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Norman Bernstein
11-25-2016, 12:54 PM
This was a topic at last night's festivities. My sister, brother-in-law, and myself all went to Northeastern University.... in the late 60's / early 70's. I dimly recall that tuition per quarter (they were on the quarter system, 4 per year, and students were in school for 2 quarters per year) was around $1600.

Today?

Tuition alone is $44K per year.... with room and board, it's $60.3K.

Save your pennies.

Keith Wilson
11-25-2016, 01:10 PM
This is one goddamn depressing graph. I suspect that's one of the larger things contributing to greater inequality and lack of class mobility; it's now far harder to go to college if your parents don't have much money.

https://satyagraha.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/inflation-factors-2.jpg

peb
11-25-2016, 01:17 PM
For engineering, private schools are just not worth the extra money. I have two kids on engineering state school right now. All-up costs are about 23k/year without scholarships. This year, scholarships between the two totaled 14k. They cover around 4 or 5 K a piece from summer job money. My total bill is 17k for the year. Not good, but not horrible.

Norman Bernstein
11-25-2016, 01:22 PM
For engineering, private schools are just not worth the extra money. I have two kids on engineering state school right now. All-up costs are about 23k/year without scholarships. This year, scholarships between the two totaled 14k. They cover around 4 or 5 K a piece from summer job money. My total bill is 17k for the year. Not good, but not horrible.

I find it difficult to judge, since virtually everyone I worked with, during the first 18 years of my career, when I was an employee, came out of private universities.

Far and away, the BEST young graduates I worked with came not from MIT (whose graduates are certainly pretty good), but from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, or WPI (called 'whoopie', informally). Their program is decidedly superior, very 'hands-on' and project oriented, and the ones I worked with were superb people, very capable.

Sailor
11-25-2016, 01:28 PM
Think outside the box. I'm looking forward to paying for it BECAUSE it's going up. I'd hate to have to pay for it any later than I have to.

paulf
11-25-2016, 01:29 PM
The GI bill and savings from a trade job paid for most of my education. The department of Energy paid for a second degree when I worked for a National lab.

With out those it would not have happened.

Sky Blue
11-25-2016, 01:30 PM
http://www.collegecalc.org/colleges/massachusetts/wellesley-college

Paul Pless
11-25-2016, 01:33 PM
i graduated debt free from a respected state school
when i began college in 1989 tuition was $305 per quarter full time
when i graduated four and half years later tuition was $400 per quarter
tuition is now $6,484 per term

Too Little Time
11-25-2016, 01:35 PM
This is one goddamn depressing graph. I suspect that's one of the larger things contributing to greater inequality and lack of class mobility; it's now far harder to go to college if your parents don't have much money.
For those who don't know Stanford does not charge tuition or room & board to those with incomes below $60K.

The are just too many distorted stories about the cost of college to address them. I will just say there are a lot of poor people who attend very good and expensive colleges with little financial difficulty.

I am sure that I and my kids will view paying full tuition and room & board for the grandkids as worth while.

peb
11-25-2016, 01:35 PM
This is one goddamn depressing graph. I suspect that's one of the larger things contributing to greater inequality and lack of class mobility; it's now far harder to go to college if your parents don't have much money.

https://satyagraha.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/inflation-factors-2.jpg



The problem with school administration is that they do not understand that a annual, small percentage increase your in tuition I an exponential function. if costs go up 3% more than inflation in one year, its seems benign. In 20 years, the inflation adjusted costs will double.

paulf
11-25-2016, 01:38 PM
Washington state had a program that reduced Vietnam veterans cost to $6 per credit, With my savings and the cost reduction I was able to pay all my bills (Family of 3 at the time) and have money left over.

Bobcat
11-25-2016, 01:41 PM
My eldest daughter and I graduated from the same state university. Her tuition was 15x more than mine was 30 years before.

The $206 per quarter in state Washington resident tuition is now about $3000

Jim Bow
11-25-2016, 01:50 PM
There was an article in the paper a while back about the number of American citizens attending medical school in Cuba. World class curriculum for next to nothing tuition.

isla
11-25-2016, 01:50 PM
I'm just looking at Berklee College of Music where one of my nieces is doing a music degree. To me the fees seem to be eye watering. I'm glad I'm not paying them.

