Author Topic: Kids and College-Will you pay?  (Read 16331 times)

grantmeaname

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2012, 06:38:53 AM »
Most other people don't have masters degrees, though. And the logic works: people with graduate degrees are less likely to be unemployed, and have higher mean earnings than their bachelor's-only peers.

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even low-skilled jobs like receptionist require (or, rather, strongly prefer) a college diploma.
I don't know about that. There are a lot of low-skill jobs out there, and only 30% of Americans have their bachelor's degree. Certainly in unemployable fields like history, that's the case, but I don't think you could say it was the case for all college graduates in general.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 08:33:37 AM by grantmeaname »

darkelenchus

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2012, 08:30:46 AM »
Most other people don't have masters degrees, though. And the logic works: people with graduate degrees are less likely to be unemployed and have higher earnings than their bachelor's-only peers.

Yes, the logic works at the moment, but grigory's got a point. The more people go to graduate school to distinguish themselves from their peers, the more it approaches ordinary-ness. To adjust for the influx in demand, universities will adjust their requirements and standards downwards, but raise tuition because people will think they need the degree (I witnessed this in my own graduate program). Also, the link above is broken.

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There are a lot of low-skill jobs out there, and only 30% of Americans have their bachelor's degree. Certainly in unemployable fields like history, that's the case, but I don't think you could say it was the case for all college graduates in general.

Most students are pursuing degrees in business. It's interesting to compare this trend with the 10 year projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I'd wager that many business majors will be SOL in the coming decade. They will have paid for four years of "education" to do a job that requires nothing more than a bit of high school study and some on-job training.
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grantmeaname

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2012, 08:44:32 AM »
To adjust for the influx in demand, universities will adjust their requirements and standards downwards
The supply is not as elastic as the demand, so selective-admissions universities are raising their standards to decrease the influx to a manageable level. OSU, which is not so fantastic that it's calling the shots even in Ohio, has been raising its undergraduate admissions criteria (like an ACT point higher average incoming class every year). Think about it... lowering requirements would require admitting more students.

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Most students are pursuing degrees in business. It's interesting to compare this trend with the 10 year projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I'd wager that many business majors will be SOL in the coming decade. They will have paid for four years of "education" to do a job that requires nothing more than a bit of high school study and some on-job training.
Business is a much wider category than many of the other 'selected fields' they are comparing it against, like CIS. Besides, while you don't have to gain any skills in the four years you are in college if you don't want to, you can be ready to sit for the CPA or CFA exams after just your BSBA if you take the right courses and study hard, and even if you don't, you can always get your degree in Accounting or Finance instead of "General Business" or Operations Management. It's not like you have to spend the whole four years not gaining any skills or a competitive advantage. Of course, the whole nature of a competitive advantage is that many of your competitors are SOL...

darkelenchus

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #53 on: June 08, 2012, 10:07:09 AM »
Think about it... lowering requirements would require admitting more students.

Precisely. What I've gathered from my own experience and from colleagues at other schools is that there are quite a few selective-admissions universities that have lowered their admissions standards, including many graduate programs. Many state schools do this to make up for cuts in State funding and private schools do so because the increase in revenue from tuition can really make a difference in covering operating costs. I'm glad to hear that OSU actually has an upward standards trend, though I'd imagine that in comparison with smaller schools, OSU is more capable of getting away with this while still growing enrollment because they have such a wide reach as an internationally well-known research school.

Regarding the elasticity of supply at the undergraduate level, when you admit more graduate students, you have more TA's and lecturers available to serve those students. Also, not only are universities replacing tenured positions with adjunct positions, they're adding more adjuncts to their staff. Also, I imagine that student to teacher ratio has grown at other schools, as it has with my own courses (used to be 25:1, now it's 32:1).

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Business is a much wider category than many of the other 'selected fields' they are comparing it against, like CIS. Besides, while you don't have to gain any skills in the four years you are in college if you don't want to, you can be ready to sit for the CPA or CFA exams after just your BSBA if you take the right courses and study hard, and even if you don't, you can always get your degree in Accounting or Finance instead of "General Business" or Operations Management. It's not like you have to spend the whole four years not gaining any skills or a competitive advantage. Of course, the whole nature of a competitive advantage is that many of your competitors are SOL...

Yes, all very true. Work your ass off and make smart decisions about the courses you take, and you'll have a competitive advantage. Note, however, that it's more work ethic than the degree itself that's gives one the competitive advantage. If it's all about competitive advantage, this raises the question: is the degree necessary? Probably not.

That doesn't mean getting a degree is without value. For instance, I can say that college helped me realize I had that work ethic in me, as well as a myriad of other skills and talents. It was the first time I was really challenged in an educational setting. So a college degree was really valuable for me and I wouldn't have minded if it cost more than what I paid for it. But supposing high school had challenged me in a similar way and educed that work ethic out of me, college wouldn't have been as valuable.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2012, 10:19:29 AM »
This is probably one of the most interesting threads I have read. There are so many intellectually prudent people here. Pretty amazing comments. 
My parents are poor immigrants although, highly educated. When I came here, both of my parents were employed by the same University so I got 75% tuition discount. My stepsister was studying in law school, so to make up the difference and pay for everything. My mom and my stepfarther washed dishes at Chinese restaurants at night. I also waitressed to help offset the burden. Watching my parents working on scientific research during the day and doing hard labor at night really make me want to make it in US. I donít want to let them down.  I worked as hard as I could and sometimes even took on two part time job plus 18 credits a semester. That was crazy work.
But some of you are right. It depends on personality. My stepsister turned out very differently. She did succeed in law school, but her spending habit was astonishingly terrible. I remember during those hard years when we were still scrapping by, she came home with a piece of plastic jewel that cost her $80. EIGHTY DOLLARS, that feed me and my mom for a whole month!!!  She is still a successful lawyer twenty years later. But her financial situation is drastically different from me. She spent everything she earned and had no savings.
So I do agree that we will have to keep an close eye on our children. Based on who they are and how they develop, we will have to adopt different strategy. We are definitely prepared to pay for the cost of college education regardless where they go. But they are expected to work part time jobs just like I did.

grantmeaname

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2012, 10:50:17 AM »
....
Wow, it's really fascinating to hear that. I'd assumed that what was happening here was the case everywhere. Your arguments about elasticity really drive it home that either approach can be economically (if not ethically) sound... it's interesting to see the other model put into place.

