Author Topic: How to pay for kid's college?  (Read 28904 times)

mm1970

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #150 on: August 15, 2017, 11:05:49 AM »
Right. I think it's typical too. But it would seem to directly contradict the premise of the article, which is that kids who AREN'T special somehow make it to the workforce feeling super special and are unable to deal with the humbling nature of grownup life.
Well, I teach high school seniors, and I can comment on that: 

- High school is still a caste system.  A whole lot of my students -- the majority, really -- take the classes they can pass with little effort.  And they tend to do well in them.  So we have a whole lot of kids who COULD HAVE taken an advanced level math class, worked hard, and learned a lot ... but they would've come out with a C ... and nobody wants a C.  Instead they opt to take general level math, where they can earn an A doing only half the homework and focusing hard on the test review.  So they come out of school saying, "I am an amazing student!  Just look:  I have a 3.5 GPA!"  People at this level don't seem to realize that there's a whole level of student "above them" pushing themselves, challenging themselves, learning harder math ... and those people will get the really good jobs that the mediocre students expect to go to them. 

Example:  Last year I taught a girl who was genuinely lowest-of-the-low in terms of academics.  She spent two periods a day in a supervised study hall with a Special Ed teacher, and she had an IEP that required me to give her reduced assignments and reduced tests.  In other words, she was getting A GREAT DEAL OF HELP in getting through high school.  Her career goal:  Join the Army, go through basic, then somehow magically get the Army to pay for her to go to medical school.  This girl, while extreme, had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that she was not average and ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that a person of her intellectual capacity would never make it to medical school ... much less get someone else to pay for it.  When I talked to her about becoming a CNA -- a job that pays more than minimum wage and is within her ability range -- she was highly insulted.  I know, I know, those of us on the outside don't understand how she could be so blind, but she believed in this plan with 100% of her heart.  And she did make it into the Army, so she IS in the work force at this very minute, so she will likely experience this "humbling nature of adult life" in the next year or so. 

- In my experience, lots of people -- young and old -- tend to blame others (or extraneous circumstances) when things don't go their way.  So when they're not promoted, it's because the boss doesn't like them, or because that nasty co-worker set them up somehow.  When they're reprimanded for being late multiple times, they blame the heavy traffic.  I know lots of people who feel quite superior, yet have no real basis to feel that way.  It starts with the trophy-for-every-kid thing.

These are all very good points, though I don't know if it's the trophy thing or not.

I was that kid hustling.  I guess I was pretty humble too because I didn't get my butt handed to me in college.  Went from #1 in HS (podunk school, <100 in my graduating class) to #5 in my major in a top-10 engineering school.  But you know, I realize that there was no way I'd be #1.  I had a job, and ROTC, and school.  But EVEN IF I hadn't had to work, and be in ROTC to pay for it, I really don't think I could have broken past #4.  The top 3 kids in my class were just really smart.  The #2 guy got a perfect score on our 2nd physical chemistry test, and the average was a 65.  (I got a 65.)

I've always hustled, and you know what?  My kid doesn't.  My 11 year old is smart, and he works *just hard enough* to get better grades than everyone else in his grade (about 55-60 kids).  So when he goes to the big math competition, and his school doesn't even place: "Look, these kids work harder than you.  You guys have one practice a week.  You only sometimes do your homework.  They have extra math classes 4x a week with a credentialed teacher, and they practice taking the test."  I figure, for sure, that junior high will be a big test (next year).  Suddenly he'll be in the honors program with 60-70 other honors kids from 4-5 elementary schools.

He also really wants to go to Cal Tech.  I just shrug.  Too soon to tell if he'll get in or not.

MrsPete

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #151 on: August 15, 2017, 11:07:03 AM »
haha well I can only speak from my own experience.  Both of my kids had very good/great test scores and high (top 5 in class) GPAs (in poedunk town USA), but still not the "hook" to get them into elite schools, like Yale/Chicago/Duke etc.  Nevertheless both got mailings from those schools.  The Yale one was actually REALLY nice... like a friggin coffee table book.
I don't think schools 'specially pay attention to scores when they're sending out marketing materials.  They just send. 

Example:  I'm thinking of a kid I taught last year -- the epitome of lazy, quite skilled at cheating on tests (I caught him several times), nice kid but lackluster grades, shakey-weak basics on his academic basics -- but he was from a very wealthy family.  He missed a couple days of school to go visit University of Virginia (we do not live in Virginia), and he showed me a mass-mailing advertisement with great glee saying, "They're really interested in me, so my dad's taking me up to visit!"  Judging from my previous students who actually ended up attending UV, I know with 100% certainty this kid wasn't going to make the cut ... but I said some polite things.  Poor kid, he mistook marketing for personal interest. 

I've seen things like this fairly often, and I see no connection between the kids' grades and advertising.  Of course, to be fair, we have kids with high standardized test scores but low class averages (talented but lazy kids), and I don't know kids' standardized scores. 

In closing, if you want to see NICE college advertisements, send away for some art school books!  Teachers receive college advertisements too, and I love it when art schools send me calendars. 
 

MrsPete

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #152 on: August 15, 2017, 11:12:16 AM »
Re- Scholarship question about freshmen year versus other years.

Here, this is definitely true.  The larger state / private universities have about 85% of their scholarship money given away to entice high qualifying freshmen.  There are smaller amounts (or fewer) for transfer students, but they do exist and actually get much fewer applications, so it may even out.
And that's logical.  If you start at a certain school, you'd probably rather stay there:  You know the campus, you've learned the procedures for registration, parking passes, checking things out of the library.  You don't 'specially want to go through admissions, turning in your vaccination records, etc.  It's just easier to stay where you already are.  And schools know it, so they focus on getting you in the door ... if you have trouble scraping together money in subsequent years, they're going to be less helpful. 

Also, the school money (unless you get one of the "big" ones) is only about a third of the total scholarship money out there.   The school and community and association / affiliation based ones provide a much larger pool, and quite a few of those affiliation related ones (e.g., your insurance company or union or Lions club) allow applications in all 4 years of universities.
Yes, that fits what I see. 

Goldielocks

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #153 on: August 15, 2017, 11:14:48 AM »
DD did not take the ACT / SAT etc, but because she filled out a registration to be on a list for scholarship links, she has been receiving some mailings, too.   It's like those CC applications used to be -- one hint or access to your contact info, and the floodgates open.

shawndoggy

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #154 on: August 15, 2017, 11:15:15 AM »
don't discount your kid applying to your alma mater too.  My daughter did.  We immediately (and transparently) joined the alumni association as lifetime members (I think it was like $900 for both my wife and myself).  She got about $9k in scholarships from the alumni association.

MrsPete

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #155 on: August 15, 2017, 11:16:12 AM »
I've always hustled, and you know what?  My kid doesn't.  My 11 year old is smart, and he works *just hard enough* to get better grades than everyone else in his grade (about 55-60 kids).  So when he goes to the big math competition, and his school doesn't even place: "Look, these kids work harder than you.  You guys have one practice a week.  You only sometimes do your homework.  They have extra math classes 4x a week with a credentialed teacher, and they practice taking the test."  I figure, for sure, that junior high will be a big test (next year).  Suddenly he'll be in the honors program with 60-70 other honors kids from 4-5 elementary schools.
I always hustled, though I was never #1 in my class.  I'd like to say it's because in both high school and college I worked more hours than were really good for me, and I received little support/guidance at home in terms of academics ... but, honestly, I still would've been top 10% but not top 10.  I'm smart but not #1 smart.

But, as I said, I always hustled ... and I raised two kids who are hustlers.  That does matter.  We're all planners too; good, long-term planning matters just as much as hard work -- in college, that's a key component in graduating on time. 

libertarian4321

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #156 on: August 15, 2017, 11:25:56 AM »
My high school crush who went to Bard turned into a pot smoking atheist

You say it like it's a bad thing?  :)

Anyway, I agree with the main point of the post. 

