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El Rey
09-17-2010, 03:09 PM
In the US, reputable, regionally accredited (and thus acceptable to universities) distance learning programs tend to be as expensive as, if not more expensive than on-ground courses. And the financial aid often isn't as good. So it's not a cost-saving measure here.

Yup. During summer sessions I would do distance learning so I wouldn't have to commute every day and could work full time, and it was the exact same price as if I were attending class. I still had to pay all the same fees as well. Including that gym fee, although I would only ever step foot on campus to take tests. My university didn't distinguish between distance learning and regular classes.

I also placed out of some classes, but just a couple. The required amount of core curriculum we're required to take here in Texas is another thing that bothers me. We are required to take anywhere from 42-48 hours (about 14-16 subjects.) We spend almost two years just repeating the same stuff we learned all the way through high school. If the goal is to make a well-rounded student, then I would have preferred classes in subjects I had never studied and not having to take biology I & II again.

snoopy
09-17-2010, 03:11 PM
Even if building funds don’t come from tuition, can’t those funds be applied to tuition related expenses? Schools are raising money from somewhere and that somewhere could fork it over for salaries or books or something more direct than private bathrooms.

Sk8Kate
09-17-2010, 03:27 PM
How many unis now handle them is that they'll waive you out of that particular class, but won't actually grant you the credits, so in effect, you'll have to take a different class instead of that one. It's not that you get ahead re: credits - you'll still need X credits in order to graduate. This does vary by university, though.

This was the case at my school. I needed 2 years of a foreign language in order to satisfy the requirements for a B.A. degree. As I'd taken 4 years of French in high school, I placed out of 100-level French, and started at the 200-level. Although this allowed me to satisfy that B.A. requirement in only a year, I wasn't given credits for the 100-level, I just had to take electives instead to earn those credits. (As it turns out, I chose to take science classes with all those electives, and when it came time to graduate, I had satisfied the requirements for both a B.A. and a B.S. and I got to choose which one I wanted to have printed on my degree. I went with B.S. after all.)

Also, it was mentioned earlier in this thread that a school in Indiana (Bradley University) is offering single dorms with maid service for an additional $5K a year. Just wanted to clarify, Bradley is in Peoria, Illinois, NOT Indiana, and Bradley does NOT offer this option. I'm a proud alum from Bradley and while I've seen them use my alumni donations for all sorts of fancy things that we didn't have when I went to school there - this sort of pampering is NOT an option!

Bradley is a private school, but not nearly as expensive as many. It's usually written up as being a "good value" in reports. I was fortunate to receive a large scholarship from the university that covered about half of my tuition. My parents paid for roughly 1/4, and then loans covered the other 1/4, which I'm now working to pay back. I worked part-time throughout college to pay for my living expenses, parking permits, etc, but that income never amounted to a whole lot. I also applied for any other scholarships that I heard about.

The loans I have are really no big deal. I do still have freakouts about them sometimes, which I suppose is a bit silly because I'm paying them off well ahead of schedule and only have about $9K left to repay. (I've got a good friend who has $86K in loans and was just unemployed for a year - he pays more in loan repayment than I pay in rent, so I realize it could be much worse.) I'm grateful my parents helped me as much as they did, but at the same point, having to pay for some of it myself did (and still does) make me appreciate college that much more.

zaphyre14
09-17-2010, 03:32 PM
Is it really horrible to suggest that people look a going to colleges that they can actually afford? Instead of putting themselves and their families into hock for a couplde of decades or more after they graduate?

One of the men I work with has two college-age sons; he sat down with each of them and bluntly explained that while he was happy to contribute to their college expenses, his resources are limited. If they chose schools that were too expensive, then the sons were responsible for coming up with the difference, through grants, scholarships, work study or whatever. Both sons ended up at their "second-choice" schools because the first choices were too expensive. Mind you the second-choice schools are pretty darned good schools (uhm, Cornell?) so the boys aren't suffereing much. But they both knew before they started the whole process what the limits were.

jlai
09-17-2010, 03:45 PM
In the US, reputable, regionally accredited (and thus acceptable to universities) distance learning programs tend to be as expensive as, if not more expensive than on-ground courses. And the financial aid often isn't as good. So it's not a cost-saving measure here.

