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chiguirre

Is College Still Worth It? A New St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Study Says No

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Here's the link to the Fed Study:

https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/2019/10/15/is-college-still-worth-it-the-new-calculus-of-falling-returns.pdf

The college income premium is the extra income earned by a family whose head has a college degree over the income earned by an otherwise similar family whose head does not have a college degree. This premium remains positive but has declined for recent graduates. The college wealth premium (extra net worth) has declined more noticeably among all cohorts born after 1940. Among families whose head is White and born in the 1980s, the college wealth premium of a terminal four-year bachelor’s degree is at a historic low; among families whose head is any other race and ethnicity born in that decade, the premium is statistically indistinguishable from zero. Among families whose head is of any race or ethnicity born in the 1980s and holding a postgraduate degree, the wealth premium is also indistinguishable from zero. Our results suggest that college and postgraduate education may be failing some recent graduates as a financial investment.

Here are links to quick summaries in other media:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/personal-finance/is-college-still-worth-it-read-this-study/2020/01/10/b9894514-3330-11ea-91fd-82d4e04a3fac_story.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/college-wealth-premium-collapsed/604579/

 

For me personally, this study comes at a useful time. It definitely reaffirms our decision to stick to in state or comparable cost schools and avoid the huge initial outflow that comes with an Ivyish school. (Of course, this is not much of a sacrifice if you live in a state with excellent public universities, I know we're fortunate.)

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I definitely agree with not spending more than necessary for the college degree but I am seeing a lot of backlash against college in general in my circles and how it is just a piece of paper and not worth it and people that go to college are suckers. 
 

My dh and my BIL are the exact same age. Dh has more education than necessary (two masters and a PhD). BIL has no degree and works in a trade. At 45 yo, BIL has topped out his earning potential and is feeling physical effects of his job. My dh is really just starting to make big strides in his career and the next twenty years hold a lot of growth potential. He also has had better benefits (heath care and 401K) that really make a difference. Ten years ago you would have said they had equal financial situation and my dh’s education didn’t pay off. At 45, dh has moved ahead, at 50 and 55 he will be way ahead and retirement will look very different between the two. Of course that is just an anecdote but it has played out before my eyes.
 

These men would be in a cohort born in the 70’s as opposed to the cohort from the ‘80s in the study. So maybe it is taking longer for the benefit to kick in. 

When you are 18, being told to go to college so you earn more in your forties seems so far away. But now that I am 45 and sending kids to college and wanting to do things for adult children and grandchildren and enjoy the second half of my life it seems totally worth it. But yes, just starting out and early career, someone with a bachelors degree may not out earn the guy in the factory or warehouse (big employers in my area). 
 


 

 

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Thanks, @chiguirre, for posting this. I read It a few days ago with interest. My take-away was that college was still beneficial but the crushing debt was what caused net worth to stagnate.

Going to the lowest cost, good quality option still seems like it is worth it for kids who are college bound vs taking other routes.

I didn't think the article clearly spelled out the message to not unnecessarily take out large debt if a lower cost & sufficient option was available. It seemed obscured. 

With only one out of five of college-age, my family has a long way to go. The road will definitely be tougher for my younger kids.

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I took a similar message from RootAnn that college is still worth it, but the debt likely is not.

I had a lot of immediate thoughts that aren't really answered in a study like this too though. How much is this about stagnating wages and not at all about whether or not college can improve your job prospects. Pay in... I don't know how to describe it... second tier professional jobs, I guess... teachers, nurses, bureaucrats, IT folks, programmers, etc. etc. are all not growing at the same rate that the top jobs are. Even jobs with professional degrees - librarian, lawyer, teacher, professor, social worker, psychologist, etc. etc. aren't growing enough to keep up. Like, we both have a shortage of mental health providers AND don't pay them enough. That's a wild situation to me.

It also doesn't really answer anything about fulfillment or happiness or long term health or family life or anything like that. If you break even getting a degree long term, but the degree allows you to have a job with a salary and more security and more family flexibility and more fulfillment (or even just a few of those sorts of things) then maybe it is still obviously worth it. But something like this doesn't measure the difference between a single mom working two service sector jobs with uneven hours struggling to spend time with her kids vs. a single mom working a low salaried job that she got with a college degree who has set times with her kids.

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My kids are both high achievers and started at the local community college.

With my older one, he had many other options, but he felt unsure and unsteady. Our future finances were also very uncertain then, so I said GO. A lot of people questioned that, but I was convinced that it was the right choice, as was he (more important). He went under guaranteed admit after that to a top-20 program at a state school as a commuter student. He's a double major and has been able to narrow his focus to exactly what he wants because it's a large state school with many options. 

By the time my younger one was ready for college, we had no doubt that community college was the way to go. She also went guaranteed admit. Her major is also nationally-ranked for what she wants to do, and she just interviewed for a wonderful job in her department and was invited to join the honors program. Her department has been exactly want she needed -- very interested in their students with smaller upper division classes. She's gotten to know her professors and is having a ball. 

Both will graduate with no debt and many opportunities. It was a win for us. For what they want to do, a college degree is a must.

Of course we know quite a few of their friends who borrowed and borrowed, and a few who graduated and are doing minimum wage jobs with those loans looming over them. I'm not against loans, but I think you need to minimize them and view your prospects for paying them back reasonably and what your commitment to college is. I teach at the community college level, and more than a few take out the loans and don't have the commitment and/or ability to keep up with their college studies. So then they have a mess on their hands without successfully getting the credits and still having the bill to pay. 

Edited by G5052
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There are a lot of specifics in choices that alter the equation promoted in the Atlantic article.  Back in the 80s I paid as much for college housing as I did for tuition, so did my children in the 2010s.  However, none of us went to college in an HCOL area as we knew we could not afford the room and board. I don't agree with the premise that 'if you can't easily get a big guaranteed payoff, you shouldn't bother' which is what that author is saying.  The majority are going to work their way up, not start in the Boardroom.

The other thing these articles don't talk about is the quality of K12 ed vs college costs.   I have a friend who went to the same land grant college as I did, but in the 50s..he came from mediocre high school and succeeded, so doesn't feel the need to vote to fund  AP/honors in the high school for those going in to STEM (including medical), as in his day no one had that level of ed.  In my day, as a rural student I was up against people who had all their engineering math done while in high school, and AP everything in their wealthy suburban districts.....but that was just the top quarter, the rest of us could still burn the midnight oil and do well.  In my son's day, at a different state U, the profs expected that all admits to science and engineering had taken AP level.....but of course a large chunk of the rural schools still don't offer that level (or honors) and most others don't have enough seats open, especially for young restless men...so the idea of finish in four is not realistic as the students have to repeat courses or take courses their high school didn't offer (econ, calc, etc)  ....the penalty is they lose their financial aid if they can't pass enough credits per semester and finish in four, and the penalty is that their costs increase significantly if they take summer classes.  This is a killer for middle class students who receive very little financial aid and whose parents just don't have the wealth to make up the gap.   Locally, we are seeing the students who can't afford to take online courses while in high school do things like attend CC for two years for the gen ed degree that is equivalent to honors 11th and 12th and move on to a  military academy....or just enlist and use their bennies for a four year degree. They simply don't have the funding or the high school coursework to go directly to U and finish in four.