Sometimes kids who don't come from families with unlimited resources have to be shown that we don't get everything we want in life.  They need to make the choice that will be both best for them, and their family (assuming the family is going to be on the hook for some of the costs).  They probably shouldn't run up huge debts for themselves (and/or family) that they have little chance of repaying (or which they will struggle to pay for decades).

mm1970

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #157 on: August 15, 2017, 01:13:27 PM »
My high school crush who went to Bard turned into a pot smoking atheist

You say it like it's a bad thing?  :)

Anyway, I agree with the main point of the post. 

Sometimes kids who don't come from families with unlimited resources have to be shown that we don't get everything we want in life.  They need to make the choice that will be both best for them, and their family (assuming the family is going to be on the hook for some of the costs).  They probably shouldn't run up huge debts for themselves (and/or family) that they have little chance of repaying (or which they will struggle to pay for decades).
I live in So Cal, so I know a lot of pot-smoking atheists.  I fall in to one of those categories.  And it's not the smoking one.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #158 on: August 15, 2017, 01:14:11 PM »
Right. I think it's typical too. But it would seem to directly contradict the premise of the article, which is that kids who AREN'T special somehow make it to the workforce feeling super special and are unable to deal with the humbling nature of grownup life.
Well, I teach high school seniors, and I can comment on that: 

- High school is still a caste system.  A whole lot of my students -- the majority, really -- take the classes they can pass with little effort.  And they tend to do well in them.  So we have a whole lot of kids who COULD HAVE taken an advanced level math class, worked hard, and learned a lot ... but they would've come out with a C ... and nobody wants a C.  Instead they opt to take general level math, where they can earn an A doing only half the homework and focusing hard on the test review.  So they come out of school saying, "I am an amazing student!  Just look:  I have a 3.5 GPA!"  People at this level don't seem to realize that there's a whole level of student "above them" pushing themselves, challenging themselves, learning harder math ... and those people will get the really good jobs that the mediocre students expect to go to them. 

Example:  Last year I taught a girl who was genuinely lowest-of-the-low in terms of academics.  She spent two periods a day in a supervised study hall with a Special Ed teacher, and she had an IEP that required me to give her reduced assignments and reduced tests.  In other words, she was getting A GREAT DEAL OF HELP in getting through high school.  Her career goal:  Join the Army, go through basic, then somehow magically get the Army to pay for her to go to medical school.  This girl, while extreme, had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that she was not average and ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that a person of her intellectual capacity would never make it to medical school ... much less get someone else to pay for it.  When I talked to her about becoming a CNA -- a job that pays more than minimum wage and is within her ability range -- she was highly insulted.  I know, I know, those of us on the outside don't understand how she could be so blind, but she believed in this plan with 100% of her heart.  And she did make it into the Army, so she IS in the work force at this very minute, so she will likely experience this "humbling nature of adult life" in the next year or so. 

- In my experience, lots of people -- young and old -- tend to blame others (or extraneous circumstances) when things don't go their way.  So when they're not promoted, it's because the boss doesn't like them, or because that nasty co-worker set them up somehow.  When they're reprimanded for being late multiple times, they blame the heavy traffic.  I know lots of people who feel quite superior, yet have no real basis to feel that way.  It starts with the trophy-for-every-kid thing.

These are all very good points, though I don't know if it's the trophy thing or not.

I was that kid hustling.  I guess I was pretty humble too because I didn't get my butt handed to me in college.  Went from #1 in HS (podunk school, <100 in my graduating class) to #5 in my major in a top-10 engineering school.  But you know, I realize that there was no way I'd be #1.  I had a job, and ROTC, and school.  But EVEN IF I hadn't had to work, and be in ROTC to pay for it, I really don't think I could have broken past #4.  The top 3 kids in my class were just really smart.  The #2 guy got a perfect score on our 2nd physical chemistry test, and the average was a 65.  (I got a 65.)

I've always hustled, and you know what?  My kid doesn't.  My 11 year old is smart, and he works *just hard enough* to get better grades than everyone else in his grade (about 55-60 kids).  So when he goes to the big math competition, and his school doesn't even place: "Look, these kids work harder than you.  You guys have one practice a week.  You only sometimes do your homework.  They have extra math classes 4x a week with a credentialed teacher, and they practice taking the test."  I figure, for sure, that junior high will be a big test (next year).  Suddenly he'll be in the honors program with 60-70 other honors kids from 4-5 elementary schools.

He also really wants to go to Cal Tech.  I just shrug.  Too soon to tell if he'll get in or not.

LOL I remember having Cal Tech on my list. My folks and I visited and quickly realized that I was just not the kind of student who would succeed there. The tour guide's idea of fun was throwing cake against the wall and working on math problems for fun like Good Will Hunting.

Not to mention a few "thousand yard stares" that more than a few people had.

Kudos to them though. It takes a certain type of person to become a rocket scientist, and boy does Cal Tech churn those folks out.

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #159 on: August 17, 2017, 02:12:47 PM »
So a couple of new questions and developments.

First, anyone use collegedata.com?  Good, bad, reliable?

Second, so my daughter has been getting no fee streamline application packets from several schools.  She started to apply to a couple....and then got what I can only refer to as a "cease and desist" e-mail from her high school counselor.  Is this normal now?!  Basically he said that all applications need to go through Naviance, he'd be ready to do stuff in late September.  I looked up this program and it seems to match kids to majors and other stuff, but says nothing about filing applications.  Plus I would imagine that the streamlined processes probably are not supported through this.  Also with colleges with rolling admissions and also the fact that we talked about the bigger school awards being given out in the first few months on this thead, I think putting up any barriers is stupid on a schools part.  My daughter asked me to hash this out with her counselor and she was a bit disheartened when she shared his e-mail with me because she was all proud of herself for taking initiative and sending out a few applications and then she gets slapped by her counselor.  Now you get to see why I'm not impressed with our high school counselors.  They seem to be more of a hindrance than a help. 

So I'm still going back and forth with this guy trying to figure out if she really had to use this software the school is pushing and why if she wants to apply now does she have to wait for this guy to be ready.  I may have been a little to direct in my first e-mail because he came back telling me he was hurt that anyone would accuse him of being a barrier, but I'm sorry, my wife and I find this interference totally unnecessary.  Don't counselors just need to get the transcript and maybe write a recommendation if needed (these apps only need the transcript)?  So my wife and I were pretty steamed last night when our daughter showed us this e-mail last night.  Thoughts or input?

shawndoggy

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #160 on: August 17, 2017, 02:46:39 PM »
So a couple of new questions and developments.

First, anyone use collegedata.com?  Good, bad, reliable?

Second, so my daughter has been getting no fee streamline application packets from several schools.  She started to apply to a couple....and then got what I can only refer to as a "cease and desist" e-mail from her high school counselor.  Is this normal now?!  Basically he said that all applications need to go through Naviance, he'd be ready to do stuff in late September.  I looked up this program and it seems to match kids to majors and other stuff, but says nothing about filing applications.  Plus I would imagine that the streamlined processes probably are not supported through this.  Also with colleges with rolling admissions and also the fact that we talked about the bigger school awards being given out in the first few months on this thead, I think putting up any barriers is stupid on a schools part.  My daughter asked me to hash this out with her counselor and she was a bit disheartened when she shared his e-mail with me because she was all proud of herself for taking initiative and sending out a few applications and then she gets slapped by her counselor.  Now you get to see why I'm not impressed with our high school counselors.  They seem to be more of a hindrance than a help. 

So I'm still going back and forth with this guy trying to figure out if she really had to use this software the school is pushing and why if she wants to apply now does she have to wait for this guy to be ready.  I may have been a little to direct in my first e-mail because he came back telling me he was hurt that anyone would accuse him of being a barrier, but I'm sorry, my wife and I find this interference totally unnecessary.  Don't counselors just need to get the transcript and maybe write a recommendation if needed (these apps only need the transcript)?  So my wife and I were pretty steamed last night when our daughter showed us this e-mail last night.  Thoughts or input?

I think you are totally in the right (that your kid can apply to college when she wants to).

But you also probably want to avoid making somebody mad who could be an asset (and certainly an impediment) to the process.  If you have time, I'd try to schedule a 1 on 1 with the counselor to explain your position and concerns, especially that you want to be early so as to be first in line for aid, and also that you want to take advantage of the free admissions app window.

