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  1. #21

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    For those of you interested in the topic of students who are the first in their families to attend college, I recommend this book.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  2. #22
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    I only skimmed the article. I can see where some kids who have their parents pay for everything can slack off, because they don't feel personally invested. But, there are also kids who feel that they have to earn what their parents pay for. Kids who do not have to work, while attending college, can focus more on their studies, so that can make it easier for them to do well. Not saying that kids who work won't do equally well, it's just more pressure and less time. We paid for both of our kids, for undergrad degrees. They are paying for graduate degrees. Son has a significant merit scholarship, so his loans won't be too bad. Daughter is going to a state school and used inheritance from her grandfather to pay for the first year. so, her loans shouldn't be too bad either. But, we felt that they should own the responsibility of grad school. I don't think either one is working harder, or more committed, than in undergrad. Only to the extent that law school/grad school is harder, in and of itself.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Every single job I've applied for has asked for my college transcripts.
    No job I've applied for has asked for mine.

    Now, when I was first out of school, I did get asked my GPA sometimes in the interviews. But the longer I'd been working, the less that happened and, by 5 years out of college, it never happened ever again.

    My experience in college is that there were always a few kids who didn't really want to be there but were there because their parents were making them be there and were paying their way. These kids rarely did well and certain weren't as dedicated to their education and their grades as the kids who were busting their butt to be there. That doesn't mean no kid whose parent paid their way did well in school. But those of us on scholarship definitely were very aware that we had to keep up a certain grade point average or lose those scholarships. It certainly factored into our decisions about how much time to spend studying vs. doing other things.

    What I find interesting is that the study didn't find that working your way through school had a negative impact on your grades. My personal observations were that working more than 10 hours a week did impact grades negatively. I would like see more on that aspect of it. If my personal observations on that are wrong, I might change some of my approach to Mini-Mac working through school.

  4. #24

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    I know a place like Google asks for your GPA, even if it is years since you graduated - and that it is odd for the industry.

    In Denmark they cared about key grades and the grade for my master thesis when I applied for jobs, not the whole GPA or that I got a barely passing grade in my mandatory electromagnetism course...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    I know a place like Google asks for your GPA, even if it is years since you graduated - and that it is odd for the industry.
    They never asked for mine. Though I didn't get very far in the interview process. I'm also more then 30 years out of college and don't have a degree in my field.

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    I tell students that GPA mostly matters for getting the first job (and of course for getting into grad school). GPA can be very important in getting the first job, at least if the student is participating in on-campus corporate recruiting. But after the first job, it doesn't seem to matter much at all.
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  7. #27
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    Very interesting and thought provoking research! The basic methodology looks good to me, particularly the part about controlling for parental socioeconomic status. (Given where it's published, I'm assuming how she controlled for it also passes muster.)

    For job candidates, I always ask for undergraduate and graduate school GPA unless the candidate has 10+ years of experience. For a 0-2 years experience job, GPA is a screening criterion and usually plays a significant role in the overall decision. For 3-9 years experience, GPA is more of a sanity check.

    I ask for college transcripts for all entry-level positions as they help me assess the skill set. I'm more interested in what classes a person took than in their major. Without seeing a transcript, I find it hard to assess certain majors -- in particular, social science degrees like psychology, sociology, and even communications. These majors can get into serious quantitative depth, or they can be "fluff." Impossible to say without seeing a transcript.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    I tell students that GPA mostly matters for getting the first job (and of course for getting into grad school). GPA can be very important in getting the first job, at least if the student is participating in on-campus corporate recruiting. But after the first job, it doesn't seem to matter much at all.
    IME, it usually doesn't matter a whole lot past the first job what university you went to, either.

  9. #29
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    I had a scholarship that paid my tuition. It was part of Georgia's HOPE Scholarship that paid all tuition and fees for students with a 3.0 GPA. I earned a 3.8 GPA in high school which got me the scholarship and I maintained a 3.5 during college which allowed me to keep it all 4 years. A lot of people started off with HOPE and then lost it.

    Now HOPE has different restrictions on it (I think you have to have a minimum 3.5 + 1100 on the SAT to get the funding) so it's not as easy to get anymore. HOPE paid for my tuition and fees and I think I got like $300 or $400 towards books (which, as most people know, is good for about two or three books). My housing was paid for by my grandparents and parents. I worked a part-time job to pay for my living expenses (ie. money for food) but other than that my focus was on school. I don't know that I'd have done as well as I did if I had to work more than that, nor would I have been able to earn enough money to cover everything.

    I'm very lucky I kept my scholarship throughout and was able to graduate debt free. I'm the only one out of my siblings who managed to do that; the other three ended up losing the scholarship and had to take out loans.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    My experience in college is that there were always a few kids who didn't really want to be there but were there because their parents were making them be there and were paying their way.
    I think this is more common than it used to be, mainly because there are so many more people going to college now than there used to be.

