Author Topic: Private University - what a rip off  (Read 15648 times)

No Name Guy

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Private University - what a rip off
« on: July 31, 2014, 11:13:27 PM »
Mind you, I'm not knocking the quality, just the price tag.

I happen to live in Washington, near Seattle, so know the example schools.  Seattle Pacific University is a fine institution.  It's just f**king expensive.  The UW is also f**king expensive as well, hence I wouldn't recommend anyone go there for 4 years if there is a practical way to do otherwise.  It's just less expensive than SPU.  Oh, and it is also an excellent engineering school.

I'm going to use a productive degree, Mechanical Engineering, instead of a "luxury" degree, like art history, for the purposes of this rant, since it plays into the end game of why one should pay to go to school - to get a better job.  I'd suggest that if one wants to broaden their mind, there's no need to pay tens or hundreds of thousands - the library is free and one can buy university level text books if they so desire without paying big bucks in tuition.

4 years at SPU to get said Mechanical Engineering Degree will set you back about $140,000 (multiply the 35k /year 14-15 rate x4)
http://spu.edu/depts/ugadm/applyingtospu/tuition.asp

On the other hand, if one did a much less expensive route to the same degree, the cost savings would be huge.  Let's say 2 years at Seattle Central Community College, followed by a transfer to the University of Washington for 2 years.

Seattle Central will set you back 1.33k / quarter for 15 credits.  Total cost = 1.33k * 3 quarters / year * 2 years = $8,000
http://seattlecentral.edu/tuition/

https://admit.washington.edu/Paying/Cost#freshmen-transfer
The UW will cost 12.4k / year, 2 years about 24.8k

Total Cost:  8,000 + 24,800 = $32,800

So, there it is:  140k versus about 33k.  Private is about 4 1/4 times the price.

Note:  Comparison only made on tuition as books, fees and living expenses are likely to be similar between these two tracks.  Also, for a local, they'll live at home and bus commute to / from campus instead of getting ripped off by the shitty and over priced dorms at either location, if they're smart.

Oh, and a certain large aerospace company that has the bulk of its operations in the greater Seattle area (which happens to hire a lot from these two graduate pools) isn't going to care if you got your ME degree from SPU or the UW.  You, as a new employee however, will, as you'll be able to pay your ENTIRE tuition bill in your first year of employment, and still have a substantial fraction of your first year's pay to live on, if you did the CC / UW route.  The SPU person on the other hand, will be dedicating every dime they earn after taxes for the first 2+ years of employment.....never mind what they live on during this time.

So, why would one choose to spend 4 1/4 times as much, to get the same level of employability?

sol

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 11:24:57 PM »
I went to one of the most expensive private schools in the country.  Total cost almost $200k, and that was back in the 90s.

My total debt upon graduation was six thousand dollars.  I wrote them a check the day I moved out, using money I earned from a campus job. 

Merit scholarships are widely available and very underutilized.  College is only expensive for people who aren't very bright, or are reaching for schools they probably don't belong at.  Our nations top students all go to college for free, and our top 25% could go for free if they lowered their sights a little.  Given the state of education in the US today, being in the top 25% should be a very achievable goal for a motivated individual with a stable home life and no addictions. 

Yes, I'm saving money to put my kids through college.  I'm also hoping they don't need it, and I can give them that money for some other purpose.

neighbor

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 03:23:40 AM »
sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days. Back in the stone ages, when I went to college there were books to be had (at the public library?) that compiled information based on criteria like location, membership, activities, etc. I've got nearing-college-age kids and I guess google is our friend but is there a more concise and streamlined way to find funding for undergrads?

Scubatoad

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 04:34:40 AM »
I only applied to a couple schools.  SPU was one of them.  I ended up attending another private school over in Eastern Washington that ended up being more expensive.

Fortunately, I had a full-ride scholarship.  I would not have chosen to attend either school without it.  I would have done the 2 years at a local community college and then last 2 years at a local university. 

A couple things to think about.  The school I attended was over 160K for 4 years with room and board.  However, everyone that gets in receives some sort of scholarship.  The most I ever heard of anyone taking loans was around 100K - and most were closer to 60k.

The dorms are way overpriced - but it is a FANTASTIC way to meet people and transition out of living with your parents.  4 years later and almost all of my long-term established relationships came from the Dorms.

As for education - I cannot speak for the large public universities, most of my class sizes were around 15.  Except for a few large lecture classes that everyone attending the school had to take.  It took until my senior year to utilize the close proximity I had with my professors.  But a small class size really means that you can ask questions and meet professors for coffee to squeeze even more learning out of your dollars spent.

One last note - my wife did the 2 year community college and then transferred to my school for the last 2 years.  Its very hard to tell the difference from an employer's stand point but can save you some cash.  She also had a ton of scholarships - a lot that just got handed to her - and ended up with only about 17K in loans after 2 full years.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 04:36:13 AM by Scubatoad »

usmarine1975

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 06:53:16 AM »
I went to a private school.  It didn't cost me near what it cost others to go to the same school.  They gave me a lot of credits for my military service, I had help from the GI bill but honestly it only covered my books.  I got State and local grants and I got the residents rate because I lived in that town.  For me it was a great option. 

My wife also want to a private school and was given a 50% off grant because of her GPA in high school.  I know others that spent a lot more then she did at the same school.  Taking the time to plan your courses accordingly can make a big difference in what you spend to go to college.  Community college's can help lower your cost as well.  Granted you need to be sure the credits will transfer and that it makes sense. 

My cost for an Associates and a Bachelors degree at a private college was just over 25k not counting the interest I am paying on the school loans.

Elyse

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 08:56:22 AM »
While I agree with the sentiment and general numbers, from personal experience working with students I will say that going to community college then a four-year institution is not as easy or cheap as it sounds.

Half the time, they change the class requirements.  Half your CC credits just made useless.  Or they claim they can't find your grades (despite sending to them three times). 

Then you start dealing with the GPA rules.  You have to keep the GPA separate between CC and 4-year.  So, you move to a bigger school, deal with lifestyle changes, take harder classes, typically get graded harder by the professors, and your fluff classes can't help boost your GPA.  Most transfers lie and average the GPA scores together in order to look more appealing to employers.

