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dmmetler

Kid accepted to all 8 Ivy league schools chooses Alabama

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Actually, it wasn't.  He was accepted into UFE.  Only 39 students were accepted for next yr's class.   UA's 2 elite honors programs, UFE and CBH, are top notch and the opportunities offered are phenomenal. He did an interview on the Today Show and he mentions UFE multiple times.  http://www.today.com/news/student-accepted-every-ivy-league-school-turns-them-all-down-t21546

 

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I would think he was coached to be positive. Yes, the honors program is great, but the first article clearly says the family wants the low cost option so they can help him financially thru med school. Both are echoes of what I am hearing around here. Our Ivy bound seniors once again are either children of double income professionals (full pay), or of businessmen (lots of financial aid). The middle class brainiac kids are in the Honors Programs at private colleges or state u.

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UFE is not just an honors program.  As hard as it may be to believe, it offers a lot to be excited about.  If a student wants a personalized program designed to help him meet his specific goals, that is what he will get in UFE.  And, with all of the scholarship $$, his undergrad is  free.  It isn't as if that is a minor difference.  (unless talking about $$ in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars is a normal expenditure for a family, that difference is not just "money."  It is HUGE.)

 

I don't think he had to be coached to be positive.  My ds brims over with enthusiasm when he talks about CBH and has felt that way since he went to the finalist interview.

 

Here's a different article: http://www.businessinsider.com/ronald-nelson-turned-down-every-ivy-league-school-for-university-of-alabama-2015-5?utm_content=bufferce088&utm_medium=social&utm_source=****&utm_campaign=buffer

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He sounds like a smart kid making a smart choice.

 

He got into some schools that offer spectacular financial aid. Yes that aid usually includes an expectation that the student will take out some loans; I don't think the schools have an obligation to provide students with a loan-free education. This student and his parents analyzed their options and chose an excellent one that will not require student loans. Kudos to them, and maybe the Ivies can accept one more hopeful student each off their wait lists--one who will be delighted to go and count the loans a small cost.

 

I don't see this young man feeling sorry for himself and it really doesn't look to me like he needs anyone else to feel sorry for him either. I had a college roommate who turned down Harvard for a full ride elsewhere, we're still in touch and things have worked out well for her.

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Many kids turn down tippy top level schools for full rides at schools not that far behind the tippy top.  The more they would have to pay at the tippy top schools, the more it makes sense to be honest.  This is why schools not that far behind offer such great scholarships - to attract the brightest and best if they can.  Kids are often just as successful at their school of choice, so it's a worthy option to consider IMO.

 

It's not quite the same as turning down a tippy top school with just basic student loans (and no other payment or low payment) to go to regional state U ranked around 500+ (if rankings went that low).

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I'm sure UFE is a great program, but I'm also fairly certain he'd have made a different choice if it wasn't a matter of money. They must have assumed that at least some of the ivy colleges would cover more of his costs than they did, but it is unrealistic to assume there would be no loans as their income is well above the "no loans" limit at Harvard alone.  He's looking ahead at what medical school will cost too.  Saying that I think he would have chosen to attend one of the other colleges if it wasn't a financial concern doesn't diminish what UFE and other honors programs offer students.

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Eh, there are all kinds of things I would choose to do if not for financial concerns.

 

Such is life...

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Eh, there are all kinds of things I would choose to do if not for financial concerns.

 

Such is life...

 

I guess we are weird on top of that.  My ds didn't give a second thought to walking away from the other schools he got into.  Free and CBH were a perfect match for his needs.  Research and budget.....from his perspective what was not to love.

 

Not everyone really cares that much about rankings that cost vs. free is a serious consideration.   :leaving:  

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Ds is currently starting to lean away from waiting till 18 and going to the East Coast.  He has realized that if he got into Reed early (which is looking more and more like an option) he could get out and own his own life much earlier.  Each year his life becomes more and more multi-faceted.  For some people, I think the Ivy Dreams might start to look less sparkly when they realize Ivy is just a tiny blip on the whole spectrum of life.  But then what do I know!  The kid is 10.5 and so much has happened in the last two years that I can only imagine how much will happen before 15.

