Author Topic: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics  (Read 23252 times)

stoaX

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2016, 09:09:58 AM »
At a state school, living at home and commuting with public transit, it is indeed possible to hit the in-state school number by working full-time through the summer and 20 hours a week the rest of the year, plus picking up occasional odd jobs babysitting or tutoring. By that point, a person should be able to get better work than what minimum wage provides, especially if they got off their duff in junior high and high school.

I'm sure it also works if you're willing to sell a kidney.

Most people don't have the luxury of living with parents who are in a college town, much less with a college to which they were accepted, much less with readily available public transit. The demand for work-study jobs, or jobs for which employers will let you work part-time with a highly flexible schedule, vastly exceeds the supply. Having diligently mowed lawns when you were 14 won't guarantee you one.   

Of course you can always find ways to work more, especially if you don't care about your studies, but there is a point beyond which it makes vastly more sense just to take a out a student loan. Which isn't to say that many people don't do it stupidly, but the question, "Why don't the Lazy Kids These Days just work their way through college like I did," is an ignorant one. Tuition that would have required 3 months of work to pay for in 1970 now takes 12 months of work to pay for. That's why.

It's definitely not as easy as it used to be. But I don't agree with the notion that most people don't live in "a college town, much less with a college to which they are accepted, much less with readily available public transit".

State schools and community colleges go out of their way to put branches in every major urban center. Even in an extremely rural state, any major town or city is going to have at least one. Entrance standards are notoriously low and community colleges accept pretty much everyone with a pulse. The only way a kid would not be accepted to a local school like that would be if he or she didn't actually apply.

Although most of the United States is indeed a hundred years behind the times in terms of public transit, that's not the case in the big Eastern cities or even the wealthier places on the West Coast. Few people will have door to door service, and people will generally have to walk half a mile or more, take a transfer, have some spare time on campus, and spend some time commuting. But colleges and universities do tend to be at or near the main public transit backbone. Yet there are also ride sharing programs for people who are willing to communicate and compromise with others. The Internet connectivity we have now makes finding a carpool easier than it's ever been before.

Finally, not all work is minimum wage. There are still a surprising number of family businesses that employ relatives, and there are also city or town programs that employ young people as pool lifeguards, summer day camp workers, or zoo or museum docents. Private sports coaching is year-round evening and weekend work, and it pays well above minimum wage. Some of the young people in my neighborhood are entrepreneurs: they hire themselves out providing child care, yard care, tutoring, or other things people need. A very few do Web site design or teach a musical instrument. One clever lad built himself up an actual landscaping business that put him through university. He employed other young people in the process including a young relative of mine. After he finished school (allegedly debt free) he sold the business to someone else at a profit. So there are a lot of young people out there with amazing potential, and some of them still do start fairly young and are anything but lazy. I can't vouch for how many of them are required to stash a portion of the cash toward school, though: many of them act like they are simply earning to support a junior McSpendypants lifestyle. For that, I blame the parents.

It's true that anyone who wants the kind of opportunity I just described needs pre-employment skills such as waking up on time, taking responsibility for getting from point A to point B, showing up on time and dressed appropriately for the work, actually getting the work done so as to hold up his or her end of an agreement, and being the sort of person other people actually want to work with. It's also true that many people do not have these skills even as adults.

Amen!  Getting some transferable credits from a low cost community college can go a long way to reducing the total cost of your college education....at least that was my experience.

robartsd

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2016, 11:02:50 AM »
Amen!  Getting some transferable credits from a low cost community college can go a long way to reducing the total cost of your college education....at least that was my experience.
And transferring in is a good way to get around "freshmen must live on campus" rules.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2016, 03:35:12 PM »
How long does a person need to reside in a place to be considered a resident? I moved to my alma mater's state after the military and there was not a limit on how long I had to live here before school started. I think for my own purposes it was six months or so of working to get settled in. I got in state tuition then.

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2016, 03:50:48 PM »
I agree, you can work your way through school. One problem might be a delayed graduation date b/c you can't take as many classes as your friend whose parents paid for everything.

Delayed graduation, delayed post-grad income.

I would have to disagree. The stereotypical university student will drink often on the weekend and will put off homework/studying/projects until the last minute. A person who is responsible financially may be responsible academically just out of necessity: they know they can't leave the project until the last night because they may be working then! At university, in my third year, I was a single teenage parent. In my first month I finished the first two months of work for my courses. The reason was simple: I knew from 2:30 PM to 8:30 AM I simply couldn't do anything else but watch my daughter. So between classes and during classes I literally had to be extremely focused and not waste my time. There was no comfort.

I'm not sure how it is in the USA but in Canada the average person finishes a four-year degree in five. And we have heavily subsidized tuition. And student loans. And some provinces have free tuition for certain students. And scholarships are in surplus. So imho, someone who has a delayed graduation due to working is no worst off than the average student. And perhaps you just so happen to finish on time since you know you possibly can't do an extra year.


I think it's the way you attract a bunch of people who are wildly price-insensitive.


Agreed: it's very effective for that purpose, and if attracting price-insensitive people is a goal, trampling all over the price-sensitive customers may be an acceptable tradeoff.

Your logic is sound. However, your argument, while cogent, leads me to another question.

Why would an institution of higher learning, particularly a public institution heavily subsidized by the state and therefore by taxpayers, consider price insensitivity a desirable attribute in a graduate?

Because they won't mind paying 50% of their income in taxes?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 03:31:44 PM by kayvent »

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2016, 09:25:37 AM »
Yes, I could have graduated sooner if I had made it more of a priority. If I ever build a time machine I would correct that.

ender

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2016, 07:14:01 PM »
How long does a person need to reside in a place to be considered a resident? I moved to my alma mater's state after the military and there was not a limit on how long I had to live here before school started. I think for my own purposes it was six months or so of working to get settled in. I got in state tuition then.

This might depend on the state. I know a guy who came here, took classes part time while working for a year, then did full time school as a resident rates.

That worked well for him.

MoneyCat

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2016, 08:29:22 PM »
I wish college degrees were not necessary, but when Starbucks is requiring baristas to have a Bachelor's degree to sling coffee, then you have to do what's necessary. There are a few jobs that don't require degrees, but they do require vocational training for years, which is basically the same thing (and costs about the same if you don't live in a Northern state that pays for it in high school.) What it all comes down to is basically "Get your education and then pay for it and quitcher bitchin'!"

aasdfadsf

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2016, 12:32:48 PM »

State schools and community colleges go out of their way to put branches in every major urban center. Even in an extremely rural state, any major town or city is going to have at least one. Entrance standards are notoriously low and community colleges accept pretty much everyone with a pulse.

Not everybody lives in a major urban center. More importantly, people should go to the school that makes the most sense for their long-term goals, which isn't necessarily the one that's closest or cheapest. The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

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Although most of the United States is indeed a hundred years behind the times in terms of public transit, that's not the case in the big Eastern cities or even the wealthier places on the West Coast. Few people will have door to door service, and people will generally have to walk half a mile or more, take a transfer, have some spare time on campus, and spend some time commuting.

A large number of college students, if not the majority, will need to own a car at some point. That's just how things work. Spending two hours a day trying to get to and from classes, even when possible, is not a good use of a college student's time. Doubly so when you expect her to spend every spare hour working.

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Finally, not all work is minimum wage. There are still a surprising number of family businesses that employ relatives,

Working for the family business is a fine idea for the 0.5% or so of budding students whose family owns a going concern.

Of course there's always the Mitt Romney plan, who dismissed the difficultly of paying for college by explaining that he simply sold some of the stock that his wealthy father gave him. But the rest of us had a hard time relating to this.

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and there are also city or town programs that employ young people as pool lifeguards, summer day camp workers, or zoo or museum docents.

These are typically below minimum wage jobs. They will not pay for shit. And they require significant training.

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Some of the young people in my neighborhood are entrepreneurs: they hire themselves out providing child care, yard care, tutoring, or other things people need.

Not a very important issue, but selling a service is not entrepreneurship. You aren't some high-falutin' entrepreneur by babysitting for $50 a pop a couple of nights a week, and this isn't going to pay for your MBA.

Look: 18-year-olds go to college in order to get an education and skills and make themselves more marketable in the workforce. If they could already make great money doing "sports coaching" or web design whatever you think is going to magically cover a $20k tuition bill with part time effort, they wouldn't need to go to college. Working to pay for some of it and minimizing your costs is a fine idea to the extent that it's practical. But it's just not realistic to expect everyone to pay for 100% of higher ed costs in today's world. Student loans aren't just some crutch for the lazy, they're a necessity for many people. And while people who shoulder that debt shouldn't be coddled, they also shouldn't be sneered at by Old Economy Steve. That shit's irritating.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 01:16:33 PM by aasdfadsf »

ketchup

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2016, 01:43:31 PM »
I wish college degrees were not necessary, but when Starbucks is requiring baristas to have a Bachelor's degree to sling coffee, then you have to do what's necessary. There are a few jobs that don't require degrees, but they do require vocational training for years, which is basically the same thing (and costs about the same if you don't live in a Northern state that pays for it in high school.) What it all comes down to is basically "Get your education and then pay for it and quitcher bitchin'!"
Um...
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/05/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-2/

I personally have no college degree, and neither does my girlfriend.  I work in IT and she's a professional photographer.  Our household income is above median (and growing) in the Chicago area.  I make more than many of my entry-level (non-IT) coworkers with degrees.  My supervisor at work has no degree either and makes roughly double what I do.

There are definitely more than "a few" jobs that don't require degrees.  I'm not saying it's easy for everyone, but it very much can be done.

