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Old 01-19-2012, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,234,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I thought so as well. I think university academia (I think the author of that article was an admissions person) is loathe to talk about making value/cost benefit decisions when it comes to school choice. Most of them are quite comfortable telling kids to take out loans for thousands of dollars to cover the price of their school when they could get the same thing at the state school for less money.

The ultimate decision to me really comes down to looking at earning potential versus education cost. This relationship has grown further and further skewed these days where more expensive schools simply aren't worth it. I know most kids don't necessarily know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, but at least have some idea to help make an informed choice.

I don't know how many people I've interviewed for $25k a year jobs that are $50k+ in student loan debt with a theology degree from a big name school. Those people made a horrible choice.
It really emphasizes to me the importance of the student and their parents doing their due diligence wrt financial reality. Not to sound completely cynical, but these schools are in the business of making money in addition to educating.

I agree with you about earning potential vs education cost. Another piece of this puzzle is whether an advanced degree in the field of choice is required and when. That can change the number for education cost/loans dramatically, as well as delay when full earning potential can be reached.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:18 PM
 
15,212 posts, read 16,123,216 times
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A related question: Do you go visit a lot of college campuses? If so, do you visit before or after your child has applied and been accepted?

I have friends (who at least pretend that money is no object) who go all over the country visiting campuses before their kids have even applied. One had good reason to believe her child would be accepted anywhere, but the other's kid's prospects are not as promising. I asked the second friend why they were going to make the visits and she said so he'd know whether he wanted to apply or not.

Back in the dark ages (early 80's) when I went to college I basically just applied, got accepted and went. I had seen the campus, but did not make a special trip to go see it. It was a big state school, but it never occurred to me to make a national tour of college campuses.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:21 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,548,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I was curious so I looked it up...

To How Many Colleges Should You Apply? This Article Discusses How Many Colleges You Should Apply To

They say that recommendations range from 3-12, with the average being about 6 or 7. The article recommends applying to 3 "reach" schools, 3 "match" schools and 2 "safety" schools, so 8 overall. With each one costing about $50 in application fees and needing several hours per application, that's a lot of time and money. I see the value in doing it, however.
A lot of schools use the "Common Application" now so that saves some time. Also, many schools waive the application fee or reduce it if you apply online .

The problem, if you want to call it that, we are running into with our kids is that they don't want to go too far away and the reach schools in our area are too close . They will most likely end up getting accepted to every school where they apply, not counting Notre Dame. We keep trying to talk to them about applying to some Ivy's but that is just too far away for them....even though flying would take less time than driving but what do I know, I'm just mom. The flip side is that they each have 4 schools that they would be fine attending so we can just focus on overall cost once the aid packages come.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
3,388 posts, read 3,234,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
A related question: Do you go visit a lot of college campuses? If so, do you visit before or after your child has applied and been accepted?

I have friends (who at least pretend that money is no object) who go all over the country visiting campuses before their kids have even applied. One had good reason to believe her child would be accepted anywhere, but the other's kid's prospects are not as promising. I asked the second friend why they were going to make the visits and she said so he'd know whether he wanted to apply or not.

Back in the dark ages (early 80's) when I went to college I basically just applied, got accepted and went. I had seen the campus, but did not make a special trip to go see it. It was a big state school, but it never occurred to me to make a national tour of college campuses.
My answer is dated (early 90s) but we did visit most of the schools I applied to (and a couple I ruled out on visits) beforehand. The caveat is that all of the campuses were within a 6 hour radius of our home. My parents decided to tack a campus visit on little family vacation road trips over the course of two years. So we'd go see the sights in DC, and look at a few schools coming to and from. They used the same system with my younger sibs. I don't know that a special cross-country trip would have happened though (actually, I'm pretty sure it would not have been an option!).

I'm curious if the norm has changed.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:27 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,548,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
A related question: Do you go visit a lot of college campuses? If so, do you visit before or after your child has applied and been accepted?

