Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

chiguirre

WTH! Do these people not have jobs?

Recommended Posts

I found this article both horrifying and fascinating:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/colleges-hidden-costs-what-the-admissions-office-doesnt-tell-you/2016/11/25/5531a0e8-b02a-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html?wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

 

I was a pretty pampered kid. I didn't work during high school per my parents' wishes and they gave me money for any outing that I wanted to go on. But, I got a job by the second week at college and funded my own eating out, school sweatshirt and off campus parties. I even bought my own Amtrak tickets home. I didn't have work study, but there was never a shortage of on campus or near campus jobs available even without financial aid. Is this no longer true? Are kids not able to earn their own spending money? Do jobs require that you work at least 20 hours a week instead of 10? Or do parents discourage work because it might interfere with grades?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is always a mix. Some college students work full time, some work a few hours, some don't work at all. Reasons why some students do not work vary. 

 

I heard from several of my students that their parents discourage it because keeping a high GPA translates into paid internships over the summer and a good job after graduation, and graduating on time means earning their 60k salary (which is the average starting salary for the graduates from my public STEM uni) starts earlier - so the decision is financially prudent. Working a minimum wage job and paying for it by delaying graduation makes no sense financially.

 

Some students don't have the time because of heavy class load or volunteer work. My DD works some quarters as a TA, and that is a stretch time wise - she is doing two majors that have no overlap and must be done in four years. Not having to work a job during the quarter means being able to do her extensive volunteer work. We are fortunate to be able to support her financially, which makes it possible for her to run a program that provides free ACT tutoring for hundreds of local high school students in an underserved neighborhood. So, not working for pay does not mean not working.

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done of those expenses are not necessary. And some you can do some budgeting with.

 

No one needs to be in a sorority. And it's possible to get designer dresses on eBay for $50 a piece as opposed to $150. How do I know? Because dd and I went to Nordstrom where she tried on dresses and found a designer that fit her well and decided against purchasing there. Later on a whim I searched eBay and found a couple nice dresses and bought as a surprise for dd.

 

Flying home. One does not need to fly home every break. At most schools there are students that stay and get together--you will need to budget for staying. My dd received some texts this week from a friend who ran out of money for food Friday. Thankfully the dining hall, where the young man works, opened yesterday. When ds was across country he didn't come home. His aunt lives on the other coast and offered to have him come to her. It might have been nice to come home, but the ticket to the aunt's was significantly cheaper.

 

Uber is not a necessity for most things and us probably being overused. A lot of schools have bus service. Most of the time one can ride the bus. One simply needs to pay attention to bus schedules and learn routes. I can see needing Uber once or twice, but multiple times suggests poor planning.

 

One does not need a car on most campuses. Even living off campus a car may not be necessary for many students. I had friends who lived off campus and relied on the bus.

 

If internships and study abroad are necessary then you do have to plan. I want my dc to gave some study abroad. Dd is looking at short winter break programs. Not a serious abroad experience, but cheaper and they don't interfere with summer internship, summer work, and won't cause problems with core requirements.

 

I don't think a student must work and in some cases working is detrimental. But a student should be expected to budget. I think students were never expected to budget before college don't understand budgeting in college and that will make expenses add up.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this article both horrifying and fascinating:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/colleges-hidden-costs-what-the-admissions-office-doesnt-tell-you/2016/11/25/5531a0e8-b02a-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html?wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

 

I was a pretty pampered kid. I didn't work during high school per my parents' wishes and they gave me money for any outing that I wanted to go on. But, I got a job by the second week at college and funded my own eating out, school sweatshirt and off campus parties. I even bought my own Amtrak tickets home. I didn't have work study, but there was never a shortage of on campus or near campus jobs available even without financial aid. Is this no longer true? Are kids not able to earn their own spending money? Do jobs require that you work at least 20 hours a week instead of 10? Or do parents discourage work because it might interfere with grades?

read the article

quite the pampered child - good luck in life

 

live in VA - college in CA

yes there will be plane fare - don't fly home for Thanksgiving or you will go broke

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What surprised me was that they would list something like off campus eating, over and above a meal plan. It would not ever have occurred to me to ask my parents for money to cover that, when they are already paying for food. There are a few other categories, but that one was the clearest example.

 

My grades steadily declined in college, and a lot of that was because I felt like I had to work more to cover my costs. It was difficult to find a job, too! I want to do this differently with my kiss, for the reasons regentrude mentions i hope to be able to pay for books for my kids and hopefully also provide some spending money.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying home. One does not need to fly home every break. At most schools there are students that stay and get together

 

Many schools close the dorms over spring break and winter break. Students need to find, and pay for, alternate housing. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That article is ridiculous. Spring break?! Of the very few people I knew that went on a spring break vacation, they just went one time, and definitely did pay for it themselves.

 

I can see Uber if you don't have your own car. My campus had a TERRIBLE bus system and I would have felt a LOT safer if I could have ordered a car instead of walking, many times.

 

You know what is expensive in college? Laundry!!! I spent soooooo much money on laundry.

Edited by OKBud
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had three jobs in college. They weren't like enlightening jobs, looking good on a resume. And I STILL didn't have car insurance. I couldn't stick it. I dropped out and went to beauty school.