Note: in my area CC is not much less expensive than U.  And the CC doesn't offer much  - if you did dual enrollment in high school you will be lucky to find enough courses to finish 3 semesters at CC.  If you want to be a nurse, its a good start, but nothing else.  Students that want to live at home commute to a regional 4 year or to a different CC that does have the courses they need.

Edited by HeighHo
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I have long been a fan of the most economically efficient way for college possible except for a handful of careers where degree origination actually matter (and not just to the parents' social circle.)  I think large amounts of debt for a piece of paper that is checking a box are stupid tbh. Very few degrees provide much relevant training for actual careers (hard sciences being an exemption from that statement) outside of the university system. What they are teaching is so outdated and irrelevant it has nothing to do with what most people walk into in the real world for their first jobs. 

That being said, i don't know how anyone can say that degrees aren't still worth it when the vast majority of large corporations require a degree to even get in the door as entry level. Even the larger IT community, which had long been an embracer of the "no degree needed" path, have turned away from that model- largely thanks to the efforts of HR as well as increasing numbers of applicants. The people running IT might not give two figs about who has a degree. However HR and the business end still care- especially for management positions in a large number of companies. They want their "About our Team" page to have some degrees along with their swank business backgrounds. Their founders might not have had degrees, but now 20+ years later, well their employees better. So I don't understand the not emphasizing a degree for anyone not going into a trade or starting their own business immediately- particularly women. A woman without a degree is shooting herself in the foot. Just do it cheaply.

From what I've seen through my own career and now dh's, larger companies and corporations are NOT on board with the whole anti-college movement, even if those degrees are completely irrelevant to the job in question, and those are the companies the majority of people are going to work for. It's an easy box to check and the AI just scans it before it hits the HR group or recruiter gets the already screened resumes through. Maybe government jobs are different, but I doubt it. Even our police department and our animal control department require people to have degrees! 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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29 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

From what I've seen through my own career and now dh's, larger companies and corporations are NOT on board with the whole anti-college movement, even if those degrees are completely irrelevant to the job in question, and those are the companies the majority of people are going to work for. It's an easy box to check and the AI just scans it before it hits the HR group or recruiter gets the already screened resumes through. Maybe government jobs are different, but I doubt it. Even our police department and our animal control department require people to have degrees! 

Yes, I agree. Applying for jobs with only a high school diploma completely limits your options. Unskilled workers face a whole host of issues that college grads dont.

I am also in the no debt for college camp. I am so far removed from the elite college/need for a live away "experience," that I can't relate to it at all. I think college is important, but that I'm all for affordability.

 

 

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This is really random, but I've told dh that if he ever starts his own company, I think he should recruit out of high school/ early or community age college. Then do it almost like an apprenticeship sort of thing. They work for you, you train them up with relevant to the business training. Reward loyalty, reward hard work, reward diligence. Invest in each other. 

Now I know there are a lot of complications with that- in particular one would be it would only be worth it for the employee if other employers found that experience/training useful later on. But it seems like it would not only make the employees more vested in the business, but also the businesses more invested in the employees to where seasonal lay off culture around quarterly results would diminish. The hire and dump routine I've seen over and over again just to massage numbers is so infuriating. And even if your company pays for your degree, that's an incentive to you, but it does nothing really for them as far as caring and vesting in you as a person. It's just a nice Benefit on the "why you should work here" list, but they'll drop you just as fast as a blink if your department needs to be culled. It seems like when the companies themselves invest time into YOU for training- not just paying someone else a few grand a semester they get to write off as a deduction anyway, you become a lot more valuable. And then if they are doing all the training, maybe they would be more careful of the need to actually hire someone, rather than just hire and dump in droves. Does that make sense? 

I know that is wishful thinking, but it just seems like it would be such a more useful time investment for so many people. I think it'd be great. But I'd still tell my kids to get a degree in the meantime. 😉 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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A college degree is worth it but 200K in debt for an undergraduate degree may not be. Out here, receptionists are required to have degrees now since they're so standard. So, they're basically required for getting any sort of "career". I do not have a college degree but am the only person in my department who doesn't have one, and it does hamper me a lot. I can't advance in my company above a certain level because it becomes an absolute requirement, and I can't get a job in my area at another company because I don't have a degree. See how that works? 

My supervisor's fiance can't leave his company because he won't be able to get a job anywhere else without a degree as well. He got in the industry at a different time where it was possible to start fresh and work your way up, but it's not possible now.

However, the realities may be different in different geographic areas.

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It looks like the reasons on page 21 are the crux of it. I’m really tired of hearing anti-college, anti ‘elite’ garbage on certain news networks and media. I can just imagine what would happen if the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, or Coulter  used this as their proof. 

I live a bit over an hour from Ithaca. The locals here hate it- it’s nothing more than a hippie town. My MIL said she’d disown my kid if he went there, lol. They don’t see Cornell as anything more than hippies. It’s not the cost they object to, they’ve been brainwashed by those who say college is useless, run by commie profs. 

We were incredibly lucky to have a bright, curious kid that tests really well and to live in a zip code that the state university system sees as a plus to give scholarships to kids. I know most aren’t that lucky. Student debt is crushing this country.

Edited by Dotwithaperiod
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I keep thinking about this and I wish I knew how it would look in 100 years, because that's how long it seems like it will need to shift to see if college does become less important.

But I do think it's notable that men are not graduating undergrad or grad school at the same rates as women for some time now, and are not entering certain fields (Medical for instance) in the same rates of women any longer. Men are like a harbinger to me. When they leave a field- generally as it becomes saturated more than due to sexism I think, because a larger applicant pool drives down pay in most cases and guys move to where the money is- it's going to go on the downswing a lot of times. So if men, who run 90-whatever percent of companies, stop seeing a college degree as valuable, will that thought process trickle down into the lower echelons of the company, or will the women who tend to dominate HR, have degrees and put more importance upon them, still control the gate/requirements and mandate the degrees?

Because honestly, HR pulls a lot of the strings when it comes to hiring at most companies on the broader/wider levels. And HR is massively dominated by women- at least in the US. Their say only stops when it gets into the higher levels where applicants are a lot harder to find and thus more valuable and easier to make exception for. 

