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Old 02-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #16
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Originally posted by anitram
Undergraduate degrees are worthless these days unless they are in nursing, teaching or engineering. Everything else, you need to do something else if you want a high paying job. Preferrably a professional program (meds, law, dentistry, pharmacy), etc.
Depends on what you want to do though, or how much you really care about what your job pays. I've really no interest in going into any type of medicine or most of those other things. Honestly, my happiest moments are volunteering at the local Humane Society, for which we don't get paid (we actually have to pay for our gear and supplies) and not even a GED is required. If I didn't have to worry about living expenses and loan payments, I'd quit my job and volunteer full time. In fact I most likely will since Phil will be a shoe-in after his second degree (special education teachers, let alone male ones, are so rare he already has people begging for him to finish the degree and work for them).

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If I had kids, my #1 priority would be to educate them to the highest possible level they would be interested in. No question about it. I see it as my duty, as my parents helped me, to help them. Whatever $ I could afford, would go to their education, first and foremost. If they don't want to go to university for multiple degrees, that's fine as well - it's not for everyone. But I admit I would advocate for it.


But say you do value education but are never in a position to pay for someone else's? Do you have to be able to prove value with money? I don't think so; I think you can teach it early on and don't have to attach a monetary amount. I never once considered NOT going to college even though I knew my parents were missing mortgage payments just to pay for my high school tuition. We were socialized early on to value education and put forth effort regardless of how much it would cost or who would have to pay.

I guess that's more what this news segment was getting at. The way it came through was they made you feel bad if you weren't already putting away hundreds each month for your kids. They even said things like "if this is important to you there's no reason why you can't do [X-fund]." I was just surprised at how the whole thing came across. I only know one person who got money for college from a pre-existing fund. I think my parents did what you were saying, but only until we were adults. As kids we went to the best school within hours of here, costing more than many colleges. Once we were done w/ high school, it was out of the house and we were responsible for getting our aid and loans and they would support whatever choice we made. Now they can start repaying the high school tuition costs and catching up on the mortgage.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:03 PM   #17
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At the moment I'm paying less than €250, per semester, which is about $328, the dearest part being the semester ticket for the public transportation in and around Berlin.
My parents are paying the rent for my flat, which is €270, from the child benefits.

For the rest I get €347 each month ($256) education assistance from the state.
Like in the UK I have to pay it back after I've finished my studying.
Rules are here that you start paying five years after you finished studying. But you only have to pay back half the money you got. If you finish earlier or are one of the 30 per cent best of your year you have to pay back less.

In some states they are now starting to introduce tuition fees at €500 each semester ($657), but the students are protesting against it.
One reason is, that the universities are generally demanding the €500, but the students want that the universities make a plan on how money they need for certain investments beforehand, so that the universities together with the studentes can decide whether the claim is justified.

Also the universities should be held accountable if they demanded money for investments they didn't make.

Most of the Master studies cost much more money, so I will first do my Bachelor and then decide what to do next.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:06 PM   #18
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Thanks Vincent and others not from the US. It's informative to read how it's done elsewhere. Personally, I can't figure out why education is so expensive here when many Europeans pay so much less and get just as good an education (sometimes better). I hope there are good reasons, maybe someone knows them...
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:58 PM   #19
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What is a liberal arts degree, Lies? You seem to have studied a little bit of a few different things. I know you did business units and so forth, but here you would do that under a Bachelor of Business which is harder and more competitive than a BA, but more restrictive. Essentially a BA is not a specific degree geared toward any one field, so they can be useful for humanities, social sciences, and all those fields of employment - even though there are degrees which aim toward those areas specifically, as well.

I am using FEEHelp (which replaces the old HECS system) as I go, which basically everyone in Australia is entitled to, as it is simply a deferred payment. I don't understand why it is not offered in the US.

We personally have money set aside now for our kids and add to it each month which is then invested so it can grow as they do. Whether they use it or not will be up to them, but when they come to finishing high school, we go the route of the US and education is not easily accessible then we will have a backup plan for them. Otherwise they can use the money to take off and explore the world, or get started on a mortgage or something. It's my view that as a parent you do everything in your power to help your children. It's what I view my role as. That includes financially. I see education as incredibly important, and after they are fed and clothed and have a safe and happy home, then all the other things like education and so on are the next priority list. People who don't do as we are doing are not doing less, it's just their own way.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje

But say you do value education but are never in a position to pay for someone else's? Do you have to be able to prove value with money? I don't think so; I think you can teach it early on and don't have to attach a monetary amount. I never once considered NOT going to college even though I knew my parents were missing mortgage payments just to pay for my high school tuition. We were socialized early on to value education and put forth effort regardless of how much it would cost or who would have to pay.

