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Source of selecting and ranking colleges

2

Replies to: Source of selecting and ranking colleges

  • MWolfMWolf 1334 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Just a comment on the "lifetime earnings". These estimates are all very problematic, since they almost always are dependent on data from queries or sent to alumni, online surveys, or from searches through professional/social media, like LinkedIn. The reason that these are not trustworthy is that there is an extremely strong bias towards certain types of occupations and towards those who have succeeded.

    First, people who have not done well will rarely respond to queries or fill out online surveys, like those of Payscale. So, if you contact all Yale alumni and ask for the salaries of all investment bankers, you will receive very few responses from the people who received business degrees and failed as investments bankers, or who are making far below the industry averages.

    This trend will be stronger the more prestigious a college is. So a graduate of a very low ranked business program who isn't doing well will be less reluctant to admit that they aren't doing well, because the expectations of them to do well were low, and they can lay blame on their degree. But if you have a degree from Wharton and can't get a job, or are working for $45,000 a year, you will feel that you are the one who failed, and you will be reluctant to provide this info.

    Second, LinkedIn, the source of much of the non-self-reported data is also biased towards certain industries, and towards people who feel the need to have a LinkedIn profile. This is not either a comprehensive set of data, nor is it random or unbiased. Worse is that, although we know that there is a bias, it is unclear what this bias is, meaning that we cannot even correct for the bias.

    Finally, these surveys do not take one of the major factors in post-graduation employment into consideration - socioeconomic class. Kids of the top 1% generally either have a job lined up for them on graduation, or have the connections, or their parents have the connections, for it to be fairly easy for them to get that first job. In general, it is easier for kids from the top 20% to get jobs on graduation for multiple reasons which are the result of their socioeconomic class, rather than the college which they attend. This will also skew the results towards colleges which have a student body which come from higher socioeconomic statuses.

    So I would treat any claims of "The Best College For Your Money" with a couple of buckets of salt.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33526 replies366 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Don't consider USNews reliable and you're better off. Look at the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

    Many kids in BME have grad school or med school plans, may go directly or take time to get vital experiences. Starting salary doesn't always exclude for that and other factors.

    And as you realize, many do much better after their starting job. It's just an odd way to guage the quality of the education, the empowerment at one school vs another. You know that, done right, prepared for and seeking the better opportunities, BME can be a lucrative career. It's not any ranking that determines how far a kid will go, in life.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3864 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Forbes has a reasonable ranking system as well for a rough idea:

    https://www.forbes.com/top-colleges/list/

    Folks here will give you info, advice and/or criticism. Part and parcel of CC. :wink:

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  • GreymeerGreymeer 763 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^ salaries are regionally dependent.

    "Overall, Boston, Massachusetts is 57.4% more expensive than Atlanta, Georgia."
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^ salaries are regionally dependent.

    "Overall, Boston, Massachusetts is 57.4% more expensive than Atlanta, Georgia."

    There is no info that GT graduates work in Atlanta. They can very well be working in Boston, or NYC, or CA.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6991 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Keep in mind that many students end up working near their colleges after graduation so I'm not surprised that students at GT have lower starting salaries than graduates from the DC and Boston area. Cost of living differences are significant.
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1314 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you need to first look at how much you can comfortably afford to send two kids to college at the same time. Once you determine that, research merit at colleges that have BME and Finance majors. I would do away with this notion about determining how much graduates make at X college. The data is completely unreliable and for the top colleges say in Finance (UPenn) are going to cost you 300K, which is unaffordable for you anyways.

    I would also seriously look at TCNJ since you are in-state and see if their BME major is solid and research finance major internships and job prospects. The other option is OOS public flagships which will be cheaper than most private colleges on your list and have great engineering and finance programs.

    A few other points. No need to retake a 1560 SAT. Getting anything higher is not going to move the acceptance needle. Also, UC Berkeley has many Jewish students (2500 undergrad), don't let a few protesters against Israel's treatment of Palestinians dissuade your kids from attending. Lastly, do not borrow half your retirement money to fund your kids' college education. Have them attend colleges that YOU can afford; not all successful people attended the most expensive colleges in the U.S.

    Sounds like you raised some very smart, hard working kids who will be very successful no matter wherever they go to college. Good luck.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1383 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP be very careful with averages. If Jeff Bezos walks into a room of 100 people, on average they are all billionaire. Poets & Quants had to footnote the starting salary for Kelley because they had an NBA lottery pick (Cody Zeller) in the data.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I look at "median", not "average".
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @socaldad2002

    Re: " The other option is OOS public flagships which will be cheaper than most private colleges on your list and have great engineering and finance programs."