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2016, 06:28:01 PM »
I wish college degrees were not necessary, but when Starbucks is requiring baristas to have a Bachelor's degree to sling coffee, then you have to do what's necessary. There are a few jobs that don't require degrees, but they do require vocational training for years, which is basically the same thing (and costs about the same if you don't live in a Northern state that pays for it in high school.) What it all comes down to is basically "Get your education and then pay for it and quitcher bitchin'!"
Um...
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/05/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-2/

I personally have no college degree, and neither does my girlfriend.  I work in IT and she's a professional photographer.  Our household income is above median (and growing) in the Chicago area.  I make more than many of my entry-level (non-IT) coworkers with degrees.  My supervisor at work has no degree either and makes roughly double what I do.

There are definitely more than "a few" jobs that don't require degrees.  I'm not saying it's easy for everyone, but it very much can be done.

IT is a special snowflake, I hope will continue to be, and I am sad to see credentialism creeping into it. One in the workplace I lobbied, and succeeded, to remove the requirement of a four year degree for a web developer position.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2016, 08:34:19 PM »
The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

Skipping MIT or a top law school for a local option is by far the best decision at the undergrad level.

1) Fewer than a third of all engineering students make it through any engineering program, anywhere. The majority of students drop out, transfer to an easier program, or go somewhere else. If they do that, their return on investment is diddly-squat. But the debt doesn't care whether the student graduates, so it's better for the debt to be small, and for the student to take that loss at a cheaper local school.

2) It's fashionable to say that every student is exceptional, but most aren't. For an exclusive school like MIT, that tends to attract a higher quality caliber of students, a student who washes out in the first or second year might be of a high enough caliber to make it through an engineering program elsewhere and actually be employable in engineering afterwards, especially if they have the support of family and friends and the advantage of living at home where cooking, cleaning, and laundry might be done by someone else.

3) The only school that a hiring company pays the slightest attention to is the one where you got your most recent degree. In engineering, that's generally your master's degree. In medicine, it's your MD. Nobody gives a hoot where a person did their undergraduate work, any more than they would care where they went to kindergarten. Most freshly minted new engineers are worthless in the lab and take about a year to earn their pay, no matter where they studied, simply because the field is so specialized.

4) At the undergrad level (I keep specifying this because it matters) there's no significant difference between what a MIT graduate gets paid versus any other school. But there's a big difference between the cost of a MIT degree and tuition at a state university or community college (which can come in well below the $20k per year you quoted if you get in-state tuition... you can cut that figure in half, in fact). The bang for the buck just isn't there at the undergraduate level, unless you've got a massive scholarship or some other way to not have to pay for it. So if a person goes into debt to do it, it's better for the debt to be small.

5) Most undergraduate work is a glorified repetition of high school with a few specialized classes thrown in to learn the rudiments of what you're going to actually do for a living-- it makes absolutely no sense to travel and live in a dormitory unless the subject of study is not available where the student lives. Getting the prerequisites and the low-level options out of the way as cheaply as possible makes sense.

Speaking of where people live, I'm assuming that it's an industrialized country. Most people do actually live in or around population centers greater than 100,000 (which are the ones where state college educational facilities are located). As to commuting two hours per day by bus or bike: why should that be such a bad thing? It's actually possible to read and study on public transit. It's not possible to do that safely while driving a car.

Your 0.5% estimate of families that own businesses strong enough to offer part-time employment to a relative or close friend is off by several orders of the magnitude. According to Harvard Business School (you might respect that very fashionable name), more than 50% of all US businesses are family owned. Forbes says family owned businesses generate over 50% of the GNP, and Pew Social Trends says that more than 30% of all Americans are self-employed.

It's fashionable to pooh-pooh state schools and community colleges and to pretend that studying at a big-name university somehow makes a person smarter or more competent. In reality, calculus is calculus.

A student who is reasonably proactive and who has grades good enough to get into MIT can generally score a handful of scholarships that can be used at any school. Not all those dollars need to come from labor. But supposing that the kid has zero scholarships for whatever reason, four years at a state school at even $15k per year works out to $60,000.

$50 a night babysitting or cutting grass twice a week through 4 years of high school (2 weeks off): $20,000
40 hours a week, $7 per hour, for 8 weeks during the summer through 4 years of high school: $8,960
40 hours a week, $10 per hour, for 12 weeks during 3 summers as an undergrad: $14,400
10 hours a week, $12 per hour, for 36 weeks during the rest of the year as an undergrad: $17,280
Total from labor: $60,640

It can definitely be done. In fact it happens all the time. Yet anyone proactive enough to work this much is generally also proactive enough to apply for some scholarships, which can bring the total cost down. They're also usually clever enough to identify a few cheap credentials, such as a phlebotomist's license or a specialized sports related credential, that can drive up the value of their part-time labor in their particular market.

The above wage estimates aren't even particularly high. Working as a lifeguard or a summer camp instructor at a community center, for example, means a young person gets paid by the city of municipality. They can't pay "less than minimum wage": it's against the law. It's true that the work is bursty: you can make several hundred per week at a community center but only for a few weeks per year.

Of course, the level of saving and investment discipline from a kid doing the above work is more than average, because the simple fact of it is that most kids who work do it so that they can spend.

ender

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2016, 08:40:22 PM »
Not everybody lives in a major urban center. More importantly, people should go to the school that makes the most sense for their long-term goals, which isn't necessarily the one that's closest or cheapest. The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

Schools like MIT aren't the problem.

The problem is state types of universities/colleges which gladly accept nearly anyone with a pulse who will pay them for college. This is particularly problematic for people who drop out midway through. Just because you have a pulse doesn't mean you will be successful in school. But it's really not in the school's interest to tell you this, since you'll (or the government) will gladly pay them.

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A large number of college students, if not the majority, will need to own a car at some point. That's just how things work. Spending two hours a day trying to get to and from classes, even when possible, is not a good use of a college student's time. Doubly so when you expect her to spend every spare hour working.

Need?

Need is a strong word. I very easily could have not had a car during my college years, both undergrad and graduate school.

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Look: 18-year-olds go to college in order to get an education and skills and make themselves more marketable in the workforce. If they could already make great money doing "sports coaching" or web design whatever you think is going to magically cover a $20k tuition bill with part time effort, they wouldn't need to go to college. Working to pay for some of it and minimizing your costs is a fine idea to the extent that it's practical. But it's just not realistic to expect everyone to pay for 100% of higher ed costs in today's world. Student loans aren't just some crutch for the lazy, they're a necessity for many people. And while people who shoulder that debt shouldn't be coddled, they also shouldn't be sneered at by Old Economy Steve. That shit's irritating.

Well heard it right here, you can't make $50k+ (or whatever your threshold for income is) a year without a college degree.

It's a necessity to get a degree to succeed in the workforce.

Nahh. The problem is twofold - first, everyone acts as if going to college is the Holy Grail of their childhood development. Gosh, your kid didn't go to college? Immense pressure on parents to send their kids to college. Which is made worse by the second problem, that most 17 year olds have no clue what they are wanting to do with their lives, so if they are even thinking about it they figure they can go to college and figure it out.

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2016, 09:39:14 PM »
The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

Skipping MIT or a top law school for a local option is by far the best decision at the undergrad level.

1) Fewer than a third of all engineering students make it through any engineering program, anywhere. The majority of students drop out, transfer to an easier program, or go somewhere else. If they do that, their return on investment is diddly-squat. But the debt doesn't care whether the student graduates, so it's better for the debt to be small, and for the student to take that loss at a cheaper local school.

Great point. Every once in awhile I hear about the amount of student loan debt people without degrees have. I shudder.

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2) It's fashionable to say that every student is exceptional, but most aren't. For an exclusive school like MIT, that tends to attract a higher quality caliber of students, a student who washes out in the first or second year might be of a high enough caliber to make it through an engineering program elsewhere and actually be employable in engineering afterwards, especially if they have the support of family and friends and the advantage of living at home where cooking, cleaning, and laundry might be done by someone else.

Thomas Sowell has talked about this in the context of affirmative action at top-tier schools and how it disadvantaged intelligent blacks; many would have been fantastic in non-Ivy League schools but were effectively shafted and dropped out by going to the highest school they could get into.

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4) At the undergrad level (I keep specifying this because it matters) there's no significant difference between what a MIT graduate gets paid versus any other school. But there's a big difference between the cost of a MIT degree and tuition at a state university or community college (which can come in well below the $20k per year you quoted if you get in-state tuition... you can cut that figure in half, in fact). The bang for the buck just isn't there at the undergraduate level, unless you've got a massive scholarship or some other way to not have to pay for it. So if a person goes into debt to do it, it's better for the debt to be small.

There is a difference in endowment and student assistance. I went to one of the top rated and most expensive undergrad schools in Canada. In return I was awarded 20-25K in scholarships from the school alone. Harvard used to have a similar reputation of not wanting students to drop out due to finance; the "Harvard dropout" was a grey mark they wanted to mitigate like a plague. Not sure how the top-tier schools are like now.

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Your 0.5% estimate of families that own businesses strong enough to offer part-time employment to a relative or close friend is off by several orders of the magnitude. According to Harvard Business School (you might respect that very fashionable name), more than 50% of all US businesses are family owned. Forbes says family owned businesses generate over 50% of the GNP, and Pew Social Trends says that more than 30% of all Americans are self-employed.

Hmmm, most of those businesses have one employee. The owner. But you do make the point that a shockingly high amount of people in the USA are entrepreneurs. I was listening to a Motley Fool podcast the other day and they were discussing how this concept is presently a very American thing and is the root of a lot of our mega-corps (the garage tinkering with electronics that become Apple or Microsoft or Amazon or Google).
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 09:43:08 PM by kayvent »

joleran

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2016, 05:34:56 AM »
The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

I'm pretty sure you can do both, taking the 101-style non-major classes at the CC.   Then transfer the credits in, and graduate in 3 years.  That's as mustachian as anything.

