|By amd on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 09:52 am: Edit|
Colleges seem to think that their aid policies are based on well-thought out and socially important goals. (Or pretend so.)
Here is a gem:
"Merit-based aid influences where a student goes to college. Need-based aid influences if a student goes to college.... The statement made here is that the first principle of aid should be based on need."
The above makes sense only if need-based aid is capped at the cost of attending a state university (or the lowest cost college). As long as kids with need are able to get that, they can go to college - i.e., we have solved the problem of 'if a kid goes to college', at least from the financial point of view.
The college in question is a $40000/year college. They will give (at least most of) $40000 need -based and claim that by doing so, they are helping a kid who will otherwise not go to college. (The kid can go to a state university. I hope that this does not sound like 'Let them eat cake'. I have no problem with elite colleges reaching out to low income kids - it is an admirable social policy. It is the offered shallow justifications that irritates me.) They will not offer say $20000 to a middle-class kid (under the justification that doing so would influence where a kid would go to college).
|By burningman on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 10:58 am: Edit|
You are right on the money, amd! I certainly agree that offering need-based aid to low-resource students is highly desirable from both social and educational viewpoints. Indeed, such aid DOES enable these kids to attend college, perhaps even at lower cost than a state college with less generous aid policies. Or at least with fewer loans.
Nevertheless, the statement continues the fiction that the elite colleges continue to promulgate, i.e., "if you can get in, we will make sure you can afford to attend." This statement may be true for the extremes of financial resources, but doesn't ring true with the moderately affluent middle class. For these families, coming up with $160K to educate one kid is a stretch bordering on insanity.
|By amd on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 01:19 pm: Edit|
I am glad you liked what I wrote, burningman ;-)
Where it gets really ridiculous is the prospect of spending $160K on one kid for four years and then (ignoring inflation) $160K on the next kid for four more years, because the wise ones running colleges will give credit for multiple kids only if they are in college at the same time (and not back to back), even though they except families to dip into their assets.
|By burningman on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 02:29 pm: Edit|
I guess their rationale is that your assets will be sufficiently depleted by the time the second one comes along that you'll qualify for more aid. If your Expected Family Contribution is mostly income-based, though, you will indeed pay about twice as much if your kids attend sequentially instead of concurrently. Have you suggested a four year sabbatical to Kid #1? Or perhaps you could go back for an advanced degree? That would take care of your income problem as well as give you double tuition against your EFC.
|By amd on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 06:42 pm: Edit|
'Have you suggested a four year sabbatical to Kid #1?'
I thought that you were my friend. I have been agonizing over Kid #1's college for several years now. Are you wishing me four more years of this?
Kid #1 skipped a grade - I didn't think that it was going to cost me $40000 down the line.
Seriously, he is kind of talking about deferring matriculation by a year - I am not in favor of this idea at all.
|By Mark Y on Thursday, December 27, 2001 - 06:51 pm: Edit|
Ah, the $40,000 college...man, maybe just six or seven or so more years until all it will take is four kids to have $1,000,000 in total tuitions.
|By Roger (Roger) on Friday, December 28, 2001 - 10:11 am: Edit|
You always hear about the magic of compound interest, but it's kind of scary when the increases in college tuition are doing the compounding.
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