 

 

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As much as I am no fan of Alabama (War Eagle, etc.), I find absolutely nothing in this story to make me sigh wistfully over what might have been.  This kid doesn't need Harvard.  We can argue all day long over who (if anyone) actually does need Harvard, but certainly he does not.  He would be a fool to borrow 47 cents to go to one of the Ivies, and I am thrilled that he and his family recognized that.   He can get into any medical school in the country with a degree from Alabama, and he is wise to recognize that.  We have watched scads of kids make similar decisions when it came to putting their money where their acceptances were; plenty of kids we know have turned down acceptances to the Ivies, CalTech, Stanford, etc., when they realize they're going to be full pay without merit aid.  They mostly have then attended UGa and Georgia Tech, with a smattering at other Big State Us that do offer merit aid.  I say good for him for making a sensible choice.

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I say good for him for making a sensible choice.

 

Exactly! I don't understand the need to even question this when it seems so obviously the most logical, sensible choice. Good for him. I felt so relieved to read about a young person making such a thoughtful decision.

 

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No one is mourning anything here. The thought is that it is a shame that some students have to academically undermatch because of their parents's financial situations. We would like everyone to have a match, and believe that more merit aid could be offered to ensure that middle class kids have the opportunity to accept the school that is their best fit. We like equal opportunity.

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No one is mourning anything here. The thought is that it is a shame that some students have to academically undermatch because of their parents's financial situations. We would like everyone to have a match, and believe that more merit aid could be offered to ensure that middle class kids have the opportunity to accept the school that is their best fit. We like equal opportunity.

Merit aid for the Ivies? Every kid there is stellar, and you could substitute in an equal number who applied and were rejected and are just as stellar.

 

Merit aid exists to attract stellar kids to the not-so-prestigious schools. And honors programs exist to create a match for the stellar kids within those schools.

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The only thing I don't understand is if you wouldn't go to Harvard and other Ivies even if accepted, why bother applying?

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The only thing I don't understand is if you wouldn't go to Harvard and other Ivies even if accepted, why bother applying?

 

Two reasons - not necessarily both for the same family/students:

 

1) The actual money offered is not known until after application.  Net price calculators are not always accurate.

 

2) Some just want to know if they could have gotten in.   They'd never know if they didn't try.  They may even be hoping for extra money to show up from somewhere - hoping - but when it doesn't, they go back to their realistic best option.

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The only thing I don't understand is if you wouldn't go to Harvard and other Ivies even if accepted, why bother applying?

 

If you read the article I linked, the father says they could have made the Ivies work, but it would have meant taking on some debt.

 

 You don't know ahead of time what merit scholarships and other honors you will receive.  If he hadn't been accepted int UFE, maybe UA wouldn't have been his first choice.  Not everyone who is accepted into UFE receives the Elite Scholarship which is probably what made it a full-ride.  It sounds like he was surprised that he was accepted into so many of the schools he applied to.  

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I wonder if the Ivies were his choice or whether it was something he was pushed into trying because he was such a stellar candidate on paper? Memphis (and that includes the suburbs) tends to get very little positive press in the media, and the schools have had a hard time, so I can see a guidance counselor pushing him for that, and perhaps overstating the possibilities of financial aid/scholarships, only for reality to strike later.

 

I had some similar pushes when I was in high school as a disabled high-stats candidate-for schools that expressed interest due to test scores, but honestly, weren't good fits for me in my desired major. But they appealed to the guidance office's goal to have a long list of prestigious schools that their students had been accepted to/were attending.  In my case, my parents said "No"-pointing out that there was more than Ivy on the walls and a prestigious name to college.