My kids basically did all of the applying on their own, with very little input or guidance from counselors.  Your experience is 180* from ours in that respect.  Maybe the counselor has some other good tips or pointers and could be a real resource.  In my kids' schools, the counselors were mostly focused on getting bottom performers to graduation.  Some attention to the high achievers would've actually been pretty refreshing.  So in the end this could really be a good thing if you've got a good counselor who knows WTF he is doing with regard to college admissions. 

Dictionary Time

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #161 on: August 17, 2017, 05:56:00 PM »
Someone earlier mentioned co-op programs and since you're in Ohio, I think you might want to look at the University of Cincinnati.  They are set up to do co-op every other semester.  You would alternate going to class and doing internships. They're paid, and supposedly they have a big network to help you locate them, as well as groups of students to do sublets and stuff to make it more affordable.  It's a year round thing, so it doesn't take much longer.  Then she would have all that experience/networking to start her career.  My son really wanted to go there because of the co-op, but it's out of state for us, and we could not make the numbers work.

Juslookin

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #162 on: August 18, 2017, 05:59:35 AM »
So a couple of new questions and developments.

First, anyone use collegedata.com?  Good, bad, reliable?

Second, so my daughter has been getting no fee streamline application packets from several schools.  She started to apply to a couple....and then got what I can only refer to as a "cease and desist" e-mail from her high school counselor.  Is this normal now?!  Basically he said that all applications need to go through Naviance, he'd be ready to do stuff in late September.  I looked up this program and it seems to match kids to majors and other stuff, but says nothing about filing applications.  Plus I would imagine that the streamlined processes probably are not supported through this.  Also with colleges with rolling admissions and also the fact that we talked about the bigger school awards being given out in the first few months on this thead, I think putting up any barriers is stupid on a schools part.  My daughter asked me to hash this out with her counselor and she was a bit disheartened when she shared his e-mail with me because she was all proud of herself for taking initiative and sending out a few applications and then she gets slapped by her counselor.  Now you get to see why I'm not impressed with our high school counselors.  They seem to be more of a hindrance than a help. 

So I'm still going back and forth with this guy trying to figure out if she really had to use this software the school is pushing and why if she wants to apply now does she have to wait for this guy to be ready.  I may have been a little to direct in my first e-mail because he came back telling me he was hurt that anyone would accuse him of being a barrier, but I'm sorry, my wife and I find this interference totally unnecessary.  Don't counselors just need to get the transcript and maybe write a recommendation if needed (these apps only need the transcript)?  So my wife and I were pretty steamed last night when our daughter showed us this e-mail last night.  Thoughts or input?

I agree with you, this is outrageous.  I am not only a parent, but I sit on my School Board and I think it is ridiculous that any school procedure should inhibit a student from taking initiative and applying to college.  Wake up school districts.....this is what you want the kids to do. 

You tell your daughter that this three year School Board President says Congratulations for going out there and taking control of her own life.  She should be commended and that kind of behavior will get her far in life!!  And to the counselor or the school (if this is their ridiculous policy)  they had better wake up and realize that this is exactly what we want our students to be doing, we're supposed to be preparing them to be decision makers.....I have never heard of a helicopter school district, but ladies and gentleman here you have it!

Cranky

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #163 on: August 18, 2017, 08:23:05 AM »
I don't think there's much point in applying for admission for next year right now, so I don't have any problem with waiting until September. I can see that the counsellors might not be ready to start shooting off transcripts at this point, though.

farmecologist

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #164 on: August 18, 2017, 11:40:44 AM »
Our daughter is starting college in a couple weeks.  Here are some observations that we noticed when going through the process. 

First, make it clear that they CANNOT go to any college they choose.  Our daughter initially wanted to a very expensive private, out of state, non-reciprocity school.  Then reality set in when we had the 'financial talk' with her.  She is attending our in-state university ( University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ). 

Scholarships are tougher to get than people realize...especially for 'average to above average kids'.  Our daughter ended up getting one 3K a year scholarship...but that's it.

The FAFSA is complete BS for anyone with a decent income...enough said.  Many people don't realize this until too late.

So how are we going to pay for it?  The general 'cost of attendance' is around $25,000 for an in-state student :

  - Scholarship : $3000 per year
  - Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan : $5500 (1st year), $6500 (2nd year), $7500 (3/4th years)
  - 529 plan : $15000 per year.
  - The rest: Out of pocket.

What saved us is being smart about putting money into the 529 plan.  However, you *have* to plan ahead.  I know far too many parents who didn't make it a priority...and are now pretty much screwed...or refuse to pay it and screw their kids over.

The loan is is HER name...which is key.  This means that she has some skin in the game.  We fully intend to help pay this off if she graduates and circumstances allow for it.  However, we have not told her that.


« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 11:52:38 AM by farmecologist »

mm1970

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #165 on: August 18, 2017, 11:48:06 AM »
So a couple of new questions and developments.

First, anyone use collegedata.com?  Good, bad, reliable?

Second, so my daughter has been getting no fee streamline application packets from several schools.  She started to apply to a couple....and then got what I can only refer to as a "cease and desist" e-mail from her high school counselor.  Is this normal now?!  Basically he said that all applications need to go through Naviance, he'd be ready to do stuff in late September.  I looked up this program and it seems to match kids to majors and other stuff, but says nothing about filing applications.  Plus I would imagine that the streamlined processes probably are not supported through this.  Also with colleges with rolling admissions and also the fact that we talked about the bigger school awards being given out in the first few months on this thead, I think putting up any barriers is stupid on a schools part.  My daughter asked me to hash this out with her counselor and she was a bit disheartened when she shared his e-mail with me because she was all proud of herself for taking initiative and sending out a few applications and then she gets slapped by her counselor.  Now you get to see why I'm not impressed with our high school counselors.  They seem to be more of a hindrance than a help. 

So I'm still going back and forth with this guy trying to figure out if she really had to use this software the school is pushing and why if she wants to apply now does she have to wait for this guy to be ready.  I may have been a little to direct in my first e-mail because he came back telling me he was hurt that anyone would accuse him of being a barrier, but I'm sorry, my wife and I find this interference totally unnecessary.  Don't counselors just need to get the transcript and maybe write a recommendation if needed (these apps only need the transcript)?  So my wife and I were pretty steamed last night when our daughter showed us this e-mail last night.  Thoughts or input?

I agree with you, this is outrageous.  I am not only a parent, but I sit on my School Board and I think it is ridiculous that any school procedure should inhibit a student from taking initiative and applying to college.  Wake up school districts.....this is what you want the kids to do. 

You tell your daughter that this three year School Board President says Congratulations for going out there and taking control of her own life.  She should be commended and that kind of behavior will get her far in life!!  And to the counselor or the school (if this is their ridiculous policy)  they had better wake up and realize that this is exactly what we want our students to be doing, we're supposed to be preparing them to be decision makers.....I have never heard of a helicopter school district, but ladies and gentleman here you have it!
I don't know how it works anymore, but maybe the cease and desist is that every application comes with a request for transcripts/ grades?

I can imagine that it might be some work for the guidance counselor, if that is the case - and if the request comes from the school?

Back in the dark ages, I had to get an official transcript from the school office to apply.  But I only applied to 2 universities.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #166 on: August 18, 2017, 12:20:38 PM »
I would just let the counselor know that you will only be applying to the no fee / fast track applications, and to ask for 5 copies of her transcript, in sealed envelopes (if the schools will take them that way),that you can include with the application.  If the schools need a school direct-emailed transcript, then I think you need to hold off until the counselor is ready to do that work. Once set up, it is fast per student, but until then I can see that it is a lot of extra shuffling to get it done that may be interrupting course planning for the new year right now.

Having seen the stupid questions and stupid  / dumb applications that my DD's friends were sending off (e.g., horrendous replies to a written question, or missing a lot of info, or the wrong info, etc), I can see why the counselor wants to guide students through it.