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Note, however, that it's more work ethic than the degree itself that's gives one the competitive advantage. If it's all about competitive advantage, this raises the question: is the degree necessary? Probably not.
Yes, you need to be well positioned among your cohort of business degree graduates. But you also have to be a member of your cohort of business degree graduates. There are plenty of people working at Arby's with a great work ethic. You can't be a CPA with just a great work ethic, even if you're smart. You need a great work ethic and a degree.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2012, 11:00:10 AM »

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Note, however, that it's more work ethic than the degree itself that's gives one the competitive advantage. If it's all about competitive advantage, this raises the question: is the degree necessary? Probably not.
Yes, you need to be well positioned among your cohort of business degree graduates. But you also have to be a member of your cohort of business degree graduates. There are plenty of people working at Arby's with a great work ethic. You can't be a CPA with just a great work ethic, even if you're smart. You need a great work ethic and a degree.

Absolutely. Work ethic is indeed more important than anything else. I feel the system is getting quite unfair. A lot of jobs require B.S degree to even apply. But some of the brightest folks I met don't even have degrees.

darkelenchus

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2012, 11:10:46 AM »
You can't be a CPA with just a great work ethic, even if you're smart. You need a great work ethic and a degree.

Hence my inclusion of the "probably not." :-) Most people with a good work ethic can utilize their talents and be financially successful, degree or no degree. But there are positions where a degree is legitimately a necessary condition. As you say, it's only when the degree is combined with good work ethic (or vice versa) that the sufficient condition is met for such positions.
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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #58 on: June 08, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »
There are plenty of people working at Arby's with a great work ethic.
There are also plenty of Starbucks baristas with college degrees. Seriously, ask them next time you go to a coffeeshop - you'll be amazed... I see your point about grad school giving you an edge here and now, but if everybody else adopts that line of thinking (and they are), we'll have yet another bubble in 10-15 years, only this time your friendly neighborhood barista will have an MA, not a BA...
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grantmeaname

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #59 on: June 08, 2012, 01:48:22 PM »
I'm not one to argue that the 2.8 GPA and the MA in renaissance literature are a golden ticket to wealth and prosperity. The earnings and unemployment margins between the bachelor's and the master's may shrink, but they won't disappear.

Besides, there's no reason that an individual's results have to track the averages. We're Mustachians, goddamnit, and even if the general earning power of a college degree declines there's no reason we or our children can't get more out of it than the average student!

Irishmam

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2012, 06:22:12 PM »
Here's our deal. Our oldest son just graduated high school and was accepted to a range of schools. Some were pricy (>$55,000) and some were more moderate (State school $22,000). He received merit scholarships to some, but not all of the schools. We had him draw up a spreadsheet of cost, scholarships, cost of attendance and advantages / disadvantages of each school. His top choice, one close to home, did not give him money and is in the higher price bracket. We told him there was no way we would allow him to go $200,000 in debt for an undergraduate degree. Several of his friends chose to go to the expensive private local university at full price. Our final decision is a university that gave wonderful merit, Honors program, has many reputable internships available and costs us less than the State school. Yes, we are sad that he is moving away, but we are so relieved that he chose wisely and that he will not be starting his life saddled with debt. We plan to do the same for our 3 other children, encourage them to get good grades and apply widely to colleges who want them. Hind sight is 20-20...

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #61 on: June 23, 2012, 06:23:04 AM »
18th birthday and I sat in the truck with my parents driving to a party. In there we had 'The Talk'. Basically I was on my own for my own education completely, no monetary support whatsoever. Strangely one of my most fond memories of my parents LOL.

I really don't know if someone else forking up the money to pay for your education is a good thing or not. Kids that go to college/uni on the average don't seem to have the same drive to succeed as the students that are with little or no help from their families. I don't feel it's actually a result so much of the money as it is the kids entering post secondary way too young without a actual goal or career in mind.

Personally I've become a huge believer that the minimum age to enter most post secondary schooling should be one or two years after the average high school graduation age. Gets a lot of the pressure of these young people back and forces them to get some real life experiences.

Personally I spent a year after high school working a few low skill jobs, saved most of it and paid for my schooling completely for the first year. I honestly feel it was the best non decision I've ever done (I didn't know what to do out of high school). Watched more than a few of my friends go off to college and I think one completed a degree??? Waste of money.

But what do I know? I only work in an industry that I love, making huge sums of money and have a lot of fun. I'm only a 'dumb' electrician/sparky :)

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #62 on: June 23, 2012, 07:46:18 AM »
Late to the party but new to the forum.  Let me toss in my two cents...

I will preface this by saying that my husband and I met in grad school.  We both have master's degrees in Mathematics.  My husband is a corporate computer systems wonk while I have formerly taught at the college level.

College is important to us.  My husband's family paid for his undergraduate education, although he worked every summer for spending money.  I just worked--during the summer, during the school year.   I do not believe that I appreciate my education any more than my husband does.  Both of us, by the way, financed our grad school educations through teaching assistantships. We lived in poverty but were too busy to notice.  We decided when our son (only child) was born that we would contribute to the cost of his education (within reason).

When his college search began, we researched not only what would be the right fit for his interest (which is a bit esoteric--not any old school was going to do) but also how aid was given.  Between my husband's salary and our assets, my son does not qualify for financial aid other than non-subsidized Stafford loans.  Many of the most highly competitive colleges do not give merit aid--every applicant is brilliant, you know?  But there are a number of colleges that give generous merit aid.  It just takes research to find them.  We saw that some schools give a few total scholarships while others give many lesser scholarships which could be a third to two thirds of tuition.  I looked for colleges with healthy endowments that were generous with merit aid, nudging my son to look at those.

Pricey private colleges are not always so pricey.  IPEDS, the federal reporting site, has a College Navigator application from which one can yield a ton of information on how many first year students finish their degrees and the projected "net price" of a year at the school.  The sticker and the actual cost can be quite different.

I learned in this process that some colleges were still expecting parents to use home equity as a cash machine for college costs!  Scratch those schools off the list!  I also learned that there are some very interesting programs out there that students might want to consider, i.e. hands on things that might be more satisfying to some students than pure academics.

Unfortunately high school counselors are often overworked and inadequate.  Parents can do a lot to help point teens in interesting directions.  Books like Colleges that Change Lives are popular. 

sideways8

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #63 on: July 06, 2012, 02:32:11 PM »
I probably won't have to deal with this question on the parenting end since I'm about 99% sure that I'm not going to have kids. However, I am fortunate enough that my parents had pretty good mustaches and paid for my college. I already knew what I wanted to do so it didn't take much to get motivated since I was studying what I found interesting. I graduated on time and made the Dean's list. My younger sister one upped me by getting a full scholarship (merit-based) and graduating early! My parents raised us to have a strong work ethic and education was always a top priority growing up.