Going to CC then 4-year is the best financial option if you don't have scholarships.  But it comes with its own headaches.  Just be prepared for the fight when you go that route. 

usmarine1975

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 09:18:36 AM »
I didn't use the community college because I didn't need to.  I did the adult education program as well.  Worked during the day intensive classes at night.  Didn't pay for student housing etc...  Also I was older so my Parents financial situation did not play into the aid that I could get. 

I only mentioned the community college because I have heard of many who have made it work for them.  I would agree you need to make sure the credits transfer and do your due diligence and be involved in the decision making process of your education.  My wife created her own program because the school had cancelled their International Business program.  I didn't even know you could do this but she created her own Business program with an International concentration.  Has worked out well for her.

suburbanmom

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 09:29:48 AM »
Yes, the community college route can cause some issues. I got my associates in accounting and then planned to transfer to a state school in the same town, but despite a lot of promotion from both places encouraging this, the state school would only accept about 15 credits! I found another school that accepted all but 3 of my credits and transferred there instead. I also took a year off between my associates and bachelors degree to work and save some money so that I could graduate debt free. It ended up working just fine, but you do have to be very careful with community colleges making sure that everything you do transfers to your school of choice!

Dalmuti

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 09:39:00 AM »
sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days. Back in the stone ages, when I went to college there were books to be had (at the public library?) that compiled information based on criteria like location, membership, activities, etc. I've got nearing-college-age kids and I guess google is our friend but is there a more concise and streamlined way to find funding for undergrads?

     Long-time lurker, but I made an account because I finally found a thread where I feel like I have some contributions to make.  I started college in 2001, so while I'm sure things have changed some since then, it was at least during the time that the internet was the preferred way to research colleges.  My experience was that there were "criteria-based" scholarships like the ones you remember, but most of them were $500-1000 and were often one-time awards rather than for every year of college.  Definitely nothing to sneeze at, and someone can certainly cobble together some savings from them, but the big "full-ride" scholarships (that I suspect are the bulk of what sol is talking about) are given by the schools themselves and are usually listed on the school's website.  I wanted to major in Chemistry and had good enough stats to get in to the Harvards and MITs of the world, but when I looked on their websites, the scholarships were all need-based rather than merit-based.  I wouldn't call myself Mustachian at the time, but I at least valued money enough to know that I didn't want to go into huge debt to get a degree from a very prestigious place, when I could get one from a quite prestigious place for free.  So I limited my search to schools that offered "full-ride" merit-based scholarships, and there were plenty that offered them and had good programs.    I ended up applying to 4 schools (2 public in-state, 1 public out-of-state, 1 private), getting the full-rides to two, and attending the out-of-state one.  It helped that my degree had good programs at lots of places, I'm sure it would be tougher if your kid wants to major in Mines and Minerals Engineering or double in Entemology/Forensics.   

       Overall, my experiences confirm what sol is saying.  College can be free if you make that the goal instead of aiming for the top place that you can get into.  When my brothers and I were in high school, my parents philosophy was that we shouldn't be trying to get in to X college, we should be trying get college paid for.  Three of the four of us got degrees without them paying a cent (the other did community college with their help and later finished up online) and all of us with zero debt.  One went to a military academy and one "lowered his sights" (as sol put it) and went to an in-state public university that wasn't one of the top 2 or 3 well-known one's in the state.  Of course, he now makes more than any of us, so I think he would say the education prepared him just fine.  In fact, my major beef with some of the private colleges is that no one has heard of many but the very top outside the immediate area.  If you go to Yale or Duke then the degree travels well, but a hiring manager in Dallas may not know how prestigious your $45k Bucknell education is, so you may do just as well or better with a degree from Penn State.   

No Name Guy

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 11:20:35 AM »
While I agree with the sentiment and general numbers, from personal experience working with students I will say that going to community college then a four-year institution is not as easy or cheap as it sounds.

Half the time, they change the class requirements.  Half your CC credits just made useless.  Or they claim they can't find your grades (despite sending to them three times). 

Then you start dealing with the GPA rules.  You have to keep the GPA separate between CC and 4-year.  So, you move to a bigger school, deal with lifestyle changes, take harder classes, typically get graded harder by the professors, and your fluff classes can't help boost your GPA.  Most transfers lie and average the GPA scores together in order to look more appealing to employers.

Going to CC then 4-year is the best financial option if you don't have scholarships.  But it comes with its own headaches.  Just be prepared for the fight when you go that route. 

I'll grant my experience in knowing folks who did the transfer thing is WAY out of date, so factor for that.  In my engineering program, about 1/3 of the students were CC transfers.  The lower division classes that matter (e.g. calculus, physics, etc) are the same, CC versus Major University - they HAVE to be (e.g. first quarter calculus is the same material, no matter if it's Seattle Central CC or the University of Washington).  When we graduated a couple years later, you couldn't tell the CC transfers from those that did all 4 years at the major university, from the performance distribution.  The CC transfers were sprinkled along the spectrum, as were the 4 year folks, from those that just managed to scrape by to the top performers.  In re the credit transfers - that's just being smart about it and only taking transferrable courses.  In my experience, MOST credits for an engineering degree are 'required' in some manner, so those are easy (calc is calc, as is physics, thermo, etc).  And quite frankly, even if some credits don't transfer, at 1.3k / 15 credits at the CC, wasting a few isn't a huge calamity like spending $777 / credit (15 quarter, 3 quarters / year) at SPU.

Sol - great that you had nearly a free ride.  None of my family ever qualified (4 in the last 20-ish years) - we were all in that "top 25%", usually top 10% based on high school grades and SAT's, but never in that top 1 to 5% to get the academic ride, were too "rich" (read too middle class) to qualify for need based, and not of the right criteria for all the other scholarships.

I agree totally with you Sol (and Dalmuti) that with an adjustment of view, the cost of college can be brought down to very reasonable to practically nothing.  That's part of my post / rant reasoning - lots of people lock in on a particular school and "must" go there, costs or payoff be damned - often times to an out of state, where they're paying additional ridiculous costs for dorms and crappy meal plans.  Dalmuti - nice you had a family member do the Academy.  There's also the GI Bill as well.