$17,000 tuition, plus in the first year, $3000 for a compulsory laptop computer and loads of extra fees for enrollment etc..
https://www.berklee.edu/bursar/tuition-and-related-costs

Aberdeen University here in Scotland is el cheapo at only 1820 pounds ($2,268) per academic year, but it still has a good reputation
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/documents/Fees_-_UG_home_eu__ruk_2017-18.pdf

Cambridge University, which is one of the most highly regarded in the world, has considerably higher fees than Aberdeen..
For UK/EU students starting their first undergraduate degree, it is intended that the 2017-18 tuition fee will be £9,250 for all courses. ($11,522.38)
http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/tuition-fees

peb
11-25-2016, 02:00 PM
There was an article in the paper a while back about the number of American citizens attending medical school in Cuba. World class curriculum for next to nothing tuition.



Call me a skeptic

Bobcat
11-25-2016, 02:13 PM
For those who don't know Stanford does not charge tuition or room & board to those with incomes below $60K.

The are just too many distorted stories about the cost of college to address them. I will just say there are a lot of poor people who attend very good and expensive colleges with little financial difficulty.

I am sure that I and my kids will view paying full tuition and room & board for the grandkids as worth while.


In my experience the truly poor and capable can get a great education for next to nothing. The wealthy can pay the infllated tuition for their offspring. The middle class earners are the one who get caught.

No surprise there: it goes hand and in hand with the increasing economic disparity in the USA

Reynard38
11-25-2016, 02:34 PM
Undergrad for our daughter was $803/ semester (tuition and fees) with the Hope Scholarship.
Grad school is $6200/ semester. Hope only applies to undergrad.

When she's all done I'm buying myself a new car.

Todd D
11-25-2016, 02:43 PM
Personally I can't imagine paying for a kid to attend college. I graduated from the University of Washington. When I started tuition was $99 a quarter ($297 a year) with no compulsory fees. Tuition increased to $188 a quarter ($564 a year) by my senior year. I went to grad school in the physical sciences so they paid me to get my M.S. and Ph.D.

UW tuition and fees are now $10,753 a year and they put the total yearly cost at about $26K. I can't imagine paying that kind of cost. Places like Stanford may provide free college for students from lower income families, but Stanford only admits about 1,800 students a year as undergrads, so their free college program is totally inconsequential in the grand scheme.

Incidentally the quality of education from a quality public university is as good as any private school particularly in the sciences. I base that statement on my experiences during a career as an educator.

DMillet
11-25-2016, 05:20 PM
I'm two thirds of the way through paying off 6 1/2 years of college for my daughters. The younger one finished her degree at the University of AZ. I paid $53k in tuition. She covered room and board, books and other sundry expenses that weren't covered by her multiple scholarships. The older only went through 2 1/2 years at University of DE. I wound up $73k in the hole from that experience. Her mother passing away nine months before she started college left us unprepared and uneducated about what we would be facing. Her mom was absolutely convinced that an out of state, private school education was the only way to assure success in the world.

My oldest son joined the IBEW out of high school. He's a third year apprentice and makes more than either of his sisters. He'll have an associates degree when his apprenticeship ends and be making something north of $70k a year.

My youngest is waiting to hear back from several colleges, both private and state run. He has an opportunity to go to SUNY Plattsburgh tuition free because we are residents of the Adirondack Park (I'm rather strongly encouraging this option). He's also an excellent student and very motivated to find scholarships and alternative funding sources for his education. I've given him a budget of $50k. The rest is on him and he knows it. It'll be interesting to see what he does.

Too Little Time
11-25-2016, 05:22 PM
The middle class earners are the one who get caught.


Places like Stanford may provide free college for students from lower income families, but Stanford only admits about 1,800 students a year as undergrads, so their free college program is totally inconsequential in the grand scheme.

Incidentally the quality of education from a quality public university is as good as any private school particularly in the sciences. I base that statement on my experiences during a career as an educator.
I find that those who think that they are entitled to stuff are the ones who have problems paying for college. Middle class earners (by whatever you mean by that) have the ability to pay their share. Most of those who run short have made poor choices along the way.

