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Thoughts on the Movie "Lady Bird" and the Portrayal of the College Search Process

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Replies to: Thoughts on the Movie "Lady Bird" and the Portrayal of the College Search Process

  • calmomcalmom 20450 replies166 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,616 Senior Member
    @MYOS1634 -- actually, now that I think about it, I think the tuition in 2002 would have been somethiong under $28K, but total COA would probably been around $35-$40K. I'm mentioning it because I had made comments about COA above -- so I might be the source of the number -- but I'm now realizing that it was remembering the cost of tuition. My son applied to colleges in 2001, and at that time the upper range for tuition was around $27K. So probably about $10K above and beyond that for other costs.

    But still sigificantly less than it would be today.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18334 replies323 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    @calmom: I can't like your post twice, but I'd like to.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41320 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,765 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    Hm, I think it really was under 30k in 2002 but it may have been in the 30-32k range for COA (I have 22k tuition in my 2000 Fiske guide.) I don't think the discussion regarding the incredible price of 40k started till 2007, 2008.
    UC tuition was under $5,000 a year.
    The larger point from this thread remains though: as much as in real life most of us would never advise financing college through HELOC, the amounts we're talking about aren't nearly as devastating as today. Such gestures didn't have the same pact then than they do now.
    Barnard met full need even in 2002 and with one unemployed parent and one middle class parent, the family contribution wouldn't be terribly high (although clearly no one's saved for it and it can't be paid off salary due to the unemployment).
    A UC graduate who doesn't do anything with his degree would be in a vastly different place when tuition was about one third of what is is today, seeing how salaries have not tripled in the past 15 years.
    edited February 2018
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  • TTGTTG 1662 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,676 Senior Member
    My kids attended a mix of private and public schools k-12 and always had a good idea of what the private schools cost. When my youngest was about 8 or 9 (in college now), we were talking, as a family, about my college costs. I attended an outstanding public university. It cost just about $700 per semester for tuition, and the same for room and board, each (and I'm really not very old). My family had modest means, and even that much was hard for my parents. I saved about a $1000 the two summers before college, which was helpful, and worked summers while in college. I really could make a meaningful contribution to my education with a summer pool job. That's much harder today.

    When I said it cost $700 for each, my youngest erupted, "Did you say HUNDREDS?!?!?" Which pretty much sums up the devastating rise in the cost of college.

    I did love the portrayal of that age and the relationships that Lady Bird negotiates as she goes through a very challenging transition, one that pretty much all young people go through, regardless of their path. It was hard for my parents too, and they had no experience with college. My goals were different, and that's hard too. There were evolving friendships and romantic relationships, lots to balance, and the certainty of mistakes and embarrassments, all while figuring out who you are. I thought the movie captured some of that in a real way. I remember feeling some of what Lady Bird felt and, more recently, having some of the same emotions as her parents. It is a coming-of-age story, one right plop in the middle of the college process, which is what many on this site have in common.
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  • BearHouseBearHouse 462 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 463 Member
    The movie was well acted. I will give it that. However, watching 90 minutes of individual and family dysfunction is not particularly enjoyable.
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  • Midwest67Midwest67 2865 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,876 Senior Member
    Our D went to Catholic HS, and even on scholarship, it was difficult for us to scrape together the money. I was picking up extra work here and there, living frugally, hoping my car would hang in there. I could SO relate to the mom & the financial pressures in LB.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20475 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,684 Senior Member
    +1 for the latter. :)
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20475 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,684 Senior Member
    Do you advise your young clients on their romantic lives as well, @Hanna? Could be a lucrative side hustle. :D
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  • calmomcalmom 20450 replies166 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,616 Senior Member
    I don't think the discussion regarding the incredible price of 40k started till 2007, 2008.

    Barnard is wonderful about posting stats online -- so here's a printout showing tuition back to 2005-2006:

    Tuition: $29,364
    Total COA: $41,802

    If you are mathy, then the total COA seems to have been going up on average $2500 per year, with roughly $2000 yearly attributable to tuition. So extrapolating back I'd guess the that three years earlier, for 2002-2003, I'd guess around $23K for tuition, $34K for overall COA.