 

Eta my point is that hard-working college kids trope isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Edited by OKBud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What surprised me was that they would list something like off campus eating, over and above a meal plan. It would not ever have occurred to me to ask my parents for money to cover that, when they are already paying for food. There are a few other categories, but that one was the clearest example.

 

No kidding!  It would not have even entered my head to have regular off-campus meals when I had all-you-can-eat at the dining commons!  

 

My grades steadily declined in college, and a lot of that was because I felt like I had to work more to cover my costs. It was difficult to find a job, too! I want to do this differently with my kiss, for the reasons regentrude mentions i hope to be able to pay for books for my kids and hopefully also provide some spending money.

 

 

I did not work till my senior year.  My parents gave me a certain amount of spending money (a frugal amount), and that was my spending money for the semester.  So I had to budget.

 

It seems like most schools now have meal plans that include a certain amount of out of dining commons eating, including the on-campus Starbucks.  One can backfill those accounts, but so far what they have in there has lasted.

 

That article is ridiculous. Spring break?! Of the very few people I knew that went on a spring break vacation, they just went one time, and definitely did pay for it themselves.

 

I can see Uber if you don't have your own car. My campus had a TERRIBLE bus system and I would have felt a LOT safer if I could have ordered a car instead of walking, many times.

 

You know what is expensive in college? Laundry!!! I spent soooooo much money on laundry.

 

I never went anywhere except home for spring break, and i don't anticipate my kids will either - if they have some need to, they'll have to fund it.  No WAY am I paying for a durnken orgy in Mexico or Florida (fortunately I don't think any of my kids are wanting one).

 

There was no Uber.  I had no car.  I took a bus, or walked.  It is true we had a fantastic bus system.  One dd has a car - we weren't planning on letting her have one, but she's got some health conditions that require frequent doctor and PT visits, so it made sense.  We made a decision not to have them go so far away they'd need a plane ticket to get home.  One dd is close enough that I just pick her up if she needs to come home.  And she brings her laundry - that does save money!

 

But they're also close enough that they come home and ask to shop for clothes and want me to pay for them!  Oh, well... they don't have jobs this semester, but they both have tutoring jobs lined up for next semester, then I may say clothes are on them.  They also both had jobs last summer.  One dd is going to Cuba with her school in January, we did ask her to pay about 1/3 of the costs.  She'll also get 6 credits for it.  We did also tell her that we'd have more money to spend on things like that since she chose the school where she got a scholarship and she doesn't need loans.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah spring break. I never did Fort Lauderdale or wherever. I couldn't imagine asking my parents for that.

 

I know a young woman who spent every spring break at a habitat for humanity site. She was a social work student. She worked for habitat briefly after graduation. She was a different social work job now. But I think her spring breaks were a kind of internship in addition to other stuff she did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had three jobs in college. DH had two plus an infant. We will do whatever we can not to saddle our children with such an experience. I expect them to work hard, but if they want to go volunteer in refugee camps over winter break, like we saw college and high school kids do last winter, our greatest wish is to be able to do that. Those kids were living in unheated volunteer housing sleeping in sleeping bags, not exactly Cancun. If we can't, we can't.

Edited by madteaparty
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in a sorority but we all swapped dresses so that we could wear a different one to each event without having to go out and buy a new one. Ditto for shoes and other accessories.

 

Dues were expensive ($500 back in the mid-90's so that would be ~$770 adjusted for inflation). Our local alumnae group did a lot of fundraising for dues scholarships so that the girls from lower-income families could afford to participate. I paid for mine with my departmental tutoring job.

 

DH paid for my eating out and the one Spring Break trip we took together with his ROTC scholarship monthly stipend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at the numbers...is it realistic to have enough part time jobs in a community for thousands of students? And how does one get to/from those jobs? Busses dont run at times convenient to work schedules, nor are there enough frequently enough that personal safety is not compromised if the school is in the middle of a bad urban neighborhood. Bikes and skateboards are not a solution in heavy traffic with 3 feet of frozen slush on the sidewalks. Off campus jobs are tough without reliable transportation.

 

Food is crazy. When I was a college student, there was only brunch on Sunday, no dinner on the meal plan that night and there was only fast food plus grocery in walking distance as no dining halls were open a la carte. No kitchen in dorm, so whatever worked in a hot pot was your economical hot meal. Spaghettios and soup basically. My sons U doesnt have an all you can eat lunch. Tough for young males, but luckily his dorm had a kitchen, so he could make a meal with the protein he needed, if he could spare 3-4 hours to get to the grocery story via bus. It was far cheaper to move off campus with a jalopy.

Edited by Heigh Ho
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On- and off-campus dining, grocery store locations, and transportation are big considerations for D in her college search.

 

She has multiple food allergies and intolerances that may not be served well (heh) by campus food service. Sure, there will be food she can eat at every meal but it might be the same items over and over again. Even working with the registered dietician during her 8 weeks on a campus this summer did not increase variety. She ate plain grilled chicken, "sad" lettuce and tomato, veggie and chicken stir fries, and rice from the dining hall, bagels from the on-campus Starbucks (food service bagels contained dairy), and grilled nuggets and fries from the on-campus ChikFilA. I shipped food from Amazon (cereal, Kind bars). Once a week she took the bus to Walmart for hummus, berries, carrots, almond milk, and safe chocolate. The summer was rough, food-wise, but useful in that she had more questions to ask about dining services at the schools on her list.

