Author Topic: This needs to be shown to more college students  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline Meest

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 10:10:00 am »
This needs to be shown to more college students...

http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-110657-6644-3-how-one-college-student-beat-tuition-costs?ywaad=ad0035

This definitely merits its own topic, and I think a lot of students would agree with this idea, especially in the Dakotas.

A lot of what he says makes sense, but I'm still adamantly against working 30+ hours a week while you're in school, unless that work is directly related to your interests (in which case you should argue to get course credit for it as well).  A manageable amount of debt when you graduate is worth being able to focus full-time on school, imho.

It's surprising to me that he is against taking out loans but comes out with this: "College is an active experience, not an intellectual amusement park ride where you strap in and see what happens. Find one with a wide array of programs..."  If you think the school will be worthwhile, attend the school.  Study what you want to study, but you have to think long-term.  If you worry about paying for tuition all the time, you're NOT worrying about how to best apply yourself after you graduate to be able to get your dream job.  By all means BE active--if you can graduate at the top of your class at a school you KNOW is good for your program, you ought to be able to survive after you graduate.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2010, 10:11:04 am by Sal Atticum »
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Offline Meest

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2010, 10:26:41 pm »
I think the main thing about studying what you want to study only goes so far. You also have to think about "Will I be able to get a job with this degree in 4 years"

Just because you want that art degree, or this new degree just came out in social media and you're all about the twittering and what have you, are you REALLY going to be able to get a job with it out in the real world?

What are you going to do with that general studies degree??

I'm a firm believer, after this happened to myself, to not pressure kids into college right after high school. I thought I knew what I wanted to do. went for a year and blew 10 grand on something i was not interested in at all. Thats not cost effective or a good solution. Good learning experience? Yes i will agree with that. would I do it again? Hell no.

after that I went back to a community college to do my generals. I wasn't interested in it then and entered the workforce thinking I enjoyed my job enough. WRONG. 5 years later I'm back in school and all the wiser. Did I forget how to do some of the math? Yes, But so far thats the only thing that has suffered in my absence from schooling...

Most students have to learn to be realistic, But learn to take calculated risk's if you want to go outside the box. Hey someone's got to do it, but completely burying yourself in debt is no way to think outside the box. thats been done long before you've done it.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2010, 10:41:29 pm »
I think the main thing about studying what you want to study only goes so far. You also have to think about "Will I be able to get a job with this degree in 4 years"

Just because you want that art degree, or this new degree just came out in social media and you're all about the twittering and what have you, are you REALLY going to be able to get a job with it out in the real world?

What are you going to do with that general studies degree??
Agreed.  I was trying to get at this in my last post, but it probably didn't make as much sense.  I think you can do what you want as long as you either a) know you can be a superstar or b) will be okay with your job options.  My field (paleontology) is not one that people go into for the money, but I knew that going in, and this may one of the reasons I'm learning GIS as an aspect of my dissertation, because it's a marketable skill even if nobody will pay me specifically to look at fossils.
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I'm a firm believer, after this happened to myself, to not pressure kids into college right after high school. I thought I knew what I wanted to do. went for a year and blew 10 grand on something i was not interested in at all. Thats not cost effective or a good solution. Good learning experience? Yes i will agree with that. would I do it again? Hell no.
Absolutely agree.  College degrees are becoming more and more watered down because everyone is expected to have one, leading to a campus full of people who don't know why they're in school except to get a diploma at the end.
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after that I went back to a community college to do my generals. I wasn't interested in it then and entered the workforce thinking I enjoyed my job enough. WRONG. 5 years later I'm back in school and all the wiser. Did I forget how to do some of the math? Yes, But so far thats the only thing that has suffered in my absence from schooling...

Most students have to learn to be realistic, But learn to take calculated risk's if you want to go outside the box. Hey someone's got to do it, but completely burying yourself in debt is no way to think outside the box. thats been done long before you've done it.
"Calculated" is the key word here, and people calculate risks differently.  I thought it was worth it to take on a lot of debt to go to the school of my choice (at which I learned a great deal and enjoyed it), but others see all debt as bad debt and try to avoid it. 

Consider some of the students I've dealt with at UND.  They want to be out as soon as possible (with a diploma and without owing any money), so they work 30 hours a week and then take as many credits as they can fit into their schedule.  From what I can tell, this just seems to lead to failing necessary classes (calculus, a required science with lab, etc.) and retaking them at a later date--and stretching a B.S. into five years or more.  I just don't see the point.

Maybe we're able to think more delicately about this than the average freshman because we're both older.  I wish some younger students would chime in.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 12:05:04 am »
I tend to agree because well... I'm that guy. A 28 year old undergrad student that is. I went to school right out of HS simply because it was some sort of stupid social norm that honestly my parents were complete idiots to not talk me out of it. I was luckily at a community college (which I actually hold in very high regard). After some 6 years of apathy with that I realized that it would be possible for me to goto UND and get my aviation degree. Again though, while I feel I've learned exceptionally marketable skills (crew resource management for one, handling half million dollar aircraft daily for another (responsibility)) no one really sat me down and said, what is the job market like for this career? I don't blame my parents, because in the end it's my fault... but they let me make some of the very same mistakes they made.