Part of what inspired this post is the poor lady suckered into over a 100k of debt for a (useless degree IMO, since she's a flipping photographer, which one can learn without going 100k in debt) "interdisciplinary degree in religious and women’s studies"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/your-money/student-loans/29money.html?_r=2&http://&amp

The money quote that really pissed me off and was part of the inspiration for the OP:
Quote
“So why didn’t N.Y.U. tell Ms. Munna that she simply did not belong there once she’d passed, say, $60,000 in total debt? ”

“That’s not a role that the university wants to take on, though. “I think that would be completely inappropriate,” said Randall Deike, the vice president of enrollment management for N.Y.U., who oversees admissions and financial aid. “Some families will do whatever it takes for their son or daughter to be not just at N.Y.U., but any first-choice college. I’m not sure that’s always the best decision, but it’s one that they really have to make themselves.”

Absolutely disgusting, that NYU would exploit this lady to line their own pockets, in spite of them being "non profit".

sol

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 11:29:28 AM »
sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days.

I agree with the above poster who said the small criteria scholarships you apply for generally don't amount to enough.  The big money comes from the schools or from state programs.

For example, I was awarded about 15k in small private scholarships from places like national merit, parent's employer, the elks, etc.  But WA state awarded full rides to the best students from each high school if they stayed in state for college.  So did my city.  So does the military.  Most of the big grants came from things I was nominated for, rather than things I applied for.  I turned them all down to go to somewhere else, and the school picked up the tab through a combination of merit and need based awards.

In my case the secret was being visible and popular with the teachers and admin staff who did the nominating.  And crushing all the standardized tests, that automatically puts you on all kinds of national lists. One friend of mine, as a high school aged math wiz, had his entire education paid for by the NSA on the condition that he agree to work for them after graduation.  If you're smart enough, people will try to give you money.

Gin1984

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 01:59:06 PM »
I went to one of the most expensive private schools in the country.  Total cost almost $200k, and that was back in the 90s.

My total debt upon graduation was six thousand dollars.  I wrote them a check the day I moved out, using money I earned from a campus job. 

Merit scholarships are widely available and very underutilized.  College is only expensive for people who aren't very bright, or are reaching for schools they probably don't belong at.  Our nations top students all go to college for free, and our top 25% could go for free if they lowered their sights a little.  Given the state of education in the US today, being in the top 25% should be a very achievable goal for a motivated individual with a stable home life and no addictions. 

Yes, I'm saving money to put my kids through college.  I'm also hoping they don't need it, and I can give them that money for some other purpose.
Or people who go to state schools (which are getting more expensive) where merit is not funded or people with shitty parents who refuse to fill out the FAFSA.

Philociraptor

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 02:39:13 PM »
Went to a school in Massachusetts with the word "Technology" in its name, left with $100k in school loans (1/4 Unsub Stafford, the rest Unsub PLUS).  Was a combination of getting very little need-based aid (parents grossed a lot but had a ton of consumer debt and didn't save for my college) and not having any role models in my family to show me how scholarships can pay the way.  Paying for it now.  Live and learn!

Elyse

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 03:50:38 PM »
I'll grant my experience in knowing folks who did the transfer thing is WAY out of date, so factor for that.  In my engineering program, about 1/3 of the students were CC transfers.  The lower division classes that matter (e.g. calculus, physics, etc) are the same, CC versus Major University - they HAVE to be (e.g. first quarter calculus is the same material, no matter if it's Seattle Central CC or the University of Washington).  When we graduated a couple years later, you couldn't tell the CC transfers from those that did all 4 years at the major university, from the performance distribution.  The CC transfers were sprinkled along the spectrum, as were the 4 year folks, from those that just managed to scrape by to the top performers.  In re the credit transfers - that's just being smart about it and only taking transferrable courses.  In my experience, MOST credits for an engineering degree are 'required' in some manner, so those are easy (calc is calc, as is physics, thermo, etc).  And quite frankly, even if some credits don't transfer, at 1.3k / 15 credits at the CC, wasting a few isn't a huge calamity like spending $777 / credit (15 quarter, 3 quarters / year) at SPU.

I also did engineering.  The problem I saw with my classmates and people I tutored was that the school said "if you take physics, we will accept it" and then not accept it for some ridiculous made up reason once you got there.

One friend of mine had to retake almost every class because the class description didn't say "circuits" in it.  They covered circuits in the class, but the description didn't mention that word in particular.  Every class before them had that credit accepted, and they all did fine transferring both in school and in grades.  The class had prepared them appropriately.  But they decided to stop honoring that credit. 

And which ones they would decide to no longer take would change from year to year.  So you couldn't take the promise that it would be accepted two years from now.  You had to jump and hope your net was still there when you landed.

I went to UT - Knoxville.  We called it "The Big Orange Screw".

Our physics class had guidelines to follow and specific topics to discuss, but one school would approach it differently than another school.

My point was that you couldn't research what classes would be accepted, because what was acceptable would change frequently.  It really screwed over a lot of the CC transfers.

Apples

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2014, 11:01:30 AM »
On scholarships-the big ones come from big entities.  Over half of my education was paid for by the school I attended (an out-of-state public school, and I got an agriculture degree).  And it wasn't one big scholarship; it was a patchwork of scholarships offered from the Honors College for SAT/ACT score, National Merit Scholarship, the Ag Dept., and then even one meant for the top student in the department who didn't already receive a large scholarship from the school.  I was also given a job with a professor the first two years and a stipend by two different scholarships, so I made several thousand my first year without actually working b/c the prof didn't give me anything to do.  I earned a national merit school-based scholarship, which ended up being larger than what I could have gotten as a "true" national merit winner.  So, large amounts of money from large institutions.  I tell my younger brothers' friends to apply everywhere and pick a few lower-level schools where they might be big fish in small ponds.

I also earned a scholarship from a local billionaire that gives a defined number of scholarships to students from a short list of rural public schools to help get more of the population  into higher tier schools.  It's had a huge impact.  But YMMV on finding local billionaires giving out scholarships.  That covered about 1/4 of my school costs.  All added together, I made about $3,000/year plus $4,000 in stipends. And as a small note-my parents own a farm and their cash flow each year is ridiculously high-I did not qualify for any financial aid whatsoever, to the point that we didn't fill out the FAFSA in later years. So it all was merit based.

viper155

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2014, 08:01:02 AM »
sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days. Back in the stone ages, when I went to college there were books to be had (at the public library?) that compiled information based on criteria like location, membership, activities, etc. I've got nearing-college-age kids and I guess google is our friend but is there a more concise and streamlined way to find funding for undergrads?

