Is spending $120K for a private college education worth it?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. earllogjam

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    I just read some astonishing figure that a year's cost of going to private college is about $30,000+.

    Just wondering if the benefits of going to a private school are worth it.

    I wonder if people ever wonder if these "educational institutions" are really big businesses disguised as places of higher learning.
     
  2. nudeyorker

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    Well if you factor the cost of going to the Dalton School in NYC is 30K per year, from K-12 it's a bargain.
     
  3. Principessa

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    I went to a state school for undergrad and a "name brand school"
    for grad work. For financial reasons I wish I had done that in reverse.

    It took me a while to realize that the money paid for the name brand school was actually worth it though. Mainly because I have never been one to name drop. On the rare occassions that I did mention where I went for grad school people became nicer, doors were opened that had previously been closed to me, and lucrative career connections were made. That said, undergrad cost me about $15,000 and grad school cost me another $50,000; but that was 12 years ago. I'm sure it's much more now.

    I also think it depends on your chosen career path. I don't want a doctor that went to Guadelajara Medical School. But if he went to Harvard or GWU or NYU I am liable to think he is worth his fees.
     
  4. D_Amyntas Lillydong

    D_Amyntas Lillydong Account Disabled

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    Notre Dame undergrad is $40,000 a year. The name, networking, alumni I'm sure comes with the fees. All schools are businesses in disguise.
     
  5. earllogjam

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    Actually I think that spending the money for good quality primary education is worth more to a person than spending it at a costly private university. Simply because those first few years of learning how to learn, curiosity of the world stay with you for a lifetime. Most college education these days are professional schools geared just to get a job and not about academic exploration, scholarship or being creative.

    I went to "name brand schools" for undergrad and a "name brand public school" for grad and I enjoyed grad school more. In my experience the connections you make at the "brand schools" are overblown in importance and benefit. I don't feel any particular kinship with people who went to my college. We may share some stories about our experience but I have yet to benefit professionally from any of those contacts or associations with alumni of the Ivy League school I went to. I still believe that the sole reason for it's existance is to make shitloads of money. They are a business first and foremost. They are not a benevolent charitable institutions working for the betterment humanity and society. That may be their PR schtick but they are motivated by profit.

    Private schools, I don't think public schools are as bad. Oh, there is no disguise about it. They are businesses...period. I suppose they must be inorder to keep going.

    I suspect the quality of basic undergraduate education does not differ all that much among colleges - certainly not $40,000/year worth.
     
  6. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    The only thing more expensive than going to college, is not going to college.
     
  7. Hellboy0

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    I went to an extremely prestigious engineering college...and don't give a fuck. Was expensive and I hated the education.

    Do your research...it's not always about the cost, folks. Be sure you're actually studying something you give a shit about.
     
  8. Qua

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    I'm doing that very thing.

    In my opinion it depends on the school. Shelling out that much money for an Ivy ("I went to Cornell...ever heard of it?") or Ivy caliber school is IMO worth it. An unknown not so much unless it has a stellar program in the field of your interest.
     
  9. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    I think it all depends on how you market yourself after the fact. I went to a private liberal arts school for undergraduate, a state school for my Master's, and I'm at another state school now.

    I loved my undergrad education! Thank goodness I was on scholarship. I had to take out about $10,000 in loans my last year there, but it was worth it. It really cultivated a love of learning and a recognition of the importance of interdiscipline studies. Graduates nowadays have to flexible, adaptable, and they have to show competency in career SKILLS, not just disciplines.

    If I had it my way, I would have preferred to attend my undergrad for many, many more years if they offered Ph.D. programs. I think the sad reality is in whatever order you attend fancy versus standard-fare schools, that you can pretty much bank on not getting as far with a B.A. or B.S. as you used to. I remember graduating from undergrad thinking I would be hot shit, only to find out that the job market just start sliding downward. I didn't get (or want) a degree in business or accounting, so I've spent the bulk of my academic life trying to get my interests solidified and coalesced into something workable.

    In fact, I was told something rather valuable while I'm here. The professor said, "Look, Dee, you can study what you love to study AND study something that will get you a job." Some college out there is always going to need an instructor to teach kids about race and ethnicity, and I just happen to have a heart for collective political action of the urban poor. So, I can take comprehensive exams in both areas and work toward some research. I think students going to college now need to think much more about marketability. Honestly, with the economy being what it is and job stagnation, now is as good a time as any to think, "What would you love to do in x amount of years and how do you get there?"
     
