Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

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sciliz
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by sciliz »

index2max wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:06 pm I've seen a lot of posts from parents fretting about how much money to park away in 529 accounts for future college tuition payments.

As we all know, college tuition, medical expenses and asset prices are leading the pack in inflation. This is because of all the government money that's been flowing into higher education since the GI bill days after WWII, plus the federal government getting into the student loan business in 2009 using taxpayer money.

1. If you pay attention to news publications around higher education, you'll notice there is a big demographic crunch in the USA. College enrollment has been decreasing since 2011. Fewer Americans are having more than two children like their parents or grandparents did back in the 1950s-1970s.

2. The first two years of college (especially freshman-level courses) nowadays cover material that high-schoolers used to know just a few decades ago. Universities make the most profit on those large, freshman lectures of 200-500 students per professor, but make less money on upper-division courses where one professor might only teach 10-50 students.

3. There is a bubble in higher education too. There are too many colleges out there and all of them are desperate for good students to enroll and boost their average ACT/SAT entrance scores. You can take advantage of this! Find a college that accepts college credits earned in high school!

Here are some popular ways to do this:

1. Have your child study for AP or CLEP exams. If they receive good-enough scores, they can skip freshman and even sophomore-level courses in college and receive credit for them too. Check with the colleges your child is interested in attending to see which ones accept the most AP/CLEP exams for credit. Remember, the demographics are in your favor. If one college won't accept AP exam scores of 4 or 5 for college credit, another one probably will!

2. Have your child take classes directly at a community college or four-year college through a dual enrollment program. Three states call their program PSEO (post secondary enrollment options). I took advantage of Minnesota's program to get engineering prerequisite math courses out of the way in high school. It made the rest of college much easier.

3. Have your child participate in their school's IB diploma program to skip some college classes for credit. Don't know if I would personally recommend this option because, depending on the college, your child could skip more classes with good AP exam scores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IB_Diploma_Programme

Consider this as an alternative to spending lots of money on 529 accounts, especially if you have a gifted or motivated child.
I mean, I quit school when I was 11 and then started part time at community college when I was 14. I didn't start paying university tuition until I was 17, and only needed 5 semesters (would've been out in 4 if it hadn't been for difficulty getting organic chemistry at the community college; though that last semester was fabulous and I wouldn't go back and do it differently).

If you ask me, doing high school AND college is utterly superfluous. And middle school is the most pointless of all.
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index2max
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by index2max »

sciliz wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:38 am
I mean, I quit school when I was 11 and then started part time at community college when I was 14. I didn't start paying university tuition until I was 17, and only needed 5 semesters (would've been out in 4 if it hadn't been for difficulty getting organic chemistry at the community college; though that last semester was fabulous and I wouldn't go back and do it differently).

If you ask me, doing high school AND college is utterly superfluous. And middle school is the most pointless of all.
Nice! Absolutely there are kids who don't even set foot in a typical high school either and skip directly to college-level classes too.

Yes, the quality of grade school education in the US has been slipping for decades. Read the autobiography of Daniel Boon. He writes at a level most of us could only dream of and he had no formal "college education".

My post is meant to inform parents that they don't have to follow any "typical" paths set out for them by society. Always good to think outside the box.
tibbitts
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by tibbitts »

While alternative education paths will work for some people, I think we have to realize that a lot of the stories here might be reproducible by maybe one in a thousand people. Most times not attending traditional classes, whether in-person or some mix of in-person and online, at the typical ages will simply result in the end of that student's academic career. As usual on Bogleheads, what this thread demonstrates best is survivorship bias: everyone here who has succeeded through alternatives to the traditional education process is here on the forum only because they succeeded; everyone who tried a similar path but failed isn't going to end up here. The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
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index2max
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by index2max »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm While alternative education paths will work for some people, I think we have to realize that a lot of the stories here might be reproducible by maybe one in a thousand people. Most times not attending traditional classes, whether in-person or some mix of in-person and online, at the typical ages will simply result in the end of that student's academic career. As usual on Bogleheads, what this thread demonstrates best is survivorship bias: everyone here who has succeeded through alternatives to the traditional education process is here on the forum only because they succeeded; everyone who tried a similar path but failed isn't going to end up here. The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
Wrong. This path is easily reproducible. Plenty of homeschooling curricula even advertise how their program will help your child skip a few years worth of college.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm

When I struggled in public school before getting pulled out by my parents to homeschool, I was led to believe by my teachers that I would achieve little in life. It wasn't until I started doing things myself that I realize I was being sold a lie.

I hear a lot of public school teachers say students are too dumb or too unmotivated to think outside the box by not paying retail for college. Well, why is that? I attended public and private schools and even homeschooled for a year. The schooling system we have in the USA sets very low expectations for children. I encourage any parents just learning about this approach to not accept the "average" for their children. Give your kids a chance to surprise you.

Kids don't detest work. They detest effort without purpose.
tibbitts
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by tibbitts »

index2max wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:34 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm While alternative education paths will work for some people, I think we have to realize that a lot of the stories here might be reproducible by maybe one in a thousand people. Most times not attending traditional classes, whether in-person or some mix of in-person and online, at the typical ages will simply result in the end of that student's academic career. As usual on Bogleheads, what this thread demonstrates best is survivorship bias: everyone here who has succeeded through alternatives to the traditional education process is here on the forum only because they succeeded; everyone who tried a similar path but failed isn't going to end up here. The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
Wrong. This path is easily reproducible. Plenty of homeschooling curricula even advertise how their program will help your child skip a few years worth of college.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm

When I struggled in public school before getting pulled out by my parents to homeschool, I was led to believe by my teachers that I would achieve little in life. It wasn't until I started doing things myself that I realize I was being sold a lie.

I hear a lot of public school teachers say students are too dumb or too unmotivated to think outside the box by not paying retail for college. Well, why is that? I attended public and private schools and even homeschooled for a year. The schooling system we have in the USA sets very low expectations for children. I encourage any parents just learning about this approach to not accept the "average" for their children. Give your kids a chance to surprise you.

Kids don't detest work. They detest effort without purpose.
We've reached the point where we agree that one of us is completely wrong, and we both believe we know who that person is.
texasdiver
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by texasdiver »

index2max wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:34 pmI hear a lot of public school teachers say students are too dumb or too unmotivated to think outside the box by not paying retail for college. Well, why is that? I attended public and private schools and even homeschooled for a year. The schooling system we have in the USA sets very low expectations for children. I encourage any parents just learning about this approach to not accept the "average" for their children. Give your kids a chance to surprise you.
I have been in and around public education for nearly two decades and I have never once heard a teacher say that.

I have heard teachers caution that various alternative routes to getting education and professional certification can be more difficult and require a special level of motivation and/or support to pull off.

If the community college to 4-year college pathway recommended here to save money was such an easy pathway for all students then what accounts for these current nationwide numbers? It's obviously NOT working for most students.
* 29% of college students attend 2-year colleges

* Only 5% of students in 2-year colleges graduate on time with a 2-year degree

* 15.9% of students pursuing a certificate program graduate on time

* Less than 25% of high school graduates who enroll in 2-year colleges complete a degree in three years

* 37.5% of recent high school graduates who enroll in a 2-year college complete a degree within six years, and only 14.7% complete a BA degree in the same time frame


Source: https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates
arf1410
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by arf1410 »

z3r0c00l wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:01 pm Taking AP science in HS saved me a ton of time as an undergrad, but rather than skip years I used it to take classes that had nothing to do with my major, or at least it seemed that way. Still paying dividends to have learned more about history, politics, art, philosophy, and time working research jobs including trips overseas. Then again I see college primarily as personal development rather than something you just have to try and get through as quickly as possible.
I agree with the above. Looking at a a way to get thru college as quickly, or as inexpensively, as possible really is flawed thinking.
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leeks
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead

Post by leeks »

index2max wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:37 am This approach Is NOT suitable for families looking for the stereotypical "college experience" seen in movie montages.
Uggh yeah the frat party version of college is not at all what we have in mind when we think of indulgent college years. We would not feel like subsidizing that version of college - and for a kid who might be drawn to that, alternative approaches could make more sense.

