Next step of my parenting journey... sending kids to college (or not)

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,326
Just a quick off topic but very pleased your brother in law has improved so well. Kathy and I are happy to have helped out. Turned 71 this year and thinking maybe it's time I sell my bike. A 900 Lb Harley is a bit much for this old guy and I laid it down last year and some bones still hurt. Just real glad he is coming out of it all. :) Thanks for good news.

Ron
Thank you for caring and helping. There still hasn't been any payout from the insurance company and likely there never will be any fruitful lawsuit, but the donations helped get them into a sustainable long-term living arrangement in a new apartment-like addition on the back of my parent's house.

I'm glad you're ok following your accident and I am supportive of anyone's decision to give up riding. I try not to get on a soap box about it; it's sort of like the "trying to fight fire with absence of fire" situation I described with my daughter. Following my own motorcycle accident in 2006, all my friends who ride kept saying "you just have to brush it off and get back on a bike." Very few people said "it's ok to not repeat the mistake you just made." I don't know if this world will let one support not doing a thing, without being anti-that-thing. But that's where I am.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
6,853
Thank you for caring and helping. There still hasn't been any payout from the insurance company and likely there never will be any fruitful lawsuit, but the donations helped get them into a sustainable long-term living arrangement in a new apartment-like addition on the back of my parent's house.

I'm glad you're ok following your accident and I am supportive of anyone's decision to give up riding. I try not to get on a soap box about it; it's sort of like the "trying to fight fire with absence of fire" situation I described with my daughter. Following my own motorcycle accident in 2006, all my friends who ride kept saying "you just have to brush it off and get back on a bike." Very few people said "it's ok to not repeat the mistake you just made." I don't know if this world will let one support not doing a thing, without being anti-that-thing. But that's where I am.
This is a big problem in drinking culture. If someone decides they need to stop, there is enormous pressure on them to continue. It's as if the people pressuring seem to take it as a repudiation for what they are doing no matter what the actual attitude is of the person they are pressuring.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,596
This is a big problem in drinking culture. If someone decides they need to stop, there is enormous pressure on them to continue. It's as if the people pressuring seem to take it as a repudiation for what they are doing no matter what the actual attitude is of the person they are pressuring.
That type of "drinking culture" was common with my Eastern European and Korean customers but the people ive been around in the US and Western Europe stopped suggesting "one more drink before you drive home" a long time ago.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,326
This is a big problem in drinking culture. If someone decides they need to stop, there is enormous pressure on them to continue. It's as if the people pressuring seem to take it as a repudiation for what they are doing no matter what the actual attitude is of the person they are pressuring.
I want to give your post a thumbs up. I see the analogy you draw and it's valid logic. But I've had this conversation enough times to know that using alcohol or drugs as an analog will do more harm than good, if your goal is actually to get someone to consider giving up on a risky habit that they don't consider "dirty."
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
6,853
I want to give your post a thumbs up. I see the analogy you draw and it's valid logic. But I've had this conversation enough times to know that using alcohol or drugs as an analog will do more harm than good, if your goal is actually to get someone to consider giving up on a risky habit that they don't consider "dirty."
It was mostly intended as a stark case. Something that many people will have experienced or observed. But I understand what you are saying.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
6,853
I want to give your post a thumbs up. I see the analogy you draw and it's valid logic. But I've had this conversation enough times to know that using alcohol or drugs as an analog will do more harm than good, if your goal is actually to get someone to consider giving up on a risky habit that they don't consider "dirty."
Here's one for you: healthy diet. People who want to hang out with friends but have decided to eat a healthy diet are often pressured mercilessly to eat food they have decided is harmful to their health.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,326
Here's one for you: healthy diet. People who want to hang out with friends but have decided to eat a healthy diet are often pressured mercilessly to eat food they have decided is harmful to their health.
There you go. Great analogy. I'll appropriate it, thank you. I searched my own brain for something appropriate on multiple occasions and found nothing quite as good. Thanks for the perspective
 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
834
I want to give your post a thumbs up. I see the analogy you draw and it's valid logic. But I've had this conversation enough times to know that using alcohol or drugs as an analog will do more harm than good, if your goal is actually to get someone to consider giving up on a risky habit that they don't consider "dirty."
I’ll have to finish my journal later, but you opened a wound.

I was Angry after loosing my Athletic Career at an early age, to be the subject of Baseball Scouts, to oblivion. My Hard work gone in an instant, my future was lost, with no hope I turned to Drugs, Alcohol and Rock and Roll for a time was my saving grace, until that road ended and eventually I found peace in education.

