Parent's Remorse?

<p>the total bill for the next 4 years at ND, with 4.5% increases per year, will be $222,000. Our child was admitted EA last year but we decided to go with the flagship in-state. Even as an alum, we could not see paying the extra $30K over the state school. Too much financial risk, we would have had to borrow $50K and our child would have graduated with $25K in debt. We could not take the risk in taking out a second mortgage and lowering our 401K contribution. If you can afford ND without taking out loans or underfunding your retirement, then that is fine but it is not worth going into significant debt for an ND degree. State schools like UM, UVA, UC Berkley, etc... have just as good science,engineering and business schools. </p>

<p>ND is a great school, nice environment, good reputation and the administration does a great job watching over your child but the issue today is the economy and there are no promises of success just because of where someone went to school.</p>

<p>The New York Times article was very interesting. The young woman profiled there ran up nearly $100K in debt to attend NYU, and has not made a dent in repaying it at her current (low) income level.
But here's the key point, buried at the end of the article:</p>

<p>"She recently received a raise and now makes $22 an hour working for a photographer. It’s the highest salary she’s earned since graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in religious and women’s studies."</p>

<p>A degree like that is a consumption item, not an investment item. Why this student and her mother thought that a degree in "religious and women's studies" would lead to a good and high-paying job is quite beyond me.</p>

<p>I also wonder why people don't see a college degree as an investment and not just another accolade. That is why her highest paying job is $22!</p>

<p>HaHa, I have to say I thought the same thing when I read the article! I have no idea what the heck you do with a degree in religious and women's studies! That alone would have made me nervous about paying back the loans. But I think that the bigger picture is many people over extend themselves with regard to college debt (and these days debt in general). And, not everyone is an accounting or engineering major. I guess it poses a new question: Should kids only major in something that they feel has a future employment return? I mean, used to be, kids went to school to study things that interested them; they didn't always worry if their course of study would translate into a career. But nowadays with huge debt repayment looming after graduation, I wonder how many kids choose a major to get a job when they graduate? I wonder how many Philosophy majors there are today as compared to say 15-20 years ago?</p>

<p>Thanks for the comments everyone.</p>

<p>Given the state of the economy, I would think graduating from ND would be an advantage since the alumni network is so strong (from what I have heard and read, the alumni network is tops in the country)? </p>

<p>Between graduating from State U and ND, I could see where graduating from ND could have an advantage if the network is indeed as strong as it appears....I guess I'm still trying to justify the cost!</p>

<p>Comparing a degree in philosophy (at least, in a rigorous and respected program such as the one at ND) with a degree in "religious and women's studies" is like comparing apples an oranges. Philosophy majors are required to read tons of dense and difficult material. Many of them also master a modern and/or classic language. If they perform well, they will have demonstrated important analytical and critical thinking skills.</p>

<p>Majors with the words "studies" after them are notorious for their lack of rigor and their intellectual trendiness. Women's studies, gender studies, religious studies, ethnic studies, American studies.....not much there.</p>

<p>I can't count the number of friends and acquaintences who, over the years, have been so insistent on their children attending State U because of the lower tuition. It's also interesting how many of them later bemoan the fact that it took their children 5 and 6 years to graduate because of the inavailability of many core courses for their majors. Obviously no one has a crystal ball, but in many cases the cost of a 4-year degree from ND comes fairly close to a 6-year degree at State. Add to that the additional "lost earnings" during those two extra years out of the workforce, and ND starts to look like a real bargain!</p>

<p>^^^^
In Florida students with a 3.5+GPA get tuition paid at the state school they are accepted. Since this so greatly reduces the COA, many "parents don't care" (as our GC put it) that it will take 6 years. This might be more understandable to me if they hadn't just spent the last 4-13 years paying 25K+ to attend our private day school.</p>

<p>clairemarie- would you consider ND's preprofessional studies program an exception to this axiom?</p>

<p>Maybe for Christmas your son will get you a 'ND Dad' sweatshirt.....you will wear it with pride....for many reasons!
Congratulations on the huge leap and your son will be forever grateful.</p>

<p>"This program demands at least 49 hours of science in conjunction with more than 70 hours of arts and letters coursework."</p>

<p>I'd give the preprofessional studies program a pass, especially since students also earn a major in Arts and Letters. You don't get into medical school with a lightweight major. </p>

<p>But, in general, the word "studies" in a major should send up huge red flags, both for prospective students and parents, and potential employers.</p>