 

D has been offered very large scholarships at one school where the food situation is less than ideal. If she attends there we will be paying for as many Uber rides as she needs to get to a proper grocery store and a natural foods store because the bus device is quite limited on the weekends.

 

We're flying out a day early to a scholarship competition Weekend just so we can drive around town locating places where she could buy food or go eat off-campus via the buses or by walking. Google maps only tells you so much.

 

So yeah, the cost of eating off-campus (this includes buying groceries) and getting to those places are definite considerations.

 

The cost of studying abroad is a major consideration for us. D will be abroad every summer for language acquisition. She will also spend a year abroad interning in her chosen language.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too found the article amusing. I have two very different kids and they have very different levels of expenses. 

 

Kid 1 has multiple LD's. He has never had a job and cannot work and do full time college; it isn't possible for him. However, he has never joined a frat, gone on a spring break trip, almost never eats out or buys food off campus, etc. 

 

Kid 2 has been working since she was 15. She loves to eat out in part because she hates the dorm food (she is vegetarian and the limited options are far from delicious). She loves to shop and grocery shops, supply shops, clothes shops... you name it. She isn't working during the school year, but has had a job long enough to have some savings and will return to work all summer to save up for next year.

 

Both kids live on the same small allowance from me. Dd spends more because she earns more. All of the article's listed expenses are optional and if you can't earn money, you also don't get to spend it. Common sense. Due to cost, dd did decide not to join a sorority although she wanted to. She said it would cost several thousand a year and she wasn't willing to lay out that kind of money and wasn't willing to ask us for it either. If your little prince or princess is costing far more than you expected at college, set limits and teach them to budget. They are certainly old enough to know the difference between wants and needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That article was... interesting.

 

We pay for tuition and fees, room and board, books, and getting home for the summer and winter breaks. Anything beyond that is on them.

 

(Edited to add: for high school graduation, we bought them their laptops to go with them to college.)

 

My kids have worked during the semester on occasion, but they definitely work over the summer. But then, mine start working at age 16, so they are no strangers to working for a paycheck so they can have spending money.

Edited by Kinsa
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, those costs are way overblown. Definitely the you can have whatever you want budget. Not our reality.

 

We told our daughter that her main job during the school year would be maintaining a good GPA to keep her academic scholarship. That is the best paid job one could get, money for good grades! We were ok with her getting an on campus part time job as long as it didn't interfere with her studies. She did try the first year but was unsuccessful, too many work study kids to compete with. She is in her 3rd year and she now has a part time job that is occasional only. It gives her spending money and she can always accept or reject the gig. She works in the summer. She joined a sorority but the costs are on her. This was something I told her I would not pay for, although it has been a very good thing for my daughter. She holds some responsibilities and has been great for networking. Cost of clothes has not been an issue at all, but this is a very diverse west coast school and my daughter is very frugal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent that article to my ds who is in his first semester of college. He has been careful with money and and the unlimited meal plan is part of his room and board.

 

He replied "I don't think I have spent $50 yet this semester".

 

Now...I am not saying everyone can live that cheap. There are definitely things that cost money and many of those things are worthwhile. But my ds has not found a lot of ongoing expenses.

 

He is close enough that transportation costs are negligible but that was intentional as well. Yes, it is possible to incur those expenses but not necessary.

 

I don't begrudge anyone that can afford those experiences giving them to their child but I hate when people think there is no other way.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't these costs people consider when their kids apply to schools? One of the reasons ds is applying to schools within driving distance is because we cannot afford to fly him in and out for holidays. Seems like common sense logistics planning to me. 

 

Food costs could be an issue at our school. A lot of kids don't have time between classes to run across campus to the cafeteria and end up eating at the POD, which can get expensive quickly. They can use Flex dollars there, but the meals don't apply to the regular meal plan. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We arent finding that flying is the preferred long distance option for those living in the US or Canada. Many use the campus rideshare board. And this is nothing new, I know a fella here in NY who went to a midwestern U well respected in his major back in the 50s...had no trouble filling the jalopy, cost him much less than Cornell. Some use a bus, and some use a train. We were pleasantly surprised to find Amtrack economical, if advance purchase is used.

Edited by Heigh Ho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

OK, I'm going to be judgmental now.

 

This kid got accepted to great Virginia schools, and instead is going out-of-state on the other side of the country because she wants a "Los Angeles lifestyle"? And Dad agreed? He needs to suck it up and shell out his 50K per year. (How does he do that??)

 

My kids, so far, have not worked during the semester. I discouraged it because each one has had heavy loads with lots of required extracurricular activities (orchestra, chorus, stage managing, acting in student productions). And yes, I have given each kid a small  allowance for extras. But when they spend it, it's gone. AND I can only do this at all because I told them they could go in-state, or else get a huge scholarship. In-state it was.  If any of my kids want a "LA lifestyle," they can darn well finance it themselves once they've got degree in hand.

 

Talk about a first-world problem. Sheesh.

 

SWB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, this raises a series of topics to discuss with my DD. We have already acknowledged that some colleges will have expenses that others will not and have started discussing how to minimize those costs.

 

DD is gluten-intolerant and tends towards hypoglycemia. She needs to eat a gluten-free, high protein meal 3 times a day plus a snack or two a day. Most of the schools she has looked at only serve 19 meals a week. That means that a minimum of 2 meals plus snacks she will need to cover. In addition, the gluten-free offerings though available are lacking at the less-expense state school which is her fall back. If she ends up there, we will be supplementing the food service offerings even more.