Pooperman

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #64 on: August 15, 2016, 05:52:29 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2016, 05:57:58 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

I had an upper year math course with twenty people in it. Average class size for the course was ten. The professor enters the classroom on the first day, looks around, visibly estimates the count of people, and openly says "Half of you should drop this class. Set Theory is offered this term. Some of you should take that instead. Seriously."

Pooperman

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2016, 06:11:15 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

I had an upper year math course with twenty people in it. Average class size for the course was ten. The professor enters the classroom on the first day, looks around, visibly estimates the count of people, and openly says "Half of you should drop this class. Set Theory is offered this term. Some of you should take that instead. Seriously."

Which math class was that? The most incomprehensible one for me was complex variable calculus because the teacher was horrible. The highest level class I took was multi-variable linear differential equations (2d and 3d heat equation and harmonics in cartesian, polar, and spherical coordinates). That class happened to be very easy, mostly because the professor was good.

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2016, 06:56:59 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

I had an upper year math course with twenty people in it. Average class size for the course was ten. The professor enters the classroom on the first day, looks around, visibly estimates the count of people, and openly says "Half of you should drop this class. Set Theory is offered this term. Some of you should take that instead. Seriously."

Which math class was that? The most incomprehensible one for me was complex variable calculus because the teacher was horrible. The highest level class I took was multi-variable linear differential equations (2d and 3d heat equation and harmonics in cartesian, polar, and spherical coordinates). That class happened to be very easy, mostly because the professor was good.

It was Real Analysis. Its the first analysis course anyone would take at my alma mater. It is only required for a honours in Mathematics at the university nowadays. It was always sort-of only for them but anyone wanting and able to take the course has always been able to sign up for it. But that year instead of five or six randoms, one and a half dozen signed up. The teacher was mildly shocked at that.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2016, 07:10:05 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

I had an upper year math course with twenty people in it. Average class size for the course was ten. The professor enters the classroom on the first day, looks around, visibly estimates the count of people, and openly says "Half of you should drop this class. Set Theory is offered this term. Some of you should take that instead. Seriously."

Which math class was that? The most incomprehensible one for me was complex variable calculus because the teacher was horrible. The highest level class I took was multi-variable linear differential equations (2d and 3d heat equation and harmonics in cartesian, polar, and spherical coordinates). That class happened to be very easy, mostly because the professor was good.

I had a fantastic TA for differential equations; I didn't go to class because the TA explained everything so well in evening section.

My linear algebra professor was dyslexic. Following what he was doing was extremely hard. I didn't do very well in that class.

Pooperman

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2016, 07:14:59 AM »
My education cost about $200k. I did not pay for it (thanks mom). However, I survived the engineering program and I've made at least $100k more than I would have if I hadn't gone.

Additional note about engineering: in the engineering assembly before classes began as a freshman, the speaker made it clear that 1/3 of us would not be graduating as engineers. Engineering coursework is difficult. I did engineering physics, which is moreso.

Education is important, though if I'd been paying I would have gone to the good state school that would have cost me one semester's tuition for the entire 4 years.

I had an upper year math course with twenty people in it. Average class size for the course was ten. The professor enters the classroom on the first day, looks around, visibly estimates the count of people, and openly says "Half of you should drop this class. Set Theory is offered this term. Some of you should take that instead. Seriously."

Which math class was that? The most incomprehensible one for me was complex variable calculus because the teacher was horrible. The highest level class I took was multi-variable linear differential equations (2d and 3d heat equation and harmonics in cartesian, polar, and spherical coordinates). That class happened to be very easy, mostly because the professor was good.

I had a fantastic TA for differential equations; I didn't go to class because the TA explained everything so well in evening section.

My linear algebra professor was dyslexic. Following what he was doing was extremely hard. I didn't do very well in that class.

That's actually really funny because I had a class that was linear algebra AND differential equations. Like one class, not two. University did the same with intro economics. Macro and micro in one semester.

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #70 on: August 15, 2016, 11:49:47 AM »
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The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy.

So many comments about this whole post, but had to pinpoint this one:

Well, I agree to a point.  I am an engineer.  I opted to go to the best engineering school that I applied to and got into (ROTC paid for most of it, so paying for it - a moot point).

However, the choices are not "community college" and "MIT".  There's a broad range in between.

My life is not worse because I went to CMU and not MIT (I did not even apply to MIT, because I would not have been able to afford to even GET there.  And several of my small, local scholarships were dependent upon going IN STATE).  I'm fairly confident that I would have been JUST FINE if I'd gone to Penn State (my safety school) and STILL even fine had I chosen to go to the local small uni for 2 years and do the "2-3" transfer program (to either Penn State or CMU).

Honestly, there are people who can afford MIT and the like, and people who can't.  If your parents can't fund a lot of it (or the government, or the school), it's a big risk.

stoaX

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #71 on: August 15, 2016, 12:35:36 PM »
"The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy."

My college wasn't as prestigious as MIT but would be considered just a step below Ivy league.  I picked up a bunch of community college credits during the summers to save a buck.  I don't think it was crazy because it meant that, in addition to working a job or two, I could afford to continue going to school. 

Student loans weren't as easily available back then - and in retrospect I'm glad they weren't.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #72 on: August 15, 2016, 12:54:52 PM »

However, the choices are not "community college" and "MIT".  There's a broad range in between.


Truly brand conscious people really do see it as a black and white issue.

It's very fashionable for people to look down their noses at state schools, tech schools, trade schools, and anything that isn't conspicuous consumption. The sales pitch is that the "best and the brightest" go to "top" (as in, the most exclusive and expensive) schools, and that anyone who does otherwise must be deficient somehow, even if they're loading up on options, electives, and prerequisites.

Most people I ran into during graduate school had an employer paying their tuition. Sometimes that employer was the university because the student found work there, and free or greatly reduced tuition for university employees and family members is one of the job benefits. I also meet a lot of GI Bill students, scholarship students, and student athletes. Several of the undergrads have less than a full course load because they were able to complete AP courses in high school. AP courses are more readily available now than ever before. So there's definitely more than one path up the mountain, and I'd venture to say that there are more such opportunities now than in the past.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2016, 01:25:52 PM »
I chose the private school that gave me the most scholarship money (and least amount of debt).

In retrospect it was a stupid decision.

I should have chose the state school and ZERO debt.

Engineering is engineering.  Math is math.  It really is all the same anywhere.

Maybe you get fancier lab facilities or what not, but its not worth the cash.

MIT?  Meh.  Only if they're giving a free ride.

Seriously.

aasdfadsf

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2016, 02:55:25 PM »
Skipping MIT or a top law school for a local option is by far the best decision at the undergrad level.

Disagree. If you are among the lucky few who can get into a top school, you should do it. The networking alone is invaluable. But never mind that. Even paying for a cheap in-state school is beyond the reach of most people without assistance.

Law school of course is an option that one has after undergrad, and there isn't really any "local option" for that. It just so happens that there are too many law grads these days, so my advice is that you don't go to law school unless you can get into a top school. Those who do are the ones who get hired into big law firms at $150k their first year. If you're on that track and if that's what you want in life, you should do it. The notion that you instead go to Podunk Community College And Bait Shop while mowing lawns every evening to avoid the terror of student loan debt is insane. Your increased lifetime earnings will pay off loan a hundred times over. (Same thing applies to med school, etc.)

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1) Fewer than a third of all engineering students make it through any engineering program, anywhere. The majority of students drop out, transfer to an easier program, or go somewhere else. If they do that, their return on investment is diddly-squat. But the debt doesn't care whether the student graduates, so it's better for the debt to be small, and for the student to take that loss at a cheaper local school.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. If you think you'll drop out, don't go to school at all. If you're a top student and dedicated, go to the best school you can that will enable you to reach your goals.

Isn't it a little ironic to expect 18-year-olds to have the skills and work ethic to earn their way through college but then tell them not to go to a good college because they can't hack it?

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As to commuting two hours per day by bus or bike: why should that be such a bad thing?

Maybe because a full-time student who is in class 15 hours a week, spends another 45 hours studying and doing assignments, then another 40 hours working to pay for it literally does not have an extra 14 hours a week left for commuting.

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Your 0.5% estimate of families that own businesses strong enough to offer part-time employment to a relative or close friend is off by several orders of the magnitude. According to Harvard Business School (you might respect that very fashionable name), more than 50% of all US businesses are family owned. Forbes says family owned businesses generate over 50% of the GNP, and Pew Social Trends says that more than 30% of all Americans are self-employed.

I'm not sure what you think an order of magnitude means, but I'm pretty sure 500% of people don't own their own business. Only a small percent of people own profitable businesses. The percent of businesses that are family owned or the percent of GDP they represent are totally irrelevant measures. Telling people that they should work for their daddy is not only useless to most people, it's borderline offensive. Being able to work for your family is a mark of class privilege. Wondering why everyone doesn't do so reveals cluelessness as to the actual economic status of most people.

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It's fashionable to pooh-pooh state schools and community colleges and to pretend that studying at a big-name university somehow makes a person smarter or more competent. In reality, calculus is calculus.

In reality, employers and post-graduate schools will care very much about the quality of institution that you attended. The people you meet and relationships you form will impact you for life.

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A student who is reasonably proactive and who has grades good enough to get into MIT can generally score a handful of scholarships that can be used at any school. Not all those dollars need to come from labor. But supposing that the kid has zero scholarships for whatever reason, four years at a state school at even $15k per year works out to $60,000.

$50 a night babysitting or cutting grass twice a week through 4 years of high school (2 weeks off): $20,000
40 hours a week, $7 per hour, for 8 weeks during the summer through 4 years of high school: $8,960
40 hours a week, $10 per hour, for 12 weeks during 3 summers as an undergrad: $14,400
10 hours a week, $12 per hour, for 36 weeks during the rest of the year as an undergrad: $17,280
Total from labor: $60,640

Yes, what is wrong with the kids these days that every high school student doesn't have over $60,000 in savings?