My husband would say that getting to take extra theoretical math classes in his 4th year - beyond what was required for his engineering-school degree - was the kind of indulgence it is hard to find time for later in working and parenting life. And mostly the indulgence is time - time to develop random hobbies and (shoestring) travels and attending art/music/political events and just hanging out with interesting people, etc. And we will still expect our children to work part time as we both did during all of our higher education.

Our children seem on track to be geeky as well so we aren't too concerned they would be attracted to a constant-frat-party anti-intellectual lifestyle. But you are right to point out that many in the US do think of that when they thing of "fun" college years.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

texasdiver wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:28 pm
index2max wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:34 pmI hear a lot of public school teachers say students are too dumb or too unmotivated to think outside the box by not paying retail for college. Well, why is that? I attended public and private schools and even homeschooled for a year. The schooling system we have in the USA sets very low expectations for children. I encourage any parents just learning about this approach to not accept the "average" for their children. Give your kids a chance to surprise you.
I have been in and around public education for nearly two decades and I have never once heard a teacher say that.

I have heard teachers caution that various alternative routes to getting education and professional certification can be more difficult and require a special level of motivation and/or support to pull off.

If the community college to 4-year college pathway recommended here to save money was such an easy pathway for all students then what accounts for these current nationwide numbers? It's obviously NOT working for most students.
* 29% of college students attend 2-year colleges

* Only 5% of students in 2-year colleges graduate on time with a 2-year degree

* 15.9% of students pursuing a certificate program graduate on time

* Less than 25% of high school graduates who enroll in 2-year colleges complete a degree in three years

* 37.5% of recent high school graduates who enroll in a 2-year college complete a degree within six years, and only 14.7% complete a BA degree in the same time frame


Source: https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates
You’ll at a minimum need to adjust for socioeconomic conditions, GPA and SAT scores to see if the outcome differs because of those factors or because of community college + 4 year is actually inferior to straight 4 year graduation rate.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead

Post by nigel_ht »

leeks wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:22 pm Our children seem on track to be geeky as well so we aren't too concerned they would be attracted to a constant-frat-party anti-intellectual lifestyle. But you are right to point out that many in the US do think of that when they thing of "fun" college years.
That’s okay, they’ll simply end up working for those constant-frat-party anti-intellectual types that seem to end up in management...

I’m only half kidding...
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

arf1410 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:38 pm
z3r0c00l wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:01 pm Taking AP science in HS saved me a ton of time as an undergrad, but rather than skip years I used it to take classes that had nothing to do with my major, or at least it seemed that way. Still paying dividends to have learned more about history, politics, art, philosophy, and time working research jobs including trips overseas. Then again I see college primarily as personal development rather than something you just have to try and get through as quickly as possible.
I agree with the above. Looking at a a way to get thru college as quickly, or as inexpensively, as possible really is flawed thinking.
If you’ve saved $200K for your kid to have for college but you can keep costs to $100K the delta in 20 years is $400 invested in VTSMX (2000-2020) that you kid can use for a house.

If we look at 30 years (1990-2020) it’s $1.4M.

So if you can invest the difference for your 18 yo college bound kid then at age 48 they probably have enough to retire.

If college is costing $40K a year out of pocket and you can actually save 2 years using dual enrollment and AP tests then it’s worth considering for the average kid who can’t get into HYPMS and has to pay full price for a private. Even a “discounted” private that gives you $20K help on a $50K tuition is still $40K a year after room and board.

$80K over the last 30 years is still $1.19M.

Even saving 1 year at $40K is $594K.

Oh wait, I’m sure the dividends of networking and all those intangibles of a non-elite but expensive private college experience is worth far more than $1.4M and its flawed thinking to consider ROI and opportunity costs of college expenses...

🙄
Big Dog
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Big Dog »

Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 pm
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:06 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:36 am
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:04 amCan't speak to non-STEM majors here. What you talk about might make sense for a kid majoring in business at Harvard for the connections.
And this in a nutshell is the problem with your post.

Not everyone wants to be an engineer or doctor. A small minority in fact.
No, there isn't any problem with my post at all. Costs matter. I am telling parents on here to NOT resign themselves into spending tens of thousands of dollars for college if there are alternative routes available, of which they might not know.

Even for a business major, it's possible to get a college degree in business at certain colleges by the age of 18 through CLEP exams too.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm
It’s pretty clear you don’t know what it takes to reach the top jobs in “business”

Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
epilnk
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by epilnk »

dan7800 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:56 am A college professor here. While this is not always the case, you FREQUENTLY get what you pay for (there are definite exceptions to this). I interviewed at a large number of schools, some large R1s to small state schools. From what I've seen, when my children look at colleges I will sway them more towards the more expensive/well-known schools. A huge part of what you pay for in a college is merely the name and the networking. When we think about the things that we spend our money on (larger TVs, carts etc...) I view college as the single best investment that can be made.
Maybe, maybe not. There are many right paths to a good education. The right answer for each of us depends on lots of factors, including what our state options are. And back when I was a hiring manager for entry level positions I can tell you that we never hired anyone based on the strength of his alma mater's name.

We are a dual PhD family, though in the end did not take the academia route. We ended up more financially successful than we anticipated, and also more successful at investing than we anticipated. We decided to save enough for a state college education, and overshot. Then the grandparents (also higher ed, one is med school faculty) decided to be very generous. As a result, my kids are in the luxurious position of being able to afford private college via their 529s (and there were merit scholarship offers as well).

So my kids were not limited by affordability and could choose freely. One would most likely have been accepted to the Ivy where he is a legacy (neither applied). Both chose ... large in-state public universities. We told them that it was their call, the 529s could be used now and anything left was theirs for postgraduate education (both are planning to pursue) or even kept for their future kids. The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA. The science or pre law student (still making up his mind) chose a top research oriented public university that also has a highly ranked law school (not top tier, but good for an undergrad checking out his path).

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
This is somewhat like claiming that the American diet didn’t become the default because it was the beat for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.

I look at pictures of my parents and their friends in the 60’s and 70’s and my conclusion is most folks seemed a lot thinner back then.

I think that today’s college costs, like the American diet, is a bit bloated on excess fat and carbs sold to us by a generation of marketing. That college debt, like obesity, is a large concern is an indicator that it may actually be terrible and no longer working well enough for the vast majority of students.

Student loan debt went from $260B in 2004 to $1.5T in 2019.

Looking at educational alternatives and counting costs in 2021 isn’t “flawed thinking” or “survivorship bias” but looking at benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American higher education path” in the same way we look at the benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American diet” and counting calories.
Impatience
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Impatience »

2 years of community college first should be the standard. The only time it’s not the superior choice is for the most ambitious students who absolutely need to start angling their way into top tier internships during freshman/sophomore year. So unless your kid is a wannabe Ivy League phd type or investment banker.

Or if you just have enough money that the difference doesn’t matter. Then you’d might as well spend 4+ years at Uni. Dorms are fun.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 pm
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:06 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:36 am

And this in a nutshell is the problem with your post.

Not everyone wants to be an engineer or doctor. A small minority in fact.
No, there isn't any problem with my post at all. Costs matter. I am telling parents on here to NOT resign themselves into spending tens of thousands of dollars for college if there are alternative routes available, of which they might not know.

Even for a business major, it's possible to get a college degree in business at certain colleges by the age of 18 through CLEP exams too.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm
It’s pretty clear you don’t know what it takes to reach the top jobs in “business”

Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?

Now, if you followed the other threads then the general consensus was HYPMS, if your kid can get into them, is generally worth whatever you need to pay...IMHO mostly for the networking. Likewise a top 10 MBA or law degree is likely worth the whatever $€£¥ you need to spend...if you can get in.

But what about equally expensive but lesser business or law schools? What are those networks worth? Isn’t the value proposition much lower? Especially if your academic credentials aren’t good enough to get into a top 10?