I've seen people do well with their parents footing the bill and I've seen some people flop. I've also seen people do amazing things without financial help from their parents. I guess it all just depends on the situation and the people.

arebelspy

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #64 on: July 06, 2012, 06:30:32 PM »
I've seen people do well with their parents footing the bill and I've seen some people flop. I've also seen people do amazing things without financial help from their parents. I guess it all just depends on the situation and the people.

Yes, there is anecdotal evidence on both sides.

Studies have shown, however, that kids who are given less financial help do better financially.

A quote from an unrelated book I was reading earlier:
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"A man once told me that he had just given his daughter a substantial amount of money because he wanted her to be financially independent. I looked at him and said, 'No, you don't understand; you just made her financially dependent!' It's a strange and cruel conundrum: The families who - in the most loving, well-intentioned ways - give their children the most are in fact undermining them. Subsidizing children removes any incentive to go out and exercise any of the muscles of independence, which they need to have to take care of themselves."

/shrug

YMMV, and to each his own, but that's empirically what's more likely to happen based on others doing (or not) the same things.
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Nords

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2012, 08:36:05 PM »
I love these perpetual debates.

http://the-military-guide.com/2011/06/08/early-retirement-and-the-kids-college-fund/

An additional wrinkle for military veterans is that many of them are now able to transfer their GI Bill benefits to their kids.  Yet some parents would benefit more from using their GI Bill to go back to school on their own (for example an advanced tech cert or an MBA) to earn more income than the GI Bill would ever be worth to their kids.

http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com/2012/01/20/dont-transfer-your-gi-bill-to-your-kids/

In addition, the military is full of people who bailed out of college (for whatever reason) and joined the military to accelerate their lives for various reasons.  Yet in almost every case, after a few years of service they're highly motivated and keenly focused on gaining a college degree... or another one.

Having watched the debate for years, I'd say that most parents would be prudent to have a plan to get a kid through four years at State U.  That might involve living at home for 2-4 years and a couple years of community-college transfer credits.  For anything more, it's the kid's problem.

Studies have shown, however, that kids who are given less financial help do better financially.
We were fortunate enough to take this tactic to the next level.

We started saving for college in 1992, back before 529s.  By the time 529s actually had reasonable selections and "lower" fees, our daughter was nearly finished with elementary school.  But around 2001-2002, our spreadsheet showed us that we had at least a couple years saved for State U in EE & I bonds.  So we decided to get aggressive with the rest of the college savings:  Berkshire Hathaway stock.  It worked out well enough to pay full retail at a good engineering school, and the financial aid office laughed at our FAFSA/PROFILE data.

But by then our daughter had decided to join the military (for her own reasons) and had scored an ROTC scholarship.  Over 70% of her college bill is being paid by the Navy, and she gets a student stipend of a few hundred bucks a month.  Spouse and I are already financially independent.  What to do with the "excess" college fund?

The first motivator was that any money she earns on her own is her money-- campus tours, work-study, whatever she chooses to do.  We don't want her working three jobs and barely passing her classes because she doesn't have enough time for studying & homework, and the ROTC stipend covers that.  But we also want her to have an incentive to earn instead of begging the parents for money.  Even though she's on ROTC scholarship, at least once a semester a lieutenant will hand her a scholarship application and say "Hey, midshipman, have this on my desk by Friday".  She's scored over $1000/year for two years so far from alumni scholarship funds that go begging for applicants.  Hers to keep.  It's also motivated her to become a pretty persuasive writer.

The next motivator is "profit sharing".  After graduation she'll be eligible for a share of whatever's left of the college fund.  It'll be gifted to her with the understanding that her earned income will go to max out her TSP and her Roth IRA.  She understands that whatever she spends now (on a new laptop or an upgraded iPhone or whatever) means that there'll be less profit sharing in the college fund.  If she uses her share of the college-fund profits to enhance her lifestyle, well, then there won't be much sharing.  Luckily the Navy will keep her busy enough for her first five years of service (training & sea duty) that she won't have much time to spend money.  I'm hoping that she'll have laid a solid foundation of TSP & Roth contributions by the time she finishes her service obligation. 

We still pay for room/board (from the college fund), however this year she decided to move off-campus.  Once she explained the plan, it became apparent that moving off-campus with three roommates would be cheaper than living in a noisy dorm full of drunken partyers.  We continue to give her the amount of money that we'd pay to the college for room/board, and it's up to her to house & feed herself.  Whatever she saves above her expenses, she gets to keep.  She's giving herself a real education on how a roommate can cut your expenses, and how buying raw food for cooking at home is better than eating out.  She's even brown-bagging because she can make lunch cheaper than the servery charges for their meal plan.

I don't think this sort of financial planning works for every kid, and she certainly feels the burden of how to handle large sums of money.  (We pay her the semester's room/board in one big check.)  But so far so good, and she's certainly gaining the financial skills she'll need to move to a new town after graduation and set up housekeeping.
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try2save

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #66 on: September 27, 2012, 11:48:01 AM »
I will pay some, I expect my children to save $ from jobs and I expect them to take out some loans. That's how it was for me.

I had summer jobs and worked for a semester (it was called a co-op back then). I lived at home that semester and paid for my last semester of undergraduate myself. I got an MS when I finished my BS. While I was in grad school, I  got paid through a research grant (it was back in the early '90's 1,000/month) I was able to pay my tuition, housing and health insurance. I chose my grad school based on what I could afford.

I personally feel having student loans is a good thing and I don't understand the logic of people who insist they don't want their children to have loans.  I felt I had more ownership over my education because I helped pay for it. I still remember my father's lecture about if I wanted to be independent, I had to be financially independent. I took those words to heart and they have served me well so far....

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2012, 01:34:47 PM »
I admit that I felt obligated to pay because my father paid for my education. However, I think it has turned out well so far.