The best ways to get scholarships these days are...

1. Good academics
2. Athletics
3. Be anything other than a healthy, heterosexual, garden variety, white male.

Bob W

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2014, 09:42:29 PM »
Went to private school.  The beer is better there.

former player

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2014, 05:23:47 AM »
The best ways to get scholarships these days are...

1. Good academics
2. Athletics
3. Be anything other than a healthy, heterosexual, garden variety, white male.
No.3 sounds a bit complainypants to me (those sad, discriminated against, healthy, heterosexual middle-class white men).

rosaz

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2014, 11:19:04 AM »
The best ways to get scholarships these days are...

1. Good academics
2. Athletics
3. Be anything other than a healthy, heterosexual, garden variety, white male.

Regarding #3 - could be worse. Try being an Asian or a female applying for any non-engineering degree :) And if you're both and from the Northeast, you're totally screwed. (I'm white, but still a bit irritated that my PSAT scores would have qualified me for a National Merit scholarship in most other states, but not Mass.)

And regarding the Community College and then transfer idea, I think it can work great, but will really depend on the schools in question. My Mech Eng friend went that route, but our local CC's don't actually have engineering courses - so he could take the math, physics, etc., but if your 4-year school requires four years of progressive (so you can't take them overlapping) engineering practicums (some do), you might not be able to finish in 4.

vivophoenix

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2014, 11:34:16 AM »
as far as #3 and the lack of money for white, straight men, and Asian women of any sexuality .


  so you didn't qualify for the two diversity scholarships that were offered at the  PWI( predominantly white institution) school offered you selected.

 im sorry your selection so was limited. but luckily you still have the option of: merit/athletic/hobby-oriented/volunteer/military/legacy/sibling/essay-contest/financial-based/religious-based/department/major/because no one else applied for this pot of money scholarship.


oh and if it chaffs that much that you didnt get the diversity money you could always select a HBCU(a historically black college or university), then you would get the race-based money, you crave so much.

now everyone wins.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 11:39:32 AM by vivophoenix »

vivophoenix

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2014, 11:47:53 AM »
but back on topic i don't think social acceptance/general knowledge has caught up to this point.

when i first went to school the only thing i knew was that i needed a college education to do anything. 2 year programs were for single moms and people whose grades weren't good enough for a four year school.

though you do have to be careful with the transfer route. a lot of schools only accept a certain amount of credits from another school. which honestly makes sense to me.

if you want your degree to say you went to x school, you cant predominately take your classes at y school.

i attended a private institution, and i do not regret it. i regret not getting more merit scholarships and i regret the private loans when i later realize i should have qualified for more federal.

but then again i choose a major in which i make almost double the average median family income. and i live in an area in which although the cost of living is high,  i get paid commensurately.

 i think there is an argument to be made for proper major selection.

if you are getting a degree in anything but a science/math, should it be a four year degree?

Chranstronaut

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2014, 12:05:45 PM »
...
Going to CC then 4-year is the best financial option if you don't have scholarships.  But it comes with its own headaches.  Just be prepared for the fight when you go that route. 

I'll grant my experience in knowing folks who did the transfer thing is WAY out of date, so factor for that.  In my engineering program, about 1/3 of the students were CC transfers.  The lower division classes that matter (e.g. calculus, physics, etc) are the same, CC versus Major University - they HAVE to be (e.g. first quarter calculus is the same material, no matter if it's Seattle Central CC or the University of Washington).  When we graduated a couple years later, you couldn't tell the CC transfers from those that did all 4 years at the major university, from the performance distribution. 

I agree with your perspective and my experience is not out of date.  I would guess 1/4 to 1/3 of people in my engineering graduating class were transfers or GI Bill students (and very often, both).  UW College of Engineering seems particularly well organized and coordinated with the CCs in the area and I haven't heard any horror stories about credit issues.  At most I've heard of someone having to take a summer class or two at UW between Sophmore and Junior year while transferring.  I've heard a rumor that UW advises the CCs on their courses to make sure they will mesh with department curricula.

If I could do it all again, I would do the CC-transfer to UW option.  But I was an out-of-state student and didn't know that it was so well organized (and that no one cares if you are a few years older than your classmates).  Even with 25k in merit scholarships, a 529 from my parents and about 15k in other family money, I still ended up with over 20k in student loans.  Debt free as of this spring, though.  I count it as my "conformity tax" for not looking for a better solution than what everyone else was doing ;)

Chranstronaut

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2014, 12:18:08 PM »
Also: holy shit!  UW tuition is now 33k a year for out-of-state?  I would pay nearly 40% more for college now than I did just between 2008 and 2012.  What!?!

gimp

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2014, 01:39:31 PM »
Community college for engineering is rarely a good choice. Unless the college/university you choose is a complete joke, or you find the best community college in the US, the rigor of the coursework will be so different that you will be very far behind and trying to catch up.

That just for one year. Two - forget about it. By the end of my second year, I had credit for: calc 1-2-3, linear algebra, differential equations, discrete math, physics 1-2, chem, digital logic, circuits, computer architecture, programming (intro, basics, more basics, and databases), linear systems, and electronics. Not to mention a number of required courses that were either non-major or at least not very relevant. You would be hard-pressed to even find courses with similar titles at a community college, let alone ones that similarly prepare you for further education in the field.

I do know people who transferred in after one year and they had a fairly difficult time catching up, both academically and socially (you pretty much need a core group of friends for a lot of the work down the road), but they managed. I've never known anyone to even be accepted after the second year, probably exactly for these reasons. Mind you, my school was _very_ friendly to local students, often accepting those with few qualifications and little hope of success, so it's not snobbishness.

vivophoenix

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2014, 01:42:58 PM »
Community college for engineering is rarely a good choice. Unless the college/university you choose is a complete joke, or you find the best community college in the US, the rigor of the coursework will be so different that you will be very far behind and trying to catch up.

That just for one year. Two - forget about it. By the end of my second year, I had credit for: calc 1-2-3, linear algebra, differential equations, discrete math, physics 1-2, chem, digital logic, circuits, computer architecture, programming (intro, basics, more basics, and databases), linear systems, and electronics. Not to mention a number of required courses that were either non-major or at least not very relevant. You would be hard-pressed to even find courses with similar titles at a community college, let alone ones that similarly prepare you for further education in the field.