Seriously, do you not see how totally unrealistic this is? It's not that it can't be done. It's just not reasonable to expect it as a matter of course.

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The above wage estimates aren't even particularly high. Working as a lifeguard or a summer camp instructor at a community center, for example, means a young person gets paid by the city of municipality. They can't pay "less than minimum wage": it's against the law.

Oh, they can and will pay you less than minimum wage. The law has all sorts of loopholes for young and inexperienced types. Some of the things you have mentioned will literally pay nothing and are pure volunteer work. Internships exist as a means of putting young people to work without actually paying them. I used to work as a camp counselor. It probably paid about a buck an hour when it came down to it. You don't do it for the money.

Typical work for an unskilled 18-year-old who seriously needs to earn a living (never mind paying tuition) will be found in food-and-beverage. Waiting tables will get you above minimum wage. Being a line cook will start you at minimum wage, but you can work your way up. This is grueling, honest work that sucks hard and leaves you exhausted after every shift. In other words, a real job. If you can do that while being a full-time student, good for you. Some people reasonably choose just to be students instead.

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It's true that the work is bursty: you can make several hundred per week at a community center but only for a few weeks per year.

A full-time, minimum wage job will gross you exactly $300 a week. Take-home pay will hover around $250. Tuition and fees at today's rates if you are a full-time student and if you only go to an in-state public school will run you $180 a week. You need to work full-time, year-round just to cover your educational costs, never mind incidental costs like food and a roof over your head. A few weeks a year or part-time won't do it.

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Of course, the level of saving and investment discipline from a kid doing the above work is more than average, because the simple fact of it is that most kids who work do it so that they can spend.

Right. Kids are kids. Expecting each and every one to live like a Spartan and generate a $60k nest egg by age 18 is a bit much.

aasdfadsf

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2016, 03:04:58 PM »
Student loans weren't as easily available back then - and in retrospect I'm glad they weren't.

Tuition wasn't anywhere near as high back then; it's been going up at double-digit rates every year.

This really is starting to look like Old Economy Steven.

1: "Why don't the lazy kids these days just work their way through college like I did?"

2: "You realize that the cost of college has increased by over four-times in inflation-adjusted dollars since you went to college?"

1: "But, back when I was in school..."

2: <head-desk>

dpfromva

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2016, 03:33:03 PM »
Interesting discussion. Both my spawn got the most ridiculous, lowest-paying degrees imaginable -- English and Theater (Stage Management). Then the English major spent a year in an acting studio!! Crazy.
Both are doing well -- the English major has an office job for an artsy, creative company -- yeah it was connections but also her degree from a "public ivy" state school helped. There's an alumni mafia out there, plus employers see that school name as a proxy for smart and hard working. The other one developed the networks she needed while in school in her city and is successfully free-lancing. So, those degrees also confer contacts and credentials. 
That being said, if you've got the aptitude to be plumber or electrician, go for that and forget the degree . . .

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2016, 07:02:04 PM »
Skipping MIT or a top law school for a local option is by far the best decision at the undergrad level.

Disagree. If you are among the lucky few who can get into a top school, you should do it. The networking alone is invaluable. But never mind that. Even paying for a cheap in-state school is beyond the reach of most people without assistance.

Law school of course is an option that one has after undergrad, and there isn't really any "local option" for that. It just so happens that there are too many law grads these days, so my advice is that you don't go to law school unless you can get into a top school. Those who do are the ones who get hired into big law firms at $150k their first year. If you're on that track and if that's what you want in life, you should do it. The notion that you instead go to Podunk Community College And Bait Shop while mowing lawns every evening to avoid the terror of student loan debt is insane. Your increased lifetime earnings will pay off loan a hundred times over. (Same thing applies to med school, etc.)

Quote
1) Fewer than a third of all engineering students make it through any engineering program, anywhere. The majority of students drop out, transfer to an easier program, or go somewhere else. If they do that, their return on investment is diddly-squat. But the debt doesn't care whether the student graduates, so it's better for the debt to be small, and for the student to take that loss at a cheaper local school.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. If you think you'll drop out, don't go to school at all. If you're a top student and dedicated, go to the best school you can that will enable you to reach your goals.

Isn't it a little ironic to expect 18-year-olds to have the skills and work ethic to earn their way through college but then tell them not to go to a good college because they can't hack it?

Engineering and some STEM sub-fields don't care how smart you are, how hard you work, or what your interests are.

If you don't have a niche set of problem solving skills innate in you, CS just churns you out. You fail right away because the concept of state doesn't work in your mind.

If you can't sit down and do meticulous calculations for eight hours, go to a three hour lab and create a solution at 99.8% purity, guess what? You flunk your third year BioChem lab work. 0% because you were only 99.7% pure. If you don't love the art of engineering, prepare to be driven mad by it.

While we have the system where high schoolers have to guess at random what field to go into since they have little to no opportunity to discover what jives with them, I think using price/debt as a factor when deciding schools is a worthwhile endeavour. A person can easily find that the program they go into is not for them; dropping out does not mean they failed. It can mean they discovered their passion and calling elsewhere (they stopped their 4-year Engineering degree for a 4-year CompSci but can't carry over credits.)

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2016, 07:56:49 PM »
Even paying for a cheap in-state school is beyond the reach of most people without assistance.

Simply not true. Attending such a school full-time while working full-time and living independently is beyond the reach of most people. Which is why most people never attempt more than two of these things at a time. Full-time students generally work part-time and live far less independently. People who live independently generally work full-time but limit their expenses and do part-time school.

At the graduate level, it does make sense to travel. But it makes more sense to find an employer who offers free tuition as a benefit. Many hospitals, banks, and engineering firms do this. I don't think it's an option for doctors or lawyers.

At the graduate level, in law, the problem with graduating from Overpriced U instead of Podunk U is that you might get hired into a big firm at $150k per year, however the lifestyle that goes with that kind of firm is anything but frugal as some of the other threads here may attest. On paper it looks like a piece of cake to pay off that big debt with that big salary, but for many people it doesn't happen. The wedding, the Lexus, the swanky condo, and the bespoke suits suddenly become more important. Easy come, easy go. Then something happens: maybe there's a kid. Maybe you get sick or divorced. A couple threads over, there's a discussion of a guy who makes $190k but isn't lined up for retirement very well.

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The notion that you instead go to Podunk Community College And Bait Shop while mowing lawns every evening to avoid the terror of student loan debt is insane. Your increased lifetime earnings will pay off loan a hundred times over. (Same thing applies to med school, etc.)

And yet, astoundingly, many of these high-earning doctors and lawyers aren't pulling it off. They aren't paying down the debt.

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I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. If you think you'll drop out, don't go to school at all. If you're a top student and dedicated, go to the best school you can that will enable you to reach your goals.

They're all top students, though. None of them start thinking they're going to drop out. Most of them have been told from birth what special little snowflakes they are and how they're sure to succeed.

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Isn't it a little ironic to expect 18-year-olds to have the skills and work ethic to earn their way through college but then tell them not to go to a good college because they can't hack it?


Speaking of irony, isn't this board a bit of a risky place to assert that the only "good" option happens to also be the "extremely expensive" option? :)

Fact is, the "Podunk" state universities you appear to despise turn out competent graduates who perform every bit as well as the ones from the expensive elite universities that teach the exact same material. But something even more interesting happens to the ones that don't make it. The cost to exchange (engineering school for something else) is far lower for the student at the cheaper local school.

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Maybe because a full-time student who is in class 15 hours a week, spends another 45 hours studying and doing assignments, then another 40 hours working to pay for it literally does not have an extra 14 hours a week left for commuting.

The only time the student needs to work 40+ hours per week is when school is out. The numbers I set up assumed only about 12 hours of work per week while school is in session, which is a very manageable schedule particularly since it's possible to study on the bus or train. Most academic terms are based on 16-week semesters, and there are two semesters per year. That leaves a full 40 weeks of available time. There's really no excuse to not work through the summer.

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I'm not sure what you think an order of magnitude means, but I'm pretty sure 500% of people don't own their own business.

I exaggerated slightly. The real figure is closer to 50% but that's a mean and not a mode, because many people own more than one business especially over a lifetime. The Pew research only counted businesses that were actually registered, but most of the entrepreneurial activity is grey market and not necessarily taxed or declared. Most people have at least one business or side hustle (not always set up officially) at some point in their lives, generally in partnership with a spouse or someone else.

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Only a small percent of people own profitable businesses.

No, most businesses are profitable which is why they exist. When a small business loses money, or even when the money it brings in doesn't justify the effort of having it, the owners shut it down. Unless of course it's the MLM sector, but people with MLM "businesses" generally don't actually go to the trouble of setting up their own company.

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Telling people that they should work for their daddy is not only useless to most people, it's borderline offensive. Being able to work for your family is a mark of class privilege. Wondering why everyone doesn't do so reveals cluelessness as to the actual economic status of most people.


Ah: I think I see where this is going.

Some people do indeed find it offensive to be compared to the working class. That's the group of people that produces (and enjoys the benefit of) the kind of opportunity that can create short-term or seasonal income without requiring a degree.

Skills, labor, and the opportunities that they create have always been the prerogative of the working class, not the middle or upper-middle class. By "working class", I mean people who either have to work for a living, or who require their children to work for a living. (Some surprisingly old and wealthy families do this, to keep their children from growing up to be embarrassments. It doesn't always work but it helps.)

Social strivers who fancy themselves part of a "professional", "educated" elite but who don't have the family history or money to rub shoulders with the socioeconomic elite really do experience near-total lack of economic opportunity without the cachet that comes from an expensive piece of parchment. It's because they lack skills. The only way they know how to solve a problem is by throwing money at it (which is one of the reasons they keep trying to buy class and influence). Their children actually reach the age of adulthood without being able to actually do anything.