MrsPete

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #167 on: August 18, 2017, 02:55:36 PM »
I already do have another daughter in college so not my first experience, just my first experience with a student who can qualify for merit based scholarships.
I did forget that you said that; however, working with a student who hopes to win a scholarship really is a different situation.  It adds another layer of uncertainty to an equation already fraught with questions. 

The schools that have sent these streamlined applications have also indicated decision in three weeks and financial aid package in four on the paperwork and encourage applying as soon as possible ... Also first day of school has begun here, so they are well past schedule development and such. 
Hmmm, we have nothing similar to your "streamlined applications", but I'd advise you NOT to skip the essays.  They could help with admission, and they could flag your student for a scholarship.  My daughter's roommate was flagged for /interviewed for a scholarship because of her college admission.  She didn't end up getting it, but the point is still valid. 

We don't start school 'til week after next, so our schedule is several weeks apart from yours. 

In our school the counselors move with the students, meaning she has had the same counselor since freshman year, and she has been very, very upset with his help (or lack thereof) many times over her high school career, so that is part of the background here as well.  I do not think he's intentionally forming barriers (nor did I say that, he just added that on his own) but I do have questions about, let's say, his competence.  For regular apps I've already told them we'll follow the process if needed, which I have since found out after it escalated through the unit 12 principal to the entire high school principal (yes our school is that darn big that there are five principals but only two counselors at each grade level for class sizes of 900) that the program actually will not really do what the counselor claimed it would do, so it kind of verifies my concern of competence.  I would not have engaged as I did had I not had this background of past shortcomings. 
You can always request that your daughter be switched to a different counselor, though that absolutely flags you as "that parent".  I still think you need to have a sit down face-to-face with the counselor. 

I agree with a lot of what you have to post and we agree more than we disagree, but this is just not correct.  My son was solicited to apply to several not-private, and not-lackluster public schools for free last year (University of Utah and Colorado School of Mines off the top of my head, but I'm sure there were more).  Come to think of it those two also waived their essay requirements.  He never would've applied but-for the free application (and more importantly no essay), but Mines actually ended up being one of his top two choices.

Blanket statements are always wrong and all that.
You may have a great deal of knowledge with the schools in your immediate vicinity, but your statements do not apply in our area.
Let's go back and take a look at a couple comments in my last post: 

I don't know anything about "no fee streamlines", nor do I know anything about Naviance.  I suspect this is evidence that things vary from place to place.  I'll say what I've said already:  I'll tell you truthfully what happens in my area, and I strongly suspect that names vary but the broad strokes are the same, but you have to check your own area's details.

As for timing, in our area college applications "open" on September 1st ...

In my area, this would be a very bad choice for two reasons:


« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 10:19:44 PM by MrsPete »

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #168 on: August 18, 2017, 04:03:57 PM »
MrsPete thanks for the awesome input.  It is all good for most situations but my experience in the past had some differences to clarify. 

I already do have another daughter in college so not my first experience, just my first experience with a student who can qualify for merit based scholarships.  Kent State has rolling admissions (which is where she went) and she had a decision and financial aid package in the first week of September last year.    The schools that have sent these streamlined applications have also indicated decision in three weeks and financial aid package in four on the paperwork and encourage applying as soon as possible.  If these were non-rolling admission colleges I would totally agree with your statements, but they are not.  These applications are waiving essays in some cases and other time consuming steps that we are fine avoiding.  These are not her dream schools, but they are her "would be fine" schools and as I said in earlier posts since she clearly had a door get a couple "yeses" under her belt she'd like to do that to make herself feel better.  Also first day of school has begun here, so they are well past schedule development and such. 

In our school the counselors move with the students, meaning she has had the same counselor since freshman year, and she has been very, very upset with his help (or lack thereof) many times over her high school career, so that is part of the background here as well.  I do not think he's intentionally forming barriers (nor did I say that, he just added that on his own) but I do have questions about, let's say, his competence.  For regular apps I've already told them we'll follow the process if needed, which I have since found out after it escalated through the unit 12 principal to the entire high school principal (yes our school is that darn big that there are five principals but only two counselors at each grade level for class sizes of 900) that the program actually will not really do what the counselor claimed it would do, so it kind of verifies my concern of competence.  I would not have engaged as I did had I not had this background of past shortcomings. 

It also turned out that even though counselor used the word "required" with regard to Naviance (which is what irked me) one of the principals included this in their reply, "While we encourage our students to use Naviance for the college application process if you find alternatives to Naviance more beneficial I would encourage you to explore those options. "  So yes, a communication problem existed as well.  In fairness to the counselor I have tried to be open minded.  We logged into Naviance last night with my daughter and found very clearly on the site that it is intended to "identify skills and competencies to help you choose a college major".  Nowhere did I find any reference to applications, and it does not appear the program does anything of the kind.

shawndoggy

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #169 on: August 18, 2017, 04:09:00 PM »
- The only schools that offer no fee applications are the small, lackluster private schools.  The state schools, which are much stronger academic options and tend to cost about 1/3 as much in the long run NEVER offer no-fee applications ... well, except vouchers to low-income kids, and that's a whole different topic.  Why don't the state schools offer no-fee options?  Because they don't have to!  They know that they can fill their freshman class (plus more) and collect a ridiculous amount of money just for looking at the application -- so they do.  It's a big money maker for them. Anyway, refusing to apply to schools that charge a fee would be the epitome of penny-wise /pound foolish.

I agree with a lot of what you have to post and we agree more than we disagree, but this is just not correct.  My son was solicited to apply to several not-private, and not-lackluster public schools for free last year (University of Utah and Colorado School of Mines off the top of my head, but I'm sure there were more).  Come to think of it those two also waived their essay requirements.  He never would've applied but-for the free application (and more importantly no essay), but Mines actually ended up being one of his top two choices.

Blanket statements are always wrong and all that.

Juslookin

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #170 on: August 18, 2017, 05:07:20 PM »
- The only schools that offer no fee applications are the small, lackluster private schools.  The state schools, which are much stronger academic options and tend to cost about 1/3 as much in the long run NEVER offer no-fee applications ... well, except vouchers to low-income kids, and that's a whole different topic.  Why don't the state schools offer no-fee options?  Because they don't have to!  They know that they can fill their freshman class (plus more) and collect a ridiculous amount of money just for looking at the application -- so they do.  It's a big money maker for them. Anyway, refusing to apply to schools that charge a fee would be the epitome of penny-wise /pound foolish

I agree with a lot of what you have to post and we agree more than we disagree, but this is just not correct.  My son was solicited to apply to several not-private, and not-lackluster public schools for free last year (University of Utah and Colorado School of Mines off the top of my head, but I'm sure there were more).  Come to think of it those two also waived their essay requirements.  He never would've applied but-for the free application (and more importantly no essay), but Mines actually ended up being one of his top two choices.

Blanket statements are always wrong and all that.

I would also respectfully disagree Mrs Pete, by this time last year my son had applied and been accepted to his college of choice. He applied to a state school which waived the application fees for anyone who applied before Sept 1 and took a tour. He was accepted before the first day of school his senior year. You may have a great deal of knowledge with the schools in your immediate vicinity, but your statements do not apply in our area.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 05:09:29 PM by Juslookin »

MrsPete

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #171 on: August 18, 2017, 10:21:15 PM »
Oh shoot, in trying to respond to multiple comments, I just managed to replace my last post with a new one.  Definitely time for me to go to sleep.

Cranky

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #172 on: August 19, 2017, 05:38:37 AM »
MrsPete thanks for the awesome input.  It is all good for most situations but my experience in the past had some differences to clarify. 

I already do have another daughter in college so not my first experience, just my first experience with a student who can qualify for merit based scholarships.  Kent State has rolling admissions (which is where she went) and she had a decision and financial aid package in the first week of September last year.    The schools that have sent these streamlined applications have also indicated decision in three weeks and financial aid package in four on the paperwork and encourage applying as soon as possible.  If these were non-rolling admission colleges I would totally agree with your statements, but they are not.  These applications are waiving essays in some cases and other time consuming steps that we are fine avoiding.  These are not her dream schools, but they are her "would be fine" schools and as I said in earlier posts since she clearly had a door get a couple "yeses" under her belt she'd like to do that to make herself feel better.  Also first day of school has begun here, so they are well past schedule development and such. 

