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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: revisednut on August 01, 2016, 08:34:11 PM

Title: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: revisednut on August 01, 2016, 08:34:11 PM
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: GetItRight on August 02, 2016, 03:40:36 PM
"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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX on August 02, 2016, 04:04:36 PM
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

Yup, the irony is certainly present.  Does her job have anything to do with her degree?  Finally, my first mortgage was less than $400 per month.... 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: revisednut on August 02, 2016, 09:14:53 PM
"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.

Although I agree with this, to an extent, not all education can be written off as a poor investment.  Certainly "investing" $20k-$30k to become a BSN, with a starting salary of $50k-$60k plus, pays itself in dividends over the decades, a master's in French Wine Sampling, is unlikely to yield the same returns.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: revisednut on August 02, 2016, 09:16:47 PM
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

Yup, the irony is certainly present.  Does her job have anything to do with her degree?  Finally, my first mortgage was less than $400 per month....

The job is not a direct correlation to a degree, more of a "any 4 year" adds to the consideration for employment.  I thought I was doing good with a $1,080/mo PITI on a 15 year mortgage.  If my taxes and insurance weren't half the monthly payment, I guess I'd almost have a $400 mortgage today!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: syednaeemul on August 02, 2016, 09:39:05 PM
But you can drive a car around, post pictures of it online, look happy on the outside!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: gimp on August 02, 2016, 10:16:34 PM
"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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 03, 2016, 07:45:03 AM
I agree. Those "impossible" student loans? We had to take out a couple of loans for my DW's two master's degrees. We'll have them paid off in the next couple of months. Originally ~$45K. She got traction in her modest career track and makes a fair salary. We did it driving older cars, avoiding spending, and still having a comfortable lifestyle in an older house in a flyover state. Am looking forward to steering that money into a few home improvements (i.e. maintenance) for a few months. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: acroy on August 03, 2016, 07:51:05 AM
Sad lack of personal accountability.
People used to be embarrassed by such things - somehow now it's socially acceptable.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 03, 2016, 07:55:04 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.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Not all the skills provided by, say, an English degree can be used to earn money outside academia. Writing, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills are a very good thing to have in addition to something marketable, but few employers are willing to pay well for those skills alone. People who get paid to write novels or articles often don't have an English degree and haven't been taught "how" to write by someone in spectacles and elbow patches. They just do a lot of it. So why buy the cow-- the credential-- when you can get the milk for free?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 03, 2016, 08:35:23 AM
And today's word here at MMM is "iconoclasm".

I had to look that one up...

Thanks GS for education.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Sibley on August 03, 2016, 08:50:54 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.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Not all the skills provided by, say, an English degree can be used to earn money outside academia. Writing, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills are a very good thing to have in addition to something marketable, but few employers are willing to pay well for those skills alone. People who get paid to write novels or articles often don't have an English degree and haven't been taught "how" to write by someone in spectacles and elbow patches. They just do a lot of it. So why buy the cow-- the credential-- when you can get the milk for free?

Agreed GS. My student loans are well worth the income and career that my college education has allowed me to have. I majored in accounting, worked by butt off to get good grades and graduated with enough credits to take the CPA exam. I'm a CPA and earn above average salary.

My friend majored in English, and worked in a deadend, mind numbing job for 6 years. Currently is unemployed no bright prospects (unrealistic expectations & immaturity are at play as well).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 03, 2016, 09:32:30 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.
That's going to depend a great deal on the college and the major.  While it does seem that some college students are likely coming out no smarter than my older sisters came out of high school (and a lot lazier), that's not the case everywhere.

You'd be hard pressed to get a decent engineering job without an engineering degree.  Quality of program varies, and quality of student varies...but I'd wager the students coming out of top-10 schools are going to be okay.  And the degree was probably worth it.

The university local to me now has a decent engineering program - it is, however, somewhat large.  I was quite surprised to interview one young fellow with a degree in EE.  A former classmate of his said "I wouldn't recommend him".  Prior to the interview, the boss and I figured - he has a degree, how bad can he be?  Well, we figured it out pretty quickly.  The guy wasn't able to answer the simplest questions from his degree...and we wonder how he even managed a C average.

Back to the OP - I am definitely with you here.  Maybe it's not sexy anymore - back in the dark ages, when I was a fresh college grad and freshly-minted Naval officer, I had both a car payment and college loan payments.  It never occurred to me to spend more on the car than the college loans.  The car was $6700 and the loans were $11,000.  I did pay the car off first (3 years), but the college loans weren't long after (4 years).  The spare money I had went to the loans.

Likewise, as a child things like health care (not insurance, we didn't always have insurance) came before things like cable TV, computers, etc.

Personal responsibility is tough.  It's why I always see things as shades of gray.  A friend recently complained on FB that the reason why small business owners hate Obamacare is that their costs are going up and up.  I understand her point.  Her premiums (she's single and over 40) are higher than her mortgage, for a silver plan with a $6k deductible.
But I also have friends who were "uninsurable" before the ACA simply because they moved states (same ins co would not cover them in the new state).  I have friends who got laid off in their 50s (you know, after working 30 years), and now they are unemployable and uninsurable.

There are honestly people who work hard, and struggle, and can't pay off their college loans.  And then there are people like this girl who could stand a little self-reflection.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: MrsPete on August 03, 2016, 07:49:32 PM
"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.
Exactly what I was thinking.  Neither my husband nor I could hold our jobs without our degrees.  We have had our investment back many, many times over.  Oh, and now that my daughter's a college grad, I can say the same thing about her -- she's only brought home one paycheck thusfar, so she doesn't have her investment back, but she's headed in the right direction.  In a few more years I'll be able to say the same about my youngest child too. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: BlueHouse on August 05, 2016, 04:00:42 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
And you seem to have no understanding that you are comparing/contrasting two sets of people who both receive financial assistance and yet one is deserving and productive while the other set is the lowest common denominator.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: gggggg on August 05, 2016, 05:58:56 AM
I think education is generally a good thing, especially self education, but it's not the end all. I'm on the hiring board at my job, and we just passed over two people with master's, to hire two with just high school and a bit of community college. The two with master's degrees were terrible in the interview, and got promptly booted. I will say for some jobs (legal, engineer, medical, some others) you most certainly need a more advanced education. Having some common sense, and being able to get along with people makes a HUGE difference to most employers, even over degrees.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Hoju on August 05, 2016, 06:14:59 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.

Or, possibly, a liberal arts or fine arts program. It's very common for graduates to end up disillusioned and in debt, if they fell for the Baby Boomer mantra of "get a degree in something, anything, as long as you graduate." The liberal and fine arts degrees originally really were upper-class conspicuous consumption items for people who truly did not need to work in their fields. Critical thinking skills, and the iconoclasm that grows out of them, have always been a privilege of the elite.

Another problem is the complete lack of "good" guidance for kids graduating from high school. I was fortunate enough to get practical college advice from my parents and went into engineering. My guidance councilor kept pushing for a music degree since I "excelled" in band. I excelled in math class too... how about we look at which one pays better (or at all).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Drifterrider on August 05, 2016, 06:43:51 AM
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt? 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 05, 2016, 07:17:58 AM
I agree. I worked my way through college too. Graduated with a house, no student loans, etc. DW got her bachelor's with no loans.

My DW had to get Master's twice to get traction in this little town.

First time to get into the school system. Politics changed and politics seems to count heavily into hiring decisions during that period and we aren't well connected. She was employed for a couple of years and then they laid her off to make room for someone else with tenure during a budget shortfall year. We could have moved and done fine in a larger city within this state but we didn't want to. We wanted to raise our kids in this town.

DW then had an opportunity to pursue something she wanted to do more but had to get her education right again. Enter Great Recession. Education completed but set back on career advancement. Eventually she got in.

Essentially one year's income post graduation paid for both degrees and then some. It was worth it. The reason loans figured into all that was she needed to start her education right then and we didn't have the money b/c she was under employed for several years.

I don't think it would be wise to take out loans for probably half the degrees offered at most schools. Also people who aren't motivated and aggressive about finding work after graduation probably ought to work their way through instead or risk being without enough income to get the loans out of their budget quickly.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 05, 2016, 09:06:57 AM
I don't think it would be wise to take out loans for probably half the degrees offered at most schools. Also people who aren't motivated and aggressive about finding work after graduation probably ought to work their way through instead or risk being without enough income to get the loans out of their budget quickly.