I do know people who transferred in after one year and they had a fairly difficult time catching up, both academically and socially (you pretty much need a core group of friends for a lot of the work down the road), but they managed. I've never known anyone to even be accepted after the second year, probably exactly for these reasons. Mind you, my school was _very_ friendly to local students, often accepting those with few qualifications and little hope of success, so it's not snobbishness.

this


CommonCents

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2014, 02:20:20 PM »
i attended a private institution, and i do not regret it. i regret not getting more merit scholarships and i regret the private loans when i later realize i should have qualified for more federal.

+1

I also regret that I didn't work on campus for a professor for a term (when I was living in a sorority, so I couldn't be kicked out of college housing), building professional contacts, earning a small pay but no tuition that term.  With my advanced credits from college courses I did in high school, I could have done so.  Of course, I would have had to drop my double major to do that though, so there was a downside.

Bank

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2014, 02:31:17 PM »
I went to a need-blind private college.  It cost less than a public university education and I got a damn fine education as well as a "brand name" which has been helpful from time to time --- although that's not the reason I went there.  And since my family has always been a bit mustachian, I graduated with no debt.

Edited to Clarify:  It cost less than a public university AFTER the need-blind grant aid I qualified for was factored in.  The school actually gave me grants and loans for the entire cost of attending, but my parents and I came up with the few thousand dollars a semester they had allocated to loans.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 02:37:25 PM by Bank »

mulescent

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2014, 02:49:42 PM »
Also: holy shit!  UW tuition is now 33k a year for out-of-state?  I would pay nearly 40% more for college now than I did just between 2008 and 2012.  What!?!

That's what happens when taxpayers refuse to fund public education.  In real dollars, cost per student has not increased at UW.  However, the state has gone from paying over 80% of the bill to less than 30%.

okashira

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2014, 03:35:41 PM »
Community college for engineering is rarely a good choice. Unless the college/university you choose is a complete joke, or you find the best community college in the US, the rigor of the coursework will be so different that you will be very far behind and trying to catch up.

That just for one year. Two - forget about it. By the end of my second year, I had credit for: calc 1-2-3, linear algebra, differential equations, discrete math, physics 1-2, chem, digital logic, circuits, computer architecture, programming (intro, basics, more basics, and databases), linear systems, and electronics. Not to mention a number of required courses that were either non-major or at least not very relevant. You would be hard-pressed to even find courses with similar titles at a community college, let alone ones that similarly prepare you for further education in the field.

I do know people who transferred in after one year and they had a fairly difficult time catching up, both academically and socially (you pretty much need a core group of friends for a lot of the work down the road), but they managed. I've never known anyone to even be accepted after the second year, probably exactly for these reasons. Mind you, my school was _very_ friendly to local students, often accepting those with few qualifications and little hope of success, so it's not snobbishness.

Huh. I did community college to the max (Up to Cal III, physics I/II Chem I/II, and graduated 2nd in class at University (ME).
While I was in CC, tuition was even cheaper then the pell grant.
Graduated with $19000 in debt and wasn't even mustachian.

No Name Guy

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2014, 05:42:09 PM »
Gimp and Vivo:

I have no idea what messed up states you two are in.  Here in Washington, the CC's offer up the EXACT same classes, to the same standards, as the major public (and private) universities. 

A quick search indicates that my example CC, Seattle Central, offers the full Freshman Calculus series, then Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus and Differential Equations.  Hmmm.....sounds exactly like what is required for any engineering discipline at Major Public University just up the street.

Checking their physics offerings....yup, Newtonian, then Electricity and Magnetism, then Oscilliations and Waves.  Hmmmmm.  Exactly what is required for Civil, Mechanical and Aeronautical at major university just up the street.

Checking their lower division Engineering....hmmm....what do you know, one can get EXACTLY what is offered at Major University, and required to apply to the engineering programs there.  Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Mechanics of Materials, Comp Sci / Programming, Circuits.

Checking their chemistry offerings....surprise, surprise....same offerings at a fraction of the price at Major University just up the street.

But yeah, Major U here and the one across the state are jokes, I agree.  Look at the shitty products you fly on, the ones designed and built in Washington, largely by the graduates from said joke schools. 

Yeah, I feel sorry you two are in such messed up state(s).  Which state(s) are they?


jzb11

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2014, 05:46:04 PM »
I went to a private uni. My degree was 70K total, I paid 28K via student loans and cash, the rest was scholarships, grants, etc.

With that said, I could have paid a similar ratio and gotten a degree at a public uni for 25K total (I probably would've paid 8K out of pocket).

It all worked out for me in the end as I landed my internship which landed to my current job via a friend I made in class. But I had i known what the hell I was doing at 18 I would've went to community college and then public university.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2014, 08:07:25 PM »
I went to one of the most expensive private schools in the country.  Total cost almost $200k, and that was back in the 90s.

My total debt upon graduation was six thousand dollars.  I wrote them a check the day I moved out, using money I earned from a campus job. 

Merit scholarships are widely available and very underutilized.  College is only expensive for people who aren't very bright, or are reaching for schools they probably don't belong at.  Our nations top students all go to college for free, and our top 25% could go for free if they lowered their sights a little.  Given the state of education in the US today, being in the top 25% should be a very achievable goal for a motivated individual with a stable home life and no addictions. 

Yes, I'm saving money to put my kids through college.  I'm also hoping they don't need it, and I can give them that money for some other purpose.

That sounds fantastic.  It is very encouraging.  I went to college on a full-tuition academic scholarship myself, but it was disappointing because I got into one of the top schools in the country, but ended up at a third-tier school because of the full scholarship.  In my ideal world, my kids would not have to make that kind of a choice. 

gimp

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2014, 09:50:34 PM »
A quick search indicates that my example CC, Seattle Central, offers the full Freshman Calculus series, then Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus and Differential Equations.  Hmmm.....sounds exactly like what is required for any engineering discipline at Major Public University just up the street.

Checking their physics offerings....yup, Newtonian, then Electricity and Magnetism, then Oscilliations and Waves.  Hmmmmm.  Exactly what is required for Civil, Mechanical and Aeronautical at major university just up the street.

