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Do your kids qualify for needs-based financial aid for college?

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  • #46
    Seems you have more an issue of the overall cost of tuition moreso than the differential of a needs based system.

    Probably have similar feeling on our progressive tax system?

    I do agree that some accountability on tuition and ROI should be had. Imho that would come from title one dollars schedule.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Random1 View Post
      There is a nice boglehead podcast that just came out about alot of this college issues. I wish I heard it before paying for 4 college educations for my kids. It explains needs based vs "merit" based college discounts.

      Nothing like spending $200,000 for college education so a kid can earn $40,000 / year with their major.


      I think what most of this discussion is about not getting a dime of need based aid because we save so much and give up on other material goods and yet have to pay full inflated tuition to support others. Some of whom qualify for need based because they did not save for education and not necessarily because they were poor.

      As far a merit aid, the top colleges have students clamoring for them that they do not give a penny in merit aid. Only the mid tier colleges do and it depends on how badly they need that student with the high GPA/ SAT/ EC and how badly that student needs that merit aid. One offered so much that it even was less than our state college tuition but then , when something is easily available the kids turn their noses at it. They would rather pay 50-80K to universities that will not offer a dime in merit aid, just because they assume that higher to reach fruit might taste more sweet.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by AR View Post

        As you describe yourself as a lover of freedom, I'd think that at least as far as private colleges are concerned, you would think that they should be free to charge whoever they want whatever they want to.
        You forget one thing - that almost all these private colleges are 501(c) not for profit colleges that pay no taxes and hence the tax payers are supporting them. In that case they have to not discriminate blatantly.

        If they become a pure for-profit entities and rescind their 501c status, I say - go and happily discriminate away on your dime and not mine.

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        • #49
          Merit aid always reminded me of department store sales. You go into JCP,Macy's, etc. and a shirt cost $80 but is 35% off and an additional 20% off today only! I would never pay $80 for a shirt and even at 30 something it seems like a rip off. So off you go to the bargain store.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

            Give me a break. This isn’t just at private universities - it occurs at public universities as well. You aren’t discerning between different types of discrimination with your argument. We discriminate in benign ways on a daily basis - applying personal choices, for example. And then there are ways of discriminating that violate a neutral standard that start getting into uglier territory. And no I don’t think the government should be setting up a system to inspire the latter.
            So let me get this straight. Private entities should be allowed to discriminate. Unless it's a type of discrimination that gets in to "uglier territory". In that case, you want the government to step in and prevent it. Is that right? You would have the government trample the freedoms of these private entities? That just doesn't seem like something that someone who loves freedom as much as you do would espouse.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Kamban View Post

              You forget one thing - that almost all these private colleges are 501(c) not for profit colleges that pay no taxes and hence the tax payers are supporting them. In that case they have to not discriminate blatantly.

              If they become a pure for-profit entities and rescind their 501c status, I say - go and happily discriminate away on your dime and not mine.
              I didn't forget. It's just not relevant to the point I'm interested in (which is admittedly different from what most others are interested in).

              If it makes it easier we can just limit this to for profit universities.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by AR View Post

                So let me get this straight. Private entities should be allowed to discriminate. Unless it's a type of discrimination that gets in to "uglier territory". In that case, you want the government to step in and prevent it. Is that right? You would have the government trample the freedoms of these private entities? That just doesn't seem like something that someone who loves freedom as much as you do would espouse.
                I explicitly said they shouldn’t discriminate. You’re trying to paint me as a hypocrite while ignoring the broader inequity and inefficiency of what’s going on here. Nice try.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                  I explicitly said they shouldn’t discriminate. You’re trying to paint me as a hypocrite while ignoring the broader inequity and inefficiency of what’s going on here. Nice try.
                  I agree that is exactly what you said. But it seems to me like you want the government to take away their freedom to discriminate and ensure that they don't. There is nothing wrong with that position, but like I said, that doesn't sound very freedom-loving to me.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by AR View Post

                    I agree that is exactly what you said. But it seems to me like you want the government to take away their freedom to discriminate and ensure that they don't. There is nothing wrong with that position, but like I said, that doesn't sound very freedom-loving to me.
                    So you are projecting an intervention that I never suggested. That seems to be the basis of your problem here.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                      So you are projecting an intervention that I never suggested. That seems to be the basis of your problem here.
                      Well then help me out here. You're saying that they shouldn't discriminate, right? What should happen if they decide to exercise their freedom and do it anyway?