Isn’t a less expensive MBA from the local state U just as good? I guess it doesn’t much matter if your job will pay for tuition but if you are going back full time on your own dime I think it matters.
Last edited by nigel_ht on Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
Big Dog
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Big Dog »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:42 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 pm
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:06 pm

No, there isn't any problem with my post at all. Costs matter. I am telling parents on here to NOT resign themselves into spending tens of thousands of dollars for college if there are alternative routes available, of which they might not know.

Even for a business major, it's possible to get a college degree in business at certain colleges by the age of 18 through CLEP exams too.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm
It’s pretty clear you don’t know what it takes to reach the top jobs in “business”

Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?

Now, if you followed the other threads then the general consensus was HYPMS, if your kid can get into them, is generally worth whatever you need to pay...IMHO mostly for the networking. Likewise a top 10 MBA or law degree is likely worth the whatever $€£¥ you need to spend...if you can get in.

But what about equally expensive but lesser business or law schools? What are those networks worth? Isn’t the value proposition much lower? Especially if your academic credentials aren’t good enough to get into a top 10?

Isn’t a less expensive MBA from the local state U just as good? I guess it doesn’t much matter if your job will pay for tuition but if you are going back full time on your own dime I think it matters.
Well, we are starting to drift from a discussion of undergrad colleges into grad programs, and you named two fields where pedigree still matters: business & law. The good news is that only a few law schools care much about undergrad, and hiring partners care more about law school. So, one can attend no-name public U, earn A's, ace the LSAT and attend a top 10 law school (and thus obtain selective legal jobs). B-school looks to experience after undergrad, and the first job out of college can be heavily influenced by college.

Perhaps the B-school curriculum are similar, but many employers only hire from the top b-schools, just using that as a proxy for smart students.
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index2max
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by index2max »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
I know a PhD from my research group who didn’t go into science or engineering after graduation. They got a job at McKinsey as a consultant for semiconductor companies etc.

So yes, if you’ve got the right internship experience like this fellow (university patent development office) and strong research experience, it’s absolutely possible.
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:42 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 pm
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:06 pm

No, there isn't any problem with my post at all. Costs matter. I am telling parents on here to NOT resign themselves into spending tens of thousands of dollars for college if there are alternative routes available, of which they might not know.

Even for a business major, it's possible to get a college degree in business at certain colleges by the age of 18 through CLEP exams too.

https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/publi ... ent128.cfm
It’s pretty clear you don’t know what it takes to reach the top jobs in “business”

Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?
I would have thought this was obvious, but it’s much easier to get into a Top 7 (and yes, there are only 7) MBA program if you worked for a top 3 consulting firm or one of the nine bulge bracket investment banks, and it’s much easier to get into those companies if you went to one of the two dozen or so undergraduate programs where they recruit for college internships.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymond ... 4397502ede

23.2% of MBA admits to HBS secured an Ivy League undergrad degree, and the top three feeder schools are Harvard (46), University of Pennsylvania (39) and the West Coast’s Stanford (35). In the Class of 2020 there are more graduates from Yale than from Brown and Columbia combined. Nearly half the class (49%) came from just 24 institutions, which each had 10 or more admits.
Is it possible to reach the heights of business without this pedigree? Sure. Is it harder? Absolutely. And I’m certainly not about to close off these doors for my kids just to save a few bucks (that would ultimately end up in their inheritance anyway).
Last edited by Tingting1013 on Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

index2max wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:01 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
I know a PhD from my research group who didn’t go into science or engineering after graduation. They got a job at McKinsey as a consultant for semiconductor companies etc.

So yes, if you’ve got the right internship experience like this fellow (university patent development office) and strong research experience, it’s absolutely possible.
Possible? Sure. Is it the easiest or most likely path? Hardly.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
If the kid can get into a M7 business school for his MBA does where he got his undergrad matter so much? His resume will still get a glance.

Not to mention not everybody wants to work for MBB and their version of work life “balance”. Even the big 4 aren’t quite so demanding.
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:11 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
If the kid can get into a M7 business school for his MBA does where he got his undergrad matter so much? His resume will still get a glance.

Not to mention not everybody wants to work for MBB and their version of work life “balance”. Even the big 4 aren’t quite so demanding.
It’s harder to get into the M7 school in the first place without a top job, and harder to get a top job without a top undergrad degree.

Few people who go into MBB intend to stay through to Partner, It’s a intense 2-4 year business boot camp at the very heights of global capitalism, after which you parachute into a cushy Director job at MegaCorp working 40-50 hours/week pulling down $300k. In your early 30s.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:04 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:42 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:30 pm

It’s pretty clear you don’t know what it takes to reach the top jobs in “business”

Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?
I would have thought this was obvious, but it’s much easier to get into a Top 7 (and yes, there are only 7) MBA program if you worked for a top 3 consulting firm or one of the nine bulge bracket investment banks, and it’s much easier to get into those companies if you went to one of the two dozen or so undergraduate programs where they recruit for college internships.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymond ... 4397502ede

23.2% of MBA admits to HBS secured an Ivy League undergrad degree, and the top three feeder schools are Harvard (46), University of Pennsylvania (39) and the West Coast’s Stanford (35). In the Class of 2020 there are more graduates from Yale than from Brown and Columbia combined. Nearly half the class (49%) came from just 24 institutions, which each had 10 or more admits.
Is it possible to reach the heights of business without this pedigree? Sure. Is it harder? Absolutely. And I’m certainly not about to close off these doors for my kids just to save a few bucks (that would ultimately end up in their inheritance anyway).
From your article:

“But would you have expected a state school like the University of Texas to send as many students to HBS as MIT (15), and more than Columbia (14)?”

23.2 percent from Ivy would indicate most don’t come from Ivy undergrad. Unless business math is different or something.

In any case, few folks in these threads believe that HYPMS aren’t worth the price of admission.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by epilnk »

Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:57 pm
Well, we are starting to drift from a discussion of undergrad colleges into grad programs, and you named two fields where pedigree still matters: business & law. The good news is that only a few law schools care much about undergrad, and hiring partners care more about law school. So, one can attend no-name public U, earn A's, ace the LSAT and attend a top 10 law school (and thus obtain selective legal jobs). B-school looks to experience after undergrad, and the first job out of college can be heavily influenced by college.

Perhaps the B-school curriculum are similar, but many employers only hire from the top b-schools, just using that as a proxy for smart students.
My understanding is that for most fields it is your terminal degree that matters, not your undergrad, and I've never noticed any particular advantage of "name" schools for grad school applications. The superstar of my Ivy PhD program was a graduate of the University of I Didn't Know That State Had a College. Of course as a scientist can only confirm that for science degrees from personal experience. But both of my kids are planning on postgraduate degrees. My business major selected a public university known for both its undergrad business program and its alumni network, especially locally (large state universities often have a local advantage) and he emphatically prefers not to leave the state at least in the short term. (He may eventually need to for the MBA, of course.) And as you pointed out, for law school it's the gpa and LSATs. So I'm pretty confident they have each chosen a wise path.

Malcom Gladwell has an interesting perspective on this that he presented at google zeitgeist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UEwbRWFZVc
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:18 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:04 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:42 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Superleaf444 wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:34 pm


Speaking of which, 90% of my jobs I've had came from the network I built at the university I attended. 0% came from the cheap community college classes I wasted money on.

(btw this isn't a comment against community college. If knew better, I would have taken care of different classes in community college. I stumbled a lot and had no help from my parents.)
I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?
I would have thought this was obvious, but it’s much easier to get into a Top 7 (and yes, there are only 7) MBA program if you worked for a top 3 consulting firm or one of the nine bulge bracket investment banks, and it’s much easier to get into those companies if you went to one of the two dozen or so undergraduate programs where they recruit for college internships.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymond ... 4397502ede

23.2% of MBA admits to HBS secured an Ivy League undergrad degree, and the top three feeder schools are Harvard (46), University of Pennsylvania (39) and the West Coast’s Stanford (35). In the Class of 2020 there are more graduates from Yale than from Brown and Columbia combined. Nearly half the class (49%) came from just 24 institutions, which each had 10 or more admits.
Is it possible to reach the heights of business without this pedigree? Sure. Is it harder? Absolutely. And I’m certainly not about to close off these doors for my kids just to save a few bucks (that would ultimately end up in their inheritance anyway).
From your article:

“But would you have expected a state school like the University of Texas to send as many students to HBS as MIT (15), and more than Columbia (14)?”

