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Thread: A college degree is a lousy investment

  1. #241
    the argument regarding government encouraging college/home ownership is an interesting one. many americans have bettered their situation tremendously through prudent use of both forms of government aid which is good for all of us (less crime, more educated work force, stronger communities, etc.). other countries have been--and continue to be--enriched by even stronger government aid (more so education i think than home ownership). so the question to me is what can you do to determine who is or isn't apt for these programs? who will make the country stronger through these programs? who causes them to fail? rather than just dismissing access to higher education to those that can't afford it or home ownership to those that don't come from means, i think it is more fruitful to figure out how to encourage the productive access to these institutions.

  2. #242
    This info was posted on PackPride. No idea if it's accurate or not.


    For salaries - it's about 10% difference on new grads; $46,500 NC State vs $42,100 UNC

    $83,200 vs $79,200 advantage NC State in median career. Maybe not a huge salary difference but definately nice.


    Major lol @ "definately" btw. But if that is true I know many Wake grads that make $80,000 a year 5 years out of school (and not all of them are in NYC).

  3. #243
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    How do they define median of career? I would assume length but could also be salary? Average career length for someone with at least a bachelor's degree is 35-40 years?

  4. #244
    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousDeac View Post
    How do they define median of career? I would assume length but could also be salary? Average career length for someone with at least a bachelor's degree is 35-40 years?
    I assumed years but could be wrong I guess. Figured 20 years out of school.

  5. #245
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    I was walking on the Quad yesterday around 12:30 and overheard a conversation between a mother and a gentleman about the cost of Wake. The mother stated that she was told she'll need $70,000 a year for her daughter to attend Wake. I nearly choked on the cookie I grabbed from the homecoming reception table. However, I recalled that a financial aid person that rode the train down from DC to Gboro with me in May had said that Wake is $60,000 a year, all-in.

    So, looking around the website today I found this page:

    2012-13 Cost of Attendance*

    Tuition and Fees $43,200
    Room $7,800
    Board $3,860
    Books and Supplies $1,100
    Personal Expenses $1,500
    Transportation $800

    TOTAL $58,260


    I'm sorry, but $1,500 for "personal expenses" is the biggest bullshit estimate ever. And looking at that $58K estimate, I've concluded that Wake doesn't need my $50 a year contribution any more! I think I would rather give that money to someone in South America as a micro-loan through Kiva.

    It's crazy to me that Wake is that much now. It ain't worth the money. If I had a kid right now, they would be going to a State school where I could make sure that they come out debt free. If they finish with good grades, I would throw in $30K for a graduation present.
    Last edited by OGBDeacon07; 09-22-2012 at 11:03 PM.

  6. #246
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    Yep. I get the feeling Wake is courting legacy students with parents who make a whole lot more than me.

  7. #247
    Quote Originally Posted by OGBDeacon07 View Post
    I was walking on the Quad yesterday around 12:30 and overheard a conversation between a mother and a gentleman about the cost of Wake. The mother stated that she was told she'll need $70,000 a year for her daughter to attend Wake. I nearly choked on the cookie I grabbed from the homecoming reception table. However, I recalled that a financial aid person that rode the train down from DC to Gboro with me in May had said that Wake is $60,000 a year, all-in.

    So, looking around the website today I found this page:

    2012-13 Cost of Attendance*

    Tuition and Fees $43,200
    Room $7,800
    Board $3,860
    Books and Supplies $1,100
    Personal Expenses $1,500
    Transportation $800

    TOTAL $58,260


    I'm sorry, but $1,500 for "personal expenses" is the biggest bullshit estimate ever. And looking at that $58K estimate, I've concluded that Wake doesn't need my $50 a year contribution any more! I think I would rather give that money to someone in South America as a micro-loan through Kiva.

    It's crazy to me that Wake is that much now. It ain't worth the money. If I had a kid right now, they would be going to a State school where I could make sure that they come out debt free. If they finish with good grades, I would throw in $30K for a graduation present.
    1,500 dollars a semester? That's not nearly enough. With the cost of Vineyard Vines pullovers, Lily Pulitzer dresses, dues, 10 theme party t-shirts, Beach Retreat, Carolina Cup, Mountain Weekend, Range Rover detailing... It's expensive being a Wake student.
    Draxx them sklounst

  8. #248
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Yep. I get the feeling Wake is courting legacy students with parents who make a whole lot more than me.
    I can't imagine that you're slumming it up as a professor

  9. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckets View Post
    I can't imagine that you're slumming it up as a professor
    No, but I won't be in any position to drop $80K a year or more when my boys are ready for college either. I won't have 7 or 8 figures to drop so I can ride on the Deacon Harley either.