 

Transportation is going to be a significant cost. We have a major airline hub in our metropolitan area. In selecting her list of prospective colleges, we decided that any school that was not in driving range needed to be accessible via that airline so as to keep flight costs down. In addition, this holiday we discussed the likelihood of her not coming home for Thanksgiving next year and possible options. Local transportation could also be a significant cost depending on school. The city bus pass is incorporated in the school fees at a number of schools but not all. Having a car is not practical for many schools. We will need to figure out if a monthly Metro pass is necessary or whether she will do better paying by the trip.

 

Thank you for sharing this article.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that article is a little over the top.  My daughter just graduated from college in May.  She had a job every year except Freshman year when she wasn't allowed to have a car on campus and on campus jobs were all taken by work-study students.  Plus we did want her to adapt to college life without that pressure.  She worked, danced competitively and was a cheerleader through most of high school so we weren't too worried about her multi-tasking abilities.  She worked retail but they were flexible enough that she could pick her hours and take off if an unexpected project or test came up.

 

Transportation wasn't a big deal for us since her college was only about 45 minutes away.  We did help her pay for gas until her senior year, especially if it was mainly for work and coming home.

 

Mandatory fees were in her bill at the start of each semester.  Her school was also pretty good about spelling them out on their website, so you'd have a pretty good idea what was coming.  She had fees for dance classes, computer classes, and labs. 

 

Off campus eats were her problem.  The big meal plan was only required for freshman and since she didn't have a car, she mostly ate on campus that year.   We would occasionally give her some money to do what she wanted with, as would her grandparents.  She always got large sums of money for Christmas, her birthday, Halloween, Easter and every other holiday you can think of from her grandmother.  After her freshman year she had her paychecks, there was a good grocery store very close to her school and she lived in apartments Junior and Senior year so cooking was possible.  She does spend a TON of money on eating out, even now that she's graduated.  She'll learn but she's using her own money to do it.

 

We did get her a new computer for school.  We did not spend $2000 on one.  Laptops are fairly inexpensive and she is not a gamer or in any computer-related field so didn't need anything extravagant.

 

We did have additional fees for dance classes (her minor), and expenses for dance shoes for classes, and costumes and dance shoes because she was on the college dance team.  We pretty much knew to expect that after 14 years of dancing.

 

Greek Life - my daughter did join a sorority her sophomore year.  She paid her own expenses (eventually, occasionally there was a situation where we paid and she paid us back).  We did not pay anywhere near $1200 a semester for dues, I think it was three payments of $200 for the whole year that covered local and national dues.  We also didn't spend that much on dresses.  She needed a white dress, a black dress, and then any kind of dress for various formals.  She wore some dresses she already owned from various high school proms, dances, and graduation, she used rent-the-runway, and the girls often borrowed dresses from each other.  I know on at least one occasion she brought a black skirt from Target (where she worked so Discount!) and paired it with a very nice blouse that was originally part of a dance costume.

 

She didn't do an Internship at all.

 

Spring Break and studying abroad?  Since when are these required.  In some majors, I can see helping out with studying abroad but Spring Break?  Not happening.   Those trips were paid for by her.  Her and three friends drove to Disney for Spring Break her junior year.  They drove, stayed with family part of the trip, in Disney hotel part of the trip, had two different relatives (dd's uncle and one girls sister) who got them tickets and breaks on the room, and then spent a few days with my mother at her condo down there.  Fun, yet remarkably inexpensive.

Although I have to say, her school offered a Spring Break trip to some resort in the Dominican Republic this past year and it was very inexpensive.  $400 for transportation, hotel and food.  She still didn't get to go.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that travel costs should be obvious if one chooses to attend a school far enough away that driving isn't feasible. I would think a laptop would be an anticipated cost as well.

 

Honestly, I think this article can best serve as a cautionary tale about socio-economic differences that one might not anticipate. Students may or may not have previously experienced the "keeping up with the Joneses" (which is kind of how I view this) mindset. Regardless of where one attends school, there will be a disparity in resources available for all these extras. Children (adults!) need to learn how to comfortably say, "Sounds fun and thanks for asking, but that is not in my budget." Ds attends a university that offers generous financial aid but also has children of billionaires (yes, with a "b") and celebrities who are students. The students who most need to learn to navigate this are the majority that fall in between. Our ds is pretty frugal, and has seemed to have found a group of friends that are like-minded that way. They eat out *some* but not too frequently. But, he has a female classmate from our area who runs with a much more affluent crowd and learning to navigate her budget has been more challenging for her. We do give ds some spending money each month. I'd hate for him to not ever be able to order a pizza or see a movie. BUT, he also knew going in that we weren't going to fund spring break trips (unless he flew home) or other "super" extras. As someone else said, once that spending money we provide is gone, he is on his own to fund above and beyond that. Greek life, in particular, can be a huge expense that is difficult to anticipate if no other family members have experienced it. Income/wealth disparity may or may not have been experienced in high school. Probably much less so for homeschooled students.