Checking their lower division Engineering....hmmm....what do you know, one can get EXACTLY what is offered at Major University, and required to apply to the engineering programs there.  Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Mechanics of Materials, Comp Sci / Programming, Circuits.

Checking their chemistry offerings....surprise, surprise....same offerings at a fraction of the price at Major University just up the street.

I would love to see the syllabus and coursework from some of these classes. I've never seen a CC that offers anything resembling a rigorous course. If you would be so kind as to send me something in a CS/CE/EE, I'd love to compare.

kelly1mm

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2014, 03:00:49 AM »
as far as #3 and the lack of money for white, straight men, and Asian women of any sexuality .


  so you didn't qualify for the two diversity scholarships that were offered at the  PWI( predominantly white institution) school offered you selected.

 im sorry your selection so was limited. but luckily you still have the option of: merit/athletic/hobby-oriented/volunteer/military/legacy/sibling/essay-contest/financial-based/religious-based/department/major/because no one else applied for this pot of money scholarship.


oh and if it chaffs that much that you didnt get the diversity money you could always select a HBCU(a historically black college or university), then you would get the race-based money, you crave so much.

now everyone wins.

Or you could just lie.  It is not like they actually check.  You can always check the "Native American" box  - assuming you were born in the USA (actually that is not a great example as there are enrolled lists for N/A's)

No Name Guy

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2014, 09:45:12 AM »
I would love to see the syllabus and coursework from some of these classes. I've never seen a CC that offers anything resembling a rigorous course. If you would be so kind as to send me something in a CS/CE/EE, I'd love to compare.

What, can't you use Google yourself?  Took me about 5 minutes to look up what I did for the previous post.

Again, in my experience at said Major U, 1/3 of the folks in my particular engineering program were CC transfers, the other 2/3 did their Freshman and Sophomore years at Major U.  When we all graduated 2 years later, you couldn't tell, academically, who did their first 2 years at CC and who did their first 2 at Major U.

johnny847

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2014, 11:47:17 AM »
One of my friends went to community college, and then transferred to a big engineering school in the south. He definitely felt his basic calculus skills weren't up to snuff. As an example, one time I mentioned that I had almost forgotten how to compute a type of integral. He said he'd never even learned it in community college (integration by trigonometric substitution, if you're wondering).

I will say that it is literally impossible to get a merit scholarship to an Ivy League school. The Ivy League is by definition a sports league, and one of the agreements of the Ivy League institutions is that they will not award merit based aid, only need based aid.
There was a small program at my Ivy League school where if you were accepted into the program for your leadership skills or volunteer work, you would have up to $3000 of loans converted to free grant money. So this sort of seems like merit based aid...but you need to have gotten need based aid first to convert that loan to a grant.

Chranstronaut

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2014, 12:20:28 PM »
My point: lots of ways to make things work without major debt.

I think this is such a key issue for both higher education and a lot of other areas of life.  It depends a lot more on the person than on the program.  I know plenty of people that washed out of community college, state college or the Ivy League.  I also know plenty of people who graduated on time with great jobs lined up from all three or some combination thereof.  I  know people who got hired because their hobbies were listed on their resume!

You gotta match yourself to the right path for you.  It really MAY be that Ivy League is best, but it's also possible that Vo-Tech or CC or state school or no school is best.

It's also easy to think at age 18 that this decision will make or break you and it's your one chance at life.  It won't.

MrsPete

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2014, 06:45:57 AM »
General comments from the mother of college students and the teacher of high school students (which means I see who gets scholarships year after year -- not just my own kids, but a wide range of students):

In my area, we have a few EXCELLENT private universities that are very expensive -- but possibly worth it, for the right person in the right field of study (i.e., politics).  I mean, no one speaks poorly of Duke and Wake Forest's academic reputations.  However, our best state schools -- UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, for example, are just as strong for 1/3 of the price.  If you can get in. 

MOST of our private schools are not particularly strong academically; in fact, they're considered a bit of a "step down" from the mid-tier state schools -- the other UNC system schools.  I mean, consider an average private school with an average state school in my area:  A degree from UNC-Greensboro or ASU is more valuable than a degree from Lenoir Rhyne or Pfeiffer.  These small private schools offer considerably less (for example, we visited one small private school and realized it has only a 2-story library -- at a university?) for a much larger price tag.  These small private schools, however, will accept pretty much anyone with a C- average; thus, they are filled with students whose parents have money . . . but the student couldn't get into the UNC-system schools. Or they're afraid of a large-school setting (which is rather foolish because some of the UNC-system schools have a student body of 8K or less -- I think UNC-Ashville, at less than 4K is the smallest).  And interspersed with these average kids you'll find the occasional tip-top student who was given a full ride to attend a university "below his ability level". 

As to who gets scholarships, this has changed significantly since the recession.  A decade ago a good student could count on getting SOMETHING.  That is no longer true today.  Today it's more complicated.  Here's what today's scholarship winners look like: 

- They're going military
- Their parents (or grandparents) were military or police
- They're likely to be needy -- yes, plenty of kids win merit scholarships, but some academic scholarships are reserved for students who are BOTH accomplished AND needy . . . and some scholarships are reserved for first-generation college students
- They're planning to study teaching or nursing
- They have held significant leadership positions; it's better to be a member of two clubs for your entire high school career, be the president as a senior, and show that you've overseen good projects . . . than to simply attend a dozen clubs . . . class president, yearbook editor, J-ROTC flight commander -- these roles will be noticed, whereas secretary to the French club won't. 
- They have excellent grades, but they also have been VERY involved in community service
- They have taken difficult classes rather than making As in general-level classes
- They are good writers, who can make themselves look good on paper, and they have top-notch recommendations from teachers who really know them.  They write risky essays that stand out from the crowd rather than subjecting their readers to yet another page about how "grandma was my hero, and I didn't appreciate her 'til she was gone" or "my church mission trip changed my view of the world". 
- They may be good athletes, but those scholarships are few and far between, and if your kid is genuinely headed towards a sports scholarship, you probably know it in middle school
- They may be male or female -- both genders tend to win these awards at equal rates
- They are mostly white -- obviously some scholarships are set aside for minority kids, but the students who win the academic scholarships tend to be white, which goes against what some people believe -- keep in mind that white kids are still the majority, so the applicant pool is larger.   