  10. #250
    True but I think you're overestimating the number of really really wealthy Wake alums.

  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Yep. I get the feeling Wake is courting legacy students with parents who make a whole lot more than me.
    Sadly I agree with you. My parents were kind enough to put each of us kids through school wherever we wanted. I'm not so sure I'll do the same. My kids will likely be going to a public university. I enjoyed my time at Wake, but my two brothers that went to UNC don't seem to have done too poorly for themselves. I believe each person really makes their own way in many regards.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckets View Post
    True but I think you're overestimating the number of really really wealthy Wake alums.
    Of course Sutton is an exaggeration. I remember last time I filled out an alumni survey, the income categories were something like
    $50,000-$100,000
    $100,000-$200,000
    $200,000-$500,000
    $500,000-$1,000,000
    $1,000,000-$5,000,000
    $5,000,000 or above

    I'm in the first group and it will be awhile before I get to the second. I'll never be past the second.

  13. #253
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Of course Sutton is an exaggeration. I remember last time I filled out an alumni survey, the income categories were something like
    $50,000-$100,000
    $100,000-$200,000
    $200,000-$500,000
    $500,000-$1,000,000
    $1,000,000-$5,000,000
    $5,000,000 or above

    I'm in the first group and it will be awhile before I get to the second. I'll never be past the second.
    Man, I'm not even on the survey

  14. #254
    Many seem to be assuming that tuition costs will rise in perpetuity which I don't think is necessarily the case. A correction almost certainly has to happen at some point. It's not just Wake, every private school (minus a select few with massive endowments) have priced themselves out of the market for lower middle class families. Couple that with the technological innovations that are starting to take root in the education world and when my kids are college age (prob ~20 years) the landscape of higher education in this country will look dramatically different.

  15. #255
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    I think your argument as some merit, WRS.

    I just think that private schools don't care much about being in the market for lower middle class families. The ones they want, they can still get by offering grants and scholarships. Student loans aren't going away and neither is prestige for earning degrees at more selective institutions.

    Higher education hasn't changed much with respect to delivery. The innovations in online education are worth noting, but that doesn't necessarily mean the price is going down. For profit entities didn't get into this market to make less money.

    For you to be correct, we would need a dramatic decline in the value of a degree from elite institutions. We need a society in which Harvard or Princeton don't carry as much weight. On a more basic level, we need to rid ourselves of the assumption that something that costs more is a better product. That drives tuition costs as much as anything else.

    We would also need for online education to carry as much weight as face-to-face and a job market that supports that. Face-to-face education carries weight because it shows that students can show up somewhere on a regular basis, listen to people who know more about a subject than they do, and perform individual and group tasks related to a specific topic. The marketplace supports those skills and values individuals who have them. When the marketplace shifts towards self-taught individuals who can learn at their own pace and show that they do not need the structure of the classroom to be effective, then we'll see that dramatic shift.

  16. #256
    The correction will come from the student loan bubble imo. If I were running a University I would be planning for an eventual plateau or drop in annual tuition inflows.

  17. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckets View Post
    The correction will come from the student loan bubble imo. If I were running a University I would be planning for an eventual plateau or drop in annual tuition inflows.
    The idea of a student loan bubble relies heavily on high unemployment and underemployment. If unemployment keeps going down, the bubble will keep blowing up again. It's a game of chicken and colleges aren't going to blink because federal student loans will keep coming.

    And even if there's a correction and the rate of tuition increases stabilize, it's still going to cost over $60K a year to attend Wake. That's not a decision I could make if I had an 18 year old right now much less in 15 and 18 years.

  18. #258
    I graduated in 1998, when Wake was still a "value". For reference; First-Year Student Tuition:

    1994 - $13,850
    1995 - $14,750
    1996 - $18,500 (Class of 2000 - included laptop, I think)
    1997 - $19,450
    1998 - $20,450
    ...
    ...
    2012 - $43,200

    http://www.wfu.edu/ir/factbook-1998-...df/Tuition.PDF

  19. #259
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    Exactly. Sleepy and I started at the same time. It's hard to look back 18 years and think we won't see something similar over the next 18 years.

  20. #260

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