Years ago when my kids were looking at colleges, the colleges made it possible for those in the middle class to attend. I used Stanford as an example of what colleges are willing to do now. As Todd D said there are public schools that are just as good as private schools. Middle class families can find colleges they can afford. Might not be the most prestigious of colleges, but the education will be sufficient.

adampet
11-25-2016, 05:53 PM
A topic near and dear to my heart.
Son REALLY wanted to get into MIT. Major math and physics awards in high school, and the grades to boot. My Father and oldest brother were both graduates. Didn't get in. Ended up at UMass Lowell( a merger of Lowell Technical college, Lowell State) He got a full 4 year ride, and came out of school with money in his pocket due to winning two awards. That led to a full ride to Wisconsin Madison for grad school. He's in year 4 of projected 6 year PHD program. State school worked out fine, got him on the track he wanted.

Daughter, theatre major, better grades than son, but not in a desirable field. College choice was between UMass Amherst, and Mills College, Oakland. The Financial aid package at Mills was such that our out of pocket was less than UMass. Scholarships and grants cover 5/6ths of the total and we manage the last 1/6th, on a payment plan. It works.

There are different paths for different kids.

Adam

paulf
11-25-2016, 05:54 PM
The real education starts after school for free!

Waddie
11-25-2016, 08:47 PM
We knew how much the government would hand out in grants and loans. As the government raised how much they would kick in and how much the loan ceiling would be raised, we knew how much we could raise tuition. I sat on the finance committee; we determined how much money each department would get every year; mostly it went by enrollment. You want more money, attract more students.

You all may not know how the college system actually works today. They are cutting back on tenured full time instructors and hiring more and more "adjunct" supposedly "part time" instructors. Way cheaper. Know how to keep your job if you're adjunct? Get your course enrollment up and keep it up. You're only there so long as students enroll in your course; so that means you better be really good or really easy, or a delicate combination of both if you're lucky.

regards,
Waddie

Katherine
11-25-2016, 08:55 PM
The kids should help pay

paulf
11-25-2016, 08:57 PM
I was an advisor at a local college for the Geodesy/survey dept as I'm a certified Hydrographer. They shut the program down because the local kids couldn't hack the math.
Getting enrollment up?
The sports dept had lots of money!

Waddie
11-26-2016, 12:51 AM
I find that those who think that they are entitled to stuff are the ones who have problems paying for college. Middle class earners (by whatever you mean by that) have the ability to pay their share. Most of those who run short have made poor choices along the way.

Years ago when my kids were looking at colleges, the colleges made it possible for those in the middle class to attend. I used Stanford as an example of what colleges are willing to do now. As Todd D said there are public schools that are just as good as private schools. Middle class families can find colleges they can afford. Might not be the most prestigious of colleges, but the education will be sufficient.

Maybe years ago that statement about the middle class being able to pay might have worked. Nowadays the middle class is way out of their pay grade when it comes to matching the increases in college costs. Costs have risen much too fast for them to keep up. The old rule of thumb was don't pay more for a college education than the annual salary of the major you chose. What you're also overlooking is that jobs which historically didn't require a college degree now do, and for many jobs a Masters is the entry level.

State schools are sufficient...... There is NO COMPARISON between a prestigious school in that major and a state school. An Ivy League school is the ticket for government work. Stanford is always a step up from state schools. A Harvard or Yale law degree is the path to a partnership. You have NO IDEA how important the right school is for upper management in most corporations. Sure, an outsider can make it pretty far, sometimes, but the right school is a definite advantage. Don't kid yourself.

regards,
Waddie

skuthorp
11-26-2016, 01:02 AM
Way back the family got together to pay for a brother to do Vet Science, a sister has a math genius on full scholarship (she got all that talent), I put myself through after I finished my apprenticeship. (Graveyard shifts in the print industry) Those days I could pick and choose my courses and lectures, and did. Likely not much use professionally but very interesting.
Best decision of my life however was made at 11, no kids of my own.

Chris249
11-26-2016, 05:19 AM
To get an international comparison, the fees at the 11th best law school in the world (according to current TopUniversities.com ratings) are $34,827 including textbooks and mandatory fees. That's not per year - that's the whole course.

peb
11-26-2016, 06:52 AM
The kids should help pay



I am amazed that this is not expected of kids these days in many families. Around here, its almost impossible for a kid to get a job before the age of 16. Before that, every birthday check from the grandparents goes to a savings account. My kids start summer jobs as soon as possible. My 18 year ok had his first day at work on his 16th birthday.

They work every summer. it makes a big difference.

peb
11-26-2016, 06:57 AM
Public universities have served my older kids just fine. I used to hire a lot of EE and CS majors. No real pattern on school vs quality of employee. GPA was an excellent predictor as to how good of employee we ended up with.