In our school the counselors move with the students, meaning she has had the same counselor since freshman year, and she has been very, very upset with his help (or lack thereof) many times over her high school career, so that is part of the background here as well.  I do not think he's intentionally forming barriers (nor did I say that, he just added that on his own) but I do have questions about, let's say, his competence.  For regular apps I've already told them we'll follow the process if needed, which I have since found out after it escalated through the unit 12 principal to the entire high school principal (yes our school is that darn big that there are five principals but only two counselors at each grade level for class sizes of 900) that the program actually will not really do what the counselor claimed it would do, so it kind of verifies my concern of competence.  I would not have engaged as I did had I not had this background of past shortcomings. 

It also turned out that even though counselor used the word "required" with regard to Naviance (which is what irked me) one of the principals included this in their reply, "While we encourage our students to use Naviance for the college application process if you find alternatives to Naviance more beneficial I would encourage you to explore those options. "  So yes, a communication problem existed as well.  In fairness to the counselor I have tried to be open minded.  We logged into Naviance last night with my daughter and found very clearly on the site that it is intended to "identify skills and competencies to help you choose a college major".  Nowhere did I find any reference to applications, and it does not appear the program does anything of the kind.

Just looking at Naviance's website, it seems like it designed to work with the Common App? And I'm guessing that the school uses it to send out transcripts.

mxt0133

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #173 on: August 19, 2017, 10:26:18 PM »

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #174 on: August 21, 2017, 10:40:19 AM »
Maybe, this will be useful for someone.  Moral of the story you have to ask to get, on in this case apply.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/08/18/need-money-college-heres-how-makegabrielle-mccormick-earned-150-000-scholarships-heres-how-she-did-i/559957001/
The article is interesting but was disappointed to see that the website she has built is one of those "pay me to help you find scholarships" that I've seen several posters indicate we should stay away from.  I will need to see if the scholarship search provide anything  we can use, but even the Free Resources link takes you to things that are not free.  I clicked on the toolkit link on the free page and at the bottom if is $27 down from $47 to get the toolkit, so it just was not was I was hoping for.  Just figured I'd share what I found.

Pigeon

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #175 on: August 21, 2017, 11:07:36 AM »
Note that many colleges will deduct any private scholarships right off the top from any grants they might be giving you.  If that's the case, they may do you little or no good.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #176 on: August 21, 2017, 01:00:29 PM »
Haven't seen much mention of this but joining the National Guard is a pretty effective way to pay for college. Many colleges offer tuition discounts/waivers for military members (though some are only applicable to veterans who have deployed) as well as in-state tuition. Tuition assistance will cover the cost of tuition at most public colleges, though a private school might exceed their limit of $250/credit hour. You also get 36 months of GI Bill benefits. There are multiple types of GI Bill benefits ranging from one that pays a few hundred dollars per month (deposited directly into your account, can cover living expenses, etc.) to ones that go directly to the school but include a stipend for books as well as a housing allowance. The active duty version provides a lot higher benefits than the one available for Reserves/National Guard but you have to serve a few years on active duty which is obviously a much greater commitment than basic training, AIT, one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Plus you'll be earning a few hundred dollars a month from going to drill and about $1,200 for annual training. I make considerably more than that now as an officer with 14 years of service but I heard a guy recently say he made about $1,300 at annual training.

I was lucky/unlucky in that as soon as I finished AIT and started my sophomore year of college I was mobilized and deployed. It was a pretty short and easy deployment as I was serving as a replacement since my unit had already been in theater for most of their year-long deployment. I saved up about $12-15k during that time as my expenses were very minimal. When I got back it was the middle of the semester but I was able to attend a community college that was on quarters and finish up three lower level classes that transferred over. When I started again I was considered independent for FAFSA purposes and with an income of only about $4,000 a year from the National Guard I qualified for the maximum amount of grants. I stupidly took some subsidized loans as well which I only recently (10 years later) finished paying off. They mostly went to maintaining a higher standard of living than was necessary and some bad investments (financial stocks in 2006 that lost 70%+ of their value by 2009).

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #177 on: September 19, 2017, 09:47:20 AM »
So update.  DD retook her ACT and just got here results.  Jumped up from a 29 to a 33.  Thinking that should make some significant difference in her offers.  I guess we'll see.

historienne

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #178 on: September 19, 2017, 10:16:28 AM »
So update.  DD retook her ACT and just got here results.  Jumped up from a 29 to a 33.  Thinking that should make some significant difference in her offers.  I guess we'll see.

That should make a huge difference.  I teach at a major private research university, with an acceptance rate around 12 percent, and our median ACT score is somewhere around 32.5.  A 33 will be well above average at many less-selective schools, which should translate into financial aid offers.

Case

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #179 on: September 20, 2017, 05:49:36 AM »

I agree that graduate school is best delayed if it's an MBA, but some careers require the PhD, not just a Masters degree, & it is expected that the student will keep on going. It is important to find this out ASAP.


I think this is fallacy borne out of a new view of the world best explained by https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html.  I agree the CAREER requires it, but you do not get a CAREER fresh out of school.  You work towards it.  It is not REQUIRED that you have those credentials to BEGIN working in the field.  We seem to have lost the fact that you build your career over decades of blood, sweat and tears, not though immediate rewards of special snowflakes.  Think about the implication of what your statement implies.  IF entry level work required advanced degrees and everyone got them then you'd never have high level researchers with more knowledge because everyone is coming in with a PhD, which is a lot of book larnin' but not a whole lot of knowing how to do the work.

A key section of some research for the article above:

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.” He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?” He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here where her expectations for what is possible in early years out of college meet up with reality.

Dude, you dont know what you are talking about.  Chemical industry is absolutely moving in the direction of requiring a phd if you want to do higher level work.  And yes, you need the degree to compete.  There is a surplus of PhDs in the market.  Your daughter will be competing with PhDs for the job.

A phd is actually not entirely book larnin, but a ton of lab research.  E.g. What you will do in the job.
You have a lot of ideas of how you think things should be, but not many about reality.

Laura33

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #180 on: September 20, 2017, 05:53:52 AM »
So update.  DD retook her ACT and just got here results.  Jumped up from a 29 to a 33.  Thinking that should make some significant difference in her offers.  I guess we'll see.

This is awesome -- congrats to your DD!  Glad her extra effort paid off (good life lesson, eh?).

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #181 on: September 20, 2017, 06:21:15 AM »

I agree that graduate school is best delayed if it's an MBA, but some careers require the PhD, not just a Masters degree, & it is expected that the student will keep on going. It is important to find this out ASAP.


I think this is fallacy borne out of a new view of the world best explained by https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html.  I agree the CAREER requires it, but you do not get a CAREER fresh out of school.  You work towards it.  It is not REQUIRED that you have those credentials to BEGIN working in the field.  We seem to have lost the fact that you build your career over decades of blood, sweat and tears, not though immediate rewards of special snowflakes.  Think about the implication of what your statement implies.  IF entry level work required advanced degrees and everyone got them then you'd never have high level researchers with more knowledge because everyone is coming in with a PhD, which is a lot of book larnin' but not a whole lot of knowing how to do the work.

A key section of some research for the article above:

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.” He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?” He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here where her expectations for what is possible in early years out of college meet up with reality.

Dude, you dont know what you are talking about.  Chemical industry is absolutely moving in the direction of requiring a phd if you want to do higher level work.  And yes, you need the degree to compete.  There is a surplus of PhDs in the market.  Your daughter will be competing with PhDs for the job.

A phd is actually not entirely book larnin, but a ton of lab research.  E.g. What you will do in the job.
You have a lot of ideas of how you think things should be, but not many about reality.
OK, except you just validated what I said.  High level positions need a PhD.  Never disputed that.  My point was you can get a job in any field without a PhD, just everyone figures the only job worth having is the one at the top, and that ends up feeding this ludicrous desire to feel like you have to go to school for another 12 years to step foot in a job.

