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Different schools of thought about paying for college

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Replies to: Different schools of thought about paying for college

  • Leigh22Leigh22 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    fzehigh - I get your point, but that is not the usual scenario.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,044 Senior Member
    But there are a lot of students who do plan on some sort of grad school, sooner or later. PhD programs tend to be funded, but that isn't true of most master's programs or professionally oriented grad programs. So conservation of assets is still a factor whether or not med school is on the horizon.

    And I'd note that when my daughter was at an elite school -- it seemed like most of the students around her were either pre-professional (pre med, pre law, etc.) or thinking they would get jobs on Wall Street. Not very many saw that elite bachelor's as a terminal degree.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,271 Senior Member
    @fzehigh adds an interesting point. Not all, but MANY post grad opportunities at top schools are funded. I know many, including my college roommate, brothers, earned PhDs and MBAs from top schools (HYPSW, etc.) funded either by their company or on scholarship (brother got a PhD from UT Autin in Neuro Psych tuition free (similar offers from several top universities) Roommate got his Wharton MBA for free (sponsored by his company). This stuff happens more than you think.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,863 Senior Member
    If your company pays for your MBA, you have to stay with the company or pay the company back. The attraction of Wharton is it opens up doors to other companies, and those wanting to make a career change. Most people that do this need a MBA to move up in the company or just want Wharton on their resume or linked-in.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 9,086 Senior Member
    But you don't have to stay with the company forever, Thelonius, and most companies have a graduated payment plan if you leave. It's not like you are an indentured servant for 30 years....
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,863 Senior Member
    "But, believe it or not, I know people who think it's better to go to the super elite UG and the cheapest possible American accrediitated med school, i.e., they think that in terms of life experience it's better to go Williams College and instate UMass-Medical--which granted is still expensive--than to accept a merit scholarship for UG and go to a more expensive med school."

    That's a recipe for accruing a boatload of debt. As ucbalumnus said, you don't really have a choice what med school you go to, you pretty much go where you're accepted, whether that's a more affordable one or a private one in an expensive city. That's why the advice to minimize undergraduate costs and debt is a sound one.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    edited December 4
    IMO MBAs are priced for companies to sponsor them and it’s seldom worth the investment to pay for oneself (remember you are foregoing earnings as well as paying the fees so the real cost is much higher than the sticker price.). As @blossom points out, you don’t have to stay forever at the sponsoring company and often are promoted up as soon as you graduate anyway, which in itself helps your resume for future job searches too. I’ve known a bunch of people get MBAs from top business schools, only one of whom has funded himself (a decision he openly acknowledges he regrets).

  • arsenalozilarsenalozil Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    My spouse went to a top MBA program about 20 years ago. She came from the non-profit world so there was no company to sponsor her tuition. She has since risen to managing director of her company. Getting and paying for her MBA was one of the best financial decisions that she has ever made.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 353 Member
    edited December 4
    Coming from the non-profit world, she probably wasn’t sacrificing that much in lost income either. I wonder what the comparable cost was back then, too.

    For my friend going on hiatus from a comfortable six figure salary for two years and paying top dollar himself, with MBAs being around $100k a year all in now... that’s a big investment to recoup once you’ve added it all up.

    Basically...like the rest of the thread...it’s a totally personal decision on what degree at what school is worth what amount of money to any particular individual, given their circumstances.

    Of course the big unknown in any of these calculations, more so with an mba than with an obvious necessity like MD or JD for their professions, is to what extent it was the mba and what extent it was the person that made it higher. Plenty of non-mba MDs around too.
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 4,795 Senior Member
    edited December 4
    For my friend going on hiatus from a comfortable six figure salary for two years and paying top dollar himself, with MBAs being around $100k a year all in now... that’s a big investment to recoup once you’ve added it all up.

    This is basically why I left HBS before the end of the first year in the late 80s. The delta between what I was making going in and what I'd likely make coming out, on top of the two years of foregone income, was about a ten year break-even, and I didn't see that I was learning all that much as I was already in executive management before I got there. I'm now retired and don't regret that decision one iota. In hindsight, having that MBA wouldn't have helped me financially. I did just fine without it, but that's what Harvard told us on the way in: Getting accepted into this program is like applying to a bank for a loan--the less you need it the more likely they are to give it to you.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,271 Senior Member
    @theloniusmonk In fact he roommate did have to stay with major global employer for two yrs. Was worth it as mot only did he get the Wharton MBA, they brought him back at a much higher level. Within a few yrs, he was the CFO of one of their businesses. He eventually left, had a few other assignments, and is now the CFO of a F200 company without having to pay for a Wharton MBA. Not bad.
  • LOUKYDADLOUKYDAD Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    edited December 6
    DS18 went the full ride route. No question I was the one most conflicted about it. He never was and didn’t apply to any elite schools. Ultimately the perks received from his in-state public U helped me feel really good about it (guaranteed admission to their med school, a “mentored” scholarship that really is a program and an experience not just funding, funded study abroad all three summers, honors college, etc.). Med school has always seemed like a good fit and the likely path for him so it seemed like the smart option.

    One semester in now it still looks like to me this was the right decision for us. Most of all, he seems really happy and well adjusted there. He is very engaged in involved, between his fraternity, student government opportunity, intramural sports, activities related to the scholarship programs, or just doing stuff with friends he has met. He has a terrific extended friend group that largely grown out of the scholarship program and dorm relationships. He is close to home but doesn’t come home that much because he is so busy (does he even miss us at all? haha we want to think so!)

    The only area I’m not completely convinced about (and may still be by the end) is academic challenge. There is no question year one has not been a situation where he has been pushed academically. They do not accept AP Bio credit for first year biology classes in the major, so that seems to be one situation where he is repeating a lot of material. His AP Chem credit would have allowed him to skip first year gen chem, but he choose not to so as to be a part of a first year science LLP. Again repeating a lot of material. Good MCAT review I suppose? Other classes (a neuro/psych class, microecon as a free elective, a final needed gen ed credit) while somewhat interesting to him I don’t sense added much rigor. His AP Calc BC credit counted, so no more math requirements. He plans to take physics (algebra based for bio majors) next year.

    I’m going to reserve judgment on this though until he hits organic chem and the upper level biology and neuroscience classes in his majors. I’ve heard it stated several times on these boards that STEM degrees are challenging/rigorous enough no matter where you go. Still thinking that will end up being true for him also, and year one will be the exception.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,878 Senior Member
    Haven't read the whole thread but just want to say this is only a dilemma for those who might have the money to pay. Those who don't, either shoot for the best financial aid (and for talented kid this can be an elite school) or the kids go to community college. Another strategy for any family is to wait until the child is 24 and then financial aid is based on the kid's finances, not the parents'.
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