But the CLEP tests - those are the US exams that people can take to place out of college-level coursework - that can sometimes work. It depends on the university, though. Most US unis will accept CLEP exam credit, but at many unis, having exempted out of a class via CLEP may not bring you closer to graduation. How many unis now handle them is that they'll waive you out of that particular class

I shopped very carefully (ie all over the nation) for online courses suited to my needs and so tuition is usually very affordable. Same with placement exams (ie research research).


Even if building funds don’t come from tuition, can’t those funds be applied to tuition related expenses? Schools are raising money from somewhere and that somewhere could fork it over for salaries or books or something more direct than private bathrooms.

It's not universally true. In my state, it's backed by revenue bonds (ie tuition), but it's even more complex than that. More later

snoopy
09-17-2010, 03:53 PM
Is it really horrible to suggest that people look a going to colleges that they can actually afford? Instead of putting themselves and their families into hock for a couplde of decades or more after they graduate?

I looked at a couple private expensive schools in Massachusetts, went out with my brother and did visits. Along the process somewhere, my dad told me, “I don’t know where you’re going, but my money is going to state school”.

GarrAarghHrumph
09-17-2010, 05:07 PM
Even if building funds don’t come from tuition, can’t those funds be applied to tuition related expenses? Schools are raising money from somewhere and that somewhere could fork it over for salaries or books or something more direct than private bathrooms.

No, they cannot. When money is raised for X, it must, in most cases, be spent on X, and can't be transferred over to Y, even if the need at Y is greater.

LilJen
09-17-2010, 05:41 PM
My undergraduate school is on the front page of Yahoo this morning, under the title, "Getting a Degree Debt Free". http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-110657-6644-3-how-one-college-student-beat-tuition-costs?ywaad=ad0035

And apparently, he invested in local real estate (wow).

I'm still shaking my head at the student who did this here. Paid for on his CREDIT CARDS. And then was really, really screwed when the bottom fell out of the real estate market. Wanna guess what his major was?

Yup. Business. I'm not making this up.

(Not sure whether he graduated or what kind of marks he made.)

PDilemma
09-17-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm still shaking my head at the student who did this here. Paid for on his CREDIT CARDS. And then was really, really screwed when the bottom fell out of the real estate market. Wanna guess what his major was?

Yup. Business. I'm not making this up.

(Not sure whether he graduated or what kind of marks he made.)

Kind of goes with all the psych majors I knew who needed an intervention of some sort.

jlai
09-17-2010, 06:06 PM
555,000 Student-Loan Burden
http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=75024&page=5

:eek:

and this http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/109698/placing-the-blame-as-students-are-buried-in-debt?mod=bb-debtmanagement

genevieve
09-17-2010, 09:38 PM
and this http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/109698/placing-the-blame-as-students-are-buried-in-debt?mod=bb-debtmanagement
I do see the comparisons with the mortgage crisis in this story. And I'm so conflicted. It's easy to look at this and think "what were they thinking?!?" getting a loan from Citibank for the daughter to finish college. But CC agencies (particularly Citibank IMO) bank on peoples' ignorance. And really - I had no idea that I was going to end up paying for most of my college education until...well, until I had to start paying it back (my mom knew what was going on though).

The article really points to a general lack of understanding of credit.


Cortney could move someplace cheaper than her current home city of San Francisco, but she worries about her job prospects, even with her N.Y.U. diploma.
Hmmm...huge debt and living in San Francisco. :yikes: I was thinking maybe she's working in a specific field where a large city is really necessary. But then...

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
Oh dear....that just comes across as a punchline of cruelty

Prancer
09-17-2010, 10:25 PM
Is it really horrible to suggest that people look a going to colleges that they can actually afford? Instead of putting themselves and their families into hock for a couplde of decades or more after they graduate?

Not at all. In the past, though, people could, with some accuracy, consider tuition an investment because all college graduates had good to excellent employment prospects and tuition was more in keeping with income.

That is no longer the case, but a lot of people haven't yet realized this. Or if they do, they think the solution is to invest in the best possible "name" school they can at whatever cost, so their child can tap into the network.

