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  1. #1

    A question about college costs.

    Okay so forgive me guys im asking a question out of ignorance not out of trying to make a point or be judgmental.

    I hear all the time about how college is so expensive and out of reach for alot of people, and im not understanding why that is.

    I went to college from 1998-2002 as a electrical engineering major. From 98-00 I was actually in highschool at the same time, but taking college level courses from our local community college to get both highschool and college credits ( College algebra for example could be used for highschool math requirments as well as college credits).

    I'm not sure of all the fine details but if i remeber correctly the state was paying for it because i was stll in highschool, and earning highschool credits, so that took care of some of the costs right there.

    I got good grades in highschool, and through networking (applying at various companies and using internet search to find reps of local electronic companies) I was able to get a internship with motorala, and as long as i maintained a B average, paid for my classes once i actually entered into community college.

    Community college core classes are transferable to university I.E. Eng 101-102, college algebra etc. These classes cost less than half of the cost of taking the same thing as university level.

    Long story short, through grants, and scolarships I was able to keep my costs down to about 600 a semester (lived at home, and paid rent). I just don't understand how people can come up with 40k a year or more in debt to go to school.

    Has something changed, are there no more grants, or scholarships? Are people just getting shitty grades? Are people scared of taking core classes at a community college level and pay 4x more to take the same thing at university? Is nobody working a part time job to offset the costs of class?

    Also...what about the military option?

    I joined the army For the experence (just going to work and school got old), and i quialify for the new post 9/11 GI bill. They pay for 100% of college costs as well as give you a living stipend every month (anywhere from 700-1600 a month depending upon location). For 2-6 years of service it sounds like a pretty good deal. Why are more people not taking advantage of this?

    Also, while in the military they will pay up to 4500 a year for school, ive been going to college for the last 4 years while in the service and have not paid a dime.

    Would people rather go into 50k+ in debt to go to school than go into the military for 2 years and have school paid for in full?


    Any college students out there could clear this up for me id be happy. I just don't understand how peple are aquiring so much debt to go to school when theres ways to avoid it.

    Please pardon my spelling fellas i know my grammar is awful

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by supertony51 View Post
    Has something changed, are there no more grants, or scholarships? Are people just getting shitty grades? Are people scared of taking core classes at a community college level and pay 4x more to take the same thing at university?
    Most kids I went to HS with didn't even try for grants/scholarships since most of them then seemed to have been racially orientated (no idea how they are now.) CC credit price keep going up (seemingly every semester) and the required books are expensive as hell now. Yes, some people simply refuse to use CC for core classes and want to take them all at university.

  3. #3
    Dreadlord Sentinel's Avatar
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    It seems like you just took tons of extra steps and what not that the average student doesn't do. You just have a better personal experience, I guess.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Hedleyazg View Post
    Most kids I went to HS with didn't even try for grants/scholarships since most of them then seemed to have been racially orientated (no idea how they are now.) CC credit price keep going up (seemingly every semester) and the required books are expensive as hell now. Yes, some people simply refuse to use CC for core classes and want to take them all at university.
    Thanks for the input hedle.

    I just remember having to look for them, there are TONS of grants and scholarships out there, if you go looking. I remember the big thing was having good grades and a intrest to continue to further my education.

    I do remember books being expensive, but the cmapus bookstore had used ones that you could rent/buy that were a bit cheaper. I imagine with ebay and craigslst, you could probally get it for even cheaper now.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-01 at 06:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
    It seems like you just took tons of extra steps and what not that the average student doesn't do. You just have a better personal experience, I guess.
    Maybe, im not trying to come off as being a dick or nothing, i just don't understand why it costs so much.

    Id rather do the leg work and squeeze every free dollar out of the system that i could as opposed to being shackled to debt.

    My parents helped me look as well, since it was a investment for them as well lol.