The student who EXPECTS and scholarship and DOES NOT get it tends to look like this:  Male or female, this student has made As in every high school class -- and has taken advanced-level classes.  But he is not involved in things beyond the classroom:  No leadership positions, no clubs or organizations, no dual-enrollment at the community college.  Simply going through the motions doesn't get scholarships -- today's students genuinely must stand out beyond the classroom.  To sum it up:  Well-rounded and involved with a 4.5 GPA probably beats a 5.0 GPA with nothing but the classroom. 

In my older daughter's high school class exactly one boy was awarded a full-ride scholarship -- and it was for ROTC.  My girl was the second highest scholarship winner, and she has about 50% of her education paid through two scholarships.  A decade ago, a typical high school class of 300-320 would've seen ten full rides.  Note:  Even then, it would've been unfair to say that any smart kid could go to school for free. 



vivophoenix

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2014, 09:14:47 AM »
as far as #3 and the lack of money for white, straight men, and Asian women of any sexuality .


  so you didn't qualify for the two diversity scholarships that were offered at the  PWI( predominantly white institution) school offered you selected.

 im sorry your selection so was limited. but luckily you still have the option of: merit/athletic/hobby-oriented/volunteer/military/legacy/sibling/essay-contest/financial-based/religious-based/department/major/because no one else applied for this pot of money scholarship.


oh and if it chaffs that much that you didnt get the diversity money you could always select a HBCU(a historically black college or university), then you would get the race-based money, you crave so much.

now everyone wins.

I'm not sure you understand how financial aid works. HBCUs don't randomly throw money at students. In fact, most have been suffering financially of late because Affirmative Action pulls away a lot of qualified black students who might have otherwise gone there. Some have considered branching out into Latin American students as a result. In any event, they are highly, HIGHLY unlikely to spend what little financial aid money they have on white students, who they don't want. Colleges, on the other hand, would very much prefer to have a highly qualified black student over any other kind of student. There IS money for being the diverse. (The right kind of diverse. The child of impoverished Chinese immigrants who don't speak English isn't diverse and definitely hasn't struggled and has to outscore white kids to get into the same schools. The child of impoverished Guatemalan immigrants who don't speak English is diverse and has definitely struggled deeply to get where they are today.) This is well substantiated.

http://www.aaup.org/article/historically-black-colleges-and-universities-time-economic-crisis#.VBGycsJdV1Y

I posted links upthread. Universities, who give out the bulk of scholarship dollars, privilege the kind of students they want. And they don't want white kids, especially poor and/or non-urban ones. The simple reality is that a qualified black or Hispanic student has opportunities open to them when it comes to university admissions and financial aid that their otherwise identical white or Asian counterpart doesn't.

im not sure you understand how sarcasm works.
 if we want to get into the opportunities available to people based upon race and economic background, id be more than willing to do so. but this was merely a cursory response to something clearly whiny.

its very hard to feel bad for those poor white males in america

« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 09:16:39 AM by vivophoenix »

Dee18

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2014, 10:51:13 AM »
Males (including whites) are given preference over females today at most colleges.  I serve on the admissions committee of a private college.   It is a simple reality, as stated below:
"It’s a well-known fact that there’s a severe gender imbalance in undergraduate college populations: about 57 percent of undergrads these days are female and only 43 percent male, the culmination of a trend over the past few decades in which significantly fewer young men than young women either graduate from high school or enroll in college. It’s also a well-known fact—at least among college admissions officers—that many private institutions have tried to close the gender gap by quietly relaxing admissions standards for male applicants, essentially practicing affirmative action for young men."
quoted from a 2010 article at http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2010/06/the_quiet_preference_for_men_i/


dude

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2014, 11:22:57 AM »
I paid for my first year of college at a state university out-of-pocket from savings.  Kicked ass my freshman year, so they offered me a full scholarship for the next three years in the school's Honors Program.  It was a huge boost.  Was able to go to a Top 10(ish) (those damn rankings fluctuate from year to year) law school, where I received about 1/3 of my tuition in grants, the rest in Stafford and Perkins loans.  Went to work in law enforcement, so the Perkins loans ($7500) got forgiven after 5 years of service, and I've had roughly $15K of the $80K total I had out of law school paid for under a federal loan repayment program (got selected 2x, each time requiring a 3-year promise to remain).  Pretty happy with the way things turned out for me.  Could finish off the remaining $18K or so of loans I have left with the stroke of a pen, but at 2.33%, they're hardly a hair-on-fire emergency.

mm1970

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2014, 08:22:35 PM »
sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days.

I agree with the above poster who said the small criteria scholarships you apply for generally don't amount to enough.  The big money comes from the schools or from state programs.

For example, I was awarded about 15k in small private scholarships from places like national merit, parent's employer, the elks, etc.  But WA state awarded full rides to the best students from each high school if they stayed in state for college.  So did my city.  So does the military.  Most of the big grants came from things I was nominated for, rather than things I applied for.  I turned them all down to go to somewhere else, and the school picked up the tab through a combination of merit and need based awards.

In my case the secret was being visible and popular with the teachers and admin staff who did the nominating.  And crushing all the standardized tests, that automatically puts you on all kinds of national lists. One friend of mine, as a high school aged math wiz, had his entire education paid for by the NSA on the condition that he agree to work for them after graduation.  If you're smart enough, people will try to give you money.
admittedly my experience is > 25 years old, but yeah. 

I opted for a private school with a lot of financial aid.  I also got scholarships from my home town.  2 things really helped: I was poor, and I was my HS valedictorian.  Oh, and my parents didn't go to college.  And I'm a female.  So make that four things.

I borrowed about $6k for the first year and then joined ROTC.  With jobs, I ended up $11k in debt.

MrsPete

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2014, 06:38:15 AM »
Universities don't give scholarships because they are nice. They give them to buy students they want at their school. And most of them are not desperate to attract white kids.
Yes, and this thought process alludes many people -- especially high school students.  They tend to think of scholarships in the same way they think about the Algebra 1 award.  Someone's going to get it at the end of the year, and it's probably going to be Johnny because he has the highest average in the class.  Not so with scholarships:  Schools are trying to create a diverse student population, and they're trying to bring in the best students their school can attract.  Johny may be an Algebra whiz, but he may or may not be "the student" whom the school wants to attract.