I guess that's more what this news segment was getting at. The way it came through was they made you feel bad if you weren't already putting away hundreds each month for your kids. They even said things like "if this is important to you there's no reason why you can't do [X-fund]." I was just surprised at how the whole thing came across. I only know one person who got money for college from a pre-existing fund. I think my parents did what you were saying, but only until we were adults. As kids we went to the best school within hours of here, costing more than many colleges. Once we were done w/ high school, it was out of the house and we were responsible for getting our aid and loans and they would support whatever choice we made. Now they can start repaying the high school tuition costs and catching up on the mortgage.
Yeah, I totally agree with you. My parents obviously value my law degree and are really happy I'm doing it, but if they can't afford to pay for that and my brother's grad school at the same time, you can't squeeze blood from a stone. At that point, you take a loan and make the best of it.

I knew plenty of parents of my friends who could afford it and chose not to, saying their kids should be responsible. I guess that's one view, I just can't reconcile my upbringing with it only because my parents sacrificed a lot for me and I'd do it for my kids too, as much as I could.

Also, you have to take care of yourself as well. And that means having a nice place for your kids to grow up and having some kind of retirement fallback plan for you and so on. Education is nice, but come on, the reality of life is that we all have a hundred things we need to take care of. Guilting people about not planning 20 years in advance is really a poor approach.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:06 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Liesje
Thanks Vincent and others not from the US. It's informative to read how it's done elsewhere. Personally, I can't figure out why education is so expensive here when many Europeans pay so much less and get just as good an education (sometimes better). I hope there are good reasons, maybe someone knows them...
Why is it cheaper in Canada? Because we don't have private universities. All of them are government funded and so they are subsidized to an extent.

When it comes to our professional programs, they are deregulated (I think in all provinces, but definitely in Ontario) which means they don't have to comply with tuition caps set by the provinces and that's why we're seeing tuition prices get ridiculous for things like law and medicine, similarly as you see in the US.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:23 PM   #22
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What is a liberal arts degree, Lies? You seem to have studied a little bit of a few different things.
"Liberal arts" means the college has a core curriculum every student is required to fulfill regardless of their major of study. For example, my BA is Business Communications, but I was required to take a course in political science, sociology, chemistry, economics, communications, computer applications, biology, religion, English, literature, philosophy, history, etc. Our school also has a CCE requirement which stands for cross-cultural engagement. You're required to spend a month or semester off-campus in another country (the Western European ones do not count).
To my understanding, most 4 year undergrad degrees have become liberal arts to a certain extent. My particular college prides itself in being as "liberal" as possible so we have a very wide range of requirements and the core courses are often as difficult or more so than those for your major. It's common for students to get worse grades in core because they are hard and/or subjects we aren't that interested in studying. They're different than typical intro/survey courses. "Core" typically takes two years and then you focus on your degree and minors. Some degrees take more than 4 years because of the additional core requirements.

It probably seems like I studied a lot of things b/c I changed my major five times I started as General Science (meaning something w/ biology but you haven't picked yet), then I was Computer Science, but HATED programming so changed to Digital Communications, but still hated the emphesis on techy stuff, so then switched to Business, but enjoyed my Communications core requirements so finally picked Business Communications. So my undergrad degree is a B.A. in Business Communications, with a minor in Third World Development (now called International Development Studies). Luckily, since many of those programs I tried share a required course or two, I could apply courses I'd already taken towards my final major. Other people that switch often have to continue for 1-2 extra years. Still other people like my roommate take an insane amount of courses so they can get two degrees or multiple minors within four years (she got two degrees and a minor).

Also, to meet the required amount of courses, I did electives that were outside of core and my major. Most students don't have room for this, but b/c of the high school program I was in, I'd already tested out of language and math core, so I did not have to take language or math classes in college (except those required for my degree). For example I took criminal investigations and some additional computer courses that worked with specific software applications I like to use.