23.2 percent from Ivy would indicate most don’t come from Ivy undergrad. Unless business math is different or something.

In any case, few folks in these threads believe that HYPMS aren’t worth the price of admission.
How about this math:

UT Austin undergrad enrollment: 40k
MIT: 4K
Columbia: 6k

50% of the seats in the class going to only 24 schools.

That leaves 450 seats for the other 3,000 four year universities in the US. Oh yeah, I’m not even counting the international students.
Last edited by Tingting1013 on Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by anon_investor »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:14 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:11 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
If the kid can get into a M7 business school for his MBA does where he got his undergrad matter so much? His resume will still get a glance.

Not to mention not everybody wants to work for MBB and their version of work life “balance”. Even the big 4 aren’t quite so demanding.
It’s harder to get into the M7 school in the first place without a top job, and harder to get a top job without a top undergrad degree.

Few people who go into MBB intend to stay through to Partner, It’s a intense 2-4 year business boot camp at the very heights of global capitalism, after which you parachute into a cushy Director job at MegaCorp working 40-50 hours/week pulling down $300k. In your early 30s.
Then VTSAX and chill and retire by 40?
Tingting1013
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Tingting1013 »

anon_investor wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:28 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:14 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:11 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm
epilnk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 pm The business major is now attending his dream school, chosen at least in part for its reputation and excellent networking opportunities. He won't have to worry about unpaid internships and will have plenty left over for an MBA.

....

We too consider college the single best investment that can be made. Each is in the school that is perfect for him. Both will be getting what we pay for, and neither would get more at a higher price point.
Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
If the kid can get into a M7 business school for his MBA does where he got his undergrad matter so much? His resume will still get a glance.

Not to mention not everybody wants to work for MBB and their version of work life “balance”. Even the big 4 aren’t quite so demanding.
It’s harder to get into the M7 school in the first place without a top job, and harder to get a top job without a top undergrad degree.

Few people who go into MBB intend to stay through to Partner, It’s a intense 2-4 year business boot camp at the very heights of global capitalism, after which you parachute into a cushy Director job at MegaCorp working 40-50 hours/week pulling down $300k. In your early 30s.
Then VTSAX and chill and retire by 40?
Exactly! And spend your days grooming your offspring to follow your well trodden path. Wealth perpetuates wealth, privilege perpetuates privilege. That’s the way the world works, folks.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by tibbitts »

nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:27 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
This is somewhat like claiming that the American diet didn’t become the default because it was the beat for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.

I look at pictures of my parents and their friends in the 60’s and 70’s and my conclusion is most folks seemed a lot thinner back then.

I think that today’s college costs, like the American diet, is a bit bloated on excess fat and carbs sold to us by a generation of marketing. That college debt, like obesity, is a large concern is an indicator that it may actually be terrible and no longer working well enough for the vast majority of students.

Student loan debt went from $260B in 2004 to $1.5T in 2019.

Looking at educational alternatives and counting costs in 2021 isn’t “flawed thinking” or “survivorship bias” but looking at benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American higher education path” in the same way we look at the benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American diet” and counting calories.
The student debt problem is certainly real, but largely unrelated to my questioning whether the traditional middle school, high school, and college (2 or 4-year, whatever) progression through either classroom or hybrid online/classroom instruction is less appropriate or beneficial for most people vs. such alternatives as homeschooling combined with a flurry of AP exams. Here on Bogleheads we see endless debates over the costs of high-end educations in elite private and public institutions, while in many places a large percentage of the public can obtain tuition-free (or at least very lost cost) education through the 4-year-degree level at typical public colleges or universities, based on having an average or below household income and reasonable academic performance.

As for diets, when I compare the situation to when I was growing up in the 1960s, one of the major differences seems to be that people spend less time preparing meals now, so perhaps we now consume more pre-packaged or pre-prepared foods that might be less healthy. I'm not sure that's entirely due to marketing as opposed to other changes in society (fewer two-plus adult households with only one person employed full-time, for example.) As with so many topics I suspect the food/health situation may be completely different in the Boglehead world than in the rest of society.
nigel_ht
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:21 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:18 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:04 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:42 pm
Big Dog wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm

I'll see you and raise you 10%, since 100% of the jobs I received -- generally without interviewing -- was from my classmates at a top ~10 MBA program. (Very few of the students in our program attended <top 50 colleges or Unis.)
It is true that your friends can get you jobs that your resume never will but if you can get into a top 10 MBA program does it matter where you got your undergrad or what you paid for it?
I would have thought this was obvious, but it’s much easier to get into a Top 7 (and yes, there are only 7) MBA program if you worked for a top 3 consulting firm or one of the nine bulge bracket investment banks, and it’s much easier to get into those companies if you went to one of the two dozen or so undergraduate programs where they recruit for college internships.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymond ... 4397502ede

23.2% of MBA admits to HBS secured an Ivy League undergrad degree, and the top three feeder schools are Harvard (46), University of Pennsylvania (39) and the West Coast’s Stanford (35). In the Class of 2020 there are more graduates from Yale than from Brown and Columbia combined. Nearly half the class (49%) came from just 24 institutions, which each had 10 or more admits.
Is it possible to reach the heights of business without this pedigree? Sure. Is it harder? Absolutely. And I’m certainly not about to close off these doors for my kids just to save a few bucks (that would ultimately end up in their inheritance anyway).
From your article:

“But would you have expected a state school like the University of Texas to send as many students to HBS as MIT (15), and more than Columbia (14)?”

23.2 percent from Ivy would indicate most don’t come from Ivy undergrad. Unless business math is different or something.

In any case, few folks in these threads believe that HYPMS aren’t worth the price of admission.
How about this math:

UT Austin undergrad enrollment: 40k
MIT: 4K
Columbia: 6k

50% of the seats in the class going to only 24 schools.

That leaves 450 seats for the other 3,000 four year universities in the US. Oh yeah, I’m not even counting the international students.
Lol. Not all UT students are business. So the 40K doesn’t matter. Even fewer are the same caliber as MIT or Columbia admits? I’m going to guess less than 4K.

So the question is how disadvantaged is a student that was accepted to Columbia or MIT but went to UT instead in terms of getting into HBS.

The potential networking is better at MIT and Columbia but likewise an average admit to Columbia likely wouldn’t stand out very much but would be more likely a stand out at UT.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by anon_investor »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:48 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:27 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:28 pm The traditional education path didn't become the default because it was the best for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.
This is somewhat like claiming that the American diet didn’t become the default because it was the beat for everyone; it got that way by not being terrible and working well enough for the vast majority of students.

I look at pictures of my parents and their friends in the 60’s and 70’s and my conclusion is most folks seemed a lot thinner back then.

I think that today’s college costs, like the American diet, is a bit bloated on excess fat and carbs sold to us by a generation of marketing. That college debt, like obesity, is a large concern is an indicator that it may actually be terrible and no longer working well enough for the vast majority of students.

Student loan debt went from $260B in 2004 to $1.5T in 2019.

Looking at educational alternatives and counting costs in 2021 isn’t “flawed thinking” or “survivorship bias” but looking at benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American higher education path” in the same way we look at the benefits and pitfalls of the “traditional American diet” and counting calories.
The student debt problem is certainly real, but largely unrelated to my questioning whether the traditional middle school, high school, and college (2 or 4-year, whatever) progression through either classroom or hybrid online/classroom instruction is less appropriate or beneficial for most people vs. such alternatives as homeschooling combined with a flurry of AP exams. Here on Bogleheads we see endless debates over the costs of high-end educations in elite private and public institutions, while in many places a large percentage of the public can obtain tuition-free (or at least very lost cost) education through the 4-year-degree level at typical public colleges or universities, based on having an average or below household income and reasonable academic performance.