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4 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I keep thinking about this and I wish I knew how it would look in 100 years, because that's how long it seems like it will need to shift to see if college does become less important.

But I do think it's notable that men are not graduating undergrad or grad school at the same rates as women for some time now, and are not entering certain fields (Medical for instance) in the same rates of women any longer. Men are like a harbinger to me. When they leave a field- generally as it becomes saturated more than due to sexism I think, because a larger applicant pool drives down pay in most cases and guys move to where the money is- it's going to go on the downswing a lot of times. So if men, who run 90-whatever percent of companies, stop seeing a college degree as valuable, will that thought process trickle down into the lower echelons of the company, or will the women who tend to dominate HR, have degrees and put more importance upon them, still control the gate/requirements and mandate the degrees?

Because honestly, HR pulls a lot of the strings when it comes to hiring at most companies on the broader/wider levels. And HR is massively dominated by women- at least in the US. Their say only stops when it gets into the higher levels where applicants are a lot harder to find and thus more valuable and easier to make exception for. 

 

HR is what I work in, and the reason companies where HR pulls the hiring strings require degrees is because HR requires degrees, to a large extent. People who work in HR for years and don't have a degree can't change companies because other companies won't hire you even with experience if you don't have a degree. 

However, HR doesn't always pull the hiring strings. At our company, hiring is all done by the department and location (worldwide company) with no input from HR on who to hire.

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3 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I keep thinking about this and I wish I knew how it would look in 100 years, because that's how long it seems like it will need to shift to see if college does become less important.

But I do think it's notable that men are not graduating undergrad or grad school at the same rates as women for some time now, and are not entering certain fields (Medical for instance) in the same rates of women any longer. Men are like a harbinger to me. When they leave a field- generally as it becomes saturated more than due to sexism I think, because a larger applicant pool drives down pay in most cases and guys move to where the money is- it's going to go on the downswing a lot of times. So if men, who run 90-whatever percent of companies, stop seeing a college degree as valuable, will that thought process trickle down into the lower echelons of the company, or will the women who tend to dominate HR, have degrees and put more importance upon them, still control the gate/requirements and mandate the degrees?

Because honestly, HR pulls a lot of the strings when it comes to hiring at most companies on the broader/wider levels. And HR is massively dominated by women- at least in the US. Their say only stops when it gets into the higher levels where applicants are a lot harder to find and thus more valuable and easier to make exception for. 

 

Men are not even being accepted to college at the same rate as women now.  In our state there are only 3 colleges that have more men than women.  One of them is mens college. One of them is almost entirely engineering and tech and the other one merged with another smaller engineering college.  We got intrigued by this  recently and did some research and it is not just our state and it is not even just our country.  

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1 minute ago, kdsuomi said:

 

HR is what I work in, and the reason companies where HR pulls the hiring strings require degrees is because HR requires degrees, to a large extent. People who work in HR for years and don't have a degree can't change companies because other companies won't hire you even with experience if you don't have a degree. 

However, HR doesn't always pull the hiring strings. At our company, hiring is all done by the department and location (worldwide company) with no input from HR on who to hire.

At the companies dh has worked out, they end run HR and hire private recruiters LOL, because their in-house HR's never gets them useful applicants. HR wouldn't ever get much of a say in who to hire, but they sure as heck cull down the applicants. Even in IT with dh I'm seeing the not be able to change companies without a degree thing. That is what convinced dh to go back and finish his a while back. 

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I sent this to my dh last week. He was just recruited by a headhunter. The manager told HR to make it happen. 

https://cheezburger.com/9738245/twitter-thread-details-all-the-bs-that-goes-on-in-hr-departments

There are numerous hits on google when I search HR hiring test failed. HR really needs to figure out some better screening methods.

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19 minutes ago, Plum said:

I sent this to my dh last week. He was just recruited by a headhunter. The manager told HR to make it happen. 

https://cheezburger.com/9738245/twitter-thread-details-all-the-bs-that-goes-on-in-hr-departments

There are numerous hits on google when I search HR hiring test failed. HR really needs to figure out some better screening methods.

Apparently there are places that now prep you for these things. It's utter bs.

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23 minutes ago, Plum said:

I sent this to my dh last week. He was just recruited by a headhunter. The manager told HR to make it happen. 

https://cheezburger.com/9738245/twitter-thread-details-all-the-bs-that-goes-on-in-hr-departments

There are numerous hits on google when I search HR hiring test failed. HR really needs to figure out some better screening methods.

I worked for CVS for a few years.  The application was all online and included one of those stupid assessment tests.  I was just a cashier and despite the fact that the questions were pretty basic (if you find $50 in the parking lot do you a) tell your boss b) keep it etc etc etc) it was incredibly long, like over 200 questions.    

Obviously, I passed the first time to get the job.   Then after working like a year, I had a baby and went on maternity leave.  My boss (store manager) screwed up submitting paperwork.  I had to fill out the application all over again, including the  massive assessment question set.   My boss was so apologetic and he was like “I know it’s a pain in the butt, I just need this all filled out to I can submit the paperwork.  

I asked him a couple of question about my previous application because I wanted to be sure that the computer system did t have conflicting information about things like pay rate, we’re recerences going to be called again and so on.  

 

He he told me that it didn’t matter what I put on the application, I just needed to answer the assessment questions right or the application would be flagged and he wouldn’t be able to re-file the paperwork.  

I already had an employee record with the company.  I had worked there for a year.  And the thing that could have prevented me from coming back after my boss had screwed up my maternity leave paperwork was answering one of 200 idiotic assessment questions the “wrong” way.   

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

I sent this to my dh last week. He was just recruited by a headhunter. The manager told HR to make it happen. 

https://cheezburger.com/9738245/twitter-thread-details-all-the-bs-that-goes-on-in-hr-departments

There are numerous hits on google when I search HR hiring test failed. HR really needs to figure out some better screening methods.

"high degree of scientific accuracy" 🤮

I don't know if it's true, but I've heard HR is a typical route for bachelor only Psych majors. This would figure as much. 

HR Astrology is an excellent term. 

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42 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

"high degree of scientific accuracy" 🤮

I don't know if it's true, but I've heard HR is a typical route for bachelor only Psych majors. This would figure as much. 

HR Astrology is an excellent term. 

 

Almost everyone in my department, though, has a business degree. You can generalize, but not all departments work the same. Our answer to all locations is also to not pre-screen applicants because no one wants to let a bias show. We actually do tell locations to not leave out candidates who don't have degrees because not having completed college doesn't make a candidate unqualified (most still end up having degrees). (I don't work in recruiting but a completely different part of HR, so don't hate me.)

