Author Topic: Waste of college money times 3  (Read 4162 times)

nobody123

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Waste of college money times 3
« on: May 10, 2017, 12:00:36 PM »
Had a conversation with my SIL last weekend.  She and BIL have three kids.  First one went to college to major in a flavor of music performance.  Graduated, then decided to get a masters degree in said niche music field, since bachelors wasn't enough to get a good job.  Graduated, now working part time food service jobs because both the degrees are essentially worthless on the job market.  He recently apologized to SIL & BIL for essentially wasting their money, so at least he feels bad about it.  Now investigating getting a second masters in a marketable field.

Second kid went to a private D3 school to play sports.  Majored in something (not even sure what it was) to stay eligible.  Graduated, working retail, dream career is in a major that that college didn't even offer.  Living with kid 1 to help with rent until the lease is up, then kid 1 and 2 are both moving back to SIL & BILs house.

Third kid just wrapped up freshman year majoring in drama.  Unpaid performance internship for the summer.  Has a scholarship to cover tuition, on the hook for room and board.

Bottom line:  $20K in loans for kid 1, $45K in loans for kid 2, parents have $120K in parental student loans from kids 1 and 2, and are adding to that to support kid 3.  Not a marketable skill between the three of them, although I am holding out hope that the third at least minors in something useful.  SIL says BIL will have 30 years in and could retire with a pension in 3 years, but both will be working indefinitely just to pay off the college loans.  Crazy.

boyerbt

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 12:05:46 PM »
This is crazy. I am just curious as to what types of jobs your SIL and BIL have? Is there any reason why they allow their children to continue down these career paths with little to no chance of a financially successful career?

nobody123

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 01:00:27 PM »
This is crazy. I am just curious as to what types of jobs your SIL and BIL have? Is there any reason why they allow their children to continue down these career paths with little to no chance of a financially successful career?

They are college educated, but I would guess they combine to make under $100K/year.  I think they had the opinion that going to college for anything was good, and forcing the kid to go and major in something they didn't like wasn't going to work.  Unfortunately they were 2 kids in before they realized that mistake, and when kid 3 earns a significant scholarship, how do you not take advantage of it.  I'm hoping kid 3 learns from their siblings' mistakes and does a better job planning.

Mr. Green

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 01:43:22 PM »
I feel very sad for them. Sounds like something that will impact the whole family for many years to come.

Hargrove

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 06:05:05 PM »
How bad is this really (for the parents)?

They could cut the number in half in the 3 years until pension from the rough info you gave. They committed to the college money, not what the kids would do with it, necessarily.

The Bank of Mom & Dad has to deny a loan at some point.

CargoBiker

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 04:37:14 AM »
Had a conversation with my SIL last weekend.  She and BIL have three kids.  First one went to college to major in a flavor of music performance.  Graduated, then decided to get a masters degree in said niche music field, since bachelors wasn't enough to get a good job.  Graduated, now working part time food service jobs because both the degrees are essentially worthless on the job market.  He recently apologized to SIL & BIL for essentially wasting their money, so at least he feels bad about it.  Now investigating getting a second masters in a marketable field.

Unless you plan on being a tenured college professor, music performance degrees are worthless.  Auditions for the salaried gigs are all done blind, and all that matters in an audition is how well you play.



Sydneystache

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 05:02:59 AM »
Has college kid 1 thought of tutoring? Here, there's a boom in music tutoring and a kid who has the skills to teach another student an instrument to play would earn $60 an hour upwards. Better than any hospitality job reliant on tips. Granted I don't know what a bachelor of music performance entails but surely there's a mastery of a music instrument involved? Or voice?

paddedhat

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 06:11:29 AM »
When my daughter was a mid-teen she announced that she would be attending $40k/YR famous NYC university to major in art. At that point she had a bit of talent, with some decent small wildlife bronzes she did in art class. She also was about as ambition free as it gets, and listening to the bullshit her art teacher was shoveling. I asked three questions. Did she have a portfolio? Did she show in any juried competitions? Did she know that not only was this university looking at grades and other aspects of her high school years (not good) but that they required an interview and showing of her work to the art department. She had no clue what the first two questions meant, and was blown away by the third.