As for diets, when I compare the situation to when I was growing up in the 1960s, one of the major differences seems to be that people spend less time preparing meals now, so perhaps we now consume more pre-packaged or pre-prepared foods that might be less healthy. I'm not sure that's entirely due to marketing as opposed to other changes in society (fewer two-plus adult households with only one person employed full-time, for example.) As with so many topics I suspect the food/health situation may be completely different in the Boglehead world than in the rest of society.
I suspect many BHs are in the middle class group where they make too much for their kids to receive any meaningful financial aid, but too little to be able to cash flow college costs without making a sacrifice of some kind. For such folks, even $100k in-state costs may be a burden.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:29 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:28 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:14 pm
nigel_ht wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:11 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:43 pm

Do McKinsey, BCG, or Bain recruit at his large in-state public university?
If the kid can get into a M7 business school for his MBA does where he got his undergrad matter so much? His resume will still get a glance.

Not to mention not everybody wants to work for MBB and their version of work life “balance”. Even the big 4 aren’t quite so demanding.
It’s harder to get into the M7 school in the first place without a top job, and harder to get a top job without a top undergrad degree.

Few people who go into MBB intend to stay through to Partner, It’s a intense 2-4 year business boot camp at the very heights of global capitalism, after which you parachute into a cushy Director job at MegaCorp working 40-50 hours/week pulling down $300k. In your early 30s.
Then VTSAX and chill and retire by 40?
Exactly! And spend your days grooming your offspring to follow your well trodden path. Wealth perpetuates wealth, privilege perpetuates privilege. That’s the way the world works, folks.
How about this. Instead of putting $200K in a 529 put $200K into VTSAX and chill for your kid when they are born. Then just cash flow college even if it’s just community college and state school.

Then when they are 35 they might have a $3M trust fund waiting (VTSMX from ‘93 to ‘21).

That seems a more likely outcome than hoping any given offspring will likely work for MBB...
almostretired1965
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by almostretired1965 »

My recollection is from the early 1980s so things might be a little different now. The freshmen calculus sequence 18.01 and 18.02 is normally covered over 3 or 4 semesters everywhere else, except perhaps Caltech. If you took the BC exam and got a 5, you could waive 18.01. Roughly half of the class back then placed out of 18.01. I would think it is much higher than that these days.

In addition, you could not waive 8.02, electromagnetism no matter how well you did on the Physics C exam. For stuff like history and English, you would get generic credit equivalent to a one semester course. I had 4/5s on 5 AP exams and it came out to be worth one semester basically, instead of a full years worth of credits at your run of the mill flagship StateU.
index2max wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:19 pm
Electrum wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 1:15 pm I am not sure if MIT grants credit for AP calculus - our son did not even try to obtain credit for his HS AP class (5 on the AP exam). He took the freshman level AP calc course, and after a quick review of AP calc, everything was new.

Electrum
Every college's AP exam or transfer credit policy is different. Your millage may vary. Always good to consult their list ahead of time.
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by tibbitts »

anon_investor wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:03 pm I suspect many BHs are in the middle class group where they make too much for their kids to receive any meaningful financial aid, but too little to be able to cash flow college costs without making a sacrifice of some kind. For such folks, even $100k in-state costs may be a burden.
I agree that most Bogleheads aren't eligible for much if any non-merit financial aid, but I believe most of the discussions are about costs considerably exceeding $100k total per child (and/or more than two children being involved.)
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Garco »

The idea of skipping the first year or two of college was never on our mind or agenda. This was especially so because of the types of colleges my kids attended. One of them went to an art school. In that program she still had some general liberal arts and sciences courses but the main focus was on art. The more practical experience she had in her program (she majored in industrial design) the better her chances at good job choices after earning her BFA. Four years was enough, but less than that wouldn't have given her the skill set she needed.

Our other kid went to a university in which there was a strong core but also good opportunities to "skip" the introductory levels and take advanced courses while an undergrad. Further, he took a junior year abroad at London School of Economics (LSE). Everything worked out well and his career has flourished. He also received some National Merit money but that only put a small dent in the bills.

Neither one was burdened with debt from their undergrad experience. The "artist," however, decided after a few years working in the economy to seek an MBA degree on top of her BFA. That cost a lot of money. We hadn't planned on it. But it weighed more on us -- the parents -- than on her. Both kids are now debt free and doing well in their careers.
alfaspider
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by alfaspider »

MapleSyrup wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:08 am
alfaspider wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:31 amAs for 529s, keep in mind that these accounts are tax strategies for high income parents, nothing more. They are missold as savings plans for the middle class.
Could you please explain what this means? As far as I know, middle income earners can also benefit from 529s, right?
Most middle income earners aren’t maxing out their retirement space. In the vast majority of scenarios, you are better off prioritizing retirement accounts over 529 accounts. The 529 makes sense as extra space on top of that. Some slight exception for states that give you a state deduction, but a deduction isn’t worth much if you are not in a higher bracket.
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index2max
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Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by index2max »

alfaspider wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:04 pm
MapleSyrup wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:08 am
alfaspider wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:31 amAs for 529s, keep in mind that these accounts are tax strategies for high income parents, nothing more. They are missold as savings plans for the middle class.
Could you please explain what this means? As far as I know, middle income earners can also benefit from 529s, right?
Most middle income earners aren’t maxing out their retirement space. In the vast majority of scenarios, you are better off prioritizing retirement accounts over 529 accounts. The 529 makes sense as extra space on top of that. Some slight exception for states that give you a state deduction, but a deduction isn’t worth much if you are not in a higher bracket.
Exactly! Save for your own retirement before dumping any money into these restrictive 529 plans. These college tuition prices can't stay this high for much longer. Competition in education (e.g. MOOCs) or the decreasing demand due to declining demographics by American parents will force colleges to start cutting costs like with these dead-weight administrators.

My alma mater was profiled by WSJ back in 2011 or 2013 as a microcosm of administrative bloat. Administrative spending made up more than half of the university's budget!
LateFire
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:38 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by LateFire »

Whatever you do, don't pay 50K/year for a private college that nobody knows about. Community college and your own in-state college are your best options for majority of students. Unless you have a superstar/high achiever, paying 70K/year is a big waste of money. And forget about for-profit colleges.
Dunning-Kruger cognitive test: People think they are more capable than they really are. Sufferers don't know how much they don't know, and the most ignorant are the most confident.
inbox788
Posts: 8192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by inbox788 »

LateFire wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:36 am Whatever you do, don't pay 50K/year for a private college that nobody knows about. Community college and your own in-state college are your best options for majority of students. Unless you have a superstar/high achiever, paying 70K/year is a big waste of money. And forget about for-profit colleges.
What do you mean "nobody knows"? Someone knows, and there are some gems among the lesser known. Are you talking about the likes of Boston College (not BU), Oberlin College, or Cornell College (IA)? Or really obscure or unaccredited ones? A majority of students probably attend public institutions purely because of statistics, but the distribution of best public institutions isn't even and individual students may be better off at a private university for a variety of factors.

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... s-colleges

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-c ... t-colleges

Yes, do avoid unaccredited and for profit schools. Is there a rulebreaker? Ignoring cost and disregarding value, and not counting those career focused schools (auto mechanics, nursing, etc.), is there a respectable 4 year bachelor degree from a for-profit structured institution (one where you can take or major in math, chemistry, computers, psychology, english, history, etc.?)? Any better than Grand Canyon University (77% acceptance, 32% graduation)?

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/gr ... rsity-1074

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... _or_merged

If anyone wants to invest or speculate on "higher education", check out ASPU.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/441971 ... ve-bargain
Last edited by inbox788 on Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
almostretired1965
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by almostretired1965 »

I actually agree with LateFire on the general point. It is a waste of money to go to a private college and pay through the nose whenever there is a roughly equivalent (prestige wise) public college in your state your kid can attend, assuming merit/finaid does not equalize things. The one exception I can think of is if your child thrives under small classes and personal attention from the get go. It is generally not a problem once you get to Junior/Senior years, but can be for the big intro courses your Freshmen year. You are unlikely to get much if any personal attention at the big StateUs and depending on your learning style, could matter. This is worth nothing to me, except that I personally preferred tutorial type setting for humanities classes, but for technical classes, which was the bulk of my undergrad coursework, it would have mattered very little. In those classes, I had trouble staying wake, let alone participate! But I worked on the problem sets diligently, and that was what mattered for my learning style.