 

We have never been ones to hand out cash on an as-requested basis. We've always been allowance types and allowed ds to budget for himself. When we chose how much to provide as spending money for college, we aimed low but told him we would *consider* increasing if he could demonstrate it truly wasn't enough. He has managed just fine with what we thought was reasonable. So, just as students must learn to say "no" to peers, parents must learn to say "no" to their children. I think there is a failure in both aspects going on in this article.

 

ETA: Ds did have an on-campus job part of his first year. He did not have paid summer work after his freshman year of college (worked in our Congressman's local office). He has not since worked during the school year, but he did have a paying job last summer on campus and has secured a nice, lucrative internship for this upcoming summer. He would not have even been considered for the latter without very strong grades, so I think the trade-off of dropping work during school has paid off.

Edited by Hoggirl
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, my youngest does not work.  SHe is taking a full load of difficult classes and with her dyslexia, she works much harder and longer than an average student.  We want her to do well and we can afford to help her.  On the other hand, while she does go out to eat, she is frugal so that she is able to live on her allowance.  

 

As Hog Girl said, there are different monetary realities for different families.  DD spent part of spring break at home and part of the time at two of her friends' house (they are twins) and live about two hours away from us and not further than us from her college.  She goes to school with kids who come from much, much richer families and kids who come from poor families.  My dd shops at very budget stores and dresses very casually for the most part as do many of the kids so differences are seen in cars kids have and activities they do.  But even for the kids without cars, and that is quite a number too especially since some kids come from thousands of miles away, wealth is pretty easy to assess if one cares to do so.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband had an academic scholarship that is dependent on grades. He is very studious and really has no time to work during college since his grades are due to diligence. I worked because I was bored and was getting good grades without much effort. My parents paid everything so whatever I earned went into paying for working clothes when I graduated and also to rainy day savings. So hubby and I graduated with money in the bank and no debt.

I stayed in my university hostel and meals (breakfast, dinner) were included in dorm fees, but the portions were free flow of rice but limited protein. I had to grocery shop for my protein requirements and have money to eat lunch at the canteens.

 

We did some campus tours for fun since my oldest is still young. $50k would be the higher end of private high school tuition and fees here. Looking and eating at the food courts in the universities we stop at (some were road trip pit stops for food), $10 per meal per person is easily the norm. UNR food court meals cost similar to Stanford but the median income of Reno and Palo Alto is so different.

 

My kids low end Windows laptops are cheap but a friend's daughter use a mid range MacBook for her UCSF class. So it really depends on the child's coursework needs but laptop and phone would be in the budget for expenses.

 

Honestly, I think this article can best serve as a cautionary tale about socio-economic differences that one might not anticipate. Students may or may not have previously experienced the "keeping up with the Joneses" (which is kind of how I view this).

I see it more as what cost of living is the family used to rather than "keeping up with the Jones". I grew up in a HCOL country which makes Silicon Valley's COL cheaper in comparison. A private high school near your son's university has an annual tuition of $43k before extras. The free university shuttle has stops at Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Safeway. The university food court prices are normal local shopping mall prices. Someone from Tokyo is going to feel that things are very affordable while here. Someone from another city would probably feel that things are overpriced.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As some posters point out needs of individual students. There are students with specific majors that limit schools they can consider. There are students with health and dietary needs that limit school considerations. Such limits on school consideration affect tuition and transportation costs. The author did not list special needs along these line. It sounded more like he was going along with the whims of his dd to choose a school in a distant state and making decisions that were more about keeping appearances rather than logically analyzing needs and learning to create a budget and prioritization of non necessities. 

 

Like SWB we told our kids to stay in state in VA. My ds did spend one year out of state, but the tuition, room, board and transportation totaled less than in state in VA It was a military college (New Mexico Military Institute), so extremely little cash needed for off campus (not covered) activity. My dd has dietary issues. We had to cross some VA schools off after visits suggested her diet would be a problem, but she still had choices. She's now at the school ranked number one in dining services in the country (it also has a nationally ranked engineering program). (I know some in this forum recommend out of state and private schools for well research financial considerations and that works too!)

 

The point is we involved our kids in considering the finances of their education. I think this is important and really a no brainer. After watching the student loan stuff blow up in the news the last few years, I don't understand not making this a priority. 

 

I think the Hive could put together a much better article on cost considerations for college. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see it more as what cost of living is the family used to rather than "keeping up with the Jones". I grew up in a HCOL country which makes Silicon Valley's COL cheaper in comparison. A private high school near your son's university has an annual tuition of $43k before extras. The free university shuttle has stops at Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Safeway. The university food court prices are normal local shopping mall prices. Someone from Tokyo is going to feel that things are very affordable while here. Someone from another city would probably feel that things are overpriced.

Perhaps. I do see what you are saying. An overall higher cost of living could certainly provide some sticker shock, The local girl at ds's school had certainly never had to pay $30 a session for Soul Cycle here. It doesn't even exist here - lol! By contrast, we have friends with a daughter at Ole Miss. They provide her with $500 per month which must cover ALL her extra costs - clothes, sorority dues, eating out, gas, trips, etc. To be sure, that is a very generous amount of spending money, especially in Mississippi. But when she has multiple friends who have budgets four times that amount (yes, some do), her spending limits have nothing to do with the COL. They get to take far fancier spring break trips than she does. Likewise, there are some kids at ds's school whose parents travel form the opposite coast multiple times per year to visit their children on campus. We can't afford to do that. It's a budget constraint rather than a cost of living issue.