A lot of people also don't consider their children's personalities when making these decisions.


What is sad is that many parents do this and their children blow it off. I have a student whose mother works two jobs to keep her from needing any loans, yet the student puts in minimal effort. Another, older student, whose mother postponed her retirement to help pay for her daughter's education who got pregnant (at 40) and is considering dropping out. A faculty member sacrifices a lot to pay for her son's education and he can't be bothered to go to class. She makes excuses about how she doesn't want him to work because school's so hard. School is hard when you don't actually attend. These are the parents who should tell their kids, "If you want it, you pay for it, or get a job."

I also see this; it's not the norm, but it's prevalent enough that not a class goes by where I don't have at least one student completely blowing off someone's tuition money.

If your child is academically inclined, great. If not, he or she will not likely experience a magical transformation just by going to a different school. Yet parents expect this.

One in three undergraduates drops out of school. Most people are unaware of this.


In the US, reputable, regionally accredited (and thus acceptable to universities) distance learning programs tend to be as expensive as, if not more expensive than on-ground courses. And the financial aid often isn't as good. So it's not a cost-saving measure here.

Yes, I've never heard of distance learning classes being cheaper in and of themselves. You might be able to find a school that has a lower tuition rate than others, but that's no different from physically attending a school that has a lower tuition rate.


But the CLEP tests - those are the US exams that people can take to place out of college-level coursework - that can sometimes work. It depends on the university, though. Most US unis will accept CLEP exam credit, but at many unis, having exempted out of a class via CLEP may not bring you closer to graduation. How many unis now handle them is that they'll waive you out of that particular class, but won't actually grant you the credits, so in effect, you'll have to take a different class instead of that one. It's not that you get ahead re: credits - you'll still need X credits in order to graduate. This does vary by university, though.

Yes, and CLEPing is always risky. If you CLEP at one school, it may not transfer to another school. Most schools have expiration dates on CLEP results, so if you are a little slow finishing your degree, your CLEP test may not be good any more by the time you apply for graduation (and so on).


Even if building funds don’t come from tuition, can’t those funds be applied to tuition related expenses? Schools are raising money from somewhere and that somewhere could fork it over for salaries or books or something more direct than private bathrooms.

No; if a school, public or private, raises money for a particular project, then that money must be spent on that project.


I had no idea that I was going to end up paying for most of my college education until...well, until I had to start paying it back (my mom knew what was going on though)

Most college students have no concept of credit, paying back loans or budgeting when they go off to college; why would they? So paying back loans is something that they grasp only on a vague conceptual level while at the same time having unrealistic expectations about their post-graduation income. Most schools don't have classes in personal finance, particularly not for college prep students and parents generally do a terrible job of teaching their kids about money in any practical way.


Hmmm...huge debt and living in San Francisco. :yikes: I was thinking maybe she's working in a specific field where a large city is really necessary. But then...

:yikes: I just read an article about what not to major in, and that was almost exactly the example cited.

Her chances of getting what most people would call a "real" job are better in a big city, but they still aren't good.

It used to be that if you got a liberal arts degree from a good university, you could count on getting a 'real' job, but that is no longer true. In this economy, you need practical skills that employers can put to use from the first day on.

genevieve
09-17-2010, 10:47 PM
Most college students have no concept of credit, paying back loans or budgeting when they go off to college; why would they? So paying back loans is something that they grasp only on a vague conceptual level while at the same time having unrealistic expectations about their post-graduation income. Most schools don't have classes in personal finance, particularly not for college prep students and parents generally do a terrible job of teaching their kids about money in any practical way.
I knew about the concepts of credit (don't use it), and personal financial responsibility. I think I even knew there were loans involved - but no one ever told me the loans were in MY name! :lol: It made sense when I figured it out, but my mom was kind of secretive about money issues.

I actually never minded paying back student loans. I saw it as one of those "I'm a gown up now" things, plus it gave me a sense of ownership over my education. I have no problem with having paid a lot of money to go to the private college of my choice (over the alternative - a small school that gave me a significant scholarship and was completely wrong for me). I graduated with a useless degree in terms of earning power (modern dance!), and I was even one of those 1/3 who dropped out of college (returning 3 years later to the same school, paying off my first student loan during the whole time I went back). I think I borrowed around $13K and managed to pay it off a little bit ahead of schedule despite working numerous low-paying jobs during all the years I had student loan debt.