    As I always say in these discussions, if you graduated more than 10 years ago, your experience is quite a bit different in some ways than the experiences of current college students.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    What I find interesting is that the study didn't find that working your way through school had a negative impact on your grades. My personal observations were that working more than 10 hours a week did impact grades negatively. I would like see more on that aspect of it. If my personal observations on that are wrong, I might change some of my approach to Mini-Mac working through school.
    I know that there is research that shows that students who work 10-15 hours a week are more likely to graduate than students who don't work at all, but anything over that is a risk factor, which increases (not surprisingly) as the number of hours worked increases. There is also a risk factor associated with working off campus as opposed to on, so for most students, an on-campus job for 10-15 hours a week is considered ideal.

    Much depends, too, on how heavy a courseload Mini-Mac would carry. The majority of college students now work, most of them because they need to, and so it is taking most students, even those who follow the strictly traditional route, longer to get degrees.
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  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Very interesting and thought provoking research! The basic methodology looks good to me, particularly the part about controlling for parental socioeconomic status. (Given where it's published, I'm assuming how she controlled for it also passes muster.)
    But don't you think there is an flaw in simply saying parents who "pay more" get diminishing returns (which is basically what is being stated) in reaching the conclusion that the more parents provide financial support to their child's education, the less they get back in terms of grades? The article, which is titled "Spoiled Children," assumes that parents paying for the education, i.e., essentially giving the kid a free ride, causes their kids to receive lower grades.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of kids who don't make the most of college, slack off, and treat it like a four-year party. And I also don't doubt that it is a lot easier to do that if someone else is paying the costs. However, I think there are plenty of slackers who have taken out significant loans.

    Also, as I pointed out, academically-achieving wealthy students often receive merit-based scholarships. But for those scholarships, which often are not doled out until the eve of college, those students would fall into the same category as slackers whose parents are paying the full cost. And those students may prepare for college with the same understand as the slackers, i.e., that mom and dad are going to pay for school and may be just as "spoiled" by their parents. The problem I have is that the group being characterized as slackers getting free rides may, despite having their education paid for by their parents, may happen to be disproportionately: (1) students who are less academically inclined (as the more gifted get scholarships and no longer are members of this group); (2) students with learning disabilities and other emotional/psychological issues that affect their grades (but due to parental wealth, may attend college more than similar students for less wealthy families); and (3) students whose family wealth allows them to attend "harder" colleges and universities where they may wind up on the lower-end of the academic spectrum than if they had gone to schools that where they are competing for grades with different students (most wealthy families I know place a lot of emphasis on where their child goes to college and want their kid to go to the "best" school, which they judge by academic reputation). This last factor is something to consider. The people I know will almost always pay the full cost of a school like Berkeley or an expensive private school instead of taking a scholarship to UC Irvine, even if it means their kid gets Bs at Berkeley or Pomona instead of As at Irvine. A kid who doesn't have the same financial freedom, on the other hand, may be more likely to chose Irvine and get As, where the students whose parents are paying the full cost may have chosen Irvine over a scholarship to San Diego State. Those strike me as factors that might skew the data significantly.

    My concern is that these kinds of studies lead people to make broad generalizations and conclusions about education policies, what kind of schools students should attend, and how parents should treat their children as they plan their educational future. Yet without more of an understanding of who the students are in the group that the article is quick to label "spoiled," I am hesitant to draw conclusions or make assumptions about whether this is a causation or correlation issue.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    The majority of college students now work, most of them because they need to, and so it is taking most students, even those who follow the strictly traditional route, longer to get degrees.
    I wonder if "Project Degree Completion" takes that into consideration ....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    I wonder if "Project Degree Completion" takes that into consideration ....
    Anecdotal only, but one of my husband's nieces worked 10 hours a week during the school year and full time during the summer. It took her 9 semesters over 4 1/2 years to graduate. When her younger sister started, her parents ran the numbers and realized that it would be much cheaper if the younger one didn't work at all and took extra credits, including during the summer. The younger one completed her degree in 2 1/2 years and saved her parents about $40,000 in tuition and fees.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    I know a place like Google asks for your GPA, even if it is years since you graduated - and that it is odd for the industry.

    In Denmark they cared about key grades and the grade for my master thesis when I applied for jobs, not the whole GPA or that I got a barely passing grade in my mandatory electromagnetism course...
    When Alf was looking for a position after his stint in freelancing, he put his GPA on his resume, even though his degree wasn't even in the same field. Not sure if it helped him. It wasn't "OMG you're such a genius!" level. Probably as Louis said, a sanity check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Anecdotal only, but one of my husband's nieces worked 10 hours a week during the school year and full time during the summer. It took her 9 semesters over 4 1/2 years to graduate. When her younger sister started, her parents ran the numbers and realized that it would be much cheaper if the younger one didn't work at all and took extra credits, including during the summer. The younger one completed her degree in 2 1/2 years and saved her parents about $40,000 in tuition and fees.
    Always run the numbers! My friend didn't work at all in college, and graduated in 3 years to save money. Though she tried applying to law school straight after and thought that being so young counted against her....