Kids should worry about which major more than which school. Student loan debt is to be avoided like the plague, unless a professional graduate degree.

peb
11-26-2016, 06:58 AM
To get an international comparison, the fees at the 11th best law school in the world (according to current TopUniversities.com ratings) are $34,827 including textbooks and mandatory fees. That's not per year - that's the whole course.



Not always the case. My daughter got her MBA from INSEAD, tution cost for 1 year program: 80000 euros.

Shang
11-26-2016, 09:59 AM
Tuition at my undergrad college was affordable for my folks, as long as I lived at home, and worked at least two jobs to cover my share.
For graduate school I qualified for a National Defense Education Act Fellowship, which covered tuition and expenses through to a Master's degree and a Ph.D.

When my kid was still in high school he complained, "All my friends have summer jobs and money to spend, but you've got me cooped up in my room studying for the SAT Examination."
I made a deal with him, "I'll pay you a salary for the time you spend working to get top score on the SATs and some other tests you'll be taking!"
The deal worked out okay, my kid earned scholarships which covered his college and graduate school tuition and expenses all the way through to a doctorate.

Waddie
11-26-2016, 11:15 AM
Advantages of attending a prestigious college;

higher starting salary
82% of Fortune 500 company CEO's attended prestigious colleges



It will be easier for you to get interviews and job offers at prestigious big companies.

Big companies will offer you more favorable starting positions and higher salaries.

People at big companies will have a better initial impression of you even if they haven't yet seen your work.

It will be easier for you to get involved in a more promising start-up company.

It will be easier for you to get admitted into name-brand graduate schools.

http://pgbovine.net/advantages-of-name-brand-school.htm

For some jobs it doesn't matter; but there is a definite advantage to attending a highly ranked college. For a job as a worker bee maybe not, but for a leadership path it is an advantage.

regards,
Waddie

Too Little Time
11-26-2016, 11:43 AM
Maybe years ago that statement about the middle class being able to pay might have worked. Nowadays the middle class is way out of their pay grade when it comes to matching the increases in college costs. Costs have risen much too fast for them to keep up. The old rule of thumb was don't pay more for a college education than the annual salary of the major you chose. What you're also overlooking is that jobs which historically didn't require a college degree now do, and for many jobs a Masters is the entry level.

State schools are sufficient...... There is NO COMPARISON between a prestigious school in that major and a state school. An Ivy League school is the ticket for government work. Stanford is always a step up from state schools. A Harvard or Yale law degree is the path to a partnership. You have NO IDEA how important the right school is for upper management in most corporations. Sure, an outsider can make it pretty far, sometimes, but the right school is a definite advantage. Don't kid yourself.

regards,
Waddie
There are a lot of issues involved. I am sure that for some going to a school which is the best in their area of interest is worthwhile. But I also recognize that most people are not good enough to benefit from that. I also recognize that the prestigious schools do not have the resources to accommodate everyone who wants to go there.

I am sure that many middle class families don't have the resources to pay for college as well as all the other things they want. The solution is to do without the other things they want and spend their money on college instead.

paulf
11-26-2016, 11:54 AM
I think Waddie is correct, However, I believe this is a remnant of the good ol boy network.

The best folks I have hired as Engineers were, Journeyman craft people who went back to school,with Military experience.

They had discipline, skill, motivation and smarts.

Norman Bernstein
11-26-2016, 12:00 PM
I think Waddie is correct, However, I believe this is a remnant of the good ol boy network.

The best folks I have hired as Engineers were, Journeyman craft people who went back to school,with Military experience.

They had discipline, skill, motivation and smarts.

I don't think the presumed 'quality' of the college is deterministic....

...but I have to confess that the young engineers I worked with, who came from prestigious institutions, were far more likely to end up at the top of the profession. The MIT and WPI grads were definately better.

It's not just prejudice. For a time, back in the 80's, I was tasked with travelling the country with a couple of colleagues, interviewing prospective hires among the soon-to-graduate seniors. There's no question, from that experience, that there WAS significant differentiation in the quality of the candidates, based on the schools I visited. There were many smaller state schools we visited where not a single soon-to-graduate senior would have had the education needed even for an entry level position.