Indeed. The economy can really only support so many arts, liberal arts, and social studies graduates. If a degree doesn't produce enough extra income to pay for itself within three to five years (and by that, I mean the difference in take-home pay for the average graduate of *that* particular school, with *that* particular degree, versus the average pay available for high school graduates only), then the degree might still be worth having but only if a person can pay cash or work their way through it and graduate without debt.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: MilesTeg on August 05, 2016, 11:27:08 AM
While half listening to a co-worker complaint about her student loan payments of $100/mo (switched to income based repayment), and how it would take 25 years before the remaining balance was forgiven ($30k balance or so), and wishing there would be a political shift to have the same forgiven, the conversation eventually transitioned into her purchase of a new Ford SUV (an explorer I believe), and how the same was financed at a low interest rate, resulting in a payment of about $400/mo.  It amazes me how one can loath a a $30k investment made into themselves, yet find jubilation in a $30k expenditure into a depreciating asset.  I wonder how many folks have an income based repayment on their student loans, to afford a car payment.  It'd be interesting to see the figures.

Edited for color.

I con't condone the desire to have loans forgiven, but I understand the dislike of them vs. other types of loan. When you buy a car, or house or anything else with a loan you are paying once, and only once.

When you get a college degree you are paying twice:

1. The financial cost.
2. The effort/life cost associated with earning the degree.

And frankly, #2 is far more costly than #1 unless you are very foolish and where the real "investment in yourself" is purchased.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Smokystache on August 05, 2016, 07:05:45 PM
At the risk of taking us too far off the original topic, I feel compelled to mention a few misconceptions:

1) The view that most liberal arts majors are unemployed and unsuccessful is a myth. Their unemployment rate may be 1-2% behind other majors, but that ain't that much: http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/ (http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/).

2) The view that a liberal arts major must go into a very narrow field of study (that other people assume is) directly related to it is a myth. Let's take history as an example. The vast majority of people who study history do not become Historians of some type. Just as most philosophy majors don't become philosophers. Suggestions that the "world doesn't need more XXX majors" are based on this myth. (Some examples: http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/ (http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/liberal-arts-degrees-critics/)

3) Without question, colleges and professors (especially liberal arts colleges and professors in those fields) need to do a better job of integrating real-world examples of how to use the skills, and do a better job of teaching students how to market their liberal arts skills.

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: gooki on August 07, 2016, 01:19:51 AM

I con't condone the desire to have loans forgiven, but I understand the dislike of them vs. other types of loan. When you buy a car, or house or anything else with a loan you are paying once, and only once.

When you get a college degree you are paying twice:

1. The financial cost.
2. The effort/life cost associated with earning the degree.

And frankly, #2 is far more costly than #1 unless you are very foolish and where the real "investment in yourself" is purchased.

There's also point 3. The opportunity cost of not being in the workforce while you study.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Abe on August 07, 2016, 01:42:13 AM
My question is what are politicians going to do about the auto loan crisis, and when are we all going to get free cars? The federal reserve reports total auto loan debt of 1.1 trillion, while student loan debt is 1.2 trillion. In a lot of places, having a car is an important part of securing a job.

Seriously though, I'm tired of hearing people at work who drive Audis,etc complain about student loan debt. I'm sorry, they earn on average $60k a year. Suck it up and pay the debt(s).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: JR on August 07, 2016, 03:08:30 PM
Almost every new engineering graduate we hire without fail goes into major debt for some type of motor vehicle as soon as they are hired on.

 I can somewhat understand that after a grueling 5 year engineering program they may want to spend money on some nice things but is buying a $30k car really a great idea when you earn $60k and have $100k in student loan debt?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Sofa King on August 07, 2016, 04:36:57 PM


Seriously though, I'm tired of hearing people at work who drive Audis,etc complain about student loan debt. I'm sorry, they earn on average $60k a year. Suck it up and pay the debt(s).

I concur!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: chesebert on August 07, 2016, 05:10:52 PM
"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.
Second.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: aasdfadsf on August 07, 2016, 10:42:51 PM
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 08, 2016, 12:19:51 AM
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.

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. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: YogiKitti on August 08, 2016, 05:40:27 AM
I'm currently working my way through college. It can still be done.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ender on August 08, 2016, 07:26:15 AM
I think education is generally a good thing, especially self education, but it's not the end all. I'm on the hiring board at my job, and we just passed over two people with master's, to hire two with just high school and a bit of community college. The two with master's degrees were terrible in the interview, and got promptly booted. I will say for some jobs (legal, engineer, medical, some others) you most certainly need a more advanced education. Having some common sense, and being able to get along with people makes a HUGE difference to most employers, even over degrees.

Unfortunately, nearly all large companies do not do this.

Many, many jobs have an HR requirement for a 4-year degree.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 08, 2016, 08:06:19 AM
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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: yuka on August 08, 2016, 02:58:18 PM

My guidance councilor kept pushing for a music degree since I "excelled" in band. I excelled in math class too... how about we look at which one pays better (or at all).

Translation from guidance couselor: I went the practical route and I hate my job. Now I'm channeling my frustration, and I see some of myself in you.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: joleran on August 08, 2016, 02:58:57 PM
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: MgoSam on August 08, 2016, 03:24:40 PM
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.

I don't think that is the case, but I could be wrong. The two public schools that I know best (U of M and U of MN) both do require it but do offer exemptions that I don't think are very strict, a cousin of mine at the U of MN lived with her parents the entire duration, including freshmen year (though in her defense she graduated in 2.5 years).

I do recommend living in the dorms as opposed to home, but then again I'm not the one paying for it as I don't have any children.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: robartsd on August 08, 2016, 04:33:12 PM
I'm pretty sure that the freshmen live on campus rules always make the exception for locals living at home. The requirements do limit how frugal a freshmen student can live if choosing to go to a school where they will not be living with family (solution - go to junior college, then transfer). The reasoning behind the rule is that a lot of freshmen had no experience living on their own and were not being successful - the year in the dorm provides some living experience without all the risks of living on their own.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 08, 2016, 09:03:51 PM
For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

The vast majority of colleges now require at freshman to live in dorms as a condition of enrollment, so your co-workers may be correct.

Generally not when they live in town.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 09, 2016, 09:31:25 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. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 09, 2016, 09:37:58 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. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.

It's being done for the same reasons that students are being forced to take 100-level courses to essentially repeat high school during their freshman year. Basically it boils down to: "chuh-CHINGGG!"

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I personally think that people who want to manage resorts should go into resort management as a career choice, and stay out of education.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: yuka on August 09, 2016, 10:43:31 AM

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I

I consider myself pretty amenable to this kind of thinking, but in this case I have to disagree. I think it's the way you attract a bunch of people who are wildly price-insensitive. I graduated from high school in 2011, and I can only remember comparing schools from the perspective of how much they'd cost. I heard far more people bragging about dining halls and dorms and gyms. My school was not a wealthy one; despite having good programs, we were ranked in the bottom 10% of VA high schools because of low test scores (high poverty rate.) So people were paying for their own school mostly without any parent participation.

The buildings are often a problem of donors. You get a lot of wealthy alums who really want to mark their territory, so they say they want a building. Even though the school doesn't need new buildings, the president takes it because it still shows up as them taking in 10's of millions in new donations. Wealthy alums who give money with no strings attached are saints. (source: my parents work in university development.)

My price-sensitive friend went to the Ivy that gave him way more money (his parents were both teachers, but his dad had assets because he just retired.) I was uncomfortable with my grandfather and parents paying for my school like they said they would, so I found a school where I could attend for free.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Drifterrider on August 09, 2016, 10:56:09 AM
I worked my way through college.  So did my parents.  Why have so many people come to believe they have to go deeply in debt?

Average tuition and fees at a four-year, in-state public institution:

1970: $358

2016: $9410

That might have something to do with it. Note that this doesn't include living expenses. Given that a full-time, minimum wage job will gross you $14,500 a year, it's extremely difficult at best to work your way through college in 2016 without someone else paying for part of it. Unless you plan on ignoring your studies and working ridiculously long hours.