Edited by Hoggirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a pretty spoiled kid, tuition, books, room and board were covered along with a small monthly allowance.  I was in a sorority, went on spring break trips (with my family), and didn't work during the school year.  However I worked 40+ hours in the summer and during Christmas vacation and saved as much as possible. I bought my own car and paid for own insurance, etc.  I was very frugal.  My parents only rule was it had to be a school instate and no further than four hours away.  If I wanted something else I was welcome to make up the difference in cost.  We will be doing same with our children when/if they head to college.

 

My husband attended on a sports scholarship, lived in a fraternity and worked summers and Christmas break as well.  Not enough time to work during school year.

Edited by Splash
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, $250-$500 for going to parties, eating out, and buying sweatshirts? $2000 spring break trips? $1200 per semester for Greek Life? Clearly not in my income bracket!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ds applied to some private schools where I continually warned him that while he might get a nice financial aid package he would not have the same lifestyle as most of his classmates. He ended up at a private school that actually has great socioeconomic diversity and he feels now that has been a better fit. He also chose the very oldest/cheapest dorm. I told him that by doing that not only was he saving money but he was self selecting suite mates that are also likely on a budget. He has found that to be true.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article was such a mix of valid info to consider and what I'd call lifestyle costs, not college costs.

 

The issue of fees is one that parents should definitely be aware of.  In many cases, public universities are restricted from raising tuition, but can create fees without violating these restrictions.  In some cases, the fees run thousands of dollars.

 

DS took his laptop to college, but we did buy him a high quality backpack to protect the investment.  This ran around $150 because few packs will hold his extra large computer.  He also was required to have a tablet as a student in the college of engineering.

 

He'd used a flip phone for years, but had to get a smart phone because his school requires two device authentication when using the college computer network.  There wasn't a reliable work around for this.  An inexpensive smart phone was the most economical way of meeting this need.  Also he found that his ROTC unit communicates by text.  He will often get a text notifying him of a pop up meeting that he's required to attend.

 

He rarely eats off campus, but that also means that he has run through the meal plan dollars faster than other students.  (This was something the Corps warned parents about.)  The dining hall with an all you can eat swipe is quite far from the cadet dorms, so he uses the food court options more.  He hasn't been profligate, but I did need to add about $500 to get him to the end of the semester.

 

Transportation between Hawaii and the East Coast isn't cheap.  But geography didn't change when he enrolled.  We knew that he would not come home for Thanksgiving.  Family friends took him in for the week and mothered him in grand style.  When he wants to get somewhere around town, he walks or rides public transportation.  On the other hand, he has little free time when he is allowed out.  Liberty consists of 30-60 minutes out with 8-30 of his "buds" on a dinner pass.  [it is a little more restrictive than I think he expected.  But he didn't go to college expecting a Los Angeles vibe.]  When he visited a friend in another town one weekend, he rode a bus to get there, not Uber.  But much of this is not unexpected.  When we were comparing schools, we considered which had family members or close friends nearby.  We knew that we would have to spend $1200-1500 per round trip in air fare (not including the cost of getting him to and from the airport).

 

I think it would have been a worth-while article to discuss how choices have consequences.  Sorority membership, spring break trips, and weekend parties do cost money.  I think calling this a hidden college cost is disingenuous.  

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Different strokes for different folks.  We pay for our guys to come home when they do (my far away guys didn't come home for Thanksgiving) and (or Grandma) bought their (cheap) computers. Fees for us have been included on the overall bill.  Beyond that?  Mine got jobs and paid their own extra expenses starting freshman year.  They learned to budget.  No problems.  As they got more experience, etc, their jobs have changed and $$ improved.  Tutoring has been lucrative.  Working in the lab has been something middle son has loved - and gotten paid for.  Summer jobs, including internships, have been paid.

 

No cars on campus.  No spring break trips (except middle son went to Haiti one year - hardly a drunken orgy, they were working assisting a partner church with some church and senior citizen needs).  No Greek life (doesn't appeal to my guys).  Dining Hall is their common eatery.  Tons of on campus fun including cheap movies, clubs, etc.  Oldest son joined a role playing club.  Middle son took up dance and juggling.  Youngest is super involved in his Christian club.  All have attended speakers and performances on campus.

 

Perhaps this article can be combined with those that say kids don't take advantage of all there is at college?  If they are continually needing parties, etc, off campus, are they missing out on opportunities (often free or low cost) on campus?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put myself through, so "splurge" was going to Tastee Freeze once or twice a month. They had really good Mexican food. That and gas to go to church.

 

My commuter student works about 10 hours a week. He covers his gas, his cell phone, his books, and any activities with friends. He's saving for a weekend trip to a martial arts seminar that requires a plane ride and hotel stay. 

 

I guess it's all about what kind of lifestyle you want to support. I would NOT support an "LA Lifestyle." There are nationally-ranked state schools they can go to. Financially we could never swing that, and they understand that you only go into debt for college if you really, really need to. I'm not 100% against college loans, but you don't do that lightly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked nearly 40 hours.  That was just to afford bare bones basics when I was is school.  My very first semester I lived on campus and there were absolutely no jobs around.  That wasn't going to work (my parents didn't even give me money for absolute necessities and the school took the savings I had from summer jobs).  So I had to switch to a closer school and live at home and go where I could find a job within walking distance.