I have friends (who at least pretend that money is no object) who go all over the country visiting campuses before their kids have even applied. One had good reason to believe her child would be accepted anywhere, but the other's kid's prospects are not as promising. I asked the second friend why they were going to make the visits and she said so he'd know whether he wanted to apply or not.

Back in the dark ages (early 80's) when I went to college I basically just applied, got accepted and went. I had seen the campus, but did not make a special trip to go see it. It was a big state school, but it never occurred to me to make a national tour of college campuses.
We have visited several campuses so far. A big part of knowing where to apply is the feel of the campus for the kids--is it too big, too small, too urban, etc. They also get a chance to talk to professors, other students, etc. A big one for us is what is it like on the weekend. Do most students stay on campus or is it a ghost town on Saturday. Our kids want a place where most kids stick around and enjoy college on the weekends. We are thinking about taking a road trip out east this summer but the kids are hesitant to go that far for college so that isn't definite. We did do a multi-state driving tour to a few schools this past summer. Ruled out one school completely doing that but also found another school by chance that is a possibility. We will make return visits to a couple, most likely, to narrow down choices.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:29 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 3,746,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Not questioning your reasons, but there are a lot of ways to handle that. One of my siblings is reasonably well off financially and has one child. The sibling could easily afford to write a check to cover the costs. Instead, they chose to have their child take out loans to cover any amount that was not already covered by scholarships. The deal was that if the child graduated and maintained a sufficient GPA, then the parent would pay off the loans. If the child didn't graduate or failed to maintain the GPA, then they would be responsible for repaying the loans.

I think that was a good way to strike a balance between helping set your child up for the future, but also making them take personal responsibility for the choices they make. My sibling wasn't going to finance 4 years of partying and a 2.0 GPA.
We have just decided that if our son chooses to go to college, he will have to pay for it himself. Just like if he chooses to have a car, he will have to pay for it himself along with the gas. The only thing we will pay is insurance. If he wants his own apartment when he graduates high school? You guessed it. He has to pay for it himself
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:16 PM
 
12,943 posts, read 19,890,461 times
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We had our three research colleges with an eye towards what they thought they wanted to study, then had them make sure they met the entrance qualifications. At that point, they applied wherever they wanted to. We didn't do any tours until they had acceptance letters. Only one completely changed his mind about where he thought he wanted to go after seeing the campus.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
1,194 posts, read 1,516,992 times
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Whatever my child can afford but id help if I could.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:34 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,703 posts, read 21,889,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastwesteastagain View Post
My answer is dated (early 90s) but we did visit most of the schools I applied to (and a couple I ruled out on visits) beforehand. The caveat is that all of the campuses were within a 6 hour radius of our home. My parents decided to tack a campus visit on little family vacation road trips over the course of two years. So we'd go see the sights in DC, and look at a few schools coming to and from. They used the same system with my younger sibs. I don't know that a special cross-country trip would have happened though (actually, I'm pretty sure it would not have been an option!).

I'm curious if the norm has changed.
Not for us, we are visiting before acceptance, and have been for a while.

Combining the trip with a family getaway is a wonderful idea, and taking younger sibs will make this even easier the next time.

I went to college in the "darker ages"- the late '70s. I visited twice. Once I applied, and once when accepted. We didn't have the internet then, and all of the information came from the few photos in the college catalogue. Nothing beats a visit though.

If you can do it, the more times the student sees the college, the better.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:24 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,548,495 times
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Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We had our three research colleges with an eye towards what they thought they wanted to study, then had them make sure they met the entrance qualifications. At that point, they applied wherever they wanted to. We didn't do any tours until they had acceptance letters. Only one completely changed his mind about where he thought he wanted to go after seeing the campus.
What would you have done if he didn't like any of the schools once he got on campus? To me this seems a little backwards. I can see doing a second visit to the top 2 or 3 after they are accepted to help with the final decision.
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