discussion about community colleges with a guy who taught for 30 years in the Florida Community College system. Their studies found that kids who did two years at a community college and then transferred to the University of Florida graduated one full grade point higher than those who spent all four or five years at U.Fla.

From a personal perspective, my step-daughter spent two years at a local community college. She had an indifferent high school career. She transferred to one of the better state universities in NC and graduated with honors. And, unlike 80% of the graduates of the Class of 2009, she has a job and a career with health insurance and retirement benefits.

Oh, and she graduated with NO debt. She owes the state of NC two years of service as a teacher in exchange for a loan scholarship but that's it.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 5:50:15 PM EST
Prepper,

Looking for input makes you that much better a parent. I spent 8 years in school - came out with a Ph.D. It was worth every bit of it...... You need to make it very clear to your daughter that to achieve she needs to commit to the effort - that means what several others have indicated....she defines a plan that is well thought out and vetted, she maximizes her grades to her best capability, she selects a respected school for her field - not just and expensive one, seeks aid from anywhere she can get it, and her job thoughout the 2-4+ years is to learn her future career. That means internships, coop, plus classes.

I think it is also important to understand whether a traditional 4 years education is necessary for her vocation of choice. The trade schools are an excellent often discounted route to a very good career.

Your preparation now is to be commended - Success is Preparation for Opportunity!

Jeff
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 6:22:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Mid-Tenn:
Keepin' an eye on this one. I have a young one at home and feel like I have a 17 year advance notice to start prepping for her after HS education.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/529_plan

ar-jedi


If you want your kid to have better chances at receiving grants and financial aid then 529 plans and educational IRAs will count against them. A better option in that case is to put money into a Roth IRA in your name and/or your spouse's name. Come college time you can withdraw the principal you put into the Roth(s) tax and penalty free.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 7:06:55 PM EST
Depends on career. If she is really smart or average. 99% of people dont know what they want to do when they go to college.The average person changes their major like 5 times. If she is good enough to be ivy league, send her, she will figure out what she wants to do and make a beautiful ROI.

I personally was really poor and had to come up with my own money. So I went to community college for two years and saved over $30K by doing that. I got all my basics out of the way (the courses everybody has to take.) By that time I knew what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted to do, I tried to make smart money decisions. Oh, I got a degree in finance:) Got out two years and looking for a job ever since I wanted a job in banking, guess how that went as I just got out?
Damn Clinton. Damn Bush, Damn Obama. Damn FEDERAL RESERVE!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 8:54:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 9:00:42 PM EST by ar-jedi]
Originally Posted By HomelandDefender:
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Mid-Tenn:
Keepin' an eye on this one. I have a young one at home and feel like I have a 17 year advance notice to start prepping for her after HS education.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/529_plan


If you want your kid to have better chances at receiving grants and financial aid then 529 plans and educational IRAs will count against them. A better option in that case is to put money into a Roth IRA in your name and/or your spouse's name. Come college time you can withdraw the principal you put into the Roth(s) tax and penalty free.


the effect is not as dramatic as it appears, and finally there are number of "workarounds"...

from the linked page,
Disadvantages

–– While the number and types of 529 plans is growing, not all investment vehicles are available in 529 form.

–– The earnings portion of money withdrawn from a 529 plan that is not spent on eligible college expenses will be subject to income tax and an additional 10% federal tax penalty, and the possibility of a recapture of any state tax deductions or credits taken.

–– The 529 account is counted as an asset that may affect the eligibility of financial aid (loans and grants). If the parent owns the 529 account, then the financial aid office will only take into consideration 5.64% of the entire value; if owned by the student it will also be considered at 5.64% of the entire value for calculating EFC(expected family contribution). A potential workaround for this, is for the plan owner to be someone other than the student or the parent, such as a grandparent.


moreover, you can put a hell of a lot more money, annually, into a 529 than a traditional or Roth IRA. and finally, Roth IRA contributions are capped based on income, whereas 529 contributions are not.

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 12:39:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 12:46:28 AM EST by Jacketch]
Both of my sons are graduates and both have two degrees.

With grants, work study, summer work, loans and my out of pocket help, they managed to keep their debt under $10k.

ETA I do know someone who went overboard on their daughter's education by borrowing on the house to pay for everything including an off campus apartment and a car. When times got tight they ended up losing the house and moving into an apartment. SHTF for them due to poor planning.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 3:39:34 AM EST
I have wasted a lot of time in college. I have 254 hours and a bunch majors and minors and all for not. I made more money as a blue collar slob. A lot more money.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:17:05 AM EST
prepper:

I'll give you some background on me so you can evaluate how valid my observations and opinions might be.

