Author Topic: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree  (Read 1948 times)

Heruta

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Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« on: May 12, 2016, 03:51:08 PM »
Hello Mustachians, I would call you fellows but I just started and I think I can see some stubble coming in, but time will tell.

A little background. I am a 24 year old California resident who has been going to community college and just getting by not really knowing what I wanted to do until now. But having gotten as far into college as I have I can finally apply to transfer. I need to apply this fall for admission in 2017. I think I want to go to UC-San Diego because of the degree program they have, and while the area is expensive, and the UC is more than the Cal State in that area I feel it would be the best choice based on their mathematics base focus on Economics, if I can get in.

In the last few months I have buckled down, lost 30 pounds, payed off 2/3 of my credit card debt and done really well in my classes. So, I am planning on applying to school and I want to know the Mustachian way to do this.

I am too old already to waste any more time and the more I read about FI and RE the more I want to get in and out of school and on the way to doing life not in my parents home... I want to major in Economics. I love the subject and I know that it is a major that can net a better than average wage, with the potential for a very good wage if and when I finish my Masters.

Also, now that I am 24 and my income is so low I will be able to receive a lot in financial aide, mainly the 12.5k Pell grant and hopefully up to another 30k from the CAL Grant. Is it worth it to go if I have to take out loans? I intend on taking just a bike to school, living a Black Belt level of frugality, and finishing as quickly as possible once I get there so as to move on and get a job that will pay 2-3 times more than what I am currently making with my 3 part time jobs. Speaking of those 3 part time jobs, I make roughly 1,500 a month and have been spending around 500 of it a month on essentials. I will be transitioning to saving as much as I can for when I go to school in 2017. This Summer I will make approx 3k from my summer job, and the 7 weeks I will have free food and rent. When when I come back from summer I will be making about the same 1500 a month and saving as much as possible for school, so as to have to take out 0 loans, that is the goal, no loans.

So, my questions are, should I at 24 go finish the 3 more years of school I need to get the dang degree? If the answer is yes, should I move to a new area and pay the rent to go to a better school than Cal State San Bernardino, the most local school. The goal of going somewhere better is to hopefully earn better wage? Or I could commute the 40 minutes from my parents home, free rent, to UC-Riverside in my area, both have an Economics Major.

Any and all wisdom is appreciated, I think my best course of action would be to go to UCSD, get a couple roommates and grind out my degree and get into the work force soon as possible. Thank you so much for reading this and taking the time to respond. I am just very new to this and I want to get a good solid start on the rest of my life, especially since I am starting so late.

Thank you!

Kaikou

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2016, 02:29:38 AM »
So do you have an associate degree then?


2Cent

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 05:03:04 AM »
Don't think about the costs, ... is only once. Refering to everything from weddings to Christmas to kids birthday parties.(This is her only 6th birthday)
Grrr

DeltaBond

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 05:26:11 AM »
What is the actual difference in schools if they both have the same degree?  I ask because where I am the most expensive school is known as a party school and its actually more valuable to go to the cheaper schools for most of the undergrad degrees.  Also, what is the difference in the cost?

Scandium

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 07:01:33 AM »
The country (and world) is full of schools, why are only those three in a corner of California an option?

mozar

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2016, 08:09:49 AM »
What kind of job do you want? Economics is too vague. Do you want to be a research analyst? A professor? A think tank consultant?  Then find out where those kinds of jobs recruit at what school and interview people who have the kind of job you want.

Heruta

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2016, 05:05:51 PM »
The country (and world) is full of schools, why are only those three in a corner of California an option?

Becuase I have finished almost 90 units of school and the public schools in California have the best transfer agreements with community colleges in California. Also I am more likely to get into a better school here than an out of state school becuase I did not earn the grades that I should have. And becuase I know people in both of those areas. So all in all I would be open to going elsewhere but I think as far as in state tuition and other factors these three are a good match.

kite

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2016, 09:26:35 AM »
Is a degree worth the loans if you are ho-hum about the field, employment in that field is unlikely and the debt level will be six figures?
No, never.
But you are wiser than most, doing something worthwhile and making use of a decent amount of financial aid. 
So Yes!  Take loans to close the gap and get it done.  It will not be easier or less expensive in the future.

The university where I finished my degree had an office of continuing studies whose focus was on us students in the 25 & older crowd.  The professors loved us because we're the more dedicated and less intoxicated students.  My BFF was 30, doing pre-med, and she had the highest score nationwide 2 years in a row on the American Chemical Society's standardized final.   I remarked that it's the must be rare for an older student, and our prof said, "That always happens.  Every year, the best students are the ones who aren't under 21.  They work harder because they know what they want and  working hard is what makes success." 

rockeTree

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Re: Paying for College and the benefits of a degree
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 06:02:55 AM »
If you want to work as an economist (rather than business in general) you're making a solid choice. Riverside's Econ department was in chaos for years (over Marxism!) and even if things have settled down they will have reputation issues in the discipline for a long time (and no good even if you're interested in heterodox stuff since I think all those folks got pushed out in the end). The cal states often have better teaching than the UC at the undergrad level (faculty instead of grad students and the union fights to limit adjunct folks); if you want an mba or some such anyhow you might save a bit getting the bs there and the subsequent degree from a UC.


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