 

I wouldn't have had to work that much except I needed the money. 

 

I can't say that I have any clue what the situation is now though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comical article overall though.  I remember students telling me I had a cushy gig because I had the meal plan.  Many went without to save money.  So at least I was able to eat decent food.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is always a mix. Some college students work full time, some work a few hours, some don't work at all. Reasons why some students do not work vary. 

 

I heard from several of my students that their parents discourage it because keeping a high GPA translates into paid internships over the summer and a good job after graduation, and graduating on time means earning their 60k salary (which is the average starting salary for the graduates from my public STEM uni) starts earlier - so the decision is financially prudent. Working a minimum wage job and paying for it by delaying graduation makes no sense financially.

 

Some students don't have the time because of heavy class load or volunteer work. My DD works some quarters as a TA, and that is a stretch time wise - she is doing two majors that have no overlap and must be done in four years. Not having to work a job during the quarter means being able to do her extensive volunteer work. We are fortunate to be able to support her financially, which makes it possible for her to run a program that provides free ACT tutoring for hundreds of local high school students in an underserved neighborhood. So, not working for pay does not mean not working.

 

 

You have to admit your daughter is the exception - most of these unemployed kids aren't spending their free time tutoring disadvantaged kids.  Apparently, if the article is correct, they are spending it at Starbucks on their Apple Mac Air?

 

 

And so to the pampered children of the world I say:

:001_rolleyes:

 

 

DD didn't work initially.  Admittedly, she did pull near perfect grades.  When she did got a job, she didn't know how to say no, as in, "No, I will not cover for everyone who doesn't show up," and, "No, it is not reasonable for me to work 35+ hours a week and commute almost an hour to school where I am carrying excess hours."

 

That said, DD will graduate in 7 semesters, have worked 2/3 of the time, with approximately a 3.3 GPA.  

 

Do I think it would have been higher if she didn't work at all?  Yes.  Am I sorry she worked? No.  

 

The only thing I'd do differently?  DS is working in high school - about 8-15 hours a week so that he can learn to say no, balance work and school and deadlines NOW, rather than learn on the fly with heavyweight classes.

 

Frankly, everyone justifies their massive expenditures as needs because it's self comforting (I must spend this because....) and it is, frankly, not so.  A child can get by with less than a top of the line Mac, yes, even as an engineering major.  A child will not die working hours to supplement that expensive meal plan you paid for because you won't pay for any more, and GASP, the child might have to forgo the trendy Uber app in favor for the bus.  Alas, how will they get by? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing that I think is unavoidable, for some, is that boys can often eat a lot more than allotted by the meal plan. Basically they can go broke on food really easily, even if its not good food. My brother had that problem EVERY SEMESTER in college. He'd only have about 75% of what he needed. He says he'd look for the skinniest girl there and start dating her, and she'd buy him lunch since she was losing most of the money at the end of the semester anyway. Sometimes I try to convince myself he is joking. 

Edited by tm919
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Perhaps this article can be combined with those that say kids don't take advantage of all there is at college?  If they are continually needing parties, etc, off campus, are they missing out on opportunities (often free or low cost) on campus?

 

The one thing I have to say is that participating in Greek life CAN be one of the most valuable opportunities at college in terms of post-graduation networking. Maybe less so in medicine like your son, but definitely in business whom the person knows can be more important than what he/she knows. A lot of positions these days are never advertised publicly so the only way to even compete for them is to know the right people.

 

I wouldn't pay for Uber rides or Spring Break trips to Cabo but I would consider paying fraternity/sorority dues as an investment in my child's post-graduation future.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DS knows he has to pay for his social life. We did give him a little bit of spending money this semester because his illness prevented him from working this summer.  By little bit we mean $250 for the entire semester. His Christmas break job will generate his spring semester spending money. 

 

He takes his girlfriend to the library for coffee dates. Their meal plan money can be used at the coffee shop there. They ride the bus or walk around town. On campus movies are $2.00. Football games are free, art exhibits are free, lectures are free, the greenway trails are free, swinging in a hammock is free.

 

We purchased his one uni t-shirt for him as a gift last year. 

 

Social life is as inexpensive as you want to make it. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. He says he'd look for the skinniest girl there and start dating her, and she'd buy him lunch since she was losing most of the money at the end of the semester anyway. Sometimes I try to convince myself he is joking.

I gave away the rice/noodles/potatoes when I was in college to my engineering guy classmates. I don't get a discount for less carbohydrates while my classmates had to pay to top up. It is like I need 10 cents worth of carbohydrates while my classmates needed 50 cents worth.

The guys actually have more food allowance from parents who know they eat alot throughout their teens, but extra helping of proteins cost more too so their food allowance is all used up and they have instant noodles for supper. Hostel dinner was at 7pm and we studied in study hall until 11pm or midnight usually. My first class was 9am so it was not so bad walking from hostel to faculty.

 

My skinny engineering girl and guy classmates do eat a lot, we just need a buffet so we can load up on seafood and meat. Kind of like going to the Ikea cafe and ordering a plate of smoked salmon salad and two plates of ribs per person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Perhaps this article can be combined with those that say kids don't take advantage of all there is at college?  If they are continually needing parties, etc, off campus, are they missing out on opportunities (often free or low cost) on campus?

 

Yes, I think so. 