The worst: Florida State University. Their engineering graduates wouldn't have even been hired as hourly technicians, for our company. The Best: Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

McMike
11-26-2016, 12:23 PM
Most of the kids that go to university don't deserve to go to university. The bar has sunk so low that they let me in and that was back in the 90s, I had never written a paper or completed any homework in high school, I was an un-diagnosed dyslexic, a fairly profound one. The only reason they gave me a HS diploma was because I showed up in class. CCSU still let me in, only to have me drop out after spending boatloads of money on a lost cause. I suspect it's much worse now. It's a for-profit system, where each school tries to out club-med the other. Have you seen dorms and the student facilities recently? It's insane. It's a four year long party now for the upper middle class and the rich. Unless your children are legitimately smart and have proven their motivation in high school it's a poor investment, a waste of time and huge amounts of money. Tell your Children to learn a trade, there are so few people who can actually build or fix something, they'll easily get paid the same or better than a collage grad without the debt if their motivated. They could put the money they would have spent on student loans and actually be able to live a decent life by the time they're 30, wish I had done that, instead I struggled to pay the debt off until I was 30 and ended up in a trade anyway. I can say the whole mistake and lack of guidance cost me 15 years to iron out, I finally stopped living from paycheck to paycheck at the age of 35, I'm now, at 42, where I should have been at 32 if the system hadn't duped me into thinking I was more capable than I really was so they could make a buck.

From my experience, if a kid isn't interested in studying by their freshman year of high school, sophomore at the latest, they should be told the truth and guided towards a different path than higher education. Also, anybody enrolling in college as a liberal arts major or women's studies or environmental studies is wasting money, schools should be forced to only enroll the amount of students in a given discipline based on market demand, any school that allows a student to enroll in a major that isn't in demand should be forced to sit said student down and explain how stupid they're being while having them sign a waiver.

delecta
11-26-2016, 12:28 PM
People should pay more attention to Mike Rowe, 15 years ago my plumber was driving a new Cadillac.

Look to Germany for advice, we are educating idiots for no purpose, the mindset needs to change alone with the work ethic.

Katherine
11-26-2016, 12:30 PM
I'm an engineer. I didn't go to MIT. I still command a 6 figure plus salary.

McMike
11-26-2016, 12:34 PM
People should pay more attention to Mike Rowe, 15 years ago my plumber was driving a new Cadillac.

Look to Germany for advice, we are educating idiots for no purpose, the mindset needs to change alone with the work ethic.

Ouch . . . We finally agree on something. I need a drink.

Ted Hoppe
11-26-2016, 12:56 PM
Son graduates from high school next year. We think our total bill for a state school is about 110 to 140k for undergrad.

Norman Bernstein
11-26-2016, 01:04 PM
I'm an engineer. I didn't go to MIT. I still command a 6 figure plus salary.

I never said that lower-order universities don't produce good engineers.... I was merely pointing out some admittedly anecdotal experience of mine.

I did work with an engineer who had NO college whatsoever, but rose to the design engineering position simply because he was that good......

...but in general, I still saw correlation between the generally accepted quality of the university, and the quality of the graduates.

McMike
11-26-2016, 01:07 PM
Son graduates from high school next year. We think our total bill for a state school is about 110 to 140k for undergrad.

How do you justify it? Is he a straight A student?

Ted Hoppe
11-26-2016, 01:58 PM
How do you justify it? Is he a straight A student?

crazy isn't it. We love our only boy. Our hope is he will be well arounded worldly man. culture, travel and education are what we are investing in. Moreover I really believe the struggles for work and future will be fierce. An education will help this naturally social kid navigate his life. We also know to finance this education, it may require some personal changes.
Lfe is so uncertain. Giving the access and the tools like this is the last real thing we can do for him.

McMike
11-26-2016, 02:07 PM
crazy isn't it. We love our only boy. Our hope is he will be well arounded worldly man. culture, travel and education are what we are investing in. Moreover I really believe the struggles for work and future will be fierce. An education will help this naturally social kid navigate his life. We also know to finance this education, it may require some personal changes.
Lfe is so uncertain. Giving the access and the tools like this is the last real thing we can do for him.

I'm not asking to be argumentative or a d7ck. Why do you think it will do all of that for him? Have you seen how underemployed collage students are? That's great you can afford to send him, the experience is for the taking, a student can certainly get a lot of valuable things from collage, they can also cheat their way through (http://study.com/articles/75_to_98_Percent_of_College_Students_Have_Cheated. html). Most of my friends did. The temptation is insane, the risk of being caught is small and the payoff is a diploma, if only an empty one.