    I know from my own records that NYU costs were pretty much on par with Barnard -- though a little tricker because NYU of a wider range of housing options.
    as much as in real life most of us would never advise financing college through HELOC,

    Honestly, have you read the financial aid threads? This is a very common financing vehicle -- look at the PLUS loan thread.-- which is largely a discussion of HELOC vs. PLUS. Plenty of CC families do it and also advocate that route for others.


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  • calmomcalmom 20450 replies166 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,616 Senior Member
    If the movie was meant to suggest that LB applied and was admitted to 4-year California publics besides Davis, it did a poor job of conveying that.

    There is a difference between "applied" and "admitted". I don't know where the mom would have taken LB on their college tour but to California public campuses somewhat farther afield than UCD -- and very hard to believe that she wouldn't have applied to multiple campuses-- again it's just a matter of checking a couple of extra boxes on a form. But it's quite plausible that from the campuses she chose, UCD was the only one that admitted her.

    Despite her grousing I think that without post-waitlist admission, Lady Bird would have gone off to UC Davis -- just as I am sure my own daugher would have gone to UCSB or UCSC despite the fact that she showed no interest whatsoever and refused to even consider visiting. Bottom line, that would have been the choice she had vs. living at home and commuting. That's real life too, especially here on CC -- students are always faced with the disappointment of not getting into or not being able to afford their dream colleges, and ending up attending their safeties. So I think its simplistic to take statements made by movie characters literally -- rather, the character's words reflected their emotions at the time.
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  • calmomcalmom 20450 replies166 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,616 Senior Member
    Here's the link to the tuiton schedule that I forgot to post in #51 above:
    https://barnard.edu/sites/default/files/stu12_tuition_and_fees_4.27.17.pdf
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18334 replies323 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    There was a scene where LB opened up the website showing what UC schools she was admitted to. There were three listed. Two of them were colored salmon and one was colored green. She stares at the screen and is angry/disappointed that she was only accepted at Davis. It's the scene when she then accuses her brother Miguel of playing the race card -- he was accepted at Berkeley, she says, because he's Hispanic. He says he never checked the box, but she points out that his name is Miguel, so he didn't have to.
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  • scout59scout59 3472 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,539 Senior Member
    Oh, her gay boyfriend. SPOILER: I loved the scene where Danny comes by the coffee shop where Lady Bird is working to beg her forgiveness and then beg her not to tell anyone. I think I cried a little myself when he started crying in her arms.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20475 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,684 Senior Member
    Great scene, @scout59. Lucas Hedges is an amazing young actor. He and Timothee Chalamet are my two favorite newish young male actresses and to think they are both in this movie!
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20475 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,684 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    *actors not actresses. Doh! #-o
    edited February 2018
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  • nukesmomnukesmom 37 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    I'm a bit of pop culture junkie and loved this movie (my favorite of the year) - mostly because it captures the complexities of teenage life and relationships at a pivotal point (senior year of HS). I especially love the relationship with her best friend - their falling out after she wanted to be associated with a "cool/popular girl," but her friend allowing her back in. I was yelling at Laurie Metcalf after she dropped her off at the airport - "go park the car! don't let her leave without you saying goodbye! Put your pride aside!" Also, Greta has said it's not autobiographical although she certainly used her own life experiences (and setting) to shape the viewpoint of this film.

    Also, I know CC is a college admission site, but this movie isn't really about college admission - it simply one aspect of the main character's life.
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  • arctostaphylosarctostaphylos 49 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    It was a great movie (unless you live in Sacramento/went to UC Davis).

    Actually, having watched the movie in a certain college town near Sacramento, people in the area love the movie. A lot. The jokes about her not wanting to go to UC Davis got big laughs in theaters, and everyone was excited to see places they recognized in Sacramento. It's easy to laugh about the "cow town" stereotype while sitting in the hip artsy movie theater in said town. In the end, Lady Bird comes to appreciate Sacramento, as many of us around here do.

    That said, since it was Thanksgiving weekend, I'm betting that most of the audience were not college students. I love this area and could see myself living here long-term, but I went to college in a big city and am really, really glad to have had that experience.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20475 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,684 Senior Member
    I agree. I thought the movie was a love letter to Sacramento. It portrayed it in a good light. Some beautiful shots. Like many young people, Lady Bird couldn't wait to get away but once away she realized how much she missed what she had and discovered a newfound appreciation for it. At least that was my take. I've seen the same thing play out with nieces/nephews and other young people in my life. Another reason why the movie rang true to me.
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