That's the trouble with cliques of people who emphasize professional degrees and education in order to achieve social mobility: if they commit too much to the lifestyle, they end up with bugger-all to offer their kids in terms of skills or opportunity. It's impossible to share the benefit of the degree except by throwing money at the next generation's education: the next generation can't plug into any of the family businesses if the entire family does things that require advanced professional degrees to get in the door. A lot of the time the second or third generation ends up incompetent, insufficiently challenged, and stressed or even addicted. Kids like that might get good grades, but they're likely to drop out of engineering school. They're also likely to be traumatized for life at the idea of flipping a burger or washing a car, which unfortunately will be all they're good for because they can't do anything that the rest of the world considers useful enough to pay for.

It's an extremely rare Yuppie who can offer significant paid work to a teenager, or who has a network of people who can.

Luckily, not everyone suffers from Yuppie culture. Most people come from "higher" or "lower" social classes (however a person chooses to measure that), where opportunities exist.

Students from families that value labor most likely won't be working for "daddy"; statistically it's more likely to be "mommy", "grandma", "auntie", or "uncle". There are restaurant families, motel families (Patel not Trump), bodega families, general contractor or painting families, musical families, auto shop families, landscaping families, bookkeeping families, caterer families, hairstylist families, nursing and first responder families, martial arts families, teaching families, and lots more. If you grow up in a nursing family, you'd have to be a mouth-breathing imbecile to not have CPR instructor training or a phlebotomy license before graduating. If you grow up in a car family, you know which end of the wrench to hold onto and should be able to at least perform basic maintenance or repairs.

My daughter, for example, has family connections that include painting, hairstylist, real estate, music, nursing, and more. Painting and drywall prep happen to be among her skills because I taught her to do it. If at any point she wants work doing painting and trim, all she'll have to do is pick up the phone. That's how the system works. Meanwhile, by the time she graduates high school, since she's interested in nursing she'll have her phlebotomy license or whatever credential my ex-girlfriend (nursing family) says is in demand. Result: no need to flip a burger for minimum wage, unless she wants to manage or eventually buy a fast food franchise. (Hint: "working class" families often know how to stash the cash; read "The Millionaire Next Door" by Stanley and Danko for details.)

Anyone who can sew can get work doing alterations in May and June. Anyone who can play the top 10 most requested wedding marches on the piano, organ, or guitar can get a wedding gig. Anyone who can write can free-lance once in a while and sell an occasional piece of work. That's the sort of thing people start doing in high school. It's not the kind of steady reliable year-round work a person needs to earn an independent living, but it doesn't have to be. A working-class family often has more than one breadwinner of this type, and they don't follow Yuppie nuclear family models.

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In reality, employers and post-graduate schools will care very much about the quality of institution that you attended. The people you meet and relationships you form will impact you for life.

Chiefly for those who acquire or confer a MRS degree.

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Yes, what is wrong with the kids these days that every high school student doesn't have over $60,000 in savings?

Seriously, do you not see how totally unrealistic this is? It's not that it can't be done. It's just not reasonable to expect it as a matter of course.


The $60k is spent over a period of 4 years during which the student has more time to work and a higher earning power. If the high school student scrapes together $15k in scholarships and 'stache before graduation, he or she will be in reasonably good shape. The goal is to minimize and delay debt, or possibly to eliminate it. The entire amount doesn't have to be available before the first day of school.

$15k is just not that unreasonable; I managed to stash more than that myself more than 20 years ago using a combination of skills that I picked up. My kid brother stashed even more because his skills were in higher demand at the time than mine were. My parents did require that we stash half of our take-home pay starting from day one, and they did invest it.

I agree that earning, saving, and limiting consumption isn't the norm. A high consumption, earn-to-spend lifestyle is the norm. We frugal types are the weirdos.

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Oh, they can and will pay you less than minimum wage. The law has all sorts of loopholes for young and inexperienced types. Some of the things you have mentioned will literally pay nothing and are pure volunteer work. Internships exist as a means of putting young people to work without actually paying them. I used to work as a camp counselor. It probably paid about a buck an hour when it came down to it. You don't do it for the money.

Typical work for an unskilled 18-year-old who seriously needs to earn a living (never mind paying tuition) will be found in food-and-beverage. Waiting tables will get you above minimum wage. Being a line cook will start you at minimum wage, but you can work your way up. This is grueling, honest work that sucks hard and leaves you exhausted after every shift. In other words, a real job. If you can do that while being a full-time student, good for you. Some people reasonably choose just to be students instead.


You're focusing on "earn a living". Why is that? The entire purpose of going to school locally is to save money by living in a family home. Maybe there's token rent, or maybe there's work in lieu of rent. There are also usually fewer keg parties.

There's really no excuse for not at least working through the summer break as an undergraduate. I don't see how a person with student loans would be justified in doing otherwise.

"Just" being a student is a pretty attractive proposition, but it's sort of like "just" being an aspiring actor or novelist. It's the lifestyle appropriate for people who are either having their bills paid for them or who are already financially independent. People who aren't, or who are from the classes where work is expected, have to Do Something, Or Else. Those who genuinely don't need the money and who are extremely wealthy are the ones who can afford to do free internships or to go backpacking through Europe without worrying about how tuition is going to be paid next term.

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A full-time, minimum wage job will gross you exactly $300 a week. Take-home pay will hover around $250. Tuition and fees at today's rates if you are a full-time student and if you only go to an in-state public school will run you $180 a week. You need to work full-time, year-round just to cover your educational costs, never mind incidental costs like food and a roof over your head. A few weeks a year or part-time won't do it.

As I've said several times before, food and a roof should be provided by the family at a cost that's much lower than an apartment or dorm. In an area with reasonable economic activity, the only people who have to work minimum wage jobs are the ones with no skills, no connections, no community, no social skills... basically people who are grown-up infants. Even rural communities often have plenty of work. But it's seasonal.

Seasonal work is brutal for people who try to make a full-time living off of it, but it's ideal for students.

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Right. Kids are kids. Expecting each and every one to live like a Spartan and generate a $60k nest egg by age 18 is a bit much.

Like I said, the student only needs $15k by graduation, and maybe a couple of AP courses to free up time during the first year and avoid having to pay for the privilege of repeating the content learned in high school. Whether he or she can be expected to pull it off depends on the cultural ideals in which he or she is raised.

Many people, for example, expect a student to be a "kid". It's somehow acceptable to them. Expect more, and often you get more. It won't be "each and every one", but if it ever becomes the majority we might actually see tuition rates to start coming down because more people will be selecting options that provide maximum bang for the buck.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 09:28:19 PM by TheGrimSqueaker »

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #79 on: August 16, 2016, 10:18:32 AM »
Quote
Oh, they can and will pay you less than minimum wage. The law has all sorts of loopholes for young and inexperienced types. Some of the things you have mentioned will literally pay nothing and are pure volunteer work. Internships exist as a means of putting young people to work without actually paying them. I used to work as a camp counselor. It probably paid about a buck an hour when it came down to it. You don't do it for the money.

Typical work for an unskilled 18-year-old who seriously needs to earn a living (never mind paying tuition) will be found in food-and-beverage. Waiting tables will get you above minimum wage. Being a line cook will start you at minimum wage, but you can work your way up. This is grueling, honest work that sucks hard and leaves you exhausted after every shift. In other words, a real job. If you can do that while being a full-time student, good for you. Some people reasonably choose just to be students instead.

I think this is going to vary greatly by location and the state.  My elder child is only 10, but he's in a lot of summer camps.  From what I can see, here's what you have:

kinder to 6th: you pay for summer camp
7th/8th: "junior counselor".  Aka...technically, at this age, your kid is old enough to be at home alone. But maybe you don't feel comfy with that (or you have younger children). So they can become a JC at the same "camp" as your younger kids.  They don't get paid (natch) but they get free breakfast and lunch, and you get free care for your 12-13 year olds.

9th-12th: For the first couple of years, again, you can do "JC".  But at this point, it's not with the city/ schools, it's with the YMCA or another organization.  The kids aren't getting paid, but they *are* getting valuable skills (wrangling kids).  Depending on your long term goals, this can be good.  From here, the kids get connections for paid babysitting and paid camps.

Several of my kid's summer camps have had workers there that are aged 16-22, paid the CA minimum wage.  The better paid jobs are the ones that are, say, lifeguarding - at the Y, at the local pool, whatever (though this can have tragic drawbacks, a local death about 10 years ago at a pool, 19 yo lifeguard.)  Some young adults get their pick - gymnastics, surf camp, whatever.

It's going to vary a lot on locations.  "When I was a kid" (ha ha), I only babysat a few times at age 12.  It wasn't my thing.  It was rural.  There weren't a lot of jobs.  I got a job bagging groceries as a senior - but only because my mom worked with the grocery store manager's husband.  Jobs were few and far between, you had to KNOW someone to bag groceries!  Still in my small town, it hasn't changed much.  My nephew started washing dishes in HS on weekends.  He's now 23, works FT as a big truck diesel mechanic, but still washes dishes some weekends.

Contrast that to my niece in a different state - she works at a restaurant (front greeter), and in the summer also volunteers at summer camps, and gets paid for some summer camps.  The kids around here - many of them get paid babysitting gigs (boys and girls alike), or work at the pizza place.  I once had an intern here at my engineering job who was a high school student.  At the high school down the road that costs $40k-50k a year.  (whole different demographic there)

I think there have *always* been kids who "hustle" and work and save up for college.  Some have connections, some don't.  Some have the opportunity to get decent paying jobs, others don't.  Some kids don't even try - and their parents let them sit around all summer playing video games.  The difference, I think, is that a greater % of kids go to college than did in my day.  That results in MORE kids spending money on school but not earning money.