Katherine
11-26-2016, 02:09 PM
I never said that lower-order universities don't produce good engineers.... I was merely pointing out some admittedly anecdotal experience of mine.
I do not consider my education to be from a lower order school. All the degree does is prove that you can mentally work through complex issues in a methodical manner. 99% of the job is not covered in the textbook!

McMike
11-26-2016, 02:10 PM
I do not consider my education to be from a lower order school. All the degree does is prove that you can mentally work through complex issues in a methodical manner. 99% of the job is not covered in the textbook!

And he wonder's why I call him an elitist. :arg

Katherine
11-26-2016, 02:16 PM
I think he forgets that other places besides Boston have engineers.

Too Little Time
11-26-2016, 02:21 PM
I do not consider my education to be from a lower order school. All the degree does is prove that you can mentally work through complex issues in a methodical manner. 99% of the job is not covered in the textbook!
I have to support Norman (and Waddie) on this point. The prestigious schools are a completely different educational experience. They provide much more than a degree.

You seem to have a sufficient education for your job. That is all most of us need.

Katherine
11-26-2016, 02:23 PM
I have to support Norman (and Waddie) on this point. The prestigious schools are a completely different educational experience. They provide much more than a degree.

You seem to have a sufficient education for your job. That is all most of us need.you know NOTHING about my job or education.

Ted Hoppe
11-26-2016, 02:37 PM
I'm not asking to be argumentative or a d7ck. Why do you think it will do all of that for him? Have you seen how underemployed collage students are? That's great you can afford to send him, the experience is for the taking, a student can certainly get a lot of valuable things from collage, they can also cheat their way through (http://study.com/articles/75_to_98_Percent_of_College_Students_Have_Cheated. html). Most of my friends did. The temptation is insane, the risk of being caught is small and the payoff is a diploma, if only an empty one.

oh we understand this exactly. We are worried too. An interesting thing has happened over these last three weeks. At 16, he got a job at the nice local movie theater. He has worked 25 hours a week and is working 35 hours this week. Most he ever has worked (Most of his friends don't have jobs). He worked the entire thanksgiving day from 10 am to 9pm - missing out on the family day and 18 persons we had at our dinner table. He came home proud of work and a bit sad he missed the fun party. He said he now understood working on holidays and made the connection to education.

His females cousins were over too (they attended / or going to graduate in spring with undergraduate degrees in business statistics at UCLA). Those young women could not believe someone in their family would work on the holidays. These girls are the opposite of that trend we know as true - second year out of school one makes 140k plus huge bonuses bonus and the one still in schools has been promised a 95k+ salary at a big five accounting firm.

Norman Bernstein
11-26-2016, 02:40 PM
I do not consider my education to be from a lower order school.

I have no clue as to what school you went to. An individual's anecdotal experience may be completely valid... but does not create a rule applicable to all.


All the degree does is prove that you can mentally work through complex issues in a methodical manner. 99% of the job is not covered in the textbook!

I'd agree that very little of what I learned in engineering school, was applicable to my job... most of it was obsolete within a year or two, anyhow. It's a career which is definitely a 'learn it on the job' sort of thing.

However, different schools do different jobs, in terms of preparing students for what they face outside the academic experience. Some do better than others, and my admittedly anecdotal experience comes from the engineers I've worked with, as well as the seniors I've interviewed while I was an employee. Absolutely, there are exceptions, like the brilliant circuit designer who never went to college, but who developed really remarkable stuff in the years I worked with him in the same department.

That being said, if I had a son or nephew who was considering engineering school, and it was affordable, there would be schools I'd recommend, and schools I wouldn't. This does NOT mean that a degree from a less-than-auspicious engineering school would mean that the student was doomed to mediocrity.... but I believe it is true that the students of the superior schools, on average, are better engineers and do better, career-wise.

Katherine
11-26-2016, 02:49 PM
It's not so much that what I learned was obsolete as how creative I've had to be to get the data I need.

Bobcat
11-26-2016, 02:52 PM
Nothing like a discussion of university education to bring out the snobs and the anti-snobs, who, in their own ways, are just as judgmental.