A
inbox788 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:27 pm
LateFire wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:36 am Whatever you do, don't pay 50K/year for a private college that nobody knows about. Community college and your own in-state college are your best options for majority of students. Unless you have a superstar/high achiever, paying 70K/year is a big waste of money. And forget about for-profit colleges.
What do you mean "nobody knows"? Someone knows, and there are some gems among the lesser known. Are you talking about the likes of Boston College (not BU), Oberlin College, or Cornell College (IA)? Or really obscure or unaccredited ones? A majority of students probably attend public institutions purely because of statistics, but the distribution of best public institutions isn't even and individual students may be better off at a private university for a variety of factors.

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... s-colleges

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-c ... t-colleges

Yes, do avoid unaccredited and for profit schools. Is there a rulebreaker? Ignoring cost and disregarding value, and not counting those career focused schools (auto mechanics, nursing, etc.), is there a respectable 4 year bachelor degree from a for-profit structured institution (one where you can take or major in math, chemistry, computers, psychology, english, history, etc.?)? Any better than Grand Canyon University (77% acceptance, 32% graduation)?

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/gr ... rsity-1074

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... _or_merged
nigel_ht
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

inbox788 wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:27 pm
LateFire wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:36 am Whatever you do, don't pay 50K/year for a private college that nobody knows about. Community college and your own in-state college are your best options for majority of students. Unless you have a superstar/high achiever, paying 70K/year is a big waste of money. And forget about for-profit colleges.
What do you mean "nobody knows"? Someone knows, and there are some gems among the lesser known. Are you talking about the likes of Boston College (not BU), Oberlin College, or Cornell College (IA)? Or really obscure or unaccredited ones? A majority of students probably attend public institutions purely because of statistics, but the distribution of best public institutions isn't even and individual students may be better off at a private university for a variety of factors.

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ra ... s-colleges
Lets pick #51 from your list.

https://premium.usnews.com/best-college ... llege-1379

and compare to these two:

https://premium.usnews.com/best-college ... rsity-2155

https://premium.usnews.com/best-colleges/uconn-29013

$59K tuition and fees at Connecticut College vs $54K at Harvard and $18K at UConn.

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $51K vs $69K at Harvard and $59K at UConn.

4 year graduation rate is a little higher at Connecticut than UConn (80% vs 73%) but the 6 year graduation rate is both 84%.

Harvard pricing for UConn results.
inbox788
Posts: 8192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by inbox788 »

nigel_ht wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:51 pm$59K tuition and fees at Connecticut College vs $54K at Harvard and $18K at UConn.

Median Starting Salary of Alumni: $51K vs $69K at Harvard and $59K at UConn.

4 year graduation rate is a little higher at Connecticut than UConn (80% vs 73%) but the 6 year graduation rate is both 84%.

Harvard pricing for UConn results.
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/ce ... rsity-1378
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/so ... rsity-1406

Good example. If you're looking at UCal, UV, UM, UTx and the like, you might even ask why go to Harvard (if you can get in). But what about the kid that doesn't get into Harvard or UConn and is choosing between Connecticut College ($$$) vs Central Connecticut State University ($) or Souther Connecticut State University. Cost, and initial salary are one way to measure, but there are other factors you may want to consider. Not everyone buys the long term benefits of LACs or happiness doing what you love ideals (i.e. European medieval lit majors), but some consider them. And 529 tax breaks and (need and merit) aid help narrow the financial gap. Paying a lot more (50k) for same education is unwise, but paying more (how much more?) for better (how much better)? Most people should put some consideration and not outright reject a costly private school that might be affordable.

Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/202 ... beral-arts

I was actually looking at Rhodes College (#54) in Tennessee. Median salary comparison $44,700 is a big loser vs Vanderbilt $63,600, University of Tennessee $51,400 or even University of Memphis $48,500. But it's not a school I'd outright reject without some though and consideration of who'd be attending.

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rh ... llege-3519

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/vanderbilt-3535
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/un ... essee-3530
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/un ... mphis-3509

BTW, came across this on Google News today...[NASA probably pays recent graduates less than Google or Facebook]
Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee – RHodes-OKlahoma Collaboration (RHOK-SAT) is an education mission conceived by a team of undergraduate students at Rhodes College with a secondary science investigation focus to test the space hardiness of novel photovoltaic devices for lunar and planetary missions. These devices are under active development and investigation by The University of Oklahoma.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-annou ... e-missions

https://youtu.be/yotLypDMPC0?t=2630

These types of opportunities are priceless, and one of the selling points of smaller LACs. My impression is transfers from a community college is uncommon, and at some high retention schools, very competitive.

Code: Select all

[quote]Interested in a school that offers the [b]highest postgraduate earnings? Harvey Mudd or SUNY Maritime College[/b] could be for you. How about a college that offers low alumni debt? Consider the College of the Ozarks or University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Focused on a top-notch education where almost everyone graduates on time? Put Harvard University or the University of Virginia on your reach list.[/quote]

America’s Best Value Colleges 2019
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR AN EXCELLENT RETURN ON THEIR COLLEGE INVESTMENT
https://www.forbes.com/best-value-colleges/#15a7b14b245b

#7	Harvard University
#104	University of Connecticut
#251	Connecticut College

#262	Harvey Mudd College
#221	SUNY Maritime College

#28	Vanderbilt University
#145	University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"We score them in the following six areas: quality; net price; net debt; alumni earnings; timely graduation; and access for low-income students. "
"The formula:
20% rank on Forbes 2018 Top Colleges ranking + 20% student debt + 20% alumni earnings + 20% net price + 10% [b]graduation rate[/b] + 10% Pell Grant recipients."

I guess if you don't graduate, you don't count making those high (or low) earnings.
tarheelboglehead
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:45 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by tarheelboglehead »

In my experience, success in your career and life in general is determined more by what you put into it in terms of work ethic, than by credentials or networking. 5 years out from college, nobody cares where you went to school, they only care about how good you do your job. While where you went to school might open doors for you in the short term, eventually you are evaluated on what you produce and the impact you have, not by the name on your diploma or who you know. Maybe for the truly elite, your credentials and network give you opportunities to the McKinsey internship or the Supreme court clerkship that are simply not otherwise available to the hoi polloi. But for the majority who just want a path to a financially secure middle class life, diligence, hard work, building your marketable skills, being responsible, avoiding a victim or entitlement mentality, and taking opportunities as they come, is a path to success regardless of whether you went to a community college, state school or private school.

To put it in Boglehead terms, I hear it mentioned a lot that people tend to obsess about asset allocation, but the far bigger determinant of your financial success is your savings rate. I think here, your AA is the name or reputation of your school, but your savings rate is your work ethic and abilities.
dboeger1
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:32 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by dboeger1 »

I think this topic may have strayed quite far off from OP's original point which was that super-funding 529s isn't strictly necessary to provide a good education, but since we're on the topic of relative value of schools, I'd like to offer my 2 cents. In my experience, I've been thoroughly convinced that so much of what one gets out of college is down to personal circumstances, including but not limited to what one puts into it.

I went to MIT, yet I almost don't even like mentioning that to people in my personal life because the name sets expectations that I honestly feel I can't or won't live up to. Don't get me wrong, I put in my dues and completed my undergrad with decent enough grades, but I was absolutely not at the top of my peer group there, and my social circle probably didn't even include the very top that were attending. I grew up in a very mediocre public school district where I did get nearly perfect grades in AP classes and graduated valedictorian but otherwise didn't go that far above and beyond with extracurricular projects or studies the way many kids that got into MIT did. I hate to say it but I may have been an affirmative action case, even though I consider myself a pretty normal white male, I'm also half-Hispanic and generally identify as such on forms unless I'm given the option of putting mixed race or something more precise. I was invited to participate in a pre-freshman Summer program they offered which was essentially a condensed version of freshman year classes mostly targeted at underprivileged minorities. Boy, did it kick my butt into gear. I very quickly realized the education they were offering was several levels above what I was used to, and I had to get used to putting in long hours just to stay above water, but I made it.