Now, I consider myself exceptional (of course), but I held down a job at 12-17 hours a week (food service), had a full time engineering load, and was in ROTC (which was 2 classes a semester plus all the other requirements).  Most of my ROTC cohorts were shocked that I had a job (but I needed to eat, and bonus to the food job was a free meal each day I worked).  Remove the ROTC, and I'd wager that *most* students are capable of working 10-15 hours a week while going to school.  You party less, that's for sure, but for me that was a good thing.

Scandium

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #80 on: August 16, 2016, 11:56:18 AM »
"Education" is not an investment. College is a joke, professors teach at the dumbest common denominator which in my experience is typically those on welfare, getting a free ride with money stolen from the productive class. Your co-workers students loans are as much an "investment" as the car loan, likely less so as at least the car loan is for an asset that has value and can be sold. Bottom line is if you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Both are luxuries and indulgences.

You went to a really shitty college, or none at all.

I'm going to guess Trump University

nobody123

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #81 on: August 16, 2016, 02:16:00 PM »
I just looked up the cost of attendance for an in-state student at my alma mater (a middle-tier state school), and it's about $21K/year now.  So let's say with tuition increases it's about $90K for 4 years.  Assuming 2 HS years and 4 college years, you'd need a kid to earn $15K per year to cover the cost of attendance.  Minimum wage is $8.10/hour in my state, so they'd essentially have to work full time for 6 years while going to school to come out debt free, which is LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE given the labor laws that restrict hours worked for high school students during the school year.

As a thirtysomething adult, I would look at that situation and figure out how to cut costs, but I guarantee 18 year old me would've shrugged his shoulders and taken out the loans for the "traditional college experience", assuming that a 4 year degree would allow me to pay off the loans eventually.  I probably would've been tempted to take out some loans to fund "fun" stuff like a spring break trip, because what's another few thousand on top of it all?  After all, everyone else is doing it.

So, I can empathize with recent graduates and lamenting their student loan debt, especially since they were all told they were college material and HAD to go to college and the cost of attendance continues to skyrocket.  I also get frustrated with those who say they paid their way back in the 1980s and dammit these lazy kids today should do it too.  That being said, I don't understand how people can't treat wiping out their student loans as a priority.  Seeing recent graduates lease a fancy new car because "they deserve it" when they get their first real job just boggles my mind.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #82 on: August 16, 2016, 02:25:54 PM »
As a thirtysomething adult, I would look at that situation and figure out how to cut costs, but I guarantee 18 year old me would've shrugged his shoulders and taken out the loans for the "traditional college experience", assuming that a 4 year degree would allow me to pay off the loans eventually.  I probably would've been tempted to take out some loans to fund "fun" stuff like a spring break trip, because what's another few thousand on top of it all?  After all, everyone else is doing it.

This is where parents and extended family come into play.

Parents who talk about AP courses, scholarships, work-study, and using community college to get prerequisites out of the way are much more likely to have kids who know about and exercise those options. Having an intelligent game plan as to how to pay for school and what the degree will be usable for afterwards is just as important as preparing for the SAT.

Parents who don't discuss the relationship between residency and tuition, who don't see to it that their kids have the wherewithal to earn some money to defray at least part of their costs, and who bleat about education in "something, anything" being part of the path to success are more likely to have kids with grossly inflated expectations.

Frank discussion of the GI bill is in order, and ROTC likewise.

Slee_stack

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #83 on: August 16, 2016, 02:40:08 PM »
Vehemently disagree with aasd.

Spending simply for name brand anything is almost always a fool's errand and its the same for colleges.

As a graduate of the '#8' university in the country for my field of study I absolutely say it is NOT WORTH IT.

I could have saved plenty of money by getting just as good an education at a comparable state school.

I was fortunate enough to get a decent scholarship, but even then I threw a tidy sum away by getting caught up in the hype of a 'prestigious' school.

Don't fall for the networking BS.  You can network anywhere.

The most valuable part of school was not the credentialed faculty, or the ivy covered buildings, or the handful of famous alumni.  It was my co-op / internship...which I shared, incidentally, with a student from a state school!  He was a solid, sharp guy too...and obviously smarter than me financially.

Don't pay more for hype!


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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #84 on: August 16, 2016, 05:11:35 PM »
Student loans weren't as easily available back then - and in retrospect I'm glad they weren't.

Tuition wasn't anywhere near as high back then; it's been going up at double-digit rates every year.


When I look at the college board's numbers I'm not seeing double digit increases.  I do agree that it has outpaced wage growth, hence the need for more creative thinking about how college is to be paid for.    https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-and-room-and-board-over-time-1

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #85 on: August 16, 2016, 05:24:53 PM »
Student loans weren't as easily available back then - and in retrospect I'm glad they weren't.

Tuition wasn't anywhere near as high back then; it's been going up at double-digit rates every year.


When I look at the college board's numbers I'm not seeing double digit increases.  I do agree that it has outpaced wage growth, hence the need for more creative thinking about how college is to be paid for.    https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-and-room-and-board-over-time-1

I did the math last year.  CMU has gone up exactly 5% per year since 1988.

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #86 on: August 16, 2016, 05:31:50 PM »
I just looked up the cost of attendance for an in-state student at my alma mater (a middle-tier state school), and it's about $21K/year now.  So let's say with tuition increases it's about $90K for 4 years.  Assuming 2 HS years and 4 college years, you'd need a kid to earn $15K per year to cover the cost of attendance.  Minimum wage is $8.10/hour in my state, so they'd essentially have to work full time for 6 years while going to school to come out debt free, which is LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE given the labor laws that restrict hours worked for high school students during the school year.

As a thirtysomething adult, I would look at that situation and figure out how to cut costs, but I guarantee 18 year old me would've shrugged his shoulders and taken out the loans for the "traditional college experience", assuming that a 4 year degree would allow me to pay off the loans eventually.  I probably would've been tempted to take out some loans to fund "fun" stuff like a spring break trip, because what's another few thousand on top of it all?  After all, everyone else is doing it.

So, I can empathize with recent graduates and lamenting their student loan debt, especially since they were all told they were college material and HAD to go to college and the cost of attendance continues to skyrocket.  I also get frustrated with those who say they paid their way back in the 1980s and dammit these lazy kids today should do it too.  That being said, I don't understand how people can't treat wiping out their student loans as a priority.  Seeing recent graduates lease a fancy new car because "they deserve it" when they get their first real job just boggles my mind.
With an $8.10 min wage, I calculated that you could reasonably earn $9000 in a year, based on what I did for part of my college (before I joined ROTC).

Summer: 12 weeks.  Job A 40 hours a week (8 to 4:30 job digging ditches, loading pipe, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, washing trucks for the gas company).  Job B 20 hours a week (grocery job). (Both of which I got because I knew people, and the grocery job was the one I'd had in HS.  They were happy to have me back any time).

Christmas break: 2 weeks x 20 hours a week

School year: 12 hours a week x 30 weeks.  (If you can add, that's 44 weeks.  I figure everyone needs a break.)

Now, while that's not going to cover the full cost of college, it can cover a fair chunk of it.  And this is assuming that you cannot find a better paying job.  My first job was $3.35, then the gas company job was $4.00, and eventually my work study job was $4.25/hour.  The big bucks.  One summer I painted dorms for $4 or so an hour and it came with free (roach infested) housing.   Yay?

kayvent

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #87 on: August 16, 2016, 07:40:41 PM »
I just looked up the cost of attendance for an in-state student at my alma mater (a middle-tier state school), and it's about $21K/year now.  So let's say with tuition increases it's about $90K for 4 years.  Assuming 2 HS years and 4 college years, you'd need a kid to earn $15K per year to cover the cost of attendance.  Minimum wage is $8.10/hour in my state, so they'd essentially have to work full time for 6 years while going to school to come out debt free, which is LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE given the labor laws that restrict hours worked for high school students during the school year.

As a thirtysomething adult, I would look at that situation and figure out how to cut costs, but I guarantee 18 year old me would've shrugged his shoulders and taken out the loans for the "traditional college experience", assuming that a 4 year degree would allow me to pay off the loans eventually.  I probably would've been tempted to take out some loans to fund "fun" stuff like a spring break trip, because what's another few thousand on top of it all?  After all, everyone else is doing it.

So, I can empathize with recent graduates and lamenting their student loan debt, especially since they were all told they were college material and HAD to go to college and the cost of attendance continues to skyrocket.  I also get frustrated with those who say they paid their way back in the 1980s and dammit these lazy kids today should do it too.  That being said, I don't understand how people can't treat wiping out their student loans as a priority.  Seeing recent graduates lease a fancy new car because "they deserve it" when they get their first real job just boggles my mind.
With an $8.10 min wage, I calculated that you could reasonably earn $9000 in a year, based on what I did for part of my college (before I joined ROTC).

Summer: 12 weeks.  Job A 40 hours a week (8 to 4:30 job digging ditches, loading pipe, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, washing trucks for the gas company).  Job B 20 hours a week (grocery job). (Both of which I got because I knew people, and the grocery job was the one I'd had in HS.  They were happy to have me back any time).

Christmas break: 2 weeks x 20 hours a week

School year: 12 hours a week x 30 weeks.  (If you can add, that's 44 weeks.  I figure everyone needs a break.)

Now, while that's not going to cover the full cost of college, it can cover a fair chunk of it.  And this is assuming that you cannot find a better paying job.  My first job was $3.35, then the gas company job was $4.00, and eventually my work study job was $4.25/hour.  The big bucks.  One summer I painted dorms for $4 or so an hour and it came with free (roach infested) housing.   Yay?

Many of us are unable to find jobs that provide both free housing and free meals. Lucky you.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #88 on: August 16, 2016, 09:11:43 PM »
Many of us are unable to find jobs that provide both free housing and free meals. Lucky you.