Norman Bernstein
11-26-2016, 02:57 PM
Nothing like a discussion of university education to bring out the snobs and the anti-snobs, who, in their own ways, are just as judgmental.

Nothing in what I've said is indicative of any 'snobbery' or 'anti-snobbery'. There is a reason why there's a difference between MIT and Florida State University... this does NOT mean that FSU might not be graduating some capable engineers, of course.... they may, indeed (but while interviewing down there, I didn't meet a single student who I'd hire as the lowliest lab tech). However, virtually EVERY MIT student I ever interviewed was well prepared.. and that doesn't mean that a few stinkers didn't escape from MIT.

My own school, Northeastern University, certainly isn't a school whose name conveys any prestige... even though it does graduate MANY good engineers. Similarly, the school I consider the best, WPI, is barely known by the general public... so it's got nothing to do with 'snobbery'.

Bobcat
11-26-2016, 03:00 PM
Norman, I was not talking about you, but I do seem to have hit a nerve, which was not my intention

Ted Hoppe
11-26-2016, 03:51 PM
No doubt the top engineering or business schools turn out great talent in recognizable fashion. It has been my experience when I meet and hear the life stories of various technology professionals who merge engineering, technology and commerce who have gone on to be hugely successful in technology and engineering science businesses (the proportion of high-profile entrepreneurs who are dyslexic is strikingly high) they are not from these ivy towers. I would argue that those successful people who seek to rise to a be on top of the great industrial pyramid need to be be imaginative and resourceful, especially during their formative years as it goes with school or later under a moment of self rediscovery as they look for creative ways round their tenuous condition or serious physical disadvantage.

I would correctly guess there is very few MIT or Stanford engineering graduates who are dyslectic or other mentally different ways on their ways to collect a great top teer education. (Although It does seem that autism has it advantages here being an engineer.) I would further suggest it is those who did not receive a Ivy League education are the best to assimilate data and technologies as they are not hindered as much as those who got the early educational achievement recognition, had to conform to norms set by the educational institutions and wear a mantra which defines a personal journey in a successful career.

carioca1232001
11-26-2016, 04:14 PM
As an outsider 'looking in' on the engineering job market in the US ......and with the scant experience I´ve had with secondary-school mates who either graduated with a first degree and/or obtained post-graduate degrees in the US .....at a time when 'Route 128' was bustling with hi-tech innovation, which kept trickling down Route 66 helpping to set off the hi-tech industry in California and the West Coast as we know it today.

There used to be an 'over-qualified' or 'under-qualified' sticker applied to prospective candidiates for entry-level engineering positions and once NASA was through with the Apollo program, at least two former school mates drove taxis for a while before finding their feet again, one of whom with a Ph.D.gave up his career in Structural Eng to start afresh as an apprentice in a major insurance company and has never looked back since !

So really, there are eng jobs which require analytical insight and complex problem-solving capability, others that demand a hands-on practical approach, like industrial product design for example, which companies like Apple have elevated to a fine art.

For some reason, some societies tend to pay greater dividends to the former than the latter type of engineer, while others, such as Germany and Japan are way more more equitative in their assessment.

A young fellow from my extended family took avail of a nation-wide scholarship and settled for studying EE at Florida State Univ in the early 80´s, although his meagre grades (sporadic dedication !) did get him a place on the waiting-list at Stanford and Durham in the UK.

He followed his father´s advice that at FSU he had a reasonable chance of graduating with higher grades while at Stanford et al. he´d be destroyed, bottom of the class, an outcast !

My father would have said : "Stanford it will be ! Take it or leave it !"

Anyhow, this young fellow went on to gain the MS and PhD in eng from MIT, plus an MS from MIT´s Sloan School of Mgmt.....all within 5-6 years of his BS EE and has been employed in the energy industry in the Boston Area since.

So there are late developers too and at the end of the day, if opportunities for quality education are offered on a more equitative basis to all, you may witness what I personally did in the UK in the mid-60´s, where the overwhelming number of students hailed from state-supported primary/secondary schools...and topped the class, second-best to none !

All of this is anecdotal, although a more equitative but sustainable model needs to be implemented.

Too Little Time
11-27-2016, 04:37 PM
Reed College is a private college near Portland, OR. The following is perhaps a more reasonable view of the cost of going to college. (From December 2013)

http://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/december2013/articles/features/financialaid.html


Fifty-seven thousand, seven hundred and eighty dollars. That’s the price tag for a year of tuition, room, and board at Reed today. Multiply by four years, throw in books and airfare, and you’re looking at a quarter of a million dollars for a Reed education.