This is my perspective as well. My parents paid for half my undergrad state school education + 1 year of out-of-home living expenses (I got the first two years paid for through a state-sponsored CC program). They would have covered all four years had I not gamed the system as well as I did. :) Because they covered my "baseline" college I feel I owe my kids the same. We have 529s set up for both; fully funded for the older and half funded for the younger. That said, I'd prefer my kids go live and travel for a few years on their own dime BEFORE college so they know why they are there and what they want out of it before they go.
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josephpg

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2012, 02:56:40 PM »
As a child who has had a little college paid for but no degree (picked wrong major, i consider it to be no college since i dont have the diploma) i took it much less seriously then i do now that those loans have weighed heavily on my family for a time.
I did really well in school, but i was not prepared at all for the shock of life. Now that i have a little more experience i will never let my parents pay again, because i dont trust them to handle the money for one, and i dont want anyone else suffering for my bad decisions. So let your kids make their own mistakes and fail, then let them suffer, and then help them out a bit and let them learn. We value that, rather then having everything given and then taken.

josetann

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2013, 01:50:55 AM »
First thing, college is not a necessity.  So, we'll see what our son and daughter want to do with their lives, and go from there.  Perhaps a university degree will be necessary, perhaps not.

Since college is not a necessity, to date we have not opened a 529 account.  My wife would like to, but has conceded the point so far.  In the meantime, any additional money simply goes to our own retirement accounts.

Plus, we're shooting to get citizenship in Australia (one year down!).  Tertiary education is subsidized here (some smaller degrees may be completely free); my wife completed a full post-graduate year for under $6,000.  Could have been even less if she were a citizen (if you're eligible for the government's version of a student loan, and you pay it off early, you get a discount...I think it's 10% but it used to be more).

So I figure it'd go something like this.  Child is in HS, we explore some options.  He/she picks something that doesn't require a typical 4yr degree, and that's that.  We may help a bit financially in getting them setup in their new life (match savings to go toward a house or car, I dunno).  Or, he/she picks something that does require a 4yr degree.  Look at options ranging from going to community college for the first two years and then transferring to a 4yr university, or checking out schools in Australia.  Apply for all the scholarships they can (seriously, just a few hours of work can save many thousands...I don't understand why someone making $10/hr thinks it's not worth his/her time to apply for scholarships where the hourly rate "earned" could be in the hundreds or thousands).  Don't just jump in blindly...make sure a degree is what you need, and then find the best way to go about getting that degree.

My wife got her midwifery degree in a pretty unorthodox manner, I suppose.  2yr associate's degree to become a nurse.  Transfer that nurse registration to Australia (which requires a bachelor degree to be a nurse, but at the time they automatically recognized US-educated nurses), one year post-graduate to become a midwife, done.  Two years of community college plus one year post-graduate subsidized...three inexpensive years at university and she's a midwife.  THAT's the kind of outside-the-box thinking I want my kids to do.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2013, 12:04:34 PM »
I kinda think the opposite is true. My parents couldn't afford to help pay my college at all, but if they had I would have felt a huge burden to do well. Since I was paying for it myself, I felt more like a customer. If I wanted to skip class or skate by with a C, it was no one's business but mine because I was paying for it.

On the flip side, I was probably more inclined to buy used books and supplies than I would have been if my parents paid for it. Also, I felt more freedom to choose my classes and major. If they had been footing the bill, I would have felt obligated to study what they wanted me to (law).

I'm another one with a similar anecdote.  My parents did pay for all my tuition, room, board, books, and food (state school, lived away from home, but same state).  But I had to earn my own spending money.  At the time, I always felt like I had to work that much harder, because I didn't want to disappoint them.  I knew they were giving me a ton of money, and probably couldn't have afforded to do so if I had siblings.  It's been over 10 years since I graduated, but I distinctly remember feeling that I'd probably have lower grades if I was paying myself.

My wife's parents were/are pretty wealthy, and sent her to a private out of state school.  She loved the experience, made a lot of great lifelong friends, etc.  So she wants the same for our kids, i.e. basically an open checkbook policy.  I'm pushing for a compromise where we agree to cap our contribution at the cost of a degree from a state university.

I found the discussion about "is a college degree really necessary" quite intriguing.  I'm in my mid-30s, and my parents are in their late 50s.  From my parents' perspective, a college degree was a huge deal to them.  I can only imagine that that sentiment is shared by many people of their generation---many of whom are still working and in hiring manager positions.  My dad always used to tell me that when he first entered the workforce (fresh out of college), his peers (most of whom didn't have a degree) expected him to know everything because he did have a degree.  Growing up, there was always the expectation that I would go to college--it wasn't even questioned.

Another thing I've noticed: at my previous job (huge Fortune 100 manufacturing company), nobody in my area would even be considered for a position without a college degree.  That was the policy.  Furthermore, people with a Master's degree immediately got a pay bump.  That place also did tuition reimbursement, so before I left, I actually started working on my MBA (I was single at the time, nearly free tuition and a pay increase, why not?).

At the company I'm at now, not only are people without degrees not considered, but generally the degree needs to be from a highly-ranked university (MIT, Stanford, CMU, etc).  I was able to lift this restriction for a few positions that we needed to fill.  So I interviewed a fair number of people that either had no degree or only associates degrees or had certifications from technical schools and the like.  I hate to sound elitist, but eventually I stopped even bringing those people in, because they were consistently lower-quality candidates.  I know it's a single anecdotal experience, but that's what I saw.

On the other hand, back at my previous company, I worked with someone for whom I have a ton of respect.  He did have a bachelor's degree, but not from a "prestigious" school (budget state school).  Yet he was super smart, highly motivated, great communicator, and an all-around pleasure to work with or just shoot the breeze.  He left BigMegaCorp shortly after I did to start his own business.  Last I talked to him, he was doing well and enjoying life.

So I often ask myself, if I owned my own business and needed to hire people, what would I do?  The problem is, if you've ever been in a position to solicit resumes, you'll receive so many it practically becomes a full-time job to simply review them.  It would be literally impossible to do an in-person interview for even 1/10th of applicants.  At former BigCorp, I participated in a college recruiting career fair.  I can't remember how many resumes we actually collected, but I remember sitting in a room with three or four others, and spending hours just doing a first-pass on the resumes, i.e. pruning the pile of 100s down to a manageable pile of dozens that we'd actually take the time to look at more closely.

Another random observation: my degree was in Computer Science.  I feel I learned a ton getting my degree, and am certainly better at my job because of it.  Virtually everything in my degree can be easily learned via the web and/or library.  But back then, I know I lacked the discipline to study and practice everything (in terms of depth and breadth) included in my degree.  Even now, I might struggle with completing such an effort without an external structure in place.  But that's just talking about my "core" classes, i.e. the real guts of my CS degree.  I took a few forced electives that were moderately interesting, but I don't think they've helped me in any way in my post-college life.  In that respect, it's kind of like money wasted---why force me to pay tuition on classes that have no real relevance to my degree?