To complicate matters, most people here are thinking along the lines of school-based awards.  The reality is that they're just a drop in the bucket.  The vast majority of scholarships come from the government (yes, scholarships -- not just aid) and the community.  And that's a whole different set of criteria. 

Scholarships are a complicated game.
Males (including whites) are given preference over females today at most colleges.  I serve on the admissions committee of a private college.   It is a simple reality, as stated below:
"It’s a well-known fact that there’s a severe gender imbalance in undergraduate college populations: about 57 percent of undergrads these days are female and only 43 percent male, the culmination of a trend over the past few decades in which significantly fewer young men than young women either graduate from high school or enroll in college. It’s also a well-known fact—at least among college admissions officers—that many private institutions have tried to close the gender gap by quietly relaxing admissions standards for male applicants, essentially practicing affirmative action for young men."
quoted from a 2010 article at http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2010/06/the_quiet_preference_for_men_i/
Yes, to paint with a wide brush, girls have always been better, more motivated students -- it was true when I was in school, and it's still true today.  And more girls go to college.  I'd argue that a man without a degree has more options -- more manual labor options -- than a woman without a degree. 

sol, I'm curious about the process to find and obtain scholarships these days.

I agree with the above poster who said the small criteria scholarships you apply for generally don't amount to enough.  The big money comes from the schools or from state programs.

For example, I was awarded about 15k in small private scholarships from places like national merit, parent's employer, the elks, etc.  But WA state awarded full rides to the best students from each high school if they stayed in state for college.  So did my city.  So does the military.  Most of the big grants came from things I was nominated for, rather than things I applied for.  I turned them all down to go to somewhere else, and the school picked up the tab through a combination of merit and need based awards.

In my case the secret was being visible and popular with the teachers and admin staff who did the nominating.  And crushing all the standardized tests, that automatically puts you on all kinds of national lists. One friend of mine, as a high school aged math wiz, had his entire education paid for by the NSA on the condition that he agree to work for them after graduation.  If you're smart enough, people will try to give you money.
admittedly my experience is > 25 years old, but yeah. 

I opted for a private school with a lot of financial aid.  I also got scholarships from my home town.  2 things really helped: I was poor, and I was my HS valedictorian.  Oh, and my parents didn't go to college.  And I'm a female.  So make that four things.

I borrowed about $6k for the first year and then joined ROTC.  With jobs, I ended up $11k in debt.
Yeah, you and I'd be about the same age -- and what you're saying does reflect what was happening when I graduated, but it's as dead as the dinosaurs today.  Paying for college has changed immensely in the last decade. 


gimp

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2014, 03:04:02 PM »
Males (including whites) are given preference over females today at most colleges.  I serve on the admissions committee of a private college.   It is a simple reality, as stated below:
"It’s a well-known fact that there’s a severe gender imbalance in undergraduate college populations: about 57 percent of undergrads these days are female and only 43 percent male, the culmination of a trend over the past few decades in which significantly fewer young men than young women either graduate from high school or enroll in college. It’s also a well-known fact—at least among college admissions officers—that many private institutions have tried to close the gender gap by quietly relaxing admissions standards for male applicants, essentially practicing affirmative action for young men."
quoted from a 2010 article at http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2010/06/the_quiet_preference_for_men_i/

As a white male, I definitely disagree with this practice. I finally get to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, now that I'm in the demographic discussed. If more women are doing better academically then more women should be in college, it's that simple. Of course, it's quite likely also because there are options open to men that are much harder for women to take advantage of - pretty much the entire skilled trades industry that doesn't require an academic education (with a couple exceptions), for one.

Two cents...

Davids

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2014, 09:30:46 PM »
College is ridiculously expensive, unless you are an Ivy league School or a school like Stanford, NYU or something similar I can't justify how some small private university nobody has ever heard of can charge $40K/yr. It is ridiculous. I started a 529 plan for my newborn son the moment his ss card arrived in the mail and I hope he will have enough for college in 18 years. I can't imagine what it will cost then. I will be happy with whatever school he goes to but I will have a preference towards Penn State since that is where I went and thus when I visit him I can attempt to be the old man trying to relive his college days.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2014, 09:52:48 PM »
Some of the small private liberal arts college can charge that amount because it's worth it. The level of education provides an experience that cannot be duplicated by larger Universities. Accomplished professors paid a lot of money to teach classes at 1/10 the size. Many graduates go to be very successful and donate back large amounts of money. These endowments provide assistance to students who are not rich. It is very rare for a student to pay full tuition to these schools, unless your parents are super-rich and can't qualify for any assistance.

MrsPete

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2014, 06:14:15 AM »
I started a 529 plan for my newborn son the moment his ss card arrived in the mail and I hope he will have enough for college in 18 years.
College costs, scholarships and aid have changed so much in the last decade.  I strongly suspect they'll continue to evolve and change in the 18 years before your child is ready for college. 

The best thing you can do today is what you're already doing:  Saving.  I can't imagine that having money in the bank for his education could ever be a bad thing (and, no, those who have but don't save aren't getting more aid -- mostly they're just getting more loans, which are often termed aid). 

The best thing you can do in 15, 16, 17 years is inform yourself of what's current.  Just as what was true when I finished high school in the 80s is no longer current, I doubt what we say today will still be true. 


chemgeek

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2014, 11:19:49 AM »
I don't think anyone is knocking community colleges, just that on a school by school ( or program by program) basis it is not always as easy to do as the OP suggested. If there is a guaranteed transfer program or a historic pipeline of students flowing from a CC to a particular university that's one thing. But accepting the credit is at the discretion of the college, so if you're forging a new path there's the possibility you could get screwed. I took biology while home one summer and had to jump through hoops to have it counted as credits because the course descriptions didn't match up exactly (even though the material was exactly the same).

Zamboni

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Re: Private University - what a rip off
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2014, 04:43:58 PM »
Many of the non-prestigious but expensive small private schools are facing declining enrollment this decade as the big schools get even bigger, which leads to softening standards (SAT "optional", for example) which deteriorates the overall quality of students who attend, which in turn deteriorates their reputations when those less than brilliant people start working in companies.  Going to an expensive small private school that does not have a stellar national reputation is a bad call, imho.

(Bracing for the backlash from those who attended exactly these schools.)