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4 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Almost everyone in my department, though, has a business degree. You can generalize, but not all departments work the same. Our answer to all locations is also to not pre-screen applicants because no one wants to let a bias show. We actually do tell locations to not leave out candidates who don't have degrees because not having completed college doesn't make a candidate unqualified (most still end up having degrees). (I don't work in recruiting but a completely different part of HR, so don't hate me.)

LOL, no hate! Your department sounds a lot more limited in power than most I'm accustomed too. That seems like a good thing. Any sort of recruiting HR I've dealt with in larger companies or especially anything to do with a University or Research Hospital is a giant black hole. If you don't know anyone, forget it- you aren't going to get an interview. I think it's pretty telling in the days of easy plug and play technology when you would think companies would need to outsource recruiting-HR less than ever,  external recruiting is instead a booming industry and they're making that bank off of companies that typically also have Recruiting HR! 

 

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But, even in our company you need a degree if you want a position at a level that pays a living wage. However, that requirement is there because of executives, not HR.

I would encourage anyone who wants an actual career outside of trades to get a college degree but not to have loads of debt in order to do so. So many encourage young people not to go to to college but don't also inform them of how much that will limit their future choices. 

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I worked in HR for many years.  Risk mitigation is a key role of HR.  If the senior leadership of the company wants degreed individuals to apply for open positions, then HR is going to seek out degreed individuals.  If they deviate from that, they are opening up the company for risk which in turn leads to EEOC complaints, attorneys, and lots and lots of attorney's fees.  For the most part, most HR people are not out there saying, we only want degreed people because we have degrees.  No, they are saying we need degreed people because that is what our senior folks want.  Yes, some of those same leaders then try and make exceptions which exposes the company to risk.  HR usually is the group taking the bad rap for why someone can't be hired.  That is their role, but they are following the direction of their company.  Also, from my experience, a masters is expected in the HR field except for maybe an entry level position.

Regarding the need for a college degree, I have seen many companies loosening their degree required stance to degree preferred.  This allows for exceptions to be made in the hiring process, but, and this is a big but, once that person gets in to the company, they may not have the same promotional opportunities over time as the degree person.  Anytime I hear someone start the "you don't need a degree" talk, I cringe.  College isn't for everyone, but our kids need to look at the long term picture before jumping ship and not getting a degree.  Maybe they need a bachelors only from the local university to get in the door.  I still see education as being one of the ways in which people are grouped.  It may not matter as much from where your degree comes, but having one can get your foot in the door.

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For awhile, I was looking at job openings all over the country and found requirements to be regional. In dh’s line of work, the PNW requires useless certifications. In the south and SW, years of experience can be exchanged for a degree. Degrees are a must in the NE. It doesn’t hurt that a degree in dh’s field didn’t exist when he started, so finding someone at his level of experience with a degree is getting more difficult. The title of his profession has changed at least 3 times. I had to have multiple searches with all of the different titles to find job openings. What his job covers is blending more and more with IT and requires networking, but it’s  equipment that IT doesn’t want to or should touch. Which of course makes me think about what we keep hearing in the news about the jobs of tomorrow don’t exist today. 

The job market has changed and employers are having trouble finding people that meet these requirements.  A decade ago, when unemployment was high and there were too many applicants, corporations could get away with demanding more. Now I may be wrong, but they are having to loosen those requirements because potentially excellent employees aren’t getting through the filters, the tests, and are generally tired of the online application process. 

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6 hours ago, Plum said:

For awhile, I was looking at job openings all over the country and found requirements to be regional. In dh’s line of work, the PNW requires useless certifications. In the south and SW, years of experience can be exchanged for a degree. Degrees are a must in the NE. It doesn’t hurt that a degree in dh’s field didn’t exist when he started, so finding someone at his level of experience with a degree is getting more difficult. The title of his profession has changed at least 3 times. I had to have multiple searches with all of the different titles to find job openings. What his job covers is blending more and more with IT and requires networking, but it’s  equipment that IT doesn’t want to or should touch. Which of course makes me think about what we keep hearing in the news about the jobs of tomorrow don’t exist today. 

The job market has changed and employers are having trouble finding people that meet these requirements.  A decade ago, when unemployment was high and there were too many applicants, corporations could get away with demanding more. Now I may be wrong, but they are having to loosen those requirements because potentially excellent employees aren’t getting through the filters, the tests, and are generally tired of the online application process. 

I think it depends on the field. For instances in some cases with IT, they just go overseas and import in or they simply outsource a lot of it overseas. 

I did see this this morning in WSJ which is interesting. I wonder if they are keeping their requirements but offering more perks? Idk if this is behind a paywall or not, but here's the link: 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/manufacturers-increase-perks-to-get-new-hires-to-move-11578825002?mod=hp_lead_pos5

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7 hours ago, Izzybizzy said:

I worked in HR for many years.  Risk mitigation is a key role of HR.  If the senior leadership of the company wants degreed individuals to apply for open positions, then HR is going to seek out degreed individuals.  If they deviate from that, they are opening up the company for risk which in turn leads to EEOC complaints, attorneys, and lots and lots of attorney's fees.  For the most part, most HR people are not out there saying, we only want degreed people because we have degrees.  No, they are saying we need degreed people because that is what our senior folks want.  Yes, some of those same leaders then try and make exceptions which exposes the company to risk.  HR usually is the group taking the bad rap for why someone can't be hired.  That is their role, but they are following the direction of their company.  Also, from my experience, a masters is expected in the HR field except for maybe an entry level position.

Regarding the need for a college degree, I have seen many companies loosening their degree required stance to degree preferred.  This allows for exceptions to be made in the hiring process, but, and this is a big but, once that person gets in to the company, they may not have the same promotional opportunities over time as the degree person.  Anytime I hear someone start the "you don't need a degree" talk, I cringe.  College isn't for everyone, but our kids need to look at the long term picture before jumping ship and not getting a degree.  Maybe they need a bachelors only from the local university to get in the door.  I still see education as being one of the ways in which people are grouped.  It may not matter as much from where your degree comes, but having one can get your foot in the door.

 

Your first paragraph is 100% spot on. There is a reason why HR is a stickler about things, but people just don't see that. We see the lawsuit, complaints, grievances, etc., and that's why we stick to the established rules. If executives set a rule that a degree is required and one personal without a degree is hired, that actually does open the company up to a lot of risk. (I live in CA, so we're also a more risk adverse company than many others because of the nature of this state.)

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18 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think it depends on the field. For instances in some cases with IT, they just go overseas and import in or they simply outsource a lot of it overseas. 

I did see this this morning in WSJ which is interesting. I wonder if they are keeping their requirements but offering more perks? Idk if this is behind a paywall or not, but here's the link: 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/manufacturers-increase-perks-to-get-new-hires-to-move-11578825002?mod=hp_lead_pos5

It's behind a paywall for me. I could see a little bit of it. 