Now, while in college, I did an "application sequence" in MIS (management information systems).  In short, I basically took a bunch of classes offered by the business college, i.e. classes that would be part of a curriculum for MBA types.  At the time, the information was at best marginally interesting, but mostly seemed like a lot of crap---just a bunch of fancy terms for simple stuff (think Dilbert).  But when I started working at BigCorp, I actually saw the relevance of that information.

My take was that the whole MBA "ecosystem" would probably best served by experience first, then formal learning.  At least for me personally, it was hard to relate to the information presented in those business classes, and therefore hard to get it to sink in.  But once I'd been in the "real world" and actually practiced some of that, it made a lot more sense.

My point is, it seems like the standard order of things---school, then work---probably doesn't make sense for all fields.  It definitely made sense for me with regards to computer science.  But it broke down with business classes.  Again, just my personal experience, but it seems reasonable that this would apply to many fields out there; that is, perhaps some real-world experience should come before formal book learning.


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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2013, 06:49:03 PM »
You make a lot of good points, but isn't the standard expectation of MBA programs work first and school second? Isn't learning the concepts and then going to apply them after graduating at least something of an exception?

madgeylou

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2013, 11:07:31 AM »
very interesting study, relevant to this thread, i think, that shows that the more parents chip in for their kids' higher education, the lower the grades earned by the children:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/14/study-finds-increased-parental-support-college-results-lower-grades
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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #73 on: January 22, 2013, 12:06:25 PM »
very interesting study, relevant to this thread, i think, that shows that the more parents chip in for their kids' higher education, the lower the grades earned by the children:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/14/study-finds-increased-parental-support-college-results-lower-grades

Exactly the point I made in the first reply to this thread. 

And similar to many other findings.  The more you help financially, the more they become dependent, rather than independent.

Thanks for the link.
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Guitarguy

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #74 on: January 22, 2013, 09:51:04 PM »
When I was in banking, I had an elderly customer explain how they did it, and I thought it was brilliant. She said they set up the accounts themselves, and paid for half. The other half came from the parents as well, but the parents made their child think that this half was from student loans. That way their child thought that they were going to have to pay the money back, and come graduation it was a nice surprise gift that the student didn't have any debt.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #75 on: January 22, 2013, 10:36:55 PM »
And similar to many other findings.  The more you help financially, the more they become dependent, rather than independent.
I'm watching our daughter carry 17-19 credit hours per semester with an average week of 20 additional hours of study, and she's barely keeping afloat in the time-management quicksand.

There has to be a sweet spot between "support" (enough funding to have time to study without a full-time job or six-figure student loans) and "affluenza".
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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #76 on: January 22, 2013, 11:13:27 PM »
That's a good point.  It's not nearly as easy to "work your way" though college as it used to be, due to the rising tuition.  Meaning paying for it costs a student a lot more in terms of time in a job, which means less time for studying.  Tough either way you look at it.

I suppose as long as you raise a responsible kid who takes their education seriously it'll work out fine either way.

Let me knew if you find a surefire way to do that.
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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2013, 01:09:08 AM »
Actually.. I think I'll retire before my kids start uni, then the Government can pay for it :P It sucks cos most of the people I know get a free ride through uni (like, $250 a week!!), but my parents earn too much. (A good problem to have, right?)

twinge

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2013, 08:08:42 AM »
Quote
very interesting study, relevant to this thread, i think, that shows that the more parents chip in for their kids' higher education, the lower the grades earned by the children:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/14/study-finds-increased-parental-support-college-results-lower-grades

This is an interesting study.  I do take the caveat though, that kids without parental support are less likely to graduate.  That leaves them often with debt and no degree--which is one of the worst situations to be in.  If you're financially well off enough to contribute but unwilling to, that puts kids in a real bind for financial aid. It's really a lot more expensive than it used to be and student wages haven't gone up in comparison! Some states don't have reasonably priced solid state schools.

I think this study confirms my plan which is to pay part, actively discuss strategies for saving money, and outline my expectations for reasonable performance (which will be more qualitative than just you need to get x GPA or higher--because I know some  classes in highly competitive disciplines have a "get serious" class where getting a C is considered good--this is both in humanities and sciences-- and other classes you can breeze through without much effort.  I wouldn't want to steer my kids away from the former "real" education ).  I think I would be easily at the "ready" switch for not providing a second year right away if either of my kids seemed to be wasting it.  A semester or two away and working at whatever job they can find can be a good motivator.

turtlefield76

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2013, 05:56:06 PM »
very interesting study, relevant to this thread, i think, that shows that the more parents chip in for their kids' higher education, the lower the grades earned by the children:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/14/study-finds-increased-parental-support-college-results-lower-grades

i don't believe paying for kids university education means they will be worse off for it or not understand it's value.  even in this study the researcher found that the effect she observed was mitigated or eliminated by parent's who "set clear expectations of grades graduating on time or other issues." 

i think everybody here would probably agree that just giving your kids endless amounts of money for college or anything else without being engaged with them is a mistake. 

am i the only one here that will make the argument for a university education not being a purely financial consideration?  of course this is probably colored by my own experience as i do have one of those "unemployable" undergraduate degrees.  woohoo humanities! 

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2013, 09:07:17 PM »
am i the only one here that will make the argument for a university education not being a purely financial consideration?  of course this is probably colored by my own experience as i do have one of those "unemployable" undergraduate degrees.  woohoo humanities!
I agree. I did a maths degree cos I love maths! And at the end of high school, I couldn't imagine living the rest of my life with such a shitty maths education! But.. at least it's a desirable skill.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #81 on: January 26, 2013, 06:31:30 AM »
am i the only one here that will make the argument for a university education not being a purely financial consideration?  of course this is probably colored by my own experience as i do have one of those "unemployable" undergraduate degrees.  woohoo humanities!
I'm in school for humanities, and darkelenchus and arebelspy both studied philosophy IIRC. It may not be in this thread, but I think all of us were pretty strongly arguing the same thing in the Best mustachian major thread

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #82 on: January 26, 2013, 08:12:18 AM »
Yup.

And - while college isn't strictly a financial consideration (otherwise I'd tell my future kids to skip it) - that doesn't mean I'm planning on paying for their whole college either.