Alcohol Metabolizes in the body and is like Heroin to the brain, drinking it long enough will lead to addiction, I don’t care if you drink it once a night or night cap, try not drinking, it’s stress relief will not be found and your body and mind will taunt you, I call it a cancer, I liken it to a malignancy first it shreds your mind, then destroys your body, I know I was an Athlete trained was healthy, I couldn’t run but could lift my own body weight, a muscle from head to toe. The tuff guy, but the laughter stops when you find yourself doing drugs alone it’s no longer a party, but a death sentence.

Education is my life now, and my creed is Learn, Grow and Adapt. Maybe I don’t drink but I still ride. I might park it and just look at it now and then, or get a little grease or oil under my nails.

kv
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,684
When my daughter was about 18yrs. She had no clue of what to do. The days went by with the help of playing SIMS. After a few nudges she got a part time job delivering mail. She lived with me, and I didn't stress her with anything, as long as she got up and went to work. Sometimes she got up at 04 in the morning, to open the postoffice at 06. All along we talked about universities and how important it is to get an education.

She likes to read books, and after some research, she's now taking a bachelor degree to become a librarian. I said to her that it does not matter what you do, as long as you like what you're doing. And I'll support her in her decision.

Now she's moved out, work part time as a mailman, and study full time.

I believe that with the right support, most people will land on their feet.

On an off-topic side note: Every time, and I mean EVERY time I see a big ship, I read "Nosmo King" - If you get it, you get it. :)
 

MikeA

Joined Jan 20, 2013
316
  • The public education system is (and has been) engaged in an intense marketing campaign on behalf of the private education industry that borders on brainwashing. Not to go into conspiracy theories about it, but... I may or may not harbor conspiracy theories about it.
I have worked (and still do) at a large private university going on 2 decades and I have never come across any evidence that collusion between these two systems, spoke or unspoken, exists.


  • This indoctrination into the "YOU. MUST. GO. TO. COLLEGE." horde has paved the way for college tuition to rise several-fold over inflation over the past few decades.
This part is a conspiracy theory though. One that is actually not true at all. Higher education didn't get so expensive because of higher demand for higher education. Pretty much all economic theory supports that hypothesis. There is no limited number of spots at universities. In fact universities are fiercely competing to get as many applicants as they can. If they get more than they can handle, they just built a new dorm and hire new faculty. Everybody who wants to get higher education, and can pay for it, will get a spot.

Higher ed got more expensive because of necessary and arguably unnecessary expenses. What department at a typical modern university do you think has the higher budget? Probably IT. It certainly is here, by far. That wasn't the case 20 years ago. Classrooms are just full of technology. Every student owns about a dozen internet connected devices.

The size of student loan credit is really the problem why tuition has risen. Like I said, higher ed competes with itself. And will be even more competitive going forward since there are fewer and fewer younger people in the pipes. They just weren't born. How do you compete? Build luxury dorms. Build world class gym facilities with multiple Olympic size pools. Run various clubs and organization and all the expensive facilities that go with them.

All of this is only made possible by loans. There isn't enough parents' savings out there to fund this all. Many things could be cut out without a hit to the quality of education, but they won't be since the university that does will be at a disadvantage for attracting applicants.

And there are aren't many parents out there that want to be forceful with their kids as far as guiding them towards making good decision, just as the comments here affirm.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,326
I have worked (and still do) at a large private university going on 2 decades and I have never come across any evidence that collusion between these two systems, spoke or unspoken, exists.
Collusion... not sure I can argue against that specific word since it implies illegal activity, and like you, I haven't seen evidence of it.. but cooperation? That is undeniable. The evidence is flagrant. Most of us don't have a problem with it because most of us are already indoctrinated into the mindset, but imagine if tomorrow the public education system substituted [military service] for [college education] in their existing propaganda programs, pushing it with the same tactics and fervor. Suddenly people would be opposed to the education system pushing agendas and brainwashing their kids. There would be accusations of collusion, cooperation, or whatever word you want to use, and most folks wouldn't need to see leaked emails or bank transcripts to intuitively know it was a conspiracy.

[...]

This part is a conspiracy theory though. One that is actually not true at all. Higher education didn't get so expensive because of higher demand for higher education. Pretty much all economic theory supports that hypothesis. There is no limited number of spots at universities. In fact universities are fiercely competing to get as many applicants as they can. If they get more than they can handle, they just built a new dorm and hire new faculty. Everybody who wants to get higher education, and can pay for it, will get a spot.
Higher education didn't get more expensive because of higher demand... everybody who wants it (which is every kid coming out of high school, if the public system did their job) and can pay for it (which is every kid coming out of the public system thanks to the proliferation of student loans) will get a spot.