In the late 90's - early 2000's dh was offered paid relocation. We moved from SoCal to NorCal and back to SoCal then to Las Vegas. He got paid relocation every time. All of that dried up with the Great Recession. Now his field is back to being heavily recruited again. Out of the two companies in our valley that I know of, there are 6 openings. I have no idea how the others are doing. One shop might have 2-3 techs, so their teams have essentially been gutted. They are desperate to find people.

Which is why I believe as it gets more and more difficult to fill positions, there will be pressure to relax requirements. There's only so many perks and bonuses a company can give. A 4 year degree or higher is necessary for STEM fields, but there are many positions where Certificates or Associates are much more appropriate and it's time we checked ourselves. 

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But IS student debt actually "crushing" the average graduate?  I keep hearing this phrase, but I'm not sure it really is.  The last time I checked, the average was about $35,000 for a graduate.  That is eminently repayable; it's a car (a nice car, but a car), and no one is arguing that we should quit teaching our kids to drive because cars are so expensive.  I would guess that the big difference actually comes when you count the opportunity cost for the four or five years the average student spends in college:  when one could be earning $50K/year, let's say, instead of $0, you're starting professional life $200,000 in the hole.  I would expect that, on average, to be made-up on the back end of a professional career, in those years from 50-60, for instance, when earning power is high in a professional career and possibly lower (or nil) in a trade.  In any event, the earnest new college graduate who is $200,000 in debt for a degree in elementary education made a bad buy, but I do not think she is typical.

Not sure what the point of this post is, other than that I am not sure student loan debt on average is the culprit.  Certainly there are plenty of cases of parents and kids taking on too much for too little, and those are the anecdotes trotted out in news stories about crushing loan debt, but it seems like averages are what we should use to shape policy, not anecdotes. 

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1 hour ago, plansrme said:

But IS student debt actually "crushing" the average graduate?  I keep hearing this phrase, but I'm not sure it really is.  The last time I checked, the average was about $35,000 for a graduate.  That is eminently repayable; it's a car (a nice car, but a car), and no one is arguing that we should quit teaching our kids to drive because cars are so expensive.  I would guess that the big difference actually comes when you count the opportunity cost for the four or five years the average student spends in college:  when one could be earning $50K/year, let's say, instead of $0, you're starting professional life $200,000 in the hole.  I would expect that, on average, to be made-up on the back end of a professional career, in those years from 50-60, for instance, when earning power is high in a professional career and possibly lower (or nil) in a trade.  In any event, the earnest new college graduate who is $200,000 in debt for a degree in elementary education made a bad buy, but I do not think she is typical.

Not sure what the point of this post is, other than that I am not sure student loan debt on average is the culprit.  Certainly there are plenty of cases of parents and kids taking on too much for too little, and those are the anecdotes trotted out in news stories about crushing loan debt, but it seems like averages are what we should use to shape policy, not anecdotes. 

 

I'm not seeing student debt as crushing either.  The by the decade charts in the linked article clearly say its cost of living that is affecting wealth generation for those that aren't boomers. Housing, medical care, and transportation are much larger portions of salary than in the boomer or earlier generations.   Myself, I couldn't buy a house as a young professional as the flipping was going on....homes in the area I eventually bought in still haven't recovered from the bubble but people still need two salaries unless they are professional couples-  homes are like printers now, cheap to buy but huge costs to use as they all have huge taxes attached.  I'll be selling to a religious group, they are the only ones buying for assessors' value here at this time as they can put significant tax exemptions on the property.  Otherwise I would have to sell to a group...most single family housing is now one family or two roomies per bedroom if no one has an exemption.

The one thing I am seeing with loans is the interest rates... some of the middle class kids are getting crushed with nonsubsidized undergrad loans.  If they can't find that job in their major, a cheap realiable car, and hit the ground running, they get behind in wealth generation as they are working part time $13/hr jobs that don't allow them to pay off the loans rapidly even if the parents are subsidizing room and board.

note: 200k for el ed isn't a bad buy depending on where you teach.  starting salary is high, pension is high in NY/NJ.  el ed pays the same as P.E. or high school physics.  That's going to be $1600 a month loan payments, with a salary in the low 60s and low health care costs (less than 3% of income).  Yep, they'll have rooomates and the leased car will not be huge but they also have a lot of part time job or self-employment potential.  Most preK12 teachers here will teach CC, which means they will also collect SS in addition to pension, but others do operate businesses using that knowledge and the connections they obtained at that private school where they had the loans. In the long run, it pays off better than regional state U for the two ladies I know that went that route in the last five years. It is pay to play, and having paid for those connections means more play which means earlier accumulation of wealth.

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I think it's so hard to get a sense.  My son's college parent board had an article posted recently that cited average level of debt as around 30K and that about half of grads had no debt at all.  And many parents came out of the woodwork and said that must be inaccurate.  Their kid has much more debt and more students MUST have debt than is indicated by an organization that actually has this data and has no reason to lie.  So I do think the figures are accurate.  But it also doesn't show the full range.  If someone has $0 debt and someone has 60K debt, that still averages to 30K.   It also doesn't account for people who default on loans.  Which is a huge problem and we all absorb that as a society when that happens.  

So I think averages don't always tell the full story either.  I think there is a reason federal loan limits are what they are.  That is a fairly safe level of debt to incur for a student for an undergrad degree.  Banking on one career path and taking significantly more debt is rarely wise.  Both for parents credit ratings, retirement planning and reduces flexibility upon graduation.  We even sat in an info session at a college where someone in admissions at a well regarded school said if you can come here and stay under student loan limits, great.  Otherwise, I'd be looking at other options.  A lot of marketing and borrowing around the college industry is predatory IMO.  

I also know people working in areas that are allegedly shut out by not going to brand schools including working wall street etc.  Anyway, I'd love to see more college paths that were more affordable for people.  

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2 hours ago, plansrme said:

But IS student debt actually "crushing" the average graduate?  I keep hearing this phrase, but I'm not sure it really is.  The last time I checked, the average was about $35,000 for a graduate.  That is eminently repayable; it's a car (a nice car, but a car), and no one is arguing that we should quit teaching our kids to drive because cars are so expensive.  I would guess that the big difference actually comes when you count the opportunity cost for the four or five years the average student spends in college:  when one could be earning $50K/year, let's say, instead of $0, you're starting professional life $200,000 in the hole.  I would expect that, on average, to be made-up on the back end of a professional career, in those years from 50-60, for instance, when earning power is high in a professional career and possibly lower (or nil) in a trade.  In any event, the earnest new college graduate who is $200,000 in debt for a degree in elementary education made a bad buy, but I do not think she is typical.