I'll encourage them to go, if that's what they are inclined to do, and to study whatever they find interesting, even if it's an "unemployable" major, but they'll need to be financially invested in the idea, via getting scholarships, grants, loans or a job; which one (or which several) is up to them.
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turtlefield76

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #83 on: January 27, 2013, 02:38:43 AM »
am i the only one here that will make the argument for a university education not being a purely financial consideration?  of course this is probably colored by my own experience as i do have one of those "unemployable" undergraduate degrees.  woohoo humanities!
I'm in school for humanities, and darkelenchus and arebelspy both studied philosophy IIRC. It may not be in this thread, but I think all of us were pretty strongly arguing the same thing in the Best mustachian major thread

interesting thread!  nice posts in there arebelspy.  i'm newer here so missed that.  i find this community so fascinating because i share so many similar interests (frugal living, investing, getting to a point where no one can tell you what to do) but have gone about it in a very different fashion.  from the time i graduated college i knew that i didn't want to spend any of my time and energy making other people rich and that i would make vow to myself to build a life for myself that would make the concept of "retirement" irrelevant.  i decided to only do things that interested me creatively and just figure out a way to live on whatever i could get from my creative endeavors. that's the part of this that i don't quite understand.  i do understand that for most people who don't have a passion or clear idea of what they want out of life then just working a job that they don't like to achieve FI as quickly as possible makes sense.  but for others i think why wait until FI to follow your bliss?  IF you have the self discipline to live a mustachian or ERE lifestyle then you probably have the self discipline to start doing whatever you plan on doing once you start "living life" now and figuring out a way to make it work... 

even reading through MMM blog posts i get that feeling.  it certainly seems to me that he could've quit his job much earlier if he wanted to and just started doing the things he wanted to do and that he could figure out a way to have them generate income and that combined with his savvy money skills and investing would get him to his "FI" number eventually. 

but you know i understand.  people like certainty.  and a "FI" number based on good calculations of a 4% or 3% withdrawal rate represents some level of certainty or at least as close as we can get to certainty.  but really the "FI" number is just an illusion.  it's just the trick we are playing on ourselves so that we can make that big risky lifestyle change and leave a job and follow our bliss.  but in my experience it's the self discipline, goal setting and will to make something big happen for yourself that is the real key not the "FI" number. 

this is getting off topic...  but i suppose the lesson is my major was "unemployable" because i haven't had a real job since i graduated.  oh wait i did teach english for a year in Tokyo...  that $$ was just too good and too easy to pass up. 


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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #84 on: January 27, 2013, 07:17:01 AM »
I get where you're going with that, but it seems to me like you are leaning towards setting up a false dichotomy between studying business or engineering and having meaningful work that you enjoy.

turtlefield76

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #85 on: January 27, 2013, 09:05:09 AM »
I get where you're going with that, but it seems to me like you are leaning towards setting up a false dichotomy between studying business or engineering and having meaningful work that you enjoy.

that's not what I mean at all.  and what i posted above certainly doesn't apply to everyone.  but reading all of these FI/RE blogs there are a lot of people who are doing this because they really don't like what they do for a living and would rather be doing something else.  for those people who are young and without other financial responsibilities i wonder if the idea of having a FI number is really the thing for them to pursue.  if you have discipline and are savvy about investing and just live below your means while following your dreams you can get to the same place.  even dreams that don't seem like they pay like traveling the world...  once you get out there and you are doing it you'll find all kinds of ways you can make it enough $ to support a low overhead MMM or ERE life. 

or in the case of an engineer or CS major or someone who loves these technical fields why work to make someone else rich why you achieve FI?  why not start your own business based on your own ideas and technical skills?  why not apply all of your energy and time into enriching yourself while you achieve FI?  actually most of my friends who have achieved early FI or could retire early if they wanted to fall into this category.  anyways i suppose it isn't for everybody.  just something to think about.   

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #86 on: January 27, 2013, 09:23:37 AM »
that's not what I mean at all.  and what i posted above certainly doesn't apply to everyone.  but reading all of these FI/RE blogs there are a lot of people who are doing this because they really don't like what they do for a living and would rather be doing something else.
Bakari works full time for a bike nonprofit. Arebelspy and his wife are middle-school teachers, and really enjoy their jobs. Sol is a PhD climate scientist. Jamesqf works as much as he wants, when he wants, with whatever scientific project captures his interest. James is a nurse anesthetist who uses his skills on at least an annual basis in the third world on a pro bono basis. There may be many on this site who dislike their jobs, but there are tons who love their jobs too. If anything, I'd say that FI might be one more thing to make you like your job- if there's no golden handcuffs and you can afford to be fired, you can step back from the politics and the rat race a little bit and just focus on your tasks, which you presumably like doing.

Quote
for those people who are young and without other financial responsibilities i wonder if the idea of having a FI number is really the thing for them to pursue.

I think it's definitely a more productive thing to aspire to than a 45-year career at Spacely Sprockets. If you're putting your dreams on hold because FI is occupying all your mental energy, that's probably a bad thing, but I don't know how common that is. I've got $700,000 etched in my mind, but I still volunteer, homebrew, spend time with my friends, canoe and bike, and get under a car when I have the chance. It's not like wanting to retire in a decade has pushed those things from my mind.

Quote
if you have discipline and are savvy about investing and just live below your means while following your dreams you can get to the same place.  even dreams that don't seem like they pay like traveling the world...  once you get out there and you are doing it you'll find all kinds of ways you can make it enough $ to support a low overhead MMM or ERE life.
I mostly agree, but some people don't have dreams to follow, and that's ok. Also, some dreams will never make you any money (microbrewer? kiss your life savings goodbye.)

Quote
or in the case of an engineer or CS major or someone who loves these technical fields why work to make someone else rich why you achieve FI?  why not start your own business based on your own ideas and technical skills?  why not apply all of your energy and time into enriching yourself while you achieve FI?  actually most of my friends who have achieved early FI or could retire early if they wanted to fall into this category.  anyways i suppose it isn't for everybody.  just something to think about.
What do you mean, making somebody rich? As in 'the owners of the company are compensated unfairly relative to labor'? Then buy stock, and be an owner instead of a worker. As in 'people with more valuable skills who work more hours than me get paid more'? Then get more valuable skills and work more hours. It's hard for me to see anything but complainypants syndrome in the "my work enriches others" comments.

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #87 on: January 27, 2013, 03:06:36 PM »
Reading all of these FI/RE blogs there are a lot of people who are doing this because they really don't like what they do for a living and would rather be doing something else.  for those people who are young and without other financial responsibilities i wonder if the idea of having a FI number is really the thing for them to pursue.