The article jlai posted points to some serious problems with personal debt that education is just a part of, but in and of itself I don't think the fact of college debt has to be a problem. it's more about priorities, planning, scale, and then dealing with the results of one's choices. And as Prancer said, a shitload of luck.

PDilemma
09-18-2010, 12:21 AM
If your child is academically inclined, great. If not, he or she will not likely experience a magical transformation just by going to a different school. Yet parents expect this.

One in three undergraduates drops out of school. Most people are unaware of this.


Yes, and CLEPing is always risky. If you CLEP at one school, it may not transfer to another school. Most schools have expiration dates on CLEP results, so if you are a little slow finishing your degree, your CLEP test may not be good any more by the time you apply for graduation (and so on).



.

A few thoughts from the high school end of this...

1-In the schools I worked in (3 parochial high schools), guidance counselors tended to have an attitude that every kid can do anything s/he wants and dream big and what not. So kids who aren't academically inclined for a four year degree are led to believe, along with their parents, that everyone goes to a four year college and if they think they can make it, they can. Many kids are simply not even presented with other options like technical/vocational schools even if it is abundantly clear that that is where their talents are. And in many parents' minds, a tech/vocational program is considered second rate or a failure. A large part of the responsibility for that 1 in 3 statistic has to lie with poor career counseling at the high school level. I've seen students with C averages and grades lower than that in sciences leaving high school thinking they're going to go to medical school or vet school or some such thing because no one will tell them that it isn't a very realistic possibility. And no fairy tale- positive thinking -they believed it and they made it endings are happening either. Those kids have ended up among that one third that drop out.

I've also seen a huge increase in school administrators pushing dual credit courses, AP and CLEP as ways to cut the cost of college. At the school I just left, the counselor has convinced the administration, board and parents that dual credit courses will result in kids needing a semester less of college to complete a BA or BS degree. As you point out, it doesn't typically work that way. Parents are paying up a ton of extra money for these courses with the promise of paying less for college later. And for the last few years, I've had alumni telling me on FB and elsewhere that they don't get why their college didn't take the credit or didn't let it count for something required. In short, they are taking full loads for four years anyway. Meanwhile, it works for the school as a recruiting tool to get parents to send their kids there.

Prancer
09-18-2010, 12:53 AM
A large part of the responsibility for that 1 in 3 statistic has to lie with poor career counseling at the high school level.

I see this in high schools, too, and would agree that poor counseling is an issue, but even in the 1960s, when far fewer people went to college, one in five dropped out.

Most students who drop out cite financial reasons for doing so, although it's a slim majority, and most of them are in good academic standing at the time. And most dropouts do not return to school to finish the degree.

I think college is a really hard adjustment for a lot of students. That first year is very stressful for some of them. Others thrive


At the school I just left, the counselor has convinced the administration, board and parents that dual credit courses will result in kids needing a semester less of college to complete a BA or BS degree. As you point out, it doesn't typically work that way.

One program I have seen work here is PSEO (http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEPrimary.aspx?page=2&TopicRelationID=695), in which students take college courses for credit while in high school with the student's school district paying the tuition. One of my nephews, for example, graduated from a community college on Saturday and from high school on Sunday and entered a university as a senior with a year and a half to graduation. It really did save him and his parents a fortune and he graduated debt-free--which turned out to be a good thing, because even with a degree in computer science, he couldn't find a job in his field. And it's not just community colleges that do this; all of the local universities, even the private ones, participate (although admission standards vary greatly).

But....it's not something just anyone can do and it's not something that a lot of school districts advertise, as they don't like(or can't afford) paying the tuition. And there are financial disadvantages to entering college as a transfer student, if you have to do that, and some universities don't look kindly on community college credits.

I dunno. I dropped out of high school with something like a 1.78 GPA and I made it, so I hate to tell students it can't be done. But things were a lot easier back in the Stone Age.