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Old 02-23-2006, 01:56 AM   #46
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Question for those with kids: are you planning on paying for your child's/children's college ed? Is anyone planning on letting their kids pay their own way?
I guess right now, from the limited vantage point of my kids still being young and helpless--and also from somewhat being on the inside where watching tuitions skyrocket with no end in sight is concerned--I almost feel like "planning on letting them pay their own way" would be like planning on letting them jump off a cliff. We don't even remotely expect to be able to foot all their expenses, granted, but it's hard for me to imagine right now that they won't need help to avoid enormous debt burdens later--which, having struggled ourselves to pay off debts that most likely will look like peanuts in another 15 years, we would do anything to avoid putting them through that. We expect them to work, certainly, but we'd rather have the income from that be a needed supplement and not a Band-Aid on a hemorrhage.

But of course, and hence the , intentions are one thing--wherewithal to carry them out is something else. My dreamland fantasy would be that by the time my kids graduate from high school, I'll still be around and teaching, maybe even be a dean or something (which at most public unis is the lowest level at which you net a pay raise for your added troubles--department heads generally don't), and faculty child benefits would still exist to help cushion things (but considering how state higher-ed budgets are being slashed, I worry about that). And of course, if they got scholarships or generous financial aid packages, that would be just ducky too. The problem with this fantasy is A) why would my kids want to go to school where I teach--I wouldn't have, B) in all likelihood our then-income level would put them in the too-much-income-for-aid, too-little-to-not-need-huge-loans category, and C) I don't even have tenure yet anyway, so for all I know I'll be out of a job, period, before too long, which scares the shit out of me because I am our primary wage earner and I had *no idea* when I got hired directly out of grad school after just a few interviews how incredibly lucky I was.
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This is rather interesting to me, because going into college, I though it was going to be every person for him or herself...I thought things would finally even out, but I ended up with the same problems I had through high school: most of my peers coming from upper-middle to upper class families and not having to think twice about money...most of the girls on my floor got this attitude about me that I was antisocial because I never did any dorm activities with them. What they never realized was that I was working anytime I wasn't in class.
Man, yeah, that is all too familiar. Some of my fellow students did work when and where I went to college, but very few worked full-time like me and I, too, often felt more like a day student than a resident where "campus life" was concerned. And except for my last two years of high school, I had lived all my life in a community where EVERYONE was poor, so this "not having to think twice about money" business I noted in some other students was pretty much a novelty to me. For sure, I would never have dreamed of expecting my mother to help me out, as she was still raising two kids on her own after my dad's death. Like you I didn't feel bitter about the difference, though--just kind of wistful sometimes.
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It's a bloody great time to be getting into geology.
Are you being sarcastic or serious? I have no idea what the demand for geologists is like.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:02 AM   #47
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yes it's largely assumed. some day i'll probably get hauled into court on assault charges because i slapped some drunk motherfucker at work who leaned over on my security desk at 2am on a friday or saturday night and said "wow, how late are you here tonight? three? haha, you still have another hour? doesn't that suck? wouldn't you rather be out partying?"
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:03 AM   #48
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Originally posted by yolland

Are you being sarcastic or serious? I have no idea what the demand for geologists is like.
Oh very serious, there is quite the resources upswing and exploration geologists are in high demand. The demand for palaeontologists in the fossil fuel industry has dropped over the last 20 years but at this point in time and in the near future things are looking up. Just have to keep on going to those industry meet nights held at uni.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:13 AM   #49
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You know, maybe it's time for this generation to become better organized and more politically active. I mean, you can see what "waiting our turn" has left us with: poor job prospects and tons of debt.

And really...partisan pride aside, does anyone REALLY have any optimism for the 2008 election? You're just going to have the same idiotic "baby boomers" running as always. They promise you the world, but, in the end, they only think of themselves. We should be organizing to take over Congress and, likewise, getting a constitutional amendment to lower the minimum age for the presidency. I mean, these current losers have done nothing but waste our time and money. So let's take over!

Melon
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:20 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic

Question for those with kids: are you planning on paying for your child's/children's college ed? Is anyone planning on letting their kids pay their own way?
My girls are 22 months and 8 months and both already have education savings plans in place which have some tax advantages here. Whenever family or friends ask what we need/want for birthdays/holidays etc, I just say whatever you'd like to contribute to their RESPs (registered education savings plan).