Not sure what the point of this post is, other than that I am not sure student loan debt on average is the culprit.  Certainly there are plenty of cases of parents and kids taking on too much for too little, and those are the anecdotes trotted out in news stories about crushing loan debt, but it seems like averages are what we should use to shape policy, not anecdotes. 

The problem with the "on average" part is that there are such wild fluctuations. 

There are people who graduate college with no debt.  There are various reasons for that-parents paid for it, they got scholarships, or they worked their way though, whatever.  But $0 debt is floor.  There's nowhere else to go.  However.....there is no debt ceiling.  I have heard calls on the Dave Ramsey show where people have called in with half a million dollars in student loan debt.  Usually that's a couple, so that's the debt of two people.  But yeah, those aren't news stories trotting out one off....that's multiple people with 6 figure student loan debt..............and that's before car and house and furniture financing etc etc.

 

 

 

Now, to mention "no one is arguing that we should quit teaching our kids to drive because cars are so expensive" that's actually a different thing. No person needs to own a $30k car in order to know how to drive, or to have a car to drive.  Shoot, the three vehicles we own don't even total up to $10k.  

The difference is, is incredibly easy to find a vehicle for less than $30k.  Or even less than $10k.  However, it's not so easy to get a college degree for those prices.  In state tuition at my daughter's completely average school was just over $8k.  For a 4 year degree, presuming finish in 4, that's $32k a year.  Before books and fees and so on.  Now, SHE didn't pay that because she had a scholarship.  But if a kid doesn't have a scholarship or 6, and doesn't have a parent or other family member to pay, chances are that even if they do a community college for 2 yrs and transfer, they are still going to be paying close to $30k.  Whether that's through debt or through some other means.

And I personally think, and there are some studies that back this up, that the very heart of the *cost* of college is specifically, student loans.  Because loans are so easy to get, that's how lots of people pay for school.  So, because the school knows they don't have to worry about price as one of the primary factors in student choice anymore, they can raise the rates.  So the government increased the loans kids get.  The schools raise tuition, the students take out more loans, so the schools raise tuition again.  And round and round it goes.  Student loan debt isn't just crushing for the student with the debt........it's crushing everyone because everyone is paying more for college because of it.  

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46 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

The problem with the "on average" part is that there are such wild fluctuations. 

There are people who graduate college with no debt.  There are various reasons for that-parents paid for it, they got scholarships, or they worked their way though, whatever.  But $0 debt is floor.  There's nowhere else to go.  However.....there is no debt ceiling.  I have heard calls on the Dave Ramsey show where people have called in with half a million dollars in student loan debt.  Usually that's a couple, so that's the debt of two people.  But yeah, those aren't news stories trotting out one off....that's multiple people with 6 figure student loan debt..............and that's before car and house and furniture financing etc etc.

Now, to mention "no one is arguing that we should quit teaching our kids to drive because cars are so expensive" that's actually a different thing. No person needs to own a $30k car in order to know how to drive, or to have a car to drive.  Shoot, the three vehicles we own don't even total up to $10k.  

The difference is, is incredibly easy to find a vehicle for less than $30k.  Or even less than $10k.  However, it's not so easy to get a college degree for those prices.  In state tuition at my daughter's completely average school was just over $8k.  For a 4 year degree, presuming finish in 4, that's $32k a year.  Before books and fees and so on.  Now, SHE didn't pay that because she had a scholarship.  But if a kid doesn't have a scholarship or 6, and doesn't have a parent or other family member to pay, chances are that even if they do a community college for 2 yrs and transfer, they are still going to be paying close to $30k.  Whether that's through debt or through some other means.

And I personally think, and there are some studies that back this up, that the very heart of the *cost* of college is specifically, student loans.  Because loans are so easy to get, that's how lots of people pay for school.  So, because the school knows they don't have to worry about price as one of the primary factors in student choice anymore, they can raise the rates.  So the government increased the loans kids get.  The schools raise tuition, the students take out more loans, so the schools raise tuition again.  And round and round it goes.  Student loan debt isn't just crushing for the student with the debt........it's crushing everyone because everyone is paying more for college because of it.  

But policy, or what we preach to our children about the value of a college education, shouldn't be shaped by outliers.  No one is forced to take on $250K in student debt, and the example you cite, of going to CC for two years and then transferring to the state school, doesn't leave you anywhere close to $250K in debt for one undergraduate education.  But it IS an excellent example of how not everyone is driving a $34K car--this is, perhaps, the educational equivalent your $10K car.  You also are assuming the student doesn't earn a cent during her undergraduate years and that her family does not contribute a cent.  And it is a rare situation indeed in which both of those is true.  Almost no one is borrowing every cent of her living and educational expenses during college.  Graduate school?  Maybe, but if you can't get out of grad school without $250K in student loan debt that you can't repay, maybe you don't need to go to grad school.

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12 minutes ago, plansrme said:

But policy, or what we preach to our children about the value of a college education, shouldn't be shaped by outliers.  No one is forced to take on $250K in student debt, and the example you cite, of going to CC for two years and then transferring to the state school, doesn't leave you anywhere close to $250K in debt for one undergraduate education.  But it IS an excellent example of how not everyone is driving a $34K car--this is, perhaps, the educational equivalent your $10K car.  You also are assuming the student doesn't earn a cent during her undergraduate years and that her family does not contribute a cent.  And it is a rare situation indeed in which both of those is true.  Almost no one is borrowing every cent of her living and educational expenses during college.  Graduate school?  Maybe, but if you can't get out of grad school without $250K in student loan debt that you can't repay, maybe you don't need to go to grad school.

First bolded-my point is that I don't think these things are the outliers that you seem to think they are.  I think there a lot more people being crushed by student loan debt than it appears you believe.

Second and third bolded-It's absolutely true that no one is forced to take on $250k in student loan debt.  That's 100% where the whole concept of choice comes in.  BUT.....it's also true that no one has a choice in how the astronomical student loan debt of OTHERS affects them.  I have an SIL with close to 6 figure student loan debt.  (it might be over 6 figures, she won't share exact numbers.)   Her debt is 100% her fault.  She made terrible choices.  She is one who didn't earn a single cent while going to school.  I am not even sure she got a degree....I think it was a certificate program though it might have been an associates, through a for profit school that has since closed.  Yes, she got caught in the collapse of so many of the for profit schools.  And, it's completely her fault.  No family member contributed a single cent* to school, and she quit her job to do school part time (so even if she has an associates, she took 4 yrs to get a 2 yr degree.)  