Grant's absolutely right that one needn't hate one's job in order to pursue vigorously and even prioritize FI. Nevertheless, the pre-college, pre-career youth who are passionate about a non-lucrative field and looking into FIRE can learn an important lesson from those who speak about FIRE as a way of escaping an unhappy career (beyond the "nuts-and-bolts" technicalities and "how-to" lessons, of course). FIRE provides greater flexibility when pursuing one's ends. The fact is, most ends a) are fluid over the course of one's life, and b) compete for our limited time and undivided attention. Someone might study some subject S in college out of intrinsic interest, pursue a career related to S, and then after some time grow weary of S or want to focus on some end(s) other than S. At the very least, in attaining FI or a FI-like state, he or she will only have to endure a career in field S for a finite period of time before he or she can pursue/empahsize her new/other ends.

In terms of choosing a field to study in college, it depends on your situation. If studying a subject you're passionate about entails likely postponement of attaining FI and thus puts the opportunity of fulfilling future/other ends at greater risk, you'll have to determine the risk you're comfortable taking and adjust accordingly. You might find it best instead to study a subject that lands you a career that'll get you FIREd sooner but which doesn't correspond to your current passion(s). So you'd be seeking greater flexibility in pursing future/other ends at the expense of leaving some current end unfulfilled. Or you might seek to fulfill present ends at the expense of having less future flexibility and/or of not having that flexability sooner. Either way, it's the ends that are important. The means to those ends, FI included, are important to the extent that they're effective instruments in attaining those ends.

EDIT:

The dilemma in the above paragraph has the following form:
  • Choosing X presently fulfills P but jeopardizes fulfillment of P's future/other end(s).
  • Choosing Y provides P greater opportunity to fulfill future/other end(s) but requires P to sacrifice fulfillment of X.
  • P must choose X to the exclusion of Y or vice versa.
All other things being equal, P rationally choosing between X and Y will involve:
  • P valuing X,
  • P valuing her other/future ends (if possible),
  • P determining the extent to which fulfilling X jeopardizes her other/future ends, and
  • P adopting the course of action which provides one the greatest overall value within parameters of risk that she finds acceptable.
Of course we face dilemmas of this form regularly, and the strategy for resolving these dilemmas is always the same, regardless of the dilemma's content (i.e. whether the choice is between different diets, different consumer products, different education/career paths, etc.). A big part of mustachianism boils down developing the ability to recognize when one faces a dilemma, recognizing what type of dilemma it is, discovering/learning the strategy for resolving that form of dilemma, and becoming skilled in employing that strategy.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:21:24 PM by darkelenchus »
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turtlefield76

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #88 on: January 28, 2013, 12:22:41 AM »
it. Arebelspy and his wife are middle-school teachers, and really enjoy their jobs. Sol is a PhD climate scientist. Jamesqf works as much as he wants, when he wants, with whatever scientific project captures his interest. James is a nurse anesthetist who uses his skills on at least an annual basis in the third world on a pro bono basis. There may be many on this site who dislike their jobs, but there are tons who love their jobs too. If anything, I'd say that FI might be one more thing to make you like your job- if there's no golden handcuffs and you can afford to be fired, you can step back from the politics and the rat race a little bit and just focus on your tasks, which you presumably like doing.

Absolutely.  I think this is the ultimate.  Do something you enjoy and love while working toward FI.  That to me is what goal should be.  My only point was working toward FIRE builds up a specific skill set that you can use toward taking a more risky career path that follows your interests.  You can totally make $$ as a microbrewer.   You can certainly make enough to live if you are disciplined and frugal and employ your FI skill set.  My only point was that the skills and mindset that you build while working forwards FI have a lot of overlap with the skill set that you can use to take the crazy "follow my bliss" career path. For those people who are building up or have the FI skills and don't like what they do or hate what they do then it might be worth just stopping the thing you dislike doing, keep your FI skill set and put it to work doing something you find more rewarding.  That's all I'm saying. 




WageSlave

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #89 on: January 29, 2013, 08:49:01 AM »
What do you mean, making somebody rich? As in 'the owners of the company are compensated unfairly relative to labor'? Then buy stock, and be an owner instead of a worker. As in 'people with more valuable skills who work more hours than me get paid more'? Then get more valuable skills and work more hours. It's hard for me to see anything but complainypants syndrome in the "my work enriches others" comments.

I can see where he's coming from with that comment; I've often felt the same way myself.  In my case: I work for a trading firm that makes boatloads of money.  The firm itself was started by a group of already wealthy, well-connected people with previous industry experience.  I got lucky to get in on the ground floor of the company via a close friend.  To be fair, I'm making significantly more than I would in an ordinary job, and by virtue of my seniority, making more than I would in a comparable position at a similar firm.  But compared to the owners of the company, I make peanuts.

Yes, I do learn a little here and there and at times challenge myself (with stress management if nothing else).  But ultimately, my work is effectively making rich people richer.  The business itself has debatable social utility.

This is private company, so having an equity position is not an option.  Picking the "next big thing" with public equity is at best time-consuming and very hard.  I don't know anything about investing in private equity; but I often ask myself, how can I recognize the "next version" of the company that I work for?  In other words, how can I actually be an owner (rather than a worker) at a startup where the business model is sound and all the principals know what they are doing?  The company I work for was about as low-risk as possible for a startup, and when you look at the risk relative to the reward, it would have been a no-brainer to invest in (if it were possible).

How does one find these nearly "sure bets"?  I look at the guys who started it, and I believe the key is being well-connected.  How do they get to be well connected?  Through a life of hard work where they make those connections and demonstrate their skills and competence.  It's not like they woke up rich and connected; they all worked very hard for many years to position themselves for their success.

I freely admit to suffering from complainypants syndrome from time to time, but I think statements like my work makes others richer have some merit; it's what you "do" with that idea that makes it complainypants or not.

I dunno, maybe I'm just trying to polish a turd.  :)

JamesL

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2013, 01:40:13 PM »
Very interesting thread.. I'll input my .02.. I'm 23 years old, and am still in Uni. I went to community college for 2 years which my parents paid for, and I lived at home the whole time and still do. After Community College (CC) I planned to get a job at a nonprofit Uni so I could get free tuition (my sister did the same). It was my first job (I regret not having a job sooner), and it's now paying me to go to school essentially. Fortunately it all worked out and I didn't wait long between finishing CC and getting a job in this University. I've been here 2 years, switched majors 3 times while I figure out what I want to do, and recently got a promotion to make my *just over* minimum wage a bit higher.

My parents never really offered to pay for my University, and I never asked because they were in no financial position to pay (they would have had to do loans so no thanks).

I'll pay for my kids' CC education, and encourage them to work part time gigs in Highschool and CC (I had so much free time in CC it was crazy), so they can pay their own way. I think they'll appreciate money more when it's earned.