Another point. everyone has a degree. Yes, and it's largely because of such billy bullshit degrees. College should've been hard, challenging, and you should learn more than how drunk someone has to be before you should call 911. I've learned more going through my college career at this age than I could've ever hoped for had I gone right away. While I absolutely LOVE to fly, I love it the same way some of you might love a hobby. But in reality... its the degree that I got because I was too scared to chase a PhD in Physics or something. I'm sure sal can attest to my constant whining and inquisitions to getting scientific degrees, and how frustrated I am at how little I'm qualified for.

As for working in school. Lots of people do it. I did it. For 6 years. WHat did I end up with? EXACTLY what sal said. failing classes because I had to work (or to be more correct... because I thought fixing bikes or saving lives was more important than learning some nonsense).

Hmm... I think this post is more rambly than I intended it to be. There is really though a fine line between when someone SHOULD goto school and when someone NEEDS to be done with school by. It's sort of unfortunate... I think it was on here somewhere that I went off about higher education being a crock. I'll call your attention to that.
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Offline Meest

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 09:32:06 pm »
Then there are the other people that have had a full time job and then try and go back to school. I HAVE to work a full time job and go to school. There is no other way. my tax return is my own worst enemy. How do I quit a job where i was making 25000 a year and hope to live off my financial aid which for the tech was enough to cover my tuition and books only because of my previous years income? How do you quit a job with health benefits and start going to school full time and not have those?

These are things that I've had to deal with. I've found a happy balance of working my 40/45 and doing 9 credits to be perfectly feasible. I also still do my local volunteering and go out and do shows with my band on weekends.

I have friends that are back in school for their second degree and working at a big box store. They then bitch about how much they have to work to make ends meet.... yet these are the same idiots that are taking a spring break down in the bahama's?? WTF? I don't even have a passport and i'm 25...

Offline pmp6nl

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 02:45:25 pm »
I think the author of this book missed a few things.  I would argue that working full time to try to pay tuition as to avoid debt is not the best option for most students, especially those just out of high school.  The collegiate system is not setup for people to be students and have a full time job at the same time.  In previous generations this was unheard of.  Students are suppose to be students first, unfortunately this is not as easy as it once was.

The uncontrollable rising costs of higher ed is what needs to be stopped.  There is no reason for the percent increase in college costs over the past half century.  I for one am more in favor of students concentrating on their studies and being involved in extracurricular activities than working themselves to death, trying to balance work and school and a social life (which I would argue is absolutely necessary for a well rounded college student).

Though I have not read the book, going off the article it does not appear that the author is taking into an account getting a job after graduating.  As someone that is waist deep in finding a job post graduation I can tell you that involvement in extracurricular activities, internships, and other education related activities are very important in getting a job.  While an employer may think it is impressive that you juggled a 40 hr/week job and school, they are more impressed that you developed all sorts of other skills being involved in student orgs, volunteering, and gaining inter and intra-personal skills.

While I am not a huge fan of debt, I see loans for college as an investment.  Just like a mortgage on a home is an investment.  I would argue taking out a reasonable loan amount, working part time or interning, and being involved outside the classroom.

Also, whats wrong with getting scholarships?
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Offline gh

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 11:20:11 pm »
First of all, I think that it's great to get through college with scholarships! Heck, it's free money that you're getting to help with your education and if you dedicate the time to finding scholarships, then you deserve that free money. I think that every little bit of extra money that you can apply toward your education, you should.

Also, I do agree with what some of you others have said, and go to a community college, at least for the generals. I attended a community college and then transferred to NDSU. I did work while attending college at the community college and at NDSU to help pay for my living expenses, because it was cheaper to live in an apartment off campus and pay bills than to live on campus.

I think another thing that many people don't even consider when going to college is the cost of books for classes. I made the mistake and bought the books through the bookstore my first couple years of college. However, after that, I learned that it is more like 1/3 of the cost if you buy them on-line from amazon.com, Barnes and noble- the used book area, facebook market place, or other friends that have taken the classes already.

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The uncontrollable rising costs of higher ed is what needs to be stopped.  There is no reason for the percent increase in college costs over the past half century.  I for one am more in favor of students concentrating on their studies and being involved in extracurricular activities than working themselves to death, trying to balance work and school and a social life (which I would argue is absolutely necessary for a well rounded college student).
I do agree with you that the rising cost of higher ed needs to be stopped. And unfortunately, I didn't experience being involved in extracurricular activities while I was attending college, because I believed it was more important for me to work and pay my current bills. I do have some regrets and wish I would have been active in at least 1 or 2 organizations, and I would do it differently if I had the chance to do it over.

I do think that you should only take out the minimum amount of loans that you need, but as long as you're going in to debt for a degree that helps you to get job offers and make a decent amount of money, then you have to look at it as a good investment.