Case

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #182 on: September 20, 2017, 07:44:59 AM »

I agree that graduate school is best delayed if it's an MBA, but some careers require the PhD, not just a Masters degree, & it is expected that the student will keep on going. It is important to find this out ASAP.


I think this is fallacy borne out of a new view of the world best explained by https://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html.  I agree the CAREER requires it, but you do not get a CAREER fresh out of school.  You work towards it.  It is not REQUIRED that you have those credentials to BEGIN working in the field.  We seem to have lost the fact that you build your career over decades of blood, sweat and tears, not though immediate rewards of special snowflakes.  Think about the implication of what your statement implies.  IF entry level work required advanced degrees and everyone got them then you'd never have high level researchers with more knowledge because everyone is coming in with a PhD, which is a lot of book larnin' but not a whole lot of knowing how to do the work.

A key section of some research for the article above:

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.” He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?” He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here where her expectations for what is possible in early years out of college meet up with reality.

Dude, you dont know what you are talking about.  Chemical industry is absolutely moving in the direction of requiring a phd if you want to do higher level work.  And yes, you need the degree to compete.  There is a surplus of PhDs in the market.  Your daughter will be competing with PhDs for the job.

A phd is actually not entirely book larnin, but a ton of lab research.  E.g. What you will do in the job.
You have a lot of ideas of how you think things should be, but not many about reality.
OK, except you just validated what I said.  High level positions need a PhD.  Never disputed that.  My point was you can get a job in any field without a PhD, just everyone figures the only job worth having is the one at the top, and that ends up feeding this ludicrous desire to feel like you have to go to school for another 12 years to step foot in a job.

You bring up a good and valid point.  There also shouldn't be a negative stigma on 'lower level' jobs.
But you also state that "IF entry level work required advanced degrees and everyone got them then you'd never have high level researchers with more knowledge because everyone is coming in with a PhD, which is a lot of book larnin' but not a whole lot of knowing how to do the work.".  This statement is false.  You don't need to not have an advanced degree in order to know how to get work done.  I think what you're trying to imply is that there are a lot of things that are better learned through one-the-job experience, built up over decades.  This is sometimes absolutely true.  But you also need to be open to the possibility that sometimes it's not.  It's not unheard of (or even uncommon) for businesses to have been doing things "how its always been done" and then a fresh set of eyes (maybe a young PhD) comes in and realizes a critical problem which changes everything.  I'm going to speculate that you harbor these opinions because you yourself or people you know have worked hard the old-fashioned way, and feel threatened by the 'new lazy generations'.  I think it's important to realize that while there is validity in that sort of viewpoint, it also contains false stereotypes which may not accurately reflect the optimal way to get shit done.

Just so that all the information is on the table:
It is true that in chemical lab research, non-PhD's often get put into 'technician' roles where they do simpler tasks and don't get to engage their brains as much.  They will typically perform tasks designed by the PhDs.  These technician roles are important and should be valued (not looked down upon), but there are some consequences to this.  One is salary; their career trajectory is significantly different.  Roughly expect 40-80K salary range over a career (in today's dollars) for a technician.  For the PhD, expect 80K - 150K, and if they do exceptionally well it can go beyond that.  Another factor to consider is automation (robots).  The chemical industry started using robots to aid in the research process maybe 20-30 years ago.  It is becoming more widespread.  I don't know if this will eventually result in lower-level job elimination, but it is a factor to consider.  So far, I would not say the need for technicians is less; they are often used to run the robots.
Finally, there absolutely is a need for high quality 'technicians' that work under the direction of the PhDs.  Finding hard-working, smart, people with good lab hands is invaluable, and certainly in demand.  My company has lost good technicians before, and it is hard to replace them.  I think it is likely that being hard-working, smart, and pro-active will help anyone on any career track.

You can go a lot further on non-PhD education levels by being an engineer.  There are also particular sub-fields of chemistry where it is more possible (discussed environmental science in a previous thread; there are others as well, but I don't think biochemical research is one of them).  If your daughter might be interested in a different path (then biochemical lab research), it might be worth indicating to her that they might be more lucrative.

Your daughter might also be able to start out as a lab tech and transition out of research into parts of the industry where PhD's don't matter (e.g. business, supply chain, etc, marketing, etc...).  Just want to give the heads up that there is a risk of being pigeon-holed.  This is why there IS a risk when you don't get the PhD at the start.

You seem to be making the argument that careers require decades of invest (blood sweat and tears); They might, they might not.  I would argue that the PhD part IS the blood, sweat and tears.

sjc0816

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #183 on: September 21, 2017, 11:03:43 AM »
My kids are still 6 and 9 years away from starting college but this is our plan:

Save $30,000 to cover the one-year overlap that both kids will be in college at the same time. Cash flow the rest. We are estimating on the high side that we will need to cash-flow 2k per month in tuition and expenses (24k per year tuition and room and board at state flagship -- this is 5k more than it is now...to reflect increase) for seven years.

My parents have told us they will be covering our boys' tuition, but I'm not counting on this. We are aggressively saving for retirement currently so we will easily be able to pull back on that amount if needed to cover college (but doubt we will need to - we live extremely frugal). DH makes 130k per year...I freelance now making about 20k and plan to be back full-time while they are in highschool/college to direct all of those funds to college expenses.

I think it's easier to cash flow college with only two kids and not much overlap. We have told our kids that we will only be paying for a 4 year university under certain conditions: specific academic focus (if uncertain, then CC), high achievement in high school (if not, then CC).

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #184 on: September 22, 2017, 12:41:28 PM »
You bring up a good and valid point.  There also shouldn't be a negative stigma on 'lower level' jobs.
But you also state that "IF entry level work required advanced degrees and everyone got them then you'd never have high level researchers with more knowledge because everyone is coming in with a PhD, which is a lot of book larnin' but not a whole lot of knowing how to do the work.".  This statement is false.  You don't need to not have an advanced degree in order to know how to get work done.  I think what you're trying to imply is that there are a lot of things that are better learned through one-the-job experience, built up over decades.  This is sometimes absolutely true.  But you also need to be open to the possibility that sometimes it's not.  It's not unheard of (or even uncommon) for businesses to have been doing things "how its always been done" and then a fresh set of eyes (maybe a young PhD) comes in and realizes a critical problem which changes everything.  I'm going to speculate that you harbor these opinions because you yourself or people you know have worked hard the old-fashioned way, and feel threatened by the 'new lazy generations'.  I think it's important to realize that while there is validity in that sort of viewpoint, it also contains false stereotypes which may not accurately reflect the optimal way to get shit done.

Just so that all the information is on the table:
It is true that in chemical lab research, non-PhD's often get put into 'technician' roles where they do simpler tasks and don't get to engage their brains as much.  They will typically perform tasks designed by the PhDs.  These technician roles are important and should be valued (not looked down upon), but there are some consequences to this.  One is salary; their career trajectory is significantly different.  Roughly expect 40-80K salary range over a career (in today's dollars) for a technician.  For the PhD, expect 80K - 150K, and if they do exceptionally well it can go beyond that.  Another factor to consider is automation (robots).  The chemical industry started using robots to aid in the research process maybe 20-30 years ago.  It is becoming more widespread.  I don't know if this will eventually result in lower-level job elimination, but it is a factor to consider.  So far, I would not say the need for technicians is less; they are often used to run the robots.
Finally, there absolutely is a need for high quality 'technicians' that work under the direction of the PhDs.  Finding hard-working, smart, people with good lab hands is invaluable, and certainly in demand.  My company has lost good technicians before, and it is hard to replace them.  I think it is likely that being hard-working, smart, and pro-active will help anyone on any career track.

You can go a lot further on non-PhD education levels by being an engineer.  There are also particular sub-fields of chemistry where it is more possible (discussed environmental science in a previous thread; there are others as well, but I don't think biochemical research is one of them).  If your daughter might be interested in a different path (then biochemical lab research), it might be worth indicating to her that they might be more lucrative.

Your daughter might also be able to start out as a lab tech and transition out of research into parts of the industry where PhD's don't matter (e.g. business, supply chain, etc, marketing, etc...).  Just want to give the heads up that there is a risk of being pigeon-holed.  This is why there IS a risk when you don't get the PhD at the start.

