Post # 1
I was just looking at the US News college rankings. For both national universities (think Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc) and liberal arts colleges (Williams, Amherst, Middlebury, etc), each of the colleges in the top 20 is roughly $40K/year for tuition. That means that for our future children (all of ours…) to go to a good school, we’ll need about $130K in today’s money to send them.
In the national university section, there are state schools (Berkeley, U Mich). Their out-of-state tuition is just as high as the private schools, but in-state it’s more like $14K/year.
So the question is in the poll…but can we talk about this? Do you think it’s important to go to a top-ranked school? How important is the name of the school you attend?
Post # 3
You need another option. Not everyone needs college education and it’s perfectly acceptable to say “my child does not need college” or “my child would not benefit from a college degree.”
there are plenty of careers where you can earn $60k or more a year with no college and little or no debt.
Post # 4
I didn’t vote either…I’d say probably a moderately priced college that will provide a quality education. Doesn’t necessarily have to be the “best” but I certainly wouldn’t just go the cheap route either.
Post # 5
@fishbone: You’re absolutely right that there are other options. I was just thinking about college, specifically. Like, if your child’s choice is for college, what kind of college do you want him/her to attend?
Post # 6
I said highest rank but their choice. We’re both PhD students, with at least one of us going into academia. We place a lot of importance on higher education in general, and we both know from experience that where you go does matter (to a lesser extent for undergrad). Depending on where we end up with faculty positions in the long-run, we may have discounted tuition available for our kids, which would be great, but otherwise, we’ll find the means to pay for or contribute as much as possible to their education.
One thing to think about (again, to a lesser extent when discussing undergrad programs), a specific department in a school may be more important than the school itself (ie, a certain program in a top 15 school may be more useful to future employment in the field compared to that program in the top school).
Post # 7
I imagine we will end up permanently in England where tuition is so much more affordable. I think my FI paid $4k a year for three years.
If we were in the US, I would help financially if we were in the position to do so. But my kid better damn well have some scholarships. And there is no way I could see us ever affording out-of-state tution or private tuition.
So I suppose my full financial support would be contigent on my child doing his/her end by doing well in high school and obtaining scholarships, as well as picking an in-state school.
That said, I would still do my best to help somewhat if my child wanted to go out-of-state or private. I just cannot see myself able to fully pay for their education in that case. They would have to get loans. As a result, I would probably discourage such a decision since I’d rather my child not have a mountain of debt when school is done.
Post # 8
@peachacid: I honestly don’t think you have to go to the most prestegious school…especially with my career as a teacher. I went to a normal old state school and I got a quality education and got the job I wanted right out of college. I think a lot of it depends on your career path as well.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@peachacid: UF in Gainesville, if our child can get in, is the best bargain education imho. (I am not an alumnus but many of my friends and colleagues are.)
A loan free education is the best because then you can do what you really want to after graduation without worrying about paying off thousands of dollars in loans.
Post # 10
@peachacid: Hah dont forget the cost of meals, fees, housing and books in that $130 total!!! Also dont forget the possibility of grad school if you want to pay for it.
As for me though, I think its important to let the child choose where they go (while taking parents advice into account of course.) I feel parents should set boundaries on what they are comfortable of but not be completely in control… For example taking in to consideration budget or perhaps no more than a 5 hour drive etc. Although, when I’m a parent, I would expect good communication and maybe some compromises on both ends.
Post # 11
I also wonder if anything will be done about the skyrocketing costs of tuition…will the government step in? I doubt it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
It’s really hard to say. I went to one of the “top schools” you listed and tuition was 40k 10 years ago – now even more. I was able to get a bunch of financial aid, and my parents ended up paying less out-of-pocket than for my sister to go to an out-of-state public university. The quality of the education as well as the experience living that far away from home was really really great. Even so, I have 40k in student debt now with a career that’s not particularly well-paying.
Especially with the job market and economy the way it is, I’m not sure it makes sense to take on that much student debt. Our state gives free in-state tuition to smart kids, so if we stay here, we may want our kids to go to our state university. But then again, I really believe that small class size, high quality instruction by top professionals, and a liberal arts education are very important for young minds. (Not just for career advancement, but for expanding kids’ knowledge, confidence, and view of the world.)
It’s a toughie!
Post # 13
I chose the last option. It is up to them where they go. I would prefer a University over a community college and I expect them to atleast get a Bachelor’s degree.
Post # 14
For Women, check out Alverno College! Education is an investment I believe people benifit from obtaining themselves. No matter what college they go to. I do not plan on paying for my childrens college. Just like my parents who could have didn’t for me. I earned it myself, have more respect for education now, and also hope the same for my children.
Depending on the situation, I may offer to pay for there last two years if they prove themselves dedicated the first two. 🙂
Post # 15
I know that a lot of the “best” schools (the Ivies) have programs for students who qualify…if their parents make under $X a year, their tuition is free. So all parents/students pay for is housing, food, and books. I know Exeter offers that as well.
Anyway, I know I will want my child(ren) to go to the best school possible, because I do think that the name of a school matters. It’s not the most important thing, but I want my kids to go to a school where education, not sports, is the focus. This is, of course, what I want…whatever these hypothetical children want in the future is definitely going to be taken into account!
Post # 16
@Britt214: Very true. I considered applying to Stanford, and everyone thought I had a good shot getting in. But ultimately, I figured I would go into elementary education. I couldn’t justify the cost of the prestigious education with the salary I’d have as a teacher. That definitely influenced my decision to stay in-state.