A non-liberal arts degree would be like what my little sister is going to do. She's going to a state school for occupational therapy and won't have to take as wide a range of survey courses.

I hope that explains it.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:21 PM   #23
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I would never expect my parents to front the bill for my college education, especially since I'm in the U.S. and college bills are ridiculous. And, I'm going to a state school, and definitely can't imagine having to pay for a private school education. I'll be getting financial aid for sure, but anything that's left over will be my responsibility. My dad does have a very small college fund set aside for each of us, but it will probably pay for 3 or so semesters of books, and that's it. I will be working while going to school as well.

Plus, I plan on going to medical school after my bachelor's degree, so I'll be in some serious debt, but to me, it's worth it to be able to work in a job that I love.

The fact that this news story made parents feel like if you can't put away X amount of money per month, then you're a horrible parent, is just so wrong to me. Some people can afford to help their kids through college, some can't. Some choose not to help because they think their kids should be responsible for themselves. None of that makes them bad parents.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Thanks Vincent and others not from the US. It's informative to read how it's done elsewhere. Personally, I can't figure out why education is so expensive here when many Europeans pay so much less and get just as good an education (sometimes better). I hope there are good reasons, maybe someone knows them...
I'm wondering if maybe it is because of the way our higher education institutions are run? I mean, here in the U.S. the state govts play more of a role in higher ed than the fed govt. (I think...but am not for certain, that perhaps in other countries the higher ed system has more fed. involvement.) With the exception of a few grants, I think federal funding here in the u.s. is quite minimal. I find it interesting that the fed. govt will match state spending on medicaid, but will not match state spending on higher ed. Perhaps if they did, the cost for us students to could drop significantly.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:22 PM   #25
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Originally posted by anitram


Why is it cheaper in Canada? Because we don't have private universities. All of them are government funded and so they are subsidized to an extent.

When it comes to our professional programs, they are deregulated (I think in all provinces, but definitely in Ontario) which means they don't have to comply with tuition caps set by the provinces and that's why we're seeing tuition prices get ridiculous for things like law and medicine, similarly as you see in the US.

Right but here in Quebec we have a tuition freeze that has kept fees way below the national average for the past decade or so(if not more).

So presently it would cost an undergraduate student approximately $1,688 per year in tuition which is three times less than in some other provinces. Out of province students pay approximately $4,000 to $ 5,000 per year while foreign students more than 10K.

A debate has been raging for years about lifting the freeze. Many universities are starved for funds as the government slashed the education budget years ago to help balance the books. A raise in tuition would mean more money to attract professors and researchers, buy books, upgrade facilities etc..

But of course the student unions are up in arms and have held many protests. Our provincial government tabled it's budget today, and while I haven't had a chance to study it, a partial lifting of the freeze was supposed to be a part of it. Tuition would rise approximately $100 per year for the next 5 years. This is, of course, a huge risk for the government because they risk alienating the student population during an election campaign that will begin tomorrow.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:00 AM   #26
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We are putting aside money for our kids' college education. It isn't much at the moment, and there's no way it's going to be enough to cover their full expenses or even close to it, but the way costs have been rising even at public universities...the thought of them being saddled with six-digit debts from undergrad alone just makes my heart wrench. I never owed anywhere near that much and we've found it tough enough just to support three kids, buy a house and then a car, and all that stuff with what I've had to pay off already. I expect to have everything fully paid off by next year. It is true, though, that in the big picture it's just one of many things you need to plan for with a family, like anitram said. My parents were somewhere in between anitram's and Lies', I guess--like anitram's they had that driven immigrants' urgency about education being vitally necessary, but on the other hand my father never made enough for it to be realistic for them to totally pay our way through college. My oldest brother was the only one who went to college at a time when family circumstances allowed parental support for it--my next oldest brother got a great athletic scholarship, then me and my younger sibs all had to take out sizeable loans and work full-time or do ROTC in order to afford it. But that wasn't the way my parents would've preferred things. And actually, now that I think about it I remember my mother saying once, Thank God your brother got that sports scholarship, because otherwise they probably would've put money they couldn't really afford into his tuition (maybe kind of like Lies' parents did with high school) and then we would've been worse off than we already were when my father died. So you can't be doing that either--spending money you don't really have to the point where there's no cushion if some family crisis happens. It is true, that one way or another a young adult can probably work it out if they're determined to do it...it's just, like I said, I can't bear the thought of them starting into adulthood burdened with the kind of debts that could cripple any dreams to start saving towards the basics and having children at a reasonably young age. That's really my main concern.
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I'm wondering if maybe it is because of the way our higher education institutions are run? I mean, here in the U.S. the state govts play more of a role in higher ed than the fed govt. (I think...but am not for certain, that perhaps in other countries the higher ed system has more fed. involvement.) With the exception of a few grants, I think federal funding here in the u.s. is quite minimal. I find it interesting that the fed. govt will match state spending on medicaid, but will not match state spending on higher ed. Perhaps if they did, the cost for us students to could drop significantly.
Medicaid's probably not really analogous to public education as it's a joint state/federal program by design, whereas the education model is local/state by design, with some supplementary federal funding. At the college level, federal funding mostly takes the form of financial aid and grants. The last several years have been painful ones for most public colleges as states have slashed education budgets due to recession; public college tuitions have, proportionally speaking, actually increased quite a bit more than private ones during that time. But already as it was, state budgets hadn't kept pace with inflation and rising costs even before that. From 1970 to 2000 average government appropriations per student increased only from $5227 (in 2000 dollars)to $5409. So yes, more and more of the cost is being borne by the student (and to a somewhat lesser extent, private grants and corporate investment--both of which public universities, like private ones, are increasingly dependent on). Revenue from all three of those sources proportionally increased far more than that from government appropriations during that time, doubling in the case of tuition and increasing about 150% in the case of private sources.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:50 AM   #27
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Right but here in Quebec we have a tuition freeze that has kept fees way below the national average for the past decade or so(if not more).