If it's an out-of-state public school, multiply by the cost by 2.5, and if it's a private school, multiply by 4 or 5. There is no way an 18-year-old without a ginormous trust fund pays for that herself. You and your parents were a more privileged generation.

Privilege?  Bullshit.  We worked (as in from 7 or 8 years old).  Parents grew up during the depression.  Went to college as adults.  Tuition has risen over time but so have wages. 

There was a one legged tap dancer.  Earned his living that way for a long time.  Moral?

See things happen or make things happen.  your choice.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 09, 2016, 12:41:06 PM
There are alot of opportunities for scholarships and there is always military service. You are enlisted and get the GI Bill or they send you through school and you owe them several year's service as an officer making more $$$.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 09, 2016, 01:04:08 PM

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?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: talltexan on August 09, 2016, 01:45:04 PM
Most modern state institutions only receive 5%-15% of their funding from the state. That decreasing percentage is part of why the "sticker" price has increased so much.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Digital Dogma on August 09, 2016, 02:54:58 PM
"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.

I don't know where you went to school, but when I attended College it was nothing like you describe. I know for a fact that my college education meant that my employer paid me a 30% higher starting salary from day one. As a student I increased my value as a worker, now I can do statistical analysis to turn excessively large quantities of data into something useful, now I can write a simple script or command to complete hours worth of work in seconds, now i can program industrial electrical equipment, etc. down the line till productivity increases where I work.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX on August 10, 2016, 03:45:06 PM

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. Most schools offer at least some faculty assistant jobs especially to seniors, and many cities provide free transit or bus passes.

A person who's taught to work and save at an early age doesn't need to be "privileged", just effective. We all entered the work force at age 14 or 15 at the latest, even if only on an informal cash basis, did we not?

What it's not possible to do is live independently on minimum wage, in your own apartment, possibly with a dependent or two, while putting yourself through school debt-free. The fact that it was briefly a possibility is a very nice thing for the people who were able to profit from it, but that was a flash in the pan historically speaking and we're unlikely to experience anything like it again.

For whatever reason, our cultural expectations have inflated to the point where a behavior that's normal in most other places in the world (living with parents or other relatives while pursuing an education) is treated as a horrible comedown in the United States. Everyone wants to "go away to college", live in a dormitory, and act out all the badly written 1970's comedies about frat life. For whatever reason, that kind of asinine spending is common enough to be considered normal. I'm often disgusted by co-workers who claim that they "have" to rent a dorm room or an apartment for their university-aged child who plans to attend the local state school, in town.

People in information-economy countries have become giant wusses, terrified of even a hint of manual labor.
I wanted to emphasize this because of something that I thought about this summer.

Full disclosure: I went away to college, as did my spouse.  We both went to private universities, predominantly on ROTC and other scholarships.  (His parents paid his room and board, I borrowed for that and had jobs.)

Most people I know went to our local university.  In my rural home area, there a lots of little small towns dotting  the countryside.  The HS I attended was in the "big town" of 6000.  Population 12,000 during the university school year.  It was a well-regarded university locally.

My cousin went there.  Good idea, as she had a baby senior year in HS and needed a way to get through college. (I think she lived with mom and married the guy and he got a job).  She went on to get a PhD at a major state uni in a different state. Her undergrad major was physics (and grad).  The local uni didn't have engineering, for example. She's an example of going to the local college and going on to bigger and better things.

Anyway, they've been tearing down old dorms and putting up new ones...and now have a requirement to live on campus for TWO years.  There are some exemptions for local students who live with their parents but there is a distance requirement.  You live >30 miles away (entirely possible in this rural area) and there is no exemption.  Just crazy.

It's being done for the same reasons that students are being forced to take 100-level courses to essentially repeat high school during their freshman year. Basically it boils down to: "chuh-CHINGGG!"

There are state schools who realize they've got a monopoly and that are therefore determined to gouge as much as they can so that they can have more growth for growth's sake. New buildings, new administrators, new landscaping, and a bunch of frippery that has absolutely nothing to do with education. I personally think that people who want to manage resorts should go into resort management as a career choice, and stay out of education.

"Frippery"?  That's a new word for my vocabulary - can't wait 'till I get a chance to use it!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX on August 10, 2016, 03:45:53 PM
I'm currently working my way through college. It can still be done.

Good for you - best of luck!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: aasdfadsf on August 11, 2016, 12:21:02 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 11, 2016, 07:22:06 AM
Not necessarily. When I worked my way through college I was making $12-$14 per hour. I was mowing grass, odd-jobs (cleaning out basements for example - and reselling what I could) and working at a series of jobs

Once I was a ways into my academic career I had a full time job on campus with benefits including tuition assistance and pension eligible. Later I was already working at an engineering firm (70% of post-graduation salary) before I had graduated. I was a full time student but generally doing the minimum hours to be considered full time.

All that said - you are right - delay graduation too much and you're losing money if you aren't earning 100% of what the market says you are worth in that career track.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 11, 2016, 08:26:50 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: robartsd 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ender 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: MoneyCat 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'!"
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: aasdfadsf 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 (http://www.quickmeme.com/Old-Economy-Steven/page/1/). That shit's irritating.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ketchup 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ender 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 (http://www.quickmeme.com/Old-Economy-Steven/page/1/). 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: joleran 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Pooperman 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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."
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Pooperman 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Pooperman 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Slee_stack 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: aasdfadsf 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: aasdfadsf 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>
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: dpfromva 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 . . .
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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.)

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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?

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.)
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 16, 2016, 10:18:32 AM
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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.

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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Scandium 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
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Slee_stack 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!

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX 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
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: kayvent 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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:


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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ncornilsen 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!

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Magilla 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.

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Gin1984 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.   
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: stoaX 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!
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Magilla 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: yuka 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.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 17, 2016, 11:46:55 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.

Are there enough of those co-ops to go around, such that even the mediocre students get a crack at one? And, of these internships, how many can be leveraged into full-time employment after graduation?

The reason I ask is because there's a difference between what extremely good performers get and what the person who's barely passing can expect. I've known people who make it through fairly difficult programs at prestigious schools. They might finish last in their class, but they don't wash out. But they're completely unable to get employment in their field of study. I mean, at all. No internship paid or otherwise, no articling job if they finish their law degree, no offers after finishing med school and being ready to work as a surgical intern... I mean diddly-ding.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: snacky on August 18, 2016, 12:34:16 AM
A huge number of my classmates during my undergrad, and even more of my colleagues in my master's, were adult students. They, like me, lived with their kids, not their parents. This whole discussion of fresh-out-of-high-school college students is missing a massive number of students.

In Uni I tutored, got summer jobs, took co-op placements... but on a very limited basis. Kids at home, limited daycare hours. I also applied for student loans and maxed out what I could get, because by doing so I made myself eligible for all sorts of student aid. Need-based funds require that you have exhausted all other avenues, and those always include student loans.

I was lucky, or maybe smart -I was able to live on half of the funds they gave me, and sock away the rest. I finished school with tens of thousands in debt and even more in assets. But there is no way I could have made it through school without loans, and I have no regrets in that area.

Since we're talking about fancy schools vs store-brand, I have been busting my ass getting my older son a full ride scholarship at a fancy private school. He's a cheerful, social kid and I'm convinced that he will network the crap out of his rich classmates and end up with some excellent opportunities as a result of his fancypants education. The public school down the street will also educate him, and more conveniently, but there is value in that which society perceives to have value. Isn't that a fundamental principle in economics?

LOL @ just live with your parents! babysit on weekends! - type advice. That might be how life has worked for you, but it isn't the reality of a huge number of people.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: ncornilsen on August 18, 2016, 09:45:28 AM
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.

Are there enough of those co-ops to go around, such that even the mediocre students get a crack at one? And, of these internships, how many can be leveraged into full-time employment after graduation?

The reason I ask is because there's a difference between what extremely good performers get and what the person who's barely passing can expect. I've known people who make it through fairly difficult programs at prestigious schools. They might finish last in their class, but they don't wash out. But they're completely unable to get employment in their field of study. I mean, at all. No internship paid or otherwise, no articling job if they finish their law degree, no offers after finishing med school and being ready to work as a surgical intern... I mean diddly-ding.