Reading this thread I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to get out of university without much debt and get my career launched before I graduated. Mostly because I was able to go to a good school while living at home and using reliable public transit...not to mention that tuition, fees and books was a max of about $1,500 per semester at the time (graduated in 92 with a BComm).

It's one thing to graduate with a huge debtload if you can get on track to your career right away and plan to pay it down in a reasonable amount of time...like many professionals have always had to do. But the jobs just aren't out there these days to do that with your average BA, BSc or BComm.

The good news is that's going to change as the front end of the boomers start retiring soon.

But then, the shelf-life of typical undergrad and grad degrees isn't what it used to be either. It may get your career started but if you want to advance beyond mid-levels, you'd better be prepared to do serious upgrading every 10 years or so. At least at that point, if you've proven you're worth it, your company will be paying for it.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:20 AM   #51
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Originally posted by melon
So let's take over!
do you really want me in charge?
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:29 AM   #52
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if i were to have children, i'd only plan to adopt one, perhaps two. i also plan to be in a 2-income family (two male incomes, and, bluntly, men still make more than women), i plan to start saving immediately and contribute to it over the course of 18 years akin to RESP mentioned by AliEnvy, and my parents have already said that they are going to start thinking about starting to save for their grandchildren's college education, and that we (my brother, sister, and i) will be expected to do the same when we are grandparents.



another thought on Melon's post and the lack of generational organization -- it seems to me that there's very little of the middle left, the middle that someone like Yolland appears to be in (too rich for aid, too poor not to go into debt) has all but disappeared. when i was in school, i noticed this. there seemed to be the "rich kids" who's parents could pay for everything, and the "poor kids" who were there through grants and loans and sometimes full scholarships. so you have half the population who aren't affected, really, and the other half who are in theory, not all that affected because they get the money they need. and then the middle class kids who feel the genuine squeeze are too busy working their assess of day and night to have much time to organize.

just a thought.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:41 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Question for those with kids: are you planning on paying for your child's/children's college ed? Is anyone planning on letting their kids pay their own way?
I consider this a top priority as a parent - and will sacrifice material satisfaction today for their education tomorrow. I also will continue to donate to programs that help pay for education of those in need.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:45 AM   #54
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
I joined the ARMY.... Student Loan repayment & GI BIll.
I wonder what percentages of students consider this route anymore (I seems like a significant drop from the 50's and 60's when the GI Bill was considered a huge benefit).
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:22 PM   #55
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that's MIT, though. i think everyone going there knows it's going to kick their ass.
Well, so what's the workload like at a state school for a humanities major? For a science/engineering major?

Say it's 30 hours/week for a 30 week school year -- 900 hours of school per year. If tuition is $20,000 (which is high for in-state public school tuition, but low otherwise), that's $22/hour. If work pays less than this, and it's financially feasible, it may make more sense to cut down on work and try to get out of school early. If one can muster the motivation enough to work 20-30 hours/week outside of school, one can probably muster the motivation to take 5 or 6 classes in some terms.

Or one can live at home for a year and work full-time (pending parental approval, of course).

I know it can be rough paying for college; I'm just trying to throw out some ideas which may or may not have already been considered.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:27 PM   #56
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Originally posted by melon


And really...partisan pride aside, does anyone REALLY have any optimism for the 2008 election? You're just going to have the same idiotic "baby boomers" running as always. They promise you the world, but, in the end, they only think of themselves. We should be organizing to take over Congress and, likewise, getting a constitutional amendment to lower the minimum age for the presidency. I mean, these current losers have done nothing but waste our time and money. So let's take over!
Plus we should outsource Congress, the Presidency and all other offices to India. Gotta cut down on costs, y'know.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:27 PM   #57
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I wonder what percentages of students consider this route anymore (I seems like a significant drop from the 50's and 60's when the GI Bill was considered a huge benefit).
the loan repayment was huge for me....

they paid 1/4 (1/8th I cannot remember) of outstanding loans....every year....so even while I was in school, they were getting paid.

I do not know how many people join for these reasons.....