  15. #35

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    University grades and where you went to uni can matter to certain employers in the US, and matter more in some industries than in others. For example, in consulting for the top firms, it tends to matter. They even asked my SAT scores.

    As for not working at all during university - a lot of employers want you to have worked. They don't want to be your first job. And in addition to regular part-time work, having done a career-related internship can be key.
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  16. #36

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    Here's the abstract of the actual research article.
    http://asr.sagepub.com/content/early...72680.abstract

    And please, don't confuse the title on the news article with what the research itself is saying. The news article is the one that's titled Spoiled Children, not the research article.
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  17. #37
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    If you apply for a lot of government jobs (ie almost anything that advertises via USAJOBS, not specifically government/political posts) they want transcripts, especially if you're using academic courses for any part of the 'experience' criteria. I don't know if they look at GPAs as much as what courses you took, though.

    I got a much lower GPA in college than high school (didn't prevent me from getting into grad school, but that's because of WHICH undergrad school it was-lower grades there tend to be treated like higher ones from larger "selective" schools) but mostly because I took classes I probably should not have (physics, calculus, etc. There was, sadly, no avoiding statistics at my school, and we all seemed to end up taking it sophomore year.)

  18. #38
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    ^^ Hated statistics. But, at least you had sophisticated calculators. Back, when dinosaurs roamed, we had to do the math without calculators. Try multiplying permutations and probabilities out on paper

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    But don't you think there is an flaw in simply saying parents who "pay more" get diminishing returns (which is basically what is being stated) in reaching the conclusion that the more parents provide financial support to their child's education, the less they get back in terms of grades? The article, which is titled "Spoiled Children," assumes that parents paying for the education, i.e., essentially giving the kid a free ride, causes their kids to receive lower grades.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education is a newspaper for people who work in higher ed. As with most newspapers, the headlines are written by editors and do not always accurately reflect the content of the article itself. If you read the comments underneath the article, you will see many snarks reflecting the fact that nowhere does this article--or the research it summarizes--say that the students are spoiled.

    The article, if not the headline, make it quite clear that the research says nothing at all like "that parents paying for the education, i.e., essentially giving the kid a free ride, causes their kids to receive lower grades." And the average reader of the Chronicle of Higher Ed will understand the difference.

    I've seen some excerpts from the journal article posted elsewhere and it appears that the differences in grades are statistically significant, but in no way indicate that the kids in question are just blowing off college altogether. They simply aren't working to full potential. The author suggests that the real problem is parents not establishing expectations and requirements.

    Is this really radical?

    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    My concern is that these kinds of studies lead people to make broad generalizations and conclusions about education policies, what kind of schools students should attend, and how parents should treat their children as they plan their educational future. Yet without more of an understanding of who the students are in the group that the article is quick to label "spoiled," I am hesitant to draw conclusions or make assumptions about whether this is a causation or correlation issue.
    Do you know of any policies that aren't based on broad generalizations? That's what statistics do--they identify characteristics of herds. I don't know why people feel the need to point out that generalizations do not apply to everyone and there are exceptions to the rules and and and and. Statistics do not apply to individuals; individual experiences do not negate statistics.

    That said, I don't see any educational policies coming out of this research. It's not like colleges are going to start requiring parents to pay less for their children's educations; that would be self-defeating, if nothing else. What colleges might like to see, however, is parents who demand more accountability from students and so this research might be used in discussions with parents about college. Ultimately, however, the amount of money spent and the school of choice is up to the parents, and I highly doubt that most of them will be swayed by this research, for the same reasons that so many people here, without actually reading the article, dismiss the research.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    I wonder if "Project Degree Completion" takes that into consideration ....
    My program certainly does and I don't think we are an exception. The longer it takes a student to earn a degree, the higher the risk that the student will not finish the degree. Ohio is planning to cut remedial classes in order to speed things along. Yes, that will work out well.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    But don't you think there is an flaw in simply saying parents who "pay more" get diminishing returns (which is basically what is being stated) in reaching the conclusion that the more parents provide financial support to their child's education, the less they get back in terms of grades? The article, which is titled "Spoiled Children," assumes that parents paying for the education, i.e., essentially giving the kid a free ride, causes their kids to receive lower grades.
    The article takes a bit of a sensationalistc spin on what seems like good, nuanced research. Parents who pay for their children's education see better graduation rates, but lower grades on average. Doesn't mean this applies to all situations, of course. The takeaway, for me, is not that parents should stop paying for children's education, but rather consider a "social contract" around junior's grades and tuition.

    The abstract and article says that the author's analysis accounts for both level of familial wealth and alternate funding. I don't have easy access to the full article, but there's nothing that fails a sniff test so far.

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