Speaking for my experience at Oregon State:
We have a program called MECOP. (Multiple Engineering Co-op program) where interns are given a 6 month rotation at 2 companies their junior and senior years.  about 80% of the engineer students who were still in the program at that point were in that program. A good portion of that remaining 20% found internships elsewhere, outside of the program. In 2008, there were enough internships that only a few individuals didn't get anything. In 2009, it was rougher, but I'll bet 75% of those in MECOP got internships. We were paid $17 to $19 an hour. I ended up hiring on, and still work for, the second company I interned for. (and got enough hours in 2009 for it to count as a year for vesting!)

So, yes, there seemed to be enough to go around, even at OSU, which isn't top 5 but is probably top 20 in the US for engineering.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: a1pharm on August 18, 2016, 10:48:44 AM
There seems to be a delusion that where you go to university matters.  The folks who think it matters are pointing at successful people who went to "good" schools and argue they wouldn't be successful if they didn't go to that school.

Counterpoints include successful people who went to bad schools that found success despite this fact.

I think both arguments, at their core, are discussing correlation vs. causation.  Without adequately powered studies (studies with a large enough sample size), this "debate" cannot be settled.  Confounding variables alone would be terribly difficult for all but the most talented statistician to tease out.  I would have the following advice, gathered from personal experience:

If you are a parent/influencer of a child who is not terribly resourceful or autonomous, but get's good grades/does what they are told, they will likely benefit from going to a "good" school.  This may increase their chances of bumping shoulders with another child who is well connected.  In this scenario, social capital is bought.

If you are a parent/influencer of a child who is very resourceful and/or autonomous, and get's good grades, they probably don't need you telling them what to do.  In this scenario, social capital is built by the child.  These are the children who grow up to be adults whose social capital is tapped by the example above.

If you are a parent/influencer of a child who is not very resourceful/autonomous, and does not have good grades, good luck.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 18, 2016, 11:02:29 AM
A huge number of my classmates during my undergrad, and even more of my colleagues in my master's, were adult students. They, like me, lived with their kids, not their parents. This whole discussion of fresh-out-of-high-school college students is missing a massive number of students.

Most "good" schools do their absolute best to avoid having to accept adult students. Harvard Law, for example, requires full-time study, very seldom approves a part-time schedule, and forbids students to have work outside school. They are financially and organizationally capable of offering a flexible or part time schedule if they chose, but they elect not to. That's an extreme example of course.

Adults who study full-time and who don't have some cooperative means of material support (parent, family, spouse, etc.) generally do have to take out loans to do it. Even part-time study is not always viable especially if a person's juggling work and family, and doing it solo.

I *have* seen some family collaborations involving older parents and siblings. They share an apartment or house and child care duties while one works and the other goes to school. The ones I've seen in action so far have been successful. Collaborations involving romantic partners tend to be less so. Many marriages don't survive the strain.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 18, 2016, 12:14:20 PM
Quote
LOL @ just live with your parents! babysit on weekends! - type advice. That might be how life has worked for you, but it isn't the reality of a huge number of people.

Well, I think one of the points here is...

If you are a top student, and are able to get a serious amount of financial aid to go to a top school (requiring you to borrow less), have at it.  I did that.

If you are a mediocre student, and have to borrow the full amount of a uni education.  STOP.  Don't go to the "best school you can get into".  Because you'll have difficulty paying it back.

A middle class kid who is mediocre, but whose parents can't afford to pay much, might have to borrow 3/4 of the cost of an education.

What if you choose CMU or MIT or Cornell and borrow $45k a year for 3 years, and wash out?  Or graduate with a 2.0 and can't find a job for awhile?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: MrsDinero on August 18, 2016, 12:20:14 PM
Quote
LOL @ just live with your parents! babysit on weekends! - type advice. That might be how life has worked for you, but it isn't the reality of a huge number of people.

Well, I think one of the points here is...

If you are a top student, and are able to get a serious amount of financial aid to go to a top school (requiring you to borrow less), have at it.  I did that.

If you are a mediocre student, and have to borrow the full amount of a uni education.  STOP.  Don't go to the "best school you can get into".  Because you'll have difficulty paying it back.

A middle class kid who is mediocre, but whose parents can't afford to pay much, might have to borrow 3/4 of the cost of an education.

What if you choose CMU or MIT or Cornell and borrow $45k a year for 3 years, and wash out?  Or graduate with a 2.0 and can't find a job for awhile?

The problem most parents/kids have is recognizing when their kid is mediocre, everyone seems to think they have a special snowflake.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: a1pharm on August 18, 2016, 12:25:16 PM
LOL @ just live with your parents! babysit on weekends! - type advice. That might be how life has worked for you, but it isn't the reality of a huge number of people.

And this is why that same huge number of people are whining about their huge student loan debt.  By the time the whining starts, the damage has already been done and a complainypants is born.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Jrr85 on August 18, 2016, 01:19:36 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.

The cost of attendance is often artificially inflated by schools so that their students can qualify for more loans. 

If people from the 1980's are actually complaining that kids aren't making enough to live off campus and attend a four year university, then yes, they're a little delusional.  But what I hear people saying is don't take on a bunch of debt to graduate from undergrad, which is eminently doable for most people and the right choice for most people.  I'm sure there are some states that are exceptions, but I think most people could easily cash flow a two year degree.  Leaving basically two year to take out loans for.  Even if they want to do a four year university, most states have an option for tuition of somewhere between $5k and $10k a year.  Take out a loan for all your tuition and then work to cover living expenses and books and you're talking about $20k to $40k in debt total. 

Most people with a real problem with student loan debt got into that position by making spectacularly bad decisions (like say paying for four years of private school tuition and living expenses with debt to get a non-marketable degree or going to expensive schools and dropping out all together).  Doesn't mean they don't deserve sympathy (we really shouldn't let 18 year old take out tens of thousands of non-dischargeable debts and a lot of the drop outs with student loan debt are people that were never qualified for college to begin with and were taken advantage of by schools that saw them as a revenue source) and doesn't mean that maybe there shouldn't be a program to help them.  And it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to move away from credentialism and stop artificially inflating the cost of college with guaranteed loans. 

But people should stop with the woe is my generation, it's impossible to graduate without debt crap.  For the vast majority of people that are qualified for college, they can easily get a marketable degree (nursing, engineering, accounting, finance, business, etc) while taking out less than the amount of debt that would be associated with a new car. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 19, 2016, 07:07:48 AM
Quote
LOL @ just live with your parents! babysit on weekends! - type advice. That might be how life has worked for you, but it isn't the reality of a huge number of people.

Well, I think one of the points here is...

If you are a top student, and are able to get a serious amount of financial aid to go to a top school (requiring you to borrow less), have at it.  I did that.

If you are a mediocre student, and have to borrow the full amount of a uni education.  STOP.  Don't go to the "best school you can get into".  Because you'll have difficulty paying it back.

A middle class kid who is mediocre, but whose parents can't afford to pay much, might have to borrow 3/4 of the cost of an education.

What if you choose CMU or MIT or Cornell and borrow $45k a year for 3 years, and wash out?  Or graduate with a 2.0 and can't find a job for awhile?

The problem most parents/kids have is recognizing when their kid is mediocre, everyone seems to think they have a special snowflake.

I agree with both of these points.  People need to take a hard look at what is realistic for their child.  My sister is a special education teacher and has to deal with parents of high school seniors that can't read at a 9th grade level thinking their kids are going to law school.  I'm not saying that kid shouldn't go to some sort of higher education if that's what they want, but the best path would probably be a community college to see if they can handle the coursework before shoving them towards an expensive university and the associated debt when there is a high probability of washing out.

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 19, 2016, 07:46:13 AM
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.

The cost of attendance is often artificially inflated by schools so that their students can qualify for more loans. 

If people from the 1980's are actually complaining that kids aren't making enough to live off campus and attend a four year university, then yes, they're a little delusional.  But what I hear people saying is don't take on a bunch of debt to graduate from undergrad, which is eminently doable for most people and the right choice for most people.  I'm sure there are some states that are exceptions, but I think most people could easily cash flow a two year degree.  Leaving basically two year to take out loans for.  Even if they want to do a four year university, most states have an option for tuition of somewhere between $5k and $10k a year.  Take out a loan for all your tuition and then work to cover living expenses and books and you're talking about $20k to $40k in debt total. 