WhatMomWears

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #91 on: February 18, 2013, 04:49:57 PM »
Other than the sales job I had right out of college, any job I have held required a college degree. Of course now I'm a SAHM and there's no degree in the world to prepare you for that ;)

Our thoughts are to pay for our son's college education and everything that goes along with it BUT not if he's a kiddo who won't work hard and/or appreciate it. It's really going to depend on his personality and how good a job we do raising him. Both my husband and myself had our college paid for 100% and while my husband appreciated it, buckled down and worked hard, I was the one who partied, squeaked by, dropped classes and took total advantage of my trust fund (set up by my grandparents for college). I'm going to do my very best to make sure our son doesn't go to college with the same frame of mind I did!

jeepbraah

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #92 on: February 22, 2013, 07:15:38 AM »
Right now me and the wife are planning to save for their college but not let them know. Make them figure it out and hopefully get scholarships, grants other things before we have to go into our pocket for them.  Also making them get a side job in college to help.

But if worse things come to worse we could still help them out. I am much more likely to push them towards a trade school unless they actually need college for the job.

galaxie

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #93 on: February 22, 2013, 11:46:11 AM »
I was talking with a guy at work today who explained that he had to get his kids smart phones to use at college, because professors send out a lot of email notifications these days.  He's got the extended warranty-protection-whatever plan on these because "when your kids have them, you never know."

Sure, but when I was in school I had to get my own phone, and pay my own phone bill.  It was good practice in responsibility.  And I knew damn well not to break my phone!  Those things are expensive!

unplugged

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #94 on: February 22, 2013, 11:48:47 AM »
I'm going to start another thread on this because of our experience. I did not want to take this thread off topic. :)
Too long in the subdivision

Nords

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #95 on: February 22, 2013, 01:08:26 PM »
Right now me and the wife are planning to save for their college but not let them know. Make them figure it out and hopefully get scholarships, grants other things before we have to go into our pocket for them.  Also making them get a side job in college to help.
But if worse things come to worse we could still help them out. I am much more likely to push them towards a trade school unless they actually need college for the job.
Keep the lines of communication open.  Our daughter was all too ready to go to a military academy because she'd picked up the (erroneous) impression that early-retired parents couldn't afford to pay for college.  She was reticent about bringing it up and making us feel bad, but luckily an offhand comment made us realize that she had something on her mind.

I think that in the long run it's better to shell out the money up front (in a responsible manner) to help a college student optimize their time and their education.  It's worth it whether that's pursuing a more expensive engineering degree instead of art history, or doing homework instead of having to wait tables 30 hours/week, or even paying up for a dorm room and a mobile device instead of having them commuting and competing for computing time.  It's even worth taking summer school instead of working a minimum-wage job to save up for fall semester.  Optimal use of their time means that they can finish college in 3-4 years instead of five or six, they'll have a good skill set instead of a 2.50 GPA, and they'll know how to work the tools of their trade.

We motivated our daughter to help with the college expenses now by promising her a share of the profits after graduation.  She knows that they'll go into her tax-deferred accounts so that she can max them out as soon as she has the earned income.  She's also learned that several scholarships on her campus go begging just because they're "small" or not advertised very well.  Spending a couple hours on an application/essay for a little-known scholarship can pay her $250-$500/hour.

Best of all, the money spent to optimize their college years will help launch them from the nest on the first attempt without hangfires or boomerangs...
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Melissa

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #96 on: February 22, 2013, 02:02:22 PM »
Wow, I never realized that one simple question would inspire so much discussion.  We are currently working on a hybrid approach with our kids.

We have decided that any money they earn (either through work or scholarships) will be matched.  If it isn't enough to cover costs, they will have to take out loans.

My son immediately started researching scholarship opportunities at OSU (he is currently in eighth grade) and said he would rather work harder and smarter at school than get a 'crappy' job.  They all plan on taking advantage of our program in high school that allows them to get some college credits without having to pay for the credit hours received.

---A goal without a plan is just a wish---

Nords

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #97 on: February 23, 2013, 07:41:39 PM »
They all plan on taking advantage of our program in high school that allows them to get some college credits without having to pay for the credit hours received.
My daughter's best friend from high school leveraged those to finish her bachelor's in three years.

That BF has been accepted at my daughter's university for her master's degree.  They're talking about rooming together for my daughter's senior year.
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jeepbraah

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #98 on: February 25, 2013, 07:16:23 AM »
Right now me and the wife are planning to save for their college but not let them know. Make them figure it out and hopefully get scholarships, grants other things before we have to go into our pocket for them.  Also making them get a side job in college to help.
But if worse things come to worse we could still help them out. I am much more likely to push them towards a trade school unless they actually need college for the job.
Keep the lines of communication open.  Our daughter was all too ready to go to a military academy because she'd picked up the (erroneous) impression that early-retired parents couldn't afford to pay for college.  She was reticent about bringing it up and making us feel bad, but luckily an offhand comment made us realize that she had something on her mind.



We are definitely going to talk about money and finances a lot with our kids. We are already discussing ways to show them saving is good and other tricks to get them to learn about money at an early age. So while we will already have a 529 plan in place we won't tell them "You have this number figure for college go find the most expensive school you can and blow it". More like "hey what are your plans for college? you should look at local school and apply for some scholarships. You can't find anything? we'll we can still help you out."

But then it all depends on how you raise kids. I knew one or two peers who picked an insane school and degree who learned nothing out of it because their parents paid for it. It will definitely depend on how the children act and giving them money for college will depend on that.

tmac

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Re: Kids and College-Will you pay?
« Reply #99 on: February 25, 2013, 07:39:53 AM »
We're talking a lot with our kids about how to prepare themselves for the careers they want, how education fits into that, what the costs are, and what we can do to help. Unless they can get scholarships, we're encouraging them to start at a community college, and then finish at the state school. We're actively discouraging student loans. We're also encouraging them to think in terms of gaining real-life experience through part-time jobs and internships, starting as soon as they're old enough to work.

They know that they'll need to contribute financially to college, mostly because it's so easy to take it lightly when you don't have a stake in it (as my own wobbly college career attests). The kids should be able to cover their share with part-time work, preferably in the field they want to pursue professionally, and we'll pick up the rest. My parents have offered to contribute if needed, but I'd very much like to avoid that, if possible.

My oldest son is a junior in high school now, so we've been talking a lot about it lately. Just within the last week, he's nailed down some details of how he'd like to proceed, so it feels like we're making progress.