But only about half of Reed students pay full tuition. The other half receive financial aid—some of it through government grants and loans, but most of it from Reed itself.

The median family income of a student on aid is $74,000—actually a bit higher than the median family income ($62,527 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census).
And that’s just the median. In some cases, the family income may be considerably higher. For example, a family earning $270,000 with a second child in a private college could still be eligible for $10,000 in aid from Reed.

Last year, the average package, including grants, loans, and part-time work, totaled more than $40,000, broken down as follows: $33,314 in Reed grants; $4,370 in federal grants and loans; and $5,086 in student self-help (which most students satisfy by working campus jobs). Reed strives to limit student debt. For their freshman year, the recommended loan amount is $2,500, rising to $5,500 for their senior year. The average debt of aid students at graduation stands at about $20,000

My grandkids will get no financial aid. So the $750K will come out of my (and my wife's) pockets. We do not object to that. Our paying provides more resources for the people with real financial need.

paulf
11-27-2016, 06:03 PM
School helps, money helps, being in the club helps. But a person who is an engineer or a chemist or a designer, as like a 1000 other skills usually comes to the task at some point.

Todd D
11-27-2016, 06:52 PM
I think a large part of the difference Norman sees in places like MIT compared to public universities is in the raw material. MIT, for example, is MUCH more selective than a state school/ So they start with a very different student body both in terms of average capability and motivation. I saw this first hand when I spent a year as a visiting prof at Caltech. They are more selective than MIT and it really shows in their undergrad students. When you start with the best students available it is not all that difficult to get a more capable graduate.

That said, not all students who come with good grades have what it takes. A case in point was in my department. We had a grad student who arrived with outstanding grades and one of the most prestiges national scholarships available in the sciences. While the student was able to get great grades in courses he was completely lacking in originality and barely produced a marginally acceptable Masters thesis after three years. I would never have hired that student for any job that required original thinking.

Reynard38
11-27-2016, 08:20 PM
I attended a small engineering technology school known as Southern Technical Institute. I co-oped my way through taking 6 years. Of course I graduated with 2 years of work experience.
Afterwards I was hired over Ga Tech grads do to the experience I had.

Todd D
11-27-2016, 09:36 PM
I attended a small engineering technology school known as Southern Technical Institute. I co-oped my way through taking 6 years. Of course I graduated with 2 years of work experience.
Afterwards I was hired over Ga Tech grads do to the experience I had.

Work experience counts for a lot. When I graduated with my B.S. in geohemistry I had six years experience with Chevron. They had "guaranteed" me a job on graduation. Unfortunately is was the job I already had - pumping gas at a company owned gas station. The plus side was that it paid better than new engineering grads were getting.

Sky Blue
11-27-2016, 09:43 PM
crazy isn't it. We love our only boy. Our hope is he will be well arounded worldly man. culture, travel and education are what we are investing in. Moreover I really believe the struggles for work and future will be fierce. An education will help this naturally social kid navigate his life. We also know to finance this education, it may require some personal changes.
Lfe is so uncertain. Giving the access and the tools like this is the last real thing we can do for him.

This is our philosophy as well. It's the best we can do.

Todd D
11-27-2016, 10:18 PM
Personally I have not contributed a cent to my children's education. I like it that way.

C. Ross
11-27-2016, 10:36 PM
I have two daughters in college. State school (University of Washington) and private school (American University of Paris). Both cost about the same for tuition etc., but room and board in Paris ain't cheap. My girls will finish debt free.

I believe expense and actual quality are only modestly correlated. But price has a huge signalling effect.

I had a solid undergraduate education at Minnesota including three small courses with to-be Nobel laureates in economics (Hurwicz, Prescott and Sargeant) and a solid graduate education at Yale (where I had seminars with three more laureates, Williamson, Shiller, and Holmström. I paid for both, and I'm pretty sure my MBA wasn't worth the six times more than I had to pay for my undergraduate degree.

I think this is a place where inexpensive student loans have had a perverse effect. Schools compete in expensive amenities and use price as a signal of quality. If fancy dorms, lower student-faculty ratios and a higher (better!) price pushes you up in the ratings, and loans and grants offset the increase for 80% of your students, why not do it?