You seem to be making the argument that careers require decades of invest (blood sweat and tears); They might, they might not.  I would argue that the PhD part IS the blood, sweat and tears.
OK, but a lot of this seems to stem from living life and making finite decisions on an infinite number of  "what ifs".  Will low level jobs eventually be eliminated?  Maybe, but hedging your bets on that by choosing to get a PhD is only one way to "cover" that, if it should be covered at all.  If I had listened to people who were telling me in the 80s when I was getting trained in computers that we were shortly going to have a paperless office and made my decisions based on that I'd have wasted a ton of money.  If those jobs start to go away, then go get extra education then to be able to take the high level jobs.  These jobs are not going to vanish in a two week or even a two year time frame.  They will phase out over 5-10 years, which leave anyone plenty of time to go back and spend 2 years on a PhD.  Robots are the same thing.  I've been in manufacturing most of my career, and while robots have eliminated jobs the pace was massively slower than the predictions.  I'm still waiting for my flying car that the Jetsons and everyone else convinced me I'd have as commonplace by 1980.

I disagree that any level of schooling is blood, sweat and tears.  Until you actually achieve something and contribute to a larger result (and I do understand PhD research is doing some of that, but the short time frame is far from blood, sweat and tears) over a large chunk of time expecting to be rewarded for just getting a piece of paper is the fallacy.  I'm making the argument that expecting to come of schooling and making the highest pay levels of the industry works if you have the right combination of luck and company, but if you do that there is no place to go but down.  If you get out of school and make $1 million when that job ends (possibly because they are overpaying candidates who have a PhD but no proven ability to turn that learning into actual profit for an organization) trying to find the next $1 million dollar job is not easy.  It's why in any field that has in essence an apprenticeship track (tool andn die maker, chemist etc.) you can't start on the top rung and maintain an upward trajectory.  Do some?  Yes.  But I'm not going to sell my kid on a pipe dream and watch them fall on their face.  Hard work is still by far the best driver of success.  Being smart, focusing intensely on a very small field of specialty, like a PhD does creates a lot more pigeon holing that starting our broad and then specializing once you know where you want to go seems much more satisfying. 


me1

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #185 on: September 23, 2017, 06:31:03 AM »
I am not going to argue in favor of a phd, because I am not sure it was the best path I could have taken, but diminishing the amount of work it takes is ridiculous. For me, it was only secondary to having and raising a kid. And it's certainly not the best path for everyone, and certainly not if your goal is to save money and retire early.
But I am sorry, a phd does not take 2 years!!! An average phd takes over 8 years (I just looked it up)! In technical sciences and engineering closer to 5, but it's still not something you just do casually.
It's nothing like a job where you show up do your stuff and go home. And you do have to do something to contribute to a larger result. On your own! This is the whole point. You have to contribute something 'novel and important to a body of scientific knowledge". This is what you are judged on.  If you are not deemed to have done that, you have to go back and do some more work.  This is what the "defense" of a phd is all about.
It's not just coming up with a way to produce a slightly better way to produce a widget, but you have to do something no one has done, you are trained to know more about a specific field than anyone else, and then advance it. I am very ambivalent about my own phd, but to say its not blood sweat and tears can only be said by someone who completely does not understand the process, and doesn't care to.
It's exactly like an apprenticeship. You start at the bottom and take those years with your mentor to learn everything there is to know about a very narrow area of knowledge, but then at the end you have to push it even further and create something that hasn't been done before. Sure, it may not be something physical (although it could be depending on the subject), but it by definition has to be something that moves human knowledge forward.
I think this is the first time in 7 years since I got my phd that I have said anything positive about it. Ha!

Laura33

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #186 on: September 23, 2017, 09:51:26 AM »
Ok, so, caracarn, I have no clue whether your DD should or shouldn't get a Ph.D.  But what I would hate to happen is for you to intentionally direct her away from that kind of path if it turns out to be the right one for her.  You clearly value "real world" experience over book learning, and your disdain for advanced degrees bleeds through many of your posts.  That affects your kids.

It is very true that your DD can get a basic degree in a reasonable field and get a job that will allow her to support herself.  But there are also career paths that do require advanced training and degrees.  Frequently, these careers pay significantly more than what you get with a bachelors.  And many of these fields are not set up for kids to work for several years and then go back to school -- sure, if you want an MBA or JD, that works, but it is a lot harder to do for an MD or MS/Ph.D. 

But the really good news about those careers where a Ph.D is beneficial is that many schools will pay you to get the degree.* But you're likely not going to get that if you decide to go back after working for several years -- these schools are recruiting from the college ranks.  So if you push her to get a job right after college and then go back for the Ph.D, that could actually cost her a lot more than going straight through.

So the good news is that you as dad won't need to worry about the money if your DD does decide to go into a field where a Ph.D opens up more opportunities.  If she doesn't want to do that, then fine, no reason whatsoever to push her in that direction.  Just please don't let your disdain for advanced degrees discourage her from a path that might actually end up being very beneficial for her in the long-term.

I think the "right" message -- at least, the message I am giving my own kids -- is that our responsibility ends with college, and that after that they're on their own.  So better look for a degree that will allow you to support yourself in the style to which you'd like to become accustomed; and if that involves an advanced degree, better do well enough undergrad for people to throw money at you to continue your studies.

*I am assuming based on prior discussions that we are talking about science/tech/engineering fields, which is the only area in which I have some knowledge.

me1

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #187 on: September 23, 2017, 12:08:10 PM »
But you're likely not going to get that if you decide to go back after working for several years -- these schools are recruiting from the college ranks.  So if you push her to get a job right after college and then go back for the Ph.D, that could actually cost her a lot more than going straight through.

This has not been true in my experience of my very small sub discipline of engineering. I myself worked in industry for 6 years before going back to school and had multiple offers of a paid tuition and a pretty good research assistantship (pretty good compared to friends in other sciences, and definitely compared to friends not in sciences who most often don't get anything, but very shitty for an actual engineer).

Most professors I have worked with since, have been very eager to take on people with prior work experience as their trainees.
Also, in my experience, it is the professor that picks you, not the school, because they pay you out of their grant money, not the school's money.  Which is why I likened it to an apprenticeship.  If someone is leary of taking on people with work experience, well, that probably wouldn't be a good match for anyone who doesn't want to go on to be a professor for many reasons.

I wish people who went through different apprenticeship programs felt more of a kinship with phds, because it's a very similar process. It's not like people who get medical or law or business degrees at all where you just study and take tests.

None of this really to say what your daughter should do. And sorry for going out on a tangent.

Laura33

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #188 on: September 24, 2017, 09:24:11 AM »
@me1:  thanks for the clarification - I guess there is a lot of variability here. 

But I would still hate for caracarn's daughter to think a Ph.D is off the table/bad/whatever if it turns out she would really do well in that particular area and be able to get funding for it.

GizmoTX

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #189 on: September 24, 2017, 10:06:37 AM »
Many universities have 4+1 programs to award a Master's degree in 1 year rather than 2, which dramatically reduces the actual as well as opportunity cost of the degree. The student must apply in the junior year & have outstanding grades, as the program offers dual credit for several graduate courses taken during the student's senior year, which must all be B+ or better. DS did this to keep his options open, & decided to do the 5th year for a MSEE after being chosen as a graduate TA that paid all his graduate year tuition & fees plus a monthly stipend. (He knew that monetary support from us stopped after his undergrad graduation.) He had several excellent corporate job offers in hand by his last semester, so it already paid off.

If a PhD is required for a career path rather than the Masters, then the Masters is often folded into the PhD program concurrently; it's not a separate step & 4+1 wouldn't apply. But there should be university money available for a talented student.

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #190 on: September 25, 2017, 07:54:49 AM »
Thanks for all the added input.

