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Thread: A college degree is a lousy investment

  1. #21
    They should do away with anything more than the Stafford loan for undergraduate education. If you're paying any more than that, you're at the wrong school.

  2. #22
    Broderick Hicks
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconCav06 View Post
    I've got friends from law school that are 250K in debt right now.
    Just turned down law school for this year because I honestly don't think its worth it right now. Got in state tuition at USCe but started adding up the numbers and it just got astronomical quickly. May reconsider next year if I can get some better scholarships.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconCav06 View Post
    The problem is that a college degree used to be a symbol of achievement and everybody wanted one and you needed one to make that jump from pretty good job to really great job.

    Then the government decided to help support that dream and made college attainable for those for whom it wasn't previously. Then colleges realized that they could raise tuition and people would keep going and paying because it was so easy to get loan money.

    I've got friends from law school that are 250K in debt right now.
    That is fucking insane

  4. #24
    Steve Lepore WhatUTalkinBout Willis's Avatar
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    I'd say investments (any type) require planning and research, you can't just do what everyone else is doing and make $ long term. There are no hard fast rules.

    Well, except don't go to an expensive school (Wake) on loans if you're going to work in a low pay (elementary school teacher) industry or be a stay at home mom.

  5. #25
    The Pumpfaker Baconwfu's Avatar
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    Yeah, you don't get a liberal arts education if you have to rack up student loans at a private school. It doesn't really do you any good because even if you do end up making bank with your education, it's going to take several years because you'll need to develop a marketable skill. I wouldn't have gone to Wake if my parents didn't pay for school....or at least if I had to pay much more than I would've at an in state school

  6. #26
    When I was looking at programs for next year I got into NYU, Georgetown, and UF. They're the top 3 programs for what I want and all things being equal I would probably be going to Georgetown. But, I qualify for in-state tuition at UF so that's where I'm going. The price difference is just way too much.

  7. #27
    It def takes planning ahead. My parents did not pay for me to go to Wake. I got need based financial aide from Wake and other loans. I love my liberal arts education. Got the government to forgive half of my loans for working in law enforcement and I make my last payment to Sallie Mae in a few months.

    I will always remember talking to my undergraduate adviser. He told me, when trying to decide between majoring in bio or chem, that I will be able to get a job and get paid with a chem degree. Thank you, Dr. Noftle.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconCav06 View Post
    When I was looking at programs for next year I got into NYU, Georgetown, and UF. They're the top 3 programs for what I want and all things being equal I would probably be going to Georgetown. But, I qualify for in-state tuition at UF so that's where I'm going. The price difference is just way too much.
    That is what I did when going back to get my MBA. I figured since I live in the triangle, I should take advantage of the good MBA programs if I'm ever going to do it.

    When it came time to make a decision, since it was my own dime, I went to NC State because it was much cheaper for me to go there as a part time MBA student than UNC or Duke. I know the latter two have better reps, but I just never thought I would recoup the difference in price between the two when NCSU would work fine for me.

    Also, NCSU's MBA program is very good and I recommend it!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighDeacon View Post
    That is what I did when going back to get my MBA. I figured since I live in the triangle, I should take advantage of the good MBA programs if I'm ever going to do it.

    When it came time to make a decision, since it was my own dime, I went to NC State because it was much cheaper for me to go there as a part time MBA student than UNC or Duke. I know the latter two have better reps, but I just never thought I would recoup the difference in price between the two when NCSU would work fine for me.

    Also, NCSU's MBA program is very good and I recommend it!
    I wasn't aware they had a businessin' program at State.

  10. #30
    Rusty Larue
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL68 View Post
    I couldn't justify telling anybody to go to Wake if they could get into UNC.
    I can. I got into UNC-law with a gpa at Wake that would have led me to be rejected if I went to UNC undergrad.

    Your point is a still valid, however.

    The problem with all of this is that people need certain environments to succeed. I would not have done well at UNC- it was too big a school, and I had way to many people from my high school class going. College is a time to re-invent yourself (or at least grow and mature into a different person). Some people need a small school to do that. Some people need an enormous school to do that.

    Smartest thing Wake could do is this: start a capital campaign with the express purpose of growing the endowment to the point that tuition was cut back to the $30,000 a year range (that is still high, but probably as low as it can go) with the understanding that tuition can't rise faster than the rate of inflation for a decade or more.

    I would dig deep to give to a campaign like that, because it would allow Wake to have some change of remaining (going back to?) the school I attended.

  11. #31
    The Pumpfaker Baconwfu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconSig View Post
    I can. I got into UNC-law with a gpa at Wake that would have led me to be rejected if I went to UNC undergrad.

    Your point is a still valid, however.

    The problem with all of this is that people need certain environments to succeed. I would not have done well at UNC- it was too big a school, and I had way to many people from my high school class going. College is a time to re-invent yourself (or at least grow and mature into a different person). Some people need a small school to do that. Some people need an enormous school to do that.

    Smartest thing Wake could do is this: start a capital campaign with the express purpose of growing the endowment to the point that tuition was cut back to the $30,000 a year range (that is still high, but probably as low as it can go) with the understanding that tuition can't rise faster than the rate of inflation for a decade or more.

    I would dig deep to give to a campaign like that, because it would allow Wake to have some change of remaining (going back to?) the school I attended.
    I've always wondered what it would take for wake to be able to do something like that. I think if I had a few billion dollars one thing that I'd be likely to do is give Wake a big chunk and say something like....this money is contingent on you keeping pace with UNC tuition or something like that. I wonder how much money it would take to make that feasible.