Most people with a real problem with student loan debt got into that position by making spectacularly bad decisions (like say paying for four years of private school tuition and living expenses with debt to get a non-marketable degree or going to expensive schools and dropping out all together).  Doesn't mean they don't deserve sympathy (we really shouldn't let 18 year old take out tens of thousands of non-dischargeable debts and a lot of the drop outs with student loan debt are people that were never qualified for college to begin with and were taken advantage of by schools that saw them as a revenue source) and doesn't mean that maybe there shouldn't be a program to help them.  And it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to move away from credentialism and stop artificially inflating the cost of college with guaranteed loans. 

But people should stop with the woe is my generation, it's impossible to graduate without debt crap.  For the vast majority of people that are qualified for college, they can easily get a marketable degree (nursing, engineering, accounting, finance, business, etc) while taking out less than the amount of debt that would be associated with a new car.

Since it's a Friday at work, I went to my alma mater's website to use their calculator to see what it really costs for a freshman.  I opted out of any optional fees (green fee, legal fee, health insurance, media fee, parking pass, etc.) and picked the lowest cost dorm and meal plan. It comes to $10066.00 a semester.  So with another grand for books and another $375 for a $25/week allowance for fun stuff (pizza and beer, Greek activities, dates, etc.), plus laundry money, etc. you're looking at something like $12K a semester.  There is an on-campus housing requirement for freshmen and sophomores, so that's the minimum you can pay.  I have no doubts the colleges inflate cost of attendance numbers, but I don't think they're doing so by that much.

My comment about 1980s and previous graduates is that a lot post here about how they worked part time and cash flowed their way through college and graduated with little or no debt, and they think the sheltered, spoiled kids entering college should just do the same.  Student loan crisis solved!  I am simply pointing out that it would be extremely difficult for most students to do that given the realities of today.  Culturally, we've pounded the idea that every kid is college material into society's head, and as you point out, a lot make really bad decisions on how to accomplish the goal of attaining a 4 year degree.  If you're one of the unlucky kids who gets kicked out at 18 with no parental support, taking out a loan for all of your expenses and living on campus might be your best option, though.

A lot of people mention the GI bill or ROTC too.  I have great respect for those who serve so I can enjoy the spoils of their sacrifice.  But how appealing has that option been for the last decade, knowing you had a high probability of being shipped off to a war zone upon enlistment or graduation?  If they want to do it for love of country / sense of duty and the educational benefits are secondary, that's one thing.  As a parent I don't think I would ever tell my kid they should voluntarily put themselves in harms way just so they can make college more affordable. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 19, 2016, 09:46:20 AM
Pick the branch of service carefully. The Amry and Marines carry alot more risk. Also, choose your job carefully within the military. You don't have to sign up to see what they offer. I was an engineer (electrician).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 19, 2016, 10:18:07 AM
Quote
Since it's a Friday at work, I went to my alma mater's website to use their calculator to see what it really costs for a freshman.  I opted out of any optional fees (green fee, legal fee, health insurance, media fee, parking pass, etc.) and picked the lowest cost dorm and meal plan. It comes to $10066.00 a semester.  So with another grand for books and another $375 for a $25/week allowance for fun stuff (pizza and beer, Greek activities, dates, etc.), plus laundry money, etc. you're looking at something like $12K a semester.  There is an on-campus housing requirement for freshmen and sophomores, so that's the minimum you can pay.  I have no doubts the colleges inflate cost of attendance numbers, but I don't think they're doing so by that much.

My comment about 1980s and previous graduates is that a lot post here about how they worked part time and cash flowed their way through college and graduated with little or no debt, and they think the sheltered, spoiled kids entering college should just do the same.  Student loan crisis solved!  I am simply pointing out that it would be extremely difficult for most students to do that given the realities of today.  Culturally, we've pounded the idea that every kid is college material into society's head, and as you point out, a lot make really bad decisions on how to accomplish the goal of attaining a 4 year degree.  If you're one of the unlucky kids who gets kicked out at 18 with no parental support, taking out a loan for all of your expenses and living on campus might be your best option, though.

A lot of people mention the GI bill or ROTC too.  I have great respect for those who serve so I can enjoy the spoils of their sacrifice.  But how appealing has that option been for the last decade, knowing you had a high probability of being shipped off to a war zone upon enlistment or graduation?  If they want to do it for love of country / sense of duty and the educational benefits are secondary, that's one thing.  As a parent I don't think I would ever tell my kid they should voluntarily put themselves in harms way just so they can make college more affordable.

Well, my tuition was $12k a year alone, so the cost as a freshman, including room & board, was about $18k.  So an average of $20k a year for 4 years, starting in 1988.  (And my military service was Navy, added benefit of being less dangerous.  Anyway.)

If you get kicked out at 18, I would absolutely NOT recommend taking out loans to live on campus.  I have a friend (a number of years younger than me) who got kicked out at 18 (she was daughter #3 of 3).  She was still a senior in HS!  Ended up living with her sister.  Her mother is not going to win an award for mother of the year.  She worked FT in a grocery store and went to community college.  Switched from art history to chemistry.  Eventually transferred to the local uni and switched to chem eng.  Many kids at 18 are way too young to be taking out those kinds of loans, not knowing if they are even going to finish.

After all of these discussions, and for giggles, I decided to look up meal plan options for both the local university (UC) and CMU.  Goodness gracious.  Full meal plan (19 meals a week) at CMU is over $6000 a year.  More than I spend to feed my family of 4.  Now, it comes down to about $8.57 a meal, which is about right if you are eating every meal out.  I was required to have the full meal plan as a freshman (just roll that back to 1988 dollars, hence the typical cost of $3-4 I'm guessing).  But after that, I cut down to 7-ish meals a week.  The interesting thing is that they have a cheaper "flexible" meal plan where it's not per week - it's a certain amount of cash and then 160 meals for the year...that one comes out to $25 a meal.  You have to be really bad at math to pick that one.

UC isn't any better. It's hard to figure if you live on campus, because it's "rolled into your room rate", but for off campus students it's $9.55 a meal.

I graduated with about $11k debt with ROTC.  $6k for the first year.  I would have been approximately $30-40k in debt had I not joined ROTC.  The typical starting salary for an engineer in my graduating class was about $40k.  I think that's reasonable.  Borrowing approximately 1x of your starting salary is something that can be paid off.

I'd like to add, it wasn't necessarily "typical" to cash flow your way through college.  My classmates included:
- middle class kids with summer jobs
- ROTC kids
- poor kids like me who hustled and worked during the summers and school years (and sometimes did ROTC too)
- financially responsible kids who worked in HS and saved up $16k before they went to college
- rich kids with cars and computers whose parents bankrolled them
- middle class kids whose dads worked at the school so they got free tuition

The majority of students that I attended college with did not have jobs during the school year.  Most of them did some kind of work in the summer.  Heck, my college boyfriend was in ROTC.  His parents paid for his food and gave him a credit card, to be used for only necessities (and he had to justify every charge).  They also paid for 2 classes every summer so that he had a lighter load during the school year.  He graduated without debt.  But his parents were solidly middle class and could afford that.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: robartsd on August 19, 2016, 10:24:17 AM
Since it's a Friday at work, I went to my alma mater's website to use their calculator to see what it really costs for a freshman.  I opted out of any optional fees (green fee, legal fee, health insurance, media fee, parking pass, etc.) and picked the lowest cost dorm and meal plan. It comes to $10066.00 a semester.  So with another grand for books and another $375 for a $25/week allowance for fun stuff (pizza and beer, Greek activities, dates, etc.), plus laundry money, etc. you're looking at something like $12K a semester.  There is an on-campus housing requirement for freshmen and sophomores, so that's the minimum you can pay.  I have no doubts the colleges inflate cost of attendance numbers, but I don't think they're doing so by that much.
Academic year 16/17 tuition and fees at the state university I graduated from is $9,075 (I don't know if a student can opt out of any of these fees). Freshmen are required to live on campus (unless they are: age 21, local, married, independent, or military). The cheapest on-campus housing option (shared bedroom in an apartment - meal plan assumes some cooking for self) is $9,553 (plus $42 if paying as a monthly installment rather than the entire year up-front). I think a frugal student can manage to spend no more than $500/quarter for books and school supplies. $900 provides a $25/week allowance for the academic year. Total: just over $21k /year. This assumes the student does not have a car (local bus is included in campus fees, small town is easy to bike). Living off campus sharing a bedroom in a 2 bedroom apartment could bring costs down to about $18k/year.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 19, 2016, 10:57:20 AM
Pick the branch of service carefully. The Amry and Marines carry alot more risk. Also, choose your job carefully within the military. You don't have to sign up to see what they offer. I was an engineer (electrician).