Not sure if you are really looking for clarification, but it's not that I have disdain for advanced degrees.  I get they take work.  I was pressing against the "you must go get a PhD to get a job in science".  I also will concede I have no idea and am an outsider to advanced study in hard sciences, but this just logically seems absurd to me.  Again, I get that to do "great work" you need it.  To put your mind at ease Laura, my guidance to my DD has always been that; I don't know what she needs and she should contact people in the field she'd like to work in to find out what they demand.  Sadly like any high schooler, the initiative seems to have stopped there as I think she is intimidated with that prospect, but I would not have a clue what to ask or who to contact.  I figured she'd figure this out as she gets into the field of study and will have to figure out if she needs/can afford a way to get the advanced degree.  Just in her talking about what she envisions as her job she's not sounding to me like it is anything challenging and earth shaking, so it just does not seem like she has the motivation at this time to press for the PhD.  Given the workload mentioned of 5+ years above and beyond a bachelor's I do not see that in her temperament at this point. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #191 on: September 25, 2017, 08:04:01 AM »
Are you guys seriously discussing the post-doc prospects of someone who has yet to sign up for freshman classes?

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #192 on: September 25, 2017, 08:28:26 AM »
Are you guys seriously discussing the post-doc prospects of someone who has yet to sign up for freshman classes?
Seems to be.  The thread took that shift a while back as many were indicating she could likely not get a job without an advanced degree in the field. 

farmecologist

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #193 on: September 25, 2017, 08:46:28 AM »
Are you guys seriously discussing the post-doc prospects of someone who has yet to sign up for freshman classes?
Seems to be.  The thread took that shift a while back as many were indicating she could likely not get a job without an advanced degree in the field.

Yes, I'd say the thread took a massive shift. 

I tried to make that point that...you know...most families actually do have to pay for college?  And that the majority of that comes from saving, loans, and NOT from scholarships.   

I get the feeling here that some here think that enough 'scholarships are out there' to pay for a majority of the cost.  That is certainly not the case.  Sure, most kids get a token scholarship or two...but BIG scholarships are few and far between.  If everyone got a big nearly-full-ride scholarship then it would basically be 'free college for all' like Bernie was touting.  We are not there yet.  I'm too lazy right now to look it up...but the percentage of students that get a full-ride or nearly-full-ride is very, very low.


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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #194 on: September 25, 2017, 06:06:28 PM »
I think this is the new world we live in.  I teach college freshmen and they already have ideas of what graduate school they want to go to and they know what kind of test scores and resume builders they will need to get accepted. 

me1

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #195 on: September 25, 2017, 07:12:12 PM »
Thanks for all the added input.

Not sure if you are really looking for clarification, but it's not that I have disdain for advanced degrees.  I get they take work.  I was pressing against the "you must go get a PhD to get a job in science".  I also will concede I have no idea and am an outsider to advanced study in hard sciences, but this just logically seems absurd to me.  Again, I get that to do "great work" you need it.  To put your mind at ease Laura, my guidance to my DD has always been that; I don't know what she needs and she should contact people in the field she'd like to work in to find out what they demand.  Sadly like any high schooler, the initiative seems to have stopped there as I think she is intimidated with that prospect, but I would not have a clue what to ask or who to contact.  I figured she'd figure this out as she gets into the field of study and will have to figure out if she needs/can afford a way to get the advanced degree.  Just in her talking about what she envisions as her job she's not sounding to me like it is anything challenging and earth shaking, so it just does not seem like she has the motivation at this time to press for the PhD.  Given the workload mentioned of 5+ years above and beyond a bachelor's I do not see that in her temperament at this point.

As the main culprit of taking this thread way off course (but with best of intentions, really), I still think finding her someone to talk to would be really helpful, before she even gets into it. My intention in explaining how a phd works and the kinds of jobs you can get without one was just to share what I have learned along the way.  I went into a phd not really knowing what options there existed for a career after one. And I certainly didn't know the very niche industry I currently work in even existed until about 3 years ago when I randomly stumbled on it. But it turned out that through my many meanderings I somehow ended up with a perfect background for it. I just wish I knew this and it could have taken me a lot less time to get here. And would likely already be retired...

So I guess when I hear about a nerdy science high school girl, I relate, and I want to help the younger me out.
I still think searching for people who work in the fields I was interested in to talk to is something I wish I had done, or had an opportunity to do. I bet the american chemical society has some kind of outreach, mentoring program. I know SWE (society of women engineers) is big into that. That's where I would start looking... different professional societies mentoring programs

And for the record I don't think anyone needs to plan for a phd in high school. I certainly didn't. It's just good to be informed about all the options.

Or maybe she can just figure it out like the rest of us.

caracarn

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #196 on: September 26, 2017, 07:44:41 AM »
Thanks for the society pointers.  Not knowing who to reach out to is certainly part of the problem.  I had suggested a few of the big pharma companies, but no idea if they even have people with the major she is interested in.  Just assuming they did, but no idea how hard it would be to get someone's attention there.

I do think the mentoring thing is an excellent idea, just hoping we can find a connection or two for her.

Car Jack

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Re: How to pay for kid's college?
« Reply #197 on: September 26, 2017, 09:24:31 AM »
You ask how to pay.  In my case, I have one in a private Northeast engineering college to the tune of $65k and another who has learning disabilities and is a high school to the tune of $56k.  My college son gets Stafford loans ($7500 a year at 3rd year and on).  I make nowhere near the $190k that the OP makes.  How do we pay?

We saved early.  We are older parents.  Our older son was born when I was 39.  So we're more established, I guess.  We've always been savers and at the point where I didn't know what to do with all our extra money, I started buying savings bonds.  These have turned out to be a great investment as we've sold them off paying no tax at all because they're used for educational expenses.

My mom and wife's dad are both widowed and in their 80's.  They've figured out that they don't have 50 more years to live and I've shown them the IRS code that allows them to pay college bills directly.  This does an end run around the $14k per person gift without an IRS gift form.  They both like that because they don't want any government knowing what they're doing with their money.  Both have helped every year with money towards tuition.

529:  We don't have one.  It's considered a parent asset, so that works against you.  But....my parents set up 529s for both my kids.  Since we get zip in aid, we started pulling that money out for my older son, transferred my younger son's one to the older and will drain that early next year (my mom wants to simplify and that will do it).  Of course, we know that a non-parent 529, when used is considered student income, which is the worst form of income and counts 50%.

Community College and Transfers.  I've done both.  My son also transferred.  Some things you need to know going in.  Transfer credits: Find out from the college transferring in to what credits transfer over.  I have a 2 year associates degree and exactly one course (an English) transferred.  So don't assume you'll save money.  I did a full 4 years for my BSEE. 

Transfers and Merit aid:  Look in your 4 year school's financial aid section.  Every school I've looked at says "Merit aid is NOT offered to transfer students".  This is very important to know.  It can absolutely kill the savings from doing 2 years of community college.  My son's first year was at a lower level engineering college where he received $11k a year for 4 years in merit aid.  At the new school (which is more expensive but far, far more rigorous....a much better school), he gets zip.

Seek out a college below the level of the student.  If she might get into MIT or Stanford, then maybe a Virginia Tech or UMass Lowell or lower level private college is the way to go.  Why?  She'd be a big fish grades wise in a small pond college level wise and they're more likely to give her more merit aid.

Make the applications and see what's offered.  FAFSA won't tell you everything, especially with private colleges.  As one seminar told me, the level where you get aid at a public college is pretty easy to meet.  But they have no money.  It's harder at private colleges, but they have tons of money.

Odd activity scholarships:  Crew (as in rowing).  This is the way to maximize an athletic scholarship.  There are a million students looking to become a varsity football/lacrosse/soccer/tennis athlete on a scholarship.  Crew is few and far between.  My son's girlfriend is on a crew scholarship, has been injured the last 2 years and pays half what we pay. 

For FAFSA, understand that the baseline is the official government poverty line.  Anything above that is available to pay for college. 

Co-ops can help but that's student income, so 50% of it will go towards reducing any aid she gets.

ROTC is probably the way to go.  That or get on the good side of your Senator and have her go into one of the Military Academies. 

Pay it forward:  Perhaps have an understanding with all of your kids:  Once you graduate, we expect you will help pay for each of your siblings when they hit college.