  12. #32
    College has become grossly overpriced, and it happens too early in the student's life now, making it really inefficient and less effective than it used to be. 18 year-olds used to go to war, to work, or to college, and then, the vast, vast majority of them were done and entered the work force, started having kids and other responsibilities, etc. Now, more kids go to college, a much higher percentage of the affluent go to grad school, people don't get married or have kids as early, etc., etc.

    In 10 years, I think college will make no sense except as a stepping stone to some form of graduate school. If you are not going that route, try to get into the profession you want to pursue early, even at an entry level. The run-of-the-mill college graduate is going to have very little opportunity in 10 years compared to the motivated high school grad who is already in the profession or the grad school grad who is seeking the equivalent of what a college diploma used to be. This is particularly true when you consider the average debt that comes with the run-of-the-mill college diploma.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconCav06 View Post
    The problem is that a college degree used to be a symbol of achievement and everybody wanted one and you needed one to make that jump from pretty good job to really great job.

    Then the government decided to help support that dream and made college attainable for those for whom it wasn't previously. Then colleges realized that they could raise tuition and people would keep going and paying because it was so easy to get loan money.
    I've got friends from law school that are 250K in debt right now.
    This is the key. There is an education bubble just like there was housing bubble - easy, often unwise, loans. The difference is education loans are default/bankruptcy-proof. While this made sense to keep folks from taking advantage of those giving loans (can't foreclose on an education), it seems it almost made the schools predatory in their lending and pricing. If so, what is the solution?

  14. #34
    Richard Joyce TravelingDeacon's Avatar
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    There are so many ways to go to college for free or take out REASONABLE debt that no one should ever be in student debt over 40k.

    -Join ROTC or use GI Bill
    -Scholarships
    -work through college
    -Need based aid
    -Take out loans then join a profession that does loan forgiveness (fed gov, some state gov, some teaching/law enforcement gigs, etc)
    -AmeriCorps has a sweet scholarship program
    -etc

    But people want to go to college and not sacrifice anything. I mean, I got a 200k education for FREE because I decided to let the government own me for 4 years. Sure it sucks sometimes, but sacrifice always does. You want to go to college and your parents aren't rich? Sacrifce something. C'mon people.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    I wasn't aware they had a businessin' program at State.
    Indeed they do! It has certainly served me well.

    I started in the summer of 2005 and finished in December of 2007 and took a job in the summer of 2007 (contingent upon finishing my MBA within a year) making 25 percent more than I did when I started the program.

    Four years after finishing the program I now make 92 percent more than when I started the program.

    I've already recouped my investment.

  16. #36
    I wouldn't mind seeing law school become something closer to a 5 year accounting program. That would prevent the kids that are about to graduate and just say fuck it, I'll go to law school. I also didn't need 7 years to get a ba and a jd.

  17. #37
    Steve Lepore WhatUTalkinBout Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighDeacon View Post
    Indeed they do! It has certainly served me well.

    I started in the summer of 2005 and finished in December of 2007 and took a job in the summer of 2007 (contingent upon finishing my MBA within a year) making 25 percent more than I did when I started the program.

    Four years after finishing the program I now make 92 percent more than when I started the program.

    I've already recouped my investment.
    I'm sure this was the right path for you. In contrast, I have improved my salary 350% in the past four years with no additional education.

  18. #38
    The Pumpfaker Baconwfu's Avatar
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    Raleigh, I have a similar experience (not with NCSU). My MBA is going to end up costing, with books and tuition and evereything, about 17-18K. My company has paid for it, so it doesn't really matter to me, but the total cost of the program is much less than the amount my income has increased in the last three years (i'll be done in december) so even if I had to pay out of my own pocket it seems like a pretty good deal.
    Of course who knows how much my schoolin' has contributed to my pay increases (as I'm still fairly young, especially for most people in my industry) but it's free (other than effort) so there's that
    Last edited by Baconwfu; 07-13-2011 at 02:23 PM.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Baconwfu View Post
    Raleigh, I have a similar experience (not with NCSU). My MBA is going to end up costing, with books and tuition and evereything, about 17-18K. My company has paid for it, so it doesn't really matter to me, but the total cost of the program is much less than the amount my income has increased in the last three years (i'll be done in december) so even if I had to pay out of my own pocket it seems like a pretty good deal.
    Of course who knows how much my schoolin' has contributed to my pay increases (as I'm still fairly young, especially for most people in my industry) but it's free (other than effort) so there's that
    Obviously I think experience trumps education, but for me I moved from a marketing position where I was doing fine and progressing nicely to a marketing position where I had to have an MBA to be considered. It was a prerequisite for my move.

    Worked out well for me, but I understand how it could backfire for others.

    Also, as Willis mentioned it is certainly possible to increase your pay wildly without having to go get another degree.

  20. #40
    The Pumpfaker Baconwfu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighDeacon View Post
    Obviously I think experience trumps education, but for me I moved from a marketing position where I was doing fine and progressing nicely to a marketing position where I had to have an MBA to be considered. It was a prerequisite for my move.

    Worked out well for me, but I understand how it could backfire for others.

    Also, as Willis mentioned it is certainly possible to increase your pay wildly without having to go get another degree.
    I agree to the top part

    As to the bottom, yeah, if you forgo $100k+ in potential income and take out $80K in loans and you don't land a job making bank then you might not look so smart after the fact

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