To get a burger flipping or restaurant job that provides free meals, you generally have to know somebody. Same goes for getting a live-in caregiving or housekeeping assignment, a live-in property manager's gig, or the like. It's hard to find high paying part-time work without being part of a network of some kind, and for the most part you have to live in a community for an extended period of time to earn that kind of social capital. Also, you don't get to pick and choose what the opportunity is. If the available work is in a friend's restaurant, you don't get to turn up your nose and say: "meh, I'd rather not, because the grease will get in my hair. I'd rather work in an auto shop." Unless you're also lucky enough to have a connection with an auto shop.

Young adults from what's commonly called a middle-class or upper-middle-class background very seldom know anybody, because their parents don't. Look at what professional-class parents do:

  • They settle into a city where they have no family or friends, because that's where the work is
  • They work long hours trying to make partner or get into management
  • They move frequently and relocate to new cities every time the corporate office gets moved, or they are transferred. This uproots the kids and guarantees it will be difficult to maintain long-term friendships
  • They sign their kids up for lessons in sports, the arts, and other things instead of spending time with the kids and teaching them in person
  • They don't work outside the office; they even pay people to watch their own kids and to walk their dog for them
  • They refuse to let their special little snowflakes walk to school or ride the bus, for fear that they might speak to other children and develop social skills, or develop the very important pre-employment skill of showing up on time prepared to face the day
  • Evenings are spent shuttling kids to this practice or that performance, not in company with other people from the neighborhood or the community, although the adults may go out as a couple or have solo recreation like sports, which seldom produces much social capital
  • They seldom have time for a DIY project like a birdhouse or a lawnmower fix, so they hire someone else to do it instead of showing their kids how it's done, and therefore the kids don't learn DIY skills that they could later leverage into employment. What they do learn is that the way to solve a problem is to throw money at it
  • They don't let their kids babysit, cut grass, or do odd jobs around the neighborhood because of Stranger Danger, or because it interferes with underwater macrame practice
  • They work in fairly secure jobs for government, schools, union employers, or big companies that are notoriously credential-happy, but where they don't personally have enough influence to line up even an evening janitorial gig... not that they would consider allowing their special little snowflake to empty trash cans for pay
  • They pay top dollar for their kids to attend private schools so that they seldom or never have to rub shoulders with kids named Patel, Chen, Trang, or Vasquez... and accordingly the kids miss out on opportunities to hang out in the motel, restaurant, nail salon, paint shop, or auto shop owned by a friend's family, learning a few things and maybe eventually picking up work. Instead, the kids hang out with the children of attorneys, insurance agents, engineers, and other professionals who aren't in a position to provide jobs for their own kids, much less the children of others
  • They tell their kids they can do whatever they want by way of work, and that they should choose work that makes them happy.. which translates into not having to do work that doesn't make them ecstatically happy, such as bussing tables or pouring hot tar onto a roof

Not all Yuppie families do this, but it's very common. A couple generations of this will produce thunderingly incompetent people who are completely unemployable outside their specific professional niche, but who don't realize it. They tend to produce children who not only lack social connectivity to others, but don't have the skills to create it from scratch.

nobody123

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2016, 12:01:05 PM »
With an $8.10 min wage, I calculated that you could reasonably earn $9000 in a year, based on what I did for part of my college (before I joined ROTC).

So assuming you're still a dependent on your parents' federal tax return, you only get the $4050 personal exemption.   My state has state and local income taxes too, plus the 6.25% for Social Security.  They're only going to take home around $7K of that.  IIRC, the FAFSA formula only shields like $6400 of a student's income before they expect 50% of it to be spent on college, reducing the aid available to the student, so there's that impact to assess as well.

Let's say that the student has job connections that allow them to work the 1120 hours per year, and parental support for life expenses letting them put the whole $7K towards college.  That still leaves a $14K shortfall per year at my alma mater.  I can see where a teenager might just say eff it, I'll borrow the whole thing instead of busting my butt to minimize the cost.  Obviously not the right decision, but I can empathize.

I do agree that in most cases you should work to earn money to lessen the amount of loans required to finish in a timely fashion.  I talk to some parents and they are shocked when I seem surprised that their high school kids don't have a job.  I hear the typical "school is their job, they are on some sports team and it takes so much time, they need activities to put on their college applications, etc." excuses.  It's like suggesting their special snowflakes having to earn the right to go to college is some foreign concept.  I fully intend to let my kids know the summer before their freshman year of high school what support I will be able to provide them for college and help them make responsible choices until they are "off my payroll".  Believe me, there will be an expectation that they have a job of some sort as soon as they can drive themselves there.  Even if the money is a pittance and is something like 1% of their college cost, at least they will appreciate the value of an education so they don't have to lift heavy things the rest of their life.  Nothing motivated me more to finish college more than lugging stuff up and down ladders in the sweatbox of a stockroom of a big box store all summer long.

I think a big part of the issue is folks have this notion that a college education means 4 or 5 years on campus not working during the academic semesters and a summer job providing beer money for the rest of the year.  The goal, attainment of a bachelor's degree, is blurred with the want, the "college experience".  So, students take out loans to fund that ideal college experience without investigating ways to minimize the cost of attaining the goal (community college, live at home, etc.).  Like most things in America, it's a need vs. wants judgement call and the vast majority of folks give in to the want.  I bet even if the federal government covered the cost of tuition for all public universities, there would still be idiots racking up tons of student debt for room and board, spring break trips, a fancy new laptop every semester, etc.  I am not sure if you can ever legislate against that sort of stupidity.

ncornilsen

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2016, 01:18:46 PM »
GrimSqueker:  What you've said about the typical professional class parent is spot on. I've never heard it put in words like that, but I see exactly what you describe happening all around me. I'm a first-generation Engineering graduate, having grown up on a ranch. I've been turning my head over trying to figure out how not to fall into that trap, how to give my (as yet unconcieved) children the same valuable benefits and lessons I learned from rounding up escaped cattle at 3AM or building a new pole barn, and from having parents who have been part of the same community for the last 50 years. I haven't quite figured it out, other than involving them in my DIY projects or helping me with the racecars, and dumping them off with Grandpa for the summer!


TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2016, 01:48:12 PM »
GrimSqueker:  What you've said about the typical professional class parent is spot on. I've never heard it put in words like that, but I see exactly what you describe happening all around me. I'm a first-generation Engineering graduate, having grown up on a ranch. I've been turning my head over trying to figure out how not to fall into that trap, how to give my (as yet unconcieved) children the same valuable benefits and lessons I learned from rounding up escaped cattle at 3AM or building a new pole barn, and from having parents who have been part of the same community for the last 50 years. I haven't quite figured it out, other than involving them in my DIY projects or helping me with the racecars, and dumping them off with Grandpa for the summer!

My solution is to put my daughter in public school, let her socialize a lot with her peers, keep her out of structured evening activities but involved in school sports, have a community that features people from a wide variety of backgrounds so that we can exchange opportunities and job leads, and DIY (and make her DIY) as though her life depends on it. I'm starting to suspect it might.

Magilla

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2016, 02:35:04 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree with folks that say "brand" doesn't matter in colleges.  While I agree it tapers off quickly, I have personally seen, witnessed and experienced the effect of being from one of the top of the top schools.  It won't overcome pure stupidity obviously, but it opens a LOT of doors just by name alone.

Any engineer here who says that graduating from MIT, Stanford, CMU, etc doesn't matter at all is either lying to themselves, jealous or just plain deluded.  Being from one of the top schools means:
- instant brand recognition on your resume
- huge network of extremely accomplished peers who *will* open doors for you -- best example are internships during school; the top schools have amazing networks for getting students into internships etc
- world class faculty (leaders in their field) whose recommendations are like golden tickets
- incredible resources -- have any of you seen the startup incubation and VC resources available to these schools? It's mind boggling.

Not saying that going to one of these schools is the right choice for everybody, but pretending there isn't an effect from going to them is foolish.


Gin1984

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #93 on: August 17, 2016, 02:46:00 PM »
The idea that someone accepted to MIT should choose instead to go to a community college to save a buck is crazy. If you are accepted to a medical school or a top law school, and if that's the career you want, you need to find a way to pay for it rather than attend night classes at Upper Left West Vocational Municipal College.

I'm pretty sure you can do both, taking the 101-style non-major classes at the CC.
  Then transfer the credits in, and graduate in 3 years.  That's as mustachian as anything.
LOL, and you would be wrong.  Many schools, such as Stanford won't accept CC classes except from full transfer students.  In fact, Stanford students could not even go to the local state UNIVERSITY for classes, if they wanted them to count in their major.   

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2016, 03:41:30 PM »
I just looked up the cost of attendance for an in-state student at my alma mater (a middle-tier state school), and it's about $21K/year now.  So let's say with tuition increases it's about $90K for 4 years.  Assuming 2 HS years and 4 college years, you'd need a kid to earn $15K per year to cover the cost of attendance.  Minimum wage is $8.10/hour in my state, so they'd essentially have to work full time for 6 years while going to school to come out debt free, which is LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE given the labor laws that restrict hours worked for high school students during the school year.

As a thirtysomething adult, I would look at that situation and figure out how to cut costs, but I guarantee 18 year old me would've shrugged his shoulders and taken out the loans for the "traditional college experience", assuming that a 4 year degree would allow me to pay off the loans eventually.  I probably would've been tempted to take out some loans to fund "fun" stuff like a spring break trip, because what's another few thousand on top of it all?  After all, everyone else is doing it.

So, I can empathize with recent graduates and lamenting their student loan debt, especially since they were all told they were college material and HAD to go to college and the cost of attendance continues to skyrocket.  I also get frustrated with those who say they paid their way back in the 1980s and dammit these lazy kids today should do it too.  That being said, I don't understand how people can't treat wiping out their student loans as a priority.  Seeing recent graduates lease a fancy new car because "they deserve it" when they get their first real job just boggles my mind.
With an $8.10 min wage, I calculated that you could reasonably earn $9000 in a year, based on what I did for part of my college (before I joined ROTC).