  10. nudeyorker

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    Well I went to a private school for primary education and UCLA for Undergraduate and Columbia for Law School.
    One of my friends went to public school and private Undergrad and State Law School; did one of us have a better education? It's simply a matter of making the best use of what is available to you.
    My mother and stepfather were adamant about private primary school and my brother and I received an outstanding education in comparison to what the public schools were able to offer at the time.
    However today I have friends who work in the school system and some school systems that don't have all the funds they need are made up by excellent Parent Associations.
    I was accepted into the top Law Schools in the country, I chose Columbia because of their program and faculty. I was a student of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and that would have not been available elsewhere. Am I smarter or better off because of any of it? Most likely not. Did the connections and networking system from this school help me? Yes!
     
  11. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I bet you are..


    Bingo!
     
  12. Shawn777

    Shawn777 New Member

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    Well, academics across all schools are pretty much the same. I attend the University of Southern California and I chose it because of the people who are here, the people who are going to be here, and I really have enjoyed my decision. I don't ever regret turning down my full rides to several public schools in the area.

    Of course, the tuition is high but I believe I get what I pay for: small class sizes, personal relations with all of my professors, more networking and internship opportunities than I can attend, and fellow students whose opinions I value, goals I respect and who I can see myself working with in the future. I paid for a Trojan Family and I couldn't be happier.

    Actually, going on cost, my financial aid covers most of my tuition. I did the math and if I had attended a UC, I would actually paying more than what I do here. At USC, tuition only covers half of the academic expenses. USC's budget for the year was 1.9 billion dollars while tuition minus financial aid brings in $800 million.

    The rest comes from the government who values our research (again, numerous opportunities for undergraduate research) and private donors who are mostly made of Alumni. Last year, a 38% Alumni donation rate (which is very high among all schools in the nation) brought in the third most among all universities last year, at $375 million, behind only Harvard ($600 million) and Stanford (some $800 million). UCLA was the only public school in the top ten, ranking in at 10 if I remember correctly with $300 million. So do people value what private school education has brought them? The numbers say so.

    Can you still get a great education at a public school? Yes. Can you get a great education at a community college or become succesful with no education at all? Yes. History shows us that.

    So I guess, what I'm trying to say is that initial expenses hardly matter if people are confident that they will see a return of some value or truly desire an education. So maybe, people are just really willing to pay whatever amount for opportunity and an atmosphere.

    P.S.

    I have friends from Dalton who are still Dalton crazy so that's funny you brought that up. I find those who went to Phillips, Andover, Lawrenceville and the other big boarding schools to have spent much more on their k-12 education than they will ever spend at USC!
     
  13. Qua

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    The rest of your post was quite informative and accurate...but this is not true. I've taken classes at several schools and I have to disagree vehemently. At least, comparing Cornell, whose mantra is "beat the shit out of you so employers know you can handly anything" to particularly UofM (required work, but not difficult), and a local university (which was VERY easy compared to what I'm now used to).

    Oh and lucky you, benefiting from the income redistribution heaven that is financial aid. Cornell just passed a new initiative offering no-loan policies and increased financial aid for middle class families. I'm paying an extra 6k a year for nothing other than other students' education. And the loans are on me...my parents' W2 just has one too many zeroes.
     
    #13 Qua, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  14. Drifterwood

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    Any country that does not invest in free education is a dumbfuck.

    Any country's taxpayers that do not demand free eduction are even more stupid.
     
  15. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    My brother graduated undergrad from Cornell in Materials Science Engineering, then got an MBA from Kellogg...About 220k in loans entering workfore. However, landed first job from a Cornell prof, and 2nd from Cornell dept head. Good connections fo sho.

    Also, my first experience with co-ed dorms when visiting Cornell....
     
  16. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    What he said.

    I know people with a MBA making only 40K a year, and I know some construction contractors making well over 100K and only working 8 months out of the year.
     
  17. Drifterwood

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    OK investment in education for some and contrception for others.
     
  18. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Sure. We have so much money available for public programs, I can't believe free education hasn't been established. Now, do you put this ahead of cancer treatments, or behind social services, or tie it in with highways/roads?
     
  19. nudeyorker

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    I would have loved to have a free education, but I had to work my butt off to pay for it, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. Because of the whole "Free" issue everyone expects the world on a platter without having to do any work. The biggest education of my life began once I was finished school, but most today feel they should be making six figures out of University with out any experience.
     
  20. voyeuristic

    voyeuristic New Member

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    In my opinion, no: I have the best of both worlds at my school - first-rate instruction, and an affordable price tag at around $6000/yr. In my opinion, the better public universities are just as fine an opportunity as a spot at an elite private college.
     
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