 

I also wonder if the fact the emphasis on going to college for more lucrative career opportunities as opposed to going to get an education has made students less likely to be aware of and to take advantage of all of the on campus opportunities around them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my kids don't work at school. Ds1 has a very lucrative job on breaks and summer and is pretty good with managing that money over the course of the year. Food is definitely an issue, and where most of the extra money is spent. Dd1 obviously doesn't work (see my sig), but she is earning that scholarship. In fact, her "job" requires about 30-40 hours a week outside of classes, more if there is extensive travel.

Dd1 will cost a little more next year as she is moving off campus into an apartment complex where many, many swimmers reside. Hopefully, that will cut down on the dorm issues of this year. The worst one was the fire drill at 2:45 am the morning of a big meet.

 

Neither kid has a car or comes home for Thanksgiving, or takes Spring Break trips, etc. Pretty bare bones really.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dd1 uses Uber and that has been far less expensive than taking a car to campus. Of course, she uses it to go to the grocery store once a week and I think one time home (early) from a party. I see all the charges  :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think so.

 

I also wonder if the fact the emphasis on going to college for more lucrative career opportunities as opposed to going to g6et an education has made students less likely to be aware of and to take advantage of all of the on campus opportunities around them.

Ds is finding that the U doesnt have a venue that fits as many students as would like to attend many of the events. People line up early for advance tickets, and those in the back half may have to miss class to stay in line, if there are even enough tickets. Bernie was sold out, and had the graciousness to work the line waiting to go in to watch on big screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ds is finding that the U doesnt have a venue that fits as many students as would like to attend many of the events. People line up early for advance tickets, and those in the back half may have to miss class to stay in line, if there are even enough tickets. Bernie was sold out, and had the graciousness to work the line waiting to go in to watch on big screen.

 

Bernie isn't exactly an every day occurrence on a college campus, though. I'm talking about the faculty and student art exhibits and concerts, the special lectures that departments sponsor, etc.. Those activities are rarely full.  People are missing a lot of opportunities to learn about the world around them at no additional cost. 

 

ETA: This is what is happening on ds' campus between now and the end of the semester (Dec. 8): 

 

University Chorale concert Nov 29 - free

Socially Aware Holiday Fair Nov 30 (a campus club sales fair) - free unless you buy something

Global Exchange Nov 30 (a monthly event that brings domestic and international students together to share music and food from around the world) - free

University Gospel Choir concert Nov 30 - free

School of Music Holiday scholarship concert Dec 3 - $10

Interactive Game Show hosted by the Dept. of Theater Dec 3 - $5

Messiah Sing Along Dec 4 - free

 

So, over the next six days, there are five free events and two low cost events. This is in addition to the art exhibits and casual social opportunities that are always available. 

 

 

 

Edited by TechWife
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the food plan variations interesting.  My daughter's school's meal plans were blocks + dollars.  If they ate at either of two locations, it was one block for an all you can eat meal.  Other places on campus (like a diner, Dunkin Donuts, or other cafes) you would use dollars.  The also offer an unlimited meal plan which is basically unlimited access to the dining hall, which sounds like it would be good for heartier appetites.  They do offer gluten free, Celiac, vegetarian, and vegan options daily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the food plan variations interesting.  My daughter's school's meal plans were blocks + dollars.  If they ate at either of two locations, it was one block for an all you can eat meal.  Other places on campus (like a diner, Dunkin Donuts, or other cafes) you would use dollars.  The also offer an unlimited meal plan which is basically unlimited access to the dining hall, which sounds like it would be good for heartier appetites.  They do offer gluten free, Celiac, vegetarian, and vegan options daily.

 

We purchase the lowest tier food plan for ds. There are five tiers available. He has not run out of money, but he is a really light eater. All of the food items are sold individually so you only pay for what you eat. It works out well for him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bernie isn't exactly an every day occurrence on a college campus, though. I'm talking about the faculty and student art exhibits and concerts, the special lectures that departments sponsor, etc.. Those activities are rarely full. People are missing a lot of opportunities to learn about the world around them at no additional cost.

 

ETA: This is what is happening on ds' campus between now and the end of the semester (Dec. 8):

 

University Chorale concert Nov 29 - free

Socially Aware Holiday Fair Nov 30 (a campus club sales fair) - free unless you buy something

Global Exchange Nov 30 (a monthly event that brings domestic and international students together to share music and food from around the world) - free

University Gospel Choir concert Nov 30 - free

School of Music Holiday scholarship concert Dec 3 - $10

Interactive Game Show hosted by the Dept. of Theater Dec 3 - $5

Messiah Sing Along Dec 4 - free

 

So, over the next six days, there are five free events and two low cost events. This is in addition to the art exhibits and casual social opportunities that are always available.

I used bernie to preserve my sons anonymity. Music concerts are restricted to number of seats in venue, and they arent moving them to the baskestball arena that seats more. Same for movies in student union. Availability of outdoor rec equipment not expanded to fill demand either. Preference to those in the major or club and those needing attendance to fill a class requirement...my kid is doing better forming his own group and shuttling to a park, or hitting the free days at the public museums, or free or nearly free concerts in public places. Bonus no security lines.he is at a big U where lots are looking for free entertainment. Me, I can get to the local colleges and find seats for music events etc. The population vs the available seat ratio is good. Edited by Heigh Ho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...