 

 

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There is something odd about this story to me too.  I.e. I cannot understand why anyone would apply to all 8 ivies except for bragging rights.  It seems he would have had a better idea of where he wants to go than that.  It was more normal in my day to apply to maybe 1 or 2 top schools then a couple middle schools and then an easier admit.  It seems likely to me he was recruited in some way to apply to these schools by someone.  I'm just thinking there is not really a moral in this story for others since his situation is so unlikely and uncommon.  I.e. one should apply to schools that suit your needs rather than ones that will get you onto television.  I suspect those schools also do not enjoy being turned down, so I would guess his younger siblings, if they exist, might not get into those schools in the future.  But I am very out of touch.

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I'm sure UFE is a great program, but I'm also fairly certain he'd have made a different choice if it wasn't a matter of money. They must have assumed that at least some of the ivy colleges would cover more of his costs than they did, but it is unrealistic to assume there would be no loans as their income is well above the "no loans" limit at Harvard alone.  He's looking ahead at what medical school will cost too.  Saying that I think he would have chosen to attend one of the other colleges if it wasn't a financial concern doesn't diminish what UFE and other honors programs offer students.

 

Roughly 25yo, DW applied to 4 Ivies and a bunch of  full ride plus scholarship schools. In the end her choices came down to Princeton or Wake Forest. Her family could have made Princeton work but her dad had just declared bankruptcy (Ivy financial aid was *much* more limited then). At the beginning, Princeton was her first choice. If money had been the SOLE factor she would have gone to Princeton. However, she wanted to be a philosophy/bio double major and spend at least a semester abroad. Open curriculum at Wake let her only take bio and philosophy courses and what she needed for med school( she went to one of those HSs that didn't offer APs since they were softer than the local HS courses).... she could go abroad... do summer research... spend another summer doing research at Wood's Hole... and the philosophy teaching faculty were as good or better than those at Princeton. She wouldn't have chosen the less elite school for money alone but the additional flexibility was huge and allowed her to craft a more personalized college education. So I think assuming money is the *Only* factor is naive. 

 

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The valedictorian of my ugrad class turned down HYS law schools for a full ride at UVA. At the time, I thought that she was nuts. In hindsight, I realized that she was brilliant. 

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The valedictorian of my ugrad class turned down HYS law schools for a full ride at UVA. At the time, I thought that she was nuts. In hindsight, I realized that she was brilliant. 

 

The Val at our school two years ago turned down Stanford for a full ride at Wake Forest.  She had multiple other full ride options including U Miami (her second choice) and Vanderbilt.

 

I won't say she was nuts or brilliant.  Her decision fit her financial situation and she's happy with her choice two years down the road.  If money had been equal or her parents had had unlimited wealth, she'd have chosen Stanford, but as it is, she wants med school... and with no merit aid, she couldn't justify the cost.

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Roughly 25yo, DW applied to 4 Ivies and a bunch of  full ride plus scholarship schools. In the end her choices came down to Princeton or Wake Forest. Her family could have made Princeton work but her dad had just declared bankruptcy (Ivy financial aid was *much* more limited then). At the beginning, Princeton was her first choice. If money had been the SOLE factor she would have gone to Princeton. However, she wanted to be a philosophy/bio double major and spend at least a semester abroad. Open curriculum at Wake let her only take bio and philosophy courses and what she needed for med school( she went to one of those HSs that didn't offer APs since they were softer than the local HS courses).... she could go abroad... do summer research... spend another summer doing research at Wood's Hole... and the philosophy teaching faculty were as good or better than those at Princeton. She wouldn't have chosen the less elite school for money alone but the additional flexibility was huge and allowed her to craft a more personalized college education. So I think assuming money is the *Only* factor is naive. 

 

 

I may be naive, but I don't think I'm wrong either.  Again, if money hadn't been an issue, I firmly believe he would have chosen one of the highly selective schools.  But money was a factor and he chose the full ride.  UFE and the honors program at UA made it easier for him to accept that choice and will give him some nice perks as opposed to being a non-honors/non-UFE student at UA.  If UA didn't have those programs, I think he would have applied to more safeties.  The generous merit aid and those programs are why UA is getting top students.