  5. #5
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    I come from a between low income and average income family in Russia, with very little excess funds, to crossing to another continent and entering directly into a program that is $48,000 a year for six years. The opportunities are out there, in abundance in fact, but you have to be extremely careful, determined, and intelligent about it, and you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time and energy to do it, as well as go into a major where you are confident you can land a job and therefore be safe in accumulating debt.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    I come from a between low income and average income family in Russia, with very little excess funds, to crossing to another continent and entering directly into a program that is $48,000 a year for six years. The opportunities are out there, in abundance in fact, but you have to be extremely careful, determined, and intelligent about it, and you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time and energy to do it, as well as go into a major where you are confident you can land a job and therefore be safe in accumulating debt.
    Sounds pretty smart kaiser.

  7. #7
    And where exactly do you live?

    I sort of don't get your questions. You're basically forcing your lifestyle onto theoretical college students and expecting that to be a viable general solution. "Go to the military." "Get a scholarship." "Work a job at the same time as your classes." Well those are things available to some people, but you can't ask everyone to get a scholarship, that's just not possible. You can't ask people to go to the military, that's a person decision (Yes I'd rather pay 50k a year, then go to the military and then go to school.. And people usually do have a part time job while going to college but that can only cover so much.

    College IS out of reach for a lot of people because of the cost combined with their poor education or whatever lifestyle/situation they're in that doesn't allow them to go.

  8. #8
    I applied for just over a hundred scholarships and got three. I worked two jobs on campus during the school year, and summer jobs between freshman/sophmore and sophmore/junior years. Got a job two weeks after graduation

    I am still $26,000 in debt and that is actually pretty low from some of my friends.

    I could have joined the military, yes, but I really didn't want to. My dad was career military (Army EOD, 21 years before medical retirement) and growing up my entire life as a military dependent, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was join the military myself.

    Also, not all high schools have dual enrollment programs to qualify for college credit, not all scholarships and grants are available to all people.
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  9. #9
    Pandaren Monk Slummish's Avatar
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    I'm paying for my boyfriend's college education. He's been in school three years and has one more year to go. It costs me $1300 every five weeks for tuition and between $100 and $300 for books and materials every five weeks; so let's just call it $1500 every five weeks. He gets two weeks off in the winter, but that's it. So, that's 50 weeks per year. 50/5 = 10 courses per year. 10*1500 = $15,000/year. $15,000*4years = $60,000.00

    That's a lot of money for a lot of people. He's not attending an Ivy League school, just a plain ol' private institution. He does qualify for a Pell Grant from the government for about $3000/yr, but all of that money goes to computer, internet, gasoline, etc. expenses for school.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueobelisk View Post
    And where exactly do you live?

    I sort of don't get your questions. You're basically forcing your lifestyle onto theoretical college students and expecting that to be a viable general solution. "Go to the military." "Get a scholarship." "Work a job at the same time as your classes." Well those are things available to some people, but you can't ask everyone to get a scholarship, that's just not possible. You can't ask people to go to the military, that's a person decision (Yes I'd rather pay 50k a year, then go to the military and then go to school.. And people usually do have a part time job while going to college but that can only cover so much.

    College IS out of reach for a lot of people because of the cost combined with their poor education or whatever lifestyle/situation they're in that doesn't allow them to go.
    Well, i guess my questions are coming from a place that can't relate to the skyrocketing debt of college.

    I'm not saying im a genius (obviously from my grammar) but knowing the time i took to take advantage of oppetunites to make college cheaper I just have a hard time believing that someone would be willing to put their name on a piece of paper to put themselves in that much debt.

    There were many reources when i was going to college to help bring down the costs of education, I just wonder if the people paying 50k a year in loans are taking advantage of every oppertunity to bring the costs down.

    This especially bugs me when i hear other college age kids (yes i call them kids) talk about how much debt they are in, and how their debt should be waived, or paid off by the state. There HAVE to be ways to bring the costs down.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-01 at 08:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcilux View Post
    I applied for just over a hundred scholarships and got three. I worked two jobs on campus during the school year, and summer jobs between freshman/sophmore and sophmore/junior years. Got a job two weeks after graduation

    I am still $26,000 in debt and that is actually pretty low from some of my friends.

    I could have joined the military, yes, but I really didn't want to. My dad was career military (Army EOD, 21 years before medical retirement) and growing up my entire life as a military dependent, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was join the military myself.

    Also, not all high schools have dual enrollment programs to qualify for college credit, not all scholarships and grants are available to all people.
    I appreciate the info...like i said my questions are out of confusion and curiousity as opposed to pontificating.