My homeroom teacher / wrestling coach in junior high used to show us slides from his time in Vietnam every year.  He knew he was going to be drafted, so he chose to enlist so he'd at least have some sort of say on what he'd be doing.  He picked the Air Force, thinking it was the safest and he'd end up with some desk job in Thailand or some other rear area.  He spent the first half of his tour patrolling just outside of the perimeter of an air base in South Vietnam with an M16 looking for anyone trying to sneak up on the base and launch mortar attacks.  He then spent the second half jumping onto the wings of just-landed, taxiing aircraft to pull the remaining bullets out of the still-hot machine guns and cannons so they didn't accidentally go off and kill anyone.  Those stories were enough to deter me from ever considering the military.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 19, 2016, 11:08:49 AM
If you get kicked out at 18, I would absolutely NOT recommend taking out loans to live on campus.

I agree, but it might be the easiest, therefore default, solution to the problem of "where am I going to live?".  No credit / co-signer means you will have a hard time getting a lease anywhere, but the government sure will lend you the money to live on campus.  I am willing to bet the vast majority who are cut off at 18 have had little guidance from their parents as far as healthy financial habits, either.

Obviously the cost of college is a complex issue.  There probably isn't a one size fits all solution that is palatable to the taxpayers voting public.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: a1pharm on August 19, 2016, 11:41:31 AM
Obviously the cost of college is a complex issue. 

I disagree, the cost of college is quite simple, just like the cost of a yacht, Italian sport's car, or vacation home: if you can't afford it, you shouldn't buy it.  My personal rule of thumb: if your expected first year's salary is less than the total cost of education, it will be hard to get started with life.  That means taking out loans for 100k+ to get a degree that does not lead directly to a job is a bad idea.

I would argue that with college now costing so much, it's pretty easy to decide whether or not to go.

As always, throwing your money away without a plan continues to be a bad idea.  College is not the special exception to this rule.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 19, 2016, 12:39:41 PM
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.

Anecdote:  I baby-sat a lot in middle school and high school, then was a nanny during my first summer of college.  I earned enough that I bought myself a $16,000 car in cash (well, a personal check) after my second year of college.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Making Cookies on August 19, 2016, 01:17:05 PM
Pick the branch of service carefully. The Amry and Marines carry alot more risk. Also, choose your job carefully within the military. You don't have to sign up to see what they offer. I was an engineer (electrician).

My homeroom teacher / wrestling coach in junior high used to show us slides from his time in Vietnam every year.  He knew he was going to be drafted, so he chose to enlist so he'd at least have some sort of say on what he'd be doing.  He picked the Air Force, thinking it was the safest and he'd end up with some desk job in Thailand or some other rear area.  He spent the first half of his tour patrolling just outside of the perimeter of an air base in South Vietnam with an M16 looking for anyone trying to sneak up on the base and launch mortar attacks.  He then spent the second half jumping onto the wings of just-landed, taxiing aircraft to pull the remaining bullets out of the still-hot machine guns and cannons so they didn't accidentally go off and kill anyone.  Those stories were enough to deter me from ever considering the military.

I wonder what he was "promised" by the recruiter. My father had an opportunity during the draft years to join the Air Force and spend his time in Germany. He backed away from that. The guys he knew from HS accepted the offer and did in fact end up in Germany and never saw 'Nam.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 19, 2016, 01:46:58 PM
Obviously the cost of college is a complex issue. 

I disagree, the cost of college is quite simple, just like the cost of a yacht, Italian sport's car, or vacation home: if you can't afford it, you shouldn't buy it.  My personal rule of thumb: if your expected first year's salary is less than the total cost of education, it will be hard to get started with life.  That means taking out loans for 100k+ to get a degree that does not lead directly to a job is a bad idea.

I would argue that with college now costing so much, it's pretty easy to decide whether or not to go.

As always, throwing your money away without a plan continues to be a bad idea.  College is not the special exception to this rule.

There are the straightforward "how much can I afford" decisions that are pretty black and white an individual level, and I agree people should consider the ROI before investing in college.  What folks can do to minimize the debt load of obtaining a degree has been talked about throughout this thread.

Perhaps I should have said "the socioeconomic policy related to ensuring a globally competitive populace through post-secondary education" is a complex topic.  The debate on how much, if any, secondary education is made available to those who are academically qualified yet had the misfortune of being born to poor parents is still very much going on.  Should we only give grants to poor people if they get a STEM degree?  Should we not offer federal aid to anyone seeking an education degree or law degree because there are too many teachers and lawyers out there at this moment in time?  Should tuition vary by major at a publicly-subsidized university so whatever majors someone in Washington deems worthy are charged less?  Should society subsidize the education of social workers, artists, etc., since these majors generally get lower paying jobs and will therefore contribute less in taxes later?  Do we focus our higher education dollars on those above a certain IQ and offer vocational training to those below the threshold?  How do we ensure that any policies that are put in place survive the next election cycle so families can plan appropriately for their individual situations? 

Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 19, 2016, 11:22:40 PM
A huge number of my classmates during my undergrad, and even more of my colleagues in my master's, were adult students. They, like me, lived with their kids, not their parents. This whole discussion of fresh-out-of-high-school college students is missing a massive number of students.

Most "good" schools do their absolute best to avoid having to accept adult students. Harvard Law, for example, requires full-time study, very seldom approves a part-time schedule, and forbids students to have work outside school. They are financially and organizationally capable of offering a flexible or part time schedule if they chose, but they elect not to. That's an extreme example of course.

I really don't understand how your Harvard Law example supports your position that "good" schools try to avoid having to accept adult students.  As a threshold matter, law school is a graduate level school, so pretty much every single student is going to be an adult in every sense of the word.  Putting that aside, from the school's own website, 63% of its incoming class graduated college a minimum of 2 years prior, and 12% already hold another advanced degree.  It is extremely common for top law schools to require full-time study and forbid students from having work outside of school.  My top ten law school had those same requirements, and if I recall correctly, the median age of our incoming class when I started was 28 years.  The top law schools also award an incredible amount of scholarships, which helps the students and their families get by during the temporary loss of income.  Now, if you were trying to make the same point for "good" schools at the undergrad college level, then that would be a different story, and I would tend to believe you on that.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: yuka on August 21, 2016, 02:46:01 PM

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.

Are there enough of those co-ops to go around, such that even the mediocre students get a crack at one? And, of these internships, how many can be leveraged into full-time employment after graduation?

The reason I ask is because there's a difference between what extremely good performers get and what the person who's barely passing can expect. I've known people who make it through fairly difficult programs at prestigious schools. They might finish last in their class, but they don't wash out. But they're completely unable to get employment in their field of study. I mean, at all. No internship paid or otherwise, no articling job if they finish their law degree, no offers after finishing med school and being ready to work as a surgical intern... I mean diddly-ding.

Speaking for my experience at Oregon State:
We have a program called MECOP. (Multiple Engineering Co-op program) where interns are given a 6 month rotation at 2 companies their junior and senior years.  about 80% of the engineer students who were still in the program at that point were in that program. A good portion of that remaining 20% found internships elsewhere, outside of the program. In 2008, there were enough internships that only a few individuals didn't get anything. In 2009, it was rougher, but I'll bet 75% of those in MECOP got internships. We were paid $17 to $19 an hour. I ended up hiring on, and still work for, the second company I interned for. (and got enough hours in 2009 for it to count as a year for vesting!)

So, yes, there seemed to be enough to go around, even at OSU, which isn't top 5 but is probably top 20 in the US for engineering.

