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Top Private or Public (is it worth it?)

1235

Replies to: Top Private or Public (is it worth it?)

  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    @Rivet2000 @bookworm Honors Programs were for out of state colleges but yes, California does have good UCs. My kid has a good demeanor to be a doctor but he cannot stand the sight of blood. I heard many doctors tell me if you want to be a doctor, it's best to go to certain Honors Program which allows you to get into their medical school after you graduate from their Honors Program or Honors College.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    @Rivet2000 @bookworm Honors Programs were for out of state colleges but yes, California does have good UCs. My kid has a good demeanor to be a doctor but he cannot stand the sight of blood. I heard many doctors tell me if you want to be a doctor, it's best to go to certain Honors Program which allows you to get into their medical school after you graduate from their Honors Program or Honors College.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    @websensation Sounds like Stanford will be a great place for your kid. Since everyone comes in undeclared, there will be time to explore courses (this is actually encouraged). My son has classmates who have changed their minds on what they want to pursue twice already (and he is just starting his sophomore year).
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,621 Senior Member
    Web, my son made the same choice, attending a school at full pay rather than our state school, which is UF. Your son sounds like a most interesting young man. He reminds me a little of Mathmom's younger son, with the interests in IR and languages. My son's friend worked in DC, then peace corps, followed by law school, and now back in DC. So many paths
  • UndercrackersUndercrackers Registered User Posts: 392 Member
    If there was only one way to do it, we'd all be doing it the same way. YYMV for any school. I have read bios of amazing people who went to very middle-of-the-road schools. A top tier private can probably open some doors that other schools cannot, but you still have to be YOU once you've walked through those doorways - not everyone graduating from those institutions is a good hire. Sure, I guess going to a top 20 school increases your odds of making the right connections, but is it really worth going into enormous debt to do so if you do not qualify for that generous private FA?
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,306 Senior Member
    @undercrackers "is it really worth going into enormous debt to do so if you do not qualify for that generous private FA?"

    It is a crap shoot. We just don't know.

    However, for the right student it does seem to improve their odds if they are able to distinguish themselves at a top 20 school and take advantage of many of the extra curricular activities too.

    As you look at salaries by school it also gets obscured that in CS and some business jobs, the total comp is a lot higher. The on boarding (signing) bonuses can be very large, the annual bonuses can be significant too. I had not realized before that when the top schools are reporting CS avg. salaries of about $105k, the total cash compensation may be more like $150k. That is a amazing to me for a 21 or 22 year old.

  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    @Undercrackers If one can only afford a full pay with a big debt, attending a private colleges is generally not a good idea. For us, it was not the issue of not being able to full pay with the money saved up but was a choice between using the money to send our kid to Stanford or using the same money to help him invest money. There is no right answer. I suppose I could have made my kid go to a state school with a merit scholarship or UC Berkeley/UCLA (good college) as an in-state student, but what the heck . . . instead of driving Benz cars and taking nicer vacations, I decided to give him the gift of Stanford education. I guess I worked hard so our kid can go to the best college. Besides I went to an Ivy and graduate school for near free because my own parents (recent immigrants) were not making any money; so I, who went to college and graduate school for free, am financing my kid's college education in full.

    I think a harder decision would be for a family who does not have money saved up but has to borrow significant amount of money to finance their kid's private college education. However, whether you are spending the saved up money or using the money to be earned, it's the same money. The way I am thinking, I am actually paying more than $300,000 USD for full pay because I could have invested the $300,000 and made more money. It's not unreasonable to say that I am foregoing $500,000 USD in 4 years to finance my kid's Stanford education. It's a sobering thought but one that I am well aware of.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    It's interesting to me that anyone is talking about accruing a "big debt" for a top school that meets financial need. Clearly if your child is able to be accepted and you would have to take on a "big debt" something is drastically wrong with your finances or you simply don't value that education to put any real money toward it. Even if I had nothing saved I could afford it with the partial FA we received, which leaves me to: why would you let a child apply if you really didn't believe in the value of the education they would receive from that school? If it's simply for the sake of saying you were accepted, well that's just sad.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    It's sobering when you realize Stanford tuition is like buying a brand new Mercedes E class (with additional options) each year... :>
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    ...and now we know what some people value. :-/
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,176 Senior Member
    edited October 12
    CU123 wrote:
    It's interesting to me that anyone is talking about accruing a "big debt" for a top school that meets financial need.

    However, the college's definition of "need" may not necessarily mean the same thing as the student's / family's definition of "need". For example, students with uncooperative divorced parents may be unable to get any financial aid from most of the highly selective private schools that claim to "meet financial need".
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    @CU123 or it could be 17,232 cans of spam. That better? :)
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    Spams good.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    edited October 12
    @CU123 I know many people who make good money but they don't save (or hard to save enough money) so they really can't get good financial aid but have a hard time coming up with the money. Many families who make "decent" amount of money will not be able to afford financing unless they go into significant debt. For many families, kids choose to apply here and there, and then when you do your math later, it turns out their families have to accrue significant debt. For example, if we didn't save up money for his private college, I couldn't afford to pay for 4 years at Stanford even though I make what many would consider good money without getting into a significant debt, with a chunk of money earned having went towards paying off the house and building up a decent retirement. It's not that most parents don't value education, it comes down to Stanford at $70K and UCLA/Berkeley at $40K, at least for some in CA. It's a very hard choice because you could list pros and cons but there is a lot of emotion involved.

  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    Like I said, it's a question of priorities. Not saving for college kind of shows where someone's priorities are. I could save for college............. or I could buy that new luxury sedan. Not that I blame anyone for choosing the car it's there money after all, but I don't have to respect that kind of decision either. Hopefully they could afford both.
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