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by AR View Post

                        Well then help me out here. You're saying that they shouldn't discriminate, right? What should happen if they decide to exercise their freedom and do it anyway?
                        I don’t think the government should be complicit in the system of discrimination. My entire gripe with our current set up is that the government sets up a system of unlimited funds and after-tax discrimination via the FAFSA. And of course places can use their funding to do as they please. But just because I think someone or some entity shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean I think it should be legally banned. For example, I think people shouldn’t kneel for the anthem but fully recognize they can and am not calling for this to be banned federally.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by legobikes View Post
                          How many years do you need to not have an income to qualify? Just wondering, how many tax returns will they check?
                          For those in the know, I want the answer to this question too. How many years are admins looking back at as far as income? I am looking to retire or rather scale back drastically quite early (mid 50s), and since we had kids late in life, the oldest may be 15yo at the time (??). My wife will probably continue working, though probably at 0.7 FTE, mostly for health and fringe benefits.

                          Also does having 519 plan under the grandparents help in any way?

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                            I don’t think the government should be complicit in the system of discrimination. My entire gripe with our current set up is that the government sets up a system of unlimited funds and after-tax discrimination via the FAFSA. And of course places can use their funding to do as they please. But just because I think someone or some entity shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean I think it should be legally banned. For example, I think people shouldn’t kneel for the anthem but fully recognize they can and am not calling for this to be banned federally.
                            So just to make sure I'm clear, you're saying this discrimination is bad, but they should absolutely be allowed to do it.

                            Well, I'll give you your freedom-lover title back. But I don't know how outraged you can be if they're doing something that you fully believe they ought to be able to do.

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                            • #59
                              We found out recently that the fact my spouse is a (basically an honorary) faculty member for the state university system, our children will likely qualify for a tuition discount should they decide to attend a state university. I don't know if that will actually happen, but it is a nice bonus. Especially considering the only thing he actually has to do for the title is have a med student tag along with him every once in awhile.

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                              • #60
                                As someone who paid for expensive school for my kids, I enthusiastically support need-based aid. The world is not fair. A kid who grows up in a two-physician household has so many advantages over a poor child from a single parent home that free college does not come close to leveling the playing field.

                                I donate to scholarship funds to support need based aid.

                                I planned to pay for my kids' educations before they were born and we saved up enough to cover the cost well before college came along. In the end, we were able to cash flow the expenses without touchings the savings. I am prouder and happier about that, both the savings and the cash flow financing, than I am about anything I have done in medicine. My kids were worth it, the educations were worth it and if some of the money we paid helped children from less fortunate families, well I am happy about that too.

                                I live in the US and I want the economy to be as productive as possible. I want society to progress as rapidly as possible. For those things to happen, we need the most, best, smart, well educated people trying to accomplish those goals. If the entry is limited to those whose parents can afford the bill, then we are all worse off. Viewed purely from my narrow self interest, the system would be better if it provides even more help than it does to kids of lesser means.

                                Of course, I don't view it purely from my self interest, which is why I donate money I don't have to give.

                                I can, sort of, sympathize with the complaint that a family that spends like crazy then relies on financial aid has been treated better than a family that carefully saved. But the kids are not responsible for those big houses, fancy vacations and empty bank accounts. The parents who behave like that are punishing themselves and will continue to do so long after their kids are out on their own.

                                Not wasting our money on indulgences was in part to make sure we could afford what was important in life. But we would not have wasted the money anyway.

                                Of course, in a free country, no one has to send their kids to a college that offers generous need based aid. If a vendor offends you, don't patronize them. There are people who object to the low prices and convenience of Walmart or Amazon. Free country. Don't buy from them. Same for college.

                                But understand why someone fortunate enough to be a doctor will not get much sympathy when they complain that they have to pay for their kids' education.

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