    Few OOS flagship colleges on US News list for both BME and Finance are GT, UMich and UVA and at least from that info as expensive for OOS student as top private colleges. And from our visit to GT an UMich they provide no merit aid to OOS students.

    As I mentioned before I can pay for any private school but it will take huge portion of my non-retirement investment and savings. I can consider paying this premium only if expected ROI will exceed the premium these colleges demand over say my state university. I understand that like with any other investment it is impossible to predict with certainty if return will be big enough to warrant paying this premium but I am trying to collect as much info as possible to make an informative decision.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1383 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I am going to take a maybe unpopular view here. From the parents perspective, above a certain amount, I don't consider paying for college an investment. I consider it a consumption good (or if you prefer a gift). The reason I do this is because I am not expecting a return. Any return goes to someone else (the kid). Viewing it as a consumption good gets me out of the x school is worth $y debate. Instead, I have come to the I am willing to spend $z on college conclusion. This is similar to buying a shirt. I am willing to spend $30 on a new shirt. Outside of some minimum requirements, I don't care what shirt you buy. This doesn't imply that I am going to minimize the cost. It just means that I don't expect my kids education to show up on my Fidelity statement.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3953 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @AI73. I will be brash here and think you are going about this the wrong way
    I don't see good outcomes. But it's great you have excellent advice so far. Do not pick a school or job by future outcomes of salaries. These are regional. You can make $125,000 in Santa Clara but rent for a small apartment might be $4,000/month but make $80,000 in Texas with an affordable rent and life style.
    Pick a school that you can afford and will challenge your children. As stated I know companies that have engineers working side by side from Michigan, GT, Michigan Tech, and some schools I never heard of. Don't Overpay for their education! Don't touch your retirement if you have good local options etc.
    Michigan's Hillel is outstanding if they like the school and you can afford it. My kids doing an engineering internship in Israel. Pm me and can give you some information from a program that you might be familiar with.
    Also retaking the Sat is silly and won't prove anything. Great scores. Congrats to them.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Knowsstuff

    Thank you for your info. I appreciate it. However, I have different experience.

    I work for a large multi-national corp. We are close to several state colleges. But we never recruit there, never hired anybody from these colleges. Instead we recruit in top schools and hire graduates both for internships and after they graduate across the country paying full relocation packages. We do not have a single PM who does not have MBA from Ivy league level school.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6991 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think for careers like investment banking (so maybe for your finance minded daughter if she is thinking of going in that direction), the Ivy education may be more important. For engineering fields, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Purdue and the likes send their graduates to companies all over the country.
    I'll also point out that an MBA is a graduate level degree. There is nothing that says your D couldn't go to Rutgers for undergrad and then Wharton for her MBA.
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 18
    Neither we, parents, nor our kids know if they will go to grad school. Therefore we do not rely on getting graduate degree as prerequisite and assume they will have to get good jobs after bachelor degree. Besides from my experience many graduate programs now are evening or online programs and assume student is working full time. At least this is how all my colleagues and friends got MBA and masters. It means my kids will have to get a job after they graduate before they can think of pursuing masters. And the job they will get must be good enough to pay for education they got and we paid for.

    My daughter told me about her friend's brother who graduated with BME from Rutgers and had troubles finding a job. I don't know any details and if it is an isolated instance or common pattern. Rutgers may be 10 times cheaper than JHU or MIT but if my kid won't be able to get a job or the job she will get will be dead end one the fact it is 10 times cheaper won't matter.
    edited July 18
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6991 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    BME is a tough field to find employment straight out of undergrad. Many pre-meds are BME majors and there seems to be more in the job market than there are jobs. The BMEs my D knows all are planning on going straight to grad school but, more and more are getting their undergrad degrees in mechanical engineering which opens many more options for employment.

    If you look at the JHU's post graduation/first destination survey, there is a seizable number of their engineers going straight to grad school. FWIW that was one of the turn offs for my D to JHU - she didn't feel like the career center was as strong as other schools.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6991 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Has your D interested in BME considered Bucknell? They do offer a limited number of non need based merit scholarships, including one for women in STEM.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3953 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    Most Bme I know go directly to get their MS degree as already stated. Also don't rule out that many engineering disciplines have the ability for BS/MS degree in 5 years. Getting it done in 5 with a higher starting salary is not a bad idea.
    edited July 18
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  • Al73Al73 60 replies20 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I did some research about BME prospect. I got conflicting data and response. Some data and response I got show that it is rather easy to get job after BME undegrad, others say grad degree is needed.

    It seems GT co-op program is very promising for career perspective.

    My daughter does not want to go to medical school, this is certain.

    If grad school is required we need to take this into account and may mean that it does not make sense to shed quarter million dollars for undergrad degree in top private school.
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