My sister's bofriend just got out of the Navy, and he is now through the GI BILL going to medical school.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:05 PM   #58
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Originally posted by speedracer

If one can muster the motivation enough to work 20-30 hours/week outside of school, one can probably muster the motivation to take 5 or 6 classes in some terms.

i think one of us misunderstood the other somewhere, i wasn't saying anything about it being difficult to take 5 or 6 classes a semester while working. i work about 20 hours a week, and i've got 7 classes right now.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:52 PM   #59
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Plus we should outsource Congress, the Presidency and all other offices to India. Gotta cut down on costs, y'know.
Not a bad idea.

I doubt they could do worse.
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:07 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it seems to me that there's very little of the middle left, the middle that someone like Yolland appears to be in (too rich for aid, too poor not to go into debt) has all but disappeared. when i was in school, i noticed this. there seemed to be the "rich kids" who's parents could pay for everything, and the "poor kids" who were there through grants and loans and sometimes full scholarships. so you have half the population who aren't affected, really, and the other half who are in theory, not all that affected because they get the money they need. and then the middle class kids who feel the genuine squeeze are too busy working their assess of day and night to have much time to organize.
Well for starters, like I described above, I've a long way to go yet and several professional hurdles to jump (most importantly making tenure, which I'll have to start over from scratch on if I don't make it here) before we'd get anywhere near too-rich-for-aid territory. That said, I think there are VERY few students today who are getting anything resembling a full ride, including those whom must of us would unequivocally call poor. I was (in retrospect naively) amazed enough that I didn't qualify for full aid when I started college, as (so I thought) my FAF ought to have shown clearly that there was NO, absolutely NO, family money available to help me pay. I did get some aid plus a scholarship, but it wasn't enough to pay for everything by a long shot, and grad school was the same story, only worse. Plus of course, this still left basic living expenses to worry about. I could've saved a *little* more money by going to college in NYC and living at home, but that wouldn't have been an option in grad school, given my specialty. In fact, part of why I worked full-time in college was so I could save up a bit for grad school.

So I think the reality in most cases is that *anyone* whose parents CAN'T afford to pay the whole thing is very likely to wind up being saddled with significant debts. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if more good-paying jobs were available for freshly minted BAs, but they aren't. *Plus* as I alluded to earlier, the student loans industry (Sallie Mae, Citibank, etc.) are notorious for crushing already struggling indebted young people further into the ground by imposing what, given the state of the economy, are absurdly punitive payoff plans (subject to soaring interest rates, fees and penalties that, again, can easily leave you ultimately winding up paying twice what you originally owed over the course of your debt). IMO, the first focus of any organized movement that might emerge ought to be these companies.

As far as public universities go at least, it is hard to be optimistic about the tuition spiral slowing anytime soon. While our state could spend more on higher ed than they do (and budget what they do spend more wisely), the fact is that like so many other states, they are more or less strapped and really can't afford to give the kind of money that might in theory be able to reverse the tuition trend. Plus, like a lot of other states, we have the problem where relatively few of our highest-educated students wind up staying here ("brain drain") so there is that much less incentive for the state to focus on making things easier for students financially. But most financial aid, of course, is federal, so perhaps that ought to be the second focus of any prospective organized movement.

Another factor that any such movement ought to consider is a more concerted national effort--which would have to start at the high school level--to make sure that what aid and scholarships are available does not go to waste, and that all students are getting all the help and guidance they need to secure every last cent of assistance available. One thing I found highly galling in college was that some students from *far* more well-off backgrounds than myself, had received almost as much aid as I because their families had been able to hire lawyers and financial planners to help them pad their FAFs with various proofs of why their parents' base income level didn't tell the full story of how much family money was really available to help them pay their way. I had no access to such assistance and wonder how much more aid I might have gotten if I had. Also, I probably could have gotten a few more (small) scholarships if someone wiser than I had been available to help me identify what I might be a good candidate for amidst the bewildering array of them out there. However, in the end these kinds of piecemeal efforts (i.e, scholarships) are *probably* not as worthwhile a focus for any movement as going after the student loan industry and the financial aid program.

And again...though this is beside the point for many in here...things only get worse when you go on to grad school, probably particularly in the humanities. I assume that statistically, it's a little easier and faster for *most* MBAs, MDs, JDs, (and MAs/PhDs in sci-tech fields?) etc. to pay off their expenses, but I don't really know.
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