 

In your wife's case, she had several reasons for choosing Wake Forest.  Maybe if her choice had been Brown, or another university which offers students tremendous flexibility regarding their course selection, maybe the outcome would have been different, or maybe not as the two are worlds apart in other ways. 

 

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The valedictorian of my ugrad class turned down HYS law schools for a full ride at UVA. At the time, I thought that she was nuts. In hindsight, I realized that she was brilliant. 

 

And I think there would be few today who would think that she was nuts.  UVA is a top university.  Getting a law degree there for free would be almost a no-brainer for many for whom finances mattered at all.  For most students, finances do matter at least somewhat.

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  Again, if money hadn't been an issue, I firmly believe he would have chosen one of the highly selective schools.  But money was a factor and he chose the full ride.

 

I don't mean to be obtuse, but I guess I am totally befuddled by how money isn't a very ordinary determining factor. Unless you are in the income bracket where grants are going to cover the costs,  the costs have to be paid. 

 

I read threads on CC with people slinging around $25,000-$60,000 a year as if those amts are chump change.   It absolutely boggles my mind.  $100,000-$240,000 for 4 yrs of school??  I just can't fathom it.  Yeah, we want our kids employable and we want them to be able to achieve their goals, but you are talking in terms of annual+ salaries.  Maybe for some families that is no biggie.  But, I find it hard to believe that the avg middle class family can't help but balk at those numbers especially when it is doubtful that the expenditure really makes that much difference in their employability, salary, or other life outcomes.

 

So when a student decides that schools are not financially feasible, heck, I can't begin to question the kid applying to the school, but I sure as heck do question why on earth any one thinks that any UG education is worth that much $$.  I think many universities are off the deep end, not the kid deciding not to pay to attend.

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The valedictorian of my ugrad class turned down HYS law schools for a full ride at UVA. At the time, I thought that she was nuts. In hindsight, I realized that she was brilliant.  

 

Absolutely!  I know someone well who turned down Harvard for the top full-ride scholarship (incl living stipend) to a lesser, but nonetheless top-tier law school.

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I don't mean to be obtuse, but I guess I am totally befuddled by how money isn't a very ordinary determining factor. Unless you are in the income bracket where grants are going to cover the costs,  the costs have to be paid. 

 

I read threads on CC with people slinging around $25,000-$60,000 a year as if those amts are chump change.   It absolutely boggles my mind.  $100,000-$240,000 for 4 yrs of school??  I just can't fathom it.  Yeah, we want our kids employable and we want them to be able to achieve their goals, but you are talking in terms of annual+ salaries.  Maybe for some families that is no biggie.  But, I find it hard to believe that the avg middle class family can't help but balk at those numbers especially when it is doubtful that the expenditure really makes that much difference in their employability, salary, or other life outcomes.

 

So when a student decides that schools are not financially feasible, heck, I can't begin to question the kid applying to the school, but I sure as heck do question why on earth any one thinks that any UG education is worth that much $$.  I think many universities are off the deep end, not the kid deciding not to pay to attend.

 

I never said that money isn't one of the usual determining factors when it comes to college selection.  In my reply to SeaConquest, I stated "For most students, finances do matter at least somewhat."  If it wasn't ivy colleges and such we were discussing, then my comment would have been even stronger that most choices involve finances.  The ivy and elite colleges do have full pay students and for some of them, the cost of the college is simply not a factor.

 

For many middle class families, and we all define this in our own way, some of the ivy and elite colleges are the most affordable option if their student is accepted.  I don't know the financial particulars of this family, but based on the parents' employment, I would guess that they are above middle class (or at least my concept of it). 

 

Families have different financial resources and priorities.  I would never fault a family, which can afford the COA, for deciding that the ivy or elite college is worth the cost.  

 

If you play with Harvard's NPC you can see that barring extenuating circumstances, the parents' contribution should be affordable for most lower and middle income families.  But as has been said in another thread, the formulas used to determine need don't take into account all financial situations.  In those cases, the student or parents may appeal, but there is no guarantee the final amount will be affordable for them.  For many of us on this board, $25 - $60 isn't even chump change.  It's all relative.

