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Top Private or Public (is it worth it?)

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

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,176 Senior Member
    CU123 wrote:
    Like I said, it's a question of priorities. Not saving for college kind of shows where someone's priorities are.

    Of course, the result is that the parents' financial priorities are what can limit the student's college choices. The student has no choice in his/her parents' financial priorities, so you should not be surprised that there are students who find that schools claiming to "meet full need" would still leave them with lots of debt.
  • hannuhyluhannuhylu Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    CU123 I wont say I disagree, but it all depends when the income increased. Its not nearly as cut a dry as that depiction College inflation > Everything else.

    College is a borderline fleece job at current tuition rates.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    edited October 12
    Why do you consider it a fleece job, do you not want to pay the professors/administrators(personally I don't either)/capital costs for the buildings etc.? Unfortunately we agreed to only provide a "free" education through the 12th grade. If you look it, into many colleges operate at a net loss for operations each year (eg Dartmouth operated at a $100 million loss last year, most of that number is due to FA).
  • hannuhyluhannuhylu Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    CU123 housing, medical, vehicles, nothing comes close to the inflation at colleges.

    The system has been abused!
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 1,625 Senior Member
    edited October 13
    CU123 housing, medical, vehicles, nothing comes close to the inflation at colleges.

    The system has been abused!
    Stanford has been mentioned in many of the posts above. Regarding the cost at Stanford, the average net cost the per student has roughly followed inflation, like most other HYPSM... type highly selective colleges. While tuition has increased above inflation, so has FA and the portion of students claiming FA. A minority pays sticker price, and an increasing portion effectively pays no tuition.

    For example, Stanford's website claims 99% of families making $150k qualify for FA with an average grant size of $42k. 84% of families making $200k qualify with an average grant of $27k. Some specific numbers are below. The average inflation adjust net cost has a better correlation with economic indexes than time, due to more FA claims when the economy is bad. The average adjusted net cost is below both 1999 and 2016 during the depression periods in between.

    Oldest CDS (1999): Net cost = $33k, Average FA = $8.5k, Net = $24.5k = $37k in 2017 Dollars
    Newest CDS (2016): Net cost = $62.5k, Average FA = $24k, Net = $38.5k = $40k in 2017 Dollars
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 1,625 Senior Member
    edited October 13
    CU123 housing, medical, vehicles, nothing comes close to the inflation at colleges.

    The system has been abused!
    Stanford has been mentioned in many of the posts above. Regarding the cost at Stanford, the average net cost the per student has roughly followed inflation, like most other HYPSM... type highly selective colleges. While tuition has increased above inflation, so has FA and the portion of students claiming FA. A minority pays sticker price, and an increasing portion effectively pays no tuition.

    For example, Stanford's website claims 99% of families making $150k qualify for FA with an average grant size of $42k. 84% of families making $200k qualify with an average grant of $27k. Some specific numbers are below. The average inflation adjust net cost has a better correlation with economic indexes than time, due to more FA claims when the economy is bad. The average adjusted net cost is below both 1999 and 2016 during the depression periods in between.

    Oldest CDS (1999): Net cost = $33k, Average Aid = $9.5k, Net = $23.5k = $35k in 2017 Dollars
    Newest CDS (2016): Net cost = $62.5k, Average Aid = $27.5k, Net = $35k = $36k in 2017 Dollars

    (Edited to include all sources of aid, including athletic)
  • ANormalSeniorGuyANormalSeniorGuy Registered User Posts: 295 Junior Member
    What about top-tier, may I say "elite", public universities? UCLA, UMich, and in my opinion the top of the chain Cal. In all honesty, they have cohorts too, especially the Regents programs as well as the engineering and business majors. I happen to feel like OP is separating the categories as if publics cant enjoy the benefits of being elite/top 20 (cal has been top 20 before several times), and also the flip side that elites cant have size issues (just look at Cornell's undergraduate population of around 14,000. While not public size, still large enough to incur problems.)
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,609 Senior Member
    There are a lot of discussions here about whether X college is worth the additional cost over Y college. Or A group of colleges are worth the additional cost over B group of colleges. But when everyone doesn't pay the same price, those determinations are challenging and often meaningless.
    While tuition has increased above inflation, so has FA and the portion of students claiming FA. A minority pays sticker price, and an increasing portion effectively pays no tuition.

    The FA subsidies are one of the drivers of higher costs. Basic law of economics: subsidize something and you will get more of it and the price will increase. And if you look at the top ranked schools (what many people here view as "elite"), the percentage of people paying sticker is pretty significant.
  • gusmahlergusmahler Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    You can't just say that saving for children is a priority over saving for yourself. Remember, your kid can get a loan for college. You can't get a loan for retirement.

    Many financial planners say that you should save for college only after you save for your retirement. So if you have $7k to save each year, Put the first $5.5 k in an IRA (that's your contribution limit), then put the rest in a college fund.
  • hannuhyluhannuhylu Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    People can pick a college here or college there that doesnt follow the trend, but by and large the current college education is ovwrpriced and as outpaced common sense.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,609 Senior Member
    Financial situations of families are more complicated and nuanced than many on this board would admit. If you didn't save $300k for college (per kid) so the story goes here, education isn't a priority. Without knowing of course anything about any given families' financial situation. Though why should that matter? LOL Financial aid is a snapshot (taken 4 times in a college career) but there is an 18-22 year family history behind it. Favorite tripes here of course are luxury cars and fancy vacations. Never mind that most people who are struggling with paying for college own/take neither. I have friends who both drove BMW 760s and took 5 3-week luxury trips to exotic and expensive places each year (in peek season each time of course) and then sent their kids to state directional (after two years at local community college living 4 years at home of course) so that must be everyone's problem. LOL
  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 3,703 Senior Member
    Exactly @saillakeerie The scenarios are not as cut and dried as some propose. @CU123 Believe it or not, there are families who value education and cannot afford their expected familial contribution. Simply bc you can does not mean those who can't have squandered their money or have spent frivolously. Even if your FA packages came back representing what you can afford, it does not mean all families receive enough FA from meets-full-need schools to make the schools affordable. (For example, if yours came back at $30,000 and you can afford it, great for you. But if another family's comes back at $30,000 and they can only realistically pay 1/2 that, not so great for them.)

    For families who can afford their EFC, the conversation is very different than for families who can't. Financing college is far from a simple "don't buy luxury cards or go on expensive vacations in order to save enough to pay for college. The top colleges will make up the difference between your savings and what they cost." :))
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