Summer: 12 weeks.  Job A 40 hours a week (8 to 4:30 job digging ditches, loading pipe, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, washing trucks for the gas company).  Job B 20 hours a week (grocery job). (Both of which I got because I knew people, and the grocery job was the one I'd had in HS.  They were happy to have me back any time).

Christmas break: 2 weeks x 20 hours a week

School year: 12 hours a week x 30 weeks.  (If you can add, that's 44 weeks.  I figure everyone needs a break.)

Now, while that's not going to cover the full cost of college, it can cover a fair chunk of it.  And this is assuming that you cannot find a better paying job.  My first job was $3.35, then the gas company job was $4.00, and eventually my work study job was $4.25/hour.  The big bucks.  One summer I painted dorms for $4 or so an hour and it came with free (roach infested) housing.   Yay?

Many of us are unable to find jobs that provide both free housing and free meals. Lucky you.
Well, the pizza place job was work study.  I worked 3 days a week and I got a free meal when I worked, worth approximately $4.  So, I guess that's $12 a week, but in all honesty, I could have fed myself for less than that.  "Free meals" doesn't mean I never have to feed myself.  But "Lucky me" yeah.  I guess I'm also lucky that I chose to join ROTC, huh?  At least that's what a former coworker told me when he was "woe is me-ing" on his student loans.  And I said "you could have joined the military."  "Oh, I could *never* do that."  Um, okay.

The painting dorms job was a single summer.  They were willing to work around my ROTC schedule.  Nobody else really was.  However, note that the other 3 years I
- lived at home for two of them (FREE, and yes most people can do that - I think that's the whole point of this part of the thread, is it not?  How to get through school for less, i.e., by living at home)
- I paid rent for the 3rd year.

For the record, even just looking around town here, and in my husband's home town, I see that fast food places offer some free food as a perk.
Jobs that come with free housing are hard to find - but generally, some campuses have "on campus" jobs like being a resident assistant, or painting dorms, or working summer camps, which come with a perk like that.

stoaX

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2016, 03:48:25 PM »
"I think that's the whole point of this part of the thread"   Actually I think the original point was "don't complain about your student loan at the same time thinking that your car loan is fine". 

But you comment is right on if you say it's the whole point of mustachianism!

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2016, 03:52:08 PM »
GrimSqueker:  What you've said about the typical professional class parent is spot on. I've never heard it put in words like that, but I see exactly what you describe happening all around me. I'm a first-generation Engineering graduate, having grown up on a ranch. I've been turning my head over trying to figure out how not to fall into that trap, how to give my (as yet unconcieved) children the same valuable benefits and lessons I learned from rounding up escaped cattle at 3AM or building a new pole barn, and from having parents who have been part of the same community for the last 50 years. I haven't quite figured it out, other than involving them in my DIY projects or helping me with the racecars, and dumping them off with Grandpa for the summer!

My solution is to put my daughter in public school, let her socialize a lot with her peers, keep her out of structured evening activities but involved in school sports, have a community that features people from a wide variety of backgrounds so that we can exchange opportunities and job leads, and DIY (and make her DIY) as though her life depends on it. I'm starting to suspect it might.
This is what I'm trying to do to.  I hope it works.  As I watch my friends transfer to the other schools that "are a better fit for my kids" (aka rich white kids).  I worry.  I suppose if you have family money, or a business, you'll be fine?

I prefer to hang out with a mix.  Our tribe includes professors whose kids are all intellectual types, and people who do plumbing, waxing, massage, landscaping, child care, etc.  The advantage to this kind of thing - the teenage/ college aged boys in our hood who do childcare make $10 an hour.  More if they are hired to work during a PTA meeting.  The local girl who works at the pizza place got the job because her dad does landscaping for  the owner.

mm1970

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2016, 03:56:31 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree with folks that say "brand" doesn't matter in colleges.  While I agree it tapers off quickly, I have personally seen, witnessed and experienced the effect of being from one of the top of the top schools.  It won't overcome pure stupidity obviously, but it opens a LOT of doors just by name alone.

Any engineer here who says that graduating from MIT, Stanford, CMU, etc doesn't matter at all is either lying to themselves, jealous or just plain deluded.  Being from one of the top schools means:
- instant brand recognition on your resume
- huge network of extremely accomplished peers who *will* open doors for you -- best example are internships during school; the top schools have amazing networks for getting students into internships etc
- world class faculty (leaders in their field) whose recommendations are like golden tickets
- incredible resources -- have any of you seen the startup incubation and VC resources available to these schools? It's mind boggling.

Not saying that going to one of these schools is the right choice for everybody, but pretending there isn't an effect from going to them is foolish.
For how long?  I'm 28 years in. I occasionally get a "wow, CMU is a good school" comment - but I assure you, nobody gives a shit where I went to college.  The absolute best boss, smartest guy I've ever met - a huge success in this industry - went to Oregon State.

My first job was as an officer in the Navy, so the only "requirement" was a school with ROTC.

Did it help me get my first non-military job?  Maybe.  I dunno.  I think half the reason I got the job is because the company knew I'd pass the drug test.

Magilla

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #98 on: August 17, 2016, 04:39:04 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree with folks that say "brand" doesn't matter in colleges.  While I agree it tapers off quickly, I have personally seen, witnessed and experienced the effect of being from one of the top of the top schools.  It won't overcome pure stupidity obviously, but it opens a LOT of doors just by name alone.

Any engineer here who says that graduating from MIT, Stanford, CMU, etc doesn't matter at all is either lying to themselves, jealous or just plain deluded.  Being from one of the top schools means:
- instant brand recognition on your resume
- huge network of extremely accomplished peers who *will* open doors for you -- best example are internships during school; the top schools have amazing networks for getting students into internships etc
- world class faculty (leaders in their field) whose recommendations are like golden tickets
- incredible resources -- have any of you seen the startup incubation and VC resources available to these schools? It's mind boggling.

Not saying that going to one of these schools is the right choice for everybody, but pretending there isn't an effect from going to them is foolish.
For how long?  I'm 28 years in. I occasionally get a "wow, CMU is a good school" comment - but I assure you, nobody gives a shit where I went to college.  The absolute best boss, smartest guy I've ever met - a huge success in this industry - went to Oregon State.

My first job was as an officer in the Navy, so the only "requirement" was a school with ROTC.

Did it help me get my first non-military job?  Maybe.  I dunno.  I think half the reason I got the job is because the company knew I'd pass the drug test.

Notice I said it tapers off quickly.  I'd say past 5 years it doesn't matter as much.  And the whole point is to get a better first job or opportunity.  For most people, their entire lifetime earnings are influenced by their first job out of college.  Also, the degree of how much it matters also depends on what you end up doing.

Like I said, you don't have to go to one of these schools to be wildly successful, but to say it has no influence I'd say it's disingenuous.

I'll just leave with this: do you think Larry Page and Sergey Brin would have been able to start Google if they were doing their PhDs at let's say Penn State (very good school but not Stanford)? I'd say the chances of them hooking up with the right people to do it would have been considerably less.

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Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
« Reply #99 on: August 17, 2016, 07:47:05 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree with folks that say "brand" doesn't matter in colleges.  While I agree it tapers off quickly, I have personally seen, witnessed and experienced the effect of being from one of the top of the top schools.  It won't overcome pure stupidity obviously, but it opens a LOT of doors just by name alone.

Any engineer here who says that graduating from MIT, Stanford, CMU, etc doesn't matter at all is either lying to themselves, jealous or just plain deluded.  Being from one of the top schools means:
- instant brand recognition on your resume
- huge network of extremely accomplished peers who *will* open doors for you -- best example are internships during school; the top schools have amazing networks for getting students into internships etc
- world class faculty (leaders in their field) whose recommendations are like golden tickets
- incredible resources -- have any of you seen the startup incubation and VC resources available to these schools? It's mind boggling.

Not saying that going to one of these schools is the right choice for everybody, but pretending there isn't an effect from going to them is foolish.
For how long?  I'm 28 years in. I occasionally get a "wow, CMU is a good school" comment - but I assure you, nobody gives a shit where I went to college.  The absolute best boss, smartest guy I've ever met - a huge success in this industry - went to Oregon State.

My first job was as an officer in the Navy, so the only "requirement" was a school with ROTC.

Did it help me get my first non-military job?  Maybe.  I dunno.  I think half the reason I got the job is because the company knew I'd pass the drug test.

Notice I said it tapers off quickly.  I'd say past 5 years it doesn't matter as much.  And the whole point is to get a better first job or opportunity.  For most people, their entire lifetime earnings are influenced by their first job out of college.  Also, the degree of how much it matters also depends on what you end up doing.

Like I said, you don't have to go to one of these schools to be wildly successful, but to say it has no influence I'd say it's disingenuous.

I'll just leave with this: do you think Larry Page and Sergey Brin would have been able to start Google if they were doing their PhDs at let's say Penn State (very good school but not Stanford)? I'd say the chances of them hooking up with the right people to do it would have been considerably less.

Worth noting, since MIT and Stanford keep coming up: good co-op programs are perhaps even more valuable than good networking if you're in engineering.  If you're diligent, you can work with, earn money from, and impress two or three good employers before finishing undergrad, and at that point you just have to pick, from your well-informed opinion of each, which would make the best fit. My fiancee's brother is taking a really long time to graduate because people keep giving him interesting jobs. He's worked in a few different departments of a company near his state school, and next semester he's working for Tesla. Granted they're just internships, but at a pay level comparable to entry level engineers (~$75k in rural area), I'd say they're taking him seriously, and paying for his school all the while.