 While attending a state university for something marginally more marketable, she took a few art classes. Not only did she fail to have an instructor telling her how wonderful she was, as she had become accustomed to in high school, one prof. bluntly told her that she zero skills at all when it comes to basic drawing ability. Glad she got that resolved as a low cost detour while attending a low cost school. Oddly enough, two other families on our street, with daughters of the same age, did fall for the "borrow whatever it takes to make the princess a star" trap. One was going to be a model, the other an artist..................................as you can imagine, neither is.

Inaya

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 11:51:23 PM »
Part of the problem is that persistent myth is still out there that all you need to "make it" in life is a college degree, and it doesn't matter what it's in. Combine that with "you'll always be happy as long as you follow your dreams" and you have a recipe for financial disaster.

CargoBiker

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2017, 06:13:57 AM »
Has college kid 1 thought of tutoring? Here, there's a boom in music tutoring and a kid who has the skills to teach another student an instrument to play would earn $60 an hour upwards. Better than any hospitality job reliant on tips. Granted I don't know what a bachelor of music performance entails but surely there's a mastery of a music instrument involved? Or voice?

No lesson kid cares about your degree. They care about how well you play and teach. They care about getting results.

To achieve this, you just need to be good at your instrument.  So a combination of talent, practicing your ass off daily for 10 years, and having a couple of good teachers/mentors along the way to guide you.

Taking a slew of music history and theory courses, along with every other course in the degree plan which has nothing to do with you playing your instrument better.


But yes, if you are a good marketer, and can play well, you can earn $60-80 a lesson, and a good income if you can get them coming to your house/studio, and can get enough students to fill out a full-time schedule.  It's possible... the degree just won't help you get there.

CargoBiker

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2017, 06:18:24 AM »
Combine that with "you'll always be happy as long as you follow your dreams" and you have a recipe for financial disaster.

Yeah....

It's much better to do something incredibly lucrative, that you may or may not be "passionate" about, save and retire quickly, and then spend the rest of your free life pursuing your dreams.

Pursuing your dreams while you're dependent on a daily income will result in a poor income and a poor fulfillment of those dreams.

Inaya

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 12:04:55 PM »
Combine that with "you'll always be happy as long as you follow your dreams" and you have a recipe for financial disaster.
It's much better to do something incredibly lucrative, that you may or may not be "passionate" about, save and retire quickly, and then spend the rest of your free life pursuing your dreams.
That's pretty much where I am. I don't love my job; it's not fulfilling or whatever. But it pays well, it's a good company, and it's more than tolerable. When I hit FI I probably won't RE--I'll probably become a baker. I've always wanted to be a baker.

I was spoonfed the "any college degree is better than no college degree" line my whole life by parents, adult friends of family, college counselors, other high schoolers--literally everyone. It's a myth that really, really needs to die. And salt and burn the corpse. I was fortunate my talents (and a decent amount of good luck and privilege) landed me in a degree program and a reasonably lucrative career--but I was perilously close to going for a creative writing degree just so I could "make it" with "any degree."

CargoBiker

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Re: Waste of college money times 3
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 04:27:53 AM »
That's pretty much where I am. I don't love my job; it's not fulfilling or whatever. But it pays well, it's a good company, and it's more than tolerable. When I hit FI I probably won't RE--I'll probably become a baker. I've always wanted to be a baker.

I had a friend who double-majored in Theoretical Physics and Music Composition.  He spent 3-4 years in his garage designing an improvement to a fuel-injection system for a specific kind of diesel engine, then sold the tech for 7-figures.   Now he can play piano and write music full-time, which is what he really wanted to do.

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I was perilously close to going for a creative writing degree just so I could "make it" with "any degree."

You dodged a bullet there.