So, infinite demand, infinite supply, and infinite value to steal from future wealth results in a system where the cost balloons uncontrolled, and pretty much all economic theory supports the hypothesis that the infinite demand part has nothing to do with it? Sorry I'm not convinced.

Higher ed got more expensive because of necessary and arguably unnecessary expenses. What department at a typical modern university do you think has the higher budget? Probably IT. It certainly is here, by far. That wasn't the case 20 years ago. Classrooms are just full of technology. Every student owns about a dozen internet connected devices.
Why do student-owned devices contribute to the cost of tuition? Are we talking about the cost of establishing a wifi network to serve all these devices? Do the kids not have 4G? Hotels have extensive WiFi networks too; why haven't hotel fares tracked with college tuition?

I'm sure you're talking about more than wifi networks; giant touchscreens where chalkboards used to be? SaaS subscriptions for online learning stuff? I can see these adding to cost (*) but one thing I remember rubbing me particularly the wrong way was how I still had to pay for books even though in some classes we never opened them and everything was done online. Wasteful. Ran like a government organization. Because, like a government organization, they operate outside the bounds of normal for-profit enterprise where you must strive to offer a superior product at a competitive price or else the competition will get your customers. How is it they are able to do that if not for fabricated demand?

(*) EDIT: The more I think about it, the less I'm convinced these are valid reasons for an increase in tuition. These are productivity enhancing products. They're supposed to save money by streamlining human labor. At least that's what my private sector employer believes and why they invest in it.
 
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killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
834
Why do student-owned devices contribute to the cost of tuition? Are we talking about the cost of establishing a wifi network to serve all these devices? Do the kids not have 4G? Hotels have extensive WiFi networks too; why haven't hotel fares tracked with college tuition?

I'm sure you're talking about more than wifi networks; giant touchscreens where chalkboards used to be? SaaS subscriptions for online learning stuff? I can see these adding to cost (*) but one thing I remember rubbing me particularly the wrong way was how I still had to pay for books even though in some classes we never opened them and everything was done online. Wasteful. Ran like a government organization. Because, like a government organization, they operate outside the bounds of normal for-profit enterprise where you must strive to offer a superior product at a competitive price or else the competition will get your customers. How is it they are able to do that if not for fabricated demand?

(*) EDIT: The more I think about it, the less I'm convinced these are valid reasons for an increase in tuition. These are productivity enhancing products. They're supposed to save money by streamlining human labor. At least that's what my private sector employer believes and why they invest in it.
He’s referring possibly to the 7 year cycle of removal and replacement of servers, databases, increase nodes to support wifi networks etc, when it comes to wifi what happens is the kids will connect to the network with all their devices e.g. such as Phones, Tablets, Ipads, computers, etc. it loads the system down then leave them and not log off and forget their even using the bandwidth, speeds go slower overall, bandwidth usage was a big concern at our Uni, otherwise the 7 year cycle impact is complete removal and re-install of smart tech in the rooms. Our last IT Budget expense was in in Millions before I left. Although we did have to cover 700+ rooms lol.

kv
 

MikeA

Joined Jan 20, 2013
316
Why do student-owned devices contribute to the cost of tuition? Are we talking about the cost of establishing a wifi network to serve all these devices? Do the kids not have 4G?
Some kids (not as few as you'd think) check out internet connection speed before they pick a school to go to. Not joking. Some like to pirate software, some like to play multiplayer online games. Running a network that can support tens of thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of devices is very very expensive. It's not just the enterprise grade equipment. It's also the professionals that run it.

Internet connectivity is just one of many examples of costs that haven't existed before. Have you priced out an an industrial HVAC systems lately? A campus tour for prospestive students would not go over well for a school with no HVAC. Even K12 schools are air-conditioned nowadays. It wasn't always like that. Same with elevators. Old buildings get retrofitted with elevators at great costs. And it's not even the ADA, it's something kids expect. The standard of living went up greatly over the last several decades, and kids want to keep it when they move from their parents' houses to a university campus.
 

Thread Starter

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,326
Some kids (not as few as you'd think) check out internet connection speed before they pick a school to go to. Not joking. Some like to pirate software, some like to play multiplayer online games. Running a network that can support tens of thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of devices is very very expensive. It's not just the enterprise grade equipment. It's also the professionals that run it.