I lack first-hand experience (I, like MM1970, went the route of letting the military pay), but there are some schools that have mandatory co-op for all engineers. I'm inclined to be skeptical of anything with 100% coverage, but some stuff I found online suggests ~80-90% job placement from those internships. The main school I've heard about for that is Georgia Tech. There are also some private engineering schools like WPI, RPI, and RIT that seem to have big co-op programs, and that I would consider accessible from an admissions standpoint.

I confess I don't remember the entire chain of discussion, and why the mediocre students are coming up. But, some of these schools seem to be set up so you have good job prospects unless you stand out as particularly bad.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs
http://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/co-op-programs/
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 22, 2016, 09:54:57 AM
I confess I don't have first-hand experience (I, like MM1970, went the route of letting the military pay), but there are some schools that have mandatory co-op for all engineers. I'm inclined to be skeptical of anything with 100% coverage, but some stuff I found online suggests ~80-90% job placement from those internships. The main school I've heard about for that is Georgia Tech. There are also some private engineering schools like WPI, RPI, and RIT that seem to have big co-op programs, and that I would consider accessible from an admissions standpoint.

I hire my co-ops out of a regional university's engineering program.  Engineering degrees there are 5 year programs with 3 required semesters of co-op experience to graduate.  Part of the program is a professional development class to learn how to write resumes, interview, etc.  They have an excellent co-op department that helps connect students with employers around the region.  If a student can't get hired (and they legitimately tried) by an outside organization, they do offer some on-campus options so the student can graduate.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Jrr85 on August 22, 2016, 10:46:53 AM
Since it's a Friday at work, I went to my alma mater's website to use their calculator to see what it really costs for a freshman.  I opted out of any optional fees (green fee, legal fee, health insurance, media fee, parking pass, etc.) and picked the lowest cost dorm and meal plan. It comes to $10066.00 a semester.  So with another grand for books and another $375 for a $25/week allowance for fun stuff (pizza and beer, Greek activities, dates, etc.), plus laundry money, etc. you're looking at something like $12K a semester.  There is an on-campus housing requirement for freshmen and sophomores, so that's the minimum you can pay.  I have no doubts the colleges inflate cost of attendance numbers, but I don't think they're doing so by that much.
  It's not a lot, but at my alma mater I think they manage to inflate it by probably $1k to $4k per year, but they may be one of the most aggressive, as their cost of living is clearly out of line compared to other schools in similar or slightly higher cost areas.  I was just pointing that out but you're right it's not a huge difference maker.

My comment about 1980s and previous graduates is that a lot post here about how they worked part time and cash flowed their way through college and graduated with little or no debt, and they think the sheltered, spoiled kids entering college should just do the same.  Student loan crisis solved!  I am simply pointing out that it would be extremely difficult for most students to do that given the realities of today.  Culturally, we've pounded the idea that every kid is college material into society's head, and as you point out, a lot make really bad decisions on how to accomplish the goal of attaining a 4 year degree.  If you're one of the unlucky kids who gets kicked out at 18 with no parental support, taking out a loan for all of your expenses and living on campus might be your best option, though.


I agree that for people that graduated and cash flowed their way through college a few decades ago acting like current students face the same situation are ill informed and unjustly smug.  But at the same time, we don't really have a student loan crisis.  There is way more student loan debt than there should be and a ton of it represents wasted resources that didn't result in any increase in human capital, but most people still graduate college with very manageable amounts of debt and the total student loan debt, while a drag on the economy and representative of terrible policy choices, is not a crisis.  There are lots of individuals with a student loan crisis, the vast majority of them being people who took out lots of debt to get either a non-marketable degree or to not get a degree at all, and pretty much 100% of them took out way more debt than they needed to because they didn't choose or didn't know about lower cost options. 

 
A lot of people mention the GI bill or ROTC too.  I have great respect for those who serve so I can enjoy the spoils of their sacrifice.  But how appealing has that option been for the last decade, knowing you had a high probability of being shipped off to a war zone upon enlistment or graduation?  If they want to do it for love of country / sense of duty and the educational benefits are secondary, that's one thing.  As a parent I don't think I would ever tell my kid they should voluntarily put themselves in harms way just so they can make college more affordable.
  Completely agree with this one.  A lot more people should look at GI bill and ROTC, but even ignoring the potential harm, the military is not for everyone and I would guess it's not for most people.  It's not like you can't get a four year degree with pretty minimal debt, so educational benefits of the military are still to me a secondary consideration of whether to go that route, only relevant after determining if the military would be a decent option for an individual to begin with. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 22, 2016, 11:51:09 AM
A huge number of my classmates during my undergrad, and even more of my colleagues in my master's, were adult students. They, like me, lived with their kids, not their parents. This whole discussion of fresh-out-of-high-school college students is missing a massive number of students.

Most "good" schools do their absolute best to avoid having to accept adult students. Harvard Law, for example, requires full-time study, very seldom approves a part-time schedule, and forbids students to have work outside school. They are financially and organizationally capable of offering a flexible or part time schedule if they chose, but they elect not to. That's an extreme example of course.

I really don't understand how your Harvard Law example supports your position that "good" schools try to avoid having to accept adult students.  As a threshold matter, law school is a graduate level school, so pretty much every single student is going to be an adult in every sense of the word.  Putting that aside, from the school's own website, 63% of its incoming class graduated college a minimum of 2 years prior, and 12% already hold another advanced degree.  It is extremely common for top law schools to require full-time study and forbid students from having work outside of school.  My top ten law school had those same requirements, and if I recall correctly, the median age of our incoming class when I started was 28 years.  The top law schools also award an incredible amount of scholarships, which helps the students and their families get by during the temporary loss of income.  Now, if you were trying to make the same point for "good" schools at the undergrad college level, then that would be a different story, and I would tend to believe you on that.

Here are some of the things I've seen happening so far at "good" schools but not community colleges, always at the undergraduate level:

* Few to no evening or Saturday classes are available
* No Sunday classes or lab sections whatsoever
* Refusal to accept transfer credit from other schools even for rudimentary 100-level courses that are glorified repetitions of high school
* Courses can be challenged by a student who already understands the material, but the full tuition fee must still be paid anyway
* No children permitted to live in dormitories
* No child care available on campus for students
* Extending a 4 year program to 5 years or more by larding it up with mandatory fluff and a long string of prerequisites
* No parking on or near campus
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: robartsd on August 22, 2016, 02:03:39 PM
* Few to no evening or Saturday classes are available
* No Sunday classes or lab sections whatsoever
* Refusal to accept transfer credit from other schools even for rudimentary 100-level courses that are glorified repetitions of high school
* Courses can be challenged by a student who already understands the material, but the full tuition fee must still be paid anyway
* No children permitted to live in dormitories
* No child care available on campus for students
* Extending a 4 year program to 5 years or more by larding it up with mandatory fluff and a long string of prerequisites
* No parking on or near campus
State universities are often similar in that it is difficult (or impossible) to complete programs with evening/weekend classes (community colleges tend to excel at serving evening/weekend students). State universities also require full tuition fees to receive credit for challenged courses. College dorms generally don't allow children (community colleges just don't have any dorms).
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Jrr85 on August 23, 2016, 08:10:44 AM
* Few to no evening or Saturday classes are available
* No Sunday classes or lab sections whatsoever
* Refusal to accept transfer credit from other schools even for rudimentary 100-level courses that are glorified repetitions of high school
* Courses can be challenged by a student who already understands the material, but the full tuition fee must still be paid anyway
* No children permitted to live in dormitories
* No child care available on campus for students
* Extending a 4 year program to 5 years or more by larding it up with mandatory fluff and a long string of prerequisites
* No parking on or near campus
State universities are often similar in that it is difficult (or impossible) to complete programs with evening/weekend classes (community colleges tend to excel at serving evening/weekend students). State universities also require full tuition fees to receive credit for challenged courses. College dorms generally don't allow children (community colleges just don't have any dorms).

Not sure how typical this is, but our state universities have satellite campuses that do a much better job of catering to non-traditional students than the main campuses.  You'd think the main campus would have at least comparable offerings as far as night classes go, but they don't.  But I think they actually bus a lot of the professors from the main campus to the satellite campuses, so I guess it makes sense that they only offer them in one place.