I have three degrees. One Honors Bachelors, two Masters of Science. I've spent considerable time "In school" as a student. I have also spent many years working in a college, both as an educator and as an administrator. I've seen education when it works, and I've seen education when it doesn't. My own daughter will be attending a college in the not too distant future, and your concerns exactly mirror mine. Here are some observations/opinions:

1) Do not "push" a kid into college. If they do not want to go, they will almost always do miserably. Its usually cheaper and less frustrating to place stacks of $20 bills in your firepit and burn them up. Kids need some sort of internal drive, some internal motivation in order to succeed and actually pass.

2) Many college degrees are NOT designed to get your child into real jobs. They are designed to attract students (which inflates headcount and thereby increases state aid) and they are designed to separate Daddy from his money. Pure and simple. Carefully evaluate the program and try to find out if jobs ar available.

3) Some colleges have GREAT career centers. Others suck. Your child's ultimate objective at college is not an "all-A's" report card. It is a job. Check the career center schedule. DOes anyone come for on campus recruitment visits? I know of some where companies like GE, Champion, Corning, and dozens of others come to recruit kids. Kids get offers. This is good. If the school's career center is a collection of newspaper clippings with job advertisements its a good indicator that this school is NOT concerned with your child's preparation for the real world.

4) Think very strongly about degrees and education paths that lead directly to a particular license to practice. Doctor, Pharmacist, Physical therapist, speech therapist, electrician, plumber, teacher, whatever. These programs are typically MUCH better for getting kids into employment than general, broadbased programs like business, psychology, political science...

Undeclared majors usually mean one thing: The kid has no idea what they want to do, and typically they'll select, then change majors three or four times in a few years. It usually means they take 6 years to collect a 4 year degree, and that degree is typically the equivalent of Underwater BasketWeaving or some other bullshit useless thing.

TO be fair we ask a lot of our 17 year olds. Most of them have no clue about the real world. They don't know what most people do for a living, let alone know whether that career is for them. BE FOREWARNED: the typical highschool guidance counselor is a moron. It's often up to us to look honestly and critically at out kid and try to guide them in a direction.

College has some value other than the degree and the job. It can be a great place to grow up and to learn life's lessons. There is some value in this. However, with some colleges not asking $50,000 a year, those can be VERY expensive lessons...

When My daughter goes to school it will be under these general principles:
1) I will pay big money for a big money school IF the program warrants it. Wanna got to MIT for engineering? Okay. Taking political science or liberal arts? You can go to the community college down the road.

2) It's pay for performance. Welcome to the real world. You get good grades and are succeeding, the money keeps coming. You screw up, and the gravy train ends.

3) Daddy is going to be FAR happier paying bills if the degree has a direct job path. PT, OT, MD, whatever. I don't pay for degrees in Basket Weaving, History, Political Science, or Womens Studies.

A college degree CAN BE an investment. Its only an investment if you choose a degree program that leads to a job, and if Junior actually graduates. I'd venture to say that 75% of current degree programs are NOT investments. They are four year holding programs, designed to make families feel good because their unmotivated and ill-prepared kids are at school, while Daddy goes broke paying tuition.

I gave this same advice to a nephew. He listened. Went to a school with a great program, and a VERY good career center. He spent more time in the Career Center than anywhere else. Two summers doing interships with GE. Was in his last year of Engineering and Management, got a nice job offer from GE. Immediate start at graduation with $60,000 year starting pay. That education was definitely an investment that has paid off.

Fro
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 7:43:47 AM EST
Thanks Froz... and everyone else for your opinions!

I'll be sharing many of these replies with my family. These are all good points of view! I knew with the wealth of knowledge on this particular board we would have some words of wisdom.

I have no intention of just sending my daughter to school. It will be something that 1) She really wants to do. 2) Has a clear career path. 3) Is financially responcible for her and us. 4) With an ownership interest falling on her shoulders as well as mine, I was thinking of going halvseys

In addition, she would obviously have to keep the grades up and I don't play many games with my style of parenting so poor student behavior will equal no parent participation! No degrees that I, the DAD, don't personally agree with or have faith in their future earning power.

My daughter is an absolute JOY! Great young lady that I am extremely proud of! She hasn't discovered what she is interested in doing yet and she's a junior in high school so we stll have some time. As a prepper and always looking to the future, I GOTTA COME UP WITH A PLAN!

Thanks again for all your replies!

Prepper
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 11:39:30 AM EST
Has your daughter held down an actual job yet? Worked during the summers? If she works a "grunt" job during the summer (or after school if she can handle it), then it can be a huge incentive to FIGURE OUT what sort of skill she wants to do so she doesn't have to do the crap job for a career. If she does go to school it'll certainly keep her motivated. "Gee calculus class blows but it's better than cleaning out a deep fryer. Guess I'll keep going until I can actually grok integrals today."