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He also took a financial risk that most college students don't normally take paying for his housing by investing in local real estate.
As for the investing in local real estate, how did he manage to have the money to do this? I think that many people straight out of high school wouldn't be able to get a loan for housing, so was this with his parent's money or money that he'd saved up over the years?

Meest, I do agree with you that the way the government calculates the amount that we are eligible for from last year's tax return is stupid. Also, yes it would have been hard to go to school without the health benefits, especially if you know you'll end up paying a lot of out-of-pocket costs if you have many health conditions. I was lucky and young enough that my parent's insurance covered most of my health expenses during most of college. And I signed up for health insurance during "open season." I'm not sure what field you are in, but my job at the VA gives you the same health benefits at the same cost if you are a 0.3 or a full time employee, so I guess I'm lucky. I'm not sure if other branches of government offer that benefit also, but it may be something for you to check into if you don't want to work full-time. :)

I also think that if you're going to college, but don't know what degree you want, save yourself the money and maybe job shadow or take on a couple internships until you know what kind of a job you want so you can get the degree that will land you your dream career.

Offline Meest

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Re: This needs to be shown to more college students
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 01:41:24 am »
As for the investing in local real estate, how did he manage to have the money to do this? I think that many people straight out of high school wouldn't be able to get a loan for housing, so was this with his parent's money or money that he'd saved up over the years?

As for the housing. its actually quite ridiculous and after looking I don't know why I didn't do it sooner... If I had known I would have bought into real estate right out of high school. (I had a friend who did this, he now rents his condo that he owns out to people and uses the rental income to pay for his house he now lives in. He's 24 right now)

at the age of 18 when graduating High School I had about 14,000 saved up in my savings. Going back into county tax appraisals (so this is slightly off) i could have bought a townhouse for 50k.

Down payment of 12k would bring it down to 38k in loans. in the summer of 03 interest rates were slightly higher than now. about 5% or so for a 30 year FRM.

Property tax looks to be about 2.2%

plug that into the mortgage calculator and you now have a mortgage payment of wait.... 295.66 a month.

Pretty sure my first apartment I moved into and lived in for 2 years was costing me 260 a month with a roommate Plus power and internet which was right around 300 all said and done.

So you've now bought this place. Get a roommate, he pays the same as the mortgage, you now have your utilities paid and your housing insurance covered.

Don't have as much as I did for a down payment?? Follow the link!
http://www.grandforkshousingauthority.org/downloads/GFHA_UrbanDev_Broch_2k9_2WEB.pdf

You can buy an entry level condo for 60k in this town now. which is indeed high for the state average still. the 50k in 03 is quite a lot actually also. But in those 7 years since then the value has increased by 10k, so I would have had some awesome equity for a 25 year old.


The only thing that would be slightly hard is getting approved for normal financing. But heck I had that by the time I was 19. That's something that isn't taught properly though to the younger crowd.


1. get your own cell phone, in your name. your parents aren't doing you any favors keeping this in their name. If they really wanted to help you they would do that. and then if they wanted to pay it for you so be it. Staying on a family plan is silly in my opinion.

2. Get your own insurance!! For the love of god I can't tell you how many of my friends have been stupid and NEVER got renters insurance!! It costs like 9 bucks a month for 20k in coverage! I have had 2 friends live in apartments that had fire and all their stuff was smoke damaged and ruined... were they paying 9 bucks a month? Nope. GO GET INSURANCE!!

3. Get a student loan, seriously it does help.

4. (this required my parents) Going to buy that laptop for college?? Do what I did. I had the money but buying out right would not do anything for my credit at 18. I am lucky enough to have parents that understand the importance of building my credit. I took out an unsecured loan for a 1000 dollar laptop. I ended up paying an extra 90 bucks or something and I had to get my mom to co-sign (Hence the parent requirements) But I gave my mom the money when we signed the loan, and once a month for 6 months I made payments from the money my mom transferred to me from what I gave her.

All this was from direction of my aunt, who was the director of Ops for a credit union for over 30 years.

The other question I wonder for the average 18/19 year old is : Do you know your credit score/s?? I do. and I track them every year.

When i stopped going to school and I wanted a pickup at the age of 20 I walked into my credit union at 9am. and left at 9:45 with a check to buy the pickup of my dreams. One of the best and dumbest things I did. (don't buy without down payments, they really do help. I learned a hell of a lot from that purchase)

Starting to build your credit after you're out of college is too late, and that is a poor investment in yourself. I'm looking to buy a house due to an inheritance. I have co-workers who are twice my age that can't even get a loan because they have no history! Always paying cash is not always a good thing.

Then again I have friends that have masters degree's and they can't get a used car loan without a co-signer at the age of 25??


Sorry for the long post. I just thought I'd share some experience as I REALLY wish I would have known all of the housing stuff 8 years ago so i could have been planning for that...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 01:42:26 am by Meest »

 

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