Sadly, things didn't work out well for everybody in that program. A number of my peers were excellent students but from very disadvantaged backgrounds where they struggled with family issues and whatnot. A significant percentage dropped out before starting freshman year, and a significant percentage of those eventually dropped out in the following years. I knew a number of fellow students who weren't in that program and found they weren't cut out for MIT in their freshman year and had to drop out. Then there were the students who made it through but suffered from severe depression and other issues related to the rigorous studies and pressure from their peers and families. Of course, there were also students who thrived and took advantage of every opportunity. They were the ones you would see devouring books in the library, participating in research programs and internships, taking extra classes to graduate early, etc. Personally, I actually ran into issues because I applied to all kinds of research groups that I just wasn't accepted to, so I never did them, and then found out in senior year that we had a senior project that was supposed to be based on those research efforts, so I had to come up with something quick. I had a few friends who also ran into the same problem. MIT was absolutely great for me, but if I'm being honest, there were so many opportunities and resources that I simply couldn't take advantage of because I was just not at the level of the top students that came from wealthier backgrounds and magnet schools and whatnot. On the one hand, I believe these institutions should be meritocracies, but on the other, I know that I got accepted over many more qualified candidates who probably destroyed my SAT scores and other qualifications. I also got a full ride scholarship because they're completely need-based and my family was quite poor at the time, and I remember quite a few of my wealthier peers' parents being upset that they weren't offered merit-based scholarships. The thing is, if I hadn't been given those opportunities, that level of academic excellence and achievement would have just been a foreign concept to me, and it really lifted me out of a tough situation in high school. I may not have "deserved" those opportunities in the sense that I may not have taken as much advantage of them as some others might have, but I got what I could out of them, and it wasn't always up to me which ones specifically became available. These schools have the names they do because of the many success stories, but as with most things in life, we tend not to hear or talk about the failures or messy cases in between, and there's a lot of survivorship bias.

Nowadays, I have what I consider a decent career, but many of my old classmates have long since eclipsed me, and I'm okay with that. I do what works for me. I have a first child on the way now and I intend to raise her to do what works for her as well. My hope is that she will have much more of a competitive advantage than I did, and I would be thrilled if she surpassed me, but every child is an individual and I can accept if she doesn't, or just pursues something totally different from what I did. I think it's easy to convince ourselves when paying for something as nebulous as a college education that we're buying a future, but it just doesn't work like that. More than anything, we're buying experiences and opportunities, and some intersection of those with what the student brings to the table will be the end result. In my case, I don't think my career is anything I couldn't have gotten from a state school, but I do think the education I received and the respect I developed for rigorous study were better for me as a person than what I would have gotten elsewhere. I also think exposing me to the top tiers of the educational world will pass benefits down to my children, or "change my family tree" as Dave Ramsay would put it, since none of my ancestors graduated from college and I now have an idea of what my children can expect if that's the route they want to go.

I guess to summarize my point and relate it back to OP, saving a bunch of money in a 529 so you can afford to send kids to a university like MIT absolutely does not guarantee that they will get in or even thrive if they do, but I think it does raise the ceiling of what's possible for them. I didn't suddenly become a head of state or anything like that because I went, but if I was absolutely maxing out every opportunity at my institution of choice, it probably would have meant I didn't aim high enough. I remember a high school classmate of mine whose parents couldn't afford to send her anywhere but community college so that's where she went for 2 years, and it was a shame because quite frankly, she was every bit as qualified of a student as I was, and she probably could've taken my place at MIT and done just as well. Obviously this is hypothetical, but if I had to guess, I would say that community college probably didn't match her potential, and I don't think it was a great alternative other than the fact that it was affordable for them. If I can avoid it, I'd rather not put my future children in a position of limiting their school choices based on budget.
inbox788
Posts: 8192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by inbox788 »

nigel_ht wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:51 pm$59K tuition and fees at Connecticut College vs $54K at Harvard and $18K at UConn.
If you hadn't mentioned it, I would totally have not noticed and ignored an advertisement for "8 of the best colleges" that includes Connecticut College. Notice it's the same number as the ivies. https://8ofthebestcolleges.org/

A few years ago, Sarah Lawrence College had the honor of being the most expensive, but looks like it's fallen to 47

https://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/ne ... index.html
https://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/colleg ... index.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/the-50 ... merica/50/
Scooter57
Posts: 1915
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:20 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by Scooter57 »

Not going to college right out of high school, but getting a job, also can work wonders for a long term career. Especially for kids who don't have clearly defined interests.

One of my childrens' best friends did not go to college out of high school, but got a job in a store at the mall. She worked there for several years and ended up managing the store. She discovered she really liked business--something no one would have predicted if they knew her in high school. So she went to the state flagship college while still working in the store. Our state U is not one of the highly rated ones that attract out of state students. You can get an education there, but it is known as a party school. She graduated with a business degree with top grades, passed her CPA exam and got hired into a very good large accounting firm that trained her to be an auditor and sent her all over the world. She is currently working at the SEC, on loan from her accounting company, making very good money, and, best of all, she loves what she is doing.

This is just one story along those lines. There are others. Parents often say, "But if my kid doesn't go right to college, and goes out and works a menial job they will NEVER got to college and will be stuck. This is very far from true. Several of the most successful business people I know never went to college at all. And getting back to the parent's rebuttal: if the kids is that unmotivated, what makes you think that after squandering $250,000+ on sending them to a private college they will turn out any better? I can list quite a few graduates of expensive private colleges among children of my peers who are working as waiters or barristas, home care attendants, or at social service agencies that pay $40,000 a year for degreed "professionals." Not every kid who goes to a private college majors in business, computers, or law.

The number of people who show up on Bogleheads with high-earning careers whose only desire is to be able to quit their jobs and retire as soon as possible (ideally in their 30s) tells me just how many kids have been pushed through the system without any idea of who they really are and what they really want to do with their lives, who have ended up working the jobs their parents would have wanted for themselves, not the ones that were right for them. I guess that is the end-stage of helicopter parenting.
nigel_ht
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Scooter57 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:30 pm
The number of people who show up on Bogleheads with high-earning careers whose only desire is to be able to quit their jobs and retire as soon as possible (ideally in their 30s) tells me just how many kids have been pushed through the system without any idea of who they really are and what they really want to do with their lives, who have ended up working the jobs their parents would have wanted for themselves, not the ones that were right for them. I guess that is the end-stage of helicopter parenting.
Wow. What a terrible outcome. Why if they only manage to retire at 40 that means they have a mere 27 years to seek self actualization while most normal folks still have to work to meet the lowest physiological layer of the Maslow hierarchy.

If I can orchestrate all of my kids becoming fully FI at age 40 I’m happy. Even if they hate their jobs they win. It’s a helluva lot better to be 40 and have the means to quit the corporate job that has been sucking the soul out of your life to pursue whatever makes you feel fulfilled without financial worries.

What would be terrible is some 40 year old who was told to pursue their passion and has been struggling for 20 years to make ends meet while chasing an elusive dream that has never materialized and has little savings for the future which means they will have to struggle financially another 40 years.

Screw that. Make your first million. Then pursue your passion. If you can reasonably expect to make your first million pursuing your passion...bonus.
nigel_ht
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

Scooter57 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:30 pm And getting back to the parent's rebuttal: if the kids is that unmotivated, what makes you think that after squandering $250,000+ on sending them to a private college they will turn out any better?
If this is your kid you are better off taking that $250K and parking it in VTI in a trust for their retirement where they can withdraw 4% after age 60. Then they can work as a barista or whatever and still have a secure retirement at 60.

Whatever is left when they pass can go to charity.
Topic Author
index2max
Posts: 461
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:01 pm

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by index2max »

dboeger1 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:14 pm I think this topic may have strayed quite far off from OP's original point which was that super-funding 529s isn't strictly necessary to provide a good education, but since we're on the topic of relative value of schools, I'd like to offer my 2 cents. In my experience, I've been thoroughly convinced that so much of what one gets out of college is down to personal circumstances, including but not limited to what one puts into it.