At best it can be a way to job shadow or build connections. If she works as receptionist/office drone at a CPA's office and goes into accounting major....easy path to a paid internship later. You get the idea.

Some community colleges also offer "early enrollment" for high school kids, especially in the summer. Useful if her high school doesn't offer AP courses, or not in the subjects she likes. If she can't handle AP courses (and admission to them is not political BS at the school), then college is NOT for her! If she's up to the challenge, definitely consider early enrollment in community college. See how she does in a more "independent" format where she is expected to read the assignment and be ready for class, rather than have the book read AT her. If she totally screws it up, think twice about her going away to college unless she shapes up. If she catches on/adjusts later in the semester, it's far better for her to learn that lesson on responsibility and time management now than when she's at the university and maybe has a GPA requirement to keep financial aid.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 1:51:17 PM EST


Community college nursing school is cheap, but an extremely challenging program that pays great upon graduation.

Link Posted: 9/19/2009 3:09:18 PM EST
Instead of paying 50-200k on school, buy her a small house and send her to pharmacy tech school, it does not pay much but is secure for many years, if she wants more she can get it.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 4:00:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2009 4:30:48 PM EST by juslearnin]
Lots of good advice here, in my opinion.


Here is my $.02. You get out of your education what you put in. Going to a high dollar school doesn't do anything for you except cost you money. I did not go to college right out of high school, but worked for a while. This did three things for me:

1. When I went, I was motivated
2. I was financially independent from my parents and poor- which allowed me to qualify for grants
3. I paid for it, so I didn't waste time

I got a lot of grants (no loans), an academic scholarship, and worked. I went to a cheap no name state college with a reputation as a "party school". I also moved back in with my parents to save $. I acutally made money in college (not much ) instead of ending up with loans. I think one of the best ways to waste $100,000 is to give it to your kid and send them to college. They will not value their education, and they will learn to become irresponsible brats, and they won't develop a work ethic which is much more valuable to them than their college education.

The quality of my education? Well, I would say that it was way above the education I received the first two years of medical school. My undergrad was taught by professors and not teaching assistants, because it was at a small school. The first two years of med school were taught by PhDs who had never in their lives seen a patient, and most did not have a clue.

I finished med school in the top 10%, and was first in my residency class, and this was built on the foundation I got at my cheap undergraduate party school. I say this to show that if you are motivated, it doesn't matter where you go to school. What is important is that you really try to learn, and that you do your best.

P.S. Guess how much I have in my kids' college funds? I would much rather help them with a down payment on a house or piece of property than throw away that money on some "big name" school.

ETA: When I went to med school, I went in state, and also worked and my wife worked as well. I finished with $30,000 in loans.
ETA2: As noted by others, anything in the medical field these days has a pretty good job outlook. RN offeres a lot of flexibility.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 11:37:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By jpr9954:
I'd be looking at a community college for the first two years for a variety of reasons. Cost, of course, is going to be less.

More importantly, it gives kids time to get their feet under them while still under your supervision. They will get a better grounding in the basics than they would at mega-state university. They will get the professor and not the 23 year old grad student as an instructor. Many flagship state universities such as Ohio State and Penn State will guarantee admission to students who do their first two years either at a community college or satellite campuses of the state university.

I had a long discussion about community colleges with a guy who taught for 30 years in the Florida Community College system. Their studies found that kids who did two years at a community college and then transferred to the University of Florida graduated one full grade point higher than those who spent all four or five years at U.Fla.

From a personal perspective, my step-daughter spent two years at a local community college. She had an indifferent high school career. She transferred to one of the better state universities in NC and graduated with honors. And, unlike 80% of the graduates of the Class of 2009, she has a job and a career with health insurance and retirement benefits.

Oh, and she graduated with NO debt. She owes the state of NC two years of service as a teacher in exchange for a loan scholarship but that's it.


Another potential advantage to CC is cutting out some of the fat. By having an AA I avoided such wonderfully beneficial classes as appreciation of music, appreciation of art and the college equivalent of high school health.
Link Posted: 9/21/2009 12:25:07 AM EST
Another thought. I took 8 years to get my BA (work war etc). I also worked on a campus PD for a while. If your children do not have at least some idea of what they want to do, don't send them to college. I saw far too many kids who viewed college as a four-six year extension of High School. Kids who planned poorly (including an exgf) and wound up with degrees that were essentially useless for anything other than saying I got one on an application. Kids who went to college cause it was the thing to do and now have a BA in english lit and work at hobby lobby because they don't want a career etc.
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