The whole thing is her fault.  And these last few months, she has spent the holidays "back door asking" us, her family, about money, because they don't have enough money to pay rent.  She's being crushed under student loan debt.............and it's ALL her fault because she made awful choices..............and yet, the rest of us, her family, have to deal with it.  (I have a thread about "woe is me" relatives around here somewhere."

 

In my personal life....I actually don't know a single person IRL who's parents contributed any money towards tuition or room and board or anything of the sort.  Parents and other family members have helped in other ways on occasion, such as allowing a student to live at home rent free (which DD23 chose to decline,) or providing free babysitting (I paid rent to my parents, but they babysat DD for free).  In my personal life, every single person who has a college degree has both worked while in school AND not had family contributing funds.   

But, I will also say, I am becoming more and more aware that my family seems to be pretty weird in that aspect.  And I am becoming more and more ok with how weird my family is.  

 

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6 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

 

note: 200k for el ed isn't a bad buy depending on where you teach.  starting salary is high, pension is high in NY/NJ.  el ed pays the same as P.E. or high school physics.  That's going to be $1600 a month loan payments, with a salary in the low 60s and low health care costs (less than 3% of income).  Yep, they'll have rooomates and the leased car will not be huge but they also have a lot of part time job or self-employment potential.  Most preK12 teachers here will teach CC, which means they will also collect SS in addition to pension, but others do operate businesses using that knowledge and the connections they obtained at that private school where they had the loans. In the long run, it pays off better than regional state U for the two ladies I know that went that route in the last five years. It is pay to play, and having paid for those connections means more play which means earlier accumulation of wealth.

Really?  I calculated a 200k loan with a 5% interest rate over 10 years as a $2100 payment/month.  Your take home pay would not even be that much with a 65K salary.  I would personally feel like a failure as a parent if I launched my own young adult to a situation like that.  Even for someone heading to medical school or law school (I know so many law school grads not practicing law), I would think that level of debt could be severely life limiting for many years and maybe permanently.   Anyway, our society needs teachers and doctors and I think it's unreasonable to require that level of personal risk for those degrees.  

We do pay quite a bit for my son's college education.  There really is no other path for my kid to a 4 year degree without close 6 figures of debt given they look at our income/savings.  I know many middle class families right now helping their students so they can keep their young adult's debt level below that federal threshold.    I also know other families making very risky financial decisions to finance college for their kids.  

ETA - oh I was going to add, we are all absorbing the cost of default loans. These predatory lenders are still making their money. They just gouge everyone else a little more and those costs cascade from there.  I'd rather society just had a truly affordable path for everyone to go forward.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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2 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Really?  I calculated a 200k loan with a 5% interest rate over 10 years as a $2100 payment/month.  Your take home pay would not even be that much with a 65K salary.  I would personally feel like a failure as a parent if I launched my own young adult to a situation like that.  Even for someone heading to medical school or law school (I know so many law school grads not practicing law), I would think that level of debt could be severely life limiting for many years and maybe permanently.   Anyway, our society needs teachers and doctors and I think it's unreasonable to require that level of personal risk for those degrees.  

 

My point is that the salary is not going to be just 65k.  There will be other income.

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I wonder if this is the circles you run in. While DH & I both graduated with zero school loans (him military, me scholarships & working), I have relatives who are 10 yrs older & acquaintances who are 10-15 yrs younger who have $40-60k in loans each ($100k as a couple). The loans must have been bigger at some point. Some, but not all, of these are people with masters degrees.

The relatives are teachers & these particular relatives & their decisions are usually stupid, IMO. From what I heard, they'd paid down their debt to under $25k by the time their own kids started college. 

The acquaintances are in their 30s (early to mid) with kids. They are being sandwiched between growing kids & parents who are just barely starting to need more support (medically or otherwise). By the time college for their kids comes around, their debt is lower but still there & their parents are retired & needing more monetary help. 

A coworker of my dh's had a new car's worth of loans plus her parents had a small starter house worth of loans. She works at a warehousing job 5+ yrs after graduation.

Neighbors ended up with loans plus tuition on their credit card for a year of college that their DD didn't even finish. I think the total was $20k between the two funding methods. The DD wasn't crushed with loans at the time, but the burden is on more on parents now.

Twenty years ago, weren't most loans in the student's names? Anyone know when that changed?

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We’ve had to have some talks with our kids that they have to choose a marketable major. Our son, should be struggle with the (extremely) difficult math requirements and weed out tactics at PSU would love to pursue a Philosophy Degree. We are not able to float that for him. So he knows he will have to cruise on over to the IST department If engineering doesn’t work out. It’s just a fact that we cannot afford to pay for his schooling or most of it up to the PhD level there. He could of course come home and pursue philosophy at our local stateU and if that were really his dream and path we’d support it. But only there where it’s less than 4K to attend full time. 
 

Meanwhile our daughter wishes to pursue Graphic Design. We have done our research and found there are a few programs within her Reach which Would be marketable degrees. So she is applying Gd to some schools and for probably English at others (which isn’t even as marketable as we’d like but more than GD, and those other schools are much much less expensive.) 

I Think people have to talk to their kids About reality and talk turkey about what parents are willing and able to support. And that should partly be based on whether the degree is marketable. 
 

We know at least five young adults with degrees from our local state U who cannot find a full time job. And these are actual friends, not friends Of friends. They churn out vast numbers of graduates but the school just doesn’t have the name, reputation, connections, support and alumni network. So if the degree is anything but STEM Or teaching the students are often jobless. Even for the graduates willing to teach they usually have to start in really bad schools and work their way up step by step. Start out at a school outside the area in the country, where kids literally light up in the classroom and parents and students alike have meth problems, and/or gang issues rampant...then come to a public school in the city, then work their way to where they really want to be which are the private schools. 
 

So you make choices. Sometimes the choice is graduate debt free and can’t find a job or graduate with 60- 100k of debt and have internships jobs and connections knocking at your door. 
 

i feel like not many of the choices are easy. So far to me it seems that  that the “Public Ivies” seem to be a good return on investment. Or the Little Ivies if you can get scholarships. For school teaching almost anywhere will do, as long as you put in the effort to network. But not everyone wants to be a school teacher. ....

 

Edited by Calming Tea

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The young pharmacist at my Rite Aid, myself and the Pharm tech were chatting the other day and the pharmacist said she had 300K worth of debt upon graduation.  I said, "Do you feel it's worth it, I know being a pharmacist pays well" and she said "No are you kidding?  My debt is a burden.  It's like 1500 per month, and if I had gone to a state school I would have less than half that debt and the same job.  Rite Aid hires pharmacists from Ivy League or UC, it doesn't matter."

I felt very sad for her.