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I never said that money isn't one of the usual determining factors when it comes to college selection.  In my reply to SeaConquest, I stated "For most students, finances do matter at least somewhat."  If it wasn't ivy colleges and such we were discussing, then my comment would have been even stronger that most choices involve finances.  The ivy and elite colleges do have full pay students and for some of them, the cost of the college is simply not a factor.

 

For many middle class families, and we all define this in our own way, some of the ivy and elite colleges are the most affordable option if their student is accepted.  I don't know the financial particulars of this family, but based on the parents' employment, I would guess that they are above middle class (or at least my concept of it). 

 

Families have different financial resources and priorities.  I would never fault a family, which can afford the COA, for deciding that the ivy or elite college is worth the cost.  

 

If you play with Harvard's NPC you can see that barring extenuating circumstances, the parents' contribution should be affordable for most lower and middle income families.  But as has been said in another thread, the formulas used to determine need don't take into account all financial situations.  In those cases, the student or parents may appeal, but there is no guarantee the final amount will be affordable for them.  For many of us on this board, $25 - $60 isn't even chump change.  It's all relative.

 

Unless it has been stated in article I didn't read, I do think his family is middle class.  His dad is an engineer and him mother is a manager.  I didn't read anything that suggested they are high level employees. (I know if I was working full time, we would still be solidly middle class.)  Did the articles ever state he would be full pay?  I think that has been people's interpretation of the scenario, not the stated one.  One article stated that the financial scenario when the older sibling finished college would dramatically increase his costs. (That could be part of the NPC  estimate that they weren't prepared for>)

 

 

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Unless it has been stated in article I didn't read, I do think his family is middle class.  His dad is an engineer and him mother is a manager.  I didn't read anything that suggested they are high level employees. (I know if I was working full time, we would still be solidly middle class.)  Did the articles ever state he would be full pay?  I think that has been people's interpretation of the scenario, not the stated one.  One article stated that the financial scenario when the older sibling finished college would dramatically increase his costs. (That could be part of the NPC  estimate that they weren't prepared for>)

 

FWIW, I agree fully with your last comment.  We haven't paid $25,000 total for a 4 yr degree.  We can't afford to.

 

No the specifics aren't mentioned, as they shouldn't be for privacy reasons.  I am not at all assuming that they are a full-pay family.  Yes they were anticipating having to pay more once their other college student graduated and the costs would require sacrifice on their part.  They also said that they want him to go into medical school or graduate school without carrying over student loans from undergraduate.

 

Here's an excerpt on Harvard's aid policy:

 

  • 20% of our parents have total incomes less than $65,000 and are not expected to contribute.
  • Families with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 will contribute from 0-10% of their income, and those with incomes above $150,000 will be asked to pay proportionately more than 10%, based on their individual circumstances. Families at all income levels who have significant assets will continue to pay more than those in less fortunate circumstances.
  • Home equity and retirement assets are not considered in our assessment of financial need.

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A bit of a spin off, but interesting to know: Did you know that the majority of students at Alabama are now from out of state?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/upshot/the-in-state-tuition-break-slowly-disappearing.html

 

(The article is about state flagship schools slowly eliminating slots for in-state students in favor of those who pay out-of-state tuition. It obviously doesn't apply in this case since the student got a scholarship.)

 

 

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A bit of a spin off, but interesting to know: Did you know that the majority of students at Alabama are now from out of state?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/upshot/the-in-state-tuition-break-slowly-disappearing.html

 

(The article is about state flagship schools slowly eliminating slots for in-state students in favor of those who pay out-of-state tuition. It obviously doesn't apply in this case since the student got a scholarship.)

 

That's 'cause the smartest kids from within Alabama actually go to Auburn.   :coolgleamA:

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I read threads on CC with people slinging around $25,000-$60,000 a year as if those amts are chump change. It absolutely boggles my mind. $100,000-$240,000 for 4 yrs of school? .

The private middle and high schools annual tuition fees excluding extras are around this range.