Internet connectivity is just one of many examples of costs that haven't existed before. Have you priced out an an industrial HVAC systems lately? A campus tour for prospestive students would not go over well for a school with no HVAC. Even K12 schools are air-conditioned nowadays. It wasn't always like that. Same with elevators. Old buildings get retrofitted with elevators at great costs. And it's not even the ADA, it's something kids expect. The standard of living went up greatly over the last several decades, and kids want to keep it when they move from their parents' houses to a university campus.
I understand that there are technologies that didn't exist before, and therefore costs that didn't exist before, but I do not see how these technologies and costs are unique to university campuses. All modern industries have evolved alongside universities, implementing the same technologies at or around the same time, and the cost of their goods & services did not increase at the rate of university tuition. The cost of their goods and services increased more or less in line with the rate of inflation. I can walk into any of the giant consumer shops like Costco or Walmart with the expectation of being comfortable thanks to their industrial HVAC system. If I were in a wheelchair I could roll into any multi-story business with the expectation of being able to use an elevator rather than be carried up stairs by porters. I can get free Wi-Fi in several places of business.
 

MikeA

Joined Jan 20, 2013
316
I understand that there are technologies that didn't exist before, and therefore costs that didn't exist before, but I do not see how these technologies and costs are unique to university campuses. All modern industries have evolved alongside universities, implementing the same technologies at or around the same time, and the cost of their goods & services did not increase at the rate of university tuition. The cost of their goods and services increased more or less in line with the rate of inflation.
Not sure I follow the logic here. Businesses usually implement technology as a cost savings measure. Higher ed uses technology to augment the educational experience. And it's comparison of apples to oranges. A college experience of 1980's is not the same experience of 2020's. To claim that something got much more expensive, you need to have at least a somewhat comparable product.

A better analogy would be to compare the cost of a ticket to a drive in movie theater from the years past to the cost of an IMAX theater. Sure, one is more expensive. But it's not the same product. Or compare the cheapest car from the years past, to a 2021 cheapest car. The modern car is much more expensive, but again, not even close to being a similar product.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,596
start adding it up...

division 1 sports. Hey, they charge for admission, why does each student have to cover 2300 to $5000 worth of those sports in their tuition bill amd most great schools with coaches making more than $1M/year and hundreds of support staff and hot tubs and tutors for athletes, and...
Here's a recent story but this goes way back and has always been an issue hidden in the "activity fee or other less obvious line item on the tuition or housing bill.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/educat...ay-be-paying-thousands-athletic-fees-n1145171

Then there is graduate research programs.
Some hog-shot professors get enough 3rd party grants bit what about the hot-shots that got tenure and then fizzled out. To save face, universities start funding those professors from undergraduate tuition so the academic world doesn't look at "poor professor X, he used to do so much research and now he doesn't have any graduate students and he only teaches freshman intro classes". Research programs are at minimum $250k/year for 1 graduate assistant (with their tuition paid) and one post doc, lab space, instrument/computer, etc.

add in new professor start-up money for new-hires. Figure $1.5M for a freshly minted assistant professor and $3M+ for someone with experience in a particular specialty coming from another university, government lab or industry (assuming science/medical or engineering professor).

then Campus groundskeeping
Some of the most expensive lawns in the country, mowed by unionized state employees.

campus Tradition and Arcitecture
I visited s Frank Lloyd Right house one time. I was told the maintenance costs were $30k/year because he was a forward-thinking designer, not a hydrologists - he didn't understand how to drain rain away from foundations, roofs or window frames and he didn't understand that narrow steel window frames corrode easily. Especially when they rub against each other every time the window is opened (which was encouraged in his home designs). University buildings are a lot like Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Lots of Ancient Greek looking buildings built with cheaper materials for climates that are not like Ancient Greece.

Then try adding internet cables, wifi through thick concrete walls, and maintaining the clean look of a modern campus with no power/communications lines between buildings. In 1992.

"student activity fees"
Gym, access to psych service, medical services, 24-hr buses looping though campus, "subsidized" food courts (they are 2x the price of any other fast food but are subsidized because Union labor is used by Host-Marriott or which ever other food service company has the monopoly on campus food

Textbooks
Don't get me started. Versions change each year so used books become worthless. Now on-line books, on-line quizzes and nothing to show for the expense cost even more than paper textbooks.

summary
look at every aspect and you'll see that universities are money pits. Watch a few episodes of the new Netflix series, The Chair, about a university English dept. not great but the money talk is realistic
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,503
Don't invest in college until your daughter figures out what she wants to do for a living.

There are plenty of things to do while trying to figure out what she wants to do. The military is an option (I recommend the Reserves for flexibility), but there also may be community college where she can take a few courses to try on some careers with low risk.

She can even take an entry-level job, preferably in a field that interests her.

I don't know about your daughter, but when I got out of highs school, there were many fields to explore, and electronics was a strong contender. My point is that it might take some time in the "real world" for your daughter to see herself in some particular career, and that's ok. Some people just come into comfortable jobs and do well in them. Some people have a passion and eventually follow that and do well. Some people just take work to pay the bills and are just fine with that too.
 
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