So presently it would cost an undergraduate student approximately $1,688 per year in tuition which is three times less than in some other provinces. Out of province students pay approximately $4,000 to $ 5,000 per year while foreign students more than 10K.
Which has always been a source of contention in English Canada.

If I come to Quebec to law school, I have to pay 3x as much tuition as you. If you come to Ontario, you will pay the same as me, who is a resident. So my taxes subsidize your education and the Quebec government will not subsidize mine. It is an incredibly insulting system, and you can bet that if English Canada treated Quebeckers this way, the provincial government of Quebec would cry foul in about 2.3 seconds and litigate the matter all the way to the SCC.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #28
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If I come to Quebec to law school, I have to pay 3x as much tuition as you.
It's sort of like this in the US. For example, if I'd gone to OU after all, my tuition would be $14,000 while OK residents would pay $5,700. For UofM, I would pay $4,700 b/c I'm a resident, but non-Michigan residents would pay $14,500.

I'm not really sure why this is. I'm guessing b/c the schools get their $$$ from state taxes? It still seems really unfair.
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:29 PM   #29
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I also think that saving up from when the kid is very young...or before the kid is even born...has good intentions, but it's also deciding for the child that they are going to go to college. College isn't for everyone.
I agree with you there somewhat.

College really isn't for everyone, maybe not me as well. But you know what? - a Bachelor's degree is becoming the new high school diploma. It seems like everyone has a BA in something, and when applying for any kind of job they shoot right up the application ladder ahead of you if you've never completed a degree.

Although I think it's important to find a career one enjoys, I also feel the increasing sense that it's very hard to find good work without a degree. A previous employer once explained to me that it almost doesn't matter what the degree is - it just symbolizes that an individual can put concerted effort into a goal for 4 years and that shows a lot about a job applicant.

So, I think I'm going to "suffer" through university, even if I end up collating papers for the next 10 years I'll be better off.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:16 PM   #30
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It's sort of like this in the US. For example, if I'd gone to OU after all, my tuition would be $14,000 while OK residents would pay $5,700. For UofM, I would pay $4,700 b/c I'm a resident, but non-Michigan residents would pay $14,500.

I'm not really sure why this is. I'm guessing b/c the schools get their $$$ from state taxes? It still seems really unfair.
Yes, but at least in the US it's like that in every state. In Canada it's not. Quebeckers pay low tuition in Quebec and the same tuition as we pay if they leave the province (to say come to Ontario). But the rest of us pay resident tuition in our province, and if we go to Quebec, we pay 3x what they do.

So they benefit from our provincial taxes coming here and we don't benefit from theirs. It's an outrage and if this system was set up the opposite way, Quebec would whine all the way to the SCC.
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