Edited by Calming Tea
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15 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

We’ve had to have some talks with our kids that they have to choose a marketable major. Our son, should be struggle with the (extremely) difficult math requirements and weed out tactics at PSU would love to pursue a Philosophy Degree. We are not able to float that for him. So he knows he will have to cruise on over to the IST department If engineering doesn’t work out. It’s just a fact that we cannot afford to pay for his schooling or most of it up to the PhD level there. He could of course come home and pursue philosophy at our local stateU and if that were really his dream and path we’d support it. But only there where it’s less than 4K to attend full time. 
 

Meanwhile our daughter wishes to pursue Graphic Design. We have done our research and found there are a few programs within her Reach which Would be marketable degrees. So she is applying Gd to some schools and for probably English at others (which isn’t even as marketable as we’d like but more than GD, and those other schools are much much less expensive.) 

I Think people have to talk to their kids About reality and talk turkey about what parents are willing and able to support. And that should partly be based on whether the degree is marketable. 
 

We know at least five young adults with degrees from our local state U who cannot find a full time job. And these are actual friends, not friends Of friends. They churn out vast numbers of graduates but the school just doesn’t have the name, reputation, connections, support and alumni network. So if the degree is anything but STEM Or teaching the students are often jobless. Even for the graduates willing to teach they usually have to start in really bad schools and work their way up step by step. Start out at a school outside the area in the country, where kids literally light up in the classroom and ether are meth and gang issues rampant...then come to a public school in the city, then work their way to where they really want to be which are the private schools. 
 

So you make choices. Sometimes the choice is graduate debt free and can’t find a job or graduate with 60- 100k of debt and have internships jobs and connections knocking at your door. 
 

i feel like not many of the choices are easy. So far to me it seems that  that the “Public Ivies” seem to be a good return on investment. Or the Little Ivies if you can get scholarships. For school teaching almost anywhere will do, as long as you put in the effort to network. But not everyone wants to be a school teacher. ....

 

This honestly doesn't reflect reality where we are located at all.  I'm not saying if you graduate from a well regarded flagship or  college, you might not be differently employed or pursuing grad school or whatever.  But I certainly know people from directional state schools who have done very well and work among them and have gone on to grad school.  So maybe there are some regional differences.

I do think when it comes to college students, a fair number of them, and not just at lesser schools are not really mature enough to be there.  They don't jump in and make connections and push for unique experiences and opportunities.  I just read a blurb about a young woman with 200K debt who graduated from an ivy league school (Columbia or Cornell I think) and was working retail with an undergrad degree in psych.  My kid worked with a late 20's top 20 grad last summer who was definitely not doing anything to justify a high debt level.  Graduating from a prestigious school is really not a guarantee of anything either.  

I do think parents have an obligation to guide young adults toward fiscally responsible decisions.  That level of debt can truly be life limiting for many many years.  I hear many more people saying they regret that level of debt than were glad they took it once you hit like 30K+ and that goes for any school..  

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Here there are two different state schools, the UCs and the CalStates. The UCs require much higher admission stAndards and are respected and well regarded. With the exception of some programs the CalStates have admission averages of 2.0 high school GPA and 900 SAT score. They take hundreds of thousands of students and aside from STEM here where we live the other jobs have more applicants than spaces available. So when I say state school I don’t mean your flagship state U I mean the run of the mill state colleges which take everyone. 
 

I don’t know what the solution or answer is, my point is that none of our Choices  are Easy especially outside of STEM

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And our kids will graduate with no debt. I’m not disagreeing that being financially Responsible  is the best choice. I’m just saying sometimes being financially responsible also means not wasting four years — and then what?

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I think kids who don't take advantage of opportunities to develop their CVs while in school exist everywhere and in every major.  Engaged students who network and pursue opportunities to develop employable skills can find jobs, maybe not their ideal one, but yes, employed in something beyond unskilled labor.

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12 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Here there are two different state schools, the UCs and the CalStates. The UCs require much higher admission stAndards and are respected and well regarded. With the exception of some programs the CalStates have admission averages of 2.0 high school GPA and 900 SAT score. They take hundreds of thousands of students and aside from STEM here where we live the other jobs have more applicants than spaces available. So when I say state school I don’t mean your flagship state U I mean the run of the mill state colleges which take everyone. 
 

I don’t know what the solution or answer is, my point is that none of our Choices  are Easy especially outside of STEM

The 2 flagships we have access to are both on the public ivy list.  I'm talking about our midwestern directional state schools that you've probably never heard of if you live outside the upper midwest.   Most are in range of ACT 21-28 (SAT 1050-1340).   If you have scores lower than that it's CC or maybe one of a handful of Christian colleges no one has ever heard of if you want to go to college.  Anyway, I've seen many highly successful students out of these types of schools.  And some higher stat students that got unique opportunities at these schools by being ambitious including launching to more prestigious institutions for grad school.  Faculty positions are highly competitive these days.  My kid had access to amazing faculty at an urban community college dual enrolling.

There can be lots of reasons a student might get a 900 on the SAT and it may not reflect ability.  However, I don't think putting your average ACT 900/2.0 student at a college with a better name is going to really help them.  Because it's at least somewhat likely they aren't actually college ready, they may have an undiagnosed LD, they may not be motivated, they may have anxiety, etc.  I guess it's not too surprising to me that if that's the average student, that they aren't super successful after graduation if they don't do a 180 while enrolled.

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13 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

The 2 flagships we have access to are both on the public ivy list.  I'm talking about our midwestern directional state schools that you've probably never heard of if you live outside the upper midwest.   Most are in range of ACT 21-28 (SAT 1050-1340).   If you have scores lower than that it's CC or maybe one of a handful of Christian colleges no one has ever heard of if you want to go to college.  Anyway, I've seen many highly successful students out of these types of schools.  And some higher stat students that got unique opportunities at these schools by being ambitious including launching to more prestigious institutions for grad school.  Faculty positions are highly competitive these days.  My kid had access to amazing faculty at an urban community college dual enrolling.

There can be lots of reasons a student might get a 900 on the SAT and it may not reflect ability.  However, I don't think putting your average ACT 900/2.0 student at a college with a better name is going to really help them.  Because it's at least somewhat likely they aren't actually college ready, they may have an undiagnosed LD, they may not be motivated, they may have anxiety, etc.  I guess it's not too surprising to me that if that's the average student, that they aren't super successful after graduation if they don't do a 180 while enrolled.

 

Agree...and good thoughts....Then that goes back to our many other posts here about the fact that pushing college for everyone has not been a smart move for our country, and is getting to be an even worse move as prices continue to skyrocket.  If you aren't within driving distance of a CalState, you are still paying 120k for your education. (since it takes an average of 6 years to graduate now, due to impaction/overcrowding)  ...Wouldn't so many of these students be better off in a trade or certificate program?  What are we all doing as a country and as parents? 

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