Also, our community colleges do have dorms.  Didn't realize that many community colleges don't.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on August 23, 2016, 09:28:06 AM
With nontraditional students there are big logistics barriers to just coming to class. Family and work obligations are real but there are ways to allow flexibility to the student without creating an undue burden for the rest of the class. Here are some more very good options that are also deliberately rejected by "good" schools:

* Correspondence, dial-in, or recorded class sessions (as opposed to mandatory class attendance in person)
* Course sections are recorded electronically and made available to enrolled students who want to review or who have an attendance conflict due to some emergency or due to needing two courses that are only available in one identical time slot
* Absences allowed if student is doing the work (attendance is not part of class grade)
* Online courses that are going to be graded electronically anyway could present all the work at the same time, like an old-fashioned correspondence course, with deadlines expressed in advance so that students can work at their own pace if necessary
* For specific programs, making some effort to synchronize the core classes at the same time of day, possibly even back to back in the same building, so that required classes aren't four hours apart or scheduled in the same time slot. Clearly this won't be possible for elective courses, but if the department requires a specific sequence of prerequisites or multiple prerequisites for the course, why not call dibs on a specific set of time slots for courses that are only available to majors anyway?
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: mm1970 on August 24, 2016, 10:00:55 AM
Quote
I agree that for people that graduated and cash flowed their way through college a few decades ago acting like current students face the same situation are ill informed and unjustly smug.  But at the same time, we don't really have a student loan crisis.  There is way more student loan debt than there should be and a ton of it represents wasted resources that didn't result in any increase in human capital, but most people still graduate college with very manageable amounts of debt and the total student loan debt, while a drag on the economy and representative of terrible policy choices, is not a crisis.  There are lots of individuals with a student loan crisis, the vast majority of them being people who took out lots of debt to get either a non-marketable degree or to not get a degree at all, and pretty much 100% of them took out way more debt than they needed to because they didn't choose or didn't know about lower cost options. 

I disagree that people are ill informed and unjustly smug.

I think what we are recognizing is that things have changed...and in many ways, not for the better.

I bankrolled my way through college with jobs, loans, and scholarships because I had no choice.  Nobody in my family had gone to college before.  I was actively discouraged from going to college by my father "because you should get married and have babies and have an easy life!"  Girls had no business in college.  I realize that I was, at the time, lower class and thus had access to more aid than most (being smart and poor and first gen college = bucks).  Also, I chose a major wisely.  Even so, it was not uncommon for other college students to have jobs during the summer and the school year.  It was expected.

What I see now, with the increase student loans - well, several things:
- more kids go to college, so the potential for disastrous results is higher
- many parents and teachers tell the kids that it's the ticket to a good job, with little to no help/ education on how to pay for it.  Why is this?  Several reasons: 1.  They don't know any better.  The parents themselves did not go to college, in many cases, so they do not know how to navigate the student loan thing.  2.  We've lost the reality of what jobs are there and will the degree even help?  In the 80s, college for anyone who wasn't "upper class" was a means to get a better job.  It wasn't education for education's sake, like it was for the upper classes.  It feels like we've lost that connection now.  People go to college "because you do" and don't think about what type of career that you will end up with.
- costs to live on campus have gone up, and more kids live on campus.  The vast majority of my HS graduating class went to our local university and lived at home.

So the "crisis" to me, is because teens aren't informed about the costs of college, how to keep costs down, and the relationship between loans and starting salary.  (There's a "safe number".)  They don't know if a degree is marketable.  They are starting school too soon in many cases.  And many of them don't work.  Back when college was not as common, people got jobs.  They learned quickly about debt.  They weren't able to get credit cards with large limits.  Now we require a degree to be a receptionist or office manager (a job my non-degreed sister has had for over 30 years), but we haven't made the segue to "okay, if this is the job you expect to have, this is the pay, and this is how you get the degree in a way that you can pay off the loans".
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: nobody123 on August 24, 2016, 10:54:44 AM
So the "crisis" to me, is because teens aren't informed about the costs of college, how to keep costs down, and the relationship between loans and starting salary.  (There's a "safe number".)  They don't know if a degree is marketable.  They are starting school too soon in many cases.  And many of them don't work.  Back when college was not as common, people got jobs.  They learned quickly about debt.  They weren't able to get credit cards with large limits.  Now we require a degree to be a receptionist or office manager (a job my non-degreed sister has had for over 30 years), but we haven't made the segue to "okay, if this is the job you expect to have, this is the pay, and this is how you get the degree in a way that you can pay off the loans".

I agree with the above.  I'd also add that as globalization increases and technology advances, economic and industry trends evolve much quicker than a student can adjust to.  A hot industry that requires a degree in X might be unattractive or obsolete 2 years into a 4 year degree.  Then the student has to either finish on time and have a harder time finding employment, or extends their time in school because of a change in major and racks up more debt.  That scenario can affect even the most prepared, knowledgeable student.  Even if they graduate according to plan in a red-hot field, they are still competing with folks from all around the world for that position in a lot of cases, or have to relocate across the country for a job. 
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: joleran on August 25, 2016, 08:00:16 AM
There seems to be a delusion that where you go to university matters.  The folks who think it matters are pointing at successful people who went to "good" schools and argue they wouldn't be successful if they didn't go to that school.

As someone who hires people, I can tell you that someone with MIT on their resume gets a bit more leeway and automatic credence than someone from the University of Phoenix, even when interviewing senior candidates.  I know you feel really strongly about this, but you are simply fooling yourself, if not about the quality of the education then certainly about human nature.
Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: Jrr85 on August 25, 2016, 08:25:29 AM
There seems to be a delusion that where you go to university matters.  The folks who think it matters are pointing at successful people who went to "good" schools and argue they wouldn't be successful if they didn't go to that school.

As someone who hires people, I can tell you that someone with MIT on their resume gets a bit more leeway and automatic credence than someone from the University of Phoenix, even when interviewing senior candidates.  I know you feel really strongly about this, but you are simply fooling yourself, if not about the quality of the education then certainly about human nature.

It's rarely a difference between MIT and University of Phoenix.  It's a difference between MIT and a school like Ga Tech, or probably more often, the difference between say Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee.  Or maybe University of Tennessee and Community college for two years and then University of Tennessee.  If you can go to an elite school and you are driven to achieve big things, yes, going to an elite school (meaning truly elite like MIT, not very good schools like Vanderbilt) will open up some doors for you.  But for most people, it's usually going to be better to choose the cheaper option.  An engineering degree from a decent state school is going to get you 95-98% of what you'd get at any other engineering school other than maybe your MIT level schools.
Similarly, if you want to work on Wall street, your ivy league equivalent schools are going to provide you some connections you can't get most places, but for the much more likely route of get a four year degree and get on with a company, you're not going to get a lot of return for going to a good but not elite private school versus an affordable nearby public option.   


Title: Re: Car Loans, Student Loans & Politics
Post by: a1pharm on August 25, 2016, 11:38:54 AM
There seems to be a delusion that where you go to university matters.  The folks who think it matters are pointing at successful people who went to "good" schools and argue they wouldn't be successful if they didn't go to that school.

As someone who hires people, I can tell you that someone with MIT on their resume gets a bit more leeway and automatic credence than someone from the University of Phoenix, even when interviewing senior candidates.  I know you feel really strongly about this, but you are simply fooling yourself, if not about the quality of the education then certainly about human nature.

I try to not let dogmatic beliefs trump evidence.  The delusion I referenced is directly related to how successful companies hire people.  Successful/competent hiring managers understand that they are inept at evaluating individuals for positions that they don't understand.  Some hiring managers use failed logical heuristics to make decisions, often to the detriment of the company.

I don't argue with your assertion that human belief clouds judgement - this is readily apparent when a hiring manager associates an institution on a piece of paper with an individual's competence at work.

Don't take my word for it though, take Google's: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-science-of-smart-hiring/477561/ (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-science-of-smart-hiring/477561/)

Here's some advice for anyone reading this that wants to work for a good company: be the best you can at what you do, this will open up more fulfilling doors for you that focusing on expensive paper.

Bonus advice: if you are precluded from working somewhere because you don't own expensive paper, this is a good thing!  That company is shit and doesn't deserve your talent (it will likely be squandered, along with other resources).