A private high school that we pass by recently and I just check the tuition out of curiosity was $36k annual tuition before extra fees.

Another private k-12 school we visited because we were attending an event hosted there had an annual trip to Europe fully paid by participating kids parents. I didn't check the tuition for that school.

 

ETA:

30k annual tuition for 9-12th

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The private middle and high schools annual tuition fees excluding extras are around this range.

A private high school that we pass by recently and I just check the tuition out of curiosity was $36k annual tuition before extra fees.

Another private k-12 school we visited because we were attending an event hosted there had an annual trip to Europe fully paid by participating kids parents. I didn't check the tuition for that school.

 

ETA:

30k annual tuition for 9-12th

 

Exactly. This is the main reason that we homeschool. We *might* have been able to afford it for one child, but when number two came around, we were priced out of the private schools in our area.

 

And we have many friends here in SD who will pay these amounts from preschool - 12th. So, it's really not a huge difference when the kids go off to college. 

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The private middle and high schools annual tuition fees excluding extras are around this range.

A private high school that we pass by recently and I just check the tuition out of curiosity was $36k annual tuition before extra fees.

Another private k-12 school we visited because we were attending an event hosted there had an annual trip to Europe fully paid by participating kids parents. I didn't check the tuition for that school.

 

ETA:

30k annual tuition for 9-12th

 

When friends tell me they are disappointed their kids didn't get into a $42K/year high school, I really don't know how to respond. They prep so hard for the entrance exams too.

 

I don't know...what on earth am I missing here?

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Exactly. This is the main reason that we homeschool. We *might* have been able to afford it for one child, but when number two came around, we were priced out of the private schools in our area.

 

And we have many friends here in SD who will pay these amounts from preschool - 12th. So, it's really not a huge difference when the kids go off to college. 

 

I'd rather have my kids.  :)  The world would be such a lesser place without each and every one of them.  

 

When friends tell me they are disappointed their kids didn't get into a $42K/year high school, I really don't know how to respond. They prep so hard for the entrance exams too.

 

I don't know...what on earth am I missing here?

 

I don't know.  I am missing it, too.  

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When friends tell me they are disappointed their kids didn't get into a $42K/year high school, I really don't know how to respond. They prep so hard for the entrance exams too.

 

I don't know...what on earth am I missing here?

Herd instinct (regardless of race). I just offer a listening ear and store bought cookies if I happen to have any :)

 

ETA:

This https://medium.com/synapse/training-for-discontent-42591cf57baf

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Herd instinct (regardless of race). I just offer a listening ear and store bought cookies if I happen to have any :)

Homeschooling---the refuge of rebels.

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When friends tell me they are disappointed their kids didn't get into a $42K/year high school, I really don't know how to respond. They prep so hard for the entrance exams too.

 

I don't know...what on earth am I missing here?

 

On the other hand, the cost for the family could be the same if the mother forgoes outside employment in order to homeschool (depending on the mother's earning potential).

 

Some families chose to have one adult stay at home. Other families chose to spend one adult's income on tuition.

 

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On the other hand, the cost for the family could be the same if the mother forgoes outside employment in order to homeschool (depending on the mother's earning potential).

 

Some families chose to have one adult stay at home. Other families chose to spend one adult's income on tuition.

 

It would also depend on the family size.  ;)

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It would also depend on the family size.   ;)

 

Of course. You play in a completely different league than me who has only two :-)

 

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On the other hand, the cost for the family could be the same if the mother forgoes outside employment in order to homeschool (depending on the mother's earning potential).

 

Some families chose to have one adult stay at home. Other families chose to spend one adult's income on tuition.

 

The families we know are mostly single income earners.  What Arcadia says about herd instinct...it is sadly a very real thing in the SF Bay Area.

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The families we know are mostly single income earners. What Arcadia says about herd instinct...it is sadly a very real thing in the SF Bay Area.

O/T response to the herd instinct comment

The herd instinct at the parental and peer level is very real in some parts of India too. Or how can one explain students who have no aptitude or liking for engineering preparing for the IIT-JEE( reputed to be the toughest entrance exmas in the world) right from grade 6! That's 6 years of prepping for an exam which is to be taken in the 12th grade. And only a very tiny % of these kids prepping so hard and for so long are going to be accepted.