...

I guess to summarize my point and relate it back to OP, saving a bunch of money in a 529 so you can afford to send kids to a university like MIT absolutely does not guarantee that they will get in or even thrive if they do, but I think it does raise the ceiling of what's possible for them. I didn't suddenly become a head of state or anything like that because I went, but if I was absolutely maxing out every opportunity at my institution of choice, it probably would have meant I didn't aim high enough. I remember a high school classmate of mine whose parents couldn't afford to send her anywhere but community college so that's where she went for 2 years, and it was a shame because quite frankly, she was every bit as qualified of a student as I was, and she probably could've taken my place at MIT and done just as well. Obviously this is hypothetical, but if I had to guess, I would say that community college probably didn't match her potential, and I don't think it was a great alternative other than the fact that it was affordable for them. If I can avoid it, I'd rather not put my future children in a position of limiting their school choices based on budget.
Hey, thanks for posting! I'm totally fine with my discussion going off-track from the original point I made about skipping a few years' worth of college. The whole point of my post was to stimulate parents here to think outside the box about how they're children will attend and succeed at college.

I only went to a state school, but, boy oh boy, do I feel exactly the same way you do sometimes. I didn't take advantage of all the opportunities in front me either in school, not because of a lack of effort, but mostly not knowing what I wanted to do and which path to follow. I actually graduated in five years at my school because I spent my two high school years at my local big public university taking gen eds. and studying a foreign language before settling on engineering. Alas my current job is decent, but I know some of my peers way eclipsed me either. I wanted to impress a lot of people when I was younger and prove I wasn't "stupid". Now I realize education is an infinite staircase. You can go as far as you want. You're competing against your goals, not anyone else's just like what White Coat Investor says about investing.

Regarding educating you daughter, I have been thinking about different schooling approaches (homeschooling, waldorf etc.)

If you're thinking about your kids majoring in STEM and skipping ahead, consider taking a look at the "Robinson" curriculum. It's a self-taught one that requires little parental hand-holding. The Saxon Math books used by the curriculum include a lot of drilling that expects students to forget concepts only to re-learn them again several lessons later thanks to the sheer number of practice problems. I just bought a copy of the curriculum for myself to shore up my weaknesses in freshman physics, which was an eye-opening class in college.

Cheers :sharebeer
nigel_ht wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:52 pm
Scooter57 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:30 pm
The number of people who show up on Bogleheads with high-earning careers whose only desire is to be able to quit their jobs and retire as soon as possible (ideally in their 30s) tells me just how many kids have been pushed through the system without any idea of who they really are and what they really want to do with their lives, who have ended up working the jobs their parents would have wanted for themselves, not the ones that were right for them. I guess that is the end-stage of helicopter parenting.
Wow. What a terrible outcome. Why if they only manage to retire at 40 that means they have a mere 27 years to seek self actualization while most normal folks still have to work to meet the lowest physiological layer of the Maslow hierarchy.

If I can orchestrate all of my kids becoming fully FI at age 40 I’m happy. Even if they hate their jobs they win. It’s a helluva lot better to be 40 and have the means to quit the corporate job that has been sucking the soul out of your life to pursue whatever makes you feel fulfilled without financial worries.

What would be terrible is some 40 year old who was told to pursue their passion and has been struggling for 20 years to make ends meet while chasing an elusive dream that has never materialized and has little savings for the future which means they will have to struggle financially another 40 years.

Screw that. Make your first million. Then pursue your passion. If you can reasonably expect to make your first million pursuing your passion...bonus.
I think the point this poster was making is that you should have something to look forward to every day, not something you are trying to run away from through FIRE. It makes for a longer and happier career. I still think saving extra money (at least 20%) is wise!
nigel_ht
Posts: 2075
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Post by nigel_ht »

index2max wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:24 pm
dboeger1 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:14 pm I think this topic may have strayed quite far off from OP's original point which was that super-funding 529s isn't strictly necessary to provide a good education, but since we're on the topic of relative value of schools, I'd like to offer my 2 cents. In my experience, I've been thoroughly convinced that so much of what one gets out of college is down to personal circumstances, including but not limited to what one puts into it.

...

I guess to summarize my point and relate it back to OP, saving a bunch of money in a 529 so you can afford to send kids to a university like MIT absolutely does not guarantee that they will get in or even thrive if they do, but I think it does raise the ceiling of what's possible for them. I didn't suddenly become a head of state or anything like that because I went, but if I was absolutely maxing out every opportunity at my institution of choice, it probably would have meant I didn't aim high enough. I remember a high school classmate of mine whose parents couldn't afford to send her anywhere but community college so that's where she went for 2 years, and it was a shame because quite frankly, she was every bit as qualified of a student as I was, and she probably could've taken my place at MIT and done just as well. Obviously this is hypothetical, but if I had to guess, I would say that community college probably didn't match her potential, and I don't think it was a great alternative other than the fact that it was affordable for them. If I can avoid it, I'd rather not put my future children in a position of limiting their school choices based on budget.
Hey, thanks for posting! I'm totally fine with my discussion going off-track from the original point I made about skipping a few years' worth of college. The whole point of my post was to stimulate parents here to think outside the box about how they're children will attend and succeed at college.

I only went to a state school, but, boy oh boy, do I feel exactly the same way you do sometimes. I didn't take advantage of all the opportunities in front me either in school, not because of a lack of effort, but mostly not knowing what I wanted to do and which path to follow. I actually graduated in five years at my school because I spent my two high school years at my local big public university taking gen eds. and studying a foreign language before settling on engineering. Alas my current job is decent, but I know some of my peers way eclipsed me either. I wanted to impress a lot of people when I was younger and prove I wasn't "stupid". Now I realize education is an infinite staircase. You can go as far as you want. You're competing against your goals, not anyone else's just like what White Coat Investor says about investing.

Regarding educating you daughter, I have been thinking about different schooling approaches (homeschooling, waldorf etc.)

If you're thinking about your kids majoring in STEM and skipping ahead, consider taking a look at the "Robinson" curriculum. It's a self-taught one that requires little parental hand-holding. The Saxon Math books used by the curriculum include a lot of drilling that expects students to forget concepts only to re-learn them again several lessons later thanks to the sheer number of practice problems. I just bought a copy of the curriculum for myself to shore up my weaknesses in freshman physics, which was an eye-opening class in college.

Cheers :sharebeer
nigel_ht wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:52 pm
Scooter57 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:30 pm
The number of people who show up on Bogleheads with high-earning careers whose only desire is to be able to quit their jobs and retire as soon as possible (ideally in their 30s) tells me just how many kids have been pushed through the system without any idea of who they really are and what they really want to do with their lives, who have ended up working the jobs their parents would have wanted for themselves, not the ones that were right for them. I guess that is the end-stage of helicopter parenting.
Wow. What a terrible outcome. Why if they only manage to retire at 40 that means they have a mere 27 years to seek self actualization while most normal folks still have to work to meet the lowest physiological layer of the Maslow hierarchy.

If I can orchestrate all of my kids becoming fully FI at age 40 I’m happy. Even if they hate their jobs they win. It’s a helluva lot better to be 40 and have the means to quit the corporate job that has been sucking the soul out of your life to pursue whatever makes you feel fulfilled without financial worries.

What would be terrible is some 40 year old who was told to pursue their passion and has been struggling for 20 years to make ends meet while chasing an elusive dream that has never materialized and has little savings for the future which means they will have to struggle financially another 40 years.

Screw that. Make your first million. Then pursue your passion. If you can reasonably expect to make your first million pursuing your passion...bonus.
I think the point this poster was making is that you should have something to look forward to every day, not something you are trying to run away from through FIRE. It makes for a longer and happier career. I still think saving extra money (at least 20%) is wise!
I love my profession. I'm lucky enough to also be good at it. I'm at a great world class institution. I just refreshed my resume and looking back I've had a great career. But ya know, after 30 years...a lot of days its just a job now.

How many doctors have you heard say they still love medicine but hate the paperwork?

So if you're less blessed, I would expect a lot of folks end up with a large percentage of "its just a job" days much earlier in their career.
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