    26 K is pretty low...i was refering more to the folks who are like 50K+ in debt.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-01 at 08:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Slummish View Post
    I'm paying for my boyfriend's college education. He's been in school three years and has one more year to go. It costs me $1300 every five weeks for tuition and between $100 and $300 for books and materials every five weeks; so let's just call it $1500 every five weeks. He gets two weeks off in the winter, but that's it. So, that's 50 weeks per year. 50/5 = 10 courses per year. 10*1500 = $15,000/year. $15,000*4years = $60,000.00

    That's a lot of money for a lot of people. He's not attending an Ivy League school, just a plain ol' private institution. He does qualify for a Pell Grant from the government for about $3000/yr, but all of that money goes to computer, internet, gasoline, etc. expenses for school.
    Your a heartful person for helping your boyfriend out. I would get married before i made that investment in anyone elses education minus my kids. To each their own.

  11. #11
    Herald of the Titans Bathory's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be hard to believe, it's pretty much the sad truth.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bathory View Post
    It shouldn't be hard to believe, it's pretty much the sad truth.
    I just wonder if people are doing everything they can to make it cheaper for themselves or just signing their name away.

    I.E. taking core classes at a local community college. They are cheaper, and you get smaller classes with more teacher to student time.

  13. #13
    Warchief Knight Gil's Avatar
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    Where I live it's a bit over 1000€ per year (not counting with food, electricity, housing, and etc) to go to college, on a country where the minimum wage is about 500€ per month, average is about 800€. Seems like way, way, waaaaaaaaaay lower than those utterly absurd 50k $. However, part of the funding or public universities come from taxes. Every year that passes, however, there's less public funding (which, part of it, comes from the people paying for college, anyway). But even though the price to be in college here pales in comparison to those insane amounts, and some corporations / public funds pay for some of the best students' education, many are still unable to attend college, as wages are poor and (as far as I know, at least) no one pays their education through loans. It's pretty unheard of.

    Furthermore, when people manage to complete their degree, many face unemployment or are forced to emigrate. Which leads to the aging of the population and a "brain drain". We are in terrible need of young people, around here, but things aren't looking like they'll improve

  14. #14
    I just finished engineering at the local community college and have since transferred to a local University to finish my degree. My costs will be fairly low compared to other students I know that had to transfer to universities away from home due to choice in major.

    I had a young woman in one of my classes who was 17 and finishing her A.S. in chemical engineering and then transferring to a large university far away to finish her degree. Her last two years will be very expensive if she doesn't get a scholarship, but with a B.S. in Chem Engineering I'm sure she will be able to pay off any loans in no time.

  15. #15
    Really, it is like a lot of things... people just don´t want to work for it. There is a lot of financial aid available, but it requires effort to do the paperwork. At that age, most people are just used to handing things off to their parents. When I was in HS, doing my financial aid forms was my first real experience with gov´t bureaucracy. I spent a ton of hours searching for every scholarship that I could apply for. It was a lot of work, but if you think about it, spending 3 hours writing an essay to win a $500 scholarship is a good deal.

    Also a TON of young people make the same mistake I did, thinking state schools were somehow inferior to private colleges. If money is an issue at all, I would live at home and go to a local state school, at least for the first two years. Unless you are talking about Ivy league schools, your grades and activities in college are FAR more important than what the name of the school is.

    I had everything paid for to go to college. I went to a state school, and I even lived on campus. I graduated with some student loans, but nothing huge.

    But by far the biggest problem with financial aid is that it continues to be given to subpar students. A ton of my friends (mainly from my fraternity) had similar experience to me.. but for them, when they graduated with 25k of student loans, it was a nightmare because their 2.0 GPAs were not going to get them any type of real job. If you graduate from college and get a $10 per hour job, those student loans are going to suck the life out of you for a few years.

  16. #16
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    It depends on how much money your family makes, if you live on your own, what your grades are like, if you do any community service, race, etc when it comes to grants and financial aid. I can't even apply for it simply because my family makes enough money, but wants me to pay for it currently. You can find scholarships and grants all over the place, but it takes a crap ton of work and a bit of luck unless you have amazing credentials to get any, let alone enough to help make a substantial difference on school. This doesn't even take into account what major you are going for and what school you are going to.

    Sure, community colleges are pretty cheap relatively speaking, but most universities are a different story. Last I checked, UW was going a good 10k+ a term and that was even if you were living at home still and not over in the dorms and a resident. It's insane.Medical schools are a good 50k+ easy per year, and that's on the lower end here in the states. I won't even go into how bad law school or dental school can be, as they are also absurdly expensive.

    I guess the main point I am trying to make is that you can work your ass off, but it will boil down to being lucky at times to get it manageable if your major/ career does not pay reasonably well to pay it off. I mean don't get me wrong, some people can have their entire school paid for them based off what they have done, but that is few and far between.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by supertony51 View Post
    Long story short, through grants, and scolarships I was able to keep my costs down to about 600 a semester (lived at home, and paid rent). I just don't understand how people can come up with 40k a year or more in debt to go to school.

    Has something changed, are there no more grants, or scholarships? Are people just getting shitty grades? Are people scared of taking core classes at a community college level and pay 4x more to take the same thing at university? Is nobody working a part time job to offset the costs of class?
    Most people cant get grants (for low income only) or meaningful scholarships that pay enough. These are the middle class families that often send their kids to colleges. They are classified as capable of paying off a college loan but arent rich enough to think of the cost as just a drop in the bucket.

    I went to school 2000-2004 and since then tuition has gone up >2x at the school I went to, others are worse. Also I was awarded a scholarship that used to be a full ride but was reduced to 2-4k(based on need).

    The best way to keep college costs low is to go to an instate public school. The place you got your undergrad degree really doesnt matter as long as its a university. You could even do CC for a few years and transfer since your diploma will only say "XXX State University"

    Quote Originally Posted by supertony51 View Post
    I joined the army For the experence (just going to work and school got old), and i quialify for the new post 9/11 GI bill. They pay for 100% of college costs as well as give you a living stipend every month (anywhere from 700-1600 a month depending upon location). For 2-6 years of service it sounds like a pretty good deal. Why are more people not taking advantage of this?

    Also, while in the military they will pay up to 4500 a year for school, ive been going to college for the last 4 years while in the service and have not paid a dime.

    Would people rather go into 50k+ in debt to go to school than go into the military for 2 years and have school paid for in full?
    The GI bill is great but I wouldnt do TA(DOD pays for school while in military) unless you were going to stay in because they require extra service commitment. Full GI bill requires 3 years of service though not 2 and it pays tuition and fees up to the highest in state costs for the state you are in up 10 17.5k/yr for 36 months(4 9month college years). You do get the housing allowance and book stipend which really make it better then the old Montgomery GI Bill for most places.

    The reason most people dont want to join the military now for college is probably because they dont want to be sent to Afghanistan. A lot of people still do though, at least in the navy. I remember seeing people very unhappy with the situation in 2003-4 when they had joined just for college money.

  18. #18
    Community Colleges don't exist in my area. I'd either have to drive 100 miles south every day for classes (~2 1/2 hour trip), or move down there and hope to god I can find a job, which is really fucking hard in my state right now. I ended up having to drop out of college after about a year. Originally, my 3 1/4 years (accelerated program) was only supposed to cost about $20k. Then out of nowhere, they dropped the program I was following, and my 3rd semester cost went from ~2500 to $6000. The loans + scholorship only covered up to $3k. I had to somehow come up with another $3k on my own, or drop out. You can guess what my only option was.

    Now I'm 23, stuck with $12k of debt, working a part-time job making $8.65/hr. I'm fairly lucky I don't have 'extreme' debt like some, but because I have that debt hanging over my head, I can't take out new loans nor get any scholorships/grants. The "system" is completely fucked.

  19. #19
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    I dont find university expensive at all!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by supertony51 View Post
    Also, while in the military they will pay up to 4500 a year for school, ive been going to college for the last 4 years while in the service and have not paid a dime.

    Would people rather go into 50k+ in debt to go to school than go into the military for 2 years and have school paid for in full?
    Keep in mind this isn't an option for many people. Others are conscientiously against it.

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