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Arcadia,

 

That article is one of the most depressing articles I have read.  Wowsers.  Never in a million years.  We only have one life to live.  Accomplishment is not the end all be all.  Life is meant for living.  

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Piping in with a quick somewhat related comment -

 

We just returned from our local high school's senior awards night.  As each senior was presented, the college or university that student would attend was announced.  Two of the top 14 students are attending UA.  Both are Presidential Scholars and accepted into the honor's program.

 

I thought that was interesting since I had just read this thread and UA was fresh on my mind.

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Arcadia,

 

That article is one of the most depressing articles I have read. Wowsers. Never in a million years. We only have one life to live. Accomplishment is not the end all be all. Life is meant for living.

I agree with you. I used to volunteer for SOS helpline.

I just read a much worse news article published today in the local papers.

Warning: very depressing article on suicide, mental health

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Why-are-Palo-Alto-s-kids-killing-themselves-6270854.php

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I agree with you. I used to volunteer for SOS helpline.

I just read a much worse news article published today in the local papers.

Warning: very depressing article on suicide, mental health

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Why-are-Palo-Alto-s-kids-killing-themselves-6270854.php

Powerful.

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I don't mean to be obtuse, but I guess I am totally befuddled by how money isn't a very ordinary determining factor. Unless you are in the income bracket where grants are going to cover the costs,  the costs have to be paid. 

 

I read threads on CC with people slinging around $25,000-$60,000 a year as if those amts are chump change.   It absolutely boggles my mind.  $100,000-$240,000 for 4 yrs of school??  I just can't fathom it.  Yeah, we want our kids employable and we want them to be able to achieve their goals, but you are talking in terms of annual+ salaries.  Maybe for some families that is no biggie.  But, I find it hard to believe that the avg middle class family can't help but balk at those numbers especially when it is doubtful that the expenditure really makes that much difference in their employability, salary, or other life outcomes.

 

So when a student decides that schools are not financially feasible, heck, I can't begin to question the kid applying to the school, but I sure as heck do question why on earth any one thinks that any UG education is worth that much $$.  I think many universities are off the deep end, not the kid deciding not to pay to attend.

 

I know some families who save for college and feel the schools are worth the cost even though they aren't unlimitedly wealthy.  There ARE many valuable experiences available at top schools (what number "top" ends at can be questionable).  I've seen the differences not only with my guys, but also with some of the students who return home and share stories from various levels.  Middle son has compared more tests than I have due to his connections.  He also sees where (and what) research is being done in various places.  He's involved in it as his school partners with other top schools (worldwide).

 

We are among those who feel the right school for the student is worth paying for.  I'd be happy doing so even if we were full pay.  With three boys and at least 4 years for each, what we pay will be in the 6 digits - even with what we get in aid because our salary is NOT at full pay status.  Toss in med school (with what we can afford toward it) and our share will be even higher.

 

Some feel that money would be best saved and used elsewhere.  We disagree.  I have no regrets even with my travel junkie habit and knowing where a couple hundred thousand grand would take me.

 

I suppose it's not unlike how some would prefer a Ford Focus and others would prefer a Mercedes.  I'm content with our 2002 Ford Focus because vehicles don't mean a lot to me.  I want my kids to have the best affordable education they can get - the right schools for them.  We aren't after "a" degree, but "the" degree that best fits each of my guys.  The specific school is part of that.

 

What we are not agreeable with are high levels of student (or parent) debt, so I researched super carefully and am quite happy with where my guys ended up - though no one school was right for even two of them.

 

Everyone decides for themselves what is worth spending their money on.  For many, esp if they've saved, good schools ARE worth it.  "Good" doesn't even have to be "Top" as one can find full pay students at pretty much any school.  School A is not equal to School B, but pending